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Mad about movies

Adam Zacharias / 14 June 2012

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (3D)

THE ANNOYING/LOVEABLE (delete as appropriate) animals of Madagascar have scored themselves a third movie thanks to box office takings of over a billion dollars in their fist two outings.

This time around, Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith), and Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer) lead their motley crew on a trip through Europe.

Along the way, they join a troupe of circus animals as the gang attempt to find their way home to New York City.

Perhaps even more improbable than the film’s premise is the fact that the three installments have grown gradually more popular with critics, their Rotten Tomatoes scores improving with each movie. 

Which makes Madagascar 3 the pick of the litter.

“A neon-saturated, high-flying trapeze act with enough frenetic funny business that it’s a wonder the folks behind this zillion-dollar franchise about zoo critters on the lam didn’t send the animals to the circus sooner,” said Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times.

“I have to give props to a movie that ascends from eccentricity to insanity without losing its footing,” declared Richard Corliss of Time magazine.





Euro 2012 

ARE YOU SICK of the overblown hype surrounding the Euro 2012 tournament? I mean, there are more important things in life than football, right?

Wrong. And, to compound your misery, the 16-team international showdown featuring Europe’s finest has now snaked its way into UAE movie theatres, with all of the country’s VOX Cinemas (www.voxcinemas.com) screening every game. Good times ahoy.






Iron Sky 

THIS OFF-THE-wall sci-fi comedy proposes that in the final throes of World War II, members of the defeated Nazi Party managed to flee to the Moon thanks to a secret space programme.

Living in a ‘space fortress’ on the Dark Side of the Moon, the Nazis have since thrived under the watchful eye of their new Fuhrer (Udo Kier).

When they are discovered during an American lunar landing in 2018, the Nazis decide it is time for their second attempt to conquer Earth – both by surreptitiously assuming leadership of the United States and by a less surreptitious wave of spaceship attacks.

Reviews have been mixed for the movie, with some critics more accepting of its bonkers premise than others.

“Stylishly made with some terrific effects, Iron Sky also draws on everything from Star Wars to Dr. Strangelove, Raiders of the Lost Ark and a Sarah Palin-style US President,” said Graham Young of the Birmingham Post

“Completely fails to deliver on its basic premise and is ultimately disappointing, thanks to a lazy script, poor performances and ham-fisted direction,” said Matthew Turner of View London.


Salmon Fishing in the Yemen 

TAKING TOP HONOURS at the ‘Dullest Film Title of 2012’ awards ceremony earlier this year, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen nonetheless has a top-drawer cast that includes Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt.

Based on the award-winning book by British writer Paul Torday, the movie sees fishing expert Fred Jones undertake the seemingly impossible task of introducing salmon fishing in the Yemeni desert at the request of a mega-wealthy sheikh.

Though he sees the project as ill-fated and silly, Fred nonetheless heads to the desert country under the encouragement of the British government. Once there, he begins to fall for the sheikh’s consultant Harriet.

“While Salmon Fishing fritters away the comic momentum of its madcap opening chapters, it’s like angling - a pleasant diversion if you can look below the surface and muster the patience to appreciate it,” said Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“Attractive, picture postcard cinematography from Terry Stacey adds to the appeal of a film that is easy on the eye and pleasantly undemanding in every other respect,” said Alan Hunter of the Daily Express.


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