Though we’ve had a great summer so far, the biggest film that every movie fan is waiting for with bated breath is Christopher Nolan’s epic finale to the ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy. But a dark world awaits us living in UAE, because while the US release date of the film is July 20th, we here get to see it a whole month later on August 16th. The reason is Ramadan, and the distributor Shooting Stars has decided to postpone the date of the release to co-incide with Eid since that’s the best time to release blockbusters. But that also means that in the age of the Internet, we will not only be having to wait a full month to see it but will also most likely be spoiled about the film entirely thanks to messaging forums and news websites that can instantly ruin what looks to be a memorable ending to the franchise. But one fan actually decided to petition against it.
A petition has been going around the internet aimed directly at Warner Bros. Entertainment & Shooting Stars LLC demands the studio to release the film on July 20th when most of the world get to see it. The argument made is quite detailed and mature, and hopefully it helps in reversing the decision and having us see the film earlier. It makes sense for the studio financially to release the film on the lucrative date of Eid, but the film will still be running during Eid considering most Ramadan releases are small indies that don’t retain their screens in the long run. Here’s the details from the petition page itself:
To Warner Bros. Entertainment & Shooting Stars LLC,
The Dark Knight Rises is one of the most, if not the most anticipated movie release for 2012. It has been decided by you, that the audience of the Middle East will be denied seeing the film until August 16, when Ramadan has ended. While many may wait to see the film after the Holy Month has finished, there are an equal proportion of Batman fans, if not more, who would hit the cinema for a July 20 release. We are those fans, and here is our argument.
Batman: The Dark Knight grossed USD 2.8 million in the UAE when it was released in 2008 and is one of the Middle East’s all-time top 10 grossing films. For fans who have been tremendously dedicated to this franchise from Batman Begins, it is ridiculous that we should have to wait an entire month for what could become one of the Middle East’s favourite movies of all time.
Going to the cinema is a collective experience and this is not limited to the people in the cinema with you. With any highly anticipated release, there is a global fervour and excitement that is truly a wonderful thing to be a part of. Citizens of the Middle East will be counting down just like the rest of the world and by the time it comes to D-Day in this part of the world, it will be yesterday’s news, the spoilers will be unavoidable and pirated versions of the movie will have popped up all over the internet.
We want to be a part of The Dark Knight Rises in real time. We want to be able to talk about it with our friends from all over the world. We want to join the conversation and the celebration assertively. This is the end of an era, let us celebrate it with the rest of the world.
Yours in earnest,
The Dark Knight Fans
You can sign the petition here and make your voice heard.
‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is the epic film Dubai deserves. Failed attempt at quoting there.
Three high school students make an incredible discovery, leading to their developing uncanny telekinetic powers beyond their understanding. As they learn to control their abilities and use them to their advantage, their lives start to spin out of control as their darker sides begin to take over. What starts out as fun and games quickly becomes dangerous and they must face the inevitable question of whether they can handle the responsibility that comes with their remarkable powers.
Thanks to Rotana Home Entertainment, we have 3 Blu-rays to one of the best films of the year so far to give away.
On vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world’s biggest Muppet fan, his brother Gary (Jason Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams), from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to raze Muppet Studios and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets’ former stomping grounds. To stage a telethon and raise the $10 million needed to save the studio, Walter, Mary and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have allgone their separate ways: Fozzie now performs with a Reno casino tribute band called the Moopets, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, Animal is in a Santa Barbara clinic for anger management, and Gonzo is a high-powered plumbing magnate.
Thanks to Rotana Home Entertainment, we have 5 DVD’s of the best family film of 2011 to give away.
It’s no secret that trying to make a good musical is a very hard thing to do, and ‘Rock of Ages’ only goes out to prove that fact. It has all the glamour of the 80’s, an excellent ensemble cast and a lot of great nostalgic hits on its roster. Yet there’s so much that it does wrong on the script level that it ends up ruining all of that and becomes a mostly failed effort. Yet the film also proves how one actor can completely outshine everything else in the film- and that is Tom Cruise in what will become a legendary performance as a rockstar Stacie Jaxx.
Set in the late 80’s rock scene in LA, the film follows small town girl Sherrie and city boy Drew as they meet in the city to pursue their dreams of singing. Working in a bar filled with quirky characters, they form a romance but meet many obstacles on their road to fame and success. But things take a turn on the night of the biggest rock event the city has ever seen – the final performance of an out of control and spiralling rockstar Stacie Jaxx (Tom Cruise).
The 80’s rock scene is definitely a period that most people remember as great music considering the kind of output that it led to, and obviously making a movie about that would pull in a lot of nostalgic fans hoping to re-live that time where it was all about rock and roll and not the current pop auto-tune music that plagues the radio. ‘Rock of Ages’ does things visually right and captures the excessively vivid look of the period. It’s got as good a cast as a musical could hope for, with actors like Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Malin Akerman, Bryan Cranston among others. And the musical roster is pretty impressive, with the bigwigs like Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Poison, Twister Sister and others to boast. But despite all that, the movie takes some fundamentally wrong decisions that undermines all of the above.
Let’s start with the story. You have the story of an out of control iconic rocker who gets all the media attention from the good to the bad and has his fans love him, but you can see he’s spinning out of control. You have two bar owners that are in debt and the only thing that can save their bar is a sold-out final performance by the biggest rockstar there is in the name of rock and roll. Two perfectly intriguing and actually interesting stories that you could take and make a film about. Yet the filmmakers managed to choose the least interesting story in the film and make it the leading plot – two young kids arriving to town with hopes to make it big in the city of LA. It’s a cliched and uninteresting plot that we’ve seen in thousands of movies before, and done much better than this movie comes even close to doing.
That’s the single biggest problem with the film – an extremely bland storyline at its core. And add to that a cheesy and such an awful romantic angle that it’s not only cringe-worthy to watch most of the time but is almost a parody of itself with the terrible dialogues and scenes that follow. I’m not saying that the movie on the whole has a bad story, because that’s not the case. The two stories I mentioned above are far more interesting when you get to see them, but it’s unfortunate that most of the time is spent on these cheesy youngsters and their trials and tribulations in love and fame. Every single scene of them in it is particularly subpar, made terrible by the worst renditions of the songs implemented at the most awkward of moments. I heard the audience laughing out loud during these random musical outbursts, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t supposed to be funny. No matter how much I try to forget about it, the fact is that this is the main plot of the film and everything actually interesting is in the backdrop, which is what leads to a mostly cheesy and disappointing experience that will have you wishing the film ends sooner than it actually does.
But if you can get past that (which is not an easy feat), there are things to like in the film and one of the biggest of those things is Tom Cruise himself. Playing an out of control rockstar here in a role so far away from everything he’s ever done, he’s a revelation and completely transforms himself by embodying the persona of this troubled but highly loved rockstar of the 80’s complete with the crazy hair-do, shirtlessness and the attitude to boot. Unlike the main track, every single scene with his character Stacie Jaxx in it is by far the best of the film and ultimately the reason for the rating that I give the film. It’s like there’s a very good movie buried deep inside ‘Rock of Ages’ waiting to come out but finds itself buried under the weight of a misguided and tonally confused main plot. Which is another problem with the movie – there’s quite a jarring shift in tone with the tracks that the film has. It’s like the producers wanted to cater not only to the nostalgic rock fans but also to the fans of the TV show ‘Glee’, which is why we get a lot of glamorous auto-tuned tracks that aren’t rock in any sense and will end up alienating the rock fans that paid to see the film. There’s also a terribly wasteful subplot in here starring Mary J. Blige as an owner of a strip club and the film does absolutely nothing with her or that plot itself. Before you know it, it’s gone and is never mentioned again. Bad plotting like this is one of the other reasons why ‘Rock of Ages’ is so crushingly disappointing.
I’ve already raved enough about Tom Cruise’s electric performance as Stacie Jaxx and he remains the only reason to watch the film should you ever choose to, but other good performances include Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand who provided some hilarious comic relief to the film that actually works in its favor. Catherine Zeta-Jones is given much less screentime as I hoped and turns up her performance a little too over the top, but leaves an impression. So do Paul Giammati and Bryan Cranston. Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta are pretty to look at as the young leads, but their performances are too confused and ultimately feel like they belong in an entirely different genre of music.
‘Rock of Ages’ fails on many respects as a musical thanks to its paper thin plotting which itself is focused on all the wrong aspects of it and a tonally confused roster, but Tom Cruise’s performance is so lasting and memorable that it’s hard not to be impressed by it. Without him, this would be bottom of the barrel stuff. But rock fans might have a kick out of his storyline, and that’s the only reason to consider this ultimately failed musical adaptation.
I actually liked ‘Wanted’ at the time of its release, not only because of its very slick style of action but also because it had the guts to actually to a lot to its characters that most movies that want to become franchise don’t attempt to. But the movie was a huge hit, and those decisions really put a sequel plan in trouble and Angelina Jolie opted out of it last year when they couldn’t find a way to re-introduce her into the story quick enough. Now, looks like the plan may be back on track.
Director Timur Bekmambetov told The Playlist while he was promoting his latest ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ that he’s recently had a shocking idea for a sequel that he thinks will be great:
“An unbelievable thing happened three weeks ago. Because we stopped, we didn’t know what to do for three or four years. Three weeks ago I came up with a great idea and I pitched this idea and everybody fell in love with it. And now I think we’re on track. Right now the writer is working on the script, and it will be shocking.“
Sounds pretty exciting that he’s found a way to revive the series. But what about the people who didn’t survive the first film?
“It’s a continuation of the story, with Wesley Gibson… Other people are dead, you know, we can’t bring them back. The story is the same character, same mythology, but it’s got a great twist.”
I’d love to see a ‘Wanted 2′ as long as it’s not a cash-grab. From the time it has taken to make it and the words of the director, it doesn’t seem like it will be otherwise it would have happened already.
For those who love collaborations between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, there’s another one coming soon called ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and is based on a pretty good book of the same name. And now, it’s getting last year’s Oscar winner as a part of the cast.
Variety reports that actor Jean Dujardin, the star of last year’s Oscar winning ‘The Artist’, is in talks to join the Jordan Belfort‘s memoir adaptation with Terence Winter adapting it for the screen. Here’s the synopsis of the book:
Belfort, who founded one of the first and largest chop shop brokerage firms in 1987, was banned from the securities business for life by 1994, and later went to jail for fraud and money-laundering, delivers a memoir that reads like fiction. It covers his decade of success with straightforward accounts of how he worked with managers of obscure companies to acquire large amounts of stock with minimal public disclosure, then pumped up the price and sold it, so he and the insiders made large profits while public investors usually lost. Profits were laundered through purchase of legitimate businesses and cash deposits in Swiss banks. There is only brief mention of Belfort’s life before Wall Street or events since 1997. The book’s main topic is the vast amount of sex, drugs and risky physical behavior Belfort managed to survive. As might be expected in the autobiography of a veteran con man with movie rights already sold, it’s hard to know how much to believe.
The actor has usually stuck to French language films before, probably because his French accent is too thick and English not that great. But with the right role, he can shine and is an amazing actor as we saw in his silent but powerful performance in ‘The Artist’. He’s negotiating for the role of Jean-Jacques Handali, who is a slick Swiss banker who ends up helping Belfort in his dirty deeds.
Do you like the actor?