TRAILERS: 6 films in UAE cinemas this week
The Call Up (15)
Another one of those of-the-moment films, The Call Up is a sci-fi adventure in which a group of online gamers, hoping for a $100,000 prize, enter a virtual reality shoot-em-up environment that, Gamer-like, turns out to be a little more real than they were led to believe. With slight echoes of Divergent, the gang end up playing a real-world-once-removed game of survival… watch out for the phrase “This isn’t a game!” Never mind the plot, British TV commercials maker Charles Barker, ensures it has plenty of visual snap.
In cinemas from June 23
Eric Roberts, all silver haired charm and a dash of menace, is excellent in an otherwise functional Russian thriller – originally a four-part TV series – about a journalist, played by Uzbek actress Natasha Alam, trying to find a pattern in a seemingly random outbreak of mass murder, revolution and general chaos. Her search for answers takes her to Belarus, where plenty of slightly dated action gets her close to the truth.
In cinemas from June 23
This award-winning Turkish film that premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival zeros in on the crew of a cargo ship stranded off the coast of Egypt after its owners went bankrupt. Claustrophobia, irritation and boredom soon take over the men which, Lord of the Flies like, leads to the gradual disintegration of the power structures and hierarchies they arrived with. When one of the crew disappears overboard, the tale takes a stranger, much darker tone.
A Scene Club screening at Vox Mall of the Emirates, June 22
Welcome to Me (18)
Kristen Wiig is on top form as a women with Nurse-Betty-like issues, whose mundane,Oprah-obsessed life is suddenly enriched with an $86 million lottery win. With the windfall, she pays a struggling shopping channel to produce a chat-show devoted entirely to, well, her. No longer on medication, she airs her problems via bake-offs and mini plays, all of which begin to attract a cult audience. It’s unsettling and awkward, yet oddly entertaining.
Money Monster (15)
The plot centres on Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell), a blue-collar worker from Queens who has lost his life savings in a stock championed by a financial TV network. Driven to the edge by the news he is about to become a father, he storms into the studio to confront the charismatic and all-too persuasive host, played by George Clooney. What follows is a hostage situation in which all the frustrations and the injustices of the last decade come pouring out as O’Connell’s Kyle tells his everyman tale.
Jojo Moyes’ novel Me Before You gets the big-screen treatment via first-time director Thea Sharrock. It tells the tale of a recently paralysed and embittered investment banker (Sam Claflin of The Hunger Games fame) who moves to the English countryside to live as a recluse, only to discover, via the delightful form of his caregiver (Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke), that life might be worth living after all. There’s sufficient prettiness and spark to keep it interesting.