Out This Week: 10 January 2019

Dragon! There's a dragon on the screen! And it needs your immediate attention.

A busy weekend at the multiplexes, but one film gets my unabashed recommendation. Read on to find out which one I’m rooting for.

How to Train Your Dragon:The Hidden World

Directed by: Dean DeBlois
With: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, and Kit Harington
What is it about? When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury, he must seek “The Hidden World”, a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first.
Heads Up? The 3rd installment of the marvelous How To Train Your Dragon series. This is meant to be seen in the biggest screen possible, as it will feature dazzling flight scenes and amazing animation. This should be a great start for the year 2019.

The Mule

Directed by: Clint Eastwood
With: Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia 
What is it about? A 90-year-old horticulturist and Korean War veteran is caught transporting $3 million worth of cocaine through Illinois for a Mexican drug cartel.
Heads Up? This drama is based on real events, and had some award buzz that did not materialize. The reviews are decent but not as strong, and the consensus is “a flawed yet enjoyable late-period Eastwood entry“. The director and the cast should be make it an easy choice if you are on the fence over this one.

Holmes and Watson

Directed by: Etan Cohen
With: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Rebecca Hall, and Ralph Fiennes
What is it about? A humorous take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic mysteries featuring Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.
Heads Up? What a waste of talent! I love the pairing of Reilly and Ferrell especially in Step Brothers and in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky. Unfortunately this film is reviled by pretty much all critics and did not fare any better with audience. Avoid it!
Editor’s note: If interested in a Sherlock Holmes comedy, watch Without A Clue (1988) instead. You will not regret it!


Directed by: Drake Doremus
With: Ewan McGregor, Léa Seydoux, Theo James, and Rashida Jones 
What is it about? A story about how synthetic humans can feel and even love, and how the people they are involved with react to this concept.
Heads Up? The consensus on this film is that “it’s slow-moving sci-fi that ultimately fails to engage“. I say don’t bother.

Uri : The Surgical Strike

Directed by: Aditya Dhar
With: Vicky Kaushal, Kirti Kulhari, Yami Gautam, and Paresh Rawal
What is it about? Based on the true events of 2016, when Indian Army avenged a deadly terrorist attack by carrying out a surgical strike.
Heads Up? This genre of action film that dramatises true acts of heroism are meant to trump up the patriotism and pride of the nation. They have their audience, but unfortunately they rarely veer off the formula which makes them predictable and less interesting. That said, Vicky Kaushal is an intriguing young actor, and that might be one good reason to see it.

The Accidental Prime Minister

Directed by: Vijay Ratnakar Gutte
With: Anupam Kher, Akshaye Khanna, Arjun Mathur, and  Suzanne Bernert
What is it about? Life,Work and Controversies related to India’s 13th Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Heads Up? This Bollywood drama has a pair of excellent lead actors that makes it appealing for me. It’s yet another Bollywood film that is dramatizing true events. I would give the edge to this one over the previous film if I have to choose, even if it comes across as propaganda-ish.

About Abdullah Y

Abdullah Y is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He is an avid consumer of everything Pop Culture; movies, TV, music, photography, podcasts, and social media. He loves to travel and to share his experiences.