Rogue One – A Star Wars Story


There will be a number of Star Wars installments in the offering in the next number of years. That is a good thing. The latest, Rogue One is probably the grittiest, less pessimistic film in the star wars saga. Sadly, George Lucas parted ways from the series and Disney has owned the rights since 2012. However, what is exciting is, the legacy has continued masterfully. A Star Wars Story 7 out of 10 stars.


MOANA : A Timely Movie From Disney

Moana is not one to be discounted. It is a deserving contender for an Oscar nomination this year. Some may miss the theme of the movie, I almost did. It has a message that is timely and important. The exclusive non-white characters come as the Academy Award is accused of lacking diversity. This film is in the league of great works such as Zoolopia and Finding Dory. 8 out of 10 stars


Arrival :A Satisfying Sc-Fi Flick

There has not been exceptional movies shown at Matti Cinema, as the only place to watch Hollywood movies. But rare movies bring the best of movie lovers, audiences and Arrival is one such movie. – 10out of 10 stars


Yenegen Alweldem

Yenegen Aleweldem is a welcome new addition to the list of films that deal with life in Ethiopia under the Derg regime. Though brutal in parts, it is the honesty in the portrayal of a rather cowardly protagonist that makes it stand out. A mainstream audience may, however, miss the presence of a hero – 6 out of 10 stars


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

What did the Harry Potter films offer, which the books didn’t? Not much or, some would say, even less. And I agree, whenever a book is adopted into a movie, character depth is likely to suffer. Potter and Voldemort might have been brought to life with the use of actors, costumes and awesome special effects, but in terms of emotion or spirit, they was always more ‘alive’ in the books. Of course the villains take it too far. They believe wizards are the better species and that humans should be subjugated to them. 6 out of 10 stars.


Doctor Strange – A New Entry to the Avengers Universe

If I had a dollar for every time I saw a bad superhero movie, which almost all are, although I wouldn’t become a millionaire, I could have, by now, bought…


A Visual Feast at the European Film Festival

“It means something for cinema, the issues these films’ advocate and Ethiopia as a whole, that such high-profile individuals find it significant enough to attend. Ethiopians have become much more movie savvy than I thought. And I could just imagine how much more informed they will be after this festival, especially about the current trends of film making, and the prevalent themes of contemporary movies”


Film Review : Inferno

Inferno, for reasons unknown, is being showcased in Ethiopia ahead of its launch in the Western World. The fourth book and third film in Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series, Inferno follows on from The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. With the previous films having received rather average reviews, this time the focus shifts from plot depth to pure entertainment, which it achieves reasonably well – 7 out of 10.


Storks

Whatever film was screening at the mainstream cinemas in Addis Abeba this week, it was always going to fall flat after the disappointing cancellation of an eagerly anticipated South Korean film festival. Storks, a lighthearted animation about the delivery of babies, was adequate for passing the time, but nothing more – 5 out of 10 stars.


The Magnificent Seven

Akira Kurasawa’s original Seven Samurai is “an epic to end all epics”, according to Christian Tesfaye, Fortune Film Reviewer. Though it’s 1960 remake, The Magnificent Seven, became a classic, it was far from reaching the exceptional levels of it’s predecessor. Now, 2016 brings us a remake of a remake, which despite excellent action sequences and reasonable casting, pales into comparison with the original – 6 out of 10 stars.


Don’t Breathe

Horror films tend to try to achieve one of two things – scare the audience or entertain them. The latter is much easier to achieve, and this tends to be the approach of most Hollywood-esque horror films these days. Don’t Breathe is no different. Rather than searching for true horror in the depths, it entertains in a rather stereotypical fashion. It is, however, a lot of fun, and well worth a watch – 7 out of 10.


Sully

It seems more than mere coincidence that a film about a plane crash in New York is being released so close to the anniversary of ‘September 11’. Based on a true story, Sully is, however, far less tragic than the much more infamous disaster. The film, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks, succeeds in portraying the events in a low-key and honest fashion – 8 out of 10 stars.


Pete’s Dragon

Pete’s Dragon may sound like a kid’s film, and well that’s because it is. But, like all great Disney films, it also has the ability to appeal to the kid in all of us. With a long sequence of drab films having been screened in Addis Ababa over recent months, Pete’s Dragon is a rare treat, which can entertain all the family – 7 out of 10 stars.


Hands of Stone

Films about boxing have a long history of inspiring an audience. There is something unique about the sport, which has led to it being far more successful on the big screen than many other sports. Hands of Stone, however, won’t be joining the list of the great movies in this genre. Set against the Panama-US political crisis, the film tries to do too much and ends up doing very little – 5 out of 10 stars


The Secret Life of Pets

There are some animated films that certainly have enough depth and dexterity to be classed as exceptional films in their own right; there are, however, others that merely target children with bright colours, simple plots and much-loved celebrity actors. Unfortunately, The secret Life of Pets, is one of the latter. For children, yes, there is enough to make it an enjoyable watch. But, there is nowhere near enough for adults too to enjoy this rather empty film – 4 out of 10.


War Dogs

As a film about illegal arms dealers, War Dogs attempts, in a Wolf on Wall Street-esque fashion, to introduce us to the alluring appeal of humanity’s rebels. However, despite some strong acting performances, including Jonah Hill, the director’s reluctance to truly depict the despicable reality of the story in a bid for comedy, leaves a rather sour taste in the mouth – 5 out of 10 stars.




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