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MT 8 May 2016

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maltatoday, SUNDAY, 8 MAY 2016 38 This Week IN CINEMAS TODAY Embassy Cinemas Valletta Tel. 21 227436, 21 245818 Captain America: Civil War (3D) (12A) 10:30, 14:15, 17:45, 20;50 Mother's Day (PG) 10:20, 13:20, 16:00, 18:35, 21:15 Robinson Crusoe (PG) 10:20, 13:45, 16:00, 18:15, 20:55 The Jungle Book (PG) 10:35, 13:45, 16:10, 18:30, 20:50 The Huntsman Winter's War (3D) (12) 16:00, 18:30, 21:00 Eye in the Sky (15) 10:30, 14:00, 16:20, 18:40, 21:05 Valletta Living History (U) 10:00, 10:45, 11:30, 12:15, 13:00, 13:45, 14:30, 15:15 Eden Cinemas St Julian's Tel. 23 710400 Zootropolis (U) 14:00, 16:20, 18:35 Criminal (15) 14:00, 16:25, 18:50, 21:15, 23:40 Robinson Crusoe (3D) (PG) 14:05, 18:15 Eye in the Sky (15) 14:15, 16:30, 18:45, 21:05, 23:20 Mother's Day (PG) 14:30, 18:00, 20:45, 23:15 London Has Fallen (15) 14:30, 16:40, 18:50, 21:15, 23:10 Grease Sing A Long (PG) 16:30 Captain America: Civil War (12A) 20:00, 23:00 The Jungle Book (3D) (PG) 14:00, 16:25, 21:10 Captain America: Civil War (12A) 14:00, 18:00, 21:10 How to Be Single (15) 14:05, 16:25, 18:45, 21:05 Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (12A) 14:20, 17:30, 21:00 The Huntsman: Winter's War (12A) 14:30, 18:00, 20:45 Robinson Crusoe (PG) 16:10, 20:45 The Jungle Book (PG) 18:45, 23:35 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (PG) 21:05, 23:15 Empire Cinemas Bugibba Tel. 21 581787, 21 581909 Robinson Crusoe (PG) 10:45, 13:30, 16:00, 18:30, 20:45 Mother's Day (PG) 11:05, 13:45, 16:10, 18:35, 21:00 The Jungle Book (PG) 11:10, 13;45, 18:30 The Jungle Book (3D) (PG) 16:00, 20:50 Captain America: Civil War (3D) (12A) 11:00, 14:00, 18:00, 21:05 Eye in the Sky (15) 10:50, 13:40, 15:55, 18:20, 21:00 Criminal (15) 11:15, 13:45, 16:10, 18:35, 21:00 The Huntsman: Winter's War (3D) (12A) 10:55, 13:30, 16:00, 18:30, 21:00 SUPERHEROES, why can't they just get along? It's been little more than a month since Superman and Batman had their fun little biff- around in the imaginatively titled Batman vs Superman, and now Captain America and Iron Man (plus friends both familiar and not), get do the exact same thing in Cap- tain America: Civil War, the latest instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Maybe it's a reflection of the electoral fever the United States are currently going through? It IS an election year, after all… The similarities between Batman vs Superman and Civil War don't end with the mere fact that both films amount to brightly coloured action figures clashing against each other. The action in both films is spurred by the reaction to the collat- eral damage left in the wake of previ- ous entries of the comic book-based franchise in question. In the case of Civil War, the de- struction caused by aliens attacking New York (The Avengers), airborne death fortresses falling on Wash- ington DC (Captain America: Win- ter Soldier) and the annihilation of an obscure European nation (The Avengers: Age of Ultron) leads to the Sokovia Accords, a legal agree- ment stating all superheroic activ- ity is to be regulated directly by the United Nations. Predictably not all "enhanced in- dividuals" agree with this – while arch-capitalist/Robot Suit Guy Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is all for governmental control, su- per soldier/American Flag Man Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is firmly against such measures, insisting superheroes are the individuals best equipped to lead themselves. Deepening this rift in philosophies is the re-emergence of the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Rogers's former war buddy turned cyber- netically enhanced assassin, who's accused of blowing up the United Nations building in Vienna on the day of the Accords' signing. As a result, Rogers desperately seeks to save his friend from global authori- ties while the rest of the various characters seen in previous Marvel films find themselves aligned with one side or the other, leading to an inevitable clash of the superheroes. The film's not named "Civil War" for nothing, after all! Well that, and its being very loosely based on the Mark Millar-penned Marvel Com- ics storyline bearing the same title, but I digress… As directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Civil War boils down to the ultimate meat and potatoes super- hero film. Which to say it is perfectly fine, just not too exciting or in any way innovative. Not to say that this film is not big or, in its own way, am- bitious – the action repeatedly leaps across continents, and each of the dozen or so superheroes, including newcomers Spider-Man (Tom Hol- land) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) – plus a couple of super- villains and a smattering of hangers- on – has at least one character mo- ment. Being good soldiers in the Marvel trenches, the Russos direct all with a confidence that is, if anything, all too quiet. And that's the Civil War's main problem, really. Like Win- ter Soldier (and arguably the two Avengers movies) before it there's a lack of personality, the spark that elevates a film from merely "alright" to something special. As such, the cinematography and lighting are mostly flat and unremarkable, the scenery mainly amounts to gray urban areas (one key sequence has superheroes clashing at an airport, that most purgatorial of locations!) and the actual hero-on-hero ac- tion generally sticks to the extreme close-ups, shaky-cam and choppy editing preferred by sub-standard genre fodder. Again, it's not bad per se, but it fails to excite the same way finer action films manage to do. There's also something of an issue with tone issue – the plot and photography suggest a film that's almost sombre, with characters grappling with the massive civilian body count involved in earlier franchise instalments, yet the script insists having characters quipping and cracking wise at an almost clockwise pace. Sometimes, such as during the aforementioned airport-set sequence, the lighter tone does work but most of the time such attempts either fall flat or end up outright jarring, making for a film that feels more confused than it arguably should. It's lazy to conclude any review by stating that one might like some- thing if they liked something else, but such an approach is perhaps jus- tified when talking about Civil War. If you've enjoyed the previous offer- ings from the house of Disney-Mar- vel – and it's safe to assume most of you readers did – then yes, of course you will have plenty of fun watching Civil War, even if it's perhaps a bit overlong at two-and-a-half hours. But if you don't like the sub-genre it belongs to then there's no way it will convince you of the contrary. It remains exactly what it says on the tin, nothing more, nothing less. And while this critic is admittedly one of those praying for the end of the superhero movie trend, the sheer craftsmanship seen in Civil War ap- pears to be as much of a guarantee as any that such films will continue being made for at least some time yet. By Marco Attard Ultimate meat and potatoes superhero movie ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ CIVIL RIGHTS ★ ★ ★ ★ CIVIL PROTECTION ★ ★ ★ CIVIL SERVANT ★ ★ CIVIL SCUFFLE ★ CIVIL COURT FILM Civil Clash: Captain America (Chris Evans) and his fantastic friends set off to indulge in some fisticuffs set to the exotic background of, err, Leipzig-Halle Airport. CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR ★ ★ ★

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