Thursday, February 15, 2007

CNY HOLIDAY PIC - Feb 17 - 25

A Guide to the Chinese New Year Movies
(Wishing Everyone A Happy And Prosperous New Year at the Movies)

1. GHOST RIDER (action thriller with Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes and Peter Fonda) Rated * * * (out of 4): This rendition of the Marvel comics character by Mark Steven Johnson is nicely done, with a good balance of CGI effects, romance and an engaging narrative.

2. PROTÉGÉ (drama in Cantonese with Daniel Wu, Andy Lau and Louis Koo) Rated * * * (3 stars): A hard-hitting look at the heroin trade in Hong Kong and its effects on an undercover cop, a drug kingpin and some addicts.

3. BABEL (drama with Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Rinko Kikuchi) Rated: * * * ½ (3.5 stars): Like the Oscar-winning "Crash", here's another social critique on Man's inability to communicate despite technological advances and the Internet. There are four 'stories' here, each connected to a single careless incident in Morocco.

4. TWINS MISSION (action-thriller with Charlene Choi, Gillian Chung and Sammo Hung) Rated * * * (3 stars): Hong Kong’s most famous Twins are back for another Chinese New Year mission and tghis time around, it involves an invaluable Tibetan bead. Expect fantastic stunts and a few laughs.

5. MUSIC AND LYRICS (romantic comedy with Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore and Brad Garrett) Rated * * ½ (2.5 stars): A rather contrived but still entertaining rom-com about a has-been musician falling for an impromptu lyricist. A Valentine’s Day flick.

6. THREE TIMES (romantic Taiwanese drama with Shu Qi and Chang Chien) Rating * * ½ (2.5 stars): An ‘experimental’ mood piece about three pairs of lovers (played by the same leads) in three periods, 1911, 1966 and 2005. Somewhat like "In The Mood For Love", it’s arty but not engaging.

7. NORBIT (with Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton and Cuba Gooding Jr) Rated * * ½ (2.5 stars): Like his Dr Doolittle series, here’s another that has Murphy in disguise for his multiple roles about an orphan brought up by a Chinese restaurant owner. Strictly for Murphy fans.

8. LADY IRON CHEF (comedy with Hacken Lee and Charmaine Sheh) Rating * * (2 stars): This hastily concocted comedy, ‘inspired’ by TV’s Iron Chef series, has its moments but is overall bland and over-the-top.


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