Thursday, January 31, 2008

WEEKEND PIC - Feb 1 - 3 2008

Your Guide to the Weekend Viewing:

1. THE LIVES OF OTHERS (political drama with Ulrich Mühe (right), Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch and Ulrich Turkur) Rated * * * 1/2 (out of 4): This 2007 Oscar-winner for Best Foreign Language film is set in East Berlin in 1984 and is one of the best films dealing with character transformations. With solid performances and a top-notch screenplay by director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

2. ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE (historical drama with Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Rush and Abe Cornish) Rated * * * (3 stars): This sequel to the 1998 "Elizabeth" offers more court intrigues and some swashbuckling action. Not historically correct but worth a watch for those who enjoyed the first movie. (Reviewed in Dec 2007, see Archive)

3. EASTERN PROMISES (crime drama with Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel and Armin Mueller-Stahl) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): Despite having the best parts of the movie chopped off at local cinemas, I am still giving it the rating I gave for its DVD (reviewed below). Terribly violent, but there are nice twists and insights into the Russian mob in London. Those interested in watching a nude Mortensen may want to get the DVD.

4. CLOVERFIELD (disaster drama with Mike Vogel, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas and Michael Stahl-David) Rating: * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): After months of curiosity over its teaser of a trailer, the monster that attacks New York is finally revealed. No, we are not disappointed over the hooha. It's a hit similar to "The Blair Witch Project" of 1999 with shaky camerawork.

5. SWEENEY TODD: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (musical with Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter and Alan Rickman) Rated * * * (3 stars): You won't be tapping your feet to the songs of this dark, macabre and bloody musical (adapted by Tim Burton from stephen Sondheim) but there are enough humour and wit to make it worthwhile. (Reviewed below).

6. JOHN RAMBO (action sequel with Sylvester Stallone) Rated: * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Wanna see a 61-year-old Stallone kick ass as an ex-Green Beret? If so, go for it and wallow in the nostalgia. (Reviewed below)

7. MEET THE SPARTANS (comedy spoof with Carmen Electra, Kevin Sorbo and Sean Maquire) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): There are lots of skin and brawns in this spoof of "300" but wit and brain are painfully lacking. The scattershot comedy also takes potshots at vidgames, scandalous celebs and reality shows but none are really funny. (pictured)


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