Friday, April 03, 2009

WEEKEND PIC - April 3 - 5, 2009



a. FAST & FURIOUS 4 (action thriller with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, John Ortiz and Laz Alonso) Rated * * * (3 stars): Right from the opening, we are plunged into the F&F world of fast cars, spectacular crashes and hot chicks. Plus, there's chemistry between Diesel and Walker as two feuding rivals caught on the same side of an FBI investigation. (Pic above, Reviewed below)

b. SHINJUKU INCIDENT (action drama with Jackie Chan, Daniel Wu, Naoto Takenaka, Fan Bingbing, Jack Kao, Masaya Kato and Xu Jinglei) Rated * * * (3 stars): No longer the kungfu comedian, this is Jackie's first foray into a serious role in Derek Yee's story about the Chinese refugees in Japan. Contains some violent scenes. (Reviewed below)

c. RIGHTEOUS KILL (cop thriller with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, 50 Cent, Carla Gugino, Donnie Wahlberg and John Leguizamo) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): With two fiery stars, De Niro and Pacino, in the cast, one would expect sparks to fly out of the screen. But no. It's just your regular thriller and a letdown.


1. 12 ROUNDS (action thriller with John Cena, Ashley Scott, Brian J. White, Taylor Cole, Aidan Gillen, Steve Harris, Lara Grice and Billy Slaughter) Rated * * * (3 stars): It is heart-pounding action from start to end in this race-against-time story about a criminal out for revenge. Wrestling star Cena makes a refreshing new action hero. (Reviewed below)

2. THE INTERNATIONAL (suspense thriller with Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl and BrĂ­an F. O'Byrne) Rated * * * (3 stars): Tom Tykwer's 'expose' on an international bank that deals in arms and murders people is serviceable, sans humour and romance. Its piece de resistance is a shootout at the Guggenheim Museum that has the Tykwer trademark. (Reviewed below)

3. TALENTIME (local comedy with Jaclyn Victor, Adibah Noor, Mahesh Jugal Kishor, Mohd Syafie Naswip, Pamela Chong, Azean Irdawaty and Sukania Venugopal) Rated * * * (3 stars) Another serving of Malaysiana by Yasmin Ahmad. This time around, the stories are centred around a talent contest organised by a school in Ipoh. Draggy but still funny. (Reviewed below)

4. TAKEN (action thriller with Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace and Xander Berkeley) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 out of 4 stars): This daddy-to-the-rescue-of-kidnapped-girl story has its own built-in emotional power but the one-man-against-Paris thingy is incredulous. It's like Neeson doing a Jack Bauer.

5. KNOWING (sci-fi thriller with Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, Chandler Canterbury, Ben Mendelsohn, Adrienne Pickering and Lara Robinson) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): The plot is messy and defies logic but the action sets are the highlights of this combination of X-Files and Independence Day thrillers. (Reviewed below)

6. CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC (romantic comedy with Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Joan Cusack, John Goodman, John Lithgow and Kristin Scott Thomas) Rating: * * (2 stars): Shoddily written rom-com that is neither funny nor romantic. Doesn't come close to The Devil Wears Prada.

7. THE UNBORN (horror thriller with Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet, Meagan Good, Jane Alexander, Idris Elba and Carla Gugino) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): Copycat horror that allows you to play a game guessing which famous movie a particular scene comes from. (Reviewed below)

8. RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (sci-fi fantasy with Dwayne Johnson, AnnaSophia Robb, Alexander Ludwig, Carla Gugino, Ciaran Hinds and Tom Everett Scott) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): A re-imagined version of the Witch Mountain series of the 70s, this one is pure Disney fare, catering to the undemanding family audience.


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