HARI RAYA WEEKEND PIC - Sept 18-20, 2009
(Wishing all Readers Selamat Hari Raya!)
NEW THIS WEEK:
a) TSUNAMI AT HAEUNDAE (disaster thriller with Ha Ji-won, Park Joong-hoon and Sol Kyung-gu) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 out of 4 stars): Made at about US$10 million (RM35 million), this is South Korea's first blockbuster disaster flick. The big waves only come at the 45-minute mark, preceded by lots of human angle subplots. The effects are above par but not the narrative. Something to tide action fans till 2012?
b) G-FORCE (animated fantasy with voices of Bill Nighy, Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Jon Favreau, Penélope Cruz, Steve Buscemi and Tracy Morgan) Rating: * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Basically an action flick for kids below 12, this fur-ball fantasy (about heroic guinea pigs, a mole and a fly trying to save the world) boasts lots of stunts and explosive scenes. The plot is the usual rubbish concoction but entertaining enough for little minds.
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. UP (animated fantasy with Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, John Ratzenberger, Delroy Lindo and Jordan Nagai) Rating * * * (3 out of 4 stars): A captivating and engrossing odd-couple caper that will definitely entertain both the kids and adults. This cartoon is so universal that viewers will associate their friends and folks with the characters.
2. DISTRICT 9 (sci-fi thriller with Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James, Mandla Gaduka, William Allen Young, Vanessa Haywood, Kenneth Nkosi and Devlin Brown) Rated * * * (3 out of 4 stars): This South African 'apartheid with aliens' film works like Cloverfield but it's special effects is top class. It is also a great feature debut for director Neill Blomkamp, a protege of Peter Jackson. (Reviewed below)
3. THE UGLY TRUTH (romantic comedy with Gerard Butler, Katherine Heigl, Cheryl Hines, Bonnie Somerville, Bree Turner and Eric Winter) Rated * * * (3 out of 4 stars): It's derivative and predictable but also hilarious and fun. Also the teaming of Butler and Heigl sparkles with screen chemistry. (Reviewed below)
4. WHERE GOT GHOST? (Singaporean thriller-comedy with Jack Neo, Mark Lee, Henry Thia, Richard Low, Marcus Chin, John Cheng, Wang Lei, Tay Yin Yin and Tony Koh) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Typical Jack Neo comedy about Singaporeans' belief in the supernatural. There are three shorts in this movie, with Neo saving the best for last. (Reviewed below)
5. GAMER (sci-fi action thriller with Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall, Amber Valletta, Alison Lohman, Logan Lerman, Terry Crews and John Leguizamo) Rating: * * (2 stars): This futuristic Gladiator-game story, reminiscent of Death Race (2008), is high on butts, boobs and bullets but low on everything else. Its shaky camera scenes are a put-off and it is mainly for joystick-jockeys.
6. FINAL DESTINATION (horror thriller with Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Haley Webb, Nick Zano, Krista Allen, Andrew Fiscella and Mykelti Williamson) Rated * * (2 stars): This fourth instalment features more ways for its characters to get killed and "rest in pieces'. Unimaginative and trite. Mostly for fans of blood and gore. (Reviewed below)
7. IMAGINE THAT (comedy with Eddie Murphy, Thomas Haden Church, Yara Shahidi, Nicole Ari Parker, Ronny Cox and Martin Sheen) Rated * * (2 stars): Thankfully, Murphy has discarded his fat suit and the obscene over-the-top antics. However, what we have here is a lame and tame kiddie flick where he gets upstaged by a young Shahidi. (Reviewed below)