WEEKEND PIC - Sept 11-13, 2009
NEW THIS WEEK:
a) 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)
b) 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 4D lottery and the supernatural. There are three shorts in this movie, with Neo saving the best for last. (Reviewed below)
c) 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. (Pic below: Valletta and Butler)
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. UP (animated fantasy with Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, John Ratzenberger, Delroy Lindo and Jordan Nagai) Rating * * * (3 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 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. VENGEANCE (crime thriller with Anthony Wong, Johnny Hallyday, Lam Suet, Lam Ka-tung, Maggie Siu, Simon Yam and Sylvie Testud) Rated * * * (3 stars): There is a cool style and rhythm in this J-To bullet ballet featuring French rocker Johnny Hallyday. Never mind the narrative, it is far-fetched. Just imagine an Asian-styled Tarantino flick. (Reviewed below)
4. ASHES OF TIME REDUX (1994 action fantasy revival starring Jacky Cheung, Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Carina Lau, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Brigitte Lin and Charlie Yeung) Rated * * * (out of 4): Re-edited version of Wong Kar Wai's classic, mainly for fans of Wong and Leslie Cheung. A nostalgic trip.
5. ORPHAN (psychological thriller with Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, CCH Pounder and Jimmy Bennett) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Somewhat like The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, this one is a long-drawn family affair until its climactic revelation or plot twist. Keep expectations low if you plan to catch this. (Reviewed below)
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. MURDERER (crime thriller with Aaron Kwok, Cheung Sui-Fai, Chin Ka-Lok, Wong You Nam, Josie Ho, Chen Kuan Tai and Ning Chang) Rated * * (2 stars): The build-up is a bit like that of Memento or Seven, but when the plot is revealed, the cookie crumbles absolutely. (Reviewed below)
8. 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)