WEEKEND PIC - Sept 4-6, 2009
NEW THIS WEEK:
a) 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 (pic). A nostalgic trip.
b) 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)
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. VENGEANCE (crime thriller with Anthony Wong, Johnny Hallyday, Lam Suet, Lam Ka-tung, Maggie Siu, Simon Yam and Sylvie Testud) Rated * * * (3 out of 4 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. 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)
5. 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)
6. 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)
7. I LOVE YOU, BETH COOPER (romantic comedy with Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust, Jack Carpenter, Lauren London, Andrea Savage, Samm Levine, Alan Ruck, Lauren Storm and Cynthia Stevenson) Rated * * (2 stars): Panettiere plays another gutsy cheerleader in this uninspired comedy written in the vein of American Graffiti. (Reviewed below)