WEEKEND PIC - Nov 20 - 22, 2009
NEW THIS WEEK:
a) ASTRO BOY (animated adventure with Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland, Nicholas Cage and Bill Nighy) Rated * * * (3 out of 4): An entertaining adventure involving a 'discarded' robot hero and a villain bent on destroying it. A good balance of light and dark stuff as well as story and action. (Reviewed below)
b) A CHRISTMAS CAROL (animated drama with Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins and Jacquie Barnbrook) Rating: * * * (3 stars): The spirit of Dickens and Christmas takes on an exhilarating new look here in this retelling by director Robert Zemeckis done in performance-capture animation similar to his Polar Express.
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. 2012 (Disaster thriller with John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oliver Platt and Chin Han) Rated * * * (3 out of 4 stars): Another apocalypse-type movie by demolition guru Roland Emmerich but this time around, he seems to have gotten many things right with this cinematic thrill ride. Edge of the seat CGI action. (Reviewed below)
2. THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE (sci-fi rom-com with Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Jane McLean, Ron Livingston and Stephen Tobolowsky) Rated * * * (3 stars): A sentimental and intriguing look at a love story that transcends time. Somewhat like the Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons. (Reviewed below)
3. THE FOURTH KIND (horror thriller with Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Corey Johnson, Enzo Cilenti, Daphne Alexander and Alisha Seaton) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): This mock documentary about alien kidnapping' tries to lull the viewer into thinking that it is based on real footage. There are a few scares - before we realise it's all a cheap thrill.
4. RAGING PHOENIX (Thai martial arts flick with Jija Yanin, Kazu Patrick Tang, Nui Sandang and Sompong Lertwimonkasem) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 out of 4 stars): This female Ong Bak actioner with a touch of Drunken Master and 'capoeira' has superb stunts and fight choreography but a silly, laughable story. Action fans will lap it up, though and that's all it aims for.
5. PHOBIA 2 (Thai horror anthology with Jirayu Laongmanee, Worrawech Danuwong, Chalee Trairat, Nicole Terio and Masha Wattanapanich) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): The directors who gave us Phobia are back with another bunch of 'scary' tales. They don't start off well but end up nicely with a funny horror-comedy. (Reviewed below)
6. THE BOX (suspense thriller with Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella, Basil Hoffman, Gillian Jacobs, James Rebhorn, Michele Durrett) Rated * * (2 stars): This adaptation from a short story is a long winded affair that is more of an irritant than entertainment. It keeps us in suspense all right but the pay-off is disappointing. (Reviewed below)
7. NINJA (action thriller with Scott Atkins, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Todd Jensen and Miles Anderson) Rating * * (2 stars): A brainless B-grade effort about an American ninja student trying to protect a cache of weapons. Lots of stunts but lacks sense.