WEEKEND PIC - Dec 18 - 20, 2009
NEW THIS WEEK:
a) AVATAR (sci-fi adventure with Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver and Giovanni Ribisi) Rated * * * * (4 stars out of 4): A happy marriage of form and function, James Cameron has gone one up on his Titanic. The plot may be a bit derivative but the setting, in a futuristic and fictional planet of Pandora, is a visual feast. The action sequences, augmented by CGI and action-capture techniques, are mind-boggling especially in 3D (at selected cineplexes). Easily the Top 10 movies of 2009. (Reviewed below)
b) BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS (political drama with Donnie Yen, Fan Bingbing, Leon Lai, Nicholas Tse, Simon Yam and Tony Leung Ka-Fai) Not reviewed: From the buzz on the Internet, don't expect anyting like Donnie Yen's Ip Man-type of action. It leans more towards historical and political drama rather than kungfu action.
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. ZOMBIELAND (horror-comedy with Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin and Bill Murray) Rated * * * (3 stars out of 4): This 'Thriller'-like comedy is funny and engaging with some bizarre touches and a few jolts. We can't help but like Harrelson who seems to be having a whacking fun time in this movie. (Reviewed below)
2. THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG (animated fantasy with Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Jenifer Lewis, Keith David and Oprah Winfrey) Rated * * * (3 stars): It's back to the old hand-drawn cartoons with this 'contemporary take' on the classic fairy-tale. We have to admit that this is what the folks at Disney do best.
3. STORM WARRIORS (martial arts fantasy with Aaron Kwok, Charlene Choi, Ekin Cheng, Nicholas Tse, Simon Yam and Tang Yan) Rated * * * (3 stars): Like 2012, this Pang Brothers production is a CGI extravaganza for fans of the 1998 Storm Riders. The stunts and effects are impressive but they can also be confusing. (Reviewed below)
4. LOVE HAPPENS (comedy'drama with Jennifer Aniston, Aaron Eckhart, Anne Marie DeLuise, Martin Sheen, Sasha Alexander, Dan Fogler and Judy Greer) Rated * * (2 stars): Weak rom-com sans romance or comedy about a self-help guru and a quirky florist. Love doesn't really happen here but sh*t does. (Reviewed below)
5. COUPLES RETREAT (Comedy with Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Faizon Love, Kristin Davis, Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, Kali Hawk, and Jean Reno) Rated * * (2 stars): A vacation movie sans the fun and frolic, this is actually a predictable couples therapy flick involving four pairs on an idyllic tropical island run by a French marriage therapist. Notable for its bad acting especially from Reno and poor scripting. (Reviewed below)