WEEKEND PIC - Jan 29 - 31, 2010
YOUR GUIDE TO THE WEEKEND MOVIES
NEW THIS WEEK:
a) UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: A NEW BEGINNING (action adventure with Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Andrei Arlovski and Corey Johnson) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): This made-for-DVD film by director John Hyams is the sequel to Roland Emmerich’s 1992 movie. Reteaming Van Damme and Lundgren, it offers the kind of action and humour the fans of Universal Soldier films expect and nothing more.
b) FAME (dance musical with Naturi Naughton, Kay Penabaker, Kelsey Grammer, Megan Mullally, Bebe Neuwirth, Charles S. Dutton and Debbie Allen) Rated * * (2 stars): A totally needless remake of the famous 1980 musical with Irene Cara that spawned a TV series and many similar flicks. This one, however, is both tame and lame - with a cliched plot and characters that are utterly forgettable. (Reviewed below)
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. AVATAR (sci-fi adventure with Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver and Giovanni Ribisi) Rated * * * * (4 stars out of 4): 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 and sensuous feast. The action sequences, augmented by CGI and motion-capture techniques, are mind-boggling. Now the world's top-grosser. (Reviewed below)
2. TOOTH FAIRY (fantasy comedy with Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Julie Andrews, Billy Crystal and Ryan Sheckler) Rated * * (2 stars): A flimsy plot and kiddie humour mark this second comedy outing by The Rock Johnson (after The Game Plan). The one-joke set-up has Johnson being 'sentenced' to serve as a Tooth Fairy by Andrews for crashing a child's dream. (Reviewed below)
3. LEGION (apocalyptic thriller with Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Doug Jones, Jon Tenney, Charles S. Dutton, Lucas Black, Kate Walsh and Adrianne Palicki) Rating * * (2 stars): As an apocalyptic thriller about God sending his angels to wipe out the human race for the second time, Legion is a total mess. Technically, there are some cool effects and credible performances. But that's it.
4. THE SPY NEXT DOOR (comedy with Jackie Chan, Amber Valletta, Madeline Carroll, Will Shadley, Alina Foley, Magnus Scheving and Katherine Boecher) Rating: * * (2 stars): Another greasy kids' stuff the likes of The Pacifier and Old Dogs, with Chan reduced to playing an undercover CIA spy who has to take care of his neighbour's three kids. Yup, the trite, sentimental crap that Chan is now good for.
5. CASE 39 (horror thriller with Renée Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland, Ian McShane, Kerry O'Malley, Callum Keith Rennie, Bradley Cooper and Adrian Lester) Rated * * (2 stars): Derivative and predictable horror about a family services officer who takes her case to her own home. Expect lots of stuffed borrowed from The Omen, The Orphan, et al. (Reviewed below)