Friday, April 30, 2010

WEEKEND PIC - April 30 - May 2, 2010



a) IP MAN 2 (HK kungfu thriller with DOnnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Simon Yam, Lynn Hung and Kent Cheng) Rating * * * (3 stars): If you have been missing out on Chinese martial arts action, this is where you can whet your appetite. The sequel comes with fantastically choreographed fighting scenes, especially the one between Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung (to dramatise the two styles of Wing Chung versus Hung Ga Kuen). Again, it is not as impressive as the predecessor (the storyline of the sequel is a bit derivative) but still compelling for Ip Man fans.

b) IRON MAN 2 (fantasy action with Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau and Kate Mara) Rated * * * (3 stars): Downey Jr is back as Tony Stark/Iron Man in another action-packed instalment with Rourke as the menacing Whiplash. Not as fun as the first, and the CGI sequences look a bit deja vu but the grand prix mayhem stands out as the best action piece of the film. And yes, Johansson rocks as she provide some nifty fight scenes and eye candy. (Reviewed below)


1. SHUTTER ISLAND (psychological thriller with Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Max Von Sydow and Elias Koteas) Rated * * * (3 stars): This is not a movie for the action set but for those who like the challenge of solving puzzles. Martin Scorsese's interpretation of Dennis Lehane's novel is compelling, thought-provoking and even mind-boggling. And it has DiCaprio at his best. (Reviewed below)

2. KICK ASS (comedy spoof with Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Charles Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Nicolas Cage and Tamer Hassan) Rated * * * (3 stars): It's both a comedy adventure as well as a spoof on costumed superheroes that one New York student named Dave decides to become. There are some cool moments, like when Hit Girl does her stuff, but the movie is uneven at best. (Reviewed below)

3. DATE NIGHT (comedy with Steve Carrel, Tina Fey, Mila Kunis, James Franco, Mark Wahlberg, Kristen Wiig, Ray Liotta and Shawn Levy) Rated * * * (3 stars): A wild and wacky couples comedy with Fey and Carrell in good form and chemistry. The plot is rather far-fetched but nonetheless, there are enough sparks and spills for both action and humour fans. (Reviewed below)

4. ICE KACANG PUPPY LOVE (local love story with Nicholas Teo (Ah Niu), Angelica Lee, Penny, Victor Wong, Gary Chaw, Fish Leong, Chan Kwok-kwan) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): A simple yet engaging local drama with interesting locations, especially in Penang. Except for Lee, the cast looks amateurish but a brave effort on the whole by director Ah Niu.

5. THE CRAZIES (horror thriller with Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Danielle Panabaker, Joe Anderson, Preston Bailey and Justin Welborn) Rating: * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): This is Breck Eisner’s remake of the 1973 George A. Romero creepfest —
about the accidental release of a genetically-engineered virus that causes insanity in a small town. There's nothing extraordinary about Eisner's reworking and what is sorely missing is the humour.

6. THE LOSERS (action thriller with Zoe Saldana, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, Chris Evans and Óscar Jaenada) Rated * * (2 star): Like most comic-book adaptations, it's thick with testosterone-filled action but very low on logic. The plot, about a Special Ops team taking revenge after being betrayed by a power-hungry maniac, is derivative of all the espionage movies. (Reviewed below)

7. WHEN IN ROME (romantic comedy with Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Will Arnett, Alexis Dziena, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, Kate Micucci, Bobby Moynihan, Danny DeVito and Anjelica Huston) Rating: * * (2 stars): A cliched and predictable rom-com that tries too hard to please everyone and ends up not satisfying anyone. Still Duhamel and Bell provide the requisite charm that saves the movie from being a total flop.


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