Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WEEKEND PIC - May 14 - 16, 2010



a) ROBIN HOOD (adventure reboot with Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Mark Addy, Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston, Eileen Atkins and Max von Sydow) Rated * * * (3 stars): Like Batman, Iron Man and Superman, this origin movie starts a new series of Sherwood Forest tales. It is not the comedic adventures we know but one steeped in English history with Crowe playing Gladiator in tights. (Reviewed below)

b) CROSSING HENNESSY (romance drama in Cantonese with Jacky Cheung, Tang Wei, Paw Hee Ching, Andy On, Maggie Ho Yee Cheung, Danny Lee and Mimi Chu) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Directed by Ivy Ho as a realistic film about a matched-made copule, this one turns out rather mundane and boring. The scenes are shot in the famous Wan Chai area of HK but we don't get enough insights into its uniqueness either. (Reviewed below)

c) A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (horror thriller with Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Katie Cassidy, Lia D. Mortensen, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz and Clancy Brown) Rating * * (2 stars): Another series reboot but after so many sequels and a TV series, Freddy Krueger is not so much the villain but a victim of exploitation. Leave this Nightmare alone.


1. IP MAN 2 (HK kungfu thriller with DOnnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Simon Yam, Lynn Hung and Kent Cheng) Rating * * * (3 stars): This sequel comes with fantastically choreographed fighting scenes, especially the one between Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung (to reflect 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.

2. 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)

3. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID (comedy with Chloe Moretz, Steve Zahn, Rachael Harris, Devon Bostick, Zachary Gordon and Alex Ferris) Rated * * * (3 stars): This 'journal' recounts the misadventures of 11-year-old Greg (Gordon) in middle school where he learns what it means to be popular and accepted by his peers. Funny at times, it should strike a chord with most preteens and their family. (Reviewed below)

4. MOTHER AND CHILD (drama with Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, David Morse, Amy Brenneman, Tatyana Ali, Carla Gallo, Jimmy Smits and Samuel L. Jackson) Rated * * * (3 stars): This ensemble effort about three women involved in child adoption should be the most appropriate film for moms and daughters to catch on Mother's Day this weekend. Writer-director Rodrigo Garcia has opted for a touch of reality instead of a feel-good ending. (Reviewed below)

5. THE LOSERS (action thriller with Zoe Saldana, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, Chris Evans and Óscar Jaenada) Rated * * (2 stars): 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)


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