WEEKEND PIC - Aug 6 - 8, 2010
NEW THIS WEEK
a) TEKKEN (action thriller with Jon Foo, Luke Goss, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Chiaki Kuriyama, Mircea Monroe, Gary Daniels, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Cung Le and Ian Anthony Dale) Rated * * (2 stars): Made in the style of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, Tekken is strictly for action addicts, with a weak and predictable plot and eyefuls of sexily-clad girls. The fight sequences get repetitive after a while but I guess its audiences wouldn't mind. (Reviewed below)
b) THE LAST AIRBENDER (fantasy thriller with Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi, Cliff Curtis, Seychelle Gabriel and Katharine Houghton) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 star): M. Night Shyamalan sinks to a new low with this insepid adaptation of the Nickelodeon TV series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Its childish dialogue and mispronunciations of names will not please any of the series' fans and won't win any new ones either. The special effects, especially its stunts with water are pretty fantastic though. (Reviewed below)
STILL GOING STRONG
1. INCEPTION (sci-fi thriller with Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine and Lukas Haas) Rated * * * * (4 stars!): By now, it is impossible for one to escape reading or listening to people taking about Inception, Christopher Nolan's 'dream-travel' masterpiece. The tale is so intriguing and complex that it may take more than one viewing for one to appreciate its nuances and conceits. The special effects are top class and so are the performances and plot. (Reviewed below)
2. DESPICABLE ME (animated comedy with Jason Segel, Steve Carell, Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Julie Andrews, Danny R. McBride, Kristen Wiig and Jack McBrayer) Rating * * * (3 stars): With its tale about a villain named Gru, it's quite the opposite of The Incredibles but just as funny and fun. It represents the inaugural entry for Universal into the field of 3D CGI and will give Pixar a run for the money.
3. SALT (spy thriller with Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alex Pettyfer, Gaius Charles, Victor Slezak and Marion McCorry) Rated * * * (3 stars): Jolie gives a jolly good account of herself as a double/triple agent in this Cold War spy caper. Expectedly, the plot has to be taken with more than the proverbial pinch of Salt but the action and the twists go well wit Coke and popcorn. (Reviewed below)
4. CHLOE (suspense thriller with Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Julianne Moore, Nina Dobrev, Max Thieriot, Meghan Heffern and Laura DeCarteret) Rated * * * (3 stars): Remade from the French film Natalie, Chloe may be remembered for the real-life tragedy Neeson suffered when his wife, Natasha Richardson, died after an accident and interrupted the filming schedule. It is also director Atom Ergoyan's rather titilating effort about a doctor (Moore) who hires an escort to seduce her husband (Neeson) to verify his fidelity. I watched this on DVD some time ago and expect some cuts in the screening here. (Reviewed below)
5. THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE (fantasy thriller with Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Toby Kebbell, Nicole Ehinger, Peyton List and Monica Bellucci) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): This Disney cartoon, with its title from the 1940 Fantasia segment, is loud, noisy and largely uninspired. Still, the kiddie crowd may be enthralled by the cute special effects, in this tale about how a boy is told he is apprentice to the magician Merlin's protege (Cage).
6. MONGA (Taiwan gangster drama with Ethan Juan, Mark Chao, Ma Ju-lung, Ko Chia-yen, Rhydian Vaughan, Jason Wang, Tsai Chang-hsine, Huang Teng-hui, Chen Han-tien and Hsing Feng) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Touted as Taiwan's New Wave cinema, Monga deals with a bunch of young gangstas in the 'hood downtown. It is interesting but rather amateurish compared with similar Hong Kong efforts. The main attraction for Taiwanese is the cast of TV heartthrobs. Not so attractive for others. (Reviewed below)