WEEKEND PIC - Sept 3 - 5, 2010
NEW THIS WEEK
a) GOING THE DISTANCE (romantic comedy with Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Ron Livingston, Jim Gaffigan, Kelli Garner and Christina Applegate) Rated * * * (3 stars out of 4): A chick-flick aimed at guys, this one is full of sex jokes. However most are verbal and left to your imagination. The plot on long-distance relationship is not new but effective, aided by satisfactory performances from the cast. (Reviewed below)
b) PIRANHA 3D (disaster movie remake with Jerry O'Connell, Ving Rhames, Elisabeth Shue, Eli Roth and Richard Dreyfuss) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): This remake of the 1978 film may be in 3D but it offers the requisite summer tonic for youth in the 3Bs - bikinis, boobs and blood! This means that many scenes have been cut here - and that would send many heading for the DVD stalls.
c) CATS & DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE (comedy with Christina Applegate, Michael Clarke Duncan, Neil Patrick Harris, Sean Hayes, James Marsden, Bette Midler, Nick Nolte, Joe Pantoliano, Katt Williams and Chris O'Donnell) Rated * * (2 stars): It's a sequel to the 2001 original but in trying to reach for the sky, it merely falls flat on its paws. Its spoof on action and spy films make it look like the Epic Movie turkeys, and the comedy lines are cliched. (Reviewed below)
STILL GOING STRONG
1. STOOL PIGEON (HK crime thriller with Nicholas Tse, Nick Cheung, Kwai Lun-Mei, Yi Lu and Liu Kai Chi) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): With a riveting plot and tensed action from start to end, this Dante Lam effort looks like his best work so far. It also helps to have Nick Cheung and Nicholas Tse in the leads, with Tse giving one of his best portrayals (of the title role). This is one of the few gems to have come out of Hong Kong this year. (Reviewed below)
2. GROWN UPS (comedy with Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello and Maya Rudolph) Rated * * * (3 stars): Dare we hope that with this comedy, Sandler has become more matured or grown-up? Well, as script-writer, he has curbed his subversiveness and crude gags. Instead, he opts for 'friendly banter' with his Saturday Night Live buddies who make up the cast. Why, even Schneider is more bearable here. (Reviewed below)
3. THE EXPENDABLES (action thriller with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, Giselle Itie, Eric Roberts, David Zayas, Steve Austin, et al) Rating * * * (3 stars): Most of Hollywood's action stars of yesteryear are gathered for this 'nostalgic thrill outing' for their fans. If you have high expectations, you are gonna regret, but if you are just happy with some popcorn entertainment, you are in for a treat.
4. REPO MEN (sci-fi thriller with Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga, Joe Pingue, Liev Schreiber, Carice van Houten and Liza Lapira) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): The world of Repo Men recalls that of The Surrogates, with its 'hell-to-pay' system of health care service instead of robotic clones. Technically, the movie is up to scratch but the narrative runs out of steam halfway - thanks to a weak script. (Reviewed below)
5. THE DESCENT 2 (horror thriller with Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Jackson Mendoza, Krysten Cummings, Gavan O'Herlihy, Joshua Dallas and Anna Skellern) Rating * * (2 stars): This B-grade horror is for two kinds of viewers: those who have seen the first and are unreasonably curious about this sequel; and those planning to 'score' with their dates. Other than these, I cannot see any reason why we have to descend again into an abyss of mindless conceit.
6. PHUA CHU KANG THE MOVIE (local comedy with Gurmit Singh, Irene Ang, Lim Kay Siu, Neo Swee Lin and Charlie Tan) Rating * * (2 stars): Over the past years, PCK the TV series, had been rolling downhill both in quality and viewership. That is why it is a surprise to me why anyone would want to make a movie of it. What is not surprising is that this feature, shot entirely in KL, is a messy, hastily-concocted and half-baked caper about some murder at an old folk's home.
7. VAMPIRES SUCK (comedy spoof with Jenn Proske, Ken Jeong, Matt Lanter, Charlie Weber, Marcelle Baer, Chris Riggi, Wanetah Walmsley and Michelle Lang) Rated * * (2 stars): Another uninspired and misguided effort from Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the guys behind lame lampoons like Epic Movie, Date Movie, Meet The Spartans and Disaster Movie. The one thing that does not suck is the performance of Proske who does a magnificent job of spoofing Kristen Stewart's portrayal of Bella Swan. She has all of Stewart's 'acting' down pat - her blinking, pouting and blank reactions. (Reviewed below)