Thursday, October 14, 2010

WEEKEND PIC - Oct 15 - 17, 2010



a) THE OTHER GUYS (cop comedy with Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton, Dwayne Johnson, Lindsay Sloane, Ray Stevenson and Steve Coogan) Rated * * * (3 stars): After a number of stinkers, it is clear that Farrell has found his comedy partner in Wahlberg. They are a riot here playing opposites to each other and chalking up another hilarious odd-couple team. Director Adam McKay (Talledega Nights) keeps things offbeat and off-logic in a fun and flashy screwball comedy. (Reviewed below)

b) REIGN OF ASSASSINS (Mandarin swordplay thriller with Michelle Yeoh, Jung Woo-Sung, Wang Xueqi, Barbie Hsu, Shawn Yue, Kelly Lin, Guo Xiaodong and Jiang Yiyan) Rated * * * (3 stars): It is not as compelling as Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon but for those who miss this kind of wirefu and swordfighting action (courtesy of John Woo), this should whet their appetite. The coy romance in the first half stalls the pace somewhat but it picks up appropriately later. (Reviewed below)

c) BURIED (thriller by Spanish director Rodrigo Cortes, starring Ryan Reynolds) Rated * * * (3 stars): Be warned that this movie is not for those who suffer from claustrophobia and depression. The whole film is shot 'inside' a wooden coffin and from the point of view of Paul Conroy, an American truck driver in Iraq who finds himself captured and buried under ground. Nope, this is not piece of entertainment for all. It is for those who want to experience one-and-a-half hours of sheer terror and helplessness. (Reviewed below)


1. DETECTIVE DEE (mystery thriller in Cantonese with Andy Lau, Li Bingbing, Carina Lau, Deng Chao, Richard Ng, Teddy Robin, Lu Yao and Tony Leung Ka-Fai) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): Veteran HK director Tsui Hark is back with a vengeance with this epic rendition of Robert van Gulik's Judge Dee tales. The effects are eye-popping, as expected, but what's pleasantly surprising is that Tsui Hark has managed to get his narrative under control, giving us a spectacular treat that would make the recent Sherlock Holmes look like the work of amateurs. (Reviewed below)

2. THE SWITCH (romantic comedy with Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Juliette Lewis, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, Caroline Dhavernas, Bryce Robinson and Thomas Robinson) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): After The Back-Up Plan, here's another artificial insemination comedy about paternity plans gone awry. The first half is interesting and promising but with a highly predictable plot, deja vu sets in during the second half. (Reviewed below)

3. SAMMY'S ADVENTURES: The Secret Passage (animated adventure in 3D with Isabelle Fuhrman, Tim Curry, Melanie Griffith, Jenny McCarthy, Kathy Griffin, Anthony Anderson, Stacy Keach, Ed Begley Jr and Billy Unger) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Without much of a plot and fast-paced action, this Belgian effort works a lot like a documentary on protecting our oceans and environment. The 3D effects are commendable - at least for young children at which the movie is targeted. (Reviewed below)

4. DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS (comedy with Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell, Stephanie Szostak, Jemaine Clement, Zach Galifianakis, Lucy Punch, David Walliams and Ron Livingston) Rated * * (2 stars): Carrell gives a credible and even touching performance as a mentally-challenged guy invited to dinner so that he can be laughed at. But then it is incorrect to laugh at idiots who should be pitied, as suggested by the movie's moral compass. (Reviewed below)

5. EAT PRAY LOVE (romantic drama with Julia Roberts, James Franco, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup and Javier Bardem) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): Highly indulgent and sometimes repugnant, this adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's bestseller turns out to be more of a travelogue and food guide than a romance drama. Roberts' charms notwithstanding, the lead character is rather detestable in the way she uses men and spits them out. Sorry guys, but you gotta think of a good excuse for the girlfriend/missus to escape this ordeal. (Reviewed below)


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