Thursday, October 28, 2010

WEEKEND PIC - Oct 29 - 31, 2010



a) TAKERS (crime thriller with Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Jay Hernandez, Tip "T.I." Harris, Michael Ealy, Chris Brown, Hayden Christensen and Zoe Saldana) Rated * * * (3 stars): A taut and tensed crime thriller seen from both sides of L.A. law, this one reminds me of the Hong Kong classic Infernal Affairs and its Hollywood remake The Departed. There isn't a lot of action or car chases for the action fan but the shoot-outs are filmed in such operatic slow-mo that it is like watching a music video. (Reviewed below)

b) LOVE CUTS (Singaporean drama with Zoe Tay, Kenny Ho, Allan Wu, Edwin Goh and Christy Yow) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Dealing with how breast cancer affects the lives of two women (Zoe Tay and Christy Yow) and their loved ones, Love Cuts works more like a documentary - or a public service message than a feature film. Despite a touching performance by Zoe Tay, the effort still lacks depth and polish.


1. RED (action comedy with Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Brian Cox, Helen Mirren, Richard Dreyfuss, Karl Urban and Ernest Borgnine) Rated * * * (3 stars): Like The Expendables, this reunion of Hollywood veterans, led by Willis, offers lightweight fun and a few laughs. That should be enough considering that the plot is from a DC Comics graphic novel - and Mirren still looks cute totting a gun. (Reviewed below)

2. HACHIKO (drama with Richard Gere, Sarah Roemer, Joan Allen, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Jason Alexander, Erick Avari, Robert Capron, Davenia McFadden and Kevin DeCoste) Rated * * * (3 stars): Based on a real-life Akita breed and a remake of the 1987 Japanese film, this tale of loyalty and devotion (that can only come from a canine friend) avoids shameless sentimentality. Instead director Lasse Hallstrom opts for realism - and this is what makes the story even more touching. At GSC International Screen (Reviewed below)

3. 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 great odd-couple team. Director Adam McKay (Talledega Nights) keeps things offbeat and off-logic in a fun and flashy screwball comedy. (Reviewed below)

4. 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 wire-fu and sword-fighting 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)

5. YOU AGAIN (comedy with Kristen Bell, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Odette Yustman, Betty White, Kristin Chenoweth, Victor Garber, Christine Larkin and Patrick Duffy) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): "High school was a horror movie, this weekend is the sequel" - says one of the characters in this 'revenge comedy'. True enough, the comedy turns out to be more of a horror than rollicking fun because it wastes the talents of three generations of actresses.

6. LIFE AS WE KNOW IT (romantic comedy with Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Josh Lucas, Christina Hendricks, Jean Smart, Melissa McCarthy and Majandra Delfino) Rating * * (2 stars): Heigl and Duhamel play two people who don't quite like each other but are forced to stay together to take care of their orphaned god-daughter. That's the 'life' of this movie as we know it because what follows is highly predictable, manipulative and derivative.


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