Thursday, November 11, 2010

WEEKEND PIC - Nov 12 - 14, 2010



a) UNSTOPPABLE (action thriller with Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson, Ethan Suplee and Kevin Dunn) Rated * * * (3 stars): After The Taking of Pelham 123, director Tony Scott and Washington are back on track in this tensed actioner about a runaway train. Based on a real-life event in Ohio in 2001, the film has most of Scott's trademarks like fast-paced action, character build-up and realistic edge-of-the-seat visuals. (Reviewed below)

b) LET ME IN (horror fantasy with Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Cara Buono, Sasha Barrese and Elias Koteas) Rating * * * (3 stars): This English-language remake of the 2008 Swedish film, Let the Right One In, by Cloverfield's Matt Reeves is a vampire thriller involving a 12-year-old boy (Smit-McPhee) and a 'young' girl (Moretz) from the next-door apartment. It covers many pre-teen issues like bullying and parental problems and is more scary than Twilight. Well, at least the blood-feeders do not shimmer in the light!

c) CRAYON (local indie drama with Hon Kahoe, Ariff Faisal Abdullah, Adibah Noor and Joshry Adamme) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Like its title, this indie drama about two student volunteers at a Malaysian orphanage is 'rough at the edges' but has its heart in the right place. Even if the performances by its young cast may be amateurish, it is generously spiced with humour - courtesy of veteran comedian Adibah Noor. Check out the review here

d) SKYLINE (sci-fi thriller with Donald Faison, Eric Balfour, David Zayas, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel, Crystal Reed, Neil Hopkins, J. Paul Boehmer, Tanya Newbould and Pam Levin) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): From the trailer and online buzz, many people are going to be attracted to this film by its 'cool' images of alien warships and monsters. That's is about all that Skyline has to offer because everything else, from its dialogue, acting to its plot, sucks. (Reviewed below)


1. MEGAMIND (animated comedy with Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and David Cross) Rated * * * (3 stars): It is not the epic family adventure that was The Incredibles, nor is it as hilarious as Madagascar but it is close to Despicable Me in content. This 'study' on the mind of a mega villain is however passable for an entertaining weekend family outing. At least there is 'chemistry' between Ferrell's Megamind and Tina Fey's TV broadcaster Roxanne which provides a weird attraction between them. (Reviewed below)

2. 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)

3. 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)

4. 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.

5. HISSS (thriller with Irrfan Khan, Jeff Doucette, Mallika Sherawat) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): This production smacks of exploitation right from the first frame. Its plot, about a snake goddess (Sherawat) out for revenge, is trite at best and the effects and production values low. If you think you can catch some of Sherawat's touted nude scenes, forget it. There are so many cuts that you feel cheated.


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