Thursday, December 23, 2010

CHRISTMAS WEEKEND PIC - Dec 24 - 26, 2010



a) GULLIVER'S TRAVELS (fantasy comedy with Jack Black, Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Billy Connolly, Amanda Peet, Catherine Tate, James Corden and Olly Alexander) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Essentially a Jack Black vehicle with the attendant butt and pee gags. The original Jonathan Swift classic is changed to accommodate pop culture gags, the 3D does not enhance the trills here but some of the stars do. They are Blunt, Connolly and Segel. (Reviewed below)

b) LITTLE FOCKERS (comedy with Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, Jessica Alba, Laura Dern, Harvey Keitel and Barbra Streisand) Rated * * (2 stars): This sequel is not as funny as it is cringe-worthy as we see Stiller going the rounds against De Niro. De Niro is a legend at menacing, villain roles but not in comedy, especially one that is so badly written as this which pokes fun at his former hits like The Godfather and Taxi Driver. (Reviewed below)


1. SOCIAL NETWORK (biographical drama with Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Brenda Song, Joseph Mazzello, Rooney Mara, Max Minghella, Trevor Wright and Dakota Johnson) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): This 'talk-of-the-town movie about the founder of Facebook is not only a critic's favourite but is also touted to clinch a few Oscar nominations. Directed by David Fincher, it has great dialogue, wit and commendable acting. (Reviewed below)

2. FAIR GAME (political drama with Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Ty Burrell, Michael Kelly, Bruce McGill, Brooke Smith, David Denman and Noah Emmerich) Rated * * * (3 stars): With the stunning disclosures by WikiLeaks and the recent memoir by President George W. Bush, Fair Game is a fitting addition to the political revelations. However, this real-life tale of how Valerie Plame and her husband Joe Wilson (Watts and Penn) 'fight' the White House over evidence of 'nuculear' weapons in Iraq, is both touching and infuriating. It is definitely not for the action fan but if you like a thought-provoking film, this is it. (Reviewed below)

3. RAPUNZEL: A TANGED TALE (animated fantasy with voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman, Jeffrey Tambor, M.C. Gainey, Brad Garrett and Paul F. Tompkins) Rated * * * (3 stars): This revisionist version of the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale comes with songs and dances and should be a delightful treat for the family during the school holidays. It comes with the usual Disney-type gutsy characters - plus some thought-provoking messages for parents. (Reviewed below)

4. THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (fantasy adventure with Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley, Will Poulter, William Moseley and Anna Popplewell) Rated * * * (3 stars): Not all the Pevensie siblings are back for this Narnia sea adventure in this third instalment involving Edmund and Lucy. However, their cousin, Eustace Scrubb (Poulter) 'accidentally' comes along for the trip - and provides most of the laughs and comic relief. Under Michael Apted's direction, the pace is more compact and faster in providing C.S. Lewis' magical monsters and wonders. (Reviewed below)

5. TRON: LEGACY (Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner, Michael Sheen, James Frain and Beau Garrett) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): After all the promotion and hype, Tron: Legacy comes with good news and bad news. Good news is the state-of-the-art visuals and pulsating music score are awesome; bad news: the narrative sucks. So if you are curious to see how Disney revisits the Game Grid of the 1982 sci-fi, put your brain on neutral and keep your eyes and ears in gear. (Reviewed below)


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