Friday, January 28, 2011

WEEKEND PIC - Jan 28 - 30, 2011



a) SHAOLIN - (kungfu actioner with Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse, Jackie Chan, Fan Bing Bing and Wu Jing) - I have not been able to catch this Chinese New Year offering as I am in the US, but I am putting this as an option for readers because of good reviews. It is not a remake of the 1982 movie that launched Jet Li's career though. Should be worth a watch. (Read the Cinema Online review here).

b) THE GREEN HORNET 3D (action thriller with Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson, Christoph Waltz, David Harbour and Edward James Olmos) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Uneven and derivative rendition of the masked hero-and-sidekick TV caper made famous by Bruce Lee. And for title-star and script-writer Rogen to be upstaged by Jay Chou, it says a lot about the tone and quality of the film. (Reviewed below)


1. THE WAY BACK (adventure with Colin Farrell, Mark Strong, Saoirse Ronan, Ed Harris and Jim Sturgess) Rating * * * (3 stars): Directed by Peter Weir and based on a true story of prisoners of a Soviet labour camp escaping their Siberian Gulag and trekking across thousands of miles of hostile terrain to India, this one has an epic feel not because of its narrative but in its sweeping vistas. The movie, shot in Bulgaria, India and Morocco, explores how much a human can endure and overcome.

2.THE TOURIST (romance thriller with Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff and Rufus Sewell) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): With Jolie and Depp headlining this 'romantic thriller', their star power looks sure to churn the box-office waves. However, their talents and charm are not enough to overcome the weak plotting and ostentatious action sequences that recall Hitchcock's North By Northwest classic. After an hour of watching these two attractive stars, disappointment sets in.

3. FASTER (crime thriller with Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Carla Gugino, Maggie Grace and Moon Bloodgood) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Director George Tillman has apparently wanted to delve into themes of revenge nd forgiveness instead of just an action flick - and only succeeds partially. With Johnson and Thornton around, it is not easy to take the movie seriously. Even for an action thriller, there isn't much action. (Reviewed below)

4. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 (horror thriller with Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat) Rating: * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Although there are more scares and plot than the first, the novelty is gone and we can't help feeling that this prequel-sequel is just an attempt to milk more box-office mileage out of the idea. Like the Blair Witch Project, repetitions can get stale pretty fast and the shaky cams heightens giddiness.

5. SEASON OF THE WITCH (fantasy thriller with Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Stephen Campbell Moore, Stephen Graham, Ulrich Thomsen, Robert Sheehan, Claire Foy, Christopher Lee, Rebekah Kennedy, Andrew Hefler and Fernanda Dorogi) Rating: * * (2 stars): Cage looks out of place in this messy horror thriller about a couple of former Crusaders taking on a mission to transport a witch (Foy) who is believed to have started the plague, to an abbey. All sorts of crazy things happen along the way - and we sometimes don't know whether to laugh or walk out of the cineplex. (Reviewed below)


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