CNY WEEKEND Pic - Feb 3 - 6, 2011
GONG XI FA CAI to all readers
NEW THIS WEEK
a) YOGI BEAR (live-cum-animation comedy with Anna Faris, Justin Timberlake, Dan Aykroyd, T.J. Miller, Nathan Corddry, Tom Cavanagh, Andrew Daly and Dean Knowsley) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Service-able but uninspired rendition of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series about the famous bear of Jellystone Park. The 3D looks better than other animated efforts but the treats here are the voice performances of Timberlake and Aykroyd as Boo-boo and Yogi respectively.
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. 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 and all the other Hong Kong productions as I am still in the US. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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. (Reviewed below)
4. THE GREEN HORNET (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 in the Sixties. And for title-star and script-writer Rogen to be upstaged by the likes of Jay Chou, it says a lot about the tone and quality of the film. (Reviewed below)
5. 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 and 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)