Thursday, March 24, 2011

WEEKEND PIC - March 25 - 27, 2011



a) THE EAGLE (swords-and-sandals adventure with Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Mark Strong, Donald Sutherland and Tahar Rahim) Rated * * * (3 stars): A fitting 'sequel' to last year's Centurion, about a son trying to regain his family's honour by trying to recover the Eagle emblem of Rome's Lost Ninth Legion. The movie works best when it deals with the relationship between the protagonist (Tatum) and his British slave (Bell) as they journey into the wilderness of the north of Scotland. (Reviewed below)

b) SUCKER PUNCH (fantasy adventure with Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm, Oscar Isaac, Scott Glenn and Vicky Lambert) Rated * * (2 stars): Coming from Jack Snyder, the guy who gave us Watchmen and 300, this fantasy 'guilty pleasure' is definitely more style than substance with its plot about five nubile girls battling various imaginary villains and monsters in what may look like 'Inception-land'. Yup, its all visual candy with no sense of danger or suspense whatsoever. (Reviewed below)

c) BANGKOK TRAFFIC (Love) STORY (rom-com with Sirin Horwang, Theeradej Wongpuapan and Unsumalin Sirasakpatha-ramaetha) Rated * * (2 stars): This 2009 film took two years to get here - it must have been a really bad traffic jam. Aptly though, the film gives one the feeling of being stuck in traffic. It's about 30-year-old Muei-Ly (Horwang) who falls for a hottie engineer (Wongpuapan) - but doesn't really know what she wants from him. This render us in a two-hour ordeal of infantile comedy, incredulous dithering and implausible behaviour. (Reviewed below)


1. UNKNOWN (suspense thriller with Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz, Frank Langella and Sebastian Koch) Rated * * * (3 stars): With Neeson in the lead, this one is touted as Taken 2 but it is actually based on a French novel by Didier Van Cauwelaert. The first half keeps us in suspense as to Neeson's character's stolen identity, while the other consists of chases, flights and twists. Like Taken, the plot is preposterous but it has a bit more depth. (Reviewed below)

2. RANGO (animated Wild West spoof with Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, Timothy Olyphant and Ned Beatty) Rated * * * (3 stars): Coming from Gore Verbinski, the guy who helmed the Pirates of the Caribbean films, this spoof on spaghetti westerns is cute, creative and visually arresting. The characters - lizards, singing owls, rodents, tortoises and a snake - look mighty real and well-developed. The narrative drags a bit but it is quirky fun on the whole. (Reviewed below)

3. MARS NEEDS MOMS (animated space adventure with Seth Green, Joan Cusack, Elisabeth Harnois, Dan Fogler, Mindy Sterling, Julene Renee, Ryan Ochoa and Jacquie Barnbrook) Rated * * * (3 stars): As you may suspect from its title, this Disney offering is more for younger children - those who refuse to eat their veggies - than for the teens. But parents will definitely like its message and its Pandora-styled sequences that are reminiscent of Avatar. For those who liked How To Train Your Dragon. (Reviewed below)

4. WORLD INVASION: BATTLE LOS ANGELES (sci-fi adventure with Aaron Eckhart, Ramon Rodriguez, Ne-You, Bridget Moynahan, Michael Pena and Michelle Rodriguez) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Los Angeles is under alien invasion again but this time around, it is not as silly as Skyline. Like the latter, it also concerns a small group of people - a platoon of Marines and a bunch of civvies. Of course, with Eckhart and Rodriguez in the cast, be prepared for some incredulous gungho, kick-ass action. (Reviewed below)


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