WEEKEND PIC - April 15 - 17, 2011
YOUR GUIDE TO THE WEEKEND MOVIES
NEW THIS WEEK
a) LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS (romantic comedy with Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Judy Greer, Brenna Roth, Gabriel Macht, Jaimie Alexander and George Segal) Rating * * * (3 stars): Set between 1996 to 1999, this one deals with the period in 1998 when Viagra gave new meaning (and hope) to people with erection problems. What matters most here is that there is bubbling chemistry between Brokeback Mountain stars Gyllenhaal and Hathaway who reunite as lovers 'addicted' to the ultimate drug: love. A smart and satirical effort directed by Edward Zwick.
b) LIMITLESS (sci-fi thriller with Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, Robert De Niro, Andrew Howard, Anna Friel, Johnny Whitworth and Robert John Burke) Rated * * * (3 stars): A pill that unleashes one's brain power to four-figure IQ? This loser-to-genius premise is interesting and entertaining - in a limited sort of way. However, what's more important is that this film will unleash our A-Team star Cooper into Hollywood's A-list, given his funny, charming and winning performance. (Reviewed below)
c) JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER (musical documentary with Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Jaden Smith, Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris and Nathan Morris) Rating * * * (3 stars): A well-made docu on Bieber's rise to fame, on his concerts and performances as a young star as well as the toll fame takes from him and his family. Should delight both fans and curious viewers.
d) SCREAM 4 (slasher flick with Courtney Cox, Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Hayden Panettiere, Emma Roberts and Rory Culkin) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): The good news hare is that director Wes Craven and scripter Kevin Williamson have learnt their lesson from Scream 3 and go for the tongue-in-cheek approach, mocking its the slasher genre and its web-cam fans. The bad news is that this dilutes its suspense sequences and makes a joke of the plot. (Reviewed below)
e) CHASE OUR LOVE (romantic comedy in Cantonese with Kenny Bee, Wong You Nam, Alex Fong, Patrick Tam, William So, Edmond Leung, Rain Li and Stephy Tang) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): This is supposed to be poking fun at how geeks and other young introverts shy away from (or rather mishandle) courtship these days. However, the satire gets lost in ridiculous and lamely contrived situations and cringe-worthy hamming by its cast. (Reviewed below)
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. SOURCE CODE (sci-fi thriller with Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright and Michael Arden) Rated * * * (3 stars): If you are looking for an edge-of-the-seat thrilla this weekend, this one is a safe bet. It is somewhat like a cross between Groundhog Day and the Bourne flicks but there are also elements of romance for the fairer sex. The premise, about an Army chopper pilot having to relive eight minutes of a train blast, is interesting but ultimately flawed. (Reviewed below)
2. RIO (animated rom-com with voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, Jake T. Austin, George Lopez, Will i Am, Carlos Ponce and Kate del Castillo) Rated * * * (3 stars): If you are looking for family entertainment, just hop on to RIO, where you will get fun and wacky tales of budding romance, nasty bird smugglers and daring rescues - all set to the pulsating samba rhythm of Brazil's Carnivale. Definitely a safe bet for the kids. (Reviewed below)
3. DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART (romantic comedy with Louis Koo, Daniel Wu, Gao Yuan-yuan, Lam Suet and Terence Yin) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Cute is the operative word here and this rom-com is all about meeting cute and acting cute - all for almost two hours as we see the female protagonist (Gao as Cheng Zixin) strings along two hapless men in a love triangle. The situations in the plot are rather contrived but we do get involved because the three leads are charming enough to sustain our interest. A good date movie. (Reviewed below)
4. HOP (cgi and live action comedy with Russell Brand, Kaley Cuoco, James Marsden, Elizabeth Perkins, Chelsea Handler, Tiffany Espensen, Veronica Alicino and Tucker Albrizzi) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Some may call this one a rip-off of the Santa Clause premise, but its story of the Easter Bunny tradition lacks imagination. What's good about Hop is its crisp computer-generated animation that complements well with the live action sequences. And directed by Tim Hill, it is way better than his Alvin And The Chipmunks.