WEEKEND PIC - April 22 - 14, 2011
NEW THIS WEEK
a) RED RIDING HOOD (fantasy thriller with Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Lukas Haas, Shiloh Fernandez, Michael Shanks, Julie Christie, Virginia Madsen and Max Irons) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): A rather anaemic transformation of the Grimm Brothers folk tale into a grim fantasy thriller. Big Bad Wolf is made into a werewolf and the plot becomes a where-wolf whodunit. Of course, there is a love story - a triangle one - thrown in but there isn't enough bite to the romance or the horror. (Reviewed below)
b) A CHINESE GHOST STORY (fantasy thriller with Louis Koo Tin Lok, Wong Fan Siu, Crystal Liu Yi-Fei, Yu Shao Qun, Wai Ying-Hung and Lin Peng) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): This Wilson Yip remake of the 1987 movie starring Leslie Cheung is meant to be a triangle love story but the romance is lost in the 'wire-fu' stunts and sword-fighting gimmicks. Still, the three leads, Koo, Liu and Yu Shao Qun (reprising Cheung's role) acquit themselves admirably from a messy plot of sexily-clad demonesses and itinerant demon-hunters. (Reviewed below)
c) HELLO STRANGER (Thai romantic comedy with Neungthida Sophon, Chantavit Dhanasevi and Chantawit Thanasewee) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): The big deal here is that director Banjong Pisanthanakun, who gave us Shutter (2004) and Alone (2007) is making his debut in the romantic-comedy genre. The result is a fluffy, crowd-pleasing tale about two Thai tourists who meet during a trip in Seoul but decide to remain 'strangers' despite staying together while traipsing around South Korea. A bit over-contrived but quite appealing as a date movie. (Reviewed below)
d) THE ROOMATE (psychological thriller with Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Danneel Harris, Cam Gigandet, Alyson Michalka, Matt Lanter, Frances Fisher, Katerina Graham, Tomas Arana and Cherilyn Wilson) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): This re-imagination of the 1992 thriller Single White Female is totally limp and unnecessary. The build-up takes ages and the scares are derivative (especially of Psycho) and cliched. Even with the starlets providing eye-candy, we get tired of them halfway into the movie. (Reviewed below)
STILL GOING STRONG
1. 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)