Thursday, April 07, 2011

WEEKEND PIC - April 8 - 10, 2011



a) 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)

b) 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)


1. 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): LA 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 Echhart and Rodriguez in the cast, be prepared for some incredulous gungho, kick-ass action. (Reviewed below)

2. 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)

3. 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.

4. JUST GO WITH IT (romantic comedy with Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Brooklyn Decker and Nick Swardson) Rated * * (2 stars): This remake of the 1969 Cactus Flower that starred Goldie Hawn and Walter Matthau gets the farcical Sandler treatment here. Sandler's comedy isn't easy to 'just go with it' - it sputters and chugs along with so many unfunny gags and badly contrived situations that even the presence of Kidman could not save it. (Reviewed below)

5. 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)

6. 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 helplessly 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. Even if such a woman exists, who cares about her? (Reviewed below)

7. THE BUTCHER, THE CHEF AND THE SWORDSMAN (fantasy adventure with Masanobu Ando, You Benchang, Ashton Xu, Kitty Zhang, Liu Xiaoye and Swanson Han) Rated * (1 star): Don't you hate it when some advertising guy fancies himself a hot-shot film-maker and come out with convoluted trash like this? The story, about a mythical chopper, is told in layers-within-layers in tales involving three men (of the title). Director Wuershan throws in all sorts of crazy, pop culture stuff and even the aria from Puccini's Tosca to lend a touch of style to the scenes but it turns out to be a mess. (Reviewed below)


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