Friday, June 10, 2011

WEEKEND PIC - June 10 - 12, 2011



a) SUPER 8 (sci-fi adventure with Kyle Chandler, Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Riley Griffiths, Jessica Tuck, Amanda Michalka, Joel McKinnon Miller, Ryan Lee, Zach Mills, Garbiel Basso, Ron Eldard, Noah Emmerich and Glynn Turman) Rated * * * (3 stars): An absorbing tale about a bunch of kids caught in 'alien invasion' in a small American town circa 1979. Directed by J.J. Abrams, this adventure is reminiscent of Spielberg's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind - with a good mix of monster action and kiddie interactions. What's more, you will be bowled over by the performances of the young cast, especially by Dakota Fanning's sister, Elle. (Reviewed below)

b) HENRY'S CRIME (comedy with Keanu Reeves, Vera Farmiga, James Caan, Judy Greer, Peter Stormare, Fisher Stevens, Bill Duke, Currie Graham, Danny Hoch and Heather MacRae) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Reeves sort of sleepwalks through his role as the title character in this one-joke comedy about a guy who after serving time, decides to commit the crime he is accused of. Reeves aside, we have virtuoso performances from Farmiga and Caan who provides some bright sparks in this otherwise dull and languid comedy. (Reviewed below)


1. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (fantasy adventure with James MacAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Oliver Platt and Kevin Bacon) Rating: * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): A first class prequel (of the origins of Professor X and Magneto, et al) done in style and wit by Matthew Vaughn (of Kick-Ass fame). The performances by MacAvoy and Fassbender are excellent, the state-of-the-art effects are impressive and there are many surprises in store for X-Men fans. Arguably, the best X-Men film so far. (Reviewed below)

2. KUNG FU PANDA 2 (animated comedy with Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Gary Oldman and Michelle Yeoh) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): Po the kungfu warrior panda (Black) is back and he and his friends are on a mission to save China from a mega-villain Peacock (Oldman) with a weapon of mass destruction. Then there's a subplot about Po's search for his biological parents that should lend depth to the sequel. For me, this one is even better than the first and it pays to watch in 3D. (Reviewed below)

3. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ON STRANGER TIDES (Fantasy adventure with Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane, Kevin R. McNally, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Sam Claflin and Geoffrey Rush) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): In many ways, this fourth instalment of the POTC franchise looks like a 'reboot', what with its new director (Rob Marshal), the dropping of Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley, and the introduction of a new villain. However, while the pace is supposed to build up to a climax, On Stranger Tides seems to start off fast and frivolous - but gradually slackens in pace and content right to its ending. Not what we would expect from a ho-ho-ho-and-a-bottle-of-fun series. (Reviewed below)


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