Friday, July 01, 2011

WEEKEND PIC - July 1 - 3, 2011



a) TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON (sci-fi fantasy with Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey, Ken Jeong, John Turturro, Frances McDormand and Tyrese Gibson) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Seen in glorious three-dimension, director Michael Bay's CGI effects and set pieces are awe-inspiring and visually spectacular. Indeed, he is so proud of them that he overloads and repeats the sequences, unnecessarily stretching the movie to over 2.5 hours. The opening act, involving a 'secret' lunar landing deal, is promising but after that, everything goes downhill. The comedy looks strained, the acting is mostly over-the-top and Bay's latest eye candy, the English Rose Huntington-Whiteley, makes the discarded Megan Fox look like an Oscar star. (Reviewed below)

b) MONTE CARLO (romantic comedy with Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy, Corey Monteith, Pierre Boulanger and Andie MacDowell) Rated * * (2 stars): Granted that this rom-com is supposed to work like a fairy tale romance but there are too many convenient coincidences and slipshod plotting to sustain our interest. This is obviously a vehicle of singer/child star Gomez but she fails to shine in her dual roles that are reminiscent of Lindsay Lohan's Parent Trap. There is no chemistry between Gomez and her love interest (played by Boulanger) and the only star that shines belongs to Meester who plays a stepsister to Gomez's character. (Reviewed below)


1. ATTACK THE BLOCK (sci-fi adventure with Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway, Flaminia Cinque and Joey Ansah) Rating * * * (3 stars): If you like Shaun Of The Dead, you will love this scary, fun and funny caper about how a teenage hoodie gang team up to protect their housing estate in England from an alien invasion. Written and directed by Joe Cornish this one is refreshing and promising as his feature debut.

2. SACRED AND SECRET (documentary co-written and directed by Basil Gelpke, with Adrian Paul) Rating * * * (3 stars): This documentary on the social, spiritual and complexities of Bali offers insights into some of the islands' occult ceremonies, guarded since the times of the Majapahit Kingdom. One of the highlights of the film is its sequence on the rituals surrounding the death of Agung Suyasa, the head of the royal family of Ubud.

3. GREEN LANTERN (fantasy adventure with Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong, Peter Sarsgaard and Temuera Morrison) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): With a rather muddled-up opening and a storyline that recalls the exploits and romantic tangles of other comic book renditions like Superman and Spider-Man, Reynolds' Green Lantern only serves as another summer cinema fodder. There are some memorable moments with Lively as the hero's girlfriend and a few action pieces, but the overall effect is a feeling of mediocrity. (Reviewed below)

4. TREASURE INN (comedy in Cantonese with Nicholas Tse, Nick Cheung, Charlene Choi, Huang Yi, Liu Yang and David Tong) Rating * * (2 stars): Hong Kong writer-director Wong Jing is back with his bag of ludicrous tricks in this low-brow comedy about how two rookie cops (Tse and Cheung) try to solve the case of a stolen jade statue of the Goddess of Mercy. There are some attempts at spoofing the murder thrillers bit the movie is utterly derivative and a rip-off of Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer.


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