Thursday, July 14, 2011

WEEKEND PIC - July 15 - 17, 2011



a) HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHY HALLOWS Pt 2 (fantasy adventure with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, Jamie Campbell Bower, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton and Alan Rickman) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): British director David Yates seems business-like in unravelling this final part of the HP franchise, picking up from where Part 1 left off - and building up to the big showdown between Harry and Voldemort at Hogwarts. Of course, Yates is mindful of the legions of HP fans out there and he 'stages' farewell glimpses of almost of the whole cast. It is a fitting and celebratory send-off for a 10-year series that helped to define the lives of so many fans. (Reviewed below)


1. 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)

2. Mr POPPER'S PENGUINS (comedy with Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Maxwell Perry Cotton, Madeline Carroll, Andrew Stewart-Jones, Clark Gregg, Curtis Shumaker and Angela Lansbury) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Looks like Carrey is back in his Ace Ventura mode of making an ass of himself with penguins. But no, this family comedy is more subtle than the Ventura flicks. What's more, the performances of the six Gentoo penguins, augmented by CGI (of course), will appeal to the audience, especially the five-year-olds. At least Carrey does not do poop and fart jokes - these come from the penguins. (Reviewed below)

3. 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)


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