Wednesday, August 31, 2011




a) SACRIFICE (period drama in Mandarin with Ge You, Wang Xueqi, Fan Bing Bing, Huang Xiaoming, Vincent Chiu, Zhang Fengyi and William Wang) Rated * * * (3 stars): Chen Kaige's third adaptation of a Chinese stage play deals with court intrigue, assassination, massacre and revenge. However, the revenge plot here is not your run-of-the-mill type. It involves elements worse than death, like familial bond, trust and then learning the truth about a tragic sacrifice. (Reviewed below)

b) THE SMURFS (live action cum animated comedy with Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays and Sofia Vergara) Rating * * (2 stars): This Smurfs movie unleashes the blue critters from their fantasy village into the streets of New York for some ruckus and mayhem. Like on the TV series, the Smufs are both adorable and annoying but the movie seldom rises above the level of childishness of Alvin And The Chipmunks. Mainly for kids who have been on a diet of Smurfs on TV.


1. CARS 2 (animated comedy with Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Eddie Izzard, John Turturro and Bonnie Hunt) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): Highly energetic and action-packed, this sequel is even better than its predecessor. This time around, we find tow truck Mater (Larry) and his buddy Lightning McQueen (Wilson) going to Japan, Italy and England on a World Grand Prix tourney during which Mater is mistaken for an American spy. What I like about the movie is that its 'car-acters' are nicely developed with their own personalities, especially British newcomers Finn (Caine) and his sidekick Holley Shiftwell (Mortimer). (Reviewed below)

2. CONAN THE BARBARIAN (fantasy actioner with Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Rose McGowan, Ron Perlman and Leo Howard) Rated * * (2 stars): One thing to bear in mind is that there are lots of violence and nudity and a bit of sex in this movie, so you can expect our censors to have a field day with it. However, the much touted scene with Momoa's butt is uncut. Indeed, except for the gratuitous violence and a mundane mythical story, its strengths and weaknesses are similar to the 1982 film starring Arnie the Governator. (Reviewed below)

3. FINAL DESTINATION 5 (thriller with Nicholas D'Agosto, Emma Bell, David Koechner, Tony Todd, Courtney B. Vance, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Miles Fisher, Arlen Escarpeta, P.J. Byrne and Ellen Wroe) Rated * * (2 stars): The first 10 minutes of the movie, featuring its premonition sequence, is gripping and nail-biting. However, what follows are just more of the same stuff which details how Death claims its victims in the most melodramatic ways. The 3D effects just make the CGI gimmicks more 'in-your-face'. (Reviewed below)

4. SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD (kiddie comedy in 3D with Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven, Joel McHale, Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): When Spy Kids 3 was released in 3D in 2003, it did not do so well and many people complained about the 3D effects giving them a headache. Worse, Sylvester Stallone earned a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor for his performance. This one is proffered in 4D - with a scratch-and-smell card to provide the sensation of scent by the number. This is a childish gimmick and it helps to distract us from the silly kids' stuff suitable only for those under five. (Reviewed below)


Post a Comment

<< Home