WEEKEND PIC - Sept 30 - Oct 2, 2011
NEW THIS WEEK
a) DRIVE (romance/crime thriller with Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks, Bryan Cranston and Albert Brooks) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): It is a combination of a crime thriller, a revenge caper and a love story - and it looks like a movie that Quentin Tarantino would make. However, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn keeps us enthralled with its unpredictable story and lead character played by Gosling. There is also a palpable screen chemistry between Gosling and Mulligan - as neighbours who befriend each other and gradually develop a relationship. A rare treat. (Reviewed below)
b) DREAM HOUSE (psychological thriller with Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Marton Csokas, Claire Geare, Taylor Geare, Rachel G. Fox, Mark Wilson, Jonathan Potts and Lynne Griffin) Rated * * * (3 stars): It takes a while to get used to seeing Bond star Craig as a loving father and hubby in his 'dream house'. However, all these gradually dissipates when we unravel the murder mystery in this suspense thriller. Besides Craig, Weisz is both charming and sexy as the wife, while Watts provides the requisite enigma as the neighbour who may have the answer to the murders. (Reviewed below)
c) KILLER ELITE (action thriller with Jason Statham, Robert De Niro, Clive Owen, Yvonne Strahovski, Dominic Purcell, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Grant Bowler, Michael Dorman, Ben Mendelsohn and Aden Young) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Claiming to be based on a true story, this one seems too far-fetched to be a slice of real-life. What it really is is a Statham staple - with chases, shootouts and punch-ups every few minutes. What's more, we have Owen and De Niro providing well-needed support as rival and friend respectively. (Reviewed below)
d) THE SORCERER AND THE WHITE SNAKE (fantasy tale with Jet Li, Eva Huang Sheng Yi, Raymond Lam Fung, Charlene Choi, Wen Zhang, Vivian Hsu, Miriam Yeung, Lam Suet and Chapman To) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Basically, this is yet another rendition of the Madam White Snake myth with Jet Li providing the star attraction as the sorcerer monk. The other attraction is of course the CGI effects of snakes and bats - but they are more tacky and childish than scary. What's more there is also an 'animal farm' show with Miriam Yeung, Lam Suet and Chapman To playing kiddie characters like chicken, rabbit, mice and tortoise. (Reviewed below)
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. FRIGHT NIGHT (horror spoof with Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, David Tennant, Imogen Poots and Toni Collette) Rating * * * (3 stars): This remake of the 1985 horror-comedy is actually better than the original, with a good mix of laughs and scares. Why, it even takes pot-shots at the Twilight flicks, claiming that real vampires are nothing like the sissy types played by Robert Pattinson. Now, any movie that takes a swipe at Twilight is okay by me. What's more, Farrell proves he can do comedy and get away with it.
b) WARRIOR (martial arts drama with Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison and Kevin Dunn) Rating: * * * (3 stars): This one deals with the Mixed Martial Arts tournaments but you don't really need to know what the MMA is about. Like Million Dollar Baby and The Fighter, Warriors is about how two brothers Tom and Brendan Conlon (Hardy and Edgerton) and their father Paddy (Nolte) are caught in the dark conflicts of the human heart. They must fight for a living, culminating in a winner-takes-all match in Atlantic City.
3. JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN (comedy spoof with Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson, Rosamund Pike, Dominic West, Daniel Kaluuya, Richard Schiff and Ben Miller) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Those who like the childish antics of Mr Bean will be laughing at Atkinson's Johnny English. However, those who want something new and witty in terms of gags and plot will not find any here. The best laughs are those shown in the trailers - and what we have left is a predictable and inane story about an assassination plot against a Chinese premier - for dubious reasons. It's nice to watch Anderson, Pike and newcomer Kaluuya, though. (Reviewed below)
4. ABDUCTION (mystery drama with Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, Michael Nyqvist, Antonique Smith and Denzel Whitaker) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): Aimed at screaming female fans of Twilight, Abduction is just a showcase for Lautner to show off his abs at the slightest excuse - since he has no acting talents to display. And despite the big names like Weaver, Nyqvist and Molina, the movie stinks. The plot is lame and even though there's no vampire here, the dialogue sucks. (Reviewed below)