Thursday, October 20, 2011

WEEKEND PIC - Oct 21 - 23, 2011



a) PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 (supernatural thriller with Chris Smith, Katie Featherston, Sprague Grayden and Lauren Bittner) Rating * * * (3 stars): If you just can't get enough of this faux videocam documentary franchise, this third instalment can be satisfying. It is actually a prequel, a flashback to 1988 to show how siblings Katie (Katie Featherston in the first film) and Kristi (Sprague Grayden in the second) were traumatised during their childhood. Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman stick to the tried and tested - and deliver the scares too.

b) TRESPASS (crime thriller with Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Liana Liberato, Cam Gigandet, Ben Mendelsohn, Dash Mihok and Jordana Spiro) Rating * * (2 stars): With Nic Cage headlining this movie, I had suspected that it would be another Nic Cage flop. After half-an-hour, my suspicion was confirmed. Cage seems trapped in a curse and this house break-in tale is so full of awful dialogue and lame plotting that even the presence of Kidman and Gigandet cannot alleviate. It seems relegated to the DVD shelves where it is actually heading come Nov 1.


1. REAL STEEL (sci-fi drama with Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Kevin Durand, Anthony Mackie, Hope Davis, Phil La Marr, Olga Fonda and James Rebhorn) Rated * * * (3 stars): Imagine Rocky played by a cute robot, throw in the ring action of The Fighter and add some father-son bonding and you get Real Steel, a typical Disney entertainment for the family. What's more Jackman and kid star Dakota Goyo display good chemistry as father and estranged son going on a road trip. The fight plot may seem formulaic, with the underdog versus unbeatable champ schtick but it is bearable. (Reviewed below)

2. THE LION KING 3D (animated feature reissued in 3D) Rated * * * (3 stars): This one has been roaring at the top of the American box-office for weeks despite the fact that every kid has seen it in 2D before. Indeed, the 3D effects lend a new dimension to the well-loved tale of Simba the lion.

3. THE THREE MUSKETEERS (fantasy adventure in 3D with Matthew MacFadyen, Milla Jovovich, Logan Lerman, Luke Evans, Ray Stevenson, Orlando Bloom, Mads Mikkelsen, Christoph Waltz and Gabriella Wilde) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): A lavish and almost spoofy version of the Alexandre Dumas tale with mind-boggling sets and exe-popping costumes. Alas, the 'futuristic' embellishments of flying airships and Matrix-styled slow-mo bullets are tempered by a retro-styled narrative. Still, it is a popcorn flick for action fans and videogamers who love the sight of heaving bosoms mixed with fencing and brawling. (Reviewed below)

4. WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER? (comedy with Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Zachary Quinto, Andy Samberg, Ari Graynor, Martin Freeman, Matt Bomer, Chris Pratt, Ivana Milicevic and Joel McHale) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): With a foregone conclusion that everyone is aware of (except the lovers), the 'courtship' of the leads, played by Faris and Evans, seem like a prolonged foreplay. The two have good chemistry and the jokes are bawdy but the movie is spoilt by a generic plot and needless melodramatic ending. (Reviewed below)

5. THE CAT: TWO EYES THAT SEE DEATH (Korean horror with Park Min-young, Kim Dong-wook and Shin Da-eun) Rating * * (2 stars): For those who are new to the Asian horror genre, this generic flick will seem scary and engaging. However, if you have your fair share of films like The Eye and Ju-On, this will be more of a copy-Cat film, with sudden loud noises and cheap scares to jolt you. On the plus side, we have a rather notable performance from Park Min-young.


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