WEEKEND PIC - Nov 11 - 13, 2011
NEW THIS WEEK
a) THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN (animated adventure in 3D with Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Gad Elmaleh, Toby Jones, Mackenzie Crook and Sebastian Roché) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): This was my favourite comic book adventure during my teenage years and Steven Spielberg has managed to capture its wonderful sense of mystery and discovery that was teeming in Herge's comic strip. It is like another Indy Jones-type caper - but with more spectacular chases and effects augmented by 3D. Easily one of the best animated movies of this year! (Reviewed below)
b) YOU ARE THE APPLE OF MY EYE (romantic comedy in Mandarin with Ko Chen-Tung, Michelle Chen, Steven Hao, Ao-Chuen, Tsai Chang-hsien and Wan-Wan) Rated * * * (3 stars): This rom-com by Giddens swept Taiwan's box-office for over a month and had sold-out halls when it sneaked in Malaysia two weeks ago. It's popularity with the young Chinese-educated crowd is understandable: the cast is lovable and the leads, Ko Chen-Teng and Michele Chen will steal your heart away with their performances. The movie centres a lot on sex - like masturbation and porn - but these are mostly in the dialogue. Certainly a crowd-pleaser with young lovers. (Reviewed here)
c) IMMORTALS (fantasy adventure with Kellan Lutz, Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto, Henry Cavill, Luke Evans, Robert Maillet, Corey Sevier, Alan Van Sprang, Neil Napier and Mercedes Leggett) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): The plot is somewhat like that of Clash Of The Titans and the action recalls 300. So you can expect mythical Greek gods and titans getting involved with the bloody and gory action generated by the ambitious and brutal Hyperion's (Rourke) quest for conquest of the 'world'. The plot is wafer thin but the blood and violence is as thick as those of 300. And expectedly, the love scenes have been censored. (Reviewed pending)
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. TOWER HEIST (crime drama with Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Casey Affleck, Michael Peña, Alan Alda, Judd Hirsch and Gabourey Sidibe) Rated * * * (3 stars): At a time when the 'working class' is protesting against the 'cheating class' (represented by Wall Street), this crime thriller has its built-in lure. Its A-list cast is another attraction - including the motor-mouthed Murphy who, surprisingly, provides most of the laughs in this premise about how a gang of workers plan to steal back their money from a Ponti scheme organiser (Alda). (Reviewed below)
2. IN TIME (sci-fi thriller with Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Alex Pettfyer, Olivia Wilde and Vincent Kartheiser) Rated * * (2 stars): The premise, in a futuristic world where time is literally money and people stop aging at 25, is novel and intriguing. However, our interest vanes when disturbing questions arise over the plot mechanisms. Also the main story - about Timberlake's and Seyfried's characters engaged in a Robin Hood game of robbing banks - is too difficult for us to swallow. At the end, it is a sheer waste of time. (Reviewed below)
3. SLEEPWALKER (horror thriller with Angelica Lee Sinje, Charlie Yeung, Kent Cheng and Li Zong Han) Rating * * (2 stars): This husband-and-wife (director Oxide Pang and lead star Lee) venture is derivative and cliched, employing cheap scares like sudden loud jolts and half-baked subplots in a tale about a woman who sleepwalks into a possible murder. The main attraction here is local actress Angelica Lee (of The Eye) in the title role but our patience soon runs out over its lame script and lapses in logic. The 3D effects are a waste and they cannot flesh out the movie's two-dimensional characters.
c) SHARK NIGHT (horror thriller with Sara Paxton, Dustin Milligan, Chris Carmack, Katharine McPhee, Donal Logue, Joshua Leonard and Joel David Moore) Rating * 1/2 (1.5 stars): Wow, American Idol heart-throb Katherine McPhee used as shark bait! This is the main lure for me but it fizzles out quickly when I realise that this is another rip-off in 3D. If you expect to see blood and gore and pretty nubiles in various states of undress, forget it because this is rated PG-13 in the States and nudity would have been cut here anyway. As for gore, it is disappointing too.