WEEKEND PIC - Nov 18 - 20, 2011
NEW THIS WEEK
a) HAPPY FEET 2 (animated musical with voices of Elijah Wood, Pink, Elizabeth Daily, Sofía Vergara, Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Hank Azaria, Magda Szubanski and Eddie Tang) Rating: * * * (3 stars): While the 2006 original won an Oscar for Best Animated Film, this sequel is no award-winning material. It offers more of the same cute, saccharine-sweet stuff that should pull in the kids and their parents but the vitality and charm of George Miller's original has faded. It is predictable and popcorn entertainment for the young 'uns, no doubt.
b) SEEKING JUSTICE (crime drama with Nicolas Cage, January Jones, Guy Pearce, Jennifer Carpenter, Harold Perrineau, Xander Berkeley, Monica Acosta, Joe Chrest and Donna Duplantier) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Featuring commendable performances by Cage and Jones, this vigilante caper seems to lose steam and sidetracks into a subplot. Still, I am glad that it is not an updated version of Death Wish or Taken. I only wish that director Roger Donaldson had developed its 'vigilante group cleans up New Orleans after Katrina' plot satisfactorily. (Reviewed below)
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. 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 alive in Herge's strips. 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)
2. YOU ARE THE APPLE OF MY EYE (romantic comedy 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)
3. 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)
4. 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 is like those of 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 below)
5. 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.