Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WEEKEND PIC - Dec 16 - 18, 2011



a) MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL (action thriller with Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Josh Holloway, Lea Seydoux, Tom Wilkinson, Michael Nyqvist, Ving Rhames and Anil Kapoor) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): With Brad Bird (of The Incredibles) at the helm, we have a more compleat M:I caper - nicely coated with typical English humour (courtesy of Pegg), narrative depth and a plot we can sink our teeth in. The set pieces are not bad either, especially the Burj Khalifa building stunts and sand storm in Dubai, and the climactic face-off in Mumbai. This M:I 4 is arguably the best of the franchise. (Reviewed below)

b) ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS 3 (animated and live action comedy with Jason Lee, David Cross, Jenny Slate, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Amy Poehler, Anna Faris and Christina Applegate) Rated * * (2 stars): The Chipmunks and Chipettes (female version) are cute. They can sing and dance. They are also 'rodents' and they can be pesky and annoying. How much of these attributes can you take in a movie about the whole gang of them ending up on a deserted island? The answer, I believe, depends on how young your accompanying kid is. Suitable for those below five. (Reviewed below)


1. PUSS IN BOOTS (animated comedy in 3D with Antonio Banderas, Zach Galifianakis, Salma Hayek, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Constance Marie, Guillermo del Toro, Rich Dietl, Ryan Crego and Tom Wheeler) Rated * * * (3 stars): As the Shrek franchise closes, the saga of Puss In Boots begins. It has done very well Stateside and looks to do well at the Malaysian box-office too, especially for this long school holidays. Nicely fleshed out by Banderas, the swashbuckling feline is fun and charming and is well supported by Hayek's role as Kitty Softpaws as they embark on a quest for the Magic Beans and the Goose That Lays The Golden Eggs. Just purr-fect for the family. (Reviewed below)

2. ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (animated comedy with James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton and Ashley Jensen) Rated: * * * (3 stars): A highly inventive and at times riotous British comedy about an attempt to deliver a forgotten present to a little girl. Besides putting a new spin on the Santa myths, we also get a rather different look at the Claus clan. Should go down well with today's inquisitive and 'thinking' child. (Reviewed below)

3. THE MUPPETS (puppet and live action with Amy Adams, Jason Segel, Chris Cooper, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the other Muppets) Rated * * * (3 stars): The Muppets franchise gets a new lease on life with this inventive film co-written by Segel himself. It has everything one would expect from a Muppet movie (except Big Bird) - especially its self-effacing guests like Jack Black, Emily Blunt and Zach Galifianakis. The songs are rather catchy - and yes, they break into a song-and-dance every now and then. Don't watch this without being accompanied by a kid. (Reviewed below)

4. PETALING STREET WARRIORS (comedy with Mark Lee, Yeo Yann Yann, Chris Tong, Namewee, Frederick Lee, Henry Thia, Ramasundran Rengana and Alvin Wong) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Set in KL's famous Petaling Street circa 1908, this Malaysia-Singapore effort is more of a spoof than a martial arts actioner. There is a nice historical twist to the plot about a hokkien mee seller (Mark Lee) and his wife (Yeo Yann Yann) whose marriage has something more than meets the eye. Also, there are some surprising cameos from celebs of both sides of the Causeway. (Reviewed below)

5. NEW YEAR'S EVE (romantic comedy with Lea Michele, Michele Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Katherine Heigl and Hilary Swank) Rated * * (2 stars): After Valentine's Day, Garry Marshall comes out with another ensemble flick centred around the traditional Ball Drop at Manhattan's Times Square, NYC. It comprises a bunch of vignettes involving that special day and night but only a few are worthy enough of their starry cast. Many of the romantic threads are implausible while some are overly sentimental. Good for gawking at your idols, though. (Reviewed below)


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