Friday, December 09, 2011

WEEKEND PIC - Dec 9 - 11, 2011



a) 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)

b) 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)


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. MADE IN DAGENHAM (drama with Sally Hawkins, Rosamund Pike, Miranda Richardson, Bob Hoskins, Richard Schiff, Geraldine James, Rupert Graves, Robbie Kay, Joseph Mawle and Daniel Mays) Rated * * * (3 stars): This 2010 film is about the 1968 labour battle for equal pay between a bunch of women and Ford car company. Of course there is a documentary-feel to it but nary a dull moment as we see how an unassuming Rita O'Grady (Hawkins) takes on the powers-that-be - and male chauvinism. Only at GSC International Screen cineplex (Reviewed below)

4. HAPPY FEET 2 (animated musical with voices of Elijah Wood, Pink, Elizabeth Daily, SofĂ­a 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.

5. TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN Pt 1 (fantasy romance with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Anna Kendrick, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed and Kellan Lutz) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): With Part One, Twilight fans get what they have always wanted: ogling time with their idols (yes, Jacob still rips off his shirt and there are close-up of Bella's body and wedding dress); the lavish nuptials, the mystery-shrouded honeymoon (what the hell happened to their bedroom?) and the big fuss over a pregnant Bella! Well, there isn't enough narrative to propel the action so director Bill Condon prolongs the events of the book even to the point of milking every scene. (Reviewed below)

6. 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)


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