Thursday, March 29, 2012

WEEKEND PIC - March 30 - April 1, 2012



a) MIRROR MIRROR (fantasy spoof with Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Sean Bean, Nathan Lane, Mare Winningham, Michael Lerner, Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gnoffo and Ronald Lee Clark) Rated * * * (3 stars): Director Tarsem Singh gives the classic Snow White fairy tale a touch of modern day political and gender correctness. He also keeps its tongue firmly in cheek, having the charming Roberts to poke fun at her Evil Queen and making the Seven Dwarves a band of bandits. The best part is in the closing credits when Tarsem shows off his Bollywood roots. (Reviewed below)

b) WRATH OF THE TITANS (fantasy adventure in IMAX 3D with Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Danny Huston, Rosamund Pike, Toby Kebbell, Bill Nighy and Danny Bell) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): The first Clash Of The Titans was critically-roasted. This sequel is slightly better with a more comprehensive narrative and action pieces. The main plot is family melodrama - with Perseus (Worthington) setting out to save Daddy Zeus (Neeson), accompanied by the lovely Andromeda (Pike) and Argenor (Kebbell). I caught this in IMAX where the action is enhanced in spectacular 3D and recommend it to action fans. (Reviewed below)


1. FREAKONOMICS (documentary of the 2005 best-seller by by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner) Rating * * * (3 stars): After reading the runaway best-seller way back in 2006, I could not imagine anyone trying to make a film about its series of 'freak economics' that postulates, for example, whether a name given to a child can have an influence on him or her later in life. Well, its 'chapters' are unevenly done but many of the subjects are compelling, nevertheless. If you have not read the book, this is a good opportunity to catch up - at the GSC International Screens. (Reviewed below)

2. THE HUNGER GAMES (sci-fi adventure with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Lennie Kravitz and Willow Shields) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): This first instalment of Suzanne Collins' trilogy about the adventures of Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence), directed by Gary Ross, is a faithful attempt that sets out the groundwork for the other two movies.
However, while remains faithful to the book, the movie lacks the vision and imagination of the Harry Potter and Lord Of The Ring franchises. Kudos to Lawrence's portrayal of the heroine, though. She is the winning factor. (Reviewed below)

3. JOHN CARTER (sci-fi adventure with Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Daryl Sabara, Thomas Hayden Church and Willem Dafoe) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Made at a staggering US$250 million budget, this one is confirmed a 'disaster'. The Mars fantasy written 100 years ago by Edgar Rice Burroughs (of Tarzan fame) predates the Star Wars stories but coming to the screen later, it is reminiscent of George Lucas' creations of aliens and airships. The story is whimsical and the battle scenes can be confusing. (Reviewed below)

4. THE VOW (romantic comedy with Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Jessica Lange, Sam Neill, Jessica McNamee, Wendy Crewson, Tatiana Maslany and Scott Speedman) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Basically, this is a chic flick about a guy having to woo his wife again when she suffers from amnesia after a car accident. There isn't much chemistry between Tatum and McAdams, while the filler relationship between Tatum and his assistant holds more promise. And yes, shoddy writing abounds - including one scene showing a physically impossible accident. (Reviewed below)

5. ONE FOR THE MONEY (romantic comedy with Katherine Heigl, Jason O'Mara, Daniel Sunjata, Nate Mooney, John Leguizamo, Sherri Shepherd and Debbie Reynolds) Rated * * (2 stars): Two for the show... and it is all on Heigl who plays the plucky bounty hunter Stephanie Plum who not only goes after the bad and not-so-bad guys - but also manages to solve murder cases as well. A thick smog of incredulity hangs over the narrative and many of the cast are caricatures instead of realistic characters. (Reviewed below)


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