Thursday, April 26, 2012

WEEKEND PIC - April 27 - 29, 2012



a) MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS (sci-fi fantasy with Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): Seriously, are you reading this to help you decide whether to watch this movie or not? If you are, you're wasting your time. This film is critic-proof. If you have not booked your tickets by now, you may not get to watch it during the weekend - and probably miss out on the main topic of conversations at the mamak stalls/coffee shops. If you have already decided to watch this six-superheroes-in-one-flick, go for the IMAX and 3D for the optimum experience. (Reviewed below)


1. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (horror thriller with Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford and Sigourney Weaver) Rating: * * * (3 stars): Two girls and three men venture deep into the woods for a weekend break. This is all you need to know about this 'offbeat' horror thriller that messes about with the genre and its archetypes. Written by first-time director Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon (of Marvel's The Avengers fame), this one boasts a highly inventive script although not all of its 'inventions' work. Should be a blast for horror-comedy fans.

2. BATTLESHIP (sci-fi adventure with Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgård, Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Jesse Plemons, Tadanobu Asano, Peter MacNicol and Rihanna) Rated * * * (3 stars): Typical summer action blockbuster in the Transformers and Independence Day mould. Okay, the action set pieces are not as awesome of Transformers: Dark Of The Moon but the storyline, centred around a reluctant hero (Kitsch) and his shapely girlfriend (Decker) is more engaging. We need to leave logic aside in order to enjoy the action, though. (Reviewed below)

3. A BETTER LIFE (drama with Demián Bichir, José Julián, Dolores Heredia, Joaquin Cosio and Nancy Lenehan) Rated * * * (3 stars): The reason A Better Life finds its release in Malaysia is because of Demian Bichir's nomination for the Best Actor Oscar. And this is also the main reason for cinema fans to catch this touching story about how a Mexican gardener (Bichir), working illegally in Los Angeles, tries his utmost to provide a better future for his American-born son (Julian). (Reviewed below)

4. LOCKOUT (sci-fi adventure with Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare, Lennie James, Joe Gilgun and Anne-Solenne Hatte) Rated * * (2 stars): Boy, this one takes the cake for pinching plot ideas from other movies. Its main plot is that of Escape From New York (1981) which the script-writers set in outer space. And with such an unabashed collection of borrowed scenes, you will know what's going to happen long before it happens. We would expect some 'spit-and-polish' with regards to its motivations and at least some clever twists, but nope. No such luck here. Everything is banal and downright ridiculous. (Reviewed below)

5. STREETDANCE 2 (dance drama in 3D with Falk Hentschel, George Sampson, Sofia Boutella, Stephanie Nguyen, Samuel Revell and Tom Conti) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): This sequel to the 2010 Streetdance 3D is tolerable as long as its stars are dancing. However, when they stop, the film sucks big time. This is because none of the cast members can act to save their lives - except for Conti who looks so out of place in this recycled dance show that mixes Latin moves with hip-hop. (Reviewed below)


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