Friday, April 20, 2012

WEEKEND PIC - April 20 - 22, 2012



a) 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 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.

b) 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 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)

c) 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)


1. 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 on 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)

2. 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)

3. 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)

4. DARK FLIGHT (Thai horror in 3D with Marsha Watanapanich, Peter Knight and Patcharee Thabtong) Rating: * 1/2 (1.5 stars): If you have seen Snakes On A Plane, this one offers the variation, Ghosts On A Plane. However, while the former has a touch of humour and cult feel to go with the proceedings, the laughter here is largely unintended. We get the feeling that the 3D is more of a novelty than to enhance the scares. Strictly for dating couples.


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