Your New Year Holiday Pick: Dec 28 - Jan 1, 2008
Your Guide To The Weekend and New Year Holiday Viewing:
1. ATONEMENT (romance drama with Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Romola Garai and Saoirse Ronan) Rated: * * * (out of 4): Adapted from the novel by Ian McEwan, this searing love story is timeless and universal, a romantic tragedy that will tug at your heartstrings. A Golden Globes favourite, too. (Reviewed below)
2. THE WARLORDS (Actioner in Mandarin with Andy Lau, Jet Li and Takeshi Kaneshiro) Rating * * * (3 stars): This is an engaging tale of brotherly betrayal, revenge and murder set in China's Taiping rebellion (1851-64). The story has been told before, in Chang Cheh's "The Blood Brothers" (1973) but not in such an epic scale as this.
3. GOLDEN COMPASS (fantasy adventure with Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards and Eva Green) Rating * * * (3 stars): While not as popular as "Lord Of The Rings" or the Harry Potter series, this adaptation of Philip Pullman's novel, His Dark Materials, is visually captivating. Forget the religious controversies and see it as a satire on political constraint. And enjoy the ensemble cast, especially Kidman and young Richards. (Reviewed below)
4. I AM LEGEND (psychological thriller with Will Smith) Rated * * * (3 stars): Smith plays a military scientist left alone in a devastated NY City to battle the zombie population. The images of a deserted Manhattan are eerie enough and the story passable as the best adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 sci-fi novel. (Reviewed below)
5. NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS (adventure with Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight & Helen Mirren) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Like its predecessor, this sequel offers the same rollercoaster ride with a mix of fun and thrills. However, it is somehow devoid of any sense of danger... (Reviewed below)
6. ALIENS VS PREDATOR 2 (Action sequel with Reiko Aylesworth, Steven Pasquale, Gina Holden & David Hornsby) Rating * * (2 stars): Predictable and unavoidable, this vidgame-to-movie franchise is mainly for fans of the game. Somehow, it gets stupider as it goes along...