Your Guide To The Weekend Viewing:
1. THE DEAD GIRL (drama with Toni Collette, Marcia Gay Harden, Britanny Murphy, Piper Laurie, Giovanni Ribisi and Rose Byrne) Rating * * * 1/2 (out of 4): This 2006 movie is a vignette mystery about how 'a dead girl' impacts and connects the lives of five women. I caught this one on DVD and I expect many cuts in the cinema print. Still, it is an emotionally powerful film with top class perfs.
2. JUMPER (sci-fi thriller with Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson, Samuel L. Jackson and Diane Lane) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Christensen goes from Skywalker to Teleporter in this Matrix-style tale about a war between Jumpers (people who flits through time and space) and an organisation bent on destroying them. The first hour is interesting but director Doug Liman seems so intent to jump to its sequel that he forgets to provide a proper ending.
3. CJ7 (sci-fi comedy with Stephen Chow, Xu Jiao and Kitty Zhang) Sorry, I have not been able to catch this Chow Sing Chi effort in the US, but from what I have heard, it is a simple but engaging feel good family story. It should be the top of the pick for the Lunar New Year hols.
4. SWEENEY TODD: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (musical with Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter and Alan Rickman) Rated * * * (3 stars): You won't be tapping your feet to the songs of this dark, macabre and bloody musical (adapted by Tim Burton from stephen Sondheim) but there are enough humour and wit to make it worthwhile. (Reviewed below).
5. JOHN RAMBO (action sequel with Sylvester Stallone) Rated: * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Wanna see a 61-year-old Stallone kick ass as an ex-Green Beret? If so, go for it and wallow in the nostalgia. (Reviewed below)
6. THE EYE (remake of HK horror with Jessica Alba, Parker Posey and Alessandro Nivola) Rated * * (2 stars): The first hour holds promise but things soon fall apart in this remake of the Pang Bros' film. If anything, it only puts the original in classic status.
7. MEET THE SPARTANS (comedy spoof with Carmen Electra, Kevin Sorbo and Sean Maquire) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): There are lots of skin and brawns in this spoof of "300" but wit and brain are painfully lacking. The scattershot comedy also takes potshots at vidgames, scandalous celebs and reality shows but none are really funny.
8. ONE MISSED CALL (remake of J-horror with Shannyn Sossamon, Edward Burns and Ana Claudia) Rated: * (1 star): The original Japanese version was bad enough but this Hollywood remake is even worse, with a stupid script and lame acting.