Your Guide to the Weekend Viewing
1. INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (fantasy adventure with Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Karen Allen and John Hurt) Rating: * * * (out of 4): Nostalgic Indy Jones trip with the usual spectacular chases, cute close-ups of little animals and bugs, and a bit of human melodrama. After a 19-year hiatus, it should still delight Indy Jones fans despite Ford being 65! (Reviewed below)
2. ONCE (real-life 'musical' with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova) Rated: * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): If you loathe movies where characters break into song, this one should please you. The songs are part of the simple love story about a busker and a Czech immigrant in Dublin. And they are touching enough to get at your heart-strings and set your feet tapping. (Reviewed below)
3. THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN (fantasy adventure sequel with William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley and Ben Barnes) Rated * * * (out of 4): Like the book, this 'sequel' is a darker and more action-packed movie with great special effects. A must for the followers of Narnia. (Reviewed below)
4. IRON MAN (fantasy thriller with Robert owney Jr, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow) Rating * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): Produced by Marvel Studios itself, this is an 'origin' caper - and one that's energetic and entertaining, thanks to DOwney Jr and his co-stars. In the same league as "Batman Begins". (Reviewed below)
5. SPEED RACER (CGI actioner with Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman and Susan Sarandon) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): This 'loud' CGI-enhanced caper about corporations and the underworld muscling into auto racing is like a mix of "Spy Kids" and "Matrix". Helmed by the Wachowski Brothers, it is slanted towards the kids, with a chimp thrown in as resident clown. (Reviewed below).
6. DRILLBIT TAYLOR (comedy with Owen Wilson, Nate Hartley, Troy Gentile, David Dorfman, Alex Frost) Rating: * * (2 stars): Popcorn teen comedy about a bodyguard (Wilson) hired by a bunch of students to deal with a bully. It's lacklustre and unfunny, quite below "Superbad" that it resembles.
7. WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS (Romantic comedy with Ashton Kutcher, Cameron Diaz, Treat Williams and Dennis Farina) Rating: * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Predictable Vegas love story that starts off with mutual antagonism that somehow turns to love. Better to let it 'stay in Vegas'.