WEEKEND PIC: Aug 1 - 3 2008
1. THE DARK KNIGHT (fantasy sequel with Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Morgan Freeman) Rated * * * 1/2 (out of 4): A fantastic and realistic grown-up version of the comic book world of 'Batman'. And a good part of the credit goes to the late Heath Ledger who fleshes out the Joker so well that he really gives us the creeps. Yep, the Joker is the Ace here! (Reviewed below)
2. HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY (fantasy thriller with Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones and Luke Goss) Rated: * * * (out of 4): If anything, director Guillermo Del Toro is consistent. This sequel provides a nice balance of action, humour, romance and fantasy the likes of which we saw in 'Pan's Labyrinth'. You may want to quibble with the ending though. (Reviewed below)
3. THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE GOLDEN EMPEROR (fantasy adventure with Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello, Jet Li, pic, and Michelle Yeoh) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): With Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh in the supporting cast, this sequel may be much more attractive to Asian audiences than Western ones. Except for a few f/x sequences, it just gives more of the same from a franchise that should have been mummified.
4. SPARROWS (drama in Cantonese with Simon Yam, Kelly Lin, and Gordon Lam) Rating * * * (3 stars): A stylish, light-hearted and musically-enhanced romantic comedy about a gang of pickpockets known as Sparrows. Creditable acting from Yam and Lin.
5. SEX AND THE CITY (comedy with Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, and Christopher Noth) Rated * * * (3 stars): It's like a single episode padded and botoxed to movie-length but there are enough gags and glam for the fans. Jennifer Hudson provides a welcome addition to the cast too. (Reviewed below)
6. RED CLIFF Pt 1 (war epic with Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Chang Chen, Zhang Fengyi and Vicky Zhao) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): As the most expensive Chinese movie to date, Red Cliff is a feast for the eyes, with spectacular scenery, sets, battles and thousands of extras. Too bad, it does not do enough for our heart. (Reviewed below)
7. X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE (sci-fi thriller with David Duchnovny, Gillian anderson and Amanda Peet) Rating * 1/2 (1.5 stars): Even with its creator Chris Carter at the helm, this movie version fails to impress like it should. The plot is predictable, its relevance prolonged and you can't help feeling that X-Files should have been axed. (Reviewed below)