CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY PICK Dec 25 - 28, 2008
a. AUSTRALIA (romantic adventure with Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Bryan Brown, Brandon Walters and David Wenham) Rated * * 1/2 (out of 4): It is not the epic love story to move you but it has enough substance to keep you interested. Good show by Kidman, Jackman and young Brandon Walters. (Reviewed below)
b. THE SPIRIT (comic book recreation starring Gabriel Macht, Eva Mendes, Sarah Paulson, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson) Rating * 1/2 (1.5 stars): Comic book writer Frank Miller's debut directorial effort proves one thing: that he could not flesh out his characters to give them the third dimension. Unlike 'Sin City' (which Miller co-directed with Robert Rodirguez), everything here is flat. SPLATT!
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. IP MAN (Cantonese kungfu drama with Donnie Yen, ) Rated * * * (3 stars): This biopic on the grandmaster of Wing Chun kungfu and the tutor of the legendary Bruce Lee is nicely balanced with great martial arts action and an engaging narrative.
2. YES MAN (comedy with Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Darby and Terence Stamp) Rated * * * (3 stars): This comedy plays out better when it goes into romantic comedy mode with Carrey and Deschanel displaying good screen chemistry. Otherwise, a bit uneven. (Reviewed below)
3. BOLT (animated comedy with John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman and Mark Walton) Rated * * * (out of 4): This entertaining canine road-trip movie should put Walt Disney Pictures back in the running for Top Dog in the animation stakes, instead of Underdog. (Reviewed below)
4. TRANSPORTER 3 (action thriller with Jason Statham, Natalya Rudakova, Francois Berleand, Robert Knepper and Jeroen Krabbe) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): If you want ridiculous stunts, chases and crashes, you got them all. Just don't expect director Olivier Megaton to top up on logic and intelligence. (Reviewed below)
5. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (sci-fi remake starring Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith and Kathy Bates) Rated * * (Out of 4): A rather bland remake of the 1951 Robert Wise classic that is big on CGI effects but low on substance. (Reviewed below)