WEEKEND PIC - March 20 - 22, 2009
NEW This Week:
a. THE INTERNATIONAL (suspense thriller with Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Brían F. O'Byrne) Rated * * * (3 stars): Tom Tykwer's 'expose' on an international bank that deals in arms and murders people is serviceable, sans humour and romance. Its piece de resistance is a shootout at the Guggenheim Museum that has the Tykwer trademark. (Reviewed below)
b. TAKEN (action thriller with Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace and Xander Berkeley) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 out of 4 stars): This daddy-to-the-rescue-of-kidnapped-girl story has its own built-in emotional power but the one-man-against-Paris thingy is incredulous. It's like the recently widowed Neeson doing a Jack Bauer. (Read the DVD review here)
c. RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (sci-fi fantasy with Dwayne Johnson, AnnaSophia Robb, Alexander Ludwig, Carla Gugino, Ciaran Hinds and Tom Everett Scott) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): A re-imagined version of the Witch Mountain series of the 70s, this one is pure Disney fare, catering to the undemanding family audience.
d. HOTEL FOR DOGS (comedy with Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin, Lisa Kudrow and Don Cheadle) Rating: * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): If you can't get enough of doggie comedies like the recent Marley & Me, this should help you with your quest of cute canines.
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. WATCHMEN (with Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson) Rating * * * (3 out of 4 stars): Adapted from a 12-part graphic novel, this long-awaited opus, about a reunion of sorts for costumed crime-fighters, is a treat for comic book fans. (Reviewed below)
2. MARLEY & ME (with Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Eric Dane, Kathleen Turner and Alan Arkin) Rated * * * (3 out of 4 stars): This doggie biopic of sorts has the twin aim of making us laugh and cry. Director David Frankel achieves this by over-manipulation, repetition and other tactics.(Reviewed below)
3. CITY OF EMBER (sci-fi fantasy with Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, Saoirse Ronan, Martin Landau, Mackenzie Crook, Toby Jones and Mary Kay Place) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): The sets of this underground city looks so fab and cool that they become the star of the show. Storywise, nothing much happens until the end of the movie (Pic above, reviewed below)
4. THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX (animated comedy with voices of Matthew Broderick, Robbie Coltrane, Frances Conroy, Tony Hale, Ciaran Hinds and Dustin Hoffman) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): This mouse tale from Pixar is not as funny or energetic as Ratatouille but it has enough ingredients to serve as family entertainment for the school holidays.
5. DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION (sci-fi fantasy with Justin Chatwin, Chow Yun Fat, Emmy Rossum, James Marsters and Jamie Chung) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Adapted from a Japanese children's comic book series, this one is mainly for the kids, especially those who are fans of the TV show and manga books. Chow is the main attraction here. (Reviewed below)