WEEKEND PIC - Feb 27 - March 1 2009
NEW This Week:
a. SEX DRIVE (comedy with Josh Zuckerman, Amanda Crew (pic, right), Clark Duke, James Marsden, Seth Green, Alice Greczyn and Katrina Bowden) Rated * * * (3 stars) Somewhat like American Pie-meets-Road Trip involving a trio of best friends driving from Chicago to Knoxville, Tennessee. Passable teen comedy with enough humour, fun and heart. (Reviewed below)
b. SEVEN POUNDS (mystery drama with Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Barry Pepper and Michael Ealy) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): After Pursuit of Happyness, director Gabriele Muccino collaborates with Smith to make an enigmatic weepie. With so many plotholes, it's not quite there. (Reviewed below)
c. LOVE MATTERS (Singaporean comedy with Henry Thia, Mark Lee, Lai Ming and Yann Yann Yeo) Rating: * * (2 stars): This Jack Neo comedy about marriage, sex, porn and whatever is far from being Neo's best. Rather, it is a scattershot amalgam of his previous films.
d. STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI (action adventure with Kristin Kreuk, Moon Bloodgood, Michael Clarke Duncan, Chris Klein, Neal McDonough and Robin Shou) Rated * (1 star): A brainless, plotless and utterly hopeless sequel to the 1994 turkey that was Street Fighter. (Reviewed below)
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (drama with Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Anil Kapoor and Irrfan Khan) Rated * * * * (4 stars): With eight Oscars including one for Best Picture and Best Director, are you going to miss this one about a boy from Mumbai slums becoming a millionaire in a TV show? (Reviewed here)
2. THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (drama with Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Julia Ormond, Jason Flemyng, Elias Koteas and Tilda Swinton) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): This was the top Oscar contender with 13 nods. However, it won three 'technical' awards but it is still compelling. (Reviewed below)
3. DOUBT (drama with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman (pictured below), Amy Adams, Viola Davis and Joseph Foster II) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars out of 4): With four acting nominations for the Oscar, this drama begs to be seen by any avid moviegoer worth his or her popcorn. It may be 'slow' but it's quite rivetting. (Reviewed below)
4. CHANGELING (police drama with Angelina Jolie (pic), John Malkovich, Jeffrey Donovan, Michael Kelly and Amy Ryan) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5/4 stars): Directed by Clint Eastwood, this is a parable of wronged innocence and abuse of power reminiscent of L.A. Confidential. And of course, there's Jolie's Oscar-nominated performance to watch out for. (Reviewed below)
5. BURN AFTER READING (comedy with George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton and Richard Jenkins) Rated * * * (3 stars): A comedy by the Coen Brothers with Brad Pitt seemingly on steroids, given his energetic performance. Expect the usual Coen elements, greed for money, death and adulterous fun. (Reviewed below)
6. PUNISHER: WAR ZONE (action thriller with Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Julie Benz, Colin Salmon, Doug Hutchison, Dash Mihok, Wayne Knight and T.J. Storm) Rating: * * (2 stars): This third reincarnation of Marvel Comics' The Punisher (Stevenson) for the big screen may be an improvement on the earlier efforts but it is way below the standard of Iron Man and The Dark Knight. Why punish yourself?
7. ONG BAK 2 (martial arts actioner with Tony Jaa, Sorapong Chatree and Nirut Sirichanya) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Again it is teeming with action, courtesy of Tony Jaa, the Jackie Chan of Thailand. A bigger and better production than the first but still lacking in finesse and plot development.