WEEKEND PIC - Jan 1-3 2010
Here's Wishing Everyone a Happy New Year 2010
NEW THIS WEEK:
a) CIRQUE DU FREAK: THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT (sci-fi fantasy with John C. Reilly, Ken Watanabe, Josh Hutcherson, Chris Massoglia, Ray Stevenson, Patrick Fugit, Orlando Jones, Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek) Rating: * * (2 stars): Like the title suggests, this film about a boy running away to join the circus is freakish, disjointed and messy. It is the first of a vampire trilogy by Darren Shan but don't bet on a sequel.
b) HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE MORGANS? (romantic comedy with Sarah Jessica Parker, Hugh Grant, Sam Elliott, Mary Steenburgen and Elisabeth Moss) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): Derivative tale of a Manhattan couple forced to slum it out in a small town in Wyoming under a witness protection programme. Grant's acting is irritating and Parker looks lost. (Reviewed below)
STILL GOING STRONG:
1. AVATAR (sci-fi adventure with Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver and Giovanni Ribisi) Rated * * * * (4 stars): A happy marriage of form and function, James Cameron has gone one up on his Titanic. The plot may be a bit derivative but the setting, in a futuristic and fictional planet of Pandora, is a visual feast. The action sequences, augmented by CGI and action-capture techniques, are mind-boggling. (Reviewed below)
2. SHERLOCK HOLMES (action adventure with Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Eddie Marsan, Kelly Reilly and William Hope) Rated * * * (3 stars): The world-famous detective gets a blockbuster-style makeover by Guy Ritchie in this robustly entertaining but irreverent rendition of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes. (Reviewed below)
3. THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG (animated fantasy with Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Jenifer Lewis, Keith David and Oprah Winfrey) Rated * * * (3 stars): It's back to the old hand-drawn cartoons with this 'contemporary take' on the classic fairy-tale. We have to admit that this is what the folks at Disney do best.
4. STORM WARRIORS (martial arts fantasy with Aaron Kwok, Charlene Choi, Ekin Cheng, Nicholas Tse, Simon Yam and Tang Yan) Rated * * * (3 stars): Like 2012, this Pang Brothers production is a CGI extravaganza for fans of the 1998 Storm Riders. The stunts and effects are impressive but they can also be confusing. (Reviewed below)
5. ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL (animated comedy with Zachary Levi, David Cross, Jason Lee, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Amy Poehler and Anna Faris) Rating * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): A sequel to the 2007 movie, this one offers more of the same stuff for the kids this holiday season. The special effects are spot-on, though.