WEEKEND PIC - Feb 26 - 28, 2010
NEW THIS WEEK
a) FROM PARIS WITH LOVE (action thriller with John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Kasai Smutniak, Richard Durden, Melissa Mars, Amber Rose Revah and Farid Elouardi) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Luc Besson's actioner offers a high-voltage Travolta as a US Agent roughing up Paris but it is full of ridiculous action and lame lines. Thankfully, it has all the bang-bang stuff that action fans need. (Reviewed below)
b) THE BOOK OF ELI (futuristic adventure with Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, Gary Oldman, Malcolm McDowell, Michael Gambon, Jennifer Beals, Ray Stevenson and Tom Waits) Rated * * (2 stars): Just another dose of apocalyptic doom and gloom with Washington as a latter-day prophet guarding a precious Book. Impressive atmosphere but the plot is too incredulous to be convincing. (Reviewed below)
STILL GOING STRONG
1. LITTLE BIG SOLDIER (war dramedy in Mandarin with Jackie Chan, Wang LeeHom, Steven Yoo and Xiao Dong Mei) Rated * * * (3 stars out of 4): No, you don't get lots of kungfu fighting here or epic-styled battle sequences. Instead, this odd-couple road movie serves up an engaging mix of war-is-hell drama and Jackie Chan-typed comedy that should help brighten up the Lunar New Year celebrations. (Reviewed below)
2. 14 BLADES (martial arts fantasy with Donnie Yen, Vicky Zhao Wei, Kate Tsui, Wu Chun and Qi Yuwu) Rating * * * (3 stars): Writer-director Daniel Lee is not much of a story teller but he has made a crowd-pleaser of a kungfu actioner. There are many impressive fight sequences, including one in which Kate Tsui does a mid-air striptease duel. Oh yes, there is also a nice love story and some wonderful locales and costumes.
3. PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: The Lightning Thief (fantasy adventure with Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Catherine Keener, Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Kevin McKidd, Steve Coogan and Rosario Dawson) Rating * * * (3 stars): Made in the style of the Harry Potter fantasy, this 'pilot' effort about a demi-god kid getting involved in an Olympian conflict is entertaining enough but not outstanding. The CGI is great though, especially of Medusa, played by Thurman.
4. VALENTINE'S DAY (romantic comedy with Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, et al) Rated * * * (3 stars): Just like the day itself, this ensemble film is cliched, predictable and uneven. But then who can deny it makes a great date movie for courting couples and fans of the two Taylors? (Reviewed below)
5. THE WOLFMAN (thriller with Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving and Art Malik) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): This remake of the 1941 werewolf classic comes with strong performances from its lead cast but it is hampered by a weak script. Its love story, which should be emotionally intense, is anaemic too. (Reviewed below)