Friday, April 09, 2010

WEEKEND PIC - April 9 - 11, 2010



a) DATE NIGHT (comedy with Steve Carrel, Tina Fey, Mila Kunis, James Franco, Mark Wahlberg, Kristen Wiig, Ray Liotta and Shawn Levy) Rated * * * (3 stars): A wild and wacky couples comedy with Fey and Carrell in good form and chemistry. The plot is rather far-fetched but nonetheless, there are enough sparks and spills for both action and humour fans. (Reviewed below)

b) ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW (family drama with Simon Yam, Sandra Ng, Aarif Lee, Chung Siu To and Evelyn Choi) Rated * * * (3 stars): This family drama strives for nostalgic realism, tempering yesteryear charm and familial bond with a touch of tragedy. It is not a movie for the masses but a rare gem for film buffs who look for something different from the familiar fare. (Reviewed below)

c) KAIJI (fantasy adventure in Japanese with Tatsuya Fujiwara, Teruyuki Kagawa, Ken'ichi Matsuyama, Yûki Amami and Tarô Yamamoto) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): Adapted from manga, this thriller about a young gambler just reflects the notion that all gaming addicts are losers. Those who catch Kaiji would probably feel like one too because the movie is excruciatingly long and tedious (at 2 hours), the acting is not only lame but annoying and the directing is amateurish. (Reviewed below)


1. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (animated adventure with Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrara, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, Kristen Wiig and T.J. Miller) Rated * * * (3 stars): Somewhat the Viking version of Lilo & Stitch in 3D, this is a rousing adventure for the family during the school holidays. The graphics are great and the dragon flights exhilarating enough to send you into the mythical world. (Reviewed below)

2. GREEN ZONE (conspiracy thriller with Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Amy Ryan, Brendan Gleeson, Jason Isaacs and Khalid Abdalla) Rating * * * (3 stars): A thinking man's movie with keen insights into the reasons for the Iraq war. Again Damon is back at his best in his familiar Bourne role although not as Bourne-like in his quest to seek out weapons of mass destruction.

3. IT'S COMPLICATED (romantic comedy with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, John Krasinski, Lake Bell, Caitlin Fitzgerald, and Zoe Kazan) Rated * * * (3 stars): It's a guilty pleasure watching Nancy Meyers' chick flick, albeit for the older audiences. There's a special chemistry that sizzles between Streep and Baldwin, and a tender flame between Streep and Martin. The script is incredulous, hence the guilt. (Reviewed below)

4. CLASH OF THE TITANS (mythical adventure with Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Gemma Arterton, Izabella Miko and Pete Postlethwaite) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): This remake of the 1981 Clash may be a technical improvement, especially in its CGI and special effects. But nothing is done to improve or 're-imagine' the myths about the demi-god Perseus or the other characters. They are all 2D! (Reviewed below)

5. DAYBREAKERS (vampire thriller with Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Claudia Karvan, Michael Dorman, Isabel Lucas and Sam Neill) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): An Aussie version of the vampire genre, Daybreakers does not break any major rules of the vampire myths but the atmosphere and effects are catchy. It is just too bad that the narrative is rather dull and static. (Reviewed below)


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