WEEKEND PIC - Aug 20 - 22, 2010
NEW THIS WEEK
a) REPO MEN (sci-fi thriller with Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga, Joe Pingue, Liev Schreiber, Carice van Houten and Liza Lapira) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): The world of Repo Men recalls that of The Surrogates, with its 'hell-to-pay' systemof health care service instead of robotic clones. Technically, the movie is up to scratch but the narrative runs out of steam halfway - thanks to a weak script. (Reviewed below)
b) THE DESCENT 2 (horror thriller with Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Jackson Mendoza, Krysten Cummings, Gavan O'Herlihy, Joshua Dallas and Anna Skellern) Rating * * (2 stars): This B-grade horror is for two kinds of viewers: those who have seen the first and are unreasonably curious about this sequel; and those planning to 'score' with their dates. Other than these, I cannot see any reason why we have to descend again into an abyss of mindless conceit.
STILL GOING STRONG
1. THE EXPENDABLES (action thriller with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, Giselle Itie, Eric Roberts, David Zayas, Steve Austin, et al) Rated * * * (3 stars): Most of Hollywood's former action stars are gathered for this 'nostalgic thrill outing' for their fans. If you have high expectations, you are gonna regret, but if you are just happy with some popcorn entertainment, you are in for a treat.
2. SALT (spy thriller with Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alex Pettyfer, Gaius Charles, Victor Slezak and Marion McCorry) Rated * * * (3 stars): Jolie gives a jolly good account of herself as a double/triple agent in this Cold War spy caper. Expectedly, the plot has to be taken with more than the proverbial pinch of Salt but the action and the twists go well wit Coke and popcorn. (Reviewed below)
3. MONGA (Taiwan gangster drama with Ethan Juan, Mark Chao, Ma Ju-lung, Ko Chia-yen, Rhydian Vaughan, Jason Wang, Tsai Chang-hsine, Huang Teng-hui, Chen Han-tien and Hsing Feng) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Touted as Taiwan's New Wave cinema, Monga deals with a bunch of young gangstas in the 'hood downtown. It is interesting but rather amateurish compared with similar Hong Kong efforts. The main attraction for Taiwanese is the cast of TV heartthrobs. Not so attractive for others. (Reviewed below)
4. TEKKEN (action thriller with Jon Foo, Luke Goss, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Chiaki Kuriyama, Mircea Monroe, Gary Daniels, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Cung Le and Ian Anthony Dale) Rated * * (2 stars): Made in the style of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, Tekken is strictly for action addicts, with a weak and predictable plot and eyefuls of sexily-clad girls. The fight sequences get repetitive after a while but I guess its audiences wouldn't mind. (Reviewed below)
5. THE LAST AIRBENDER (fantasy thriller with Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi, Cliff Curtis, Seychelle Gabriel and Katharine Houghton) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 star): M. Night Shyamalan sinks to a new low with this insepid adaptation of the Nickelodeon TV series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Its childish dialogue and mispronounciations of names will not please any of the series' fans and won't win any new ones either. The special effects, especially its stunts with water are pretty fantastic though. (Reviewed below)
6. LOVE IN DISGUISE (romantic comedy with Wang LeeHom, Crystal Liu Yi-Fei, Joan Chen and Chen Han Dian) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): Directed by singer Wang LeeHom himself, this one is a right royal mess of over-the-top performances, an infantile script and juvenile jokes. LeeHom fans would probably like his music and songs here - and its promotion of traditional Chinese instrumental music. (Reviewed below)