Thursday, March 31, 2011

WEEKEND PIC - April 1 - 3, 2011



a) DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART (romantic comedy with Louis Koo, Daniel Wu, Gao Yuan-yuan, Lam Suet and Terence Yin) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Cute is the operative word here and this rom-com is all about meeting cute and acting cute - all for almost two hours as we see the female protagonist (Gao as Cheng Zixin) string along two hapless men in a love triangle. The situations in the plot are rather contrived but we do get involved because the three leads are charming enough to sustain our interest. A good date movie. (Reviewed below)

b) JUST GO WITH IT (romantic comedy with Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Brooklyn Decker and Nick Swardson) Rated * * (2 stars): This remake of the 1969 Cactus Flower that starred Goldie Hawn and Walter Matthau gets the farcical Sandler treatment here. Sandler's comedy isn't easy to 'just go with it' - it sputters and chugs along with so many unfunny gags and badly contrived situations that even the presence of Kidman could not save it. (Reviewed below)

c) THE BUTCHER, THE CHEF AND THE SWORDSMAN (fantasy adventure with Masanobu Ando, You Benchang, Ashton Xu, Kitty Zhang, Liu Xiaoye and Swanson Han) Rated * (1 star): Don't you hate it when some ad-maker fancies himself a hot-shot film-maker and come out with convoluted trash like this? The story, about a mythical chopper, is told in layers-within-layers in tales involving three men (of the title). Director Wuershan throws in all sorts of crazy, pop culture stuff and even the aria from Puccini's Tosca to lend a touch of style to the scenes but it turns out to be a mess. (Reviewed below)


1. THE EAGLE (swords-and-sandals adventure with Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Mark Strong, Donald Sutherland and Tahar Rahim) Rated * * * (3 stars): A fitting 'sequel' to last year's Centurion, about a son trying to regain his family's honour by trying to recover the Eagle emblem of Rome's Lost Ninth Legion. The movie works best when it deals with the relationship between the protagonist (Tatum) and his British slave (Bell) as they journey into the wilderness of the north of Scotland. (Reviewed below)

2. WORLD INVASION: BATTLE LOS ANGELES (sci-fi adventure with Aaron Eckhart, Ramon Rodriguez, Ne-You, Bridget Moynahan, Michael Pena and Michelle Rodriguez) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): LA is under alien invasion again but this time around, it is not as silly as Skyline. Like the latter, it also concerns a small group of people - a platoon of Marines and a bunch of civvies. Of course, with Echhart and Rodriguez in the cast, be prepared for some incredulous gungho, kick-ass action. (Reviewed below)

3. SUCKER PUNCH (fantasy adventure with Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm, Oscar Isaac, Scott Glenn and Vicky Lambert) Rated * * (2 stars): Coming from Jack Snyder, the guy who gave us Watchmen and 300, this fantasy 'guilty pleasure' is definitely more style than substance with its plot about five nubile girls battling various imaginary villains and monsters in what may look like 'Inception-land'. Yup, its all visual candy with no sense of danger or suspense whatsoever. (Reviewed below)

4. BANGKOK TRAFFIC (Love) STORY (rom-com with Sirin Horwang, Theeradej Wongpuapan and Unsumalin Sirasakpatha-ramaetha) Rated * * (2 stars): This 2009 film took two years to get here - it must have been a really bad traffic jam. Aptly though, the film gives one the feeling of being helplessly stuck in traffic. It's about 30-year-old Muei-Ly (Horwang) who falls for a hottie engineer (Wongpuapan) - but doesn't really know what she wants from him. This render us in a two-hour ordeal of infantile comedy, incredulous dithering and implausible behaviour. Even if such a woman exists, who cares about her? (Reviewed below)


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