Thursday, March 10, 2011

WEEKEND PIC - March 11 - 13, 2011



a) UNKNOWN (suspense thriller with Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz, Frank Langella and Sebastian Koch) Rated * * * (3 stars): With Neeson in the lead, this one is touted as Taken 2 but it is actually based on a French novel by Didier Van Cauwelaert. The first half keeps us in suspense as to Neeson's character's stolen identity, while the other consists of chases, flights and twists. Like Taken, the plot is preposterous but it has a bit more depth. (Reviewed below)

b) RANGO (animated Wild West spoof with Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, Timothy Olyphant and Ned Beatty) Rated * * * (3 stars): Coming from Gore Verbinski, the guy who helmed the Pirates of the Caribbean films, this spoof on spaghetti westerns is cute, creative and visually arresting. The characters - lizards, singing owls, rodents, tortoises and a snake - look mighty real and well-developed. The narrative drags a bit but it is quirky fun on the whole. (Reviewed below)

c) MARS NEEDS MOMS (animated space adventure with Seth Green, Joan Cusack, Elisabeth Harnois, Dan Fogler, Mindy Sterling, Julene Renee, Ryan Ochoa and Jacquie Barnbrook) Rated * * * (3 stars): As you may suspect from its title, this Disney offering is more for younger children - those who refuse to eat their veggies - than for the teens. But parents will definitely like its message and its Pandora-styled sequences that are reminiscent of Avatar. For those who liked How To Train Your Dragon. (Reviewed below)

d) BEASTLY (romance fantasy with Vanessa Hudgens, Alex Pettyfer, Mary-Kate Olsen, Peter Krause, Lisa Gay Hamilton and Neil Patrick Harris) Rated * 1/2 (1.5 stars): The film-makers must have targeted this modern-day version of Beauty & The Beast fairy tale at the Twilight crowd. But after watching this lame attempt I gained a new respect for the Twilight flicks. The story and the acting suck - and the Beast's make-up looks like a Halloween stunt. (Reviewed below)

e) BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON (comedy with Martin Lawrence, Brandon T. Jackson, Jessica Lucas and Lorenzo Pisoni) Rated * (1 star): Watching another shitty unfunny comedy with Martin Lawrence in fat-suit is bad enough. Watching both Lawrence and Brandon T. Jackson doing this sh*t is sheer torture that no one should go through. Unless you are a masochist...


1. THE FIGHTER (boxing drama with Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, Robert Wahlberg, Dendrie Taylor, Jack McGee, Jenna Lamia, Salvatore Santone and Chanty Sok) Rated * * * 1/2 (3.5 stars): The true story of welterweight champ Mickey Ward (Wahlberg) is not just the usual underdog in the ring tale. Besides crushing odds in his matches, Mickey also has to contend with a domineering mother (played by Oscar-winning Leo) and a drug-addict has-been boxer of a brother (Oscar-winning Bale) in his bid for the title. Throw in another note-worthy performance by Adams, and we have a winner of a boxing drama directed with finesse by David O. Russell. (Reviewed below)

2. 127 HOURS (adventure drama with James Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn) Rated * * * (3 stars): Although this Danny (Slumdog Milllionaire) Boyle effort came out empty handed at the Oscars, it is another engaging rendition of the real-life story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's ordeal in the isolated Blue John Canyon in Utah in 2003. It offers the best performance of Franco's career as well as an inspired music score by A.R. Rahman. A must for adventure fans. (Check out the review here)

3. THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (sci-fi romance with Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Michael Kelly, Terence Stamp, Donnie Keshawarz and David Bishins) Rated * * * (3 stars): Touted as 'Bourne meets Inception', this adaptation of Philip K. Dick's short story, Adjustment Team, is actually rewritten as a love story caught in the tussle between Fate and Free Will. It is at times intriguing and downright silly but with the sparkling chemistry generated by Damon and Blunt, the romance tale is engaging enough. (Reviewed below)


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