Thursday, July 07, 2011

WEEKEND PIC - July 8 - 10, 2011



a) Mr POPPER'S PENGUINS (comedy with Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Maxwell Perry Cotton, Madeline Carroll, Andrew Stewart-Jones, Clark Gregg, Curtis Shumaker and Angela Lansbury) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Looks like Carrey is back in his Ace Ventura mode of making an ass of himself with penguins. But no, this family comedy is more subtle than the Ventura flicks. What's more, the performances of the six Gentoo penguins, augmented by CGI (of course), will appeal to the audience, especially the five-year-olds. At least Carrey does not do poop and fart jokes - these come from the penguins. (Reviewed below)


1. TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON (sci-fi fantasy with Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey, Ken Jeong, John Turturro, Frances McDormand and Tyrese Gibson) Rated * * 1/2 (2.5 stars): Seen in glorious 3D, director Michael Bay's CGI effects and set pieces are awe-inspiring and visually spectacular. Indeed, he is so proud of them that he overloads and repeats the sequences, unnecessarily stretching the movie to over 2.5 hours. The opening act, involving a 'secret' lunar landing deal, is promising but after that, everything goes downhill. The comedy looks strained, the acting is mostly over-the-top and Bay's latest eye candy, the English Rose Huntington-Whiteley, makes the discarded Megan Fox look like an Oscar star. (Reviewed below)

2. MONTE CARLO (romantic comedy with Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy, Corey Monteith, Pierre Boulanger and Andie MacDowell) Rated * * (2 stars): Granted that this rom-com is supposed to work like a fairy tale romance but there are too many convenient coincidences and slipshod plotting to sustain our interest. This is obviously a vehicle of singer/child star Gomez but she fails to shine in her dual roles that are reminiscent of Lindsay Lohan's Parent Trap. There is no chemistry between Gomez and her love interest (played by Boulanger) and the only star that shines belongs to Meester who plays a stepsister to Gomez's character. (Reviewed below)

3. TREASURE INN (comedy in Cantonese with Nicholas Tse, Nick Cheung, Charlene Choi, Huang Yi, Liu Yang and David Tong) Rating * * (2 stars): Hong Kong writer-director Wong Jing is back with his usual bag of ludicrous tricks in this low-brow comedy about how two rookie cops (Tse and Cheung) try to solve the case of a stolen jade statue of the Goddess of Mercy. There are some attempts at spoofing the murder thrillers bit the movie is utterly derivative and a rip-off of Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer.


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