Monday, August 25, 2008

This week's highlight: WALL·E!

Likely the last good summer movie to arrive on our shores. If you're aware of Pixar's track record, which includes Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and last year's Ratatouille (let's forget Cars for a second), you know this'll be a good one. Critically lauded, box office friendly, cute little robot... still need more convincing?

Elsewhere, we've also got another 3D movie, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The 2D TV original was great. This new one got thrashed by critics. The animation is made in Singapore, so I'm definitely watching, out of curiosity.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Review: The Mummy - Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

The ideal companion piece to the Beijing Olympics. I'm being sarcastic, by the way.

"You can’t fool the audience by excavating the same mummy thrice (or can you?), so the filmmakers behind the third Mummy moved the supernatural shenanigans to China and made the murderous villain a Chinese Emperor. What perfect timing to release this movie during the Beijing Olympics..."

Read my full review here. Related reviews: The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns.

Monday, August 18, 2008

This week's highlight: Death Race!

Death Race is Resident Evil director Paul W.S. Anderson's remake of the similarly named 1975 futuristic B-movie starring David Carradine and a still-unknown Sylvester Stallone. Strangely, the original seems to be less PC than the new one, where contestants in an automobile race score points by running over innocent bystanders. The new version seems to be more conventional, with Jason Statham playing a wrongfully-accused convict trying his luck in the titular Death Race for a one-way ticket out of prison. What's very interesting is finding Joan Allen of all people playing the prison warden. If this movie's endorsed by her, surely there must be something worthwhile here. I'm crossing my fingers it's not another AvP crap.

Monday, August 11, 2008

This week's highlight: The X-Files - I Want to Believe!

This is a pretty late announcement, and the movie's probably finishing its run by this Wednesday, but I'm reluctant to suggest movies like The Love Guru, Space Chimps, Fate, 12 Lotus or Meet Dave, because their qualities are still highly suspect or for acquired tastes only. Sure, The X-files 2 was pretty much thumbed-down by nearly every critic, but with Roger Ebert, The Flick Filosopher and especially The Infield Fly Rule's endorsements, perhaps this is one of those movies that only fans will appreciate. And being a fan, I'm watching this. Also showing: Clive Barker's Midnight Meat Train, directed by Ryuhei Kitamura (Azumi).

A pretty good weekend

This weekend has been pretty good for two things: the Beijing Olympics and Singapore's National Day.

In terms of the Olympics, I've been a skeptic since day one. China has been experiencing a PR nightmare since the start of the Tibet incident, but not forgetting the "slavery" fiasco and all those numerous toxic products that got recalled left and right. But I really have to give it to them for the awesome opening ceremony that they put together on Friday. The British will have a tough time trying to outdo the Chinese in the next Olympics. I pray for China that the level of quality and dedication displayed on Friday would eventually spread to other aspects of their lives, and not just on sports, kungfu and Zhang Yimou.

I didn't see the whole Singapore National Day Parade on Saturday, even when it was broadcasted on TV. The Olympics opening ceremony set the bar so high that any parade or fireworks in the near future is going to feel inconsequential. So, rather than form a negative opinion about the NDP from watching it, I chose to avoid watching it. But I did see the NDP theme song video that's been playing on TV, sung in English by Singapore and Asia Idol winner Hady Mirza, and in Mandarin by pop star Joi Chua. And it was good. Like really, really good. Sounds less like an anthem and more like contemporary R&B (well, at least for Hady's rendition), it's catchy, strangely romantic but more importantly it's emotional, and emotions will touch more people than any fakey nationalistic ba-rah-rum-pumming anthem ever could. Joi sang it pretty straight, thus I prefer Hady's R&B spin on it.

I'm crossing my fingers that Malaysia's National Day theme song this year will be just as good. I also hope that the recent National Day budget cut's not going to affect its quality though. Uh-oh...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Upcoming movie: Appaloosa!

A Western starring Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris and directed by Harris himself, and nobody told me about this?? And what in tarnation is an Appaloosa? (Apparently, it's a horse. Hidalgo all over again?) Hell and damnation I'm gonna get meself a ticket this coming October the 3rd, mark my words!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

This week's highlight: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor!

For people who are confused by unwieldy movie sub-titles, this is the third installment in the rebooted Mummy series starring Brendan Fraser. In the US, the summer movie season is more or less officially over, but for us we've still have Wall-E scheduled way back at the end of August for some strange reason. Till then, you'll have to be contented with this widely panned movie, plus another equally deriled one, The X-files: I Want to Believe. There's still Money No Enough 2 to sate your appetite for local humour, or you could rewatch The Dark Knight like everybody else.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Disaster Movie - The Poster

Big price for figuring out who "?" is supposed to represent. Nah, just kidding. But it'll still be fun to do it, right?