Showing posts with label highlight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label highlight. Show all posts

Monday, May 11, 2009

This week's highlight: Star Trek!

If you're the kind who can't tell the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek, you'd likely not watch the latest "reboot" of the series, restarting the franchise with new actors reliving the adventures of familiar characters, albeit updated to current sensibilities. Similar treatments had been done and done successfully to the Batman and James Bond series. But based on what I've heard, this may finally be a rendition of the rather cult-ish sci-fi series that is meant for mainstream audiences, a.k.a. your "kind". The new Star Trek has the sexiest and youngest cast, as far as I know, and seems more action packed than the other Trek films combined. Friday U.S. box office receipts indicate a huge weekend opening take, while most critics reacted positively. Might be worth a watch.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This week's highlight: X-Men Origins: Wolverine!

Wolverine is arguably the most interesting and popular among the myriad of mutants that inhabit the world of X-men, despite having almost no significant offensive ability apart from his retractable and indestructible claws. His grizzled tough guy personality plays off to his team mates’ characters very well, but he rarely brings that magic to his comic book spin-offs when he becomes the centre of attention. Will the movie equivalent suffer the same fate? With the first cellulite appearance of Gambit, Tsotsi director Gavin Hood at the helm, and Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth reloaded, don’t count on it, bub. (Wait a minute, is that Cyclops in the poster?)

Monday, April 6, 2009

This week's highlight: Knowing!

Before you dismiss this one as just another one of Nicolas Cage's career disasters, Knowing is actually director Alex Proyas' latest movie, he of The Crow and Dark City fame. Coincidentally, Roger Ebert is one of the very few critics who lauded his new movie, just like what happened with Dark City before. I'll have to go with Ebert on this one, because I too agreed with him on Dark City. Could be the Speed Racer of 2009.

Alternative: chicks and fast cars in Fast and Furious (a.k.a. The Fast and the Furious 4.) I live my life a quarter of a mile at a time... (snicker)

Monday, March 30, 2009

This week's highlight: Gran Torino!

Clint Eastwood is 78 years old and still kicking ass. He's considered one of cinema's most iconic action stars, with memorable roles such as "The Man with No Name" in Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns*, and the blueprint for endless reiteration of the movie rogue cop, Dirty Harry. Nowadays, he's more into directing and acting in his own work, and has created Oscar pedigrees like Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River and The Changeling. Will Gran Torino be a reworking of Dirty Harry, like how Unforgiven was to his westerns? Nevertheless, it's just exciting to be able to see Eastwood sneering while wielding a gun in a movie poster again.

*There are only three with Eastwood: A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Monday, March 16, 2009

This week's highlight: Dragonball Evolution!

I'd love to recommend Departures, the Japanese movie that won Best Foreign Picture, but you and I know that we're all going to watch Dragonball Evolution this week no matter what. Not because it's going to be good, but more like to appease that horrible human side of us that can't help but stare at traffic accident wreakages. I do sincerely hope that Dragonball turns out to be at least an okay, entertaining flick, but it's hard to keep the faith when there's a Caucasian Goku kamehameha-ing in a fake CG-heavy world, sidekicked by the handsomest rendition of Master Roshi in the history of the original manga.

Alternative: The X-men-esque psychic actioner Push.

Monday, March 9, 2009

This week's highlight: Watchmen!

Of all the Alan Moore movie adaptations (V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell), Watchmen is the only one that I've read its source material. Watchmen probably inspired The Incredibles, set in a similar world that once loved and now shuns its costumed crimefighters. The book oddly veers between cliche and brilliance that you wondered if Moore only had a few clever ideas and filled the gaps with the usual superhero melodrama. At least the clever parts do stick in your mind, and all of the characters are compelling and unforgettable. It'll be interesting to see what Zack Snyder's "slavish" adaptation is going to offer on top of what's already in the book. (Snyder directed 300 and Dawn of the Dead 2004.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

This week's highlight: The Wrestler!

Next week's biggest mainstream movie would likely be The Pink Panther 2, but stuck in limbo on Golden Village's Coming Soon page is a little movie called The Wrestler, still scheduled on this page to premiere last Thursday. If you have already done your Oscar homework and sat through The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Reader, Slumdog Millionaire and Milk, take this one as "additional study material". I never quite got the appeal of Mickey Rourke during the Eighties, but the guy was great in Sin City, and now he's a Best Actor nominee for what seems to be a Rocky-like movie. Others of note: Takeshi Kaneshiro starrer K-20: Legend of the Mask, star-studded rom-com He's Just Not That Into You, and Leon Lai probably channeling Leslie Cheung in Forever Enthralled.

Monday, February 9, 2009

This week's highlight: Valkyrie!

Bryan Singer is still one of my favourite directors around despite making Superman Returns, one of the most stunningly disappointing movies I've ever seen. This is because Singer directed The Usual Suspects, an innovative take on the now oft-copied Rashomon plot device, and the first two X-men movies, which help brought legitimacy to the comic book genre long before Nolan's Batman movies. I really hope this is his return to form, or at least an indication that he's got back some of his mojo, because it'll be a pity that his career would flounder after only a smattering of movies to his credit.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This week's highlight: Underworld - Rise of the Lycans!

I'm the kind of movie aficionado who relishes in skewering movies like 10,000 B.C. and Ghost Rider, and yet still finds room in his cynical heart to love movies like Death Race, Silent Hill, and especially the Underworld series. Nothing deep to analyse here. It's just a matter of how you like your eggs done - sunny side up or scrambled. To its credit, Underworld's vampires vs. werewolves plot is much more compelling than Van Helsing's, and the action scenes, crucial to movies of its ilk, were pretty entertaining, especially the werewolf transformations. Rise of the Lycans depicts what transpired long before the events in the first movie, chronicling the tale of Lycan king Lucian and the tragedy that jumpstarted the centuries-old feud between the two fanged factions.

Monday, January 12, 2009

This week's highlight: Red Cliff 2!

Among the recent batch of Romance of the Three Kingdoms adaptations (Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of a Dragon, An Empress and the Warriors, etc.,) Red Cliff is the most entertaining and lavish in terms of production design. It's not perfect, but perfectly epic and grand, with lofty and mighty men (both in strength and intellect) crossing blades in great and important battles. Red Cliff 1's momentum kind of dwindled in the final scene, so it'll be interesting to see how the story continues and finishes in this concluding chapter. My knowledge of Chinese literature is hopeless, but from what I've heard, there's going to be some major betrayals, and men hugging, crying and dying together. Also, doves. Lots of doves.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

This week's highlight: Ip Man!

Firstly, it's "Ip Maa-an", as in "bun". Secondly, this is not a superhero movie about a guy who can turn into, or have the power of "Ip", whatever that means. Ip Man was actually the name of the man who taught Bruce Lee how to kick serious ass. With Donnie Yen as the lead, historical accuracy be damned; I just want to see some balletic bone crunching done better than anything Jet and Jackie could muster up in The Forbidden Kingdom. Keep an eye out for another Ip Man biopic in the near future, courtesy of Hong Kong film auteur Wong Kar Wai.

By the way, Happy New Year guys! : )

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This week's highlight: Australia!

It's high time we're getting an overblown epic period movie to chew on. Seriously, I want to love this. It's got Wolverine looking like Clint Eastwood in The Man with No Name mode (sans poncho, sadly), the always-game-for-a-sex-scene Nicole Kidman, beautiful cinematography, and probably the entire continent of Australia! But, uh-oh, critics aren't too happy about it. I have a bad feeling about this...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This week's highlight: The Good, The Bad and The Weird!

With a title like that, director Kim Ji-woon, whose last movie was the so-so A Bittersweet Life, is surely asking for it for homaging someone as high up there as Sergio Leone. His recent big win at the Korean Blue Dragon Film Awards helps though. Will catch it this Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This week's highlight: Madagascar 2!

Madagascar was one of the few Dreamworks cartoons that wasn't blatantly condescending. The first Madagascar paired up a lion and a zebra as best zoo buddies, but the movie was daring enough to explore the consequences of this unlikely friendship outside of the comforts of their captivity. However, at the end of the day, it's still a Looney Tunes type of cartoon with nary a semblance of logic in its "reality". Let's just hope the second one is even as funny as the first.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

This week's highlight: Quantum of Solace!

James Bond returned to our screens via Casino Royale (2006) with extra grit and brutality, probably in response to the increasingly popular Bourne franchise, and all the better for it. Though I missed the uppity suaveness of the earlier Bonds, Daniel Craig's more intensed version refreshes the stale routines of the franchise's fifty-year-old fomula.

Solace offers something rare in the series - continuity. Picking up from clues left over by his former love interest in the last instalment, Bond seeks out the one responsible for her death, and I'm not surprised if he happens to be another megalomaniac hell-bent on destroying the world.

No buts about this one. Go watch it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This week's highlight: REC!

It's that time of the year where most of Western civilisation dress up in costumes and knock on strangers' doors for assorted candies. Generally, there should also be an onslaught of horror movies also, but apparently we're only getting Saw V this year (unless you count Painted Skin and High School Musical 3 as horror movies). I guess the current financial crisis is enough horror for the year.I'm not sure if Thailand's The Coffin is good, but Spain's REC sounds pretty interesting, judging from the feedback at One critic said that REC is "a demonic, barnstorming, cinema verite horror experience that pulls few punches, fears no genre taboo, and reaches for the throat with delightful intimidation."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This week's highlight: Tropic Thunder!

Some people might consider Ben Stiller and Jack Black's movies to be the epitomes of bad comedies. And they're both headlining a movie I'm actually recommending we all should take a look. Why?

Four reasons. One: Robert Downey Jr. Two: It's a parody about Hollywood people. Three: Robert Downey Jr., playing a white actor playing a black character. Four: Tom Cruise's cameo.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This week's highlight: Max Payne!

Max Payne was one of my greatest video gaming experiences, mainly because someone was finally able to translate the John Woo style of slo-mo action frenzy into a working game format. It was one of the very first to allow players to effectively participate in the "bullet time" action instead of merely watching it transpire during cutscenes.

Ironically, while the game was highly influenced by cinema, now we have a movie that's inspired by the game. I'm not sure how it's going to avoid being yet another John Woo-inspired B-movie, made worse by the fact that its violent action has been reduced to PG-13 levels a la Die Hard 4.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

This week's highlight: The Chaser!

Sorry for the long hiatus, but there isn't any movie exciting enough to harp about in these few weeks, especially with so much more exciting (and scarier) news outside of movies. I would have recommended you try Mamma Mia until I found out that Korea's hit action movie The Chaser is finally coming to our shores. All I know is that it was popular, some critics said it was ok, and Hollywood's planning to adapt it. Opens 25 September.

If your money's not stuck with shares or AIA, you could throw it on Bangkok Dangerous or Babylon A.D. instead, but let the buyer beware.

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.