BRIEF MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CASUAL MOVIEGOERS
Monday, March 9, 2009
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
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
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
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
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.