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.