Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Second Chance (La chance de ma vie) (2011)

Imagine Hitch in French. There, you have a relationship guru who never gets lucky himself.

The twist here is he never gets lucky because he jinxes every woman he dates. They meet Final Destination fates.

This means the gags here are highly physical and visual - on the level of laughing at someone's outrageous (and yet silly) misfortunes.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published at 30 May 2012.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Men in Black 3 (2012)

Men in Black is basically Ghostbusters with aliens.

MIB3's gimmick is two-fold: It's not where the aliens are hiding but when; the straight man-funny man dynamic between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones is reversed when we go back in time.

Watch for: Will Smith proving that he's still a far better comic actor than a serious leading man.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 23 May 2012.

ATM (2012)

In this slasher horror meets base under siege movie, a group of yuppies are trapped in an ATM lobby by someone who's out to kill them in very creative, spectacular ways.

From the writer who gave you Buried, this premise is indeed promising.

Bad writing, preposterous coincidences, and a build-up of a critical mass of stupidity in its characters deflate the promise of the film's premise.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 23 May 2012.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Raid: Redemption (2011)

All action, all the time! The Raid: Redemption is an excuse to splice together a series of beautifully choreographed, long fight scenes featuring the Indonesian martial art called "silat".

It even plays like an arcade game where the hero must fight his way up to the final boss on the top level.

Watch as a doublebill with: Dredd, also based on the same tower raid premise.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 16 May 2012.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

British retirees find a second lease of life abroad.

The irony is this fish out of water comedy meets very belated coming of age narrative might make you feel very uncomfortable once you realise it advocates exporting the problem of elderly poverty overseas.

Watch for: a gathering of veteran British actors from the stage and film.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 16 May 2012.

Love in the Buff (春嬌與志明) (2012)

The gimmick for Love in a Puff (2010) and its sequel is the mash-up of the sexually frank romcom and the sitcom with young adults about nothing in particular at all.

The twist in the sequel: the premise is exactly the same even though this is a break-up movie. Or if you wish, a Hong Kong take on the remarriage romcoms Hollywood used to make in the interwar years.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 16 May 2012.

What to expect when you're expecting (2012)

There are two bad ideas that cripple this movie even before it starts.

1. Adapting a pregnancy manual to a narrative film.

2. Have the narrative film based on Rob Marshal's bland anthology movies (Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve), populate its cast with equally underwritten characters and non-sequitur arcs.

The result: a comedy only funny if you have the habit of laughing even at the flattest jokes.

Read my full review, first published at Fridae on 16 May 2012.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

21 Jump Street (2012)

Not a straight adaptation of the original, 21 Jump Street is about two very dim policemen who find themselves in a 21 Jump Street revival project.

It's both a cop buddy parody as well as a high school movie parody. Like Will Ferrell's The Other Guys, this film is fuelled by constant ad-libbing and comic mayhem.

Watch this for: Channing Tatum as a great comic actor.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 9 May 2012.

Fairy Tale Killer (追凶) (2012)

I'm being very charitable when I say Fairy Tale Killer is Oxide Pang's homage to the nonsensical, plainly illogical nature of John Woo's action films, transplanted to the murder mystery.

You'll laugh, you'll groan, you'll be shocked speechless at how an emotionally crippled cop spends an entire film solving a series of murders masterminded by a pair of idiot savants.

Who in Hong Kong film, apparently mean drooling, educationally subnormal morons. Yes, it's that ridiculous.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 9 May 2012.

The Howling: Reborn (2011)

The Howling/werewolf franchise gets a Twilight makeover.

As in literally, our protagonist is a whiny kid who monopolises the voiceover while mooning over this hot girl who hangs out with obvious werewolves.

Between the bad, bad premise and the bad, bad rubber suits, you have the ingredients for a cult movie night.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 9 May 2012.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Avengers (2012)

Getting a fanboy's director to helm a superhero movie was the wisest and most radical choice the modern studio system can make.

The Avengers, with its evocation of pulp entertainment, group dynamics, and serialised conventions of the comic book genre, is well-made and appealing to comic book fans.

No surprise that Whedon, Abrams, and other fanboy directors are getting drafted by studios to head more scifi/comics franchises.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 2 May 2012.