Wednesday 26 August 2015

Vacation ... Family fun

THE premise of Vacation is nothing new. A family in the funk pack up their bags and go on a
cross-country holiday to renew their ties, laugh more and appreciate what they have. This is the basis of transformative travel. 
  John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, the writers and directors, are basing their film on the 1982 film of the same name, starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo, who appear in the 2015 film.

Monday 24 August 2015

Two Days, One Night ... Saving her job

THE premise of 2014 French film Deux Jours, Une Nuit (Two Days, One Night) is unusual.
A blue-collar woman attempts over two days to convince 16 factory colleagues to give up their 1,000 euro bonus so that she can continue working.
   The other unusual thing about this film, directed by Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, is the portrayal of the working stiff by glamorous Oscar-winning French actress Marion Cotillard. Can she pull it off?

Saturday 22 August 2015

Sinister 2 ... Monster daddies

LIKE Sinister, Sinister 2 also involves someone watching 8mm or homemade movies of murders. There's not much horror in this sequel, except at the tailend, in which I found the cat-and-mouse game intriguing. Little blood is spilled, and most of the gruesome acts is seen on the blurry 8mm films.
  What I found interesting, however, is the family dynamics of the single mum and her two sons living in a farmhouse next to an abandoned church that was the scene of a mass murder.

Ladies shines at Havana Estudio

Choreographed by Aisha, Aug 22, 2015. 

Friday 21 August 2015

Inside Out ... Emotionally drained

I TAKE my hat off to Pixar for developing animated film Inside Out, which depicts how five emotions control the mind of an 11-year-old girl. Naturally, each emotion has a distinct colour, shape and personality.
  I enjoyed the tug of war between the five emotions, and I also enjoyed how two of them go on a road trip in the mind, with core theme islands, train of thought, dreams and subconscious. The animation is an explosion of rainbows and the creativity shown to depict the happenings in the girl's brain is nothing short of amazing, although kids won't understand these ideas.

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Straight Outta Compton ... Taking the rap

I WATCHED director F. Gary Gray's historical film Straight Outta Compton on Aug 19, just 10 days after the first anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri.
   I'm not sure if the filmmakers had wanted to release the film last week to take advantage of the controversy surrounding the shooting anniversary, but whatever the reason was, the film will leave an indelible impression on you.

Hitman: Agent 47 ... Daddy issues

ON the surface of it, director Aleksander Bach's Hitman: Agent 47 is about people having the right to determine who they want to be, even though they've been programmed to be killers devoid of emotions.
  Go a little deeper and you'll discover that it's actually about a pretty brunette's daddy issues, more specifically, her desire to find out why he abandoned her when she was 6.

Thursday 13 August 2015

Pixels ... Low scoring

ON the one hand, Pixels recreates 1980s' video-arcade games on a large scale, that is, they're part of an alien invasion. Viewers will love seeing Pac-Man played out on the streets of New York, with the protagonists using their innate knowledge of it to outwit this game of mass destruction.
  On the other hand, Pixels stars Adam Sandler and is produced by his Happy Madison company. Therefore, viewers will gobble up the screen when the arcade characters are on it, but will spit it out when Sandler is on it.

Wednesday 12 August 2015

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ... Bromance bummer

A FILM about thwarting an international syndicate from launching a nuclear missile during the 1960s' Cold War is nothing new.
   Viewers know how these films will end, with the baddies captured and the heroes giving themselves a pat on the back for a job well done.
   Viewers, however, may enjoy British director Guy Ritchie's The Man from U.N.C.L.E., based on the US TV series that ran four seasons during the 1960s.

Sunday 9 August 2015

The Four Feathers ... Getting his balls back

THE Four Feathers, released in 1939 on the eve of World War II, is a rousing call for men to charge into battle to regain their sexuality.
   Okay, that's not what it says on the surface, but dig a little deeper and you'll see that director Zoltan Korda's film is about an emasculated man regaining his balls by going off to war in 19th-century Egypt.

Thursday 6 August 2015

Southpaw ... Lacking a punch

I WANT to say right off the bat that the poster for director Antoine Fuqua's Southpaw is misleading. It shows Rachel McAdams holding the head of Jake Gyllenhaal in an embrace, leading viewers to assume that both will play big parts in this boxing film.
  Alas, only one person survives the early culling, and while Gyllenhaal  has the ripped body and acting chops to carry this film on his own, it would have been better to have the spunky McAdams with him.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Fantastic Four ... Fantastically dull

I'M having a hard time finding inspiration to comment on Fantastic Four, a reboot of the series from 2005 and 2007.  It is so painfully slow to watch during the first two-thirds of the film. The film finally comes alive in the final few minutes when there are explosions and editing is faster.
  Even the ending isn't exciting. The baddie, Victor Von Doom, who appeared in the 2005 film, has been stuck on a faraway planet for more than a year. After the Fantastic Four find him, his idea of destroying Earth is to suck up chunks of Earth and transport them to his new planet for energy through an intergalactic hole.

Trainwreck ... Nympho finds love

 A COUPLE, Amy (Amy Schumer) and Dr Aaron (Bill Hader), are having an argument. Aaron says
that he cares that his girlfriend has slept with many men.
  Amy asks him how many women he's slept with.
  Aaron: Three
  Amy: I've slept with three women, too.

  I found this anecdote amusing in director Judd Apatow's Trainwreck, a romantic comedy about a woman unable to settle down but finally learning to settle down with a geeky surgeon.