Tuesday 29 September 2015

Everest ... Insurmountable problems

EVEREST is a white man's film. It belabors the point about white men's superiority; their innate goodness to their fellow man, and pregnant and non-pregnant wives at home; and that their courage is worth extolling to the world.
   The director, Baltasar Korm├íkur, an Icelander, and the producers believe that sharing in the pain of white climbers is infinitely more interesting than displaying the true grit of locals.

Monday 28 September 2015

Pawn Sacrifice ... No checkmate, just a draw

DIRECTOR Edward Zwick's Pawn Sacrifice is about the troubled and colourful life of former US world chess champion Bobby Fischer. Fischer, who died at 65 in 2008, was a chess genius, but led an eccentric lifestyle.
   For example, he wore a brown shopping paperbag over his head when confronted with a gaggle of photographers in an airport. He could not stand the slightest noise during a match, even asking for a TV camera to be moved further away. He believed the authorities were bugging his room, so he trashed his room to look for bugs, but, obviously, couldn't find any.

Thursday 10 September 2015

No Escape ... Asians are barbarians

NO Escape is about the lengths a father will go to protect his family.
  Mainly, it's about the supposed barbarity of brown-skinned Asians who run amok in the streets, even going to the extent of putting a pistol in a girl's hand and urging her to shoot her dad kneeling in front of her.
   It's hard to imagine being foreigners and landing right smack in the middle of a coup in an Asian country. They're jet-lagged, laden with heavy luggage and facing brown-skinned people speaking a bizarre language.

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials ... Lots of running

I'M tired of running, says protagonist Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) near the end of  Maze Runner: The  
Scorch Trials.
  That line sums up director Wes Ball's film, the sequel to last year's Maze Runner, which he also directed. Both are based on books written by James Dashner. And yes, it's a trilogy, with the final part expected in 2017.

Sunday 6 September 2015

Selfie ... Singapore swinging wildly

WOULD you kill someone just because she has a predilection for taking selfies?
    WHY is the detective assigned to the murder cases so against narcissistic people taking selfies? Did he take a look at himself sporting a designer stubble, wearing designer sunglasses and driving an Alfa Romeo car?
   WHAT proof does he have that people were dumber now than when they were not taking taking selfies?
   WHY does a 10-year-old flower girl in a white blouse pop up near murder scenes, and why does she stalk the heroine psychologist?
   HOW does the flower girl get away with murder, that is, how can she charge S$10 for a rose?
    AND, finally, what the heck is The Gimp from Pulp Fiction doing in Singaporean film Selfie?

Friday 4 September 2015

Contracted: Phase II ... Cheap scares

THERE'S only one word to describe zombie horror film Contracted: Phase II -- gross.
   The film focuses obsessively on infected humans exhibiting symptoms of a fatal virus. The camera  stays at half-shots or close-ups of an infected human coughing up blood, maggots in a dead person's cut-open brains, and blood dripping out of someone's nose.

Wednesday 2 September 2015

The Transporter Refueled ... Running out of gas

AFTER watching French director Camille Delamarre's The Transporter Refueled, I got the feeling that I had watched a lower-end version of Mad Max: Fury Road. Just like the latter, the former is supposedly about a man leading the action, when it's actually a woman who's pulling the strings.
   But that is where all similarities end. While the latter is smart, energetic and visually stunning, the former is lame, tired and repetitive.