- House of horrors will bore viewers to death
- As bad as a Malaysian horror film
HAUNT is a haunted house film that is dull, unoriginal and not the least bit frightening. It has all the normal ingredients of a haunted house: a tragedy that befell a family living in a huge house in the past; ghosts that whiz past doors and corridors; ghosts that suddenly pop up behind people, especially in bathrooms; and strange noises that awaken people in the house.
The house, too, just like the ones in The Conjuring and The Haunting In Connecticut 2, is large and isolated.
- Excessive blood and gore
- It may be a man’s film but it’s ruthless woman who dominates the film
THERE’S no denying that 300: Rise of an Empire is ultra violent. The film doesn’t exaggerate when it says that the blood of soldiers cover a beach after a naval battle.
The hand-to-hand combat scenes put to shame the first film (2007) directed by Zack Snyder. A sword piercing flesh or skull is met by a crunching sound and the sight of thick blood splatter. It’s the film’s unfortunate lesson that the sight of a blood splatter soon becomes blase to viewers.
- Decently taut and fast-moving
- Old man Neeson can still kick a few butts
I HAD expected Liam Neeson’s Non-Stop to go the way of his other action movies. However, I was pleasantly surprised when the action potboiler kept me at the edge of my seat for most of the film.
Neeson gets to land a few blows on his enemies and he even snaps the neck of a colleague, but what director Jaume Collet-Serra does is to keep everyone guessing about the identity of the baddie. The action is quick and taut and the editing flows quickly. Malaysian films could learn a thing or two about editing from this film.
- Elderly man whacks European baddies while getting to know his estranged daughter
- Some parts are funny but film is mainly blase
IT’S the battle of the macho elderly men this week as Dances With Wolves star Kevin Costner goes head to head with Taken star Liam Neeson. Costner draws first blood with his appallingly boring 3 Days To Kill while Neeson takes a shot with Non-Stop.
Costner shows his virility and masculinity playing CIA assassin Ethan Renner, who’s renowned for his shooting prowess, but who’s shooting blanks at home as he’s separated from his wife and his estranged daughter doesn’t want anything to do with him.
- This is the best Malaysian film I’ve seen since I started reviewing films in September 2012
- Funny and touching but encumbered by slow pacing
BEFORE Cantonese-Mandarin film The Journey made 12.9 million ringgit (US$3.9 million) at the Malaysian box office, making it the highest grossing local film, violent Malay film KL Gangster had held that title with 11.7 million ringgit.
The road journey of an elderly Chinese man and his white future son-in-law takes them across Peninsular Malaysia and into villages and the even the home of an elderly Malay woman who used to be a classmate of the Chinese man.
- Dench’s performance will set hearts aflutter
- A moving tale about loss, friendship, religion, sex, manners and fighting for justice
JUDI Dench packs a big punch in director Stephen Frears’ Philomena. She plays an elderly Irish woman who has been haunted, by nearly five decades, of the thought of her toddler being taken away from her when he was 3.
And matching her wits is Steve Coogan, who plays an ex-BBC reporter who looks into her story to, at first, salvage his reputation, but later, learns a thing or two about manners, friendship and revealing the truth.
- Lifeless and humorless caper about finding stolen artworks
- This film is definitely not a work of art
THE Monuments Men is a monumental disaster. This light-hearted film about retrieving works of arts stolen by the Nazis at the end of World War 2 is lifeless and humorless. The motley crew of actors doesn’t have the chemistry evident in director, co-writer and actor George Clooney’s Ocean’s Eleven crime-caper trilogy.
Clooney was obviously aiming to recreate the bond among the actors in the Ocean’s Eleven films, but nothing works for him in The Monuments Men. It’s terribly slow and I suspect a susurrus of discontent flowed through the near-empty cinema hall.
- Disaster flick can’t make up its mind what it’s about
- Gladiator scenes and volcanic eruption scenes are nothing new
WHAT will viewers make of director Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii? It’s primarily a disaster flick, but it’s also about revenge, interracial friendships, horse whispering, a black man seeking freedom from slavery, and a romance that crosses class lines.
None of the secondary themes is well explored, thus, viewers just get a cursory look of it. The disaster scenes of Pompeii erupting are nothing that viewers haven’t seen before. There’s even a tsunami scene.
I’M scratching my head wondering why Emma Bank did not get an Oscar nomination for her turn as author P.L. Travers, who wrote Mary Poppins. Travers is cantankerous, sarcastic, a control freak, and deep down, still hurting from losing her alcoholic father at an early age.
Travers is impossible to work with. Disney wants the rights to her book to make a film but she throws up every single obstacle during the writing process. She’s a perfectionist who wants everything done her way. It’s her way or the high way.
Thompson is wonderfully gruff and curt. She reminds me of Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada.
The film is interspersed with Travers’ recollections of growing up in the Australian countryside. Her father (Colin Farrell) dominates her life and is loving towards her but he can’t stop drinking and that’s his downfall.
Thompson’s character is not empathetic but her performance will keep you entranced. Tom Hanks does a good job of being the kind, patient and endearing Walt Disney. This is great family film and it does a good job of showing how we want to preserve the memory of our loved ones in our writings.
3 1/2 out of 5
- Sappy and melodramatic romance film
- Because of the domineering father, film should have been called Daddy Knows Best
AS if it wasn’t enough that the price of flowers for Valentine’s Day had bloomed tremendously over the past few days, viewers will now have to spend a few more ringgit to watch the sappy and melodramatic Endless Love, a remake of the 1981 film.
My gosh, the two leads — Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde — are amazingly sexy and beautiful to look at. Their teenage love is simple, heartwarming and a bit hard to swallow.