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Friday September 13, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday September 13, 2013 MYT 1:22:29 PM
Far from open and shut: Colleagues (Eric Bana, left, and Ciaran Hinds) discussing a point in their terrorism case in Closed Circuit.
Movie reviews for Closed Circuit, The Internship, Paranoia, Riddick, Pawn Shop, Jobs, Kick-Ass 2 and We're The Millers.
Note: The asterisks (*) at the end of each review denote a rating out of five.
TERRORISM is still raging today even when all kinds of precautions have been taken to neutralise it. One of those steps adopted in the West is the placement of closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) at every nook and corner. In research done in Britain in 2011, it was found that there were 1.85 million CCTVs around the country.
This British film starts with footage from cameras in a bustling market district showing a bomb going off. A suspect is apprehended almost immediately and a high-profile trial begins.
Well, not really – the film veers off into a political cat-and-mouse game between lawyers and the government, with an American journalist thrown into the mix. This is not a bad thing as the characters are brilliantly portrayed by Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Jim Broadbent and Ciaran Hinds, and the dialogue by Steven Knight is pretty tense, with each word cloaked with double (and sometimes triple) meanings.
While the plot does grab your attention, it is strange that the film only refers to CCTV as a reminder that one is constantly being watched and that the cameras can be manipulated to tell a very different story than the truth.
In the end, the one thing that you take away from Closed Circuit is that you should never trust the people who say they are doing something in your best interest. Is that new? – Mumtaj Begum ***
VINCE Vaughn and Owen Wilson take over the affable-everyday-guy role that used to be played so well by Adam Sandler, until he started making these really horrible films of late.
Apart from their characters’ incessant banter, this film is surprisingly watchable. It’s the old underdog formula again (and really, who can resist unwanted misfits and nerds no matter how much the film stereotypes them) and some spot-on jokes that make the film seem better than it is.
There are some bits that don’t really work – crass jokes about old people, a romance that falls flat and typical assumptions about the younger generation – but The Internship muddles through nonetheless and holds our attention for two hours. Plus, the film is set at Google!
Bill and Nick apply for an internship programme at this innovative company after finding themselves out of a job. Despite their lack of knowledge and skills in just about everything, they form new friendships and learn that it’s never too late to search for a new beginning. – MB ***
IT’S unbelievable that Hollywood is adamantly churning out movies like this when a number of TV series have handled the same material with more thought.
What makes matters worse is that the film features top-notch talents like Gary Oldman, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford and a definitely underused Josh Holloway.
But, of course, this film is meant to attract the younger generation, what with Liam Hemsworth and Amber Heard as leads.
No doubt they are two very attractive people who are dating two famous people ... seriously, that Hemsworth can do so much better than his current partner and, say, which Hemsworth brother is better-looking?
Yup, your mind will wander like that while watching Paranoia because it revolves around a single-layered character named Adam Cassidy who is recruited by one company to spy on its competitor. Adam faces a snag or two or three along the way – one of which is this beautiful girl. OK, I’ve decided; Chris Hemsworth is better looking. – MB **
THE synopsis for this movie is really simple: it is essentially Pitch Black (2000) set on a different planet.
Heck, there’s even a familiar name from the original sci-fi cult classic making an appearance in this second sequel.
And forget about convicted murderer Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel) playing Lord Marshal of the Necromongers, as seen at the end of The Chronicles Of Riddick (2004). That plot point gets conveniently pushed aside in the first quarter of the movie.
While it’s nice to see Riddick back in his take-no-crap tough-guy element, I’m disappointed that there’s no growth to the character or his story.
This is more of a movie for newbies to the franchise, I feel. Fans might want to watch it out of nostalgia, but I’d advise them to go in with lower expectations.
Generally, a fairly decent scifi action-adventure movie, with Diesel doing a star turn as an anti-hero. – Tan Shiow Chin ***
I JUST couldn’t help myself. This movie had me in stitches; unfortunately, I don’t think that was the filmmakers’ intention. Pawn Shop is what I would call an unintentional comedy. Some of my favourite sequences in the movie are the really weird scenes that had everyone going “What the ... ?!”
Best of all is the altercation that the hero has with a chair when he is “confronting” the movie’s ghost. I laughed so hard that I almost fell out of my seat. Plus, the hero gets to slap the ghost, again and again and again. I know, it’s a strange sort of story.
Don’t ask me why, I can’t explain it.
My friend, who is always too scared to watch horror movies, was so perplexed by the goings-on that she forgot to be afraid.
The trailer was promising and the premise, compelling; it’s a bad idea to trade your soul with the devil, in any case. The arty opening even looked impressive, but the rest of this low-budget flick had me in disbelief. So, if you decide to pay a visit to this Pawn Shop, be warned that you do so at your own risk. – Seto Kit Yan *
CORRECT me if I’m wrong, but the point of a biopic is to get audiences to better understand the subject the film is based upon, isn’t it?
Jobs, the 2013 biopic on the life of Steve Jobs, skimps on providing important answers and explanations to the Apple founder’s motivation and drive.
For one, viewers can’t really grasp why Steve suddenly got so inspired to live out his life’s calling.
We see shots of him shooting the breeze under a tree, and in what seems like an epiphany, he prances around a wheat field with his hands lifted to the sky, interlaced with shots of Steve and his pal Daniel backpacking all over India.
And just like that, the personal computer revolutionary is born. This barefooted college dropout is suddenly breathing down his colleagues’ necks for slacking and not caring enough about typefaces.
In another scene, Steve denies being the father of his girlfriend’s child, but with the wave of a wand, he comes to accept his daughter as his own by the end of the film.
While the film is chock-full of inspirational “dare to dream” and “change the world” quotes, viewers don’t really experience that “Aha!” moment.
After all, what’s there to shout about if we can’t understand and relate to the title character? – Kenneth Chaw **
I HATE to sound like anyone’s mother, but this is a really potty-mouthed movie. (And a sincere thanks to the censorship board for believing in the rating system and not chopping it all out, as it would have rendered the dialogue incomprehensible.)
The vulgarity outstrips the violence, in my opinion, but the scene that really takes the cake involves stuff coming out of both ends, i.e. toilet humour, literally.
I was excited to watch this movie as it seemed to promise a story about Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), one of the best characters in the original film.
And it does for the most part, before Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and the former Red Mist, now known by an unprintable name (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), pop back up to take over the story.
While they both do a commendable job, I would have preferred the focus to remain on Mindy Macready aka Hit-Girl, despite the movie’s name.
The sequel continues with more regular Joes becoming costumed vigilantes after being inspired by Kick-Ass.
The lad himself even joins up with a group of them led by Colonel Stars And Stripes (Jim Carrey).
The evil nemesis is of course, the former Red Mist, who proves that money can indeed buy you anything, including a really freaky Russian killing machine (Olga Kurkulina).
Do note that there’s a scene after the credits. – TSC ****
We’re The Millers
THIS one, folks, is utterly HILARIOUS. It’s almost impossible not to laugh at its witty one-liners, clever jibes and at times slapstick humour. Note that this movie is rated 18 and above, and for good reason – there’s a lot of swearing. I mean a lot. But the crude language and gestures strangely do not detract from the film.
Although the “we are family” concept is somewhat generic, the lead actors put a fresh spin on things. And it’s hard not to love.
Picture this: drug dealer David (Jason Sudeikis) loses his dope and money to what he refers to as “the cast of Annie” and needs to make amends with his supplier.
So he decides to assemble a “family” of misfits to smuggle a “smidge” of marijuana from Mexico across the border into the United States.
Why a family, you might ask? Well, it’s because the authorities don’t see clean-cut families as a threat (right).
So we have “mummy” stripper, Rose (Jennifer Aniston); the virgin “son” who raps, Kenny (Will Poulter); and a runaway “daughter”, Casey (Emma Roberts).
Oh, and be sure to stay till the end; the blooper reel before the credits is worth the extra time spent in your seat. – Karyn Anne ****
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