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Saturday December 14, 2013 MYT 3:09:00 AM
Saturday December 14, 2013 MYT 6:03:15 AM
Tom Hanks in one of his most memorable roles yet – as the titular character Captain Phillips.
ADAPTATIONS of true events suffer from one common problem – a spoiled ending. But even that doesn’t take away from the fact that Captain Phillips is easily one of this year’s most gripping films. Based on a true story, the movie is director Paul Greengrass’ multi-layered examination of the hijacking of the US container ship Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates. In other words, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour if you have absolutely no clue about that particular incident.
Despite its title, Captain Phillips is a film that, more often that not, stakes its plot on events rather than being character-driven; which makes the casting of Tom Hanks as the titular character all the more baffling. But if anything, Hanks’ captivating portrayal makes for one of his most memorable roles to date. – Chester Chin (****)
WHAT a blast this is! Daring heists. Multiple vehicle collisions. Cars and buildings exploding. Subways collapsing. Mega shootouts. This movie proves what I have been suspecting all along; that Andy Lau is no ordinary human being. How else would you explain how the man can walk away from all that with little more than a bloodied brow or a bruised cheek? Together with Gordon Lam, he also dives off a high-rise, tumbles down stairs, and fights atop a pa nel suspended between two buildings.
Thanks to action director Chin Ka Lok, Firestorm is an absolutely explosive affair; the firepower alone makes this gritty action thriller well worth the price of admission. Plus, first-time director Alan Yuen is a surprisingly solid storyteller, making this cops-and-robbers, good-vs-bad tale a compelling watch. Verdict: must-watch Hong Kong action movie of the year. – Seto Kit Yan (****)
FOLLOWING the success of Tangled and The Princess And The Frog – which highlight the strength of their female characters – Frozen showcases two “Disney princesses” who are smart and independent women who don’t wait for a Prince Charming to save them. There is a bit of romance, but that is covered swiftly.
Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) are two sisters who drift apart after an incident; the relationship remains strained into their adulthood until it finally breaks one day. While the songs are uneven, the visuals of a snow-covered land are pleasing to the eye. The film also carries an important message – of not letting your fears rule your life. – Mumtaj Begum (***)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
FANS of the first movie and the books will not be disappointed. Kudos to the cast and crew for staying faithful to the soul of the books and characters, while still making a great movie.
Although I still disagree with the choice of Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson have grown into their roles superbly. Their chemistry is particularly important here, as they not only have to pretend to be in love after their triumph at the previous Hunger Games, but must go through the emotional rollercoaster of being forced to participate in the upcoming Games as well.
The film is visually stunning and the emotional touchpoints, spot-on. Non-fans might find it a bit long, but it’s still a good watch. – Tan Shiow Chin (****)
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Entertainment, movie reviews, Captain Phillips, Firestorm, Frozen, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
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