May 2012 | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Review: PIRANHA 3DD (2012)


RATING: 2/5

For the record, Alexandre Aja's extremely gory remake of PIRANHA (2010) wasn't as good as one might suggested. But at least that remake have its fair share of guilty-pleasure entertainment, and you've gotta admit that Aja knows well a lot about how to make a gory movie. Now here comes PIRANHA 3DD (no, that "3DD" is not a typo error), a follow-up that I bet a lot of those who've watched the remake, are naturally expecting something "bigger" or "more outrageous". Heck, even this sequel has been heavily promoted with the self-proclaimed tagline of "Double the action. Double the terror. Double the D's". However, PIRANHA 3DD fails to live up its "double the (insert the pun)" promise and instead delivers more of the same without the technical expertise that Aja has fashioned rather well in his remake. This time, there's no Aja in sight here as the sequel is replaced by FEAST director John Gulager. And Gulager is no Aja. What you get here instead is a cheap and uninspired follow-up that makes Aja's PIRANHA looks like a genre classic.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Retrospective: What Makes Marvel's THE AVENGERS Such A Box-Office Phenomenon?


By now, I guess (everybody) knows how enormously successful Marvel's THE AVENGERS is, both critically and financially at the worldwide box-office. As of this writing, THE AVENGERS has already grossed an astounding $486.3 million in just 22 days at the U.S. box-office alone, and also earned its spot at No. 4 (beating STAR WARS: EPISODE 1 - THE PHANTOM MENACE's $474.5 million) for the all-time domestic box-office results! So deep down, what makes THE AVENGERS such a phenomenal summer-movie blockbuster at the first place?



Review: MEN IN BLACK 3 (2012)


RATING: 2.5/5

When we last saw MEN IN BLACK II (2002), that was like 10 years ago. So what's been keeping off MEN IN BLACK 3 to arrive sooner back then? To begin with, this long-delayed third installment of the successful MEN IN BLACK franchise has gone a treacherous journey to finally make it to the big screen -- troubled shoot without a finished script, production delays, and a particularly controversial Will Smith's 53-foot trailer (nicknamed "The Heat") which angered Manhattan residents during the filming process last year. And thanks to all the delays and hiatuses, MEN IN BLACK 3 costs a staggering $215 million budget to complete this notoriously-difficult production. When this movie finally came out, I went in with a low expectation (after all, a big-budget tentpole movie with so much negative buzz is always a disaster). But to my surprise, MEN IN BLACK 3 proves to be quite a decent sequel. The good news is, this third installment is a huge improvement over the messy MEN IN BLACK II. But the bad news is, this movie doesn't quite matches the entertainment level of the first MEN IN BLACK (1997).

Review: DARK SHADOWS (2012)


RATING: 2/5

Prior to the release of Tim Burton's highly-anticipated, big screen adaptation of TV's Dark Shadows, I admit I never come across this popular cult series before. But this four decades-old classic gothic soap opera proves to be personal favorites for both Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer when they were young. And it's no doubt that Tim Burton is a natural choice to direct DARK SHADOWS. After all, (nobody) does quirky gothic elements better than Burton himself. Too bad his eighth collaboration with Johnny Depp proves to be another creative misfire since their last outing in 2010's ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Not only that, DARK SHADOWS is also their worst collaboration to date. It's really hard to believe, especially given the source material that they suppose to pull it off with relative ease. Instead what you get here is a listless gothic drama that doesn't really goes anywhere (read: interesting).



Thursday, 24 May 2012

Review: GET THE GRINGO (2012)


RATING: 2/5

Lately, Mel Gibson's offscreen bad antics have really ruined his reputations as a Hollywood's A-list superstar. His previous two "comeback" movies, EDGE OF DARKNESS (2010) and THE BEAVER (2011), failed to ignite box-office success. This year, the once-bankable superstar attempts to make (yet) another comeback in a tongue-in-cheek, neo-noir thriller titled GET THE GRINGO (previously known as HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION). Here, Gibson who also acts, produces and writes the movie, made a boldest move by releasing his movie primarily straight-to-VOD (video on demand) instead of a wide theatrical release. Whatever marketing tactic Gibson is trying to pull here, the good news is that this movie does sounds and looks like a vintage Mel Gibson in a classic action-movie mode (at least that's what the promotional trailers have indicated so far). Make no mistake, GET THE GRINGO does possesses some of those quick wits and robust violence you've come to expect from an action movie starring Mel Gibson. It's only too bad that the movie is mostly a half-baked effort.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Review: WINNERS AND SINNERS 奇謀妙計五福星 (1983)

Review: WINNERS AND SINNERS 奇謀妙計五福星 (1983)

WINNERS AND SINNERS begin with a series of well-crafted introductions as we first get to know Teapot (Sammo Hung) who is a cat burglar trying to sneak into people's houses, only to be unlucky to land himself (conveniently) into a police van. The following day, unruly civil rights leader Curly (John Shum) who promotes the working rights of prostitutes got himself at the wrong side of the law when he unexpectedly causes his supporters to involve in an ugly fight. Next up, is Exhaust Pipe (Richard Ng) a thief disguised as a car washer who steals vehicle parts. He gets himself arrested for trying to steal a tire of a sports car, which actually belongs to a police inspector (Philip Chan). Then there's Vaseline (Charlie Chin), a well-dressed con man who swindles jewellery shops' most expensive watches (how he swindles his way out is simply inventive, yet hilarious), and finally, Rookie (Stanley Fung), who is a mysterious and rude stranger. All five of them end up in prison and eventually become friends. They promise to make their fortune together once they are released from the prison. Nevertheless being the eldest one, Rookie becomes the gang's leader while Teapot results as a subject of bully by others. Following their release, Curly brought four of them to stay together with his beautiful sister, Shirley (Cherie Chung). All four of them are so spellbound by her beauty each of them is challenging each other to court her. But Shirley is particularly fond of Teapot, which makes the others jealous. Meanwhile, the wealthy criminal Jack Tar (James Tien), who also released the same day, is involved in a counterfeit syndicate. One day, he sends over his son-in-law, Chai (Tai Bo) to make a counterfeit deal with one of the criminals, things goes wrong when two snatch thieves (Mars, Huang Ha) take away the briefcase. Coincidentally, the event takes place where a brave but careless cop #7086 (Jackie Chan) who is actually there for a roller-skating competition, stumbles upon the robbery and chases the two snatch thieves. During the pursuit, the two snatch thieves end up tossing the briefcase into the back of the van -- which ironically belongs to Five Lucky Stars Cleaning Company (yup, it happens to own by those five friends). What follows next is a case of huge misfortune as the five friends get tangled with Jack Tar.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Review: THE YOUNG MASTER 師弟出馬 (1980)

Review: THE YOUNG MASTER 師弟出馬 (1980)

THE YOUNG MASTER centres on a young and naive martial art student Lung (Jackie Chan), who along with his brother Lo (Wai Pak), are both orphans live in a martial art school owned by their strict Master Tien (Tin Fung). When Lo fakes an injury and secretly performing a lion dance competition for the rival school, Lung discovers about it but keeps it as a secret anyway. However, Master Tien eventually finds out the truth behind his humiliating loss of the lion dance and expels Lo out of his school. Lung is very upset over the matter and vows to his master that he will bring Lo back to school, all by himself. In the meantime, Lo is trying to make a living at the rival school in which he agrees to join in a daring jailbreak to free a high-kicking maniacal master Kam (Whang In-Sik). And that's where the complication starts: Lung later finds himself being mistaken as Lo for owning the similar big white fan and subsequently forced to battle with the local authorities during his quest. If that's not troublesome enough, Lung also stumbles across Marshal Sam Kung (Shih Kien), his cocky son (Yuen Biao) and his beautiful but deadly daughter (Lily Li Li-Li) in a series of comical misunderstandings.

Review: TWINKLE TWINKLE LUCKY STARS 夏日福星 (1985)

Review: TWINKLE TWINKLE LUCKY STARS 夏日福星 (1985)

Picking up where MY LUCKY STARS last left off, the famous five "Lucky Stars" gang -- Kidstuff (Sammo Hung), Sandy (Richard Ng), Rawhide (Stanley Fung), Eric Tsang (Roundhead) and Herb (Charlie Chin) -- are now having their good time vacationing in Pattaya, Thailand. During their vacation, Inspector Wu (Sibelle Hu) and Kidstuff are supposed to meet her informer, Mr Ma (Melvin Wong). However, Mr Ma ends up being gunned down by a trio of killers (Richard Norton, Chung Faat, Yasuaki Kurata). While Mr Ma is dying from gunshot wounds, he manages to tell Inspector Wu about a letter he sent to his friend named Wong Chi-Ching (Rosamund Kwan) in Hong Kong. Naturally, Inspector Wu and the "Lucky Stars" gang hurries back to Hong Kong where she puts Chi-Ching and her roommate Wormgrass (John Shum) into protective custody -- not surprisingly -- at the home of the "Lucky Stars" gang. With a pretty girl like Chi-Ching inside the house, the "Lucky Stars" gang take their opportunity to try all sort of mischievous ways to grope her or trick out of her clothes. Likewise, the "Lucky Stars" gang only start to get serious when they eventually discover the same trio of killers arrives in Hong Kong to obtain Ma's letter at all cost. Joining them in the fight, are, of course, two cops from MY LUCKY STARS: Muscles (Jackie Chan) and Ricky (Yuen Biao).

Review: POLICE STORY 3: SUPERCOP 警察故事III超級警察 (1992)

Review: POLICE STORY 3: SUPERCOP 警察故事III超級警察 (1992)


In this third instalment, Chan Ka-Kui (Jackie Chan) is assigned by his Hong Kong superiors (Bill Tung, Philip Chan) to go for a secret mission to assist the military police force in mainland China since he is highly recommended as a "supercop". Apparently, the military police force needs someone like Chan to help them nail an international drug syndicate run by Chaibat (Kenneth Tsang). But first, he must prove himself to the military police force's director Yang (Michelle Yeoh) by staging him in a martial art duel with the best fighter in her squad. He is then given a further assignment that requires him to go undercover in a prison camp, where he helps Chaibat's favourite henchman, Panther (Yuen Wah) to escape. After a successful jailbreak, Panther subsequently introduces Chan and Yang, who disguises as his sister, to Chaibat in Hong Kong. Both Chan and Yang manage to win Chaibat's trust, especially after showing their capabilities for helping his men destroy an army fortress run by a General (Lo Lieh) in Thailand when a heroin deal with him and other drug lords goes wrong. Soon after, Chaibat takes them to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where his imprisoned wife, Ching (Josephine Koo) is about to face the death penalty. He wants his men to help Ching escape from custody at all cost. But trouble arises when Chan's cover is blown after he unexpectedly runs into his girlfriend, May (Maggie Cheung), who coincidentally lives at the same hotel.

Review: THE ACCIDENTAL SPY 特務迷城 (2001)

Review: THE ACCIDENTAL SPY 特務迷城 (2001)

Chan plays Buck Yuen, a fitness equipment salesman who has long been daydreaming of wanted to get involved living the exciting and dangerous life of an international spy. His dream has somewhat come true when one day, Buck made headline news after he accidentally stops a gang of bank robbers trying to get away with the money. His celebrity-like moment quickly attracts the attention of Many Liu (Eric Tsang), a low-rent private detective who is seeking help to assist him in a missing person's case. Apparently one of Many's clients is looking for his long-lost son, and he figures that Buck is the perfect guy for the job. Of course, Buck ends up so excited to sign on for the job, where he subsequently being sent to Korea and meet a mysterious man named Mr Park (Joh Young-Kwon). Things get complicated when Buck wonders if Mr Park might be his own father, who has been disappeared ever since he was a child. He then subsequently joins forces with Carmen (Kim Min-Jeong), a beautiful journalist who informs Buck that Mr Park is actually an infamous North Korean espionage agent. When Buck confronts Mr Park, who has suddenly fallen sick. But Mr Park manages to tell him a riddle, that if properly decoded, enable to lead him to a great fortune. As Buck and Carmen attempt to uncover the mystery of Mr Park's final words, their globe-trotting adventures take them to Istanbul, where the fate of millions suddenly depends on Buck especially when he discovers a missing package containing a deadly virus called Anthrax II. The virus is used as a state-of-the-art biological weapon by Mr Zen (Wu Xing-Guo), a ruthless Chinese crime lord who is actually the mastermind of the entire plan. To prevent a global disaster, it's up to Buck and Carmen to save the day.

Review: MR. NICE GUY 一個好人 (1997)

Review: MR. NICE GUY 一個好人 (1997)


Jackie Chan plays a TV chef named (what else?) Jackie, who's an ordinary nice guy happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. While on the way back home, a television journalist Diana (Gabrielle Fitzpatrick) coincidentally runs into him while being pursued by a gang of armed mobs. Apparently, Diana and her partner have involved in recording the footage of a cocaine deal gone wrong between the Italian mob lead by Giancarlo (Richard Norton) and a street gang known as the Demons. Giancarlo orders his men to get the tape back at all cost. But Diana is lucky enough to stumble upon Jackie, who happens to be some sort of a martial art master (don't ask, it's a Jackie Chan movie after all!) and he manages to help her to stop the pursuers. However, that is the only beginning, when Diana discovers she has accidentally switched the tape of the cocaine trade with one of Jackie's cooking videos from a box of tapes. It gets worse when the gang of mob manages to track down Diana's whereabouts and subsequently gets Jackie involved as well. What happens next, well, if you have seen RUMBLE IN THE BRONX or anything else like it, it's pretty much the same old stuff.


Review: POLICE STORY 2 警察故事續集 (1988)


Review: POLICE STORY 2 警察故事續集 (1988)

In this sequel, Chan Ka-Kui (Jackie Chan) who caused severe damage in the public areas during the course of arresting Chu Tao (Chor Yuen) and his men has forced his superior, Superintendent Lee (Lam Kwok-Hung) to demote him as a traffic cop. While in the line of duty, Chan is surprised to discover that Chu Tao has been released out of jail because he is terminally ill from cancer with only three months to live. Despite that, Tao makes sure that he'll make Chan's life a living hell and assigns his bespectacled right-hand man, John Ko (Charlie Cho) to do the dirty work. After John and his men harass Chan's girlfriend, May (Maggie Cheung) and her mother, Chan gets upset and starts a fight at the restaurant. His drastic action forced him to resign and decides to do the right thing for May.

Review: THUNDERBOLT 霹靂火 (1995)

Review: THUNDERBOLT 霹靂火 (1995)

Jackie Chan plays Foh, a junkyard mechanic and a part-time race car driver who assists the Hong Kong police force to crack down illegal street racing in the country. One night, while on the crackdown, Foh stumbles upon a speeding black Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 driven by a notorious criminal driver Cougar (Thorsten Nickel). Foh takes over news reporter Amy Yip's (Anita Yuen) Mitsubishi FTO, who is actually doing a coverage with his partner Lam (Wong Chi-Wah), to chase Cougar along the street. Foh manages to trap Cougar in a police roadblock and has him arrested. However, Cougar is subsequently released from police custody, due to lack of evidence. But he has arrested again when Cougar's thugs attempt to make a mess at Chan's junkyard. A jailbreak ensues after Cougar's heavily-armed thugs raid the police station and gets him out of jail, resulting in a number of police casualties except the pursuing Interpol agent Steve Cannon (Michael Wong). Cougar proceeds to exact vengeance against Chan by rampaging his junkyard with a crane, injuring Chan's father Chun Tung (Chor Yuen) and taking his younger sisters Dai Mui (Wu Oi-Yan) and Sai Mui (Annie Man) as a hostage to force Chan to race him in Japan. With the help of Amy, Chan and his racing team are working hard to build a new race car and prepare for an upcoming car race against Cougar in Japan.

Review: RUMBLE IN THE BRONX 紅番區 (1995)

Review: RUMBLE IN THE BRONX 紅番區 (1995)

Chan stars as Keung, a Hong Kong cop who is on the vacation to New York (which is actually shot in Vancouver as a stand-in) to attend the wedding of his Uncle Bill (Bill Tung) and his wife Whitney (Carrie Cain-Sparks). Since Uncle Bill has decided to spend a honeymoon vacation with his newly-wed wife, he decided to sell his old supermarket store to a Chinese woman named Elaine (Anita Mui). At first, everything turns out well until Keung gets involved with the local thugs, lead by Tony (Marc Akerstream), who demands occasional "protection" money. Keung manages to fend off some of the thugs trying to mess up Elaine's supermarket store but the trouble doesn't stop there. One night, Keung is being ambushed by Tony and his gang and ends up being bashed up pretty badly. Keung is fortunate enough to receive medical care from Nancy (Francoise Yip), who has a wheelchair-bound little brother named Danny (Morgan Lam). Keung also discovers that Nancy is Tony's girlfriend. A series of further complications ensues when one of the gang members named Angelo (Garvin Cross) gets involved in an illegal diamond deal gone awry. Apparently, he ends up stealing the diamonds and hides them inside Danny's wheelchair cushion. Tony and his gang members subsequently become the victims of the illegal diamond syndicate lead by White Tiger (Kris Lord). Nevertheless, Keung gets caught in the middle, and forces to save the day.

Review: HEART OF DRAGON 龍的心 (1985)

Review: HEART OF DRAGON 龍的心 (1985)

HEART OF DRAGON focuses on the relationship between former SWAT officer and current Criminal Investigation Division (CID) agent Tat (Jackie Chan) and his older, mentally-challenged brother Danny (Sammo Hung). For a long while, Tat has been dreaming of becoming a sailor and gets his wish granted when he finally received a letter of approval. In order to fulfil his dream, he decided to step up and marry his longtime girlfriend, Jenny (Emily Chu) so she can take care of Danny while he's out at the sea. When Danny heard about Tat is about to go away, he threatened to kill himself because he figures Tat wants to dump him for good (much to what Danny's younger friends has said to him). Tat becomes frustrated and sick of the heavy burden he's been carrying all along, urging Danny to grow up and be independent for once. So Danny goes out to look for a job, only to be humiliated and ridiculed in the end. To make things worst, Danny gets himself unexpectedly involved with stolen diamonds, where he and his younger friends are playing cops-and-robbers game and inadvertently scares off a runaway criminal Cho Yee Fat (Chung Fat) into ditching his bag of diamonds. Cho's boss, Mr Kim (James Tien) suspects Cho of keeping the good for himself and sends his men to finish him off. Cho manages to escape and seeks protection from the cops, where he agrees to testify and helping them to nail down Mr Kim and his gang. Of course, everyone eventually discovers that Danny is responsible for the missing stolen diamonds. When Danny gets captured by the bad guys, Tat must take them down at all cost and saves his brother.

Review: CRIME STORY 重案組 (1993)

Review: CRIME STORY 重案組 (1993)

Chan plays Inspector Eddie Chan, who is assigned to protect a high-level, real estate tycoon Wong Yat-Fei (Law Kar-Ying) after he receives kidnapping threats. Although Eddie and his team try their very best to ensure the safety of Wong Yat-Fei, he ends up getting kidnapped after a gruelling car chase throughout the outskirt of the city. The kidnappers demand a $60 million ransom or they will kill the businessman. Realising Eddie has failed to perform his duty well, he does everything he can to locate the businessman and determines to apprehend the kidnappers altogether. But his action is constantly interrupted by his partner, Inspector Hung (Kent Cheng), who has secretly conspired with the kidnappers, partly to get back at the greedy businessman and also partly for the ransom money. Despite that, Eddie and his team manage to track down the kidnappers' hideout aboard a freighter. At the same time, he also discovers that Hung is part of the kidnapping after all. After a brutal fight in the hold of the ship in which Hung figures Eddie has already died from below, he has clearly mistaken. Eddie is lucky enough to be alive and returns with a vengeance to overcome the kidnappers and Hung once and for all.

Review: NEW POLICE STORY 新警察故事 (2004)

Review: NEW POLICE STORY 新警察故事 (2004)

Chan plays Senior Inspector Chan Kok-Wing, who leads a top police team, including his fiancee, Ho Yee's (Charlie Yeung) brother, Hong (Carl Ng). For the record, Chan and his team are certainly good for what they do as none of their cases has ever gone unsolved. Until that is, the arrival of the notorious Gang of Five, lead by Joe Kwan (Daniel Wu). The fancy-masked gang, which are all young people, spend their time committing robbery and killing cops for the sake of entertainment purpose. After the gang robbed a bank and executed a whole team of cops, Chan made TV headline that he will stop at nothing to apprehend them within three hours' time. Within a short period of time, Wing receives a reliable source of Gang of Five's hideout and quickly set out a team operation. Once they are at their hideouts, which happens to be a big warehouse, they never realise that the gang has already set a series of booby traps all over the place. Soon, one by one ends up dead and not surprisingly, Wing is the only survivor left. Ridden with guilt, he sinks himself into depression and spends all the time boozing around. A year later, Chan continues to become an alcoholic loser and does nothing until the sudden arrival of Fung (Nicholas Tse), a young man who disguises as a rookie police officer. He claims he is sent to help out Chan to get back on track. After several attempts, Fung has finally convinced Chan to return to normal life and starts everything new, including rekindles his sour relationship with Ho Yee. Soon Chan and Fung develop an unlikely partnership to track down the Gang of Five before they strike further chaos.

Review: POLICE STORY 4: FIRST STRIKE 警察故事4之簡單任務 (1996)

Review: POLICE STORY 4: FIRST STRIKE 警察故事4之簡單任務 (1996)

In this fourth instalment, Jackie (Jackie Chan) is a top Hong Kong cop whose service is required by the American CIA to tail a mysterious woman named Natasha (Grishajeva Nonna), who is travelling to Ukraine. His assignment is supposed to be a very simple task since all he needs to do is just follow Natasha until the airport in Ukraine. But being a nosy person as always, he gets himself caught in the middle of a bigger agenda. Apparently, Natasha is there to smuggle US currency into the former Soviet Union, which is meant for an international terrorist named Tsui (Jackson Lau), who also turns out to be a double CIA agent. Tsui uses the smuggling money to purchase a nuclear warhead from the Russian Mafia in a black market. Several complications later, Jackie joins forces with Russian intelligence, lead by Agent Gregor (Yuri Petrov) to help track down Tsui all the way to Australia. From there, Jackie meets Annie (Annie Wu), Tsui's sister who works at an oceanic theme park. Unbeknownst to her, Tsui informs her to hide a package which is actually contained the illegal nuclear warhead into the giant aquarium filled with lots of sharks.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Review: POLICE STORY 警察故事 (1985)

Review: POLICE STORY 警察故事 (1985)

Jackie Chan stars as the hard-boiled police officer, Chan Ka-Kui who is part of a dangerous operation to bring down Chu Tao (Chor Yuen), one of the area's most powerful drug lords. However the operation goes awry and Chan wastes no time to chase the bad guys and subsequently manages to arrest them. He also arrested Tao's secretary, Selina Fong (Brigitte Lin), who later forced to become an important witness. Chan is then assigned to protect Selina, even though she doesn't need his protection at all. To convince that she's actually in danger, Chan stages a mock attempt on her and ends up taking her to his apartment. A series of misunderstanding ensues when Chan is shocked to find his girlfriend, May (Maggie Cheung) has actually planned a surprise birthday party for him. Personal matters aside, things become complicated when Selina is found disappeared. Even though Chan manages to come up an evidence playing a tape of her testimony, Tao is released for the lack of evidence after the tape is found accidentally tampered with something else altogether. The worst case scenario struck upon Chan when he is being lured into a trap by Inspector Man (Kam Hing-Ying), a corrupted cop who's been secretly working for Tao all the while. However, Tao's right-hand man, Danny (Fung Hak-On) uses Chan's gun to kill Man and subsequently framed him for murder. Evading the police, Chan persuades Selina to break into Tao's computer at the office somewhere in a shopping mall for solid evidence to be used against him. Things go out of hand when Tao and his men spotted both of them. Chan has no choice but to single-handedly take down all his men once and for all.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Review: GONE (2012)


RATING: 1/5

On paper, Brazilian director Heitor Dhalia's Hollywood feature debut in GONE sounds like a potential psychological thriller: Amanda Seyfried plays Jill, a former kidnapping victim who also previously institutionalized following the death of her parents. She claimed she managed to escape from death a year ago when a mysterious man abducted her and dump her in deep down a well-like hole somewhere in Portland, Oregon's Forest Park. However the police found no evidence of the crime after her escape whatsoever. A year later, she is convinced that the same kidnapper is back for revenge, and this time her sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) has gone missing. Wasting no time, Jill races against the time to play vigilante in an effort to find the kidnapper all by herself, especially when the head of the police detective Powers (Daniel Sunjata) who previously handled her last case, claimed she is delusional all over again. So the biggest question: is Jill really delusional or Molly's sudden disappearance turns out to be true after all?

Friday, 11 May 2012

Review: CITY HUNTER 城市獵人 (1993)

Review: CITY HUNTER 城市獵人 (1993)

In this live-action adaptation, Ryu Saeba (or Mang Bo in Cantonese) is a private eye whose major targets in his easygoing lifestyle are babes and burgers. One day he is assigned to a case to locate a wealthy magnate's runaway daughter, Kiyoko (Kumiko Goto). However, he is also entrusted to care for his dead partner, Makimura's (Michael Wong, in a cameo appearance) beautiful cousin Kaori (Joey Wong), with the promise will not seduce her at all. When Kaori has a crush on Ryu and is jealous of his womanising behaviour, she runs off with her cousin onboard of an ocean liner. Ryu chooses to abandon his case and follows her instead. Coincidentally, Kiyoko also happens to be aboard the same ship and so is a gang of ruthless killers planning to hijack the place. Apart from them, there is a sexy female crime-fighter, Saeko (Chingmy Yau) and her assistant who has their plan to stop the hijackers. Then there's a gambler named Tramp Kao Ta (Leon Lai), whose deck of cards are lethal enough to be used as a weapon. Once the hijackers manage to take over the ship, it's up to Ryu to save the day by battling the hijackers and of course, the criminal mastermind himself, MacDonald (Richard Norton).

Monday, 7 May 2012

Review: SHAME (2011)


RATING: 5/5

An unflinching look at the life of a sex addict, British director Steve McQueen's SHAME is a fearlessly uncompromising, yet mesmerizing drama anchored by Michael Fassbender's tour de force performance.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

TOP 10 MUST-SEE SUMMER MOVIES OF 2012!




1. THE AVENGERS (APRIL 27)


At the time of this writing, Marvel's THE AVENGERS has pulled off an amazing estimate of $80.5 million on the Friday opening day at U.S. box-office, making it the second-biggest opening day for a movie ever (last year's HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS - PART 2 still hold the record with $91 million). This well-received superhero movie has already grossed $415 million in worldwide box-office.

Nonetheless, THE AVENGERS is a great summer popcorn movie extravaganza. You can check out my full review right here.


2. PROMETHEUS (JUNE 7)


Fanboys will be rejoiced that veteran director Ridley Scott has made a timely comeback into science fiction genre after previously helmed timeless classics including 1979's ALIEN and 1982's BLADE RUNNER. What's more, PROMETHEUS is actually a prequel to that groundbreaking ALIEN. Judging by the numerous trailers so far, this highly-anticipated sci-fi adventure shows a lot of promise. A classic-in-the-making? Probably.


3. BRAVE (JUNE 21)


Last year, Pixar suffered a (minor) setback in the heavily-criticized CARS 2. But this year, the animation studio is set to bounce back into top form with a Scotland-set medieval action-adventure BRAVE.


4. G.I. JOE: RETALIATION (JUNE 21)


Forget about the fact that Jon M. Chu is an odd choice to direct this kind of summer movie blockbuster (yup, he's the guy who helmed STEP UP 2: THE STREETS). Subsequent trailers so far has indicated that G.I. JOE: RETALIATION has plenty of stylish action and explosive entertainment to boot. After all, it's especially hard to ignore that more new iconic characters appear in this much-anticipated sequel. Case in point: Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock, Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye, Elodie Yung as Jinx and of course -- Cobra Commander!


5. ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER (JUNE 28)


The title itself is more than enough to warrant this as one of the most conceptual summer movie extravaganzas of the year. Cool premise, with plenty of stylish action set-piece. Simply love all the slow-mo glory, since this is helmed by none others than WANTED director Timur Bekmambetov and produced by Tim Burton himself.


6. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (JULY 5)


When Sony announced that they are rebooting SPIDER-MAN franchise, following from Sam Raimi's heavily-criticized SPIDER-MAN 3 back in 2007, I was shell-shocked. But subsequent trailers (especially the new one, where you can check it out below) has indicated that director Marc Webb shows a lot of promises in rebooting this much-beloved franchise with a different light. Among the most interesting factor about this reboot is the "untold story" of Peter Parker's (Andrew Garfield) parents, which is yet to be explored in any previous SPIDER-MAN movies. Plus, the acrobatic action sequence and the special effects are simply eye-catching.


7. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (JULY 19)

To me, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is the most anticipated summer movies of the year. After making such worldwide impact in 2008's THE DARK KNIGHT, I'm sure (everybody) are all hyped up to see how Christopher Nolan can bring his highly-praised Batman trilogy to an epic conclusion. The late Heath Ledger's iconic performance as The Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT aside, I'm eager to see how Tom Hardy can pull off a would-be amazing performance as Bane. After all, Bane isn't much a popular character in Batman universe especially for mainstream audience.


8. TOTAL RECALL (AUGUST 2)


Paul Verhoeven's TOTAL RECALL (1990) was one of the most iconic sci-fi movies of the '90s. Not only that, it's also one of the most popular movies Arnold Schwarzenegger has ever made. So a reported $200 million budget reboot sounds like a (terribly) risky choice. I mean, Colin Farrell stepping in as Douglas Quaid? But when the first full trailer arrived, I'm convinced that UNDERWORLD and DIE HARD 4.0 director Len Wiseman knows what he's doing. The new TOTAL RECALL is devoid of Mars setting, and the special effects shown in the trailer is top-notch and more high-tech. Plus, it's hard to ignore that Kate Beckinsale plays a bad-ass villain and Jessica Biel as the good side.


9. THE BOURNE LEGACY (AUGUST 9)


Let's get one thing straight -- Matt Damon is simply irreplaceable as the iconic Jason Bourne. So when Damon and director Paul Greengrass decided not to continue with the lucrative BOURNE franchise, all hopes are gone. But still, Universal takes a huge gamble by expanding the BOURNE universe by introducing new character. Then again, they made a right choice anyway by casting the currently on-demand actor Jeremy Renner as the lead. So far, the teaser has indicated that THE BOURNE LEGACY does evokes that familiar sense of sheer urgency previously seen in the BOURNE trilogy.


10. THE EXPENDABLES 2 (AUGUST 17)


More action, more iconic stars, and more of "everything". And the new trailer has clearly shown just that in THE EXPENDABLES 2. This is definitely a heaven-sent for all action fans out there. I mean, how often you get all those familiar iconic faces from the '80s and '90s action genre (Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many others) appear in one movie?




Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Review: THE AVENGERS (2012)


RATING: 3.5/5

Spanning three years of building long-anticipated convergence -- from 2008's IRON MAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, 2010's IRON MAN 2 to last year's THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER -- Marvel's most lavish (at an estimated $220 million budget) and highly-ambitious comic-book movie project to date is finally here. The good news is, after years of Marvel teasing the fanboys with post-credits teasers from each aforementioned movies, it's a relief that THE AVENGERS is well worth the wait. Credit should goes firsthand to writer-director Joss Whedon (TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse) for fulfilling the promise of creating a hugely entertaining comic-book movie that is both appealing to fanboys and mainstream viewers looking for an all-out, dazzling summer movie extravaganza.