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HK Magazine - - FILM - Edited by Eve­lyn Lok eve­lyn.lok@hk­mag­me­dia.com

Ben Hur

(USA) A re­make of the mas­ter­ful 1959 his­tor­i­cal epic that no­body asked for, the 2016 ver­sion star­ring Jack Hus­ton (“Board­walk Empire”) and Mor­gan Free­man brings 3D dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy to the Bib­li­cal age and fea­tures a Jewish prince who spends his time some­times epi­cally char­iot-rac­ing and mostly pan­der­ing to Chris­tian view­ers.

The BFG

(UK/Canada/USA) Steven Spiel­berg brings the beloved Roald Dahl novel about a bul­lied gen­tle gi­ant to the big screen: Young orphan So­phie (Ruby Barn­hill) is snatched from her bed into a land where roam be­he­moth troglodytes hun­gry for “hu­man beans.” It’s a cin­e­matic feast for the eyes, and a rol­lick­ing romp into the Gi­ant Coun­try of our child­hoods. PPPP Call of He­roes

(Hong Kong) Sean Lau heads this ex­plo­sive new pe­riod ac­tion film by Benny Chan, along with Louis Koo and Ed­die Peng. Set af­ter the col­lapse of the Qing dy­nasty when war­lords ruled, a group of vil­lagers bands to­gether to over­throw an in­vad­ing tyrant.

Find­ing Dory

(USA) The much-an­tic­i­pated se­quel to 2003’s smash hit “Find­ing Nemo” fo­cuses on the lov­able am­ne­siac Pa­cific blue tang played by Ellen Degeneres, who goes on an ad­ven­ture to look for her long-lost par­ents. A feel-good film with more than a few teach­ing mo­ments, “Find­ing Dory” hits all the right emo­tional notes with plenty of heart. PPPP

Ge­nius

(UK/USA) “Ge­nius” takes au­di­ences back to the Roar­ing 20s, and all the heavy hit­ters make an ap­pear­ance: Hem­ing­way, the Fitzger­alds, and the man who cleaned up their great­est works, Max Perkins (Colin Firth). His next big­gest project? “Look Home­ward, An­gel” by the ex­ceed­ingly promis­ing (if not slightly long-winded) Thomas Wolfe.

Ghost­busters

(USA) The highly an­tic­i­pated gen­der-swapped re­boot of Ghost­busters fi­nally lands in cin­e­mas, this time star­ring Melissa McCarthy, Kris­ten Wiig, Kate McK­in­non, and Les­lie Jones. Bal­anc­ing glo­ri­ously un­sub­tle cameos and gra­tu­itous pro­tonic un­leash­ing with strong well-rounded char­ac­ters and hi­lar­i­ous ban­ter, the Ghost­busters are back—and they ain’t afraid of no ghosts. PPPPP

High Rise

(UK/Bel­gium) An adap­ta­tion of J.G Bal­lard’s slightly apoc­a­lyp­tic novel about a lux­ury high­rise filled with af­flu­ent res­i­dents with no rea­son to leave, as ev­ery­thing de­scends into chaos. We fol­low the in­san­ity through pro­tag­o­nist Dr. Robert Laing (Tom Hid­dle­ston) as he os­cil­lates be­tween ra­tio­nal and dis­turbed. A darkly comic class-war para­ble that’s com­pelling but doesn’t feel wholly orig­i­nal and is let down by some abrupt tonal shifts. PPPP A Holo­gram for the King

(UK/USA/France) Tom Hanks is a postre­ces­sion sales­man ped­dling holo­graphic tech to a pre-Arab Spring gov­ern­ment. Hanks just about man­ages to hold up this lack­lus­ter sham­ble through the desert, which may have been in­tended as a ru­mi­na­tion on the pres­sures of old age and re­spon­si­bil­ity—but turns out to be a suc­ces­sion of shots of our pro­tag­o­nist look­ing glum in a se­ries of dif­fer­ent rooms. PP

Ja­son Bourne

(USA) Matt Da­mon’s Bourne is back, and he’s get­ting closer to find­ing out the truth of his past while hav­ing to evade the CIA in this new post-Snow­den era. Like a fine wine, Matt Da­mon has aged well, but we can’t say the same about the shaky-cam di­rect­ing style and dis­ori­ent­ing car chases. PPP

Line Walker

(Hong Kong) Based on the pop­u­lar TVB crime thriller, this cops and rob­bers drama fol­lows un­der­cover agents deep in a triad net­work, re-emerg­ing into the world of high fi­nance and high level drug deals. Stars Char­maine Sheh and Fran­cis Ng, both from TVB’s phe­nom­e­nally pop­u­lar show “Tri­umph in the Skies.”

Lights Out

(USA) A good old-fash­ioned ghost story that hinges on a crea­ture you can only see when the lights are, erm, out. “Lights Out” links un­usual and vi­o­lent sight­ings with a woman’s (Maria Bello, “Prisoners”) past ex­pe­ri­ences in a men­tal in­sti­tu­tion and the strange friend she met there.

McDull, Rise of the Rice Cooker

(Hong Kong) When a mys­te­ri­ous alien oblit­er­ates the su­per­hero rep­re­sen­ta­tive sent by earth to meet him, who can the world turn to? A hum­ble pig from an even hum­bler fish­ing vil­lage de­signs a su­per ro­bot out of a rice cooker, and, with the sup­port of his com­mu­nity, sur­prises the pow­ers that be. McGyver? Think again: Must be McDull!

The Menu

(Hong Kong) A film se­quel to the HKTV show of the same name, “The Menu” re­volves around a group of news­pa­per jour­nal­ists who have to fig­ure out what to do when a bomb is det­o­nated in the mid­dle of a tele­vi­sion stu­dio by a man aveng­ing the grisly mur­der of his daugh­ter.

Mike and Dave Need Wed­ding Dates

(USA) As the ti­tle sug­gests, this Zac Efron/ Anna Ken­drick ve­hi­cle cen­ters around two rowdy broth­ers (Efron and Adam DeVine from “Pitch Per­fect”) who are co­erced into find­ing nice, re­spectable dates for their sis­ter’s wed­ding. In­stead, they get hard­par­ty­ing Anna Ken­drick and Aubrey Plaza.

The Shal­lows

(USA) In this ul­ti­mate sum­mer pop­corn thriller, Blake Lively spends most of the movie stranded on a coral reef a mere

200 me­ters from shore, and the only thing be­tween her and safety is a great white shark. But how does she know that the shark wasn’t just go­ing in for a hug?

Star Trek Be­yond

(USA) The third in­stall­ment of the re­booted Star Trek se­ries marks one of the last ap­pear­ances of An­ton Yelchin (RIP) as Chekov; opens on the 50th an­niver­sary of the beloved fran­chise; and stars Idris Elba as a preda­tory new vil­lain. Doesn’t quite top its pre­de­ces­sors, but it’s a rol­lick­ing good sum­mer ride with plenty of dat lens flare. PPP

Sui­cide Squad

(USA) In a world of su­per­heroes and su­pervil­lains, a rag­tag group of in­car­cer­ated evil­do­ers are called on by the gov­ern­ment to de­feat an even su­per-er mys­tery vil­lain. De­spite an A-list cast—Will Smith, Mar­got Rob­bie, Vi­ola Davis and Jared Leto—the movie doesn’t add any­thing new to an al­ready sat­u­rated genre. PPP

Vic­to­ria

(Ger­many) See re­view, op­po­site.

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