IF THE focus of this film had been on Jennifer Aniston’s character, this film would’ve been a total blah. Her character – like every other one she has played in previous romantic comedies – is your typical attractive woman who has trouble finding love. Hmmm ... whatever.
Fortunately, the film is actually about Jason Bateman’s character, Wally Mars, a man with a lot of neuroses and a number of bad habits. While he’s not grumpy, he only has tolerance for two people – his best friend Kassie (Aniston) and his boss Leonard (Jeff Goldblum).
It all starts with Kassie wanting to get pregnant clinically without waiting for the right man. Well, something goes wrong – just look at the title of the film to figure out what that is – and Kassie ends up with a son.
Now at the age of seven, Sebastian (Thomas Robinson) – surprise, surprise – is starting to show some pretty weird neuroses. There are really no surprises to the plot but the film is filled with unex-
Sammy’s relationship with Shelly, another greenback, is the core of pected funny and touching moments. Some of the funniest scenes involve Wally, Leonard and, erm, anchorwoman Diane Sawyer. The touching moments come when a relationship blossoms between Wally and Sebastian (a simply adorable Robinson).
If only a lot more romantic comedies had this kind of heart, the genre wouldn’t be so bad. – MumtajBegum ( HHHII)
THIS film is the stuff of everyone’s worst nightmare. Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) wakes up to find himself buried in a wooden box. He has no idea how he got there and, worse, how he’s going to get out.
His predicament is something we can immediately latch onto, not just for obvious reasons but also because director Rodrigo Cortes keeps the camera solely on this man trapped in a coffin, leaving us no choice but to watch in horror.
Cortes and writer Chris Sparling cleverly use a handphone to let the story unfold. With the audience’s attention focused on this man, his phone conversations clue us in on who Paul is and what may have happened. Remember, all this is done by never going above ground, which serves to magnify the emotions that Conroy is going through. It really is quite amazing how Cortes keeps the suspense going in that enclosed dark space with very little lighting.
I always considered Reynolds to be an unmemorable actor. However, with Buried, it is very hard to forget his voice and the terror that is ever present on his face. There is one scene which may seem like Cortes has overreached the suspense but, what the heck, the film meets its objective – creating horror at the most basic level. – MumtajBegum ( HHHHI)
Sammy’s Adventures: The Secret Passage
THIS 3D CGI flick has a 50-year-old greenback turtle named Sammy recounting the days of his youth, right from when he hatched on a beach somewhere in 1959.
You know that this is a kid’s flick because all the turtle hatchlings
know how to speak right from the get-go, and in fairly sophisticated English too. In fact, every animal in the film seems to have a pretty fair understanding of English.
But when Sammy meets the love of his life, another greenback named Shelly, while trying to escape from a bird soon after they hatched, I wondered who the writers were trying to reach with this film. I certainly didn’t think about this love stuff when I was a boy, because back then, girls had cooties.
This thread of Sammy’s relationship with Shelly and his travels with her form much of the core of the storytelling, as does the thread of environmental consciousness weaving its way throughout.
However, one must commend the filmmakers for trying to show the effect of humans on the world around them, good and bad. Well, mostly bad. Notable is the nightmarish, although very brief, scene of an oil spill, near the beginning of the story.
But the environmental thread does little to affect the destinies of the characters, and often seems like an aside rather than an integral part of the fabric of Sammy’s adventures.
So this is OK for the kids, but while I sort of enjoyed it, I don’t think this has enough meat for adults. At least, not this adult. – Hisham Zulkifli ( HHIII)
The Other Guys
YOU know those super cops you always see on TV and in action movies? You know, the cool, badass ones who look like Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and go around blowing stuff up, getting into gunfights and car chases, and catching the bad guys with not a single misplaced hair on their immaculately groomed head?
Well, this movie is not about them. It’s about the other guys, the ones who have to do the dirty work of typing reports, filing paperwork and putting up with all the other boring, mundane stuff that cops do. Guys like Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell), a paperpushing office crony who prefers to stay behind his desk, out of harm’s way; and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), an earnest, dedicated cop with anger management issues who aspires to be one of the supercops but is stuck with a deadbeat partner.
I have to admit, I’ve never been a big fan of Ferrell (too annoying) or Wahlberg (too whiny), but together, they are actually pretty funny. Wahlberg’s intense, rage-filled Hoitz acts as a perfect foil for Ferrell’s usual “clueless loser” shtick, and actually makes this movie a lot funnier than the average buddycop movie.
It also helps that they’ve got a great supporting cast to back them up, including Michael Keaton as the police chief who has to moonlight in Bed Bath And Beyond in his off-time; and the gorgeous and surprisingly funny Eva Mendes. Oh, and then there’s that brilliant, tongue-in-cheek cameo by Jackson and Johnson as the aforementioned “supercops”.
Never mind the rather forgettable plot, just watch this if you want some mindless, entertaining fun. – MichaelCheang ( HHHII)
Dinner For Schmucks
TIM (Paul Rudd) is an up-and-coming executive eager to impress his boss at his first ever “dinner for idiots”, a monthly event which requires each attendee to bring along a buffoon to make fun of.
His girlfriend (he’s proposed several times but she always says no) doesn’t approve of the idea, and Tim agrees to skip the dinner until he bumps into IRS employee Barry (Steve Carell), a lonely man with a strange hobby – he collects dead mice and builds elaborate taxidermy mouse dioramas.
Barry, nice guy though he is, turns out to be quite a handful – he quickly turns Tim into his BFF, but his social awkwardness and strange behaviour get Tim into all kinds of trouble, including bringing back stalker Darla into his life and driving his girlfriend away.
You’d think that with a pairing like Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, this movie would be laugh-out-loud, pain-in-my-sides hilarious, but sadly, it’s not. It has its funny moments, but unfortunately the laughs are few and far between. – NasaMariaEntaban ( HHIII)
Eat, Pray, Love
EAT? Yes. Pray? Yes. Love? Yes. Watch this movie? Er ... not really. Go read the book. Apparently, it’s much better. – MichaelCheang ( HHIII)
Are we related? Wally Mars (Jason Bateman, left) and Sebastian (Thomas Robinson) share some weird neuroses in TheSwitch.