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The Switch

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)

Buried

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.

Sammy’sAd­ven­tures:TheSe­cretPas­sage.

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