Crowe to the rescue
WHEN John Brennan’s (Russell Crowe) wife is arrested for murder and sent to prison, his existence and perception of reality is shattered. John is convinced that his wife is innocent, even though her innocence or guilt is revealed only at the very end of the movie. Most of the film focuses on John’s arduous day-to-day life with a young son and wife in prison. His single-minded belief in his wife’s innocence, however, leads him to do the unthinkable – he devises a plan to break her out of prison.
While this sounds intriguing on paper, the film is a slow burner as it, rather painstakingly at times, examines John’s despair and the extreme lengths he puts himself through in order to break his wife out of prison. This is because John is a character study. He is an English literature teacher who drives a hybrid car and is now planning a prison break. So most of the time you, the audience, will be asking whether he really will go through with his plan. How will he do it?
So the film keeps you hanging on and when the attempt does happen, it is pretty suspenseful. I won’t spoil it for you and tell you whether he succeeds or not but the film does take its time. My complaint is that there is just too much focus on John, and not enough on the wife Lara (Elizabeth Banks) or anyone else. The film becomes single-minded, like John, when there should have been a bit more breathing room for the audience to take it all in and still be subjective about John and his motives. – RizalJohan ( HHHII)
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 1
AFTER six movies, we should be so familiar
English literature teacher John Brennan (Russell Crowe) finds himself doing the unthinkable as he prepares to help his wife break out of prison, in with the escapades of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), teen wizards from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
This latest instalment is a fantasy road movie based on the seventh and last book of the same name by J.K. Rowling. Fans of the franchise who have read the book will find the movie easier to follow yet might find it all too bleak and depressing. After so many adaptations, the spells are no longer as exciting and there are somehow more Death Eaters than ever.
Basically, the trio have taken up a mission to hunt for the remaining special items known as horcruxes, which contain parts of the soul of Voldemort or he-who-must-notbe-named, and have to be destroyed in order to defeat him completely.
Slower-paced and darkest yet, this visually exciting two-and-a-half-hour movie is the first of a long-drawn two-parter that harks to a promising finale. I’m so looking forward to July next year to be mesmerised by Part 2 in all its 3D glory. – SetoKitYan ( HHHHI)
IT’S an alien invasion! So what do you do? Run for your lives, of course! But what if the entire planet is surrounded by alien spaceships which suck people up like a giant vacuum cleaner in the sky? Well, you hide until they come looking for you. And that’s pretty much the story behind Skyline. It’s not the most exciting movie although it has potential. Because the cast is so unconvincing, you don’t really care what happens to them. Well, I didn’t, anyway.
The CGI is cool, no doubt. The design of the aliens and their ships is OK but it won’t make you go “Whoa!”. The purpose of the alien invasion, though, is rather puzzling. Initially, it seemed like human brains were a delicacy but we later discover that the aliens want the brains to transplant into their bodies as they don’t have enough brains of their own. It’s a strange kind of logic but they’re aliens and they want our brains, so too bad for the human race.
There is, however, one particular sequence which really stands out in the film – the airstrike by the US Air Force. Comprised mainly of drones and B2 bombers, it showcases incredible dogfighting on both sides, especially the manoeuvres of one B2 bomber pilot who flew as if all of humanity depended on him before getting close enough to the alien mothership and launching the missile with a nuclear warhead. Yes, it’s a bit like Star Wars but still, it was awesome. I don’t know if that warrants the price of admission but that part is worth a look. The rest, however, falls flat. – RizalJohan ( HHIII)
Rapunzel: A Tangled Tale
DISNEY is back with a new rendition of the Grimm Brothers’ Rapunzel. Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore) is a fair-haired princess who’s snatched from her crib and forced to live in a tower by a beauty-obsessed witch (Donna Murphy) whose youth can only be restored by those magical golden tresses. There are a number of funny scenes as well as some touching ones. Although charming, the story lacks the heart and magic that were apparent in previous Disney productions such as Cinderella and Beauty And The Beast. The characters seem to lack a certain feel and presence that would make them more memorable. Having said that, Rapunzel is recommended for families with young children. – Cheryl Poo ( HHHII)