Crowe to the res­cue

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES -

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)

Dan­ger­ous mis­sion:

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