Fangs for noth­ing

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES -

WHEN a film re­volves around a real event, the au­di­ence pretty much knows where the film is headed.

So it makes sense that di­rec­tor Paul WS An­der­son would want to pay at­ten­tion to dig­i­tally recre­at­ing the erup­tion of Mount Ve­su­vius that de­stroyed an en­tire town and its cit­i­zens. While some bits of the re­cre­ation are pretty im­pres­sive – like the thick vol­canic fumes that black out the sun, and the ter­rain fall­ing to pieces – other parts feel like the di­rec­tor held him­self back in bring­ing this un­stop­pable force of na­ture to the screen.

This is a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing es­pe­cially af­ter all that over-the-top de­struc­tion in films like 2012 and The Day Af­ter To­mor­row. Then there is the aw­ful di­a­logue and the many one-di­men­sional char­ac­ters lit­ter­ing the film – de­spite hav­ing a num­ber of de­cent ac­tors giv­ing the script some sub­stance in­clud­ing leading man Kit Har­ing­ton. Pom­peii does have well-chore­ographed gla­di­a­to­rial fights and ac­tion se­quences, but other­wise it has very lit­tle meat to make us in­vest in any­thing that’s hap­pen­ing on the screen. – Mumtaj Begum ( was given to prop­erly flesh out the char­ac­ters as some of the di­a­logue is a lit­tle re­dun­dant.

On the bright side, though, the fact that Irene Ang, who plays the mother of An­gel’s for­mer flame, makes a straight-faced joke about her re­sem­blance to Phua Chu Kang’s wife – pretty hi­lar­i­ous. Over­all, it is watch­able. – Ann-Marie Khor ( “SO ... where is this go­ing?” Yeah, I don’t get it ei­ther. When three best friends who find them­selves at That Awk­ward Mo­ment in ev­ery dat­ing re­la­tion­ship, cir­cum­stances tell them that it’s time to grow up. Ja­son (Zac Efron), Daniel (Miles Teller) and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) are liv­ing their lives as bach­e­lors in New York City. How­ever, prob­lems in Mikey’s mar­riage cause a rift in the trio’s li­cen­tious life­styles. When his di­vorce be­comes im­mi­nent, Mikey and his bud­dies en­ter a pact to al­ways stay sin­gle and avoid com­mit­ment at all costs.

Mikey is se­cretly try­ing to rekin­dle his lost love, while Ja­son is jug­gling dates be­tween El­lie (Imo­gen Poots) and Alana (Ad­di­son Tim­lin), and Daniel has fallen for Chelsea (Macken­zie Davis). This film shows you that dat­ing was some­thing these guys weren’t ready for and that they were still stuck in the “fun zone”. Filled with typ­i­cal buddy com­edy mo­ments and in­nu­endo, it de­serves some credit for the lead ac­tors’ chem­istry. – Ron J. Backus (

IMAG­INE that you’ve tricked your un­sus­pect­ing friend into open­ing a shaken bot­tle of soda. You wait with ea­ger an­tic­i­pa­tion for the burst of foam. He be­gins to open the bot­tle but stops half­way and the gas just fiz­zles out. That’s ex­actly what watch­ing Vam­pire Academy felt like – it’s a movie filled with po­ten­tial but it ends up fail­ing on most fronts. Based on a book, it fol­lows Dham­pir- in-train­ing (guardians of the Moroi, mor­tal vam­pires) Rose Hath­away and her Moroi friend lines can be­come blurred for sci­en­tists like Dr Den­nett Nor­ton (Gary Old­man), who helps cre­ate RoboCop, and whose ethics go on a roller­coaster ride through­out the movie.

It’s about how the me­dia can be used for es­sen­tially pro­pa­ganda pur­poses, vis-a-vis the seg­ments of TV show The Novak El­e­ment hosted by po­lit­i­cal host Pat Novak (Sa­muel L. Jack­son), that are in­ter­spersed through­out the movie.

And of course, it is a re­boot of the RoboCop fran­chise for to­day’s au­di­ence.

It’s a de­cent watch, but per­haps not quite ac­tion-packed enough for pure ac­tion fans.

Try not to miss the be­gin­ning as it in­volves a cute segue from the MGM lion to Novak. – Tan Shiow Chin ( Vasil­isa Dragomir at St Vladimir’s Academy, a Hog­warts-es­que school that trains both Dham­pirs and Moroi to bat­tle the Strigoi, un­dead and evil vam­pires.

Trou­ble starts when the girls dis­cover that there might be an en­emy within the school. On the per­for­mance front, the ac­tors seem to be chan­nelling Kris­ten Ste­wart and the unin­spired di­a­logue does not help – Rose Hath­away (Zoey Deutch) comes across as just an­other an­noy­ing, smart-alecky teenager. As for the plot, one im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent is miss­ing: a cred­i­ble threat! The stakes (no pun in­tended) are just not high enough. The only mo­ment that brought me close to the edge of my seat was the fi­nal scene. If the film­mak­ers had taken the for­mula they used here and ap­plied it through­out the movie, we might have had a de­cent film. – By Di­nesh Ku­mar Maganathan (

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.