An Inconvenient Truth


Director: Davis Guggenheim
Starring: Al GoreRun
Time: 129 mins
Genre: Documentary
Rating: PG
Will Appeal To: Mature Audience

No offence to anybody, but I wonder how many people will care enough to watch a documentary about global warming?

You may had enough reminder through your science/geography textbooks, or recycling bins around, or nagging from the “Clean and Green” clubs, but the haze all around us should give us enough indication – indication that we are not alone.

Al Gore, former Vice President of the USA presents this documentary in a sense of a lecture. Not the most interesting way, but the lessons are vital. The images and figures presented can be shocking to many, revolutionary to others, and life changing for some. The whole movie was basically a 2-hour plus powerpoint presentation. Yet the content and the charisma of the speaker was enough to sustain attention.

My only sceptical concern is that Al Gore may have a hidden political agenda. Though there were times I wished he won the elections instead. But what would have happened, it's anybody's guess.

I will do my part to save some energy and recycle bottles. In the meantime, you may want to visit to find out more.

An Inconvenient Truth – An important lesson

The Prestige


Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, David Bowie, Scarlett Johansson, Andy Serkis
RunTime: 130 mins
Genre: Thriller
Rating: PG
Will Appeal To: The curious who needs to watch a blockbuster

Hugh Jackman Movie 2 ; Scarlett Johansson Movie 2

Every great movie consists of three parts. The first act is called "The Story"; You will watch something ordinary, but of course... it probably isn't. The second part is called "The Twist"; There is a twist in the movie. You wonder why and want to search for an answer... you won't find it, that's why there's a third part, "The Revelation"; this is the part which will make you go "Orh... ..!"

The trailer's pretty exciting, matched with an interesting cast and director Christopher Nolan who directed Batman Returns and Memento. You expect something dark, and you get it. A story of two magicians becomes one of lies, deceit, rivalry and revenge. Johansson is back with more assets, and Jackman bares his top again.

I was told by many people to watch it as it was really unpredictable, especially the twist. Hmm... the movie tagline says "Are you watching closely?" Please don't if you don't want to know the ending. Observant viewers will know that the story builds up to the twist.

As I said, every great movie consists of three parts. After "The Twist". I didn't wonder why but hope there better be a revolutionary and logical answer behind it. After "The Revelation"; this is the part which will make many of my friends went "Huh? Chey!"

The Prestige – Some were thrilled. I was disappointed.



Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, Woody Allen, Ian McShane

RunTime: 96 mins
Genre: ComedyRating: PG

Will Appeal To: Strictly for fans of Woody Allen, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson (in that order)

Hugh Jackman Movie 1 ; Scarlett Johansson Movie 1

Hugh Jackson and Scarlett Johansson will be seen/heard 3 times this October. Do not confuse Scoop with Prestige, which has something to do with magic as well.

This is a Woody Allen film. I mean, not in the directing way, this is HIS movie. He steals the show, in a very odd sense of way. Although no specs or Journalist identity can deny Johansson of her beauty and ample assets, she was probably there for Woody Allen and the audience to ogle at as well. The same goes with Hugh Jackson who can't keep his clothes on for many movies.

This is about a student journalist who has a scoop to a murder, and ends up falling in love with the suspect. Predictable storyline with not much of a twist, unlike Match Point. You watch the movie for the clever one-liners. Miss it and it will go away.

Scoop – An Woody Allen showcase



Director: Christopher Smith
Starring: Danny Dyer, Laura Harris, Tim McInnerny
RunTime: 95 mins
Genre: Horror Comedy
Rating: NC-16
Will Appeal to: Guys who just want wicked and funny gore

Severance was rated a full 100% on rotten! Most of the time, films that score highly with reviewers are art-house productions or block busters. That is no easy feat, considering how critical some reviewers can get, especially with the horror/comedy genre.

Like all horror movies, a group of wackos (in this case employees from a weapons manufacturer) arrives at a dilapidated lodge for team-building. Sex and drugs aside, all is well till one of them lost a leg. The 'excitement' continues to be a competition on who will die first and most horribly.

You may wonder why this is a comedy. The filmmakers obviously knows what is going on with the genre. Dumb big breasted blondes, severed limbs and bloody killings can obviously drive the audience into laughs.

So if you are one who gets pleasure out of seeing others' pain and suffering, or wants more of Hostel-like movie, you will get a lot of blood and screaming women in Severance.

Severance – British humour in a scary way

Diary 妄想 (Chinese)


Director: Oxide Pang
Starring: Charlene Choi, Shawn Yue, Isabella Leong
RunTime: 90 mins
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Rating: PG
Will Appeal To: Fans of Twins and Shawn

I thank the Oxide brothers for directing one of the most successful Chinese horror movie The Eye. After a few unsuccessful attempts of a similar hit, they decide to try something thriller, and the results is drastic.

Charlene Choi from Twins play a highly imaginative, psycho Winnie who gets to know Ray (Shawn Yue) who has a splitting image of her ex-boyfriend Seth. Seth died of cancer. No, it was of car-accident. No, he could have been killed. Ray is actually Seth. Ray is not Ray, but actually imagination of Winnie of Seth... ... Argh! Does it matter?

Interspersed with CGI black clouds, giant puppets, horror music, and uneasy close-ups, this movie cannot decide what it wants to be. Look out for something which happened around the 60 minute of the movie (if you decide to watch) when the audience went "What?!" I didn't hear what went after "What".

The movie proves a few things:
1) Pang brothers should not do thrillers.
2) Charlene Choi can't act, or at least not as convincing as Isabella (who stole the movie in her ending scene.)
3) Shawn Yue is cool.
4) Filmmakers all shouldn't try too hard.

As one reviewer says, he/she nearly went psycho before Charlene did in the movie.

Diary – Help!

Sinking of Japan (Japanese)


Director: Shinji Higuchi
Starring: Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Kou Shibasaki, Etsushi Toyokawa
RunTime: 135 mins
Genre: Disaster
Rating: PG
Will Appeal To: Fans of disaster flicks (think pale-down version of Armageddon)

Many were looking forward to Sinking of Japan, especially when it was a hit about 33 years back. A lot of people around love watching "the-end-of-days" kind of movies and make themselves feel paranoid. If you have not got enough from Armageddon and The Day After Tomorrow, Japan Sinking may just be the alternative.

It is revealed that the island nation of Japan will sink into the ocean in less than one year! Earthquakes, tidal waves and volcanic eruptions roil the country, leaving millions dead and stranded. If you are there for the CGI, it is only impressive to a certain extent. It is one of those films that the best parts are already in the trailer.

If you are there for the story, I am afraid it is almost non-existent. Characterisation is not strong, and audience do not really care if the leads dies at the end or not (unless you are a SMAP fan). The love story in middle only serves to add mushy lines and plenty of minutes to an already draggy movie. Zzz...

A disappointing affair, as it could have packed more punch and emotions into it. We want to watch disaster flicks for two reasons: special effects and trauma. The scenes were shot too widely (thus you don't feel the impact) while the latter was not played to the fullest.

Japan Sinking – Barely staying afloat

Death Note (Japanese)


Director: Shusuke Kaneko
Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Kenichi Matsuyama, Asaka Seto
RunTime: 120 mins

Genre: Japanese Manga Thriller
Rating: PG
Will Appeal To: Manga Fans

What happens if you pick up the "Death Note"? This is a book where the people whose names you write on will die. I will probably throw the book away. The moral of the story: It's hard to play God.

Do not be put off by the manga background or the long and lame trailer. I was expecting some over-acting (of people dying of heart attacks), lame charactersation and bad CG after the trailer, but I guess I am very wrong.

I did enjoy it! Though there were parts I nodded off, it was an intense, twisted, clever piece of movie. The main credit lies in the original plot, and you never know what's going to happen next. Therefore, I won't say much.

It's more than just pure entertainment. There are some intense moments in the bus and train scene, and allows you to think about the thin line between good and bad.

My complain: Just as the movie is reaching another climax, I have to wait for Part 2. All right. I will wait.

Death Note – Original, clever and twisted

The Departed


Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Vera Farmiga
RunTime: 145 mins
Genre: Crime
Rating: M18 (Coarse Language and Violence)
Will Appeal To: Fans of Infernal Affairs and Crime Thrillers

Scoreboard of TD (The Departed) vs IA (Infernal Affairs)
1) Leonardo vs Tony(The Good Guy) - Tie
Both men portray the complexity with the right amount. Tony’s solemn and mysterious and Leo can really act.
2) Matt vs Andy(The Bad Guy) - IA
No doubt I always preferred Matt, he was bland and Andy is just cool and vicious at the same time.
3) Jack vs Eric(The Big Baddie) - TD
Eric, it’s NOT your voice.
4) Martin vs Anthony(The Chief) - IA
Anthony is just always freaking freaky good.
5) Vera vs Sammi & Kelly (The Woman) - Tie
Vera may look like Sarah Jessica Parker, but takes an insignificant role alike weakest links Sammi and Kelly.
6) Scorsese vs Andrew(The Director) - Tie
Andrew’s the original. Scorsese manages to make all 145 minutes exciting.
7) The Story - IA
I just preferred how IA could draw the parallel better between the two men. The ending was also more impactful.

The Departed - Both are great movies, but my personal preference goes with the original.

Exiled 放逐


Director: Johnny To
Cast: Anthony Wong, Francis Ng, Nick Cheung, Richie Jen, Josie Ho, Simon Yam, Lam KaTung
RunTime: 100 mins
Genre: Hong Kong Triad Action
Rating: M18 (Some violence & sexual scenes)
Will Appeal To: Die Hard fans of movies like Infernal Affairs and Election

(Review contributed by Vonjie.)

What its thin plot fails to impress it makes up with somewhat artistic orchestration. I hardly watch Hong Kong movies on big screen, maybe that’s why I started noticing the mists of blood radiating in slow-mo, and the chinking of the shells as they hit the ground, meticulously post-produced at the end of each gunshot in the dark. Or maybe the movie was just a little slow despite the action.

Part of the reason I was keen to watch this was its Macau setting (and the fact that I got complimentary ticket, thanks!). It was peppered with prettily framed shots of woman in European / Portuguese styled window and dramatic lighting within. I also recognize the colonial buildings, cobbled streets and even the shop interiors from a trip years back.

As my movie companions rightly pointed out, the movie stars almost every reputable Hong Kong gangster actor, including the veterans Simon Yam, Anthony Wong, award winning Francis Ng, Roy Cheung (Infernal Affairs) and Lam Suet (PTU). Definitely one for the die-hards.

BanBan says: Beautiful movie with little substance. Slow moving with thin plot. Strong cinematory with predictable settings. A movie to catch all your favourite gangster actors, including a Jonathan Leong (Singapore Idol runner-up) lookalike.

Exiled - Stylish wannabe

American Dreamz


Director: Paul Weitz
Starring: Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, Willem Dafoe
RunTime: 107 mins
Genre: Comedy
Rating: PG (Released straight to DVD)
Will Appeal To: Fans of American Idol?

A singing competition where more people vote for the idol than the American President. A British razor tongued judge. Wannabes. How much does American Dreamz remind you of American Idol? (Director claims that he didn't watch American Idol.)

American Dreamz is more than it. It includes an American president who doesn’t seem to know anything at all, and makes racist comments. Hmm…

This is a funny satire piece, especially when you are a regular American Idol watcher like me. I wished there was a Paula Abdul in the show, but some of the contestants were quite crowd pleasers.

Mandy Moore does a decent job playing a girl who wants to make her dreams big. Although it was released straight to DVD, it is funnier than some of the trash out there. Perhaps Hugh Grant doesn’t have that much star power anymore.

American Dreamz - Enjoyable but very forgettable

World Trade Center


Director: Oliver Stone
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Michael Peña, Maria Bello, Maggie Gyllenhaal
RunTime: 129 mins
Genre: DramaRating: PG
Will Appeal To: The "Magnitude" of this film should appeal to many

September 11 2001, it is a day which changed the world, and how we looked at it.

When scenes of the planes hit the Twin Towers five years ago, viewers stood shocked and baffled in front of their television sets, thinking it was a Hollywood movie. It was reality. Five years latter, when the Hollywood movie came, it did not feel like it.

Audience expecting the normal fanfare of special effects, huge explosions and plane crashing will not get any of that. World Trade Center is the story of two policeman and their struggles when they were trapped underneath all the rubbles.

Director Oliver Stone made an event of this magnitude and scale unexpectedly subtle. Some audience may leave disappointed if they were expecting more action. He possibly didn’t want to show some things which were already shown before countless times on television.

There were emotional moments, especially the hospital scenes towards the end.

I caught United 93 and the documentary sometime back, and it is hard not to compare the two. The impact of World Trade Center the movie wasn’t that strong.

World Trade Center – The action lies in its subtlety

You, Me and Dupree


Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Starring: Owen Wilson, Matt Dillon, Kate Hudson, Michael Douglas
RunTime: 110 mins
Genre: Comedy
Rating: NC-16

Will Appeal To: Someone who just wants to watch a comedy

The report card of The Wedding Crashers: Vince Vaughn took up The Break-Up and lands himself with Jennifer Anniston (!). Owen Wilson takes on another silly comedy and ends up with Kate Hudson (!!). The moral of the story: Funny people have all the luck.

"Two's company. Dupree's a crowd." Dupree (Owen Wilson) is one of your familiar best friend who overstays his welcome and crashes in the home of newly weds Carl and Molly (Matt Dillon and Kate Hudson).

I have nothing against with Hollywood comedies, but I just wished they were more intelligent. If they want to be stupid, then be downright dumb. You, Me and Dupree is somewhere in the middle, without a clear sense of direction. After you get bored with Owen Wilson, you realise there is nothing more to the story.

The cast's great and wasted. Matt Dillon after his win from Crash can definitely aim for more now. Kate Hudson's still the darling (She looks fantastic in the black bikini) and Michael Douglas was ... em... different.

The movie delivered some laughs and is sweet at times. But it ended kind of a stretch after an hour.

You, Me and Dupree – Overstaying its welcome

Rob-B-Hood 宝贝计划


Director: Benny Chan
Starring: Jackie Chan, Michael Hui, Louis Koo, and Matthew (The Baby)
RunTime: 131 mins
Genre: Action Comedy
Rating: PG
Will Appeal To: Fans of action comedies from the 90s

I grew up watching Hong Kong comedies from Stephen Chow, Jackie Chan, Michael Hui, Sandra Ng (Qi Meng!) and Wu Meng Tat. Though I was never really a fan of Jackie, I probably caught many of his old time movies, thanks to Channel 8 Chinese New Year programming and reruns, reruns after reruns. (How many times have you caught Police Story 1, 2, 3, 4?)

Jackie Chan is back, teamed with the memorable Michael Hui and OSIM model Louis Koo. It is not too bad a combination, and (surprise!) no "flower vase roles" this time. They play a team of skilled burglars who intend to kidnap the cute Matthew for a handsome ransom.

The story's nothing refreshing and the action sequences run-on-the-mill. Look out for Jackie frustrated look every time he runs. Familiar? Hmm... he has probably tried all kinds of props from ladders, chairs, tables, fire hoses to televisions. The baby pram might be a new one.

It's still a rather enjoyable movie. Louis Koo looks all set to cover all comedy roles, and his comic timing and expressions are just nice without too much of an exaggeration. (His character in the movie also reminded me of myself. Gasp!) Look out for other cameo roles such as the newly married Nicholas Tse and Daniel Wu. They can be quite hilarious.

The star of the movie is none other than Matthew the Baby. He makes me want to be a daddy. He is soooo goochy goochy goochy cute! Let's go together... Aww...

Rob-B-Hood – One for Louis, one for the cameos and one for the Baby

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