Balls of Fury (Film)


Director: Ben Garant
Cast: Christopher Walken, Dan Fogler, George Lopez, Maggie Q, Robert Patrick, Thomas Lennon
RunTime: 90 mins
Genre: Action/Comedy
Rating: PG (Some Coarse Humour)

What it sounds like: Privates of angry wrestlers

What it actually is: Comedy about a former child star ping-pong player Randy Daytona who goes undercover to smoke out a notorious ping-pong master Feng. He falls in love with his kung-fu fighting teacher Maggie (Maggie Q).

What it really, really is: A ridiculous pales down version of Dodgeball who makes fun of Chinese, kuai lohs (caucasians) fat slobs, FBI agents, and whores.

Why it is worth $9:50: Its cast! Dang Fogler playing Randy Daytona is a fatter but more endearing Jack Black; Maggie Q adds to the sizzle factor; James Hong playing Master Wong sprouting Cantonese insults is just a classic act. Look out for Jason Scott Lee who is unrecognizable as the brawny but brainless player. If you don’t really care about all this, then wait for its cable telecast 3 years later.

Quote of the Day:
It is better to die like a tiger, than to live like a pussy.

Balls of Fury - Funny lah! But that's about it.

Planet Terror (Film)


Director: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin, Michael Biehn, Naveen Andrews, Electra Avellan, Elise Avellan
RunTime: 104 mins
Genre: Sci-Fi/Thriller
Rating: R21

What it sounds like: Earth when it is full of screaming children

What it actually is: A rural town in Texas starts going amok when a deadly biochemical agent turns everyone into zombies. Those who will save the town include a go-go dancer, deranged lesbian anesthesiologist and the killer of Osama Bin Laden. (Oh common, you can't take this movie too seriously!)

What it really, really is: Robert Rodriguez’s collaboration with Quentin Tarantino to pay tribute to all the “B movies” in the world. The movie is so bad; it’s very, very good.

Why it is worth $9:50: Rose McGowen (from Charmed) who plays the go-go dancer which will give a new meaning to sexy and ‘kick a leg’. The best part of the movie is the first five minutes, so don’t miss it!

Quotes of the Day: I'm gonna eat your brains and gain your knowledge.

Planet Terror – ‘Terrifying’ fun!

Me... Myself (Film)


Director: Pongpat Wachirabunjong
Cast: Ananda Everingham, Chayanan Manomaisnatiphap
Genre: Drama
Rating: M18 (Mature Content)

What it sounds like: A prequel to Jim Carrey’s comedy.

What it actually is: A Thai romantic film staring Ananda Everingham (of Shutter fame) who plays a male dancer in a transvestite cabaret. After suffering from amnesia from a car accident, he falls in love with a free-spirited creative director, who whines a lot more than him.

What it really, really is: A ‘Korean type’ love story that has a lead actress that looks every bit Korean, and with acting skills that would make Fiona Xie's and Dawn Yeoh's award-winning. Ladies often hold their breath looking at the male lead, a cross between Tony Leung and Pierre Png. Slow walks, lost memories, ill-fated lovers, enchanting music and tears-inducing scenes – The Thais can do it as well as the Koreans.

Why it is worth $9.50: Pronounce with me…. Ananda Everingham. With it’s sensitive take on gender issues, Thailand is probably the only country who can film a movie of such context.

Lesson of the day: Before you mock people who are different at Changi Village, they can be just the same as you and I.

Me... Myself - Part soap, part hope

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (Film)


Director: Dennis Dugan
Cast : Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel
RunTime: 115 mins
Released By: UIP
Genre: Comedy
Rating: M18 (Some Homosexual Content)

I always wonder which would be funnier: Straight men acting gay or gay men acting straight. Wait! The first has become a comedy, while the latter is reality!

Yet another gay comedy has arrived to our shores, rated just M18 and a only 25 minutes censored. We should be thankful for this, otherwise it’s would be just a prolonged movie of more queer jokes.

Adam Sandler and Kevin James are Chuck and Larry, two straight firefighters who pretend to be homosexuals and applied for domestic partnership, so that one can be the beneficiary of some insurance policies. Not a very believable excuse for anybody to marry their best friend. Let’s not bother too much about logic in an Adam Sandler’s movie.

Yes, there were some laughter and shrieks in the cinema, while I was shaking my head in disbelief. This comedy has become America’s number 1 movie, which shows cheap entertainment has its appeal. Perhaps crude humour, crass language, stereotypical portrayals, big male buttocks and sexual personification of women is just not my cup of tea.

Actually, I have full respect for the cast such as Adam Sandler and ever sexy Jessica Biel, for the kind of charisma they strangely have. Perhaps they can pick better scripts the next time.

This movie attempts to dispel all stereotypes and tell us that gay people are can be very nice and become good friends, ironically just reinforces on all the other negativity.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry – Laughable and forgettable

Sicko (Film)


Director: Michael Moore
Cast: Michael Moore
Runtime: 2 hrs
Genre: Documentary
Rating: PG

I often hear some old people say they would rather die than get sick. Not because they cannot take the sufferings, but due to the escalating medical bills. It can be rather devastating to have a life time of savings wiped out due to an illness or major operation.

Imagine this: After losing two of your fingers in a work accident, you would have thought your health insurance could have covered something. One finger cost US$60,000, and the other US$12,000, which finger would you save? One? Both? Or cannot afford any?

One of America’s most daring filmmakers Michael Moore went from gun violence (Bowling for Columbine) to President George W. Bush (Fahrenheit 9/11) to criticize the health care system in this documentary Sicko. In the light of escalating medical cost, exploiting pharmaceutical companies, and unethical insurance companies, this movie is timely in sounding out what the Americas want to vent.

How would you feel when you saw a baby girl die and a family broken up because the different hospitals refused to accept her mother’s health insurance? The result was a mixture of sadness, desperation, anger and empathy.

Although criticized to be unrealistic and inaccurate, this controversial piece was necessary to tell the stories of the common people. Whether to believe it or not is up to the discerning audience.

I suspect that Sicko would not appeal too much to Singaporeans, because these are stories we may not relate to, we have an acceptable healthcare system, or that we are just too 'well' to care much for the sick.

Sicko – Controversial but necessary

The Magic Gourd 宝葫芦的秘密 (Film)


Director: John Chu & Frankie Chung
Cast : Zhu Qilong, Gigi Leung
RunTime: 85 mins
Genre: Children
Rating: G

Big brother China is the next big movie market to look out for, as they venture into their first partnering film between Chinese Film Group with Walt Disney Studios. And as most of the other Chinese cartoons we watch, this is based on a children literature, by the late Zhang Tianyi.

The story may remind you of the other Japanese cartoon, Doraemon. Like its protagonist Da Xiong, this film revolves around the lazy Wang Bao, who always gets the lowest grades in school, who fortunately has supportive friends. He finds a Magic Gourd, a talking brown gourd which grants him every thing that he wishes for. Yes, no restriction to three wishes.

Wang Bao makes you of his gourd to get out of troubles including pleasing his Mathematics teacher amusingly and too decently played by Gigi Leung, completing his mechanical robot school project, swimming for the school team, and even getting his nails cut.

The story is typically predictable with the moral of “All children will learn from their mistakes”. I suspect that the children nowadays (especially Singaporean kids spoilt by Hollywood movies) are too sophisticated to buy into this story literally. With these differences in culture, the moral may be too preachy for their liking.

Although Disney has a hand in the animation, do not expect Pixar quality stuff. Though you do emphasize and adore with the Magic Gourd at certain parts, you may not care less about the lazy kid, and his perfect bespectacled teacher.

For this report card, it scores high on effort, but lower on delivery. For children seven and below. For those above, they are too spoilt for choices.

The Magic Gourd - Suitable for children seven and below

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