The Eye (Film)


Director: David Moreau, Xavier Palud
Cast: Jessica Alba, Parker Posey, Alessandro Nivola, Tamlyn Tomita, Chloe Moretz
RunTime: 97 minutes
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Rating: PG

The Eye (Jian Gui) remains as one of my top 3 Asian horror films, alongside with The Ring and Shutter. Strangely, both the directors The Pang Brothers and actress Angelica Lee did not have the same amount of success of following films (and of course Lawrence Chow and Singapore's Pierre Png are conveniently forgotten.)

Taking the elevator alone at night and buying roast pork from that old auntie somehow never felt the same.

We all know how Hollywood remakes of Asian horror are all very disappointing, failing to recreate the same kind of eeriness and back-to-basics shock factors.

I mean, Jessica Alba? Eye candies don't work for The Eye. Sure she is very gorgeous as the blind Sydney Wells, but who can really believe that she is traumatized and disturbed. The picture perfect actress shows that she can drink a Tiger a lot better than act, and her opening line was one of the most unexpressive one in my cinematic experience. The rest of the supporting cast is completely forgettable.

The good news is the Hollywood version is a lot more straightforward and popcorn friendly, but the horror moments almost turned into laughable ones. Some of the climatic moments such as the boy in the raincoat, and woman in the restaurant just throw you into disbelief.

The Eye - Seeing it can be disbelieving

August Rush (Film)


Director: Kirsten Sheridan
Cast: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Terrence Howard, Robin Williams
RunTime: 114 minutes
Genre: Drama/Musical
Rating: PG

Just when I thought I had my full blast of sappiness in The Leap Years, Kirsten Sheridan’s August Rush will tip the scales (pun not intended) dramatic corniness and schmaltziness.

It almost seems guaranteed for success of a combination of family drama, romance and music. The star-studded cast include a very likeable Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Keri Russell (Felicity), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Match Point) and Robin Williams, who seem to lose his magical touch these days.

This modern day Oliver Twist tells the story of Evan Tyler search for his parents, who firmly believes that music will lead his way. "The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen." Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that he is a result of a one-night stand between two musicians.

The story starts off rather heart-warming and believable, until 101 coincidences pile one and climax at an impossible and implausible ending. But we did see it coming 20 minutes into the movie.

The ‘star’ of the movie is the music, some performed through the husky voice of Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Even though there were some cheesy blends of symphonic pieces and soft rock, I was pleasantly touched with the musical results.

I teared at the end. On one hand, it was the most predictable and ridiculous ending, whille on the other, music (which I lost touch with) does amazing wonders to the heart and soul.

August Rush – The Soul is In the Music (Listen out to the Academy nominated “Raise It Up” which is rather inspirational.)

The Leap Year (Film)


Director: Jean Yeo
Cast: Wong Li Lin, Ananda Everingham, Joan Chen, Qi Yu Wu, Vernetta Lopez, Nadya Hutagalung
Runtime: 103 mins
Genre: Romance
Rating: PG

Love must be one of the most unexplainable and illogical thing in the world. As told in this love story based on a novel by Dr Catherine Lim, Li-Ann (Wong Li-Lin) embarks on a romantic journey with a man (Shutter’s Ananda Everingham) she only meets during her birthday – 29th of February.

From what I remember, Singapore has its exports of comedies and dramas, but few actually centre on love. The Leap Year is a refreshing piece from our island, though may not be as enticing to those in favour of Korean soaps.

I suspect that critics and audience may pan the movie, especially the irrational behaviour of the two in love. “Why don’t they exchange phone numbers/emails/addresses/facebook/msn?” Argh! “Aiyah, stupid boy/girl…run after him/her! Bodoh!” No, they don’t and end up waiting for 4 years just to meet that once. That’s even worse that that cowherd and maiden story. Either love is blind or toxic.

Wong Li-Lin is well casted as the damsel hopelessly in love with someone whom she met only for a few hours. The other girls fit in nicely fitted in the ensemble as well. Won’t say about the rest though.

For your information, I watched this movie alone, often finding myself chuckling at the silly things the couple do, taking notes of the quotations by Catherine Lim, and almost tearing at Corrine May’s Scars (Really got excited every time I hear Corrine May in a soundtrack). How lovely. But don’t think the rest of the critics share my sentiments.

A modern day fairytale which would frustrate the realists, but hey, we all need some juvenile hope that would keep our dreams alive.

The Leap Year - Be the 'siao' one who still believe in love, ya?

功夫灌篮 Kungfu Slamdunk (Film)



《功夫灌篮》由有‘通俗导演’之称的朱延平指导,剧情被批过于老套不求创新,‘功夫’加上‘运动’的情节让人想起《少林足球》和《乒乓特种兵》(Balls of Fury)。重复和抄袭的现象没有大碍,好笑就好。




Such a movie combining sports and kungfu (Shaolin soccer and Balls of Fury anyone?) has an extremely predictable storyline, but sometimes what audience want is entertainment.

Jay Chou is extremely 'gong gong' with his mushroom hair, and will still charm young girls. The plot can be way roll-eyes ridiculous, but has its laughable movements.

Keep in mind this is a Chinese New Year movie, it will not win awards or win the critics over, but will hit the tops in the box office.

Kungfu Slamdunk - Jay is a winner again

CJ7 (Film)


Director: Stephen Chow
Cast: Stephen Chow, Kitty Zhang Yuqi, Xu Jiao
RunTime: 88 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Comedy (Mandarin)
Rating: PG

Stephen Chow’s movie used to be a staple for Chinese New Year, as groups gather together to catch re-runs of ‘God of Gamblers’ and ‘Fight Back to School’ on TV. I can fondly remember ‘Xiao Qiang’ the cockroach, and ‘Qi Meng’ the mole. While it was slapstick and nonsensical, that’s what we probably need for a stressful life. It has been a good 3-4 years since he last directed (Kungfu), and therefore the anticipation of CJ7.

The star of the movie is no longer Stephen Chow, but the very animated and talented son which happens to be acted a girl Xu Jiao. You know those super exaggerated faces you will catch on Japanese manga? Now, that’s what she is quite capable of.

Not forgetting the fuzzy green ball CJ7 whose eyes sparkle with so much delight, and is just way super CUTE. This alien dog reminds me of Doreamon, and I would definitely grab its soft toy if it’s available.

Wont’ say much about Kitty Zhang as she is unfortunately a flower vase with her portrayal of a caring school teacher. How more boring can that role get?

Stephen Chow obviously wants to milk some emotions and feelings with the portrayal of the father-son relationship. The story falls short a little (too predictable, familiar and contrived)P, and we will thoroughly miss what’s he has been good at – slapstick humour.

CJ7 – Extremely CUTE but disappointing with little laughs

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