Rabu, 29 Januari 2014

The Star eCentral: Movie Reviews

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The Star eCentral: Movie Reviews

Airwave assassins

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

Star RFM 988 DJs KK Wong and Cheryl Lee play a pair of lovestruck assassins in Bullets Over Petaling Street.

AS THEY are best known for their on-air chemistry and trademark fun banter, it was no surprise that Star RFM 988 DJs KK Wong and Cheryl Lee (who goes by Xin Yi on air) were roped into the cast of locally-produced Chinese action comedy movie Bullets Over Petaling Street.

The film, jointly made with Juita Viden and Golden Screen Cinemas, sees the DJ duo taking on the role of assassins – with Wong as Lee's mentor, who develops feelings for her after taking her under his wing.

"I think (our inclusion in the movie is because) the director felt that we can bring some humour to the film," said Lee during an interview with the two deejays in Petaling Jaya recently.

Although she enjoyed the filming process immensely, she also lamented that it could get rather difficult and challenging.

Star RFM 988 DJs KK Wong (right) and Cheryl Lee (Xin Yi) play assassins hired to kill Debbie Goh's triad boss lady, in Bullets Over Petaling Street.

Wong (right) as Lee's mentor, develops feelings for her after taking her under his wing.

"On the first day of filming itself, I was atop a moving vehicle, holding a gun while shooting at a certain angle. Even though the gun was only a replica, the weight and features of it were designed like the real weapon, so I really got a lot of bruises on my arm that day! I had no training beforehand, but thankfully I still exercise regularly to maintain my fitness," she explained.

Wong agreed that Lee's role was a lot more gruelling than his own, as he didn't have many action scenes. In fact, for the first half of the show, he is disguised as a photographer, with his secret identity as a killer only revealed later.

Just as the lead character Angel (played by actress Debbie Goh) undergoes a dozen different costume changes for each scene, Lee said she also has at least 10 different hairstyles for her part, which proved to be quite time-consuming. All the same, the vivacious 29-year-old, who previously played more genteel and girl-next-door roles, was also glad to be tackling the more aggressive personality of a hired assassin.

Meanwhile, Wong thinks that the movie turned out to be quite a breakthrough.

"Personally, I didn't harbour too high expectations of this film, but I've heard lots of compliments from those who have watched it. That is such a big relief," he said.

Both of them harbour hopes of becoming the main actor or actress one day in future films.

"Actually, I'm very versatile, and don't just play comedy-related roles. This is something I hope directors can see. In fact, I'm quite good at shedding tears, and being a crybaby!" Wong quipped playfully.

Known for their on-air banter, Wong (left) and Lee were the perfect choice to bring a little humour to the movie.

Wong also claimed that he was approached by a real triad boss while shooting a scene in Petaling Street, though he had no inkling who the well-dressed man was at the time.

"He happened to recognise me, so he called my name and asked why we never informed him that we were coming here to film. I was a little surprised, because I didn't know who he was. I thought he was just a fan! It was only later that I found out (who he was), when other crew members asked how I came to know a triad boss!" he recalled with a mock shudder.

Unlike previous years where the Kuala Lumpur native would usually spend the festive period travelling, Wong is staying put in the city this year, and will even be on duty on the first day of Chinese New Year.

Lee, who was born in Malacca but spent most of her formative years in Pahang, said her family is now living in Johor, but will be coming to visit her in KL so there are preparations to make at home.

Bullets Over Petaling Street opens in cinemas nationwide on Feb 13.

Festive feast

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

From beings of legend to figures of Lego, here's what to expect at the cinemas this season.

Ah Beng: Mission Impossible (now showing)

Director: Silver

Cast: Jack Lim, Jeff Chin, Gan Mei Yan

Distributor: Ram Entertainment

Just as everyone is preparing for the festive season, security guard Ah Beng (Lim) receives a call from his company. He is asked to cancel his Lunar New Year holiday for a "simple" mission, which infuriates him. However, Ah Beng immediately changes his mind when he discovers that the mission promises a handsome reward of one million ringgit!

Opening today:

The Monkey King

Cast: Donnie Yen, Chow Yun-Fat, Aaron Kwok

Director: Cheang Pou-Soi

Distributor: GSC Movies

Martial arts superstar Donnie Yen plays the titular Monkey King Sun Wukong, a monkey born from a heavenly stone who acquires supernatural powers. This first instalment in a trilogy of live-action 3D movies is actually a prequel to the classic Chinese literary work Journey To The West, telling the origin of Sun Wukong and ending with his imprisonment for his crimes under the Five-Peaked Mountain.

The Journey

Director: Chiu Keng Guan

Cast: Ben Andrew Pfeiffer, Lee Sai Peng, Joanne Yew Hong Im

Distributor: Mm2 Entertainment Sdn Bhd

Uncle Chuan (Lee) is an old-fashioned and conservative man staying alone in Cameron Highlands, leading a lonely retired life. When his only daughter Ah Bee (Yew) returns home from studying overseas and announces that she is marrying her foreign boyfriend Benji (Pfeiffer), Chuan reluctantly agrees under one condition – that Benji accompanies him on a journey all over Malaysia to deliver the wedding invitations to his 11 ex-primary schoolmates in person.

Chow Yun-Fat stars as a master gambler in From Vegas To Macau.

Chow Yun-Fat stars as a master gambler in From Vegas To Macau.

From Vegas to Macau

Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Nicholas Tse, Chapman To, Tian Jing

Director: Wong Jing

Distributor: GSC Movies

Chow Yun-Fat returns to the poker table in a role that brings to mind his iconic God Of Gamblers movies. Chow plays Hendrick, a renowned gambler who has left behind his troubled past to work as a security consultant for a casino. When super hacker "Show Hand" (Tse) unwittingly gets Hendrick's daughter Charlie involved with a mafia boss named Ko, the two generations of swindlers must work together to bring down the bad guy and save Charlie.

Hello Babies

Cast: Raymond Wong, Eric Tsang, Sandra Ng, Alex Fong Chung-Sun, Raymond Lam Fung, Karena Lam

Director: Vincent Kok

Distributor: Lotus Five Star

A film about two married couples of different ages and backgrounds, and how they deal with issues related to procreation. One couple decides not to have children in order to maintain their peaceful lifestyle, while the other is still trying for a baby after many years of marriage. Their lives changed forever when a wealthy uncle is diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's disease, and they find out that they would only inherit his vast fortune under one condition – that they have a baby.

Golden Chicken$$$

Director: Matt Chow

Cast: Sandra Ng, with cameos by Ivana Wong, Nick Cheung, Louis Koo, Ronald Cheng, Anthony Wong etc.

Distributor: GSC Movies

In this follow-up to 2002's Golden Chicken and 2003's Golden Chicken 2, Ng reprises her role as Ah Kam, a "mamasan" who manages a stable of high-end prostitutes. On the surface, she embraces the prosperity of the "New Hong Kong", but like many middle-class HK citizens, she laments the loss of the old Hong Kong that once belonged to the people. When her old flame, over-the-hill mob boss Gordon (Anthony Wong), is unable to cope with the new Hong Kong, the kind-hearted Kam takes it upon herself to help him rebuild his life.

Robocop (Joel Kinnaman) is unstoppable when it comes to catching the criminals in Robocop.

Robocop (Joel Kinnaman) is unstoppable when it comes to catching the criminals in Robocop.


Director: José Padilha

Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel

Distributor: Sony Pictures

A remake of the cult 1987 hit, this updated version features a star-studded cast, and revolves around good cop and family man Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) being turned into a part-man, part-robot police officer by money-grubbing multinational conglomerate OmniCorp.

Huat Ah! Huat Ah! Huat! (Opens Feb 6)

Cast: Aniu, Joyce Cheng, KK Wong, Marcus Chin

Director: Tan Boon Huat

Distributor: GSC Movies

An inspirational comedy about a village lad with autism named Ah Huat (Aniu), who is inept at expressing himself. A typical down-to-earth lad trying to earn an honest living through hard work, Ah Huat lives by the motto of staying true to himself, and goes through a rite of passage in order to achieve success and find happiness.

'Ooh, look at that cute little fella. Well, hello, kitty -- whoops, can I say that without infringing something?'

 'Ooh, look at that cute little fella. Well, hello, kitty – whoops, can I say that without infringing something?'

The Lego Movies (opens Feb 6)

Director: Phil Lord

Voice cast: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman Emmet is an ordinary, happy little mini-figure who is mistaken for the Special, a Master Builder who can save the Lego universe from the evil Lord Business (Ferrel), who wants to superglue all the Lego pieces together. Helping Emmet on his quest to stop Lord Business is Vitruvius the wizard (Freeman), a girl with a wild style named, well, Wildstyle (Banks) and Batman (Arnett). Based on the trailer, our money is on this being the funniest movie featuring Batman ever.

Bullets Over Petaling Street (opens Feb 13)

Cast: Debbie Goh, Chen Han Wei, Irene Ang, Jeffrey Cheng, Steve Yap

Directors: Sampson Yuen, Ho Shih Phin

Distributor: GSC Movies

An action comedy about a movie star named Angel (Goh) who unwittingly becomes the leader of a triad in Petaling Street and becomes involved in an intense election war with three other gangs.

Dodging assassins and facing up to dangerous gangsters, Angel has to adapt to her new role while trying to rekindle her relationship with her ex-boyfriend Xie Da Xiang (Chen).

Upping the ante on epics

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

A big risk from Marvel, risky pics for two big-name stars, and the return of a beloved big lizard – it's all big in 2014!

HERE are some blockbusters likely to pull in the crowds in 2014. Surprise, surprise – there's a heck of a lot of CGI in them. Can two Biblical epics out-muscle superheroes, mutants and living robots at the box office?

> Noah: Darren Aronofsky's US$130m (RM428mil) Biblical epic arrives buffeted by Hurricane Sandy (which gatecrashed the production) and lashed by controversy (the director and studio have reportedly squabbled over the final cut). The omens are explosive and the anticipation is building. Russell Crowe looks on stentorian form as the pre-flood patriarch, reeling from portents of the apocalypse and determined to protect his wife (Jennifer Connelly), his adopted daughter (Emma Watson) and the animals of the world. But trouble is brewing; he's going to need a bigger boat.

> Godzilla: British director Gareth Edwards scored a low-budget breakthrough with 2010's Monsters. Now he's surging up through the gears to tackle arguably the biggest beast of them all. His remastered Godzilla finds the behemoth battling manmade goliaths while Aaron Taylor-Johnson strives (one assumes in vain) to maintain order. The eclectic supporting cast finds room for Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins and Juliette Binoche.

> Exodus: Bible study, book two. Ridley Scott leads Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul and Sigourney Weaver through the wilderness with his story of Moses and the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Bale plays Moses, Edgerton is Ramses, while Almeria in Spain offers up the path to Mount Sanai. Likely epic, almost certainly bombastic. And – given it's a Scott film – bloody as hell.

> Pompeii: Remake of the cheeky British TV sitcom that saw the Carry On lot romp – oh hold on, that's not right, let's try again: Huge CGI-riddled take on the destruction of the Roman city by the AD79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Kit Harington of Game Of Thrones plays Milo, a slave turned gladiator who must beat the arena and best mother nature to save his love, Cassia (Emily Browning). Plenty of bare flesh, loads of shonky special effects and a starring role for Kiefer Sutherland as an evil senator. Perhaps this is borrowing Up Pompeii!'s enjoyable trashiness after all?

> Captain America: Winter Soldier: America's old-school superhero continues his reinvention from Second World War propaganda tool to righteous modern age ass-kicker. Likeable lunk Chris Evans is back in the red, white and blue corner as Steve Rogers/Captain America, still struggling to adapt to the modern world after his abrupt resurrection at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger. Over on the dark side is the Winter Soldier, a former pal of his who has been turned into a brainwashed assassin. Superhero stories are still huge business (Iron Man 3 was 2013's highest-grossing film). No wonder Marvel keeps on churning them out. It'll be only a matter of seconds before another ... Oh! Look! ...

> Guardians Of The Galaxy: The 10th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Chris Pratt leads a rag-tag band of superheroes that include a talking raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and a sentient tree (Vin Diesel). John C. Reilly and Glenn Close are among the top brass of Nova Corps, the intergalatic police force that guides the Guardians through their very odd adventure. Less sleek than the X-Men, more risque than the Avengers. This promises to be Marvel's weirdest, riskiest manoeuvre yet.

> Transformers: Age Of Extinction: The Transformers franchise folds itself into a new shape with a fourth instalment featuring an honest-to-goodness star name – Mark Wahlberg – in the lead role. Age Of Extinction has Wahlberg playing an inventor and single dad powering down the Decepticons with the help of Optimus Prime and company. Nicola Peltz gets to play the woman who screams and runs away a lot, while Michael Bay returns to the director's chair. All together now: Boom Crunch! Arrrgh!

> The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The high school hero returns to take on Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and Electro (Jamie Foxx), the latest villains associated with shady tech company OsCorp. Andrew Garfield dons the costume for his second swing as Marvel's friendly neighbourhood cash cow. Emma Stone is back as Gwen Stacy, while Dane DeHaan steps aboard the franchise merry-go-round as Harry Osborn, pal of Peter, eventual arch-enemy of the webslinger. Bleat on, those of you still miffed at this reboot, which arrives a mere 10 years after Sam Raimi's original. Spidey's moving too fast to hear you.

> X-Men: Days of Future Past: The clue's in the baffling title. Fresh from their adventure with Matthew Vaughn in X-Men: First Class, the students of Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters team up (kind of) with their future selves to battle an evil force. Magneto and his mutant brotherhood are around too. It's an excuse to watch Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender scamper around in spandex again basically. Why should cinema aim any higher than that? – Guardian News & Media

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