(USA) In It’s Complicated, Meryl Streep lives the fantasy of a middle-aged, middle-class WASP in her role as Jane Adler, a woman who not only owns a successful upscale bakery but also a sprawling pad in the bucolic wilderness of Santa Barbara. With the exception of one saggy eyelid, life is good. In fact, she has even managed, after 10 years, to establish a cordial relationship with her ex-husband Jack (Alec Baldwin), who left her to marry a much younger woman.
(UK) Given the rate at which Hollywood has been plundering from novels, comic books, video games, and its own movies, it was only a matter of time before they turned their attention to the world’s most famous literary detective. The Basil Rathbone movies of the ‘30s and ‘40s established Holmes as a cloak wearing, pipe-puffing intellectual with the smoldering sexuality of an amoeba.
(US) Unlike 80 percent of the female population, I never really got the appeal of Colin Firth, not even when he stumbled out of a lake in a wet shirt in the Pride and Prejudice TV series. While other women saw a tortured Byronic hero, I saw a fumbling loser in love, always destined to play second fiddle to whoever he was starring with (Ralph Fiennes and Hugh Grant, namely). Well, in A Single Man, Firth still plays a loser in love (sort of) but you won’t think of him as a second fiddle to anyone ever again, that’s for sure.
(USA) In 1995, the South African national rugby union team (popularly known as the Springboks) ensured its place in the country’s history books by muscling past Australia, Western Samoa and France on its way to overcoming powerhouse New Zealand in the final of the Rugby World Cup tournament. This famous victory was all the more significant given that for a while, the fate of South African rugby had been hanging precariously in the balance.
(USA) The Princess and the Frog is a movie that scores many firsts: It is Disney’s first hand-drawn animation feature in more than half a decade; it has as its star the company’s first African-American heroine; it is also the first Disney movie in a long, long time that does not require you to get high on nail varnish to enjoy it.
(USA) The best laid plans are often a bit like true love—rarely do they unfold as smoothly as you’d like them to. Or as MacGyver used to say, “The tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable.” Clearly, the rogue security officers in Armored do not share his prescience because their supposedly idiot-proof plan (i.e. to rob their own security transport company of $42 million without hurting anyone) goes horribly wrong—despite assurances from Matt Dillon’s character that no one would get hurt.
(USA) If you’re planning to watch This Is It to get some insight into the inner workings of Michael Jackson’s mind, we’ll tell you now: Don’t bother. Suffice to say this is not a documentary à la Martin Bashir’s Living with Michael Jackson. It was culled together from more than 100 hours of behind-the-scenes footage chronicling his preparations for his ill-fated London concerts.
(Singapore) Part whodunit, part social comedy and part satire, Glen Goei’s sophomore effort is an ambitious departure from the usual made-in-Singapore slew of Jack Neo movies and indie fare about people living miserable lives in HDB flats.
(UK/Australia) It was not until several years after her death that the world would come to know of the letters that the English poet John Keats had written his neighbor Fanny Brawne, and from there, their doomed romance. Bright Star is the story of those three short years they spent together before he sailed away to his death in Rome in 1821.
(Taiwan) Hear Me is a Valentine in the grand tradition of Taiwanese romance comics—you know the kind that can give hardened cynics and the glucose-intolerant diabetes. The set up of the story is simple enough: Tian Kuo, a happy-go-lucky young man who works as a delivery boy at his parents’ restaurant is instantly smitten when he sees Yang Yang (Chen), the sister of one of the hearing-impaired swimmers on the Deaflympics team. Cue plenty of flirting over MSN and angst as he tries to muster up the courage to tell her he wants to be her boyfriend.