(Russia) This sophomore arthouse film from breakout director Andrey Zvyagintsevthe, whose debut movie The Return received international acclaim, is one that stretches the patience of even the most ardent art house movie lover. It is so arduously slow-paced that each shot feels a minute too long, but you’ll be rewarded for sitting through it.
(Israel) As the opening film of the upcoming Israeli Film Festival, Noodle is an apt choice. Director Ayelet Menahemi spins a simple story about helping a lost child find his mother, but her flair for engaging dialogue, light comic touch and bringing unspoken emotions to screen makes this a thoroughly satisfying watch.
(China) The film has a simple storyline—an adventure novel author (Lin Chi-ling) has been kidnapped and taken to the desert by a tomb raider wannabe (Eric Tsang) because her estranged father (Kenneth Tsang) is in possession of a map that tells the whereabouts of a lost city. The father’s protégé is played by superstar Jay Chou, who is an Indiana Jones-esque character (he uses a whip too—WTF) who tries to save Lin.
Comedy has a new face (make that two new faces)—that of Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie. If anything, these two are the antithesis of humorous charm. They are gormless and socially awkward. They also possess the analytical ability of fungi, but they may just be the most endearing comedic pair to appear on TV in a long, long time.
It’s not hard to produce a riveting documentary when the subject is Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the most famous explorers of our generation. However, what this piece of work by his close friend and cartoonist Tom Scott further captures is a side of him that we are less familiar with—his unwavering commitment to humanitarian work with the Sherpa people as well as the profound social legacy he left behind.
(Thailand/ Singapore) Plot: Inspired by a true Thai ritual whereby those who want to get rid of bad karma lie in coffins to improve their luck and prolong their lives. Chris (Ananda Everingham), a claustrophobic architect whose fiancée is dying of terminal cancer, and a soon-to-be bride, Sue (Karen Mok) who wishes to reverse her doctor’s diagnosis of a lethal brain tumor, both sign up for the pseudo-burial at the local temple, thinking things will improve. They couldn’t be more wrong.
(USA). If there’s ever a case where two wrongs make a right, it’s here in director Guy Ritchie’s latest movie RockNRolla—a vast improvement from his back-to-back flops Swept Away and Revolver.
(USA) Now here’s a piece of work to show that a teen comedy does not need to include gross anatomical jokes, farcical sex and ridiculously good-looking leads to be enjoyable. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a sweet, light-hearted celebration of adolescent love, good music and crazy friends played out in one madcap evening—thanks to great acting, a lush nightscape and funny lines.
(USA) You know the world’s in really bad shape when what you see in the cinemas is less exciting than what you read in the papers. While the so-called thriller Eagle Eye boasts some big names (Steven Spielberg is the executive producer) and a grand-sounding plot involving a rogue intelligence system and wronged civilians, it is a mediocre watch with a weak script.
(USA) Now here’s a chick flick with minimum fluff and maximum heart. Based on the 2003 bestselling novel by Sue Monk Kidd of the same name, The Secret Life of Bees is a simple yet unforgettable about 14-year-old Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning), who flees from her lonely life and an abusive father in search of the truth about her dead mother. Accompanied by her caregiver and only friend Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson), she arrives at the doorstep of the bee-keeping Boatwright sisters (Queen Latifah, Sophie Okenedo and Alicia Keys) in Tiburon, South Carolina.