Race to Witch Mountain
The always magnetic Dwayne Johnson stars in an updating of the fondly remembered 1975 Disney film Escape to Witch Mountain. Two aliens in the guise of children appear in
ex-con Johnson’s cab and ask for help to locate their spaceship, which the puzzled cabbie is shortly compelled to provide as government goons close in. More action-
oriented than the original, but harmless and fun for the kids and undemanding oldies. Fans of the original will be delighted to hear that child actors Ike Eisenmann and Kim Richards have cameos in the 2009 version.
Last Chance Harvey
Dustin Hoffman is Harvey, a man whose professional and personal life is at low ebb. Visiting London to attend his daughter’s wedding, he receives news that he has been fired and, worse, his daughter would rather someone else give her away at the ceremony. But then he meets Emma Thompson in a pub, and everything changes. Fans of the stars might enjoy this serio-romantic comedy, though critics were lukewarm and box office in the US was hardly better.
My Bloody Valentine
The Hollywood horror movie remake machine grinds out another retread of the late 1970s/early 1980s, a time when horror films were served straight and with precious few Freddy Kreuger-style one-liners. Augmented by gruesome effects (and full female nudity) in 3D, the story has the owner of a disused mine return to the nearby town to sell it; inconveniently, he’s back on Valentine’s Day, the 10th anniversary of a killing spree, and the bodies are set to pile up again. Director Patrick Lussier was editor for most of horror icon Wes Craven’s later films, so he has real pedigree. But the remake of Craven’s most infamous and brutal film, Last House on the Left, was offered to someone else; expect that in theaters later this year.
A salaryman hides the fact that he is unemployed from his wife and two sons, and things only get worse as family tensions accumulate. In a Lonely Guy-style development, our anti-hero meets a friend in similarly dire circumstances — and who has become something of a specialist in keeping the illusion of dignity intact — before fate deals a series of low blows. Veteran director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s comeback movie was praised by the Japan Times and was a triumphant winner of the Jury Prize at last year’s Cannes film festival.
252: Signal of Life
Apocalyptic special effects are the star of this show as Tokyo once again succumbs to an overwhelming disaster — a storm system this time, with a tsunami thrown in for good measure. The human side of the plot is like Sylvester Stallone’s Daylight: a bunch of survivors are in subterranean peril and need rescuing, but in this case the hero of the day is on the outside looking for a way in — and needing to tell lies to do so.
7 Days to Leave My Wife
This Thai comedy expects audiences to believe that a dull and unattractive (and married) salesman would be incredibly attractive to a femme fatale-type colleague who dresses to kill. Naturally, his wife soon catches on and the hijinks start. Imagine The Woman in Red with infantile sight gags and without the charm of Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner (or the ultimate come hither look from Kelly LeBrock) and you’re on your way. Starts tomorrow at the Baixue theater in Ximending.