Fri, Oct 30, 2009 - Page 16 News List





Saw VI

Jigsaw is back — and he’s still dead. Never mind; there are plenty of flashbacks to keep the ghostly Tobin Bell cast as the moralist from hell for another year. This time he or his acolytes are after a deserving chap who deals in health insurance, and assorted other victims. Reliable reviewers thought this one stacked up pretty well given that the series is running out of scope and room for plot twists. Even so, it was ambushed at the US box office by a long-delayed, Blair Witch-style horror movie called Paranormal Activity. That film is due for release on Dec. 11.

The Devil’s Tomb

Cuba Gooding Jr, Ron Perlman and Ray Winstone head the cast of this underground action movie in which Cuba and badass military mercenary colleagues set out to rescue a group of archeologists from a most sinister location — and begin suffering hallucinations, Event Horizon-style, when they run into something not of this Earth. Not for the discerning film buff, perhaps, but it does star Henry Rollins as a priest and Bill Moseley (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, The Devil’s Rejects) as an oddball professor. This directorial debut of actor Jason Connery (son of Sean) went straight to DVD in the US.

Old Fish (千鈞一髮)

An unusual Chinese police drama, to say the least. A Harbin cop is forced — and able — to defuse a time bomb thanks to his engineering background, only to find that more and more explosives are being planted in the area, and his superiors want him to keep doing the dirty work. Is Dennis Hopper on the loose? Ma Guowei (馬國偉) plays “Old Fish,” the put-upon policeman, in an award-winning turn. Directed by Gao Qunshu (高群書), who co-directed The Message (風聲), which is currently on release.

Plastic City (蕩寇)

A Chinese crook (Anthony Wong, 黃秋生) and his cooler-than-cool adopted Japanese son struggle to keep their enterprise afloat in Sao Paulo, Brazil, when rivals and the authorities turn on them, including a Taiwanese entrepreneur. Critics said the fascinating idea behind the film and its visual distinctiveness were undercut by avoidable technical problems (dubbing, for starters) and a stereotypically art house divergence from coherent narrative — not to mention stylistic lapses that verge on the silly.

Vengeance (復仇)

Johnnie To (杜琪峰) is a Hong Kong director who has kept pumping out solid action flicks over the years. He probably doesn’t have as much international exposure as he should, but this film may help to change that. The lead actor is legendary French singer Johnny Hallyday, who arrives in Macau after his daughter is nearly killed in a triad hit (the rest of her family is wiped out). Hallyday, now a chef, must draw on his unsavory past to accomplish his vengeful mission — but that past is disappearing as an old injury accelerates his amnesia. Co-stars include the formidable Anthony Wong (黃秋生) as a criminal (again) and Simon Yam (任達華) as a triad boss.

Chef’s Special

Chef’s Special throws together a bunch of funny characters centered around a restaurant in Spain whose chef is struggling to cope with life’s challenges, though vengeance plays no role this time. It’s a comedy, so things can only get more chaotic; in this case, the chef finds himself in a relationship with his new neighbor despite the fact that one of his female employees wants the man for herself — and that’s only one plot line. Vibrant and amusing, this is a crowd-pleaser that stands out in a busy week of releases.

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