Fri, Jul 09, 2010 - Page 16 News List


By Ian Bartholomew  /  STAFF REPORTER


The Last Airbender

Quite apart from its seriously silly title, this latest feature by M. Night Shyamalan begs the question of how he manages to obtain funding.

Shyamalan, who burst onto the Hollywood scene as a prodigious and versatile talent in 1999 with The Sixth Sense and Stuart Little, has done much to alienate audiences (both mainstream and art house) over the past decade, and by all appearances he has surpassed himself with his most recent offering. A fantasy tale based on a popular animated series for children, and upgraded to full 3D treatment, Airbender has some good effects. Its cliche-ridden story may still be a hit with the kids, but for anyone who hasn’t been living in movie purdah, you’ve probably seen it all before.


A new addition to the Predator franchise that first hit cinema screens back in 1987 as one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s less-successful action film vehicles, Predators does not go much beyond the original concept and now-famous tagline “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” A bunch of elite warriors are mysteriously brought to a planet where they, long accustomed to being predators, now become prey and have to dig deep to survive. A solid cast of tough characters is present and correct with the likes of Laurence Fishburne and Danny Trejo. The biggest surprise is Adrien Brody in the leading role.

Nobody to Watch Over Me

A hard-hitting movie about the relentless Japanese media machine and its power to destroy the lives of those it touches. Released in 2008, the film has picked up a Japanese Academy Award (Best Newcomer) for its young star Mirai Shida this year, and won the Best Screenplay Award at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2008. The story deals with a media feeding frenzy over police protection of a 15-year-old girl whose older brother is accused of the brutal murder of a young child. Innocent and guilty get tarred with the same brush as the massive power of Internet news and blogs gears up to demand “justice.” An edge-of-your-seat thriller that provides a thoughtful take on the 24/7 news cycle.


Atom Egoyan is back with another signature work of love, lust and ambiguity. Chloe, a loose remake of a French film titled Natalie, explores the idea of trust, and how a desire for truth can destroy love. This is vintage Egoyan territory, and features veterans Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson as Catherine and David Stewart, a would-be perfect couple. Catherine begins to suspect her husband of infidelity and hires an escort to test his loyalty. This is Chloe, played by Amanda Seyfried, who is well out of her comfort zone and loving it. She also turns out to be much more than the Stewarts ever bargained for.

Paper Castles

Also released under the title 3some, Paper Castles is yet another low-rent European sex comedy so much beloved of local art-house distributors. Featuring principals whose distinguishing qualities are good looks and toned bodies, this Spanish film is being flogged in Taiwan with the suggestion that you will get to see these beautiful young things “fully naked.” With that as the main marketing ploy, it seems hardly necessary to get involved with the story, so suffice to say that it involves two young art students and a model who get caught up in a love triangle, providing plenty of opportunities for seductive titillation.

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