Fri, Jul 29, 2011 - Page 16 News List

Other movie releases

Compiled by Ho Yi and Ian Bartholomew  /  Staff Reporters

The Killer Who Never Kills (殺手歐陽盆栽)

Adapted from a short story by best-selling writer Jiubadao (九把刀 or “Nine Knives,” real name Giddens Ko, 柯景騰) and starring pop idol Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), this genre flick packs action, romance and comedy into a 108-minute ride aimed at young audiences. Hsiao plays Ouyang, a reluctant hit man who prefers caring for plants to killing people. He is contracted to work for a ruthless underworld boss, but instead of carrying out his assignments, he puts together a team to save his targets. The story has great potential to be funny, and the movie does have several bright moments, such as a self-reflexive joke about Hsiao’s rise from the talent show One Million Star (超級星光大道). Unfortunately, director Li Feng-po (李豐博) needs to work on his character development skills, as the film is populated with cardboard cutouts.

Submarine

British coming-of-age comedy of adolescent sexual frustration that manages to put a fresh spin on a well-worn genre. The debut feature of Richard Ayoade, probably best known as the computer geek Moss in The IT Crowd, Submarine tells the story of Oliver Tate, whose objectives in life are to lose his virginity before his next birthday and to extinguish the relationship between his mother and an ex-lover who has come back into her life. It blends foot-in-mouth tactlessness with endearing naivete to create characters with no sense of how their words and actions affect others. Smart screenplay that is amusing and touching by turns, and a willingness to dig into the real issues of growing up, make this an unusually satisfying movie.

The Joneses

An amusing concept comedy about an apparently perfect family. They have the best of everything and are the envy of everyone. In fact, the Joneses are not a family at all, but a marketing unit aimed at encouraging everyone else to keep up with the latest products. The “family” members, headed by Demi Moore and David Duchovny, inevitably encounter problems with their own sense of self and their total lack of integrity in everything they do and say. The clever script goes with the clever idea, and there is a real irony in the film as its subject makes product placement necessary rather than purely mendacious and venal.

Midnight in Paris

The latest of Woody Allen’s romantic comedies is a rather fluffy concoction, but it has the virtue of a partial return of his comic wit, which has been sadly off form for some of his more recent releases. Allen’s love affair with Europe is still in full swing, and for Midnight in Paris he allows himself to indulge a love for the City of Light. Helping him to do this are Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams, an unlikely duo for such a task. Through a quirk of time, Owen finds himself wondering through a Paris of the 1920s, meeting a host of famous names played as a string of wonderful cameos played by another string of famous names, including Adrien Brody as Salvador Dali. A delightful puff pastry of a film — luscious but essentially empty.

Lover’s Discourse (戀人絮語)

Movie made up of six love stories woven together to create a picture of love in all its many forms. Eason Chan (陳奕迅), Karena Lam (林嘉欣), Mavis Fan (范曉萱) and Eddie Peng (彭于晏) head up the strong cast of beautiful people who inhabit the film, flitting between tales of love triangles, unrequited love, self love, lost love, passionate love and tragic love. Directed by Derek Tsang (曾國祥), son of the veteran director Eric Tsang (曾志偉), the film cleverly intertwines the stories to give its rather whimsical material some sense of unity. The cast is assured enough to carry this insubstantial material for a moody two hours of gently amorous reflection.

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