Fri, Sep 25, 2015 - Page 10 News List

Movie releases

Compiled by Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

American Ultra

The dude from The Social Network and that chick from Twilight form an unlikely team in this stoner action comedy that promises as many bloodbaths as bong hits. Since marijuana is illegal in Taiwan, we’re assuming people will watch this movie sober, which undoubtedly will result in many questions about the premise of Mark Zuckerberg actually being a slacker who works at a convenience store who is actually a secret sleeper CIA agent, who, unbeknownst to himself, has immense butt-kicking powers that, once awakened, allows him to turn the spoon he was using to eat ramen with into a deadly weapon. And as for why Bella Swan has forsaken handsome vampires and charming werewolves to take care of this loser, even though he eventually turns into a lethal weapon … wait, something just doesn’t sound right ... Just forget about those two — Connie Britton, Topher Grace, John Leguziamo and Walton Goggins make up the main supporting cast, which is, like, pretty cool.

The Intern

No, it’s not The Internship, which featured Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as 40-something year old Google interns, but the premise of The Intern is similar, with an even older Robert de Niro taking on the lowly position as part of a “senior internship program.” He starts working at an online fashion company run by a seemingly tough Anne Hathaway with mostly younger employees. It’s pretty much pure lighthearted dramedy, as the 70-year-old intern charms his coworkers, imparts his wisdom and spends more and more time with his boss (one scene shows her teaching him how to use Facebook), who eventually runs into trouble at her company and at one point in the trailer declares the intern as her best friend. It’s not explained in the trailer why de Niro would take such a position, which, in an age where the trailer often explains the entire plot, actually makes you want to watch the movie and find out.

Iris

Speaking of old age, this documentary takes it to another level with an 88-year-old director and 93-year-old protagonist, both icons in their own right. This is documentary pioneer Albert Maysles’ second-to-last film, as he died in March, reportedly shot with no plan and no script. It stars New York fashionista Iris Apfel, a self-styled “geriatric starlet” always eccentrically dressed with her signature giant round spectacles. It explores her personal world, her wit, wisdom and grit, her shopping expeditions and her house full of collected (hoarded?) items that she shares with her 101-year-old husband Carl. It appears to be an honest portrayal of a old woman who won’t slow down and only knows how to be one thing: herself, even showing a scene where she flirts with Kanye West. It’s hard to believe how such a fascinating woman, while well known in the scene, never became a public name until New York’s Metropolitan Museum put together an exhibit of her outfits in 2005. Maybe it’s because, as she has said, she never wanted to do a documentary until she met Maysles.

What We Did On Our Holiday

This British feel-good comedy may appear to be a bit cheesy, but the trailer shows genuine warm-heartedness and laughs and the reviews are mostly positive. Writer-directors Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin are known for their sitcom Outnumbered, whose unique feature is its semi-improvised dialogue from cute yet precocious children. The film contains those beloved elements and more, following a separated couple who journey with their children to Scotland to visit the husband’s ailing father on his birthday. The couple are determined to lie about their relationship, and instruct their children to do so too. There’s also the husband’s uptight rich brother, which provides another source of comedic relief. Yet, the fun-loving father just wants a birthday free of family drama, while everybody bickers on. The children provide spontaneous energy to counter the adult’s troubles, and critics call the resulting product an refreshing and endearing film.

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