Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - Page 10 News List

Movie releases

Compiled by Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

Kung Fu Panda 3

Taiwan is getting this film pretty late, as it already came out in January in China and South Korea. Anyhow, the cast and crew return — including director Jennifer Yuh Nelson and producer Guillermo del Toro — for another “legendary adventure of awesomeness” with our favorite pudgy black and white pugilist, who faces off against the franchise’s first supernatural villain, who, as Nelson claims, is the most formidable yet. It is hard to do wrong with this franchise — fun, lighthearted, touching and action-packed with all sorts of lovable anthropomorphic animals. It will probably never go deeper than its “be yourself and do the best you can” message, but it does not need to because of its sheer entertainment value. Oh and Po finally gets to meet some other pandas in this movie — as for whom? We will keep it a secret.

10 Cloverfield Lane

This sequel to the 2008 monster attack thriller Cloverfield is not really a sequel, as it was originally another film that JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions took over and reverse-engineered into something he calls a “blood relative” of the original film. And thankfully, this one is told from the third person perspective, eschewing the nausea inducing found footage format of its predecessor. Anyway, seems like the earth is already ruined at this point — or not — as we follow a young woman who wakes up in an underground bunker with two men, one of whom insists that the earth’s surface is no longer inhabitable and claims to have rescued her. It appears to be more psychological instead of big explosions and dying people, and Abrams says while the original monster is not in this film, there is something else that he is not willing to tell us about just yet.

Triple 9

You know this heist-thriller has a serious big-name cast when Kate Winslet is listed last on the movie poster. There is also Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Gal Gadot and Woody Harrelson, to name a few. Directed by John Hillcoat (The Road, Lawless), the film revolves around a group of criminals and dirty cops who have to create a 999 situation — police code for “officer down” — to pull off an impossible heist, tasked to them by Russian mobsters. The plot gets way more complicated than this, as all the elements are in there for one over the top, bloody, grim, piece where everyone is bad, with seemingly no redemption to their actions. Depending on how it is handled, his type of film could either be wildly satisfying or leave you depressed and with no faith left in humanity.

The Fencer

The Academy of Fencing Masters loved this movie, not only praising the story but stating that “everything fencing-related is depicted exactly as it happened and is happening every day in any coach’s life.” Finland’s entry for the Oscars’ foreign language film award (directed by Finnish Klaus Haro) is set during Soviet times, tells the story of a young man on the run from the KGB who ends up in a sleepy Estonian town. He starts an after-school fencing club and bonds with the kids, but his past starts to catch up to him. The story is partially based on the life of Estonian fencing master Endel Nelis — whose fencing club is still in existence today.

The Bodyguard (特工爺爺)

This Sammo Hung (洪金寶) vehicle is his first directorial work since 1997’s Once Upon A Time in China and America and features cameos from a number of Hong Kong cinema veterans such as Andy Lau (劉德華), Tsui Hark (徐克) and several of his childhood comrades during his Seven Little Fortunes days. The Chinese film name, translated as “Special Agent Grandpa,” is much more imaginative and captures the essence of the film much better, as Hung plays a retired soldier with hidden martial arts skills who tries to atone for the disappearance of his granddaughter by helping a little girl’s father fight against local mobsters. Looking at the trailer, it seems like that 64-year-old is still kicking butt.

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