Go Grandriders 不老騎士
A heartwarming and inspiring local documentary about a group of 17 retirees, average age 81, who take a 13-day, 1,178km ride by scooter around Taiwan. The journey, organized by the Hondao Senior Citizens Welfare Association (弘道老人福利基金會) and directed by Hua Tien-hsien (華天灝), is a realization of a dream for some; for others a last fling before their inevitable demise. Two of the participants had already been diagnosed with cancer and most of the others had various ailments. The group, a mix of Taiwanese and Chinese, brave the terrors of the Su-Hua Highway (蘇花公路), overcome frailty and weariness and provide yet another testament to the strength of the human spirit.
The Perks of being a Wallflower
The first outing for Emma Watson after 10 years of playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, The Perks of being a Wallflower is one of those warm yet tough-minded coming-of-age stories that makes you remember how painful and how fun being an adolescent can be. Watson is paired with Ezra Miller, who was remarkable as an alienated teenager in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and Logan Lerman, from the Percy Jackson franchise, showing that he too has hidden depths. Based on a best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, who also directs. The book has claims to being the Catcher in the Rye for a new generation.
The plot line in which a talented outsider livens up a stale performance group with some fresh ideas has been reworked in as many combinations as performance styles, but the a cappella singing groups which are at the heart of Pitch Perfect, along with the remarkably attractive cast of Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson, may just be enough to give this tired old format a bit of life. A script by Kay Cannon from the 30 Rock writing team provides some oddball humor and a few laughs along the way. Predictable, easy-watching movie that manages to get most of the right moves.
Science-fiction romance starring Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess as star-crossed lovers, not just from different sides of the tracks, but separated literally in two worlds, rigorously kept apart by the rulers of one (which is rich), to keep out the inhabitants of the other (which is poor). For all the special effects, this story is as old as the hills, and director Juan Diego Solanas, working together with the FX team that created 300, doesn’t seem to provide much more than fantasy visuals.
From Martin McDonagh, the director of In Bruges, comes another piece of slapstick violence, once again with Colin Farrell, and also including some great performances from Christopher Walken, his best role in years, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell. The movie is over elaborate, and while there are moments that will live forever, as a whole, Seven Psychopaths is a little bit too demented for its own good.