THE MOTHER OF ALL TROUBLES

thebigweddingTHE BIG WEDDING (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

Alejandro (Ben Barnes) and Missy (Amanda Seyfried) are getting married and things are getting more complicated. Alejandro, the adopted son of Don and Ellie, has invited his birth mother from Colombia. Meanwhile, Don has been living Bebe after his divorce from Ellie. All hell breaks lose when Alejandro reveals that he kept the divorce a secret from his birth mother because he didn’t want her to think that he wasn’t brought up in a traditional family (think picket fences and happily married parents).

The story is quite simple and there isn’t much to talk about except that weddings are as complicated as the families involved. But Ben Barnes does speak some mean Mandarin! Wished there was more focus on the couple but instead their parents snatched their spotlight! Wow, their lives are much more exciting than the young couples…

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DESTINY AT THE PINES

PBTPinesTHE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (2012)
3 out of 5 stars

Luke (Ryan Gosling) is a motorcycle stunt rider who discovers he has a son with a lover from the past and tries to earn more to provide for them. He decides to rob banks with a partner but his decision will change his life forever.

Isn’t this such a coincidence? I mean, after People magazine named Bradley Cooper the Sexiest Man Alive in 2o11 much to the chagrin and fury of everyone (mine included) who adores Ryan Gosling – here they are in the same movie! The way this story plays out doesn’t do the title justice – spoiler: somebody dies!

While the ladies enjoy Gosling’s wonder physique covered in his not-so-aesthetic tattoos (some of the fonts were really weird), the guys can ogle Eva Mendes.

Ultimately, I think the show is about karma. You do a bad deed and you do nothing about it… it will come back and bite you. Since the movie takes place over a period of 15 years (or more), it is rather draggy and often I wonder when is the movie going to end. But I like the car chases where Ryan Gosling’s character tries to out-run the cops – full of adrenaline rush! Can’t say the same for the rest of the movie though.

Robin: If you ride like lightning, you’re going to crash like thunder.

THERE ARE SOME WARS YOU WALK AWAY FROM

brokencityBROKEN CITY (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) has been arrested for the murder of a street thug that raped and murdered his girlfriend’s sister. The Captain asks Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) for help and they eliminate the crucial evidence that frees Taggart. Seven years later, Taggart is now a private investigator and the Mayor uses this favour to find out the object of his wife’s affair.

Seriously, I wanted to watch the movie for Mark Wahlberg and Alona Tal. There was a bonus Justin Chambers but he’s too sleazy for my liking! Well, there’s a lot more to what’s going on with the Mayor and his wife and it is explained as the movie progresses. What’s not new is that politicians always play dirty and they always have a trick up their sleeve. Pity Mark Wahlberg whose character has to pick up other people’s pieces and solve the entire thing at the price of his life.

DON’T MESS WITH THE JOES

GIJoeR2G.I. JOE: RETALIATION (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

The Joes are back and they are after Cobra for killing their brothers and framing them for the theft of nuclear warheads. Roadblock (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson), Lady Jaye (Adrienne Palicki) and Flint (D.J. Cotrona) are the only survivors and they seek help from former G.I. Joe, Joseph Colton (Bruce Willis).

OMG! Lee Byung Hun! Wow, look at his ripped body and katana skills! I feel so much Asian pride when I see him. To be in Hollywood at 42 years old! Can’t wait to see him in Red 2 this summer! Speaking of age, Bruce Willis is 58 and he still can kick ass. His house beats the house of Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s. The movie packs a lot of action and I love those scenes with Storm Shadow. Walton Goggins makes an appearance here but he still doesn’t have a happy ending. Oops.

YOU DON’T KNOW JACK

jtgsJACK THE GIANT SLAYER (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

Nicholas Hoult movies back-to-back in Singapore! Woots!

First I’ve got to admit that I lost count of the number of times I referred to this movie as “Jack and the Beanstalk”. This is an updated version of the fairy tale and it’s slightly more bloody and gruesome because they depict giants eating humans and their love for humans as pastry fillings.

What I liked about the movie was the mythology of how the human ancestors managed to control the giants and lived in peace until some power hungry fellow stole the beans and aims to be the ruler of the giants’ kingdom. Stanley Tucci is delightful as the villain and Ewan McGregor is just plain charming as the royal guard in his accent. Although the story is kind of predictable, you’ll still want to watch how Jack saves the day.

STAYING YOUNG IS GETTING OLD

Vamps2012VAMPS (2012)
3 out of 5 stars

Goody (Alicia Silverstone) and Stacy (Krysten Ritter) are vampires living in modern Manhattan. They abstain from human blood and are creatures of the night. Their lives become complicated when Stacy dates Joey van Helsing, whose family descends from a line of vampire hunters.

This is like a mini Clueless reunion with director Amy Heckerling and actors Alicia Silverstone and Wallace Shawn! Of course, the other draw of the movie is Dan Stevens! I heard a few gasps the moment his face lit up the screen.

It has plenty of witty dialogue, especially from Goody since she’s one of the oldest character in the film and she disses social media and other “advances” in technology. There’s also certain vampire myths that are tested here and some with hilarious results (re: mirrors). But for those expecting something like Clueless, you won’t find it here.

YOUR FUNNY YELLOW SHOES

10years10 YEARS (2012)
3 out of 5 stars

This film takes place at a high school reunion ten years after their graduation and revolves around this batch of students, some of which have evolved and some have not.

Reunions are such scary things – you want to go to find out how others are doing yet you are afraid of how people might view you. Are jerks still jerks? Are jokers still jokers? Are nerds still nerds?

There are a couple of stories interlocking here and the one that I liked most is the one with Reeves and Elise. Oh, I wished I was more like Elise – quiet but with an edge. I need to find that edge! I predicted that storyline from miles away and OMG that song – I was just waiting for “yellow shoes” to appear. The other interesting guy is Garrity, who brought his wife along, and reveals his hidden past. Wow that side is really unexpected but there are always surprises to be found.

The lead is Channing Tatum (biggest face on the poster) but his story was mildly interesting though it was nice to see him work with real-life wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum. Plus, Scott Porter (Hart of Dixie) sings in this too!