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My Rating: 4Stars

This evening I saw the movie Fast & Furious 5 at AMC Cinemas, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

Normally I do not watch action or other movie sequels with more than 3 editions. The only exceptions being: Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Fast & Furious and Harry Potter. In 2014 I will add Beverly Hills Cop to this list of exceptions.

When watching sequels with more than three editions my expectations are usually way down, since it is difficult to keep the original plot, capture the audiences or offer surprise twists. Given the people behind this fifth edition of the Fast & Furious franchise didn't bother to come up with an original title for the movie, I was going in with just the goals of enjoying the stunts and amazing driving.

Almost the entire original Fast & Furious cast are present in this movie even Michelle Rodriguez's character "Letty", and they bring back some of the main characters from previous editions of Fast & Furious. To add fresh faces they brought in Dwayne Johnson (aka "The Rock") and Elsa Pataky who serve as great antagonists to Diesel and Walker's characters.

The movie starts off very exciting as this franchise normally does, as it sets the pace for the rest of the movie and never let up. The stunts are amazing but at times not so believable. They are able to retain the humor and excitement of original Fast Furious and threw in elements of Ocean's Eleven to make it a very enjoyable movie.

After watching this movie you come out of the theatre satisfied and wanting more, which brings me to Michelle Rodriguez's character "Letty". The play writes imply that there will be be a 6 edition of this franchise.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere

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My Rating: 4Stars

This evening I saw the movie Just Go With It at AMC Cinemas, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

It is a romantic comedy starting Adam Sandler as Danny and Jennifer Aniston as Katherine where Nicole Kidman has a supporting role as the evil Devlin Adams. Danny is someone who lost fate with marriage and decides to use marriage to get into the hearts of women.

Every characters in the movie help make it a 4 penguins for me. Sandler draw his role from Click, a person who is good deep down but portrays himself as a different person to others. Kidman does not play her glamours self but instead draw from her experience in The Golden Compass to play Aniston's antagonist. Before this movie Aniston has quite a few flops: The Switch, The Bounty Hunter and Love Happens. This movie takes advantage of her usual cute underdog character and match it perfectly with the other characters, making her character believable to the audience.

The other supporting characters are very good too. Nick Swardson who supported Sandler in Click. Aniston's children in the movie, Bailee Madison and Griffin Gluck are very good, where Gluck potentially becoming an actor to watch for the future. Dave Matthews plays a person pretending to be Jonathan Ive. The only exception being Brooklyn Decker whose character confuses us, as to whether to treat her as a dumb-blonde character or an innocent country girl, because she flips back and forth between these stereotypes.

This is a very enjoyable movie giving any audience; not only fans of Sandler, a great night out of laughter. This is definitely a good first choice at the box office.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere

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My Rating: 3Stars

This afternoon I saw the movie Source Code at AMC Cinemas, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

It stars Jake Gyllenhaal (as Captain Colter Stevens) and Michelle Monaghan (as Christina). Without giving away the plot, it is about a military pilot (Captain Stevens) who wakes up inside someone else's body and had to figure out what happened.

The movie decides not to spend the time to explain the backgrounds or develop the characters, but instead chose to jump right into the story, like the main character's predicament. This is brave of the play writes to do so, you will understand why after you watch the movie. This decision cause the movie to be a bit disorienting for the audiences.

This method would otherwise work well with a different cast of actors, but this cast left us non-engaged and at moments bored. During the first several cycles (do not want to get into this, in fear of revealing too much of the plot) Captain Stevens tried to both figure out the status of his own life and to follow orders to investigate the events that transpired.

Through out the movie the characters insist that they are not achieving time travel but in the end the audiences realize the characters have actually achieved travels among parallel realities.

This movie reminds me of Groundhog Day by Bill Murray, but it is not a comedy so it is not as entertaining.

I gave this movie 3 penguins and will only recommend it if there are no other choices at the cinemas.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 3Stars

This evening I saw the movie Limitless at UA Cinemas, Times Square, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

This movie has an original story. It is about a down and out writer who receives a custom drug from his ex-brother in-law, which helped pick himself out of his slump. He later finds out the drug is not as described by his dead in-law, and comes to the realization of its deadly effects.

Its lead is one of Hollywood's lesser known stars, Bradley Cooper. He always has a supporting role or shares the lead among other more famous actors, like in: The Hangover, Valentine's Day and The A-Team. This time he shares the limelight with the repeated Oscar winning actor, Robert De Niro. De Niro was delivered his usual great performance, but Cooper just didn't capture the audience with his version of the character.

In the end, this is a good movie to occupy your time or if you cannot find anything else to watch at the theatre.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere

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My Rating: 3Stars

This evening I saw the movie No Strings Attached at AMC Cinemas, Admiralty, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

It is a romantic comedy staring Natalie Portman (Emma) and Ashton Kutcher (Adam), playing two life long friends who have sex one morning. In an effort to protect their friendship, they decide to make a pack to keep their relationship as "no strings attached" (aka. friends with benefits). The movie has made popular a quote among the social networks.

What I need is someone who's going to be in my bed in 2 a.m. who I don't have to lie to or eat breakfast with... Use each other for sex at all hours of the day and night, nothing else.

Portman definitely carries this movie where the rest of the actors done an okay job of supporting her. Even though Kutcher has an equal billing for this movie, his role is nothing special. It's similar and at times identical to all other roles he played in the past: Killers, Valentine's Day and What Happens in Vegas.

On the other hand I have enjoyed Portman's performances since her role as Mathilda in Luc Besson's The Professional, then as Queen Amidala in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace and Evey in V for Vendetta.

This a fun entertaining movie to watch with your love one. It is definitely a good option if there's nothing else to choose from at the theater.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 4Stars

This evening I saw the movie Black Swan at AMC Cinemas, Admiralty, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

It is a movie about a ballerina, Nina Sayers (played by Natalie Portman). Nina lives with her mother, Erica (played by Barbara Hershey), who gave up her own ballet career at age 28 when she had Nina. As a result Erica places all her efforts in encouraging Nina to achieve the highest accolade in ballet. To support her mother's wishes Nina lives and breaths ballet day and night without any extra curricular activities. Due to this sheltering and up bringing by her mother, Nina becomes a perfectionist in all things relating to ballet.

Nina's pressure on herself and from Erica escalates to a new level when she won the lead in her company's new rendition of "Swan Lake". In fear of her new roll being taken away from her, she became paranoid of a new hire, Lily (played by Mila Kunis), who joins the company from California. This paranoia eventually develops into nervous break down and hallucinations.

Portman's performance is very believable and demonstrates her abilities to play a total different character from the one in No Strings Attached. It is not surprising that she is able to beat Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right, Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole, Jennifer Lawrence for Winter's Bone and Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine to win "Best Actress Oscar" in the 83rd Academy Awards.

Even if you are not a Portman fan this psychotic thriller is one that's worth watching.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 3Stars

This afternoon I saw the movie Shaolin at UA Cinemas, Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

A very intriguing movie that is exciting right off at the start. It stars 3 of Hong Kong's most famous male stars: Andy Lau, Jackie Chan and Nicholas Tse. Although it is an action film Jackie Chan is not the main characters in this movie. Instead Lau and Tse who play martial arts (kung foo) experts took the roles. Of course most of their action sequences were done by stunt men, but were still fairly believable.

The movie is set in China's ancient period where warlords are fighting each others to gain controls of each other's territories.

The historic Shaolin temple fell into the middle of this internal fightings, assisting and saving refugees as a result of these fightings. Although they stayed neutral and stuck to their believes of assisting anyone who are in need, they were forced to take side between two warlord brothers (Lau and Tse).

Most of the movie was set in the historic Shaolin temple and its compound. The movie maker even spent the efforts to create a replica of the temple structures for them to blow during one of the battle scene.

Of course any movie about Shaolin cannot be without several demonstrations of the amazing acrobatic feats (martial arts) of the Shaolin monks.

Benny Chan is not a stranger to action films particularly ones with Jackie Chan. Although Chan is not the main character in this movie, there were several scenes for him to demonstrate his martial arts skills.

Lau played a very convincing and conniving warlord who found Buddha teaching and recognized the wrong he had done, which the latter caused the life of his young daughter.

Overall this is an entertaining and beautifully filmed movie. Enjoyable and worth watching from a theatre big screen or a HDTV at home.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere

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My Rating: 4Stars

This afternoon I saw the movie The Tourist at UA Cinemas, Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

It stars two of Hollywood's biggest leading man and woman, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. I don't believe the two have ever done a movie together on the big screen.

It is an intriguing story about a women (Elise Clifton-Ward, played by Jolie) who purposely meets a tourist (Frank Tupelo, played by Depp) on a train on route to Venice, hoping to create a decoy for the police who is trying to locate her boyfriend. Going any deeper into the plot will ruin it for the readers who have yet to see the movie.

Jolie was playing her usual character, the beautiful woman who is able to handle herself. But this time she also projects the elegance reminisce of Elizabeth Taylor, there was a scene she even looks like her. May be she is practicing for her up coming roll as Cleopatra for the movie of the same name coming 2013.

This movie is a present change for Depp who is most famous as Captain, Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of Caribbean series and Edward in Edward Scissorhands. It is not since Secret Window that Depp played a humble character on the big screen.

This movie had its own set of controversies before it was completed. Depp's long time (12 years) partner, Vanessa Paradis remembering Jolie's history of stealing her leading man from other Hollywood starlets, insisted that Depp give up his roll in the movie after she found out he would have a love scene with Jolie. Fortunately, for us Depp did not, because the suggested replacements: Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, would not have pulled off the character as well as Depp did.

Aside from the twisting storyline and beautiful actors there's also the incredible sceneries of Venice to enjoy, but I would not put it among my Top Movies for 2011, so I gave this my 4 penguins rating.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 4Stars

This afternoon I saw the movie Knight and Day at AMC Cinemas, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

The leads in this movie are Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz who had one of their best performances of both careers.

Cruise had matured as an actor and this time he did not play an amateur spy role as he did in the Mission Impossible franchises. Although Diaz still plays her cute girl next door character as she did in the Charlie Angels franchises, this time she has a much more mature role. This may be due to both actors being older than when both stared in the respective franchises.

The stunts were impressive, fresh and believable. The plot is not that original and is like most spy movies, with reasonable amount of twists and suspense to keep the audience engaged. Additional entertainment factor was the results of the chemistry that Cruise and Diaz portrayed which also served to give the movie the comedy aspect that made this movie fun.

If you are looking for a light romance suspenseful comedy, then this is the movie for you.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 4Stars

This evening I saw the movie Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time at UA Cinema, Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

The video game Prince of Persia was created by Jordan Mechner for Brøderbund in 1989, and ever since it has been refined and republished by different game companies over the years, with Ubisoft being the last to do so. Now in 2010 a movie had been released staring Jake Gyllenhaal of Brokeback Mountain fame. Aside from Ben Kingsley the rest of the casts are mostly unknowns.

Being an action movie, it contains many fighting sequences between with the hero, Dastan (Prince of Persia played by Gyllenhaal) and his enemies, executing parkour and mix martial arts (MMA) techniques to overcome his enemies, this use of parkour gives the movie an acrobatic dance and light hearted feel.

Adding to the light hearted feel are humorous scenes between the hero and heroine, Tamina (played by Gemma Arterton). Underneath all these is a sound and fairly believable plot with the usual twists and turns to keep the audience guessing, but simple enough to allow the audience to enjoy the action and sceneries of the movie.

Although it has been a while (2005) since Gyllenhaal has a hit he did a good job here. If you're looking for an entertaining evening out, this movie should be top on your list.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review