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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
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AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 3Stars

This afternoon I saw the movie Robin Hood (2010) at JP Theater, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies

Before I begin, I need to set the mindsets of all potential movie goers for this movie. It is not a "Robin Hood" movie of the traditional sense, but what they refer to as a prequel to the Robin Hood saga. This movie describes the background of the person who will eventually be known as "Robin Hood". In this movie this character is played by Russell Crowe.

Some may argue that Crowe was the wrong choice to play the Robin Hood character. As Robin's in the past had been agile, thin and fit. How else will he and his marry men fit in those tights? Crowe had lost some weight for this movie and is not as heavy as he was when he stared in State of Play as Cal McAffrey. I personally felt Crowe did a good job playing the professional archer freelancing along his trusted friends to fight for the King of England. Any further discussion of the plot will give it away. Overall I feel the casting was well done. Especially choosing Mark Addy as Friar Tuck, and Kevin Durand as Little John.

If you're looking to see yet another Robin Hood movie you will be greatly disappointed, but if you go in with an open mind and let the movie guide you through the story, you will be well rewarded with a sufficient background to the Robin Hood character. This is a movie that even someone who has no idea who Robin Hood is will enjoy.

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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AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 3Stars

This evening I saw the movie Alice in Wonderland in 3D at AMC Cinemas, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

This Tim Burton sequel to the original Alice in Wonderland movie from 1903, began the story with a 19 years old Alice Kingsleigh who just lost her father and is about to be married in an arranged marriage with the son of his father's ex-partner. Alice (Mia Wasikowska), got distracted and followed the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen) into a rabbit hole once more and began her adventure in Wonderland.

In Wonderland there is a battle between the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), in which Red Queen won and took over Wonderland. The White Rabbit was sent by Dormouse (Barbara Windsor), Dodo bird (voice of Michael Gough), and Tweedledee / Tweedledum (Matt Lucas) to look for Alice, because The Scroll claims that on the Frabjous Day, Alice will return to slay the Jabberwocky (Christopher Lee). Along the way Alice runs into her old friend Hatter (Johnny Depp) and he further explains to Alice what she needs to do.

Carter gave a familiar performance as she did with her character in Sweeney Todd, which Depp starred as Sweeney Todd. The Australian actress Wasikowska played a wonderful Alice, someone innocent, determine, ambitious and full of imaginations.

The special effect was okay and the 3D affects were minimal. I would not suggest going to see the 3D version of the film, as I believe the extra cost is not worth it. Rather I wish I had simply chosen a theater with a large screen and good sound system.

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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AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 3Stars

This evening thanks to NeonPunch.com I saw the movie premier Sherlock Holmes at JP Theater, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

If you are a fan of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels then you will have been looking forward to this version of the movie for some time. For this movie they casted Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Holmes sidekick, Dr. John Watson. The villain this time is Lord Blackwood played by Mark Strong, and the romantic distraction is Irene Adler played by My Name Is Tanino's Rachel McAdams.

I feel Downey delivered his typical Tony Stark character, which in my opinion does not fit my imagination of how Sherlock Holmes should be. Given that Holmes is a well known character, it is often hard to satisfy movie goers' expectations and preconceptions. On the other hand Law's performance was excellent, he presents a Watson that I expects from the years of reading Sherlock Holmes stories. Having said that the movie was able to keep the audience intrigued by a series of twists and revelations in the plot typical of Holmes stories. The movie ends by revealing the character, professor Moriarty, but comes short of revealing who the actor will be. As fans of Sherlock Holmes will know that Moriarty is the arch nemesis of Holmes, so no doubt if this movie does well in the box office, there will be a sequel.

Aside from the acting, the special effects masters were able to recreate a very believable 19th century London, along with Piccadilly Circus and an unfinished Tower Bridge. Although at times some of the blue screen became apparent in the CGI when mixed with real actors, but having sat so close to the screen I hardly noticed them.

For fans of mystery novels, Sherlock Holmes, Robert Downey Jr. or Jude Law this will be a movie not to miss.

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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AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 4Stars

This afternoon I saw the movie Avatar 3D at UA Cinema, Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

Before I went to see the movie I questioned my decision to pay the extra cost to watch the 3D version of the movie, but after watching just the opening credits I realized I had made the right decision. Above all the three times Oscar winning Canadian director, James Cameron wrote and filmed this movie with digital 3D cameras in mind. Therefore to experience the movie as Cameron originally intended, one will definitely have to watch the 3D version.

Aside from the direction, the artifical set of Pandora is beautifully created, matched with perfect original score. It is no wonder that the movie had already received 9 award nominations; including Best Director, Best Visual Effect and Best Origianl Score.

Half way into this almost three hours long movie, I finally understand why others referred to the movie as "Dancing With Smurf", a play on the title of the 1990 movie, Dancing With Wolves, staring Kevin Costner. Although, as most will agree the Na'vi is not as cute as the Smurfs.

The movie rehashes the plot of big corporations taking advantage of natives (the Na'vi) and what appeared to be the under privillaged, for their own corporate benefits. It also highlights the issues of one group trying to impose its own believes and values onto another. Which is the basis of the USA foriegn policies. Of course, it also had to include the chic topic of being more aware of our environment and suroundings.

The movie starts with Sam Worthington's charater Jake Sully, an ex-Marine, finding out his twin brother; a scientist for the corporation, died. Since avatars are grown as human Na'vi hybrides and genetically matched to the human counter part. The corporation did not want to waste the costly avatar offered Jake, his brother's job of operating an avatar on Pandora. Seeing this as a chance for Jake to walk again he took the job. What Jake did not know is that the corporation is minning for the valuable Unobtanium mineral at Pandora, where the largest deposit on the planet is underneath one of the Na'vi tribe's camp. The Avatar program is creates to gain the trust of the Na'vi, so they will move away from the camp, avoiding a military intervention to remove the tribe.

The technologies in the movie is very believable even for a technologist like myself. I particularly like the scene where the operator seamlessly drag an object from the big monitor to his tablet. Reminisce of Tom Cruise's Minority Report and wishfully the soon to arrive Mac Slate by Apple.

Yes the 3D version is more expensive but in most cities you will be able to find the cheaper version.

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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AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 4Stars

This evening I saw the movie Brothers Bloom at AMC Theater, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong. Another one of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

It has been a while since a movie offered a surprising plot. I was glad to say that this one did and that was the reason for one of the penguins above.

Adrien Brody gave a very good performance as "Bloom", but I see the same character he played in his famous role as "Wladyslaw Szpilman" in the movie The Pianist. On the other hand Mark Ruffalo gave a typical B-movie role as he always did in the past, even though, Ruffalo was suppose to be a co-star in the movie. Rachel Weisz, the other lead in this movie had a pretty good performance, unlike the other movies she appeared in like, The Mummy Returns.

A surprise performance came from Rinko Kikuchi who played "Bang Bang". This was Kikuchi's second American movie since Babel in 2006. I had not seen any of Kikuchi's Japanese movies but Babel was pretty bad. I think her English is not that good, which was perfect for the "Bang Bang" character, as she did not speak much, makingher acting even more important to the role.

The other thing that earned a penguin in my rating was the wardrobe. Both Brody and Weisz had beautiful clothes, which reminds me why I love Winter weather clothing.

I did not have this movie on my Must See Movies list before I saw the movie and I'm glad to have added it to the list. I think if you were like me and saw all that was at the theater, you may want to give this one a try.

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