Movie Date: Mr Right (M18)
This Rockwell-Kendrick vehicle is right for the girls, but all sorts of wrong for the guys.
STARRING: Anna Kendrick, Sam Rockwell, Tim Roth
DIRECTOR: Paco Cabezas
THE SKINNY: Martha (Kendrick) is always falling for the wrong guy. On a rebound after being betrayed by her cheating boyfriend, she meets Francis (Rockwell) and falls for him. Little does she know that her possible Mr Right is all sorts of wrong - a "reformed" hitman who now kills only the people who hire him to kill others.
MARS by JASON JOHNSON
Mr Right doesn't work on any level.
As a comedy, it is flat. As an action flick, it is dull. As a romance, it is tepid.
It tries to do a lot of things and does none of them particularly well.
With its mix of violence, cutesiness and try-hard hipness, it is a throwback to 90s-era indie flicks.
It seems to have been inspired by Quentin Tarantino's stuff, but has more in common with the work of lesser film-makers who followed in his wake.
It reminds me of Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), which wasn't a great film, but still wittier and more stylish.Mr Right's problem is that it is un-self-consciously vile and the people behind it have no idea that they have no wisdom or soul.
The scene where Francis seduces Martha by throwing knives at her is a perfect example. She is kinda turned on and then kinda miffed with herself for being turned on, and then finally she just goes with it.
The idea is supposed to be that this seemingly sweet girl has a reservoir of evil within her and it is adorkable. Well, it is not.
Tarantino gives darkness its due. His antiheroes have a dangerous grandeur, but at the same time, they pay a high price for their violent impulses. His flicks evince the courage of his convictions.
There is no evidence of anything resembling courage or convictions in Mr Right. It is a clueless, callow piece of work.
VENUS by JOANNE SOH
Can two wrongs really make a right?
Both Martha and Francis are equally bananas.
Martha, upon realising he is a killer, brushes off the fact as a simple bump in the road. She loves the bad guys anyway.
Francis firmly believes murder is wrong, yet he goes about killing people without batting an eyelid.
Kendrick and Rockwell show that with great chemistry, they can make anything right.
Kendrick is really honing her comedic prowess and her Martha is one nutjob who is adorable, empathetic and crazy all rolled into one cute package.
Rockwell is such a charmer. With all those smooth moves and earnestness, how can one not fall for him?
Together, they exude effervescent charm and kitsch that make this otherwise flimsy film entertaining.
Even their outfits reflect their quirkiness.
Mr Right starts off funny, but things sputter when it switches into action mode.
Despite Rockwell's graceful moves - he is said to have done all his own fight sequences - the violence is way over the top.
And Martha getting excited by it? Even that's too bizarre for my liking.
Put the couple together and magic happens. Take them apart for all the glorified action and that is when the film goes downhill.
THE CONSENSUS: This Rockwell-Kendrick vehicle is right for the girls, but all sorts of wrong for the guys.
Movie Review: Chongqing Hotpot (PG13)
A sizzling crime thriller with romance and humour, Chongqing Hotpot is one of the best Chinese heist films of late.
Set in Chongqing city, the story centres on old friends Liu Bo (Chen Kun), Xu Dong (Qin Hao) and "Four Eyes" (Yu Entai), who open a restaurant in a cave that used to be a bomb shelter.
Severe mismanagement leads to them falling into debt. Hoping to sell their business for a higher price, the trio dig into the cave to expand their eatery's space. In the process, they discover access to a bank's underground vault.
Slickly shot with a bloody final showdown, Chongqing Hotpot also features excellent performances by Chen and Qin.
Movie Review: Midnight Special (PG)
This is a welcome reprieve from all the heavy CGI stuff we've been getting.
Midnight Special relies on a riveting story and a strong cast and is indeed very special.
It starts off as a mystery, then veers into supernatural territory, with sci-fi thrown in.
But at the heart of this mixed genre film is a heartwarming family drama.
The terrific 13-year-old Jaeden Lieberher (St. Vincent, Aloha) plays the gifted Alton, who is on the run with his protective parents Roy (a brilliant Michael Shannon) and Sara (a tender Kirsten Dunst).
The authorities want the boy because they think he is a weapon, while a religious cult thinks he is the Messiah.
While parts of the film are uneven, the big reveal is satisfying and worth the wait. This is a showcase of masterful acting, not only by the leads but each and every one of its supporting cast.