Movie reviews: Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, Down A Dark Hall
TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES (PG)
They might seem like unlikely superheroes, but the Teen Titans give the DC Universe a much-needed lifeline against Marvel's onslaught.
Featuring the voice talents Scott Menville (Robin), Greg Cipes (Beast Boy), Hynden Walch (Starfire), Tara Strong (Raven) and Khary Payton (Cyborg), all of whom reprise their respective roles from the cartoon TV series Teen Titans Go!, the big-screen spin-off takes a leaf from the fourth wall-breaking playbook of Marvel's Deadpool, but it manages to do it arguably better and in a child-friendly way.
It even satirises the superhero movie genre, making the driving point of the story Robin's ambition to get a movie about himself made (because that has become the ultimate criterion for determining one's hero status), after being laughed out of a Batman film premiere.
As an animated film, it touches on the usual gamut of wholesome themes such as friendship and resilience, while its smart, self-deprecating humour and refusal to take itself seriously will make even the most sombre of adults smile.
- CLEMENT YONG
DOWN A DARK HALL (PG13)
Adapted from Lois Duncan's 1974 novel, this supernatural horror starring AnnaSophia Robb as a troubled teenager and Uma Thurman as a headmistress with a dark secret is set in the Victorian-style Blackwood Boarding School.
The plot involves five troubled young women discovering their talent and purpose, only to find out things are not so simple.
While Down A Dark Hall contains enough intricacies to make for an interesting story, the over-the-top acting and unconvincing special effects, along with the lack of any true element of horror, make the film difficult to watch at times.
It also suffers from insufficient backstories, with each of the girls along with the many tutors fading into one-dimensional stock characters, despite the suggested emotional weight of their past lives having an important bearing on their current situation. - NG WEI KA