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Popcorn and Opinions: May 21

If you’re like most Hong Kongers, you’ve downloaded the HK Observatory app onto your smartphone and you regularly consult it before heading outside. But this week you don’t need the app to know what’s in store for us. It’s rain, rain and more rain. That’s why we’re glad our in-house movie expert, Howard Elias, is here to tell us what’s going on indoors at the cinemas so we can make the best use of this drippy weather.

The Age of Adaline

If you need a safe date night movie this week, this one is it … but that’s because the competition is even weaker than this clunker about a 106-year-old woman who stopped aging at 29. After living a life – multiple lives, really – in solitude, Adaline (Blake Lively, TV’s Gossip Girl) meets and falls in love with a dull, high tech billionaire (Michiel Huisman, World War Z) who just happens to be the son of an old flame (Harrison Ford) of hers from way back. Thankfully, Ford rescues the film from being a complete exercise in boredom.

Showing at the AMC, BC, Grand and MCL cinemas.

The Search

The 1948 Oscar winning film of the same name starring Montgomery Clift gets an update from Oscar winning director, Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist). Instead of post-WWII Berlin, The Search takes place in war-torn 1999 Chechnya and stars the director’s wife, Bérénice Bujo, as a French NGO worker who takes in an orphaned boy whose emotional scars run deep. Kudos for Mr. H for doing a 180 on film subjects but, unfortunately, the story is too large and too heavy to handle, collapsing under its own weight well before the closing credits start to roll on the screen.

Showing at the BC and Grand cinemas.

 

Spy

Teaming up funny woman Melissa McCarthy (St. Vincent) with Jude Law (the Sherlock Holmes franchise) and Jason Statham (The Expendibles franchise) seems like an idea that can only end in box office disaster but somehow Spy holds together … barely. Weak writing is the culprit here, as evidenced by the “F” word being sprinkled about like salt on Maccy D’s French fries. One day McCarthy will have the film worthy of her talent but this one isn’t it.

Showing everywhere.



Howard Elias is a Hong Kong-based film critic and film event organiser. You can hear his reviews every Thursday morning at about 8:40 am on RTHK Radio 4, and read his reviews anytime on his website at howardforfilm.com.

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