We are sorry to tell you that this is not a good week for nice weather or for new movies in Hong Kong. If you haven’t yet caught Mad Max: Fury Road, Avengers: Age of Ultron, or Citizenfour, this may be the week to do so. Our in-house movie expert, Howard Elias, is here to tell us why this week’s crop of new films is all wet.
For the second year in a row, Adam Sandler has topped Forbes’ list of the Most Overpaid Actors in Hollywood. Sandler’s latest outing, The Cobbler, certainly won’t help his bankability. In the film, he plays Max Simkin, a single, late 40-something, Jewish teddy bear of a guy who is also a fourth generation shoe repairman. One day, when his stitching machine breaks down, he goes down to his shop’s basement and uses his great-grandfather’s treadle-operated stitcher to repair the shoes of a local thug. Once re-soled, he notices that the shoes are the same size that he wears so he slips them on his feet. To his surprise, Max is immediately transformed into his customer. It seems the machine works some old world Yiddishe mojo. Even die-hard Sandler fans will be hard-pressed to find anything good to say about The Cobbler. This is just an awful film.
Pitch Perfect 2
Like OMG! The Barden Bellas are back but things aren’t so totally awesome for the all-girl college a capella group this time around. After a humiliating command (or maybe I should say “commando”?) performance for none other than the POTUS, Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Beca (Anna Kendrick), and the other ladies enter the World Championships of A Cappella in order to regain their status and right to perform. Can they hang together long enough to overcome all odds? Only Gleeks would care.
Like OMGx2! Taylor Lautner (if you don’t know who he is then you’re the wrong demographic for this film) stars as Cam, a bicycle courier who literally falls for Nikki (Marie Avgeropoulos), a sexy and mysterious young woman who is also a “traceur” (parkour practitioner). Hoping to get closer to Nikki, Cam joins her surrogate family of urban gymnasts who use their skills for criminal ends. The only impressive thing about Tracers is that Lautner did most of his stunts himself. Otherwise, it’s a yawner.
Showing at the AMC, BC, and Grand cinemas.
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.