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Popcorn and Opinions: January 8

January marks that time of the year when our local cinemas start screening films that are getting lots of Hollywood awards buzz. So, strap on your rocket-propelled shoes because you’re going to be doing a lot of running around over the next few months if you want to catch them all. Our in-house movie expert, Howard Elias, is here to tell us about the first batch of big-name films to arrive on our shores.

 Opening This Week

And So It Goes

Director Rob Reiner (This is Spinal Tap) and veteran actors Michael Douglas (Wall Street) and Diane Keaton (Annie Hall) prove that without a good script, even the best can fail. Douglas plays Oren Little, an obnoxious realtor whose life changes overnight when his 9-year-old granddaughter shows up on his doorstep. Enter the loveable next door neighbour, Leah (played by Keaton), and well, you can figure out the rest in this predictable and pedestrian slop.

Showing at the AMC, Broadway, and Grand cinemas.

Big Eyes

Chalk this one up to “Only in Hong Kong”. I was coming out of the MTR the other day when I spotted an advert for contact lenses that make you look like one of those big-eyed waifs made famous by American artist Margaret Keane. Who is she, you ask? If you don’t know, then you need to see director Tim Burton’s (Edward Scissorhands) latest peek into the world of weird. Back in the 1960s, Keane’s then husband, Walter, was busy hocking her paintings, ultimately taking credit for her work. Big Eyes is an enjoyable film but Christoph Waltz (Walter) just can’t match the acting chops of his co-star, Amy Adams (Margaret).

Showing everywhere.

Boyhood

If you’re going to see this film, make sure you choose a cinema that has very comfortable seats because Boyhood runs nearly three hours in length. Director Richard Linklater (the Before Sunrise series) has boldly gone where no filmmaker has gone before by casting the same group of actors to chronicle a fictional story about the life of a boy growing up over a 12-year period. Personally, I found this film to be deadly boring because we’re just presented with snippets of the boy’s life and any drama is left off screen, but I know my opinion is in the minority. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below.

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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