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Popcorn and Opinions: January 01

By Localiiz 1 January 2015
It's a new year with a whole new crop of films gracing our silver screens. Our in-house movie expert, Howard Elias, has eschewed the egg nog just long enough to file his report on what you should and should not be seeing this week. Let's just say that the start to 2015 is not pretty. For last week's review click here.

Opening This Week

Taken 3
Retired CIA operative Bryan Mills (a very monotone Liam Neeson) is back because it wasn't enough that he rescued his daughter from Albanian kidnappers in the first installment, and rescued his wife and himself in the second. This time around, the bad guys kill his wife and Mills is the arrested for the crime. But, fear not, he doesn't take it lying down. Expect lots of gunfire and explosions as Mills takes on the police, the CIA, and the FBI as he tries to clear his name and find the real killer. Haven't we seen this before? Showing at the AMC, Broadway, Grand, and UA cinemas.  
Something got lost in translation in this Spanish-Argentine production, which has already picked up seven awards at a number of industry events in both countries. In a hillside village, Amadeo is the king of table football (aka foosball) but in real life he's a loser. When he beats the town bully, Flash, at a match, Flash vows revenge, which he decides to exact 10 years later when the two guys are grown up and Flash is a rich, famous, and athletic professional football player. I walked out of the film not long after that. The animation is so last century and the story just doesn't work with British accents. Maybe the little ones will like this film but I give Foosball a very real red card. In English and Cantonese; showing at the AMC, Broadway, Grand, and MCL cinemas.  
Women Who Flirt
Zhang Hui has a crush on Xiao Gong but he only sees her as a good friend. (Oh, I've been there!) When Gong returns from a business trip to Taiwan with a new girlfriend, Hui enlists the help of her girl crew to teach her the fine art of flirting so that she can win Gong back, er, over. No, this is not a Doris Day-Rock Hudson rom-com from the 1950s but it sure seems like it should be. Hong Kong director Pang Ho-cheung's (Aberdeen) latest effort is both derivative and shallow. In other words, it's perfect for those who think that acting like butter wouldn't melt in your mouth is the best way to get a man. In Putonghua with Chinese and English subtitles; showing at the AMC, Broadway, Grand, and UA 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            

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