All-star ensemble films are the rage these weeks, and I’ve watched three over the past two weekends.
The thing about such movies is that they are easy to watch- plots are simple and adequately entertaining while eye candy keep them from descending into sheer banality. What is not so good however, is that most are rather bland, insufficiently developed, and well, who’s good and who’s not becomes extremely clear.
Another thing to like: thanks to beautiful celebrities, posters are lovely to look at :p
Hot Summer Days, 全城热恋
72 Tenants, 七十二家租客
Class Acts: Hot Summer Days- Jackie Cheung or this unknown 井柏然. Cheung is a veteran and doesn’t disappoint as a single parent struggling to bring up his daughter while the other chap, despite an ugly hairdo in the film, charmed as a simple country boy, willing to stand in the hot sun to impress a girl. Very likeable=). 72 Tenants- Jackie Cheung and Eric Tsang, 姜还是老的辣! Valentine’s Day – Julia Roberts, forever captivating, and Anne Hathaway, who never disappoints, not in Princess Diaries, not in Brokeback Mountain, not in Rachel Getting Married nor the Devil Wears Prada, and definitely not here.
Most Disappointing: Daniel Wu- he’s so dashing and does a good job in almost every film he has appeared in in recent years. This time round, as a stern sushi chef, he’s a bore.
Most Surprising: Angela Baby and Nicholas Tse. The former, a gorgeous model of mixed parentage, is actually convincing as a country bumpkin. Even more impressive considering she’s a newcomer. Rebel reputation aside, Nicholas Tse is a man of talents- he is a good singer (and I insist on that, I love his songs) and he’s one of the bright sparks in the dull film.
Hottest: Vivian Hsu (when will she ever age?), Angela Baby, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba and all the male actors in Valentine’s Day. Yumz:)
Cringe-worthy: Hot Summer Days – will someone tell Rene Liu she can’t do cutesy at her age anymore? Barbie Hsu as a biker chick suffering from a terminal illness is an awful case of miscasting- looking dead pale, wearing tube tops and having tattoos cannot mask terrible acting. Valentine’s Day- On any other day, it’s hard to beat Jessica Alba- hot as she is, she really can’t act. Fortunately for her, there’s Taylor Swift. Of all the acting in the three films, hers must be the most horrifying performance. She is awkward, irritating, and not even very pretty. Likewise, it is fortunate for Jessica Biel that she is in the same film as Swift and Alba. I remember reading an article quoting Biel as saying she can’t get good roles because she is too good-looking. Erm..pardon me for being bitchy, but despite her fantastic bod, she looks a little like a horsy man. And her acting? Barely passable.
Best Stories: Hot Summer Days- the uncomplicated, sweet love between Angela Baby and 井柏然 is by turns funny, heart-wrenching and warm. I also liked the father-son bit between Nicholas Tse and his old man in the movie. Valentine’s Day- the adorable Jennifer Garner and Ashton Kutcher get my vote- this sort of story, where the one you are meant to be with is actually right next to you, always works for me.
And I would say: Watch 72 Tenants- it isn’t an award-winning piece of work, but it’s classic HK man-on-the-street humour, and I have not seen that for such a long time. Great cast and good acting across the board makes this film a nice, fluffy piece of enjoyment. Valentine’s Day is easy on the eyes and has the most star power. It is a bit long and draggy, but I left the theatre feeling fuzzy and warm. Not as bad a film as it looks, really. I rathe r liked it. Hot Summer Days- I nearly fell asleep. 90 mins, and feels like an eternity.