It’s back to the 80s with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger – sporting a beard – in a prison break thriller. They may be well past their prime, but they can still knock the living daylights out of one another while delivering smart one liners. Stallone plays Ray Breslin, a structural security expert who designs prison systems for a living. After being framed for a crime, Breslin is locked up in a supposedly escape-proof prison of his own design. But with the help of fellow inmate Arnie, he plots his escape and sets out to discover who framed him.
A martial arts action comedy in the vein of Beverly Hills Cop, but without a scintilla of that film’s wit and charm. It might have fallen into the category of so bad it’s good but instead falls into the one called ‘just plain bad’. Jet Li has blotted his copybook with this shocking misfire.
Taking its lead from Bollywood rather than Hollywood, this is a Chinese crack at Bond-style action with a plot involving a gang of British smugglers plotting to steal a priceless Ming Dynasty scroll. Andy Lau plays a 007-like character attempting to juggle a high-flying wife, a creepy super-villain, a mistress and a gang of deadly female assassins in wedding dresses. In two hours of big star action, the big budget of RMB160 million (US$26 million) is on show throughout but the script makes very little sense as it rushes like a bullet train from Hangzhou to Dubai to Tokyo. It is slickly choreographed escapism that only works as long as you don’t stop to ask what on earth is happening. Most noteworthy for a car chase through Dubai’s Burj Al Arab.
Using 3-D and IMAX technology, Metallica strike one out of the park for die-hard fans of the Californian heavy metal band. A live rock documentary is interspersed with a dramatic story, in which a young roadie (Dane DeHaan) is sent on a mission by the band and finds himself in an apocalyptic alternative reality. For fans, the sound quality and visually thrilling live material from two concerts in Vancouver last November take the concert movie to a new level.
The excellent Naomi Watts plays the People’s Princess in this portrait of her last two years following her separation from Prince Charles. We see her fall in love with Pakistani heart surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews) and find a new lease of life as a campaigning humanitarian. Dodi al Fayed comes along late in the picture as a rebound fling while her sons and ex-husband do not get a look in. Based on the book ‘Diana: Her Last Love’ by journalist Kate Snell.
This sequel to the 2009 hit animation is crammed with zany ideas and oddball characters. Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) is the amateur inventor whose water-powered food machine previously went berzerk and buried his island town in gigantic edible goods. Now he is recruited by a tech corporation and told that his machine has gone on to create food-animal hybrids called ‘foodimals’. Flint takes along his family and pet monkey to bring the monsters to heal in this smart, inventive satire on out-of-control tech business culture.