Yes, Oscar fever is finally over. If you didn’t already know, the biggest winners this year were Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ (three wins) and Ang Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’ (four wins).
Speaking of ‘Ah Boys To Men Part 2’, the film has made Jack Neo laugh all the way to the bank. The movie has made its way into the list of Top 10 highest grossing films of all time in Singapore.
‘Ah Boys to Men 2’ (S$7.08 million) lands on the tenth on the list, behind ‘Spiderman 3’ (S$7.83 million) in ninth spot and ‘Harry Potter & the Deadly Hallows Part II’ (S$7.86 million) in eighth spot. Both ‘Ah Boys to Men’ and ‘Ah Boys to Men 2’ have pulled in a combined total of over S$13.2 million at the box office so far, and Neo said that there will be a Part 3. So what if critics say the movies’ are cheesy? Singaporeans have embraced the local humour, and you can catch a back-to-back screening of both films at Cathay Cineplexes.
Week of 7 Mar
The Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Matthew Goode, Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman
The Story: ‘Stoker’ follows Kidman and Wasikowska as a grief-stricken mother-daughter duo. Matthew Goode stars as Uncle Charlie, a mysterious man with whom Wasikowska's character soon begins a bizarre and disturbing relationship with.
The Buzz: ’Stoker’ is the much-awaited English-language debut of cult South Korean director Park Chan-Wook (‘Oldboy’, ‘Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance’ and ‘Lady Vengeance’) and penned by ‘Prison Break’s’ Wentworth Miller. Spine-chilling and simmering with mystery and suspense, ‘Stoker’ is said to be the first of a planned trilogy. Yeay!
inSing.com says: If you’re familiar with Park’s previous work, you’d know that the director has a penchant for violence (albeit a stylish sense of one a la ‘Oldboy’), morbidity as well as characters that are seemingly trapped in labyrinthine twists. And from the beautiful trailer, it seems that Hollywood bigwigs have let the director retain much of his distinctive vision; the top drawer cast will definitely have non-fans interested.
Week of 14 Mar
The Stars: Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, Steve Buscemi, Steve Carell
The Story: ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’ stars Steve Carell as a Vegas magician whose relationship with his partner (Steve Buscemi) becomes strained as the two start getting upstaged by a hipper illusionist (Jim Carrey).
The Buzz: Watching Steve Carrell pulling a teething puppy out of his pants and watching Jim Carrey playing the love-child of David Blaine and Criss Angel.
inSing.com says: Written by ‘Horrible Bosses’ scribes Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, and directed by ‘30 Rock’ veteran Don Scardino, you can be assured that there will be plenty of laughs in this one. Not to mention that amount of comedy talent featured. We get to see Steve Buscemi returning to comedy after playing a gangster on ‘Boardwalk Empire’ as well as Jim Carrey as an up-and-coming street magician. So expect lots of sequins, velvet, outrageous hair, ridiculous stage moves and, of course, the laughs for this one.
Also opening: After vampires and werewolves, it’s the walking dead’s turn to grace the silver screen this year. First up is the zombie rom-com ‘Warm Bodies’ starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer.
Week of 21 Mar
The Stars: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum, Jude Law, Rooney Mara
The Story: The movie follows a young woman (Rooney Mara) who begins suffering anxiety attacks after her husband (Channing Tatum) is released from prison. After seeking treatment from a psychiatrist (Jude Law), she decides to start taking prescription drugs. Although she initially finds the medication to be effective, that changes when she blacks out and wakes up to discover a dead body in her apartment.
The Buzz: ‘Side Effects’ is Steven Soderberg’s final theatrical film before his retirement from movies.
inSing.com says: He started his film career with brilliant ‘Sex Lies and Videotape’ and it is only fitting that he “ends” it with the equally brilliant ‘Side Effects’. Like most of Soderberg’s thrillers, he baits you early on with the promise of a pharma-thriller, sending you in one direction before pulling you sharply the other way. And that’s the beauty of his new movie; the unpredictability of it all. This medical/crime thriller marks the reunion of director Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns, who collaborated on the compelling pandemic thriller ‘Contagion’. And while ‘Side Effects’ isn’t as multi-layered as ‘Contagion’, it does play upon similar fears of modern medicine. Best for hypochondriacs.
Also opening: Quentin Tarantino’s controversial and much-talked about spaghetti western ‘Django Unchained’ opens this week. This is your chance to see what the fuss is all about and see whether the pulp director was deserving of his recent best original screenplay Oscar win. DreamWorks releases its latest animated adventure, prehistoric comedy ‘The Croods’ starring Nicholas Cage, Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone.
Week of 28 Mar
The Stars: Diane Kruger, Jake Abel, Max Irons, Saoirse Ronan
The Story: An adaptation of author Stephenie Meyer’s novel of the same name, ‘The Host’ takes place in the future where a parasitic alien species has almost wiped off the entire human population by taking control of every individual’s consciousness. A soul named Wanderer is attempting to take control of Melanie Stryder’s (Saoirse Ronan) consciousness, but faces strong opposition by what remains of the girl.
The Buzz: It’s touted to be the next ‘Twilight’. It’s by Stephenie Meyer after all.
inSing.com says: After the successes of ‘Twilight’ and ‘Harry Potter’, there seems to be a gap that needs to be filled and ‘The Host’ is one of the many young adult novel movie adaptations that are popping up this year, firstly with ‘Beautiful Creatures’ and then zom-com ‘Warm Bodies’, ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ and ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’. But one thing the other movies don't have is writer-director Andrew Niccol (‘Gattaca’, ‘In Time’) who adapted the Meyer’s original source material. Niccol is known for his sleek and brilliant take on futuristic dystopia and with a decent cast Ronan (‘Hanna’) and Diane Kruger (’Inglourious Basterds’) ‘The Host’ could just be a deal-clincher.
Also opening: It was delayed almost a full year. Breakout star Channing Tatum was killed too early in the film so after more scenes of the beefcake were shot and one 3D conversion later, ‘G.I. Joe Retaliation’ is finally out this week. Being fans of the original cartoon, we hope that it was worth the wait. How many Ip Man movies do we need? After Wong Kar Wai’s ‘The Grandmaster’, we have ‘Ip Man – The Final Fight’ which opens this week and stars Anthony Wong.
(Note: All release dates are subject to change; all information correct as of press time.)