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    February 14, 2011

    MOVIE REVIEWS: GREAT DAY, HOMECOMING, SHAOLIN

    Check out Green Tea Movie's January movie reviews in brief - Part 2

    GREAT DAY (U)
    Genre: Comedy/Drama
    Release Date: 13 January 2011
    Distributor: Golden Screen Cinemas
    Director: Chiu Keng Guan
    Starring: Jack Lim, Wan Wai Fun, Royce, Vivian, Jiang Han
    Plot: "Great Day" tells the story of two uncles who live in an old folks home. Aggravated by an argument and with the help of Ah Hock and Ultraman, the two men decide to escape from the home and find their children, just to show off whose children are better. The fun catches on with odd circumstances one after another, but in the end of the day it's going to be a big reunion at the old folk's home.

    Short Reviews: Great Day is Malaysian very own Chinese movie and local production. It contains some familiar elements that touch the life of the Malaysian in general particularly in the spirit of family-hood and the bond between fathers and children. Undeniably, Great Day is a heart-warming story about two old men at old folk's home north in Perlis. Their love-hate relationship is sometimes at tense but remains healthy. Despite the good-riddance the movie carries to bring you the spirit of the lunar New Year and some momentary touching issues, the movie has plenty of flaws when it comes to story-telling. Certain issues like the health problems and side stories are completely neglected and never revisited. The story plays too much on emotion and otherwise consists of simple and straight-forward narration. Yet again, the ending could have been much better. If Great Day is for the viewing pleasure during the family outing, it will cheer the day. Otherwise, it is still nowhere amazing.
    THE RATING:
    Story: 2.5
    Casts: 3.0
    Cinematography: 3.5
    Effects: 3.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 11.3/20.0
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    HOMECOMING (U)
    Genre: Comedy/Drama
    Release Date: 19 January 2011
    Distributor: United International Pictures
    Director: Lee Thean-Jeen
    Starring: Jack Neo, Mark Lee, Ah Niu, Afdlin Shauki
    Plot: "Homecoming" is about three stories of three different individuals going home for Chinese New Year. A major highlight of the movie is that Jack Neo, who will be cross-dressing on the big screen again after eleven years since "Liang Po Po The Movie" back in 1999. He will be playing mother to Ah Niu's character. It is said that he was told to lose at least 5kg for his role. Jack Neo long time collaborator Mark Lee and Malaysian multi-talented writer-director-comedian Afdlin Shauki are among the cast.

    Short Reviews: Jack Neo doing cross-dressing again. You seen him as Liang Po Po a decade ago but now he returns as Karen Neo. Left alone his personal problem that sounds pretty much like Tiger Wood, Jack and Ah-Niu form one of the three anchor stories in the movie. The movie revolves around peoples from the prespective of three different families; all aiming to reach home in time for the Chinese New Year's reunion dinner. You have "a renowned chef too busy cooking for other families' reunion dinner while forgetting his own, a pair of newlyweds that just want to escape their dinner to go on a free trip to Bali, and a woman and her less-than-interested son stuck in a long taxing journey from Singapore to KL". Along the riddance, there's a good chunk of humor and road trip experience. The concept is simply fun and hilarious. I particularly love Jack and Ah Niu's story more because of their strong chemistry. Add in our Malaysian famous comedian Afdlin Shauki in it, the combo is on the top notch Meanwhile, I get pretty annoyed with Mark Lee's continuous attempt to 'rojak' his languages into one, enough said! Nevertheless, Homecoming proves to be entertaining and wittily fun.
    THE RATING:
    Story: 3.0
    Casts: 3.5
    Cinematography: 3.0
    Effects: 3.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 12.7/20.0
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    SHAOLIN (18)
    Genre: Action/Drama/Historical/Martial Arts
    Release Date: 27 January 2011
    Distributor: Golden Screen Cinemas
    Director: Benny Chan
    Starring: Andy Lau, Jackie Chan, Nicholas Tse, Fan Bingbing, Yu Shao Qun
    Plot: ackie Chan and Andy Lau star in this movie about the betrayal of former general Hou Jie (Andy Lau) by his second in command Cao Man (Nicholas Tse) which causes his wife (Fan Bing Bing) to desert him. He then seeks refuge in a shaolin temple that he recently looked down upon after beating up a few of the monks in the same monastery. Hou Jie befriends a Shaolin cook (Jackie Chan) who picks him up and he finds a way to resolve the existing conflict with the fellow monks. He leads the monks in a fiery stand as they try to end the rule of the warlord Cao Man.

    Short Reviews: Last year, we have 14 Blades which I thought was brilliant. This year, the new Shaolin movie by Benny Chan is making its way. From outer surface, both movies are dark and solemn in storyline while contain heavy violence and graphical scenes. Although Shaolin is released at this festive season, I do not see it as a hindrance for it to make some impact. The new reimagination story about the Shaolin monks during the Chinese Revolutionary era is epic in scale, equipped with great amount of props, settings and not forget the explosions. The solemnity of the movie is based on three main elements where director Benny Chan makes his points to highlight the situation of China during the early days after the end of absolute monarchy. The plot is smart to handle major stories regarding rivalry of the warlords, transformation of a man in solemn following life-changing events and the bitter struggle to defend own's ground. while the plot is straigh-forward and epic in scale, the castings also bring in a lion share of its own epic-ness. With castings of Andy Lau, Niocholas Tse, Fang Bing Bing and Jackie Chan, the movie convinces us that pretty faces like them are still workable in bringing the movie alive. I love how Benny Chan make this movie on its mood and how the story goes in proper way without leaving any speculations at the ending. For much of it, Shaolin is a must watch movie during this Chinese New Year.

    THE RATING:
    Story: 3.0
    Casts: 4.0
    Cinematography: 4.0
    Effects: 3.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 14.0/20.0
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