Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Yeoh’

London at its worst

Last Christmas

Director: Paul Feig

Cast: Emilia Clarke, Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding, Boris Isakovic, Rob Delaney, Patti LuPone

After watching director Gurinder Chadha’s cleverly written British film, Blinded by the Light inspired by the music of Bruce Springsteen, Spy and Bridesmaids director Paul Feig’s romantic musical Last Christmas was such a disappointment.

Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke (Me Before You) plays a Yugoslavian emigrant Kate who works in a year round Christmas shop in London run by a woman called Santa played by Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians, Tomorrow Never Dies, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) while she falls in love with the mysterious guy called Tom played by Malaysian star Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians). Kate is desperately trying to avoid going back to stay with her parents especially her over-bearing mother Petra played with a Slavic accent by Oscar winner Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Howard’s End). 

What was the exceptionally talented Emma Thompson doing starring and co-writing in such a contrived piece of cinematic rubbish as this film?

Surely she has better judgement than this.

Last Christmas was just terrible, sickly sweet, historically inaccurate and absolutely shocking saved only by some gorgeous nocturnal shots of the British capital.

I sat through most of this film thinking what nonsense this film was and when the final reveal came it didn’t even touch me emotionally. Last Christmas is a terrible holiday film and both Emilia Clarke and Emma Thompson’s talents were wasted on a film in which its basic premise revolved around the music by the late George Michael and the 1980’s pop group Wham.

After seeing such a deluge of brilliant cinema in the last couple of months including Knives Out, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman and Joker, Last Christmas is terrible.

Last Christmas was badly cast, badly acted and its storyline was utter nonsense, displaying only the worst aspects of London without even showing a capital city that normally shines in its historical elegance. Emma Thompson definitely should have known better.

Recommended only for viewers that love sickly sweet romantic musicals without any substance, Last Christmas gets a film rating of 5.5 out of 10.

Eliminating the Competition

Mechanic: Resurrection

mechanic_resurrection

Director: Dennis Gansel

Cast: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Sam Hazeldine, Toby Eddington, John Cenatiempo

Viewers of Mechanic Resurrection could be forgiven for thinking they are watching a retro 007 film. As German director Dennis Gansel’s film opens in Rio de Janeiro, it is reminiscent of Moonraker then as the next sequence moves to the South China Sea, the location is directly out of The Man with the Golden Gun.

mechanic

Action man Jason Statham reprises his role of Arthur Bishop in the sequel to the 2011 film The Mechanic, this time Bishop is courted by nefarious arms dealer Crain played by British actor Sam Hazeldine (The Huntsman: Winters War), to carry out a series of assassinations around the globe, which should look like freak accidents.

As Mechanic Resurrection moves from Rio to Bangkok, to a prison island off the Malaysian city of Penang then onto a glossy highrise in Sydney Harbour, director Ganzel makes the most out of every exotic location. Surprisingly none of the locations are in the US, which adds to the originality of the film.

In Thailand, Bishop meets the pawn in the game, Gina, played by the voluptuous and feisty Jessica Alba, and then both are involved in a dangerous game of intrigue, as Bishop is sent by Crain to kill these criminal monsters. The last of which is Max Adams played by an unrecognizable Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive, Jason Bourne), who is hiding out in a Soviet era monument in the outskirts of the Bulgarian resort city of Varna.

Soon Bishop and Adams make an unholy alliance to take Crain down and the rest of Mechanic Resurrection is an old style action film, as bad guys are dispatched in the hundreds, particularly in a scene on a luxurious yacht on the Black Sea. Bishop literally eliminates the competition.

mechanic_resurrection_ver2

The most dazzling scene in the film is the cantilever swimming pool which juts out of a Sydney Harbour apartment building which Bishop sabotages to kill arms dealer and child trafficker, the suave Adrian Cook played by Toby Eddington.

Mechanic Resurrection is an old style action film, the kind film studios used to make between the mid-1980 and 1990’s. Think Rambo, Die Hard or True Lies. It’s a great popcorn film.

The stunts are outrageous, the locations out of a bond film and naturally the buff Jason Statham is perfect as the fit action hero ready to save the gorgeous Gina held captive on a yacht fill of thugs.

Clearly inspired by the Bond franchise, director Dennis Gansel pays homage to some of the classic 007 films giving the look of Mechanic Resurrection that fabulously exotic retro feel. Even former Bond girl Michelle Yeoh (Tomorrow Never Dies) stars as Mei, Bishop’s friend and confidant in the South China Sea.

Mechanic Resurrection is 90 minutes of pure action, fabulous locations and complete escapism, sometimes it’s just what audiences need to escape the mundane realities of daily life. Go and see it. It’s fun and certainly entertaining!

2000 Toronto Film Festival

2000 Toronto International Film Festival Winners

Tiff2000poster

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) takes place every year in September in Canada.
Films which premiere at Toronto are often nominated for Academy Awards the following year.

TIFF does not hand out individual prizes for Best Actor or Actress but focuses on amongst others the following awards:
People’s Choice Award & Best Canadian Feature Film

Stardom_FilmPoster

Opening Night Film: Stardom directed by Denys Arcand, starring Jessica Pare and Dan Aykroyd

crouching_tiger_hidden_dragon_ver3

People Choice Award: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon directed by Ang Lee, starring Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang

Waydowntown

Best Canadian Feature Film: Waydowntown directed by Gary Burns, starring Don McKellar and Marya Delver

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Toronto_International_Film_Festival

 

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