Sep 05, 2013

    Quick takes

    COLD EYES (NC16)

    Thriller/120 minutes

    Rating: 3.5/5

    IN THIS South Korean remake of Hong Kong thriller Eye In The Sky (2007), Ha Yoon Ju (Han Hyo Joo) has a phenomenal memory that comes in useful in her job.

    The rookie member of a police surveillance unit works under the gruff but brilliant chief detective Hwang (Seol Kyung Gu) and alongside fellow cop Squirrel (Lee Jun Ho). Their target is the elusive and ruthlessly efficient ringleader James (Jung Woo Sung).

    Writer-director Cho Ui Seok and co-director Kim Byung Seo leave their stamp on the award-winning Hong Kong film's basic premise of a surveillance team on the trail of a master criminal.

    The shift in location from Hong Kong to the bustling metropolis of Seoul already gives the film a different tone and character. The directors here have a good grip on pacing and the opening sequence of the leads crossing paths adds to the tension.

    Notably, the South Korean cast does not merely recreate the key roles of, for example, the experienced cop played by Simon Yam and the villain played by Tony Leung Ka Fai.


    Comedy/110 minutes

    Rating: 2.5/5

    A DRUG dealer (Jason Sudeikis), a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a runaway homeless girl (Emma Roberts) and a dorky guy named Kenny (Will Poulter) pretend to be a family in order to smuggle some drugs from Mexico into the United States.

    The premise is a strained one, so the movie has to spend quite a bit of time justifying why these four come together as the Millers.

    The idea is that a family would invite less scrutiny, but not when they are so clearly playing at being a whiter-than-white-bread Brady Bunch.

    Director Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, 2004) throws in aren't-we-daring naughtiness when the virginal Kenny gets kissing lessons from his "sister" and "mother", and Aniston also does a bump-and-grind routine in bra and panties.

    The resulting mix might leave you feeling slightly queasy.