Movies to watch this September
After the success of On The Fringe, it’s no wonder the same key actors have been reassembled to deal with a familiar theme — gangs and teenage rebellion. Expect good performances from the always reliable Li Nanxing (who’s also executive producer), Edwin Goh and Ian Fang, as they go on a journey of hard-earned lessons.
Step Up Revolution (PG)
So we were totally psyched for the release of the fourth instalment in the Step Up series (yes, we’re geeks for dance movies). Of course, you don’t watch this for some deep and moving storyline, it’s all about the dancing and hot guys. Now relocated to Miami, it centres around a lovestruck couple battling the girl’s father’s disapproval and a flash mob dance crew who wants to win a competition (as usual).
Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (PG)
Wait, how did movie producers know what our diary was called? Just kidding. The third film in the adaptation of a line of popular children’s book series focuses on protagonist Greg Heffley’s adventures at a country club, trying to win over long-time crush Holly Hills.
My Ghost Partner (PG)
Another local effort, this time with veteran actor Huang Yiliang as director. It meshes gambling, comedy and horror with Huang as a ghost who returns to help his gambling partner (Brandon Wong) win an all-important match.
The Campaign (M18)
With the American presidential election making headlines every day, there’s no better timing for this movie about small-town politics to reflect the silliness and sparring that’s going on. A reigning Democratic Congressman (Will Ferrell) who’s been unchallenged for four terms now finally has to deal with an opponent (Zach Galifianakis) who isn’t exactly in it for the best reasons either.
ParaNorman (PG, in 3D)
Although deemed a “comedy thriller”, it’s also about a quintessential outsider in society who finally accepts friendship. Norman can see and talk to ghosts but no one believes he possesses this special skill, until he has to use it and his painful past as a town pariah, to save his community from a vengeful spirit.
Even though three separate storylines make up this romantic comedy, it’s mostly known as 2PM Nichkhun’s big screen debut. Hottests (that’s what 2PM fans are known as) and fans of the hunky star will be happy to see more of his fantastic body as he plays a marathon runner who falls for a newscaster.
With Family Guy’s Seth Macfarlane at the helm, expect plenty of crude language from a ... teddy bear? Yes, Mark Wahlberg plays alongside a smoking, talking, womanising bear who comes in between him and a shot at a real relationship with Mila Kunis.
29 Februari (in 3D)
An intriguing storyline in this first-ever Malaysian 3D film — a man whose birthday falls on February 29 finds he ages only after every four years. Sound like a perfect anti-ageing solution? Not if you have to watch everyone close to you die. He also spends his life searching for the love of his life, Lily.
The Woman in the Fifth (M18)
It’s always nice to see Ethan Hawke, especially in this thriller where he plays a struggling writer in Paris having an affair with a mysterious woman (Kristin Scott Thomas). She stipulates when and where to meet her — in the fifth arrondisement (or district) at 5pm, hence the title. However, things start going badly and he’s accused of murder, and he finds out his paramour hasn’t lived in that apartment for 15 years. Creepy.
The Scent (R21, in Korean)
The tables are turned on a private investigator Seon-woo who finds himself the suspect of a murder case after helping a woman (Park Si Yeon) trail her cheating husband. It turns out the husband was dead to begin with and now the race is on to find the killer.
Restoration (NC 16, in Hebrew)
An old, reclusive wood restorer, Yakov, loses his business partner of 40 years, faces a dying business and an alienated son who just wants him to sell it off. Yakov hires a young guy Anton, who finds a way to help the shop earn much-needed cash, and who ends up becoming more of a son than his own biological one. It’s also the opening film for this year’s Israeli Film Festival in Singapore, from Sept 5 to 11 at The Cathay.
Intimate Grammar (NC 16, in Hebrew)
Set in a conflicted Jerusalem in the 1960s, the movie is based on David Grossman’s The Book of Intimate Grammar. It’s a sensitive coming-of-age story about a boy stuck in a body which can’t seem to grow up to match his maturing mentality.
Jellyfish (PG, in Hebrew)
A modern look into an oft-misunderstood country, Israel, centres around three young women all connected by a wedding — Batya, a waitress who meets and ends up giving the mute child she chances upon a home, Keren, the bride who breaks her leg at her own wedding reception and Joy, a domestic helper from the Philippines who has to deal with communication issues with her boss and guilt about leaving her child behind in her home country.
Footnote (PG, in Hebrew)
A tough father-son relationship is put into the spotlight in this film which won the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival 2011, and nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars in 2011. Both men are professors in the same department but share opposing views on the awards bestowed upon academics. The father Eliezer is selected to receive the Israel Prize, considered the country’s biggest honour, but it’s revealed the award was meant for his son Uriel instead. Instead of claiming it as his own, Uriel tries to keep the mistake a secret so his father won’t be devastated.
The Secrets (M18, in Hebrew)
A brave film which treads controversial ground explores women’s rights in the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith. Naomi and Michelle meet at a Jewish seminary, and go on to help a terminally ill older woman who has been made a pariah in her community because of a murder she committed. The two girls form an intimate bond but get expelled for their relationship. Where will they go from here?
Raaz 3 (in Hindi)
Bipasha Basu tackles a psychotic role as a popular actress who sees her career go down the toilet as a newer and younger girl take over potential roles and even her man. She uses black magic to ensure this newbie gets taken of. Sure, it’s extreme, but still a relatable storyline in a society which prizes youth.
Wolf Children (in Japanese)
Those on Team Jacob can understand — Hana marries a Ookami who she knows to be a werewolf and end up having two children Ame and Yuki. They then seek out a retreat in a small town after her husband dies, but both daughters have to decide whether to embrace their wolf or human side.