Fantastic Four : Rise Of The Silver Surfer – pure pop corn fun with no pretence of any high brow themes (or moralizing), this Fantastic Four film is probably the shortest blockbuster of the summer, clocking in at only 92 minutes. This is a plus in my books, as it means we cut straight to the actions scenes, with a little bit of comedy serving as diversion in between the set pieces. The best sequence was the introduction of the Silver Surfer and the subsequent chase with the Human Touch; unfortunately, the trailer exposed this scene months ago. All in all the film was fun: the Silver Surfer was cool and I can accept the compromise of Galactus being a cosmic cloud rather than Jack Kirby’s purple armoured giant (which wouldn’t work at all on the silver screen). Special effects were decent but not groundbreaking.
Zodiac – I have waited for David Fincher’s latest critically acclaimed film for months and I would say this is one of the best non-action movies I have seen so far in 2007. Based on the real life unsolved case, the film traces how both the press and the police failed to pin the Zodiac killings to anyone. The murders took place in San Francisco from the late 1960s to the 1970s and the serial killer has fascinated the public – in fact, the original Dirty Harry movie imagined a scenario where the maverick cop managed to identify and kill the Zodaic killer. In real life, the case was much more complex and David Fincher gives us an engrossing look at how a reporter, an inspector and a cartoonist dedicate their lives to uncovering the man behind these murders. Of the trio of stars (Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr.), I thought Ruffalo was the most convincing one, though all three were outstanding. This is definitely Fincher’s most mature and controlled film to date. The film also features an excellent soundtrack. Highly recommended.
Eye In The Sky 跟蹤 – well received when it was shown abroad at various film festivals, I missed the Johnnie To produced, Yau Nai Hoi directed police thriller at this year’s HKIFF, but managed to catch it last week. Eye In The Sky follows the mould of most of Johnnie To’s thrilling police procedurals – I found the plot engaging, and the acting strong and generally subtle (in the case of Simon Yam and Tony Leung Ka Fai). Former Miss Hong Kong Kate Tsui makes her big screen debut and acquits herself with an OK performance. The production was partially financed by Cable TV – this means prominent product placements for many Wharf Holdings companies, from Cable TV to New T&T. Overall, not quite as good as To’s Election movies or Exiled but still above average.