Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rush Hour 3 (2007)

Wow, it has been 9 years since the first installment of the Rush Hour franchise was out in the cinemas. While the debut Rush Hour 1 (1998) was about Jackie Chan getting lost and confused in the streets of Los Angeles, and the Rush Hour 2 (2001) was Chris Tucker's turn to make a fool of himself in Hong Kong, it make sense to use a neutral ground in this third installment so that both of them can embarrass themselves. Well, this time the playground of choice would be Paris, in the land of American-hating, France. You can expect some anti-American jokes and jibes being thrown in.

Plot wise, it offers nothing new. You know, Lee (Jackie Chan) needs to protect someone. That person got hurted/killed, so he needs to find the culprit. Then Carter (Chris Tucker) feels the need to tag along to "help" Lee.

The jokes also felt very repetitive, with some being recycled and modified from the previous installments. Not doubt most of them are funny, but after a while you do get uneasy with all the sexist and racist jokes, especially those from Carter.

The heroines in this how are both newcomers to the franchise. Famous Chinese actress, Zhang Jingchu (of Seven Swords and other major China's movies) plays the now grown-up daughter of Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma). She was ok, but her acting can be slightly over-dramatic in my humble opinion.

The other would be Noemie Lenoir, a French supermodel cum actress playing a French woman of course. She is definitely hot, and her acting was admirable as well. We might see her more often on Hollywood movies in the near future I reckon.

So despite the shortcomings that I have mentioned, this movie still packs enough quality for us to check it out on screen. Scenes involving Jackie Chan's "kungfu" and stunts are always enjoyable to watch, and there are few really hilarious moments involving Chris Tucker. But some might say Rush Hour franchise has lost its charm and drive. It is quite enjoyable, especially if one wish to just lay back and watch a simple but fun movie, in my opinion. I do hope they won't be making Rush Hour 4 though.

Oh please stay put for the cut scenes at the end. Beats the movie itself easily. dang funny. I don't have to think twice to purchase the DVD if they compile those cut scenes into an hour clip.

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Zhang Jingchu, Noemie Lenoir, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tzi Ma, Yvan Attal, Roman Polanski

Director: Roman Polanski

Genre: Action, Comedy

Running time: 90 minutes

Official website:

Tai Jor Lah's rating: 68/100 (can be higher for Jackie Chan's fans)

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Simpsons Movie (2007)

One of the movie that I have anticipated the most, as I am one big The Simpsons' fan. So lo and behold, I went with a couple of friends last Friday to the Golden Village Cinemas (GSC) at Midvalley Megamall. After avoiding the looooooong queue at the box office by purchasing tickets online, we gingerly made our way into Hall 17 at about 11:20pm.

I have chosen 3 seats on the last row (furthest from the screen) to avoid the nightmare of seats being kick for 90 minutes from the back. But as soon as I sat on our seats, I almost immediately can smell something funny. To our horror, after about 30 minutes into the movie, our backs started to be itchy. Yucks!! GSC management, if you happen to be reading this review, please get your underpaid and overworked Bangladeshis to wash those darn dirty and smelly seats!!

Ok sorry for diverting so far, back to the movie itself now. I have to admit, the first 5 minutes of the show was way below my high expectation. I thought some of the jokes were pretty lame and lack the grand entry scene that I was hoping for. Oh at the beginning, Homer sarcastically took a jibe of us for paying to watch what we can get for free on TV!!

But after the minor hiccup, the rest of the movie was a bliss, thank goodness. This movie is basically a extended episode of The Simpsons that we have grew familiar with on TV. You got a full 87 minutes of the usual satire jokes, about almost everything under the sun. From politics, Hillary Clinton was the running mate for THE mouse (from the movie within the movie, Itchy & Scratchy Show) in a presidential campaign; to environmental issues ala-Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth.

One particular scene that I reckon is the funniest in the whole movie was when Bart Simpson skateboarding in the nude. Totally cracked me up, as disturbing the scene might be.

I am not going to tell you more about the movie's many scenes or the plot, as it will throw away the element of surprise and spontaneity.

I truly enjoyed the movie, although I have a feeling that this movie will appeal more to Simpsons' fans as compared to other movie-goers. So if you don't like the TV show version, my advise is you might want to avoid this as well. Turning a TV hit-show into a full-length movie is not an easy endeavour, but I thought the director, David Silverman and the team done it darn well.

Oh, do stick around after the credits for some extras. Just ignore those cleaners walking around you. Kekeke...enjoy!

Starring: (voices) Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Harry Shearer, Hank Azaria, Marcia Wallace, Pamela Hayden, Joe Mantegna, Albert Brooks, Tom Hanks Director: David Silverman Genre: Comedy, Animation Running time: 87 minutes
Official Website:

Tai Jor Lah's rating: 82/100 (Simpson's fan's biased rating)