The Episcopal Commission on Social Communication-CBCP

CINEMA (Catholic INitiative for Enlightened Movie Appreciation) of The Episcopal Commission on Social Communication of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines presents movies viewed in the light of the gospel. . *** For inquiries, please EMAIL: cbcpcinema@gmail.com *** CALL or TEXT: (02) 664 5886 *** or WRITE TO: CINEMA, Episcopal Commission on Social Communication, CBCP Compound, 470 General Luna St. Intramuros, Manila *** Enjoy the reviews, and THANK YOU!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme

Cast Eugene Domingo, Ariel Ureta, Zanjoe Marudo, Dingdong Dantes, Miriam Quiambao Direktor Joyce Bernal  Screenwriter Cris Martinez  Executive Producer  Piolo Pascual  Genre Comedy-horror  Location  Philippines and Korea                  
Technical Assessment 3.5
Moral Assessment  2.5
CINEMA Rating: V14 (For viewers ages 14 and above)
Biglaang bibiyahe ang mag-aamang Go Dong Hei sa Korea sa dalawang dahilan.  Una, upang mamasyal at makapag-bonding, ikalawa ay upang tuparin ang isang kasunduan na ipakasal ang isa sa kambal na Kimmy at Dora sa anak ng isang malaon nang kaibigan ng pamilya, bilang pagbawi sa naging pagkakasala ng kanilang amang si Luisito (Ariel Ureta) sa isang babae sa Korea noong kanyang kabataan. Matigas na tatanggihan ito ni Kimmy bilang isang malaking kabaliwan lalo na sa makabagong panahon.  Ang inosenteng si Dora naman ay hindi pa maiisip ang maaring idulot ng pagsunod sa kagustuhan ng ama. Higit na bibigat ang sitwasyon sa magkapatid dahil halos sabay na matatanggap nila ng alok na pagpapakasal ng kani-kanilang kasintahan na sina Barry (Zanjoe Marudo) kay Kimmy at Johnson (Dingdong Dantes) kay Dora.  Kasabay ng mga biglaang pangyayaring ito sa buhay ng mag-aama ay ang mga kakaibang mararamdaman at makikita nila na gagambala sa magkapatid, pati na sa alagang aso ni Dora, si Mikky.  Sa kalaunan madadawit din sa hiwaga sila Barry, Johnson at Luisito.
Magaling ang pagkakatahi ng istorya ng Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme.  Mahusay ang naisip ng produksyon na makalikha ng bagong kuwento samantalang nanatili ang orihinal na konsepto ng naunang Kimmy Dora, Kakambal sa Kiyeme.  Magaling ang takbo ng istorya, ang disenyo ng produksyon, ang special effects ng paglitaw at paglaho ng multo, at ng walang sablay na editing lalo na sa mga eksena ng dalawang karakter ni Domingo.  Samantala mas naging interesante sana ang cinematography kung nakapagpakita pa ng mas maraming lugar at kultura ng Korea sa pamamasyal ng mag-aama.
Napakahusay ng pagkakaganap ni Domingo ng dalawang tauhan sa pelikula, ang magkakambal na Kimmy at Dora.  Nakatulong sa pagpapaganda ng aspetong teknikal ng pelikula ang epektibong pagpapatawa ng iba pang mga artista at ang pagsisikap ng direktor na buuhin ang isang seryosong kwento na dinamitan ng pagpapatawa at katatakutan. Tanging kapintasan lamang nito sa aspetong teknikal ay ang mga pinahabang eksena ng pakikibaka sa multo na maaaring makabagot o makasuya dahil sa paulit-ulit nitong pakuwela at special effects. 
Napapanahon ang pagpapalabas ng Kimi Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme sa Father's Day sapagkat muling ipinakita ang kahanga-hangang pagdadala ng isang ama (at pagganap ni Ureta) ng kanyang tungkulin sa kakaibang sitwasyon ng kanyang dalawang anak.  Mas magiliw at makalinga sa anak na may mabagal na pag-iisip at buong kumpyansa naman sa matalino at maaasahang anak kasabay ng di nagsasawang paalala na magpasensya sa kakulangan ng kapatid.
Walang lihim na di nabubunyag lalo na kung may epekto ito sa hinaharap at sa mga mahal sa buhay.  Dapat pag-isipan ng sinumang may pananagutan sa pagtatago ng lihim kung paano ito haharapin sa panahon ng pagbubunyag.  Sa panahon ng pagsubok kung kailan wala nang magawa si Luisito kungdi isakrispisyo ang kaligayahan ng anak bilang kabayaran sa kanyang nakaraang pagkakasala ay mananaig ang pagka-ama nito upang huwag nang ipagkanulo ang anak.  Sa sitwasyon ng magkakambal na madalas makadama ng panibugho si Kimmy kay Dora sa atensyon ng ama, ay lagi namang nabibigyang-diin ang pagpaparaya, pagtanggap at pagmamahal.  Gayundin ipinakita sa pelikula na bawat tao sa anumang kapasidad ay may kakayahan na makatulong katulad ng nagagawa ni Dora sa kabila ng kanyang kalagayan.
Sa sitwasyon ng pagiging amo at empleyado nakababahala ang pagpapakita ng labis na karahasan at pagkamatayog  ni Kimmy sa sekretarya at sa doktor sa pag-aari nilang ospital, bagama’t malinaw ang konteksto na ang masamang ugaling ito ay epekto diumano ng kanyang pagiging dating typhoid patient .  Dahil sa ginagawang basehan ng pagpapatawa ng pelikula ang ganitong asal ni Kimmy, nagmumukha tuloy itong isang “palusot” lamang upang bigyang daan ang husay sa papel na pagtataray ni Domingo.
Sa kabila ng intensiyon ng pelikula na maghatid ng mensaheng kapupulutan ng leksiyon sa buhay, maaaring hindi ito ang “binibili” ng mga manonood na may bitbit pang mga musmos na bata sa sinehan.  Ang hanap nila’y katatawanan, at katatawanan naman ang inihahain ng pelikula, makatuwiran man ito o hindi.
Taliwas sa turo ng Simbahang Katolika ang ipinakikita ng pelikula na labis na kapangyarihan ng isang multo, na sa kanyang paghihiganti ay nagugupo ang sinumang naisin.  Hindi maliwanag sa pelikula kung ang takot bang ito sa multo ay nagmumula sa pagkakaroon ng ibang relihiyon ng mag-aama.  (Sumamba sila sa isang tila Buddhist temple sa Korea, at ang pamagat mismo ng pelikula ay may kaugnayan sa relihiyon: Temple).  Anupaman, sa paniniwala ng mga Kristiyano,  ang mga kaluluwa ng yumao na di matahimik ay dapat ipagdasal—lalo na kung inaakala natin na may mensahe itong ibig iparating—nang sa gayon ay magkaroon ng kapayapaan sa kabilang buhay.   Wala ang ganoong elemento dito, bagama’t may isang maliit na krus na gawa sa sangay ng punong kahoy ang hawak ng isa sa mga tauhan noong nagri-ritual sila upang tawagin ang espiritu ng isang yumao.
May pinanghihinayangan ang CINEMA sa pelikulang Kimmy Dora and the Temple of  Kiyeme.  Sa husay ng teknikal na pagkakagawa nito, naging mabisa sana itong kasangkapan sa pagpapakalat ng higit na makabuluhang mensahe upang maiangat ang kamalayan ng mga manonood na Pilipino.  Sa halip, naging sunud-sunuran pa ito sa kalakaran sa entertainment industry sa paggamit nito ng mga may kapansanan bilang ubod ng katatawanan.
Si Dora (ayon sa Kimmy Dora 1) diumano ay nagkaroon ng autism gawa ng isang aberiya habang siya ay iniluluwal ng ina.  May isang eksena sa swimming pool dito sa Kimmy Dora 2  kung saan hindi iginalang ang kanyang pagiging isip-bata.  Nagmistula siyang palakang nakatihaya at lumulutang sa tubig.  Oo nga’t maaaring nangyayari ito sa tunay na buhay, ngunit sa tunay buhay, hindi natin hinahayaang mahantad nang mahalay ang katawan ng isang isip-bata, lalo na kung ito’y dalaga na; dito, pinupog pa siya ng halik, tuloy lubog sa tubig.  Para lang mapatawa ang manonood?  Huwag naman.  Ang tinawanan ay si Domingo, ngunit kinalimutan nila ang maselang kalagayan ng karakter na si Dora.   Kung napapasaya tayo ng ganitong mga eksena, mayroon tayong dapat suriin sa ating kalooban.  
Napuna din ba ninyo na unano ang isa sa mga tauhang pinagtatawanan, at hindi Tagalog ang kanyang orasyon?   Marami nang mga sinaunang pelikulang Pilipino ang gumamit na ng unano para lamang magpatawa; panahon na siguro upang ipakita naman natin na ang mga unano ay mayroon ding puso, kaluluwa, at kakayahang gumawa ng kagitingan.  Ang katulong sa bahay na kung tumawag sa amo ay “Ma’am Dura” ay hindi rin Tagalog—bakit laging dapat gawing katawa-tawa Bisaya o ang katulong?  Maaaring ito’y isang “maliit na bagay” lamang ngunit sa paglakad ng panahon, ang mga maliliit na bagay na ito ang siyang nagpapatibay sa ating mga prejudice laban sa ating kapwa.        
Ingatan natin ang ating isipan, lalo na ng mga kabataan, hindi lamang laban sa walang humpay na pagmumulto o katatakutan sa mga palabas na ating pinanonood, kundi laban din sa mga kinagisnan nating panglilibak sa mga taong may kapansanan at mga kapos sa buhay, saan mang rehiyon ng Pilipinas sila nanggagaling.  Ituring na ninyo itong hamon ng CINEMA sa Kimmy Dora 3.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Special Forces


            
LEAD CAST:  Diane Kruger, Djimon Hounsou, Benoît Magimel, Denis Menochet, Raphael Personnaz, Alain Figlarz, Alain Alivon,   Mehdi Nebbou, Raz Degan, Mehdi Nebbou, Morjana Alaoui, Tcheky Karyo DIRECTOR: Stephane Rybojad SCREENWRITER: Michael Cooper, Stéphane Rybojad PRODUCER:  Thierry Marro, Benoit Ponsaillé EDITOR: Erwan Pecher MUSICAL DIRECTOR  Xavier Berthelot GENRE:  Drama, Action & Adventure CINEMATOGRAPHER David Jankowski  LOCATION: France, Djibouti and Tajikistan

Technical Assessment:    4
Moral Assessment:   2.5
Cinema Rating: R 18 ( For viewers age 18 and above)

Special Forces is a French war adventure film. It shows a group of elite French soldiers on a desperate hostage rescue mission of a French journalist kidnapped by the Taliban in the Afghanistan/Pakistan area, who faces the threat of death by execution. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lockout


CAST Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Vincent Regan, Joseph Gilgun,  Lennie James, Peter Stormare  DIRECTOR James Mather, Stephen St. Leger STORY AND SCREENPLAY Luc Besson  PRODUCER  Marc Libert, Leila Smith  Genre Sci-Fi Action  Location Outer Space

Technical assessment  2.5
Moral assessment:  3
CINEMA Rating  For viewers 18 and above
In 2079, the US has built a maximum security penitentiary called MS1 outside the earth’s orbit wherein criminals are kept in suspended animation or statis. The president’s daughter Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) visits the prison to investigate if the convicts are indeed being used as human guinea pigs and if statis leads to psychopathy and dementia. Unfortunately, during the interrogation, one of the convicts escapes and releases all other prisoners, resulting to a riot and the hostage of the Emilie and the rest of the prison staff. The Secret Service devices a plan to save Emilie by sending wrongly accused and sarcastically brooding CIA agent Snow (Guy Pearce) in the penitentiary. Although reluctant at first to accept the suicide mission, his fellow CIA agent Shaw (Lennie Shaw) convinces him to go by pointing out that the only person who will be able to clear his name and reputation is one of the prisoners in MS1. 
The film borrows too much from other movies namely Escape from New York and Alcatraz, to be original. The plot is predictable and the characters come off as caricatures. Although the action sequences are fast-paced and excitable, it shows nothing really creative or innovative. It does get boring after the first few explosions and hysteria of being chased throughout the film. The only successful ingredient in the film is the chemistry between Pearce and Grace providing a few laughs with their constant banter and Pearce’s dead tone liners and electrifying presence. Even at the very start of the conflict, we are sure of which characters will live and which one will die but nonetheless, the audience are glued to the screen as it does deliver an easily digestible and cheap entertainment.
One thing admirable with the film is the desire of the protagonist to help people whether criminals, hostages or the good guys. Emilie is an epitome of people-oriented leader who has no qualms about selflessness and compassion—at times to the point of stupidity (like telling the lunatic Hydell where she can found)—but still enough to make one appreciate goodness amidst a world transformed into self-centeredness and amorality.
Lockout is like most action films where the way to achieve justice, freedom or redemption is to have blood splattered indiscreetly and dead bodies scattered about from the first scene to the last.  Hence, the crude entertainment and modest values it may have is only suitable for older and more mature audiences.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rock of Ages


 
CAST Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta Jones, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Malin Akerman, Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Marie Blige.  DIRECTOR Adam Shankman.  WRITERS Justin Theroux, Chris D’Arienzo.  RUNNING TIME 123 minutes.  GENRE Musical  LOCATION USA.  DISTRIBUTOR Warner Bros., New Line Cinema.

Technical assessment:  3.5
Moral assessment:  2.5
CINEMA rating:  R14 (for viewers aged 14 and up)
Prodded by her grandmother to leave small town Oklahoma and follow her dream to be a rock star in Hollywood in the 80s, Sherrie (Julianne Hough) becomes a bag-snatching victim in the big city.  Drew (Diego Boneta) witnesses the robbery and suggests she apply for a job where he works as a bar boy, the Bourbon Room on Sunset Strip, owned by Dennis (Alec Baldwin).  Sherrie is convinced because besides being penniless and homeless, she will get to meet her rock-star idol Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) who’s slated to give his farewell performance at the Bourbon Room over the weekend.  Dennis hires her as waitress, without knowing that she sings and that Drew, in fact, sings with his own band.  Sherrie and Drew get to become close friends, sharing each other’s dreams of hitting it big someday as singers. 
To enjoy Rock of Ages, don’t take the plot more seriously than its director Adam Shankman does.   From the first tune, blurted out on a bus and which defies all sense of logic  (can you really find so many bus riders singing that professionally on a ride?) to the last toingggg of an electric guitar, Shankman has his tongue cheekily planted in his cheek.  And that’s what makes Rock of Ages entertaining.  It has a stunt casting but its biggest stars do roles against their types with earnestness and intensity—which only shows how versatile these stars can be.  Picture a gun toting Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible and see how many worlds away that is from Tom Cruise as a spoofily dramatic rock star.  Recall what the lovely and lovable Catherine Zeta Jones is in any of her movies and watch her here as a domineering, moralizing politician’s wife with a past to live down, whoa!  Compare Paul Giamatti as a maintenance man in Lady in the Water with the venal star manager in Rock of Ages.  And what of Alec Baldwin as bar owner Dennis in Rock of Ages and Alec Baldwin as Atty. Campbell Alexander in My Sister’s Keeper—goodness, they’re oil and water! 
Rock of Ages being a musical has a right to a predictable plot and some mash—aside from the “oldies” sung, the script possesses no originality; besides, Hough and Boneta are bland leads, but what the heck, the song and dance performances are high-spirited and the actors are obviously having a lot of fun, so, just sing and sway along!  Despite the infectious sense of fun Rock of Ages conveys, it may not be passed on as totally wholesome entertainment for the whole family.  Precocious 14-year-olds may be able to handle it, as long as they are advised by parents, teachers and other concerned elders about extra-marital sex and adult entertainment the movie contains.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Prometheus

Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green Director: Ridley Scott  Screenplay: Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof Cinematography: Dariuz Wolski  Music: Marc Streitenfeld  Distributor: 20th Century Fox  GENRE: Science fiction Running Time: 2:04
Technical:     4                  Moral:           3
CINEMA Rating:  R 14  (For ages 14 up)
It is year 2093.  Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and her boyfriend Dr. Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover a series of ancient cave drawings from different cultures, the oldest dating 37,000 years, spanning various civilizations, and pointing to a single location in space—an earth-sized moon circling the sun, called LV-223.  Shaw and Holloway both believe that LV-223 could provide clues to the truth about the beginnings of mankind.  Their belief happens to mirror that of billionaire Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), CEO of Weyland Corporation, who, upon hearing of the couple’s findings, agrees to finance a space mission to LV-223.  Dr. Shaw and Dr. Holloway are to be lead scientists in the mission, accompanied by Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), who, representing Weyland Corporation, is in charge of the expedition; David (Michael Fassbender), an android who with almost human intelligence has inscrutable motivations; and 13 other crew members.  The spacecraft is named PROMETHEUS.  Arriving on LV-223, however, the team quickly realizes that the two doctors had underestimated the implications of the expedition, as their discovery of a superior humanoid life form in suspended animation results in horrible consequences threatening humanity itself. 
This must be said: casting is spot-on, and the acting, superb.  Shot entirely with 3D cameras, Prometheus offers a captivating and believable scenario of Earthlings’ space science a few years short of the 4th millennium.  Although director Ridley Scott helped define the genre about three decades ago with Alien, it matters little whether the viewer has seen Alien or not—Prometheus can stand alone, and maybe even elicit enough enthusiasm to warrant the making of Prometheus 2.  Unlike most sci-fi movies nowadays which offer little more than fascinating gadgetry and jaw-dropping CGI, Prometheus has gorgeous visuals plus a plot that challenges the imagination and engages the viewer’s moral judgment.
Not that it has a perfectly plausible story—it has over-the-top assumptions, too, like in that scene where Dr. Shaw undergoes strenuous action right after a brutal surgery: not one staple on her abdominal wound gets undone.  Incredible—but you give it the benefit of the doubt since it’s set almost Circa 3000; perhaps medicine and surgery on our planet will be superior by then, and humans will have superhuman strength as well. It also has a scene which sticks out like a huge wart to mar the movie’s almost perfect face: a scientist lost in the underground maze fools around with a strange cobra-like creature—even kindergarteners are smart enough to stay away from unknown creatures, so why would a serious expedition like Prometheus include a buffoon in its crew only to be eliminated in just a stupid a way? 
What’s fascinating in Prometheus is that it unwittingly assures he audience that almost a century from today, humans will still be humans—being smug about their knowledge, having sexual needs, wanting to have children, and still searching for answers about human creation.  A belief in God and Christianity is still compelling for a scientist: Dr. Shaw cherishes the cross around her neck as a meaningful memento from her father.  Theron’s character, Vickers, also exclaims at two crucial moments “Jesus Christ!”  We wonder if this is intentional in the director’s part, subliminal, or simply, an oversight of the scriptwriters.  It is not dwelt upon at length in the movie but (spoiler coming!) the fact that it is the believer alone who survives must say something about the movie’s message.  Elsewhere in the movie, Shaw asks Holloway: “…they created us.  If they created us, why would they want to destroy us…?”  The voice-over close to the movie’s ending has Dr. Shaw asking more questions, saying the search goes on—which implies that searches of such kind will never find answers.



Monday, June 11, 2012

Snow White & the Huntsman


CAST:   Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin; DIRECTOR: Rupert Sanders; SCREENWRITER: Evan Daugherty; PRODUCED BY: Sam Mercer, Palak Patel, Joe Roth; EDITING BY: Conrad Buff IV, Neil Smith; MUSIC BY: James Newton Howard; GENRE: Drama, Action-Adventure- Fantasy; CINEMATOGRAPHY: Greig Fraser; DISTRIBUTOR:  Universal Pictures; LOCATION:  UK; RUNNING TIME: 127 minutes

Technical Assessment:  4
Moral Assessment:    3
Cinema rating:  For viewers 14 years old and above


SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN  / TRT  /  june 12
The diabolical Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) becomes the second wife of the King and father of Snow White (Kristen Stewart).  On their wedding night, the Queen kills the King and locks the child Snow White in a room in the castle.  Living in terror of losing her beauty, the Queen in time is told by her magic mirror that Snow White has grown up and will soon outshine her in beauty; meanwhile Snow White escapes to the Dark Forest.  The Queen recruits Eric the Huntsman (Chris Helmsworth), the only one known to have survived the Dark Forest, to capture Snow White.  Threatened with death should he refuse to follow his order, the Huntsman finds Snow White, and upon learning that the Queen has tricked him, begins training Snow White for the arduous battle ahead.  Later on they are joined by the dwarfs (Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Eddie Izzard, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, and Stephen Graham) to restore the land taken over by the dark-hearted queen.
It’s an enchanted realm that Snow White and the Huntsman ushers us to, thanks to the magic of CGI.  Rupert Sanders, its director, has a knack for establishing memorable places, perhaps owing to his background in TV commercials.  Here, two places stand out in contrast to each other: the Dark Forest where Snow White seeks refuge is creepy and menacing, a place where apparently nothing lives but where tree branches morph into serpents and a monstrous troll seems to materialize from the bones of dead trees.  The Fairyland where the dwarfs hide Snow White and the Huntsman is an awesome wonderland where hundreds of one-eyed mushrooms regard the human visitors while pale-skinned naked sprites  pop up here and there to guide them.  Whether it’s black magic or white, every scene calling for the supernatural is a triumph of art direction.  And there’s acting to match.  Theron is especially effective as a wicked witch-queen, flawless and radiant—even when 90 percent of her part is screaming and glaring.  Stewart is plucky enough for the part, and her most shining moment is her stare-down with the giant troll which she faces unarmed in order to save a fallen companion.    
In Snow White and the Huntsman, there is betrayal, wickedness, deception, vanity and greed in the movie (not to mention implied incest) but there is also nobility of spirit, bravery, trust, innocence, and self-sacrificing love of others.  Outstanding is the mention of innocence and purity of heart as the only thing that can vanquish evil: here it means recapturing the glory of the dying kingdom; taken to the personal level it could mean turning away from error in order to enter a paradise on earth.  Adults will have no problem with the movie’s dark side, but children might have nightmares from the violence, and young teens might be misled by all that chicanery and spell-casting lurking beneath veneered exteriors.

Born To Love You


CAST:  Coco Martin (Rex), Angeline Quinto (Joey), Albert Martinez, Eula Valdez, Malou de Guzmen, Al Tantay; DIRECTOR: Jerome Chavez Pobocan; PRODUCER:  ABS CBN;
GENRE: Drama, Comedy, Romance; CINEMATOGRAPHER     DISTRIBUTOR: Star Cinema; LOCATION: Philippines; RUNNING TIME:  105 minutes

Technical Assessment:  3.5
Moral Assessment:    3.5
Cinema rating:  For viewers 14 years old and above

SYNOPSIS: A tour guide (Quinto) who hails from a poor family meets a struggling photographer (Martin) who has never gotten over his mother leaving when he was a kid. At first they get on each other’s nerves but soon they realize that they are meant to be together. However, there are issues and circumstances that threaten to tear them apart.

Piranha 3DD


CAST:  Danielle Panabaker (Maddy), David Hasselhoff, Matt Bush, Katrina Bowden (Shelby), Christopher Lloyd (Mr. Goodman), Ving Rhames (Deputy Fallon), Chris Zylka (Kyle), Jean-Luc Bilodeau (Josh), Gary Busey (Clayton), Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Alex); DIRECTOR: John Gulager; SCREENWRITER: Marcus Dunstan, Patrick Melton  PRODUCED BY: Mark Canton,  Joel Soisson, Marc Toberoff; EDITING BY: Devin C. Lussier, Martin Bernfeld, Kirk Morri;  MUSIC BY: Elia Cmiral; GENRE: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy; CINEMATOGRAPHY: Alexandre Lehmann; DISTRIBUTED BY: Dimension Films; LOCATION: USA; RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes


Technical Assessment:  2.5
Moral Assessment:    1.5
Cinema rating:  For viewers 18 years old and above

SYNOPSIS:  After the terror unleashed on Lake Victoria in Piranha 3D, the pre-historic school of blood thirsty piranhas are back. This time, no one is safe from the flesh eating fish as they sink their razor sharp teeth into the visitors of summer's best attraction, The Big Wet Water Park. Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as the eccentric piranha expert with survivor Paul Scheer and a partially devoured Ving Rhames back for more fish frenzy. David Hasselhoff trades in the sandy beaches of "Baywatch" to be a celebrity lifeguard at the racy water park.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted



Cast: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Frances McDormand, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer; Direction: Eriarnell, Noah Baumbach; Based on characters by Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath; Producer: Mireille Soria, Mark Swift; Music: Hans Zimmer; Genre: Comedy Animation; Distributor: Paramount Pictures; Location: EuropeUSA; Running Time: 85 minutes


Technical Assessment:  4
Moral Assessment:  3
Cinema rating:  For viewers 13 years old and below with parental guidance


There is a certain charm when wild animals are presented with a counter human-ego, complete with emotions, psyche and personality. Madagascar creators must have realized this that they, not only came up with a TV series but also with the 3rd movie instalment of the lovable quartet. This time, Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria tour the greatest cities of Europe as circus performers. They set out to return to New York after being abandoned in Africa. But first, they make a stopover at Monte Carlo to confront the Penguins. In Monte Carlo, Alex and his gang are forced to escape from the cruel animal-wrangler Chantel duBois (Frances McDormand), so they are forced to hide with a travelling circus which has seen better days. The story takes a deeper turn when the Penguins buy the circus and Alex tries to ignite passion into the performances.
On the one hand, the computer-generated effects, vibrant colors and spectacular movements are sheer work of genius. There are still the comedic punch once in a while, mostly delivered by Marty, the Zebra, the lemurs and the penguins. However, the main characters, and not to say the main plot, may be a bit too short and too thin to sustain the interest of the audience. One will find the film overflowing with overrated excitement, frenzy and action that come off as old and tired. There is nothing much the audience can ponder and reflect on as the movie does not attempt to go beyond cartoonish drama and hi-tech excitement.
One of the best valued lessons of Madagascar 3 is the undeniable loyalty and friendship of the four.  Through thick and thin, Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria stick together and help each other overcome danger and challenges.  Also, the movie touches briefly on rediscovering the real self and finding excellence in what you do by learning to love it with passion and dedication.  Had the European team not rediscovered these, they would never have realized how much more they can do.
Madagascar 3 may be viewed by young audiences but parents should still be on hand to explain the destruction and mayhem caused by the animals’ antics and the action scenes.