Playing this week: Boxing victories, racing idols, more
MANILA, Philippines – Viewers' needs for speed and action will be satisfied with this week's line-up of films that showcase real-life trials and tribulations as well as fictional stories of love and aspirations.
Take your pick:
Need for Speed
An ode to underground street racing, classic muscle cars of the '70s, and a best-selling video game of the same name, Need for Speed takes viewers on a ride sparked by vengeance, but fueled by passion.
The film follows mechanic Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), who, in an attempt to save his struggling garage from bankruptcy, partners with a wealthy ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). Just as the business is seemingly about to be saved, Dino turns on Tobey, whom he frames for manslaughter.
After being released from prison two years later, Tobey goes on a mission to exact revenge on Dino, with a plan to take him down in the De Leon race, the Super Bowl of underground racing.
Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 27% rating, while 93% of viewers want to see it.
An early review on MSN criticized the film for its "bog standard" narrative and "underdeveloped" characters, however, the review also noted that the simplicity is also what can make the film enjoyable.
"Yet for all its faults, of which it has many, it’s an easy and often exciting watch that you can laugh both with and at, and if you can simply go with its brainless flow, you’re probably going to like it just fine."
Feature length documentary Manny features never-before-seen footage of Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao, from his humble beginnings to his great triumphs. With actor Liam Neeson as narrator and with over 1,200 hours of footage condensed into less than 2 hours, the film exploring the life of The People's Champ, from his trials to his victories, and everything in between.
Crime drama Devil's Knot is based on the true story of the West Memphis Three, 3 teenagers who were convicted for the murder of 3 boys in the early '90s. The killers were believed by many to have been part of a Satanic cult.
The film stars Reese Witherspoon as the mother of one of the murdered boys, while Collin Firth plays an investigator determined to bring justice to the victims.
Critics on Rotten Tomatoes marked the film "rotten" with 27%, however, 96% of viewers are looking forward to seeing the movie.
A review by Variety noted that the film's "starry dramatization" of the real-life story transformed the case into "a surprisingly staid courtroom drama." With the presentation of material already told through several films and documentaries, the need to create the film remained unclear.
"What’s onscreen in Devil’s Knot almost always feels like a poor substitute for what was there in real life," read the review.
Make Your Move
South Korean pop singer BoA makes her big screen debut in Make Your Move, a Romeo and Juliet-inspired independent dance film, directed by Duane Adler, who also worked on dance films Step Up and Save the Last Dance.
The story follows Aya (BoA) and Donny (Derek Hough), two dancers whose budding romance is hindered by family drama.
93% of users on Rotten Tomatoes are looking forward to seeing the film.
Set in a Korean neighborhood in Los Angeles, American-Asian romantic comedy Wedding Palace follows the story of Jason (Brian Tee), a man whose parents are eager to marry him off before he reaches the age of 30, believing that a wedding will break a family curse. Jason finds his bride-to-be, but she unfortunately runs off with another man on the day of their wedding.
Not long after, however, he meets Na Young (Kang Hye-Jung) on a trip to South Korea and the two instantly hit off. Through the power of the Internet, their relationship continues despite Jason's return to the US. All seems well, however, until Na Young moves to Los Angeles, revealing a tiny detail that could prove fatal to the relationship.
The film didn't rate well with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, earning only 33%, however, 81% of viewers found enjoyed the movie.
A review on RogerEbert.com noted that while a twist into two-thirds of the film gives a "genuine surprise," it is not enough to make the "broad, shrill, unfunny romp tolerable."
"It's so chock full of the usual clichés and conventions of the genre, it could have been any movie over the past 20 years that you've seen and then promptly forgotten."