Film Screening 20th May, 2011

Poster for Shaolin


8:00 PM, 20th May, 2011

  • MA
  • 131 mins
  • 2011
  • Benny Chan
  • Alan Yuen, Cheung Chi Kwong, Zhang Tan
  • Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse, Jackie Chan, Fan Bingbing

A remake of the 1981 Jet Li film The Shaolin Temple, this was originally slated to be something of a vehicle for Jackie Chan. Scheduling commitments (with The Karate Kid remake) forced an extensive rewrite, with Jackie Chan taking on a smaller cameo role and Andy Lau taking centre stage. The result is a film much more serious in tone and execution than it likely would have otherwise been, with a spirituality and depth of feeling that echoes its subject matter (though Jackie is still Jackie, and his comedic style is on display in HIS fight scenes).

The story is a simple one. It's the early 20th century and ruthless warlord Hao Jie (Lau) has been a scourge of China's struggling peasants while amassing huge personal wealth. That is until a betrayal within his ranks sees him fleeing for his life - finding himself begging for mercy and refuge at a Shaolin temple, full of those who have suffered at his hand. Luckily for him Buddhists are very nice people, and take him in to show him the way of the Shaolin.

You can probably guess the rest of the plot. Now you want to know about the action. Well... it's good. It's VERY good. Over 50 real Shaolin monks and one of the best fight directors in the business (Corey Yuen) means you can expect some great unarmed combat and a breathtaking sword fight towards the climax. Throw in a British artillery squadron which has (it would seem) painstakingly collected every last speck of gunpowder in China to ensure a big finale and you won't come out disappointed.

Pedr Cain

Poster for Skyline


10:26 PM, 20th May, 2011

  • M
  • 93 mins
  • 2010
  • Colin Strause, Greg Strause
  • Joshua Cordes, Liam O'Donnell
  • Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel, David Zayas

In a penthouse one night in Los Angeles, a couple of friends are celebrating a birthday reunion. What a pity that this happens to be the night that beams of blue light start shining out of the sky, hypnotising people and sucking them into a gigantic spaceship. Should they escape, or simply hide out to avoid being taken? Is there any way of avoiding impending doom?

There's one main reason to watch this film, and that's the effects - this is utter special-effects-porn for the viewer, with a fair bit of good-looking-pixel-work going on (mostly in shiny blue). There's a little bit of gratuitous sequel-setup towards the end, and the plot is fairly non-existent, but it has a big helping of shiny digital alien-thingies, and if that's what you're going for, that's exactly what you're going to get.

Simon Tolhurst