By Casey Chong
It’s the final week of April 2016 and this upcoming Labour Day coincidentally falls on Sunday, which means the public holiday will be automatically brought forward to Monday!
With Labour Day holiday just around the corner, one of the few things you can do is going to a movie outing with your friends or your loved ones. But the question is, which movie to watch? We got it covered.
Here are the 5 movies to look forward to this weekend:
Captain America: Civil War
A sequel to both ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ (2014) and ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (2015), this third ‘Captain America’ solo movie revolves around the political interference surrounding the number of collateral damage that the Avengers has inflicted over the past few years since ‘The Battle of New York’ seen in ‘The Avengers’ (2012).
Following the latest catastrophe during Captain America’s (Chris Evans) mission in Lagos, Nigeria, governments from around the world have created a superhero legislation known as the Sokovia Accords and demand the Avengers to place their signature so they will be operated under United Nations. When Captain America refuses to sign the accord, the internal conflict between him and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) begins to jeopardise their personal and professional relationships.
Why You Should Watch: Two years ago, directors Anthony and Joe Russo have no doubt did a great job in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, which is also highly regarded as one of the best Marvel movies ever made. In ‘Captain America: Civil War’, they continue to prove their solid directing flairs by combining political intrigue, globe-trotting espionage and effect-laden action adventure to rousing effect. The action itself is top notch, with the biggest highlight being the epic showdown between Team Captain America and Team Iron Man on an airport runway. The all-star ensemble cast each deliver great performances, while newcomers to the MCU including Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Tom Holland as Spider-Man and Daniel Bruhl as Zemo are equally noteworthy. Overall, a spectacular entertainment not to be missed.
Eye In The Sky
This crisis drama about drone warfare stars Helen Mirren as British Colonel Katherine Powell, who operates a military base to track down a wanted Englishwoman (Lex King) in the connection with a radical terrorist group known as al-Shabbab.
When Powell manages to pinpoint her exact location in a small village in Kenya, she orders American pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) to launch a drone strike. But the mission forces to put on hold when a little girl (Aisha Takow) coincidentally entered the kill zone to sell bread.
Why You Should Watch: South African director Gavin Hood may have been suffering from an erratic Hollywood career after a string of lacklustre studio efforts including ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ (2009) and ‘Ender’s Game’ (2013). But ten years after winning the coveted Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar for ‘Tsotsi’, he finally made a great comeback in ‘Eye In The Sky’. Blessed with a thought-provoking script by Guy Hibbert and airtight editing by Megan Gill, this crisis drama asks important yet difficult moral question such as is it worth jeopardising the mission for the sake of saving an innocent little girl? What are the political consequences that might happen if the mission still carries on as planned? No doubt this is the kind of movie that makes you participate and think as you watch the action unfolds on the screen.
Apart from its tightly-constructed crisis drama in the vein of ’12 Angry Men’, ‘Eye In The Sky’ also works surprisingly well as a ‘Dr. Strangelove’-like dark political satire involving the moral dilemma of several higher-ups trying to finalise their decision whether or not to launch the drone strike. The ensemble cast, ranging from Helen Mirren to Alan Rickman in his final onscreen appearance as Lieutenant General Frank Benson, is terrific all around.
The Jungle Book
This live-action reimagining of the 1967 animated classic of the same name tells an orphaned young boy named Mowgli (Neel Sethi), who is raised by a pack of wolves (voices of Lupita Nyong’o and Giancarlo Esposito) in the deep jungle. When a fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens to kill Mowgli, he decides to leave the jungle in peace to embark on a journey of self-discovery.
Why You Should Watch: ‘The Jungle Book’ may have been three weeks old since its local release on 7 April, but if you have yet to watch, this latest big screen adventure should be on your must-watch checklist. First up, ‘The Jungle Book’ is a technical triumph in visual effect. Best experienced in the IMAX 3D, the movie successfully brought the animal characters to life using cutting-edge technology of motion-capture animation and life-sized puppets. The voice cast is all spot-on perfect, while newcomer Neel Sethi is a scene-stealer with his likable performance as Mowgli. Finally, the movie blends heartwarming coming-of-age story and traditional action-adventure genre effectively, making this as Jon Favreau’s best directorial effort to date since ‘Iron Man’ (2008).
This sci-fi drama centres on an overprotective father (Michael Shannon) and his 8-year-old son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), who are both on the run from the government and a religious sect looking to exploit Alton’s special powers.
Why You Should Watch: Ever wonder what if Steven Spielberg’s 1977 seminal sci-fi classic ‘Close Encounters Of The Third Kind’ is remade in a M. Night Shyamalan’s slow-burn narrative approach on an indie budget? Well, the result is looking a lot like ‘Midnight Special’. From deconstructing revenge drama about family feud in ‘Shotgun Stories’ (2007) to exploring coming-of-age tale between two boys and a mysterious drifter in ‘Mud’ (2012), 37-year-old director Jeff Nichols continues to show his impressive range of tackling different genre in each movie.
In ‘Midnight Special’, Nichols explores sci-fi genre for the first time and his obvious influences from the early Spielberg and Shyamalan’s works can be seen throughout his movie. For those who are not accustomed to Nichols’ signature slow-burn directing style may find ‘Midnight Special’ a tough movie to sit through. Still, if you like an ambiguous sci-fi movie that makes you put on your thinking cap, ‘Midnight Special’ is definitely the one to look for. All the performances here, especially Michael Shannon who is riveting as usual while Nichols shows great eyes for an effect-laden sequence, albeit brief, in a stunning set-piece involving meteor showers raining down on a gas station.
In a desperate attempt to take down an international hacker, CIA chief Quaker Wells (Gary Oldman) uses an unconventional approach by enlisting neurosurgeon Dr. Franks (Tommy Lee Jones) to implant a deceased CIA agent’s memories into another person (Kevin Costner) for completing a mission.
Why You Should Watch: The premise may sound implausible, but this sci-fi/action movie hybrid is surprisingly fun and engaging. Thanks to Ariel Vromen’s energetic direction that recalls the popcorn movie of the ‘90s, the otherwise blandly-titled ‘Criminal’ make good use of its R-rating for displaying numerous hard-hitting violent moments to keep the genre fans happy. But best of all is Kevin Costner, who definitely steals the show as the crazed convict Jericho Stewart.