By Jonathan Chow
After a rather disappointing Shanghai summer movie season (Terminator Salvation, Transformers 2, Ice Age 3), we’re really looking forward to our annual Disney/Pixar pickup with the long-awaited China-release of “Up“, hitting theaters tomorrow!
“Up” tells the story of Carl Fredricksen, an elderly man who dreamed of exploring the world since childhood. However, life didn’t turn out quite as he planned, and as he grew older his aspirations of adventure grew dimmer.
That is… until Carl decides that it’s time he embarked on the journey he had been wishing for all along. Equipping his home with a thousand balloons, Carl takes to the skies and accidentally brings along a stowaway: 8-year old boy scout, Russell. Together they take-off on a hilarious and touching, Wizard of Oz-esque adventure that brings them in contact with eccentric birds, talking dogs, and a host of colorful characters.
Renowned for their engaging story-telling technique and state-of-the-art computer animation, Pixar is one of the rare production studios whose track record of releasing high quality family fun is nearly flawless. “Up” follows in the Pixar tradition of being poignant and well-crafted without sacrificing its intelligence for the sake of younger audiences. Officially the best-reviewed wide-release film of the summer, with a whopping 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, we’re confident that “Up” will be the best movie to hit Shanghai this season.
Opening later this week on Friday, August 7th, is the big-budget reboot of the classic 80’s franchise, G.I. Joe. Although no major reviews have come in yet, the movie looks to have all the elements of another typical summer popcorn flick. Big explosions, pretty faces, mediocre acting and insignificant plot.
From what has been revealed so far, “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra” is the origin story of the elite special forces team, G.I. Joe—which is apparently an acronym for Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity and its arch-nemesis organization, Cobra. Led by Duke (played by Channing Tatum, the guy in “Step Up”) and his best buddy Ripcord (played by Marlon Wayans, the guy who parodied “Step Up”), the Joe team must stop Cobra from unleashing a terrifying weapon of mass destruction on the world.
Hot babes catfight, ninjas clash swords, the Eiffel Tower falls down, Paris is a mess; sound a bit like “Team America: World Police”? We thought so too, except we’re betting most of the humor in G.I. Joe will be unintentional.