Playing this week: Wall Street fraud, a bride for rent, more

This week in cinemas: 'The Wolf of Wall Street,' 'Grudge Match,' 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,' 'Tarzan,' and 'Bride for Rent'

Graphic by Mara Mercado

MANILA, Philippines  For those in the mood for a good laugh, playing this week are 3 comedies about a Wall Street money laundering scheme, a 30-year-old boxing rematch, and a staged wedding. An espionage thriller beckons to a more serious audience, and a Tarzan reboot will have kids bouncing with delight.

Which one will you see this coming weekend? Here are the options starting January 15:

The Wolf of Wall Street

By age 26, stockbroker Jordan Belfort was making $50 million a year. Flashy cars, women, alcohol, drugs  he was living the life all from the earnings of a brokerage firm he built from scratch.

But the question is, is everything legal? Absolutely not.

The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Oscar winner Martin Scorsese, is based on a memoir of the same name by New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort, famous for conjuring up a fortune in the ’80s and ’90s. The narrative traces how Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) used corporate greed and his impeccable sales talk to create an empire of success and opulence, earning for himself the title “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

With the FBI hot on his trail, Belfort faces a decision to either salvage or scrap the scam.

The film was lauded in the recently concluded Golden Globes, where DiCaprio was awarded Best Actor.

On review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, the movie earned raves from critics and viewers, with 76% and 81% reacting positively. gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars, calling it “one of the most entertaining films ever made about loathsome men.”

Grudge Match

In Grudge Match, veteran actors Robert de Niro and Sylvestor Stallone are former ’80s boxing champs with a score to settle. As young boxers, Henry “Razor” Sharp (Stallone) and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (de Niro) fight each other twice, and each wins once. On the eve of their 3rd and tie-breaking match, Sharp announces his sudden retirement, leaving no resolution to the draw. 

30 years later, a business proposition causes their paths to cross. What results of their first meeting in decades is mayhem, all caught on camera, an instant viral hit.

Now older and out of shape, the two get back in the ring to train, a battle which may prove to be harder than the actual match.

Fans of sports movies will relish the chance to see de Niro and Stallone back on screen as boxers. Robert de Niro famously portrayed Jake LaMotta in 1980’s Raging Bull, and who doesn’t know Stallone’s famous Rocky?

Despite the Hollywood heavyweights on board, the film earned dismal ratings, with 25% by critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Viewers, however, seemed to enjoy the film, giving it a 60% rating. Variety described the film as slapstick, with sloppy drama and a “dreary lack of narrative propulsion.”

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Chris Pine (Star Trek) plays Ryan, a Wall Street executive doubling as a CIA analyst on the trail of a major terrorist plot in Moscow.

Shadow Recruit is the 5th film in the Jack Ryan series, which previously featured Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October), Harrison Ford (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger), and Ben Affleck (The Sum of All Fears) as the CIA agent.

The film, based on characters created by best-selling novelist Tom Clancy, has so far, pleased the critics. The film has earned a 68% rating from Rotten Tomatoes, with 97% of viewers excited to see it.

Time hilariously noted that while Pine’s portrayal of Ryan could be more mature, the film may be “the year’s first movie with a three-digit IQ.”  

Tarzan 3D

The classic tale of the boy raised by apes is back on the big screen. This time around, the tree-swinging action comes in computer generated 3D, a promising treat for kids and families.

In this latest adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel Tarzan and the Apes, Tarzan and Jane Porter go against a corporation threatening to destroy the apes’ habitat in pursuit of an energy-providing meteor.

An early review by Screen Daily notes that despite the absence of Cheeta, Tarzan’s chimpanzee companion, the film is an “engaging and nicely animated romp.” 88% of readers on Rotten Tomatoes are looking forward to viewing the film.

Bride for Rent

In the local film scene, love team Kim Chiu and Xian Lim make a comeback with Mae Czarina Cruz’s romantic comedy Bride For Rent.

Chiu plays Rocky, who, in dire need of a job, unknowingly auditions to be a pretend wife for Rocco (Xian Lim), who plans to use the marriage to collect his trust fund in advance.

After Rocco’s grandmother (Pilita Corrales) enters the picture demanding a church wedding, what was intended to be a synthetic love affair, turns into a real-life walk down the aisle.

Chiu and Lim’s first film Bakit Hindi Ka Crush Ng Crush Mo, a big screen adaptation of comedian Ramon Bautista’s self-help book, reportedly earned over P100 million in the box office.



Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.