Playing this week: monsters, talking animals, non-traditional love

Playing this week: 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,' 'Police Story 2013,' 'I Frankenstein,' 'The Nut Job,' and 'Mumbai Love'

Graphic by Mara Mercado

MANILA, Philippines – This week, watch your biggest dreams unfold as stories of adventure, action, and talking animals come to the big screen. While thrilling escapades dominate the cinemas, a classic horror lives again.

Take your pick from this week’s new line up of films:

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

“You can either stand in the safety of your life or run headstrong into the unknown,” challenges Ben Stiller’s latest movie, the second film adaptation of James Thurber’s 1930s short story of the same name.

Walter Mitty (Stiller) works at Life magazine, a publication nearing its end. For the cover of its final print issue, photojournalist Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) has allowed the magazine to use one of his most special photographs. Mitty receives a package containing several photo negatives but finds that the most critical one is missing. 

Here begins Walter Mitty’s break from the monotony of the corporate world, into an adventure where the daydreamer turns his not so common imagination into reality.

Critics on Rotten Tomatoes rated the film rotten with 48% saying the film failed to measure up to its “grand design,” however, viewers thought otherwise, giving the film a 76% rating. called the movie “fair,” unable to effectively depict the life of an “ordinary man” represented by Mitty.

Police Story 2013

Jackie Chan is back as a crime-fighting officer in another reboot of 1980s action film Police Story

In the film, Chan plays Zhong Wen, a dedicated policeman from mainland China, different from his past Police Story personas. He is faced with the challenge of saving his rebellious daughter, who is hostaged after being deceived into a relationship with an enemy seeking revenge. 

In an interview with Empire online, Chan said the latest reboot is particularly heavy on the drama. According to the Philippine Star, Chan did his fight scenes with real mixed martial arts boxers instead of stuntmen, who gave him “rock-hard, solid punches and kicks.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film did particularly well in the Chinese box office where it grossed over $70 million by the end of the week of January 5. 

An early review by said viewers should expect a different kind of Jackie Chan, one “grizzled and hard-boiled,” where the playfulness Chan has come to be known for is replaced with “typical movie violence.”

I, Frankenstein

Green skin, gruesome stitches, big metal bolts screwed onto his temples – Dr. Frankenstein’s science experiment is perhaps one of the most easily recognizable creatures in literature, popular culture, and kids’ nightmares. But the latest film creates a monster very different from Mary Shelley’s 19th century character.

I, Frankenstein is based on Kevin Grevioux’s graphic novel of the same name. Adam (Aaron Eckhart), Dr. Frankenstein’s creation is now 200 years old, and is caught in a war threatening the fate of mankind. But veering away from an expected formula where the hero holds the key to salvation, Adam turns out to possess something that can destroy humanity.

According to ScreenRant, the film’s director, Stuart Beattle was involved in the creation of Pirates of the Caribbean, G.I. Joe, and 30 Days of Night.

93% of over 30,000 users on Rotten Tomatoes are excited to see the film. 

The Nut Job

In 3D animated comedy The Nut Job, a squirrel plans what may be the biggest heist in rodent history. Pistachios, almonds, walnuts, peanut brittle – the stakes are high as Surly (voiced by Will Arnett) attempts to gather enough nuts to feed the squirrel community in the coming winter.

Critics on Rotten Tomatoes weren’t thrilled by the action and cuteness, giving the film an average rating of 13%. 

Variety compared the film to Disney’s Ratatouille, noting that The Nut Job’s more adorable rodents, the film’s voicework and writing were no match for the Disney flick. In addition, the film suffers from the formula of an “exasperated tradition of animated acorn stealers.”

Mumbai Love

Bollywood gets a Pinoy twist in Solenn Heussaff’s latest film Mumbai Lovebilled as a “cross-cultural romantic comedy.”

Set in Mumbai, India, where tradition remains an integral part of life, the film focuses on ideas of love and destiny, in the context of social class and culture.

While in a struggle to break free from the tradition of an arranged marriage, Filipino-Indian Nandi (Kiko Matos) crosses paths with Ella (Solenn Heussaff), a free-spirited Filipina in Mumbai for a business trip. Believing their meeting was brought about by fate and destiny, Nandi tours Ella around the city, marking the start of their non-traditional romance. 

What will you be watching this week?–

Films you might have missed:

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