What to see this week

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6 films to see on the week of August 24-August 30, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians

RACHEL WU, a native New Yorker accompanies her boyfriend Nick Young to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Rachel travels to meet Nick’s family not knowing much about his wealthy lifestyle. As one of the country’s sought-after bachelors, jealousy arises among socialites as well as arguments with Nick’s disapproving mother. Directed by Jon M. Chu, it stars Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Harry Shum Jr., Awkwafina, and Sonoya Mizuno. Vox’s Alissa Wilkinson writes, “Crazy Rich Asians is a groundbreaker for lots of reasons but having a woman at its center who grows and becomes stronger without compromising her own moral center in the midst of unimaginable glamour is one of them.” Film review aggreration site Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie a 93% “fresh” rating.

MTRB Rating: PG

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation

THE monster family goes on a cruise ship vacation so that Drac can take a break from the hotel. Bit then Drac falls in love with Ericka, the ship’s mysterious captain, whose secret may destroy all monsterkind. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, it features the voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, David Spade, and Steve Buscemi. CNN’s Brian Lowry writes, “There’s also a larger threat to monsterkind, although frankly, the details of that are given away so early in the plot as to make it all feel rather ho-hum. What emerges, then, from director Genndy Tartakovsky’s third voyage behind the helm of these movies is a collection of intermittently clever visual gags, adapting cruise-ship and beach conventions into the monster realm, where lounging vacationers seek a ‘moon tan’ and sail away to the lost city of Atlantis.”

MTRCB Rating: G

The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion

A HIGH school student suffering from amnesia is led to her deeper troubles when she tries to uncover what happened to her. Directed by Hoon-jung Park, the film stars Kim Da-mi, Cho Min-soo, Woo-sik Choi, Hee-soon Park, Kim Byung-ok, and Choi Jung-Woo. Hollywood Reporter’s Elizabeth Kerr writes, “By Korean action standards The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion is lean at two hours, but in cramming so much into the narrative it stumbles over itself on more than one occasion; it very often forgets its own internal logic and drags the final showdown out to the breaking point. The sequence’s style, energy and Kim’s coiled glee save it from tipping into overkill.”

MTRCB Rating: R-16


CRIMINAL psychologist Kate Fuller interviews eight-year-old Sophie, the sole witness and daughter of a man found strangled in bed. Sophie identifies the killer as “Mara.” As Kate unearths information about the case, she encounters a community who claim to be victims of a demon who kills targets in their sleep. Directed by Clive Tonge, the film stars Olga Kurylenko, Javier Botet, Mitch Eakins, Lance E. Nichols, and Rosie Fellner.

MTRCB Rating: R-13

The First Purge

THE FIRST PURGE began as a simple experiment by the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) to decrease the year’s crime rate in one city to below 1%. The anger of the marginalized towards their oppressors becomes a contagion that scatters from the trial-city borders to the entire nation. Directed by Gerard McMurray, the film stars Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Steve Harris, Marisa Tomei, and Luna Lauren Velez. Entertainment Weekly’s Dana Schwartz writes, “The premise of a ‘Purge’ — the helplessness and anarchy of it — is so promising, it’s no wonder why they keep making these movies and why people (your reviewer among them) keep paying money to see them, expecting guilt-free, bloody mayhem, a symbolic two-hour Purge from the obligations of responsible consumerism.” Film review aggreration site Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie a rating of 53%.

MTRCB Rating: R-16

Miss Granny

A REMAKE of a South-Korean comedy-drama, the story centers on Fely de Leon, a grumpy old lady who transforms into her younger self after having her portrait photo taken at a studio. As the young Fely, she helps her aspiring musician grandson and his band earn a break into the music business. Directed by Joyce Bernal, the film stars Sarah Geronimo, James Reid, Xian Lim, and Nova Villa.

MTRCB Rating: PG