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Movie reviews: The Grinch, Just A Breath Away


Rating: 3.5 Ticks

Many will be familiar with Dr Seuss' green grouch, and this version based on his 1957 book How The Grinch Stole Christmas! does not deviate from its source material.

Like 2012's The Lorax, the children's author's beloved tales work exceptionally well as animation. The colours are bright and cheery even though the story revolves around a sourpuss.

Having a spirited Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the Grinch is a bonus.

Although we see how the bitter, cave-dwelling creature with a heart three sizes too small schemes to take away the festive celebration from the cheery inhabitants of Whoville, you know deep down, he is not a meanie.

A big tell-tale sign is how he treats his only companion, the adorable, loyal dog Max.

The film also adds a backstory (narrated by Pharrell Williams) on the real reason why the Grinch hates Christmas, and that is a winner. The subplot about effervescent six-year-old Cindy-Lou's quest to get her letter to Santa will also warm your heart.

The pacing could have been tighter, but overall, it is a fun family film.

The Grinch opens Nov 29, with sneaks this weekend. - JOANNE SOH

 The Grinch, Just A Breath Away


Rating: 2 Ticks

This French apocalyptic thriller heads to the rooftops of Paris, following a family of three who take refuge on the city's upper floors after a strange deadly fog overcomes everything below.

Mathieu (Romain Duris) and his wife Anna (Olga Kurylenko) are parents to Sarah (Fantine Harduin), who has a rare disease that forces her to live in a glass bubble in order to survive.

With one floor and a long inhale between them, the trio communicate via walkie talkies as they try to devise a plan to evacuate.

I was at the edge of my seat when the film began, but excitement and curiosity quickly turned into frustration.

With the stakes so high but the characters so poorly defined, Just A Breath Away feels like a wasted opportunity, with neither great action sequences nor nuanced characterisation.

Ultimately, this is an amateur textbook approach to the disaster movie genre, because when all the smoke clears, there's not much left to see. - NUR SYAHINDAH ISHAK