24 years after Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze took to the waves in Kathryn Bigelow’s adrenaline-fuelled action thriller, Ericson Core revisits the story of a young FBI agent working undercover in a gang of extreme sports criminals. Thanks to co-financing from DMG Entertainment, Point Break opens in China and Hong Kong this weekend, three weeks ahead of its US debut. Featuring a number of impressive action set pieces, it could pull big numbers in the world’s second biggest film market, where the similarly-themed Fast & Furious 7 scored an unprecedented US$390 million earlier this year. However, fans of the original will mourn the lack of memorable characters, quotable dialogue and the now-legendary central bromance.
Billed as the story that inspired Moby Dick, Ron Howard’s adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick’s National Book Award winner is a shamelessly old-fashioned sea-faring yarn recounting the true story of the Essex, a Nantucket whaleship that sank after being attacked by a giant sperm whale.
On this week’s show I talk to Phil about Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk, which dramatises Philippe Petit’s legendary high-wire walk between the Twin Towers in 1974, and Asif Kapadia’s documentary Amy, about the life and career of singer Amy Winehouse.
Following his adaptations of Pride & Prejudice and Anna Karenina, Joe Wright next turns his attentions to J.M. Barrie’s boy who never grew up. But instead of bringing the adventures of Peter, Wendy and Captain Hook to the big screen, Pan is a prequel, charting Peter’s arrival in Neverland and showdown with legendary pirate Blackbeard. What’s most surprising is that despite pushing fans well outside their comfort zones, Pan actually proves relatively entertaining.
In a wild change of pace, Hong Kong director Johnnie To delivers an all-singing, occasionally-dancing adaptation of Sylvia Chang’s successful stage play, Design for Living. While the script has undergone numerous changes along the way, and boasts brand new musical numbers from Dayo Lu and Lin Xi, Office still charts the in-house dealings of billion-dollar company Jones & Sunn as they prepare to go public on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis. To covered similar territory previously – and better – in 2011’s Life Without Principle, but his film does display a keen understanding of Hong Kong’s workplace environment and rituals.