GRETA (FILM REVIEW)

In the vein of psycho-stalker thrillers like Fatal Attraction, Single White Female, and Misery, Neil Jordan directs Ray Wright’s script of a tale of obsession set in the bustling streets of New York. Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) is the city newbie, getting adjusted to the lifestyle after the passing of her mum. Spotting an abandoned…

MATA BATIN 2 (FILM REVIEW)

Director Rocky Soraya is back with chapter two of his Mata Batin film series, and for those that enjoyed his first outing, you’ll find more of the same in this episode. This means big sets, big houses, and big acting, along with a crazy soundtrack that refuses to die. You can probably already tell I’m…

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (FILM REVIEW)

If today’s excessive politically-correct climate has got you bothered, then SORRY TO BOTHER YOU is a perfect balm for the weary soul. Riveting performances by LeKeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson pushes this dark comedy into places it should go – a dry, hard-hitting piece on white privilege amongst many other things. It is so self-aware…

THAT MAGIC CROWN: ERIC CHIEN IS WINNER OF ASIA’S GOT TALENT SEASON 3

With his colourful chocolate and Rubik’s cube routine, Eric Chien has garnered himself the title of grand winner for Asia’s Got Talent Season 3. This is the first time a Taiwanese has won the show, and the visibly moved Eric could hardly hold back his tears when the announcement was made. Check out his winning…

ASIA’S GOT TALENT (SEASON 3): THE FINALS

The auditions of Asia’s Got Talent Season 3 has revealed the extent of our region’s undiscovered talents. And picking nine out of the thousands of hopefuls, was no easy task. Even when the semi-finalists were picked, it was difficult to rally behind an act, only because so many of them were so entertaining to watch….

PET SEMATARY (FILM REVIEW)

Stephen King’s IT reboot was a phenomenal success. So it’s only natural for directors Kevin Kolsh and Dennis Widmyer to feel a little pressured when resurrecting PET SEMATARY – arguably one of Stephen King’s darkest titles. On top of box office and fan expectations, Kolsh-Widmyer has the difficult task of keeping the film fresh, as…

TIM BURTON AND HIS FILM PALETTE

Think of Tim Burton, and a dark monochromatic world comes to mind. But the stylistic director isn’t as boring as you think. From Sleepy Hollow’s grim world to Dumbo’s warm tones, I look at how Burton’s palette has changed over the years. Read about his choices here: http://bit.ly/2FA7RR2 Which movie palette was your favourite and…

PEELE’S PRINT STEERS US TO POTENTIAL PERFECTION

Jordan Peele floored everyone with his sleeper hit Get Out in 2017. It was a riveting piece of satirical horror that seared its message like a brand on flesh. Playing once again with complexity, symbols, and deep archetypal nuance, Peele’s upcoming piece Us will no doubt be another memorable experience. Read about why Us will…

ARCTIC (FILM REVIEW)

Filled with more snow than script, Joe Penna’s Arctic strips the survival film genre to its bare essentials, but bolstering that skeleton with a rich performance from its main character. Danish Mads Mikkelsen gives his all in his role as Overgard, a pilot stranded in the arctic region after a crash. Presumably. I say that…

FIVE FEET APART (FILM REVIEW)

It’s an almost unshakeable formula – a doomed romance featuring a character with a chronic disease is sure to turn the taps on. So, I guess if having one character doomed to die makes viewers bawl, imagine two! In the line of terminal romance tear-fests like A Walk to Remember, Midnight Sun, and (most similarly)…

ASIA’S GOT TALENT SEASON 3 – GETTING THAT GOLDEN BUZZ

Talent platforms make for huge entertainment, and Asia’s Got Talent seems to have struck gold with the region. AXN’s programme hits its stride with their third season of Asia’s Got Talent, with returning judges David Foster, Anggun, and Jay Park. With the amount of entries signing up, it’s also clear that the impact of the…

EXTREME JOB (FILM REVIEW)

It felt like somebody’s birthday party. Plus there’s fried chicken. Between the snacks crackling and the people chuckling, the atmosphere at the premiere was buzzing with cheer. I haven’t witnessed such an easy sense of mirth at a screening for years now, no doubt helped by the continuous rain of laughter at the antics onscreen….

SANTORINI, GREECE: THERA NO BETTER SUNSETS

When it comes to travel brochures, claims can sometimes be just hype. Santorini’s sunsets are legendary – and luckily for good reason. While I’m not the sort to idly sit and watch our nearest star dip below the horizon, the island’s unique landscape and vantage makes this daily routine into a dramatic spectacle that you’ll…

VIRAL (FILM REVIEW)

Viral is really an updated version of The Ring, but minus the finesse and scares. In the midst of playing an augmented game called Ghost Hunt, Tang (Ploy Sornarin) captures a spirit photo and excitedly shares it with her friends. One by one, they start seeing the female ghost in their environment. Supposedly. The thing…

GOING BACK TO BLACK & WHITE

We have to admit, there’s something about black and white that makes a photo timeless. When done right, the image seems to transcend boundaries, making it more universal and compelling. It also gives a certain purity to the subject that can be a great start to conversations. Image Credit: @jontyphotography Canon EOS 5D Mark III | EF24-105mm…

THE FAVOURITE (FILM REVIEW)

Emma Stone has never sat well with me as an actress. I guess you can say she was never my favourite. Her goofiness felt larger than her talent, and her roles thus far have banked on that trait. It’s endearing to some, but mostly cloying to me. But what do you know – in Yorgos…

PEGASUS: ON THE BRINK (FILM REVIEW)

Let’s face it – most racing shows are testosterone showcases. Sure, they’ll weave a back story through the plot to keep the indulgence a little more reasonable, but it’s usually a limp romance story on the side. Then in flies Pegasus. Coming out of nowhere, writer and director Han Han has created a surprisingly good…

JORDAN – 7 ACTIVITIES FOR THOSE VISITING THIS DESERT GEM

The deserts are alive in Jordan – dotted by the wandering Bedouins and incredible monuments. While Petra might be the poster child, everyone should attempt to experience these 7 unique experiences from this country, that will leave one with a memorable and romantic desert adventure tale. Read about tombs, castle, canyoning and more, on my…

MOJIN: THE WORM VALLEY (FILM REVIEW)

I found it mildly amusing that the director’s name (Fei Xing) can literally be translated to “do not cross here”, because quite frankly, it’s almost like a warning to his production. The Mojin franchise is based on the bestselling novels of Zhang Muye, about the colourful adventures of three tomb robbers that seek out legendary…

EDITOR’S CHOICE: TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2018

I don’t like to play favourites. Especially when there’s so much love to give for the movies of 2018. But for Catchplay, I sat down and plowed through the commercial hits of the year, and generated one entry for each genre. Read the list here: http://bit.ly/2CBuQJU What do you think of my reasons for picking…

BURIED ALIVE (SUZZANNA: BERNAPAS DALAM KUBUR) (FILM REVIEW)

Asian spirits frighten because their appearances always allude to a terrifying cause of death. In the case of the sundel bolong from Javanese folklore, it is a woman with long flowing hair which covers a bloody hole in her back. It is believed that they were those who got pregnant out of wedlock, and died…

KUNG FU MONSTER (FILM REVIEW)

Remember that old saying about cooks and broth? Kung Fu Monster is an excellent demonstration of this proverb. Rife with a cast that vies for screen time, the script trips over itself with its littering of superfluous side comments. Assembling a motley of knavish characters, the effect becomes even worse, as they throw liners that…

PLAN YOUR PATTERNS

No question about it – our eyes are built to spot patterns. Like the ever-popular leading lines, patterns hold our attention in a pleasing way, and can be used to direct attention to another focal point or in some cases, act as the subject! Image Credit: @jooshengg Canon 5D Mark III | EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Patterns…

THE DEVIL FISH (FILM REVIEW)

Urban legends have a way of getting under our skin, primarily because they draw their horror from the familiar. Shared over lunch or gone viral on social media, these modern lore stay in limbo – suspended between reality and the supernatural, as people debate their authenticity. Like the popular Tag-Along franchise, The Devil Fish is…

INTIMATE STRANGERS (FILM REVIEW)

The smartphone changed our lives forever. And as a character remarks in Intimate Strangers, it’s like a black box of its owner, full of messages, emails and media they’ve collected. So is it any surprise that the content within might shock some of our closest friends or loved ones? An adaptation from the 2016 Italian…

EOS WORLD SPOTLIGHT: CALVIN SEAH

Architecture has become an urban photographer’s art gallery. Different styles, with their lines, forms and colours, dominate the city landscape, and become muses for everyone’s representation. Canon EOS 5DS | Canon EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM | 17mm | 6secs – 1.6secs | f/10 | ISO 100 The photo was combined from three exposures Calvin Seah, who has…

CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA (REVIEW)

Sabrina Spellman was a teenage witch from the good ‘ol Archie Comics that gave the cartoons some extra bite and imagination. Media incarnations have stayed faithful to the iconic character, depicting a sassy blonde who works harmless cantrips in the name of good. Catering to a generation of audience who enjoy their entertainment with a…

THE ROPE CURSE (FILM REVIEW)

A suicide is tragic enough, but there’s something extra about the image of a hanging body that never fails to chill one to the bone. So it’s not surprising that in parts of Fujian and Taiwan, that a ritual has been created to combat the horror of a person hanging by choice. It is given…

THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (REVIEW)

Let’s get this out of the way. The hype for this film lies not in any revolutionary scares or monsters, but a gripping, masterful storytelling that brings forth the worst kind of haunting – that from within oneself. In essence, this is really horror in lyrical prose – an oeuvre to loss and the terrifying…