THE CURSE LESSON – MOVIE REVIEW

With all the societal pressure to look good in South Korea, especially when set against such demanding standards, it’s always heartening to see the media tackling the topic. And what better way to exemplify obsession than with the horror genre? Similar to this year’s earlier Beauty Water, the chase for attractiveness leads only to gory…

SAMJIN COMPANY ENGLISH CLASS – A REVIEW

The title seems to suggest a language-centric comedy, but Samjin Company English Class holds a lot more sass in class than playing up botched English deliveries. There’s a great deal of messaging here, from hierarchical ceilings to gender discrimination, but most of all, that doing the right thing might be tough, but always worth it…

THE WIDOW (VDOVA) – A REVIEW

As each country’s film industry finds renewed interest in the horror genre in the last decade, we are seeing interesting projects coming out from lesser-heard places, such as Iran (Under the Shadow). While Russia is relatively known, the scares coming from the country have been a little short, surprising given the rich folklore and austere…

THE SILENT FOREST – A REVIEW

All too often, there are some topics in life we tiptoe around. We either gloss over them, avoid them, or deny them altogether, and even more so when it presents uncomfortable or unfamiliar truths. So imagine when two of those themes come together. The Silent Forest is a bold and disturbing look into the effects…

THE SWORDSMAN – A REVIEW

To me, modern action has nothing on period pugilistic pieces. Guns, lasers, cars and bombs rarely need skill, and filmmakers often depend on bigger explosions to one-up excitement. The clash of fists and swords in comparison, feels more elegant, and often results in a more satisfying payout. They are called martial arts for a reason….

COFFEE OR TEA? 一点就到家 – A REVIEW

Like the double-yolked egg or the extra piece of McNugget, life can be full of pleasant surprises. Coffee or Tea turned out to be one of them. What seemed like a predictable fish-out-of-water story of three unlikely business partners, turned up with some really good dramatic moments within moving themes on home, family, and friendship….

JIANG ZI YA: LEGEND OF DIEFICATION – A REVIEW

If the opening credits are anything to go by, this project took a LOT of work. Studio after studio flashed their vanity intros across the screen, but the most significant contributor is clearly Coloroom Pictures. Initially bought over by Beijing Enlight Pictures to establish themselves as a Chinese animation powerhouse on par with Disney’s Pixar…

OKAY! MADAM – A REVIEW

With leisure travel not returning anytime this year, a movie about flying will either seem like unnecessary torture, or a wonderful temporary escape. Thankfully, with its wacky ensemble and riotous plot, Okay! Madam is likely the latter for its audiences. Mi-Young (Uhm Jung-hwa) is your gregarious stallowner, hawking donut twists and effusive compliments. She’s well-liked…

THE TUNNEL (TUNNELEN) – A REVIEW

Norway has more than 1,100 road tunnels, with only a few of them designed with emergency rooms or escape routes. Some would call this a recipe for disaster or a ticking time bomb but it’s the reality for Norwegians. Since 2011, eight big fires – including one in 2015 involving a tanker truck with 16,500…

I WEIRDO – A REVIEW

Living with a younger brother with autism, I have a front-row seat to how Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects one’s life. The term is used loosely these days for people who fuss over small discrepancies, say a slightly tilted photo frame or their colour-coordinated stationery, but for people like my brother, it is less a…

BEAUTY WATER (FILM REVIEW)

The beauty industry, at last count, was a 532 billion dollar industry. And with Korean skincare and cosmetics trends leading the way for growth in the male sector, one can only imagine how important looking groomed is turning out to be. Let’s admit it – we are swayed by attractive people. There’s even a psychological…

REVENGE WITHOUT THE FRILLS

Revenge films a la Kill Bill and Old Boy has seen great success from individuals honing their anger into a fine point. Their skills are near supernatural – a nod to their intensity and focus – which stirs the blood in all of us. But would this happen in real life? Cold in July and…

LOVE YOU FOREVER (FILM REVIEW)

China’s movie-making efforts have largely fallen either towards epic fantasy and dramatic action flicks, or the overt comedy that basically doubles as a ham and cheese sandwich. It’s only the odd while you’ll get a romantic piece. Love You Forever is one of these rare attempts, and true to form, features a sprinkling of fantasy…

GREENLAND (MOVIE REVIEW)

There’s nothing like timing a disaster film to coincide with a similar real-life event – minus the devastating consequences of course. Ric Roman Waugh’s Greenland has been released just as the comet Neowise is coursing through our skies. The astronomical phenomena was at its brightest on 22 July, becoming as bright as the North Star…

DEPARTURE: WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU CHECK-IN

While flying isn’t in the cards for most of us anytime soon, our fascination with planes is certainly still there. So maybe some flight-themed entertainment might solve our withdrawals. The new series Departure has an aviation premise, but veers away from the romantic travelogue and more towards a “high-octane” mystery thriller. When a plane goes…

HOTEL MUMBAI: FACT VS FICTION

The danger of films based on true stories, is that sometimes people take it for the whole truth. This is often not the case, as movies ultimately have to engage and tell a story within a span of a few hours. Thus the aertistic license being waved. That said, there are plenty of dramatisation that…

HOW A BUCKET LIST MIGHT RUIN YOUR TRAVEL EXPERIENCE

Raise your hand if you have a bucket list. Ever since the titular movie propelled the word to common vernacular, travel has slowly been shaped by a traveler’s list of places-to-see-before-I-die. But I can’t help but wonder, is it a good idea to travel with this macabre overtone? One must also ask, have we ended…

LIVING IT UP AT WALDORF ASTORIA BANGKOK

It’s not everyday I spend SGD$400 on a night’s stay at a hotel. But I did from 26- 28 March 2019. Hear me out. I’m not someone who necessarily is in that income bracket to easily drop that kind of money, but remember what they said about experiences? My first encounter with Andre Fu‘s work…

THE MAGNIFICENT FILM UNIVERSE OF A24

If there was ever a film company that displayed a cutting acumen for successful films, A24 would be a shoo-in contender. Founded only in 2012, the company has curated an archive of films known for their commercial and critical success. It’s indie done right – by capturing the flavourful powers of personal expression, along with…

BOMBSHELL (FILM REVIEW)

Playing out one of the most important chapters – the prologue if you will – of the #MeToo movement, Bombshell drops us into the frenetic offices of Fox News to witness the buildup to the sexual harassment allegations levelled at media mogul Roger Ailes. Director Jay Roach and writer Charles Randolph doesn’t go full The…

JOJO RABBIT (FILM REVIEW)

In today’s era of instant media and trigger-happy sensibilities, presenting a film about Nazis and their famed chancellor is like a game of dice… with razor blades. Fortunately under Taika Waititi’s treatment, Jojo Rabbit doesn’t draw blood, but instead, a mixture of laughs, shock, or indignance. How you enjoy this film might be an indicator…

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF LIBERTE – TRUE WIRELESS STEREO HEADPHONES FROM ATTA GORA

There’s no shortage of wireless earphones in the crowd-funding realm. And I’ve bought myself a fair number of them over the years. Atta Gora‘s version, launched in November 2019, surprised me with two things: One, the fact that it promised a first shipment before Christmas. Secondly, with it’s refreshingly hipster palette and Nordic-inspired design. It…

THE AERONAUTS (FILM REVIEW)

To be honest, the trailer was a little underwhelming. The Aeronauts seemed to pitch the adventure of a lifetime in the air, and with Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones offering captainship, the premise seems to have some heft. But are a sea of clouds and fluttering butterflies enough to strike wonder in this age? With…

DETENTION (FILM REVIEW)

Wrapping a terrifying story around a true period of human horror, Detention is a layered tale that’s heavy on scares, but also dripping ripe with messaging. Touching on the political scene in Taiwan in the 1960s, it unfolds in the White Terror period, which was an era of martial law in the country that lasted…

KNIVES OUT (FILM REVIEW)

There’s a certain appeal to whodunnit movies that always keeps the audiences coming. One would hazard it’s due to our inherent curious nature, as well as an intrinsic engagement of our own sleuthing skills that keeps us addicted. It is this successful formula that has birthed a few renowned genre writers – such as Sir…

WET SEASON (FILM REVIEW)

Treading the line between artistic integrity and commercial viability is never easy – especially so in our tiny isle of Singapore. With Wet Season, Anthony Chen establishes his quiet finesse in creating films that strikes a chord with the audience, but bags critical mention and awards to boot. Chen’s sophomore feature has recently picked up…

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP (FILM REVIEW)

Sequels have it hard. Zombieland raked in commercial and critical success for taking the audience off-guard in a period of zombie titles, so what can Zombieland: Double Tap bring to the table? The answer is – plenty. The franchise capitalises on three things: astute witticisms, irreverent self-awareness and unabashed caricultures. With that, the sequel has…

90 YEARS OF DISNEY – THE PROCESS FROM PAST TO FUTURE

It’s no exaggeration to say that Disney‘s allure is a multi-generational affair. From 26 October 2019 till 29 March 2020, visitors to the ArtScience Museum can revisit close to a century’s worth of animation styles and legacy in the brand new exhibition Disney: Magic of Animation. The event draws upon the archives of the Walt…