Alien: Covenant (Film Review)

I never considered myself a purist. But Ridley Scott might make one of me yet. Director Scott’s Prometheus began a journey into an origin story, effectively transforming the word universe from noun to concept. Although panned by some fans wanting their high-thrill monsters and less rhetoric, the first prequel was not only a box-office success,…

Siam Square (Film Review)

What is busiest during the day, usually morphs into the creepiest at night. And so with Siam Square, Phairat Khumwan conjures an urban legend of a missing girl who haunts the grounds at night, forever searching for her way out. I’m sure there’s a big life lesson here, ending with a big, “moral of the…

EOS Professional: Nick Soo of OtterWatch

As a regular contributor to OtterWatch, Singapore’s leading project platform for consolidating otter images, full-time IT engineer Nick Soo has turned hobby into cause, with spirited and eye-catching documentations of the playful creatures. How did your journey in photography begin and how did it lead you to OtterWatch? I started my photography journey as a…

29 + 1 (Film Review)

Age milestones, like the annual New Year event, have a profound effect on human beings. Somewhere along the way, they have warped from celebrations to stressful introspective checkpoints. “What have I done with my life so far?” one asks of themselves. No one is feeling this more keenly than Christy Lam (Chrissie Chau), a high-flying…

Perfecting Those Snaps On The Road

Travelling is awesome. It takes us away from our daily routine to explore the world we live in and gain new perspective. Taking photos during our travels have taken on in a big way with digital and advanced mobile technology, but with it comes the problem of over-taking. We’ve all suffered through your friend’s fifty…

Going In Style (Film Review)

You’ve got Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin – something’s gotta work, we say. Unfortunately, even this trio of legends fall flat in Zach Braff’s Going In Style, going through the entire film like a dress rehearsal. It’s like that itch which you can’t really get to, or that sneeze that never came –…

Fabricated City (Film Review)

“If it wasn’t something new, I had no reason to come back,” proclaims Director Park Kwang-hyung on his latest film, Fabricated City. And admittedly, the classic story of a scapegoat turning tables on his offenders is getting a little predictable. After a decade-long break, Park injects enough ingenuity into his latest work to keep the…

Welcome to my April

They say kings are born in April. Power I have little of – at least over a nation; But Iran is currently ruling my heart and state of being. I must have a magpie as a totem animal because I like collecting receipt stubs, local plants, odd packets and (as a mermaid once said) thingamabobs…

7 Key Things to Remember For That Perfect Valentine’s Day Shot

Flowers wither. Chocolates get eaten. But memories stay forever. Yet capturing those Valentine’s Day moments is easily one of the most overlooked aspects for the day. With all the buzz around the activity and gifts, snapshots become an afterthought – a shame given the many iconic moments that can happen. This Valentine’s, try moving photography…

The Heart Strings Of Chinese Culture

Tucked away along Geylang Lorong 24A, is a shop not many may know about. Mr Jeffrey Eng is the third generation proprietor of Eng Tiang Huat –  a shop that is a cultural hotchpotch of Chinese opera costumes, prop weapons, orchestra instruments and celebratory tapestries. Stepping into Eng Tiang Huat today, you’ll find that little…

Rings (Film Review)

Origin stories are coming fast and furious in the film industry these days, as studios milk successful classics for all their worth. Reboots, spin-offs – you name it, there’s one for all the major titles. Part of this movement has stories being expanded, and although this execution has proven successful for a few, it usually…

Hidden Figures (Film Review)

“Freedom is not asked. It’s demanded,” hisses the husband of Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae). In Hidden Figures, freedom is very much needed in segregationist Virginia, 1961. On top of fighting patriarchal battle-lines with condescending men, our trio of brainy mathematicians must fight racial discrimination as African-American women working in NASA. Taraji P. Henson is Katherine…

Before I Fall (Film Review)

Before I Fall is based on a Young Adults book written in 2010 by Lauren Oliver. It is also, quite frankly, not unlike a 100-minute ThoughtCatalog film. Audiences with a perchance for these two genres should find themselves suitably indulged, but others may find themselves polarised by the treatment. The film starts with a philosophical…

Stolen Stories: Sungei Road’s Last Page

There are antique timepieces beside mobile chargers and colourful plastic jewellery. A Barbie sits patiently, her dress a little weathered but still pretty. Underneath a table, an old photo of a man in his youthful glory is captured with an auric glow. These remnants of the past may seem useless, but new owners can be…

The 5 Phases For Complete Renewal

We try. There’s the little token plant at one corner of the table. Then there’s some holiday pictures pegged up in another. But ultimately, the desk and our work starts to wring out our enthusiasm for life; our pulse flickering like the fluorescents overhead. In times like this, we know we need some help. We…

Stepping Into Serenity

After the book and movie Eat, Pray, Love, Bali has cemented itself as one of the world’s choice destination to find oneself. It’s thoughtful, it’s beautiful, it’s exotic – and lucky us, it’s also less than three hours away. And with budget flights readily available, it’s a no-brainer to rejuvenate your soul at our southern…

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Film Review)

As with all franchises, words like final, ultimate and last become tools more for marketing than actual reflections of closure. Folks tell me that they intend to watch this film because “I want to see how it ends” or “I might as well finish it”. See how that works? Alice (Milla Jovovich) is back. Emerging…

Fansipan, Vietnam – Trekking Up The Roof of Indochina

The early morning mist parted to dry grass terrain and crispy trees. It was 5am in the morning and conditions were perfect for a climb up Mount Fansipan. The forest was peaceful. Bird call was intermittent. The 18 degree Celsius air was refreshing. Not that I noticed. My heart was pounding. My breath, rapid. Most…

Split (Film Review)

If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know the surprisingly clear premise of Split – the latest film from M. Night Shyamalan. A mysterious man kidnaps three girls and traps them in an unknown location. As they struggle to escape, it would seem that he has accomplices – except it turns out, “they” are him. It’s…

Master (Film Review)

The latest cat-and-mouse Master by director Cho Ui-seok is a formulaic crowd-pleaser. We enter the chess game between dogged detective and colourful villain in the middle of the set, but still get rewarded with the diet of car chases, double-crossing maneuvers, some gunfight, and an exotic locale – in this case, Manila, Philippines. The standard…

Age of Shadows (Film Review)

With super slick productions increasingly coming out from South Korea, one might say that the tides are turning towards the rise of Hallyu-wood. With sharp visualisations and even sharper jawlines, the attractive aesthetics of their resources are winning audiences over, especially when it comes with finesse for refreshing classic plots. Director Kim Jee-woon is one…

Rochor Centre – Final farewells

Rochor Centre at night, with darkness veiling the bright colours, brings out another mistress – one pensive yet still robust. The quiet voice of rebellion exists, as activities in her compound past its official clearance deadline, is flickering but still seen, from the occasional odd window with clothes left out to dry. There’s also a bunch…

The Great Wall (Film Review)

The Great Wall of China – over 21,000 km of brick, stone and wood, is an undisputed impressive piece of work. It’s forbidding, inspiring, and a titan of a feat, being built upon the tragic backs of many forced into its construction. The passing of two thousand and three hundred years has taken away some…

Next stop – Cantonment

This is it. The last day of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station as a shell space for events like today’s Christmas fair. After this, it’s a long many years before it opens up as Cantonment Mrt station. It’s funny how as I stood in this empty room, with teal panes a hipster cafe would kill for, the…

Office Christmas Party (Film Review)

Overheard in the bathroom: “Erm, I know this is a Christmas show, but this isn’t really suitable for kids right?” I think the guy might have missed the memo about the M18 rating but – no kidding. Office Christmas Party is your urban hedonistic party nightmare come true. We know office parties are one of…

Incarnate (Film Review)

I’ll say it – Incarnate is what happens when you merge Inception with The Exorcist. It makes for an intriguing premise, reviving the tired genre, but presented a lot of missed opportunities in this film. Dr. Seth Ember (Aaron Eckhart) is gifted with the ability of going into the minds of the possessed. That is,…

Barakah Meets Barakah (Film Review)

“White stands for purity, pink for passion, and purple… well, purple stands for new beginnings,” she shares. “It’s popular knowledge don’t you know?” Sadly her suitor, Barakah (Hisham Fageeh), is as naive as he is attractive. The Saudi Arabic municipal worker who polices the city has a heart of gold, but remains clueless when it comes to wooing…

Hide And Never Seek (Film Review)

Money and fame is to be had on the online world. And in the world of afreecaTV, a fictional channel specialising in horror named “Glow World” is chalking up some interest. The host of the channel, VJ Glow (Ryu Deok-hwan) is a douchebag skeptic, who bulldozes any possible spirits with his bravado and rapid-fire mouth….

Steamboat Ingredients For A Prosperous Chinese New Year

Your Ultimate List of Steamboat Ingredients Asian families often gather around a pot of bubbling broth and various steamboat ingredients to celebrate the Chinese New Year. For many, the simmering steamboat represents more than just good food. It’s the tradition to strengthen family bonding and sharing happiness. The literal translation of “reunion” in Mandarin is…

4Love (Film Review)

It bears some comparison to 7 Letters, the other anthology debuting last year for SG50, helmed by the venerable Royston Tan. 4Love is mm2 Entertainment’s own gathering of four local directors, expressing their styles on that elusive subject of love. Unfortunately, all other resemblance to the former ends there. Scheduled to debut at our upcoming…