Tag: movie review
Jiro Ono (courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)
85 year old Jiro Ono of Sukiyabashi Jiro is an exceptional sushi chef.
He is so good in his craft that his tiny 10-seater restaurant in a subway in Tokyo is accorded with three Michelin stars. And he is still working there, almost every single day of the year.
Courtesy of Disney
Disney’s latest blockbuster movie Frozen was a blast, freezing the competition in their tracks this winter.
Taking top prize at the 41st Annie Awards for best animated film, the film is nominated for two Oscars, and has heated up box offices worldwide. Costing US$300 million to make, Frozen is anticipated to generated some US$1 billion when it completes its big-screen run. The movie did so well that it helped Disney to report a 33% increase in quarterly profits and has been lauded by Disney’s CEO Bob Iger as a “turnaround for animation”.
At the kind invitation of Omy.sg, I had the privilege of catching “The Lovely Bones” directed by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson with movie mogul Stephen Spielberg as the executive producer. Screened at the Lido, it certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
Based on the bestselling novel in 2002 by Alice Sebold, the movie centred around how 14 year old Susie Salmon (like the fish), played with much aplomb by Saoirse Ronan, was brutally murdered and raped on her way home from school in 1973 and the events which unfurled before and after the incident.
Spy movies have always held a certain glamour, romance and intrigue, but most appear to paint the protagonists as super slick agents of the state. Witness how this common premise is oft-repeated in the 007 James Bond franchise, as well as movies like the Bourne Ultimatum and Wong Kar-Wai’s Lust, Caution. Taking a slightly different tact, Tony Gilroy takes a more light-hearted look in Duplicity, which sets itself in the cut-throat commercial world of New York-based MNCs.
Helmed by A-list Oscar winning Julia Roberts and Academy Awards nominee Clive Owens, Duplicity has more twists, turns and double-crossing action than a pretzel store in New York (which is where it is set). Former CIA agent Claire Stenwick (Roberts) meets ex-MI6 agent Ray Koval (Owen) as corporate spies acting on behalf of two feuding MNCs. The object of their affections (other than each other) is a secret formula which is fiercely guarded by Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson) and his cronies, much to the chagrin of rival CEO Dick Garsik (Paul Giamatti) who appears to be the main perpetuator of this commercial spy-versus-spy tale.
Think of sharks and what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Man-eaters? “Jaws”? Shark’s fin soup? After watching Sharkwater, my perception of these apex predators in the sea changes entirely. And how.
Thanks to my buddy Jason and Howard Shaw (Executive Director of Singapore Environment Council), I had the privilege of catching Rob Stewart’s beautifully filmed documentary depicting his life long journey of loving and protecting sharks. An underwater photographer par excellence, Rob captures the magnificent creatures in their natural environment and is seen swimming, cavorting and even hugging the oldest swimming predators on Earth.
881 is one of those rare local films which struck a chord with me. While some may dismiss it as a crass musical comedy, I find that it resonates with many Singaporeans by showing how underdog performers can have their day. The show’s colourful and spectacular costumes, out-of-this-world sets, and highly cheesy performances just adds to the whole fantasy of getai entertainment. It gives a sense of escapism and good old campy fun.
I like the acting by the different leads in the movie: Liu Ling Ling as the “mamasan”, Mindee Ong as the cancer stricken “Little Papaya”, Yeo Yann Yann as the family angst ridden “Big Papaya”, and of course Qi Yuwu and his rooster. As one who has grown up with the Hokkien dialect in my childhood, I found its use refreshingly poetic in the movie, without necessarily degenerating into the more “colourful” aspects of the dialect. The contrast between the glamour of life on stage versus the gritty realities of day-to-day living makes the movie even more compelling.