Probably one of the most moving films ever made about the beauty of our planet and the predicament of its creatures, Earth by Directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield provided spectacular nature and wildlife footages set against the story of three animal families. A re-cut version of the BBC Series Planet Earth, the movie was narrated by Patrick Stewart and set to a stirring soundtrack played by the Berlin Philarmonic.
With breathtaking shots of hundreds of thousands of birds flying in the air, and astounding scenes of school fishes escaping from their aquatic predators, Earth was a visual feast second to none. Here’s a trailer to whet your appetite.
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.