Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Diva's Movie Review: "The Lego Batman Movie" Is Funny and Simply Bat-astic!

Total geekgasm is how Red Dot Diva would describe "The Lego Batman Movie", which premiered in local theatres on Thursday, 9 February 2017.

There's LEGO of course, kapow! action, tons of comic book references, several pop-culture nods, and Batman. Lots and lots of Batman! In fact, "The Lego Batman Movie" is more Batman than the Batman movies of recent years, and most of all, it's the funniest!

With Will Arnett providing Lego Batman with his imitable deep raspy voice, the animated bricked Dark Knight is even more larger than life, his over-the-top heroic gestures and constant declaration that he only works alone, is just but an excuse to avoid feeling abandoned again. Even his arch nemesis The Joker (voiced wonderfully by Zach Galifianakis) knows that all too well.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Diva's Movie Review: "Hunt for the WilderPeople" Is A Clever and Superb Buddy Movie

With many of the social media timelines filled with friends who have polarizing views about the results of the USA election, perhaps there is need for some time out. A feel-good kind of time out.

Watching "Hunt for the WilderPeople", a New Zealand film written and directed by Taika Waititi, is a heartwarming panacea for all the angsty, angry discussions taking place on the internet right now. It provides assurance that a genuine friendship can be formed even when two human beings are very different from each other. Logical Red Dot Diva knows that this does not happen easily in real life, but movie escapism can sometimes be good for mental health. ;)

"Hunt for the WilderPeople" is essentially a hilarious buddy dramedy with a quirky take on the fugitives on the run trope. The movie focuses on the adventures of two unlikely characters - chubby, orphaned, city street kid Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) who thinks he's a hip hop thug and his grumpy over-60 ex-prisoner/ farmer/ super-bushman foster uncle Hec Faulkner (a very silver foxy Sam Neill).

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Diva's Movie Review: "Warcraft: The Beginning" is Made for the WoW Fan

"World of Warcraft" (WoW) is an immensely popular multi-player game by Blizzard Entertainment, where one could role-play as different fantasy characters like mages, elves, humans and orcs to fulfill various quests. Millions of player accounts have been created since its first version was released in 1994.

With recent technological advances in the field of VFX, the company was keen to translate its success across to the big screen. In fact, a Warcraft movie was announced in 2006 as a project undertaken with Legendary Pictures, which means it has taken about 10 years for it to arrive at its final version.

"Warcraft: The Beginning", as suggested in the title, bypasses the recent WoW game scenarios and heads right back to the start - the battle of Orcs vs Humans.

(Be careful, some very minor spoilers ahead!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"Fear the Walking Dead" Season 2 Is Now On AMC Asia


Following the phenomenal success of "The Walking Dead" (TWD), a prequel/ spinoff called "Fear The Walking Dead" (FTWD) was aired last year on the AMC cable channel.

The show is also the brainchild of TWD's Robert Kirkman and co-creator Dave Erickson. There seems to be lot of faith placed on FTWD's showrunners, as a second season was renewed ahead of the airdate for its Season 1 premiere.

Set in sunny and highly populated city of Los Angeles, FTWD followed the series of events that unfolded right after the initial onset of a virulent strain of infection. A group of survivors which consisted mainly of an extended family, stumble and bicker as they attempted to avoid being zombie lunch. Although to be clear, in the series' timeline, the hungry biters were called "The Infected".

Red Dot Diva found the first season of FTWD a very very VERY slow burn, even though there were only 6 episodes aired.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

SRT's Musical "Treasure Island" Is A Delight, Especially for Families


The Singapore Repertory Theatre's (SRT) year-end play "Treasure Island" is not the scary sort with pillaging pirates running amok committing bloody murders on board a schooner. Rather, this adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson famous book by SRT's The Little Company is a delightful, G-rated musical that will appeal to children young and old, as well as most adults, and makes for 1.5 hours of fun family time.

The musical follows quite closely to the novel except for one main twist to the storyline - Jim Hawkins (Ann Lek) has been genderbent to an adventure-loving 13-year-old girl who works at the Bentbow Inn. With Jim stumbling upon a map owned by the late Captain Flint (and the scariest pirate that has ever lived), she sets sail on an adventure to a Caribbean island together with a crew led by Captain Smollett (Erwin Shah Ismail) and Squire Trelawney (Tan Shou Chen).

Unfortunately, on board as well is Long John Silver (Dwayne Lau) who pretends to be friends with Ann Lek while plotting a mutiny together with his comrades Hands (Kimberley Chan) and O'Brien (Michell Lagos), so that they can get their greedy hands on the treasure map.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Diva's Movie Review: "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2" Plods To A Series' End

"Real or not real?"

This phrase and question echoed throughout "The Hunger Games: Mockingay - Part 2", the finale of the series of movies adapted from the novels of the same name by Suzanne Collins.

Carrying on right after a still-brainwashed Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) attacked Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at District 13's rebel base camp, the movie is mainly about the insurgents' planned siege of the Capitol in the bid to save Panem from President Snow's (Donald Sutherland) dictatorship.

Here's a Red Dot Diva warning - the movie's pace is slow.... very slow, and angsty, with short bursts of action happening only in two main parts. To get through the movie, one requires a lot of patience. The final instalment clearly suffers from the case of Two-Parter-citis. "Mockingjay" the movie would have been more compact and more effective if it was just one film.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Artimus Gives His Lowdown on NYCC vs SDCC


East side vs West side... Well, you know how that usually goes!

Red Dot Diva has had the opportunity to experience both San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) and New York Comic Con (NYCC) more than once, and because she has such a wide range of interests, she still has difficulty deciding which one she likes more! 

Both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. It really depends what kind of fan you are, what your budget is and what you are really looking for.

Diva's geek pal, The Artimus made his way to NYCC for the first time this year. He has attended SDCC several times so here is his lowdown on what he thinks about the different aspects of the two biggest comic conventions in the USA.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Movie Review: Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) 2 : End Of The World - Not Enough Crunchy Bits

Even though the live action movie "Attack on Titan" Part 1 did not meet most of the fans' expectations, it still had a pretty good box office run both in Japan and locally in Red Dot Island.

Part 1 made SGD 3.8 million (USD 4.8 million) in its opening week in Japan, and over here, gross takings was over SGD 818,000 after four weeks of screening at only 15 locations.

Red Dot Diva watched the preview of Part 2 earlier this month and was all set to enjoy a similar "fear experience" that was the most enjoyable aspect in the first movie.

To her surprise and disappointment, the follow-up film had fewer hungry Titans stomping and much less gore, with hardly any character development. In fact, some of the characters were hardly even seen or had spoken dialogue - like Sasha, for instance.

Instead, there was a lot of dialogue which slowed down the pace considerably, making the movie harder to sit through without feeling impatient. The action did pick up toward the end but by then, one would hardly care enough for the young cadet team to root for their victory.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Movie Review: Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) Part 1 - More An Appetiser Than A Main Course

Whether the live action movie adaptation of "Attack on Titan" (進撃の巨人) is worth feasting one's eyes upon would depend on one's palate.

Essentially, "Attack on Titan" is about the remaining clusters of mankind battling to survive against enormous creatures who stampede through the cities' barricades, and whose single purpose is to devour every single human being in sight.

Both the original manga written and illustration by Hajime Isayama, as well as animated series, are hugely popular with anime fans. For such fans, the live action movie may turn out to be a disappointment.

Red Dot Diva understands that there is an almost impossible challenge to adapting the character-rich world of manga and anime into a two-part movie, but in this case, she felt that the key changes made were not entirely to the film's advantage.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Diva's Movie Review: China Box Office Hit "Monster Hunt" Needs More Bite (Minor Spoilers)

"Monster Hunt" (捉妖记) is probably one of those movies you may not have heard of, but it is the biggest hit movie in China right now.

On opening day alone, the movie raked in 162 million Yuan (SGD 35.8 mil) of box office takings. In addition, it also earned over 669 million Yuan (SGD 147.8 mil) during the first weekend. It is currently the highest-grossing film in China, having earned 1.32 billion Yuan (SGD 286.7 mil) since its first day at the box office.

These record-breaking feats got Red Dot Diva curious enough to see whether "Monster Hunt" was worth all the hype, even though generally, her taste in films do not coincide with those of most viewers in mainland China.

Directed by Dreamworks animator Raman Hui, who was also co-director on "Shrek the Third", "Monster Hunt" is a blend of live-action and VFX footage in a Sinicized-fantasy world where monsters and mankind are at odds with each other, and the monsters are driven by the humans to flee deep into the mountains.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Diva's Movie Review: "Ant-man" Is Packed With Oodles of Charm (Spoilerish!)

After the noisy, over-the-top "Avengers: Age of Ultron" that resembled and felt more like a video game than a satisfying movie, Red Dot Diva toned down her expectations on the next Marvel superhero movie.

Sure, she adores Paul Rudd and his work, but Ant-man has never been totally mainstream as a superhero, even when, in the comics, he is actually one of the founding members of The Avengers. Most people could never quite envision Paul Rudd (who mostly did comedies) to be a superhero either.

Moreover, after nearly 9 years in the making at the hands of British director Edgar Wright, "Ant-man" saw his suddn departure in May 2014 due to "creative differences". He was later replaced by Peyton Reed as director, who also re-crafted the script together with Paul Rudd and Adam McKay.

Will this be another storytelling mess filled with too many characters? The promotional trailers for "Ant-man" were very low-key, so would that mean it was going to be a bland movie? She knew she was not alone in her skepticism.

But those niggly feelings fell apart within minutes of the opening scene that set the tone of the entire movie - thanks to the engaging script and innate charm of Paul Rudd as burglar-genius Scott Lang.

WARNING: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

SRT's Shakespeare in the Park 2015: "The Tempest" Raises A Moderate Squall

It rained a couple of hours before showtime when Red Dot Diva attended SRT's Shakespeare in the Park last year (the play was The Merchant of Venice). As fate has it, the weather did a repeat performance again on this year's Labour Day show for "The Tempest".

(Click here to read a previous article on SRT's "The Tempest".)

The dark clouds refused to disperse even after the gates opened at about 6:40PM. As the streaming crowd settled their mats on the lawn, it continued to drizzle. At one point, the rain got heavier, and umbrellas began popping up around the field like colourful mushrooms. Yet, the crowd, hopefuly and undeterred huddling beneath their shade or ponchos, was hopeful that the show will go on.


And it did. It was a sold-out performance that night, and SRT was determined to have the show go on. Luckily, after a short prayer to the weather angels, the rain showed signs of subsiding, with the sky even offering a rainbow tribute. The open-air stage was then promptly wiped and mopped up to get ready for the performance.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Disney's Live Action Movie "Cinderella" - A Throwback to Childhood that includes Beautiful Dreamy Dresses

Even though Disney's animated movie "Cinderella" is not Red Dot Diva's favourite fairy tale princess, it still brought back happy childhood memories when dreams were simpler and untainted by adult cynicism.

The live-action movie directed by Kenneth Branagh, and starring the wispy Lily James (from "Downtown Abbey") as Cinderella and the dashing Richard Madden ("Game of Thrones") as Prince Charming, is a lush production that fills up the screen with so much details, that it wouldn't take much effort to imagine that one might indeed be actually be living in the imaginary kingdom.

One of the best things to soak your eyeballs in during the movie are the costumes. Naturally, every "little girl at heart" wants to be dazzled by the iconic blue ballgown that Cinderella wears to the ball, and rest assured, they shall not be disappointed.

The bigger than life dress has been brought to life on screen by the hands and brains of Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell. Red Dot Diva thought the gown's shade of blue seemed to have a life of its own as warm studio/candlelight bounced off the flow of ruffles, little Swarovski crystals and butterfly detailing around the neckline. It was magical indeed.

Friday, February 20, 2015

"Dragon Blade" Gala Premiere - Excited Fans at GV Vivocity and A Movie Review by Vernon

The very very very expensive epic historical action movie "Dragon Blade" opens officially in cinemas island-wide today on 19 February, the 1st day of Chinese New Year.

From what Red Dot Diva was told, the movie did very well during the sneak screenings from 13-15 February, grossing about S$147,662 in just 3 days.

RED CARPET
The cast were in visibly good spirits on their first promotional stop in Red Dot Island, even though Adrien did seem jetlagged at the morning's press conference.

Later that day at GV Vivocity for the red carpet gala premiere, they seem to have perked up more. Hundreds of fans (mostly young ones, who seem to be there screaming for Choi SiWon) were lined up along the passageway leading into the multiplex, all eager to catch a glimpse of their favourite idol(s).

Jackie leads the way on the red carpet (pic from Encore)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Diva Cannot Get Enough of Baymax - At "Big Hero 6" Preview, Funko Toy Exhibition and the Movie Review!

Red Dot Diva simply cannot resist it. She has met Baymax and he is soooooooooo cute!!!

Thanks to the folks at the local Disney PR, she was invited to a special preview screening of "Big Hero 6" last Saturday at Bugis+ Filmgarde. "Big Hero 6", a creative result from Disney's acquisition of Marvel and her properties, is the studio's latest superhero animation film which will out on theatres islandwide tomorrow, 13 November.

MOVIE PREVIEW AT BUGIS+:

"Remember to come early!" urged the Disney PR representative. "There will be fringe activities. Red Dot Diva had little idea what these fringe activites were, other than being pretty sure there will be a life-sized version of Baymax on display, but she headed down "early" to Bugis+ Filmgarde, anyway.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"Star Wars Rebels" Brings A New Hope to The Galaxy!



Things cannot get any geekier than this for Red Dot Diva.

A few days ago, she was invited to watch a special screening of new animated series, "Star Wars Rebels" at The Sandcrawler - the regional headquarters of Lucasfilm's campus on the Red Dot Island.

The Sandcrawler has the familiar shape of those giant vehicular fortresses manned by Jawas for transportation and shelter in the desertlands of Tatooine. Earlier this year, George Lucas himself was here in the building, together with Kathleen Kennedy and Red Dot Island's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for its unveiling. (Check out the article of their visit here.)

It was Red Dot Diva's first time visiting The Sandcrawler and she was very excited to be able to step into the hallowed grounds of Lucasfilm, and walked where George Lucas walked. After all, "Star Wars" was the first scifi movie that captured her childhood imagination, and it was also her very first major fandom. That love for "Star Wars" has never died, enduring even those last 3 disappointing movies that older die-hard fans want to mostly forget ever existed.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Theatre Review: "Mies Julie" Brings The Heat With A Fiery Performance about Race and Gender

The relentless sense of sweat-inducing heat of the semi-desert region of Karoo in South Africa, was felt right from the start as the play "Mies Julie" kicked off at DBS Art Centre

On stage, which was set as a farmhouse during Freedom Day, the very capable actors of the South African State Theatre played out the intense, erotic and ultimately tragic tale about a young white mistress and her affair with her African black male servant, John.

The classic play about the battle about power and control by Swedish playwright August Strindberg had now been spiritually rebirthed in another time and space. This version makes all the swirling emotions of the story even more relevant and illuminating, as writer-director Yael Farber brings it very close to heart and home by setting it in South Africa, when apartheid ended a mere 20 years ago.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Last Bookstore: (Happy Sigh) Diva in Book Heaven

When one is living or visiting Los Angeles, do not miss visiting this visually stunning shop called The Last Bookstore. It is a sight to remember as well as a great hideout for any book-lover!

The Last Bookstore is housed in what was used to be the Citizens National Bank, in a 100-year-old building at historic Spring Street, Downtown LA. The space is large - about 10,000 square foot of book heaven!

Upon entering the main wooden doors, Red Dot Diva felt that immediate familiar wave of swhoosh! when something wonderful and magikal is about to happen.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Diva Watched "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" - Cluttered, But More Entertaining Than The First

Red Dot Diva was pleasantly surprised when Sony Pictures Singapore e-invited her and a small group of local bloggers for an exclusive snippets preview of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" a few weeks before the movie opens at local cinemas on May 1.

During the preview, the introduction by director Marc Webb and the specially selected movie snippets had already hinted of the spectacular 3D imaging used for the movie as well as of the exciting sequences in store. Red Dot Diva had a gut feel then, that the sequel was going to be a way better movie than the first installment.

And she was not wrong.

Based on her 3D experience of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" media premiere held on April 24 at GV Vivo (which has an amazing Spidey promo area, by the way - see pic below!), the following consists of Red Dot Diva's opinions about the movie.

Warning: Mild Spoilers!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Emerald City Comicon 2014 - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: A Retrospective

Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) is fast becoming one of the more popular conventions for fans who are into comics more so than the pop-culture fest that San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) has been in recent years.

Red Dot Diva's Twitter pal, @TheArtimus (whom she has met at SDCC before) decides to take on ECCC this year.

And this is his experience at the Seattle-based convention!

-----------------------------------

This year marked my first trip to ECCC. While I’m not important to this article, a little background information might come in handy.

I’ve been to traditional comic conventions that are so tiny, you can throw a baseball from one end of the show floor to the other, and I’ve been lucky enough to attend the granddaddy of them all, San Diego Comic-Con.

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