• Review: Dakota Johnson looks incredibly liberated in 'Fifty Shades Freed'
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: Dakota Johnson looks incredibly liberated in 'Fifty Shades Freed'

    Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) in “Fifty Shades of Grey” is a completely different person from the character who appears in “Fifty Shades Freed”. Instead, it looks like she’s slightly smirking in her scenes, as if she’s fully aware of the unbelievable situations she finds herself in in “Fifty Shades Freed”. The movie is the final instalment in the “Fifty Shades” trilogy, based on the book of the same name.

  • Black Panther reviews hail 'best Marvel movie yet'
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    Tom Butler

    Black Panther reviews hail 'best Marvel movie yet'

    The first reviews for Marvel's Black Panther are in and they're glorious.

  • Review: 'The Last Recipe' is a magical depiction of food and cooking
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'The Last Recipe' is a magical depiction of food and cooking

    One can take elegant, beautiful shots of food — but push it too far, and it drifts into the realm of food porn. Fortunately, “The Last Recipe” never descends into such territory. Based on the Japanese novel of the same title, this culinary drama follows the adventures of modern-day talented extremist chef Mitsuru Sasaki (Kazunari Ninomiya) as he traces the life of legendary Imperial chef Naotaro Yamagata (Hidetoshi Nishijima) in the 1930s, in a search for the eponymous recipe.

  • Review: 'All the Money in the World' is a powerful tale of wealth and crassness
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'All the Money in the World' is a powerful tale of wealth and crassness

    “All the Money in the World” may have been plagued with multiple production issues, but that hasn’t stopped it from being an excellent film. Given the reshoot schedules and urgent recasting of Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty (he replaced Kevin Spacey), you’d have thought that it would show in the final product. The film is a crime thriller that’s based on the book “Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty”.

  • Review: '12 Strong' stirs unexpected emotions by giving a face to non-American characters
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: '12 Strong' stirs unexpected emotions by giving a face to non-American characters

    “12 Strong” is an American war drama that’s based on the book “Horse Soldiers”, which tells the tale of a group of American soldiers sent to Afghanistan right after the 9/11 attacks. It’s not executed in the way you might think, and the balanced depiction of non-American characters is rather impressive. There are some cliches, such as battle-hardened characters who secretly harbour great loss, or mindlessly devout warlords who espouse extreme views.

  • Review: Story, dialogue, drama, ‘The Post’ delivers despite being based on real-life events
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: Story, dialogue, drama, ‘The Post’ delivers despite being based on real-life events

    Films based on high profile, relatively well-known “true stories” usually emphasise performance and pacing over plot. After all, it’s difficult to maintain tension when most of your audience already knows how the film will end. Viewers of “The Post” will probably already know the events that the movie is based on.

  • Netflix's new series 'Black Lightning' goes where other superhero shows fear to tread
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    Hanna Flint

    Netflix's new series 'Black Lightning' goes where other superhero shows fear to tread

    The new series from The CW and Netflix has the heart of the Arrowverse but the attitude of 'Luke Cage'.

  • Review: 'The Commuter' offers action and mystery, but not quite enough of both
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'The Commuter' offers action and mystery, but not quite enough of both

    With a nondescript title and Liam Neeson as the star of the film, unspoken expectations have already been set up about “The Commuter”. “The Commuter” takes quite a while to get to its premise, i.e., showing Michael (Liam Neeson) actually commuting and getting into the thick of things.

  • COMMENT: Japanese adaptation of 'Miracles of the Namiya General Store' trumps Chinese version
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    Marcus Goh

    COMMENT: Japanese adaptation of 'Miracles of the Namiya General Store' trumps Chinese version

    The Japanese adaptation, “The Miracles of the Namiya General Store”, came out last October, while the Chinese adaptation, titled simply “Namiya”, is out this month. “Namiya” tries to be as fast-paced as possible by shoving you through each plot point so that the scenes feel shorter and quicker, while “The Miracles of the Namiya General Store” takes its time to set up characters and backstory, for a greater payoff at the end.

  • Review: 'The Greatest Showman' is a disappointing paint-by-numbers musical
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'The Greatest Showman' is a disappointing paint-by-numbers musical

    Watch any musical number in “The Greatest Showman” by itself and you’ll find it magnificently executed. This musical drama is inspired by the life of P. T. Barnum and how the Barnum & Bailey Circus was created.

  • Review: 'Marry Me, Dude' is a feel-good comedy that transcends language barriers
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'Marry Me, Dude' is a feel-good comedy that transcends language barriers

    It’s been a long time since a film had me laughing out loud in cinemas, but “Marry Me, Dude” does exactly that — despite the fact that it’s in French (which I don’t quite understand). The comedy revolves around Yassine (Tarek Boudali) and Fred (Philippe Lacheau), male buddies who embark on a sham gay marriage in France so that Yassine, who’s Moroccan, can continue staying in the country. Unfortunately, a dogged policeman is out to prove that their marriage is fake, Fred’s girlfriend is rather unhappy with the situation, Yassine’s highly traditional mother comes for a visit and his old love interest re-enters his life.

  • Review: 'Ferdinand' delivers emotional pay-off with an endearingly peace-loving bull
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'Ferdinand' delivers emotional pay-off with an endearingly peace-loving bull

    Animated comedy “Ferdinand” sees the title character, a pacifist bull with massive strength, finding himself at the centre of a plot to find a suitable bull for an ostensibly deadly bullfighter. Of course, it features talking animals, as almost every 3D-animated film does these days. In fact, it’s not clearly or visually shown why the antagonist poses such a threat to Ferdinand, especially since the opening scenes paint bullfighters as inept humans that are no match for bulls.

  • Review: 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' tests your patience with inane characters and gaping plot holes
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' tests your patience with inane characters and gaping plot holes

    Why does “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” start in the most boring way possible? This action-adventure fantasy sequel to 1995’s “Jumanji” sees a new group of children trapped in the titular game, which has inexplicably become a retro video game. When they appear in the game, they take on the forms of their in-game characters.

  • Review: Third time's the charm for the now-adult Bellas in 'Pitch Perfect 3'
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: Third time's the charm for the now-adult Bellas in 'Pitch Perfect 3'

    After all, “Pitch Perfect 2” already gave the characters an excellent send-off after graduation. Despite that, “Pitch Perfect 3” continues the story organically by introducing believable and legitimate obstacles for them — adulthood. The musical comedy sees a cappella group the Bellas reuniting for another chance to perform.

  • Review: 'Bleeding Steel' feels like an attempt to ride on the success of 'Star Wars'
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'Bleeding Steel' feels like an attempt to ride on the success of 'Star Wars'

    If you took every famous Hollywood science fiction movie and tossed it in a blender, you’d get “Bleeding Steel”. Scorpion kicks, Darth Vader-lookalikes, laser guns, capes, and soldiers that look like black Stormtroopers (with designs tweaked just far enough to avoid copyright issues). In fact, there’s even a massive spaceship complete with gigantic engines that looks like the lovechild of the Millennium Falcon and a Super Star Destroyer, which is incongruous when you consider that the film ostensibly takes place in the present day, and literally no one else possesses a spaceship.

  • Review: Third time's the charm for the now-adult Bellas in 'Pitch Perfect 3'
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: Third time's the charm for the now-adult Bellas in 'Pitch Perfect 3'

    After all, “Pitch Perfect 2” already gave the characters an excellent send-off after graduation. Despite that, “Pitch Perfect 3” continues the story organically by introducing believable and legitimate obstacles for them — adulthood. The musical comedy sees a cappella group the Bellas reuniting for another chance to perform.

  • COMMENT: Wait, why does 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' feel like a Marvel movie?
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    Marcus Goh

    COMMENT: Wait, why does 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' feel like a Marvel movie?

    Note: This commentary contains spoilers for the movie “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”. “Star Wars” is an epic. Hux was a little high-strung in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, but this was balanced with other aspects of his character.

  • Review: 'Narratage' is a horrifying glamorisation of student-teacher relationships
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'Narratage' is a horrifying glamorisation of student-teacher relationships

    It’s amazing how “Narratage” managed to get by censors with just a PG13 rating. Did they actually watch the film? Granted, it’s a hefty 140 minutes long, but it’s a troubling thought that they would award this film a mere PG13 rating, when the plot and subject matter are so disturbing.

  • Review: 'Birth of the Dragon' is misleading and actually focuses on Bruce Lee's student
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'Birth of the Dragon' is misleading and actually focuses on Bruce Lee's student

    The whole problem with “Birth of the Dragon” is that the dragon, Bruce Lee, is already an established martial artist in the film. You’d expect a film with such a title and subject to showcase the origins of Bruce Lee, but what this martial arts film does is something completely different.

  • Review: 'Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?' is a deceptively complex romance
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?' is a deceptively complex romance

    The ostensibly simple premise for Japanese romantic anime “Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?” later evolves into a surprisingly deeper and more complex story that requires a fair level of thinking and processing from audiences. It uses a combination of traditional 2D hand-drawn animation and 3D animation for vehicles and mechanical objects. Story-wise, main character Nazuna (Suzu Hirose) is revealed to be more than a pretty face.

  • Review: 'Alone' ('Seuls') is a mad mess of a French film
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'Alone' ('Seuls') is a mad mess of a French film

    “Alone” (“Seuls”) is a French young adult science fiction thriller based on the comic of the same name. “Alone” is directed by David Moreau. Despite being based on a comic (and hence, having plenty of stories to draw upon for their plot), the film takes the corniest aspects of the source material and presents it in a faux arthouse film style.

  • Review: 'Pokemon: I Choose You' is a nostalgic retelling of the story of an underdog pair
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'Pokemon: I Choose You' is a nostalgic retelling of the story of an underdog pair

    Should you watch this at weekday movie ticket prices? Should you watch this at weekend movie ticket prices? “Pokemon: I Choose You” is a Japanese adventure anime film that’s the twentieth in the “Pokemon” franchise, and the first in the “Sun and Moon” series.

  • Review: 'The Promise' promises classic horror without gimmicks
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    Marcus Goh

    Review: 'The Promise' promises classic horror without gimmicks

    “The Promise” is a Thai horror movie which revolves around the failed suicide attempt of two schoolgirls during 1997’s Asian Financial Crisis. “The Promise” is directed and written by Sophon Sakdaphisit, with additional writing credits for Sopana Chaowiwatkul and Supalerk Ningsanond. It stars Numthip Jongrachatawiboon (Boum), Apichaya Thongkham (Bell),  Thunyaphat Pattarateerachaicharoen (Young Boum), and Panisara Rikulsurakan (Ib).

  • COMMENT: 'Ah Boys to Men 4' is commercialism at its most crass
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    Marcus Goh

    COMMENT: 'Ah Boys to Men 4' is commercialism at its most crass

    Note: This commentary contains spoilers for the movie “Ah Boys to Men 4”. “Ah Boys to Men 4” is commercialism at its most crass. If you came on time for the movie, you’ll be subject to multiple awful commercials featuring the “Ah Boys to Men 4” cast before the film itself starts.

  • COMMENT: 'Justice League' is okay – but it should have been a milestone
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    Marcus Goh

    COMMENT: 'Justice League' is okay – but it should have been a milestone

    Note: This commentary contains spoilers for the movie “Justice League”. When “Superman” came out in 1978 starring Christopher Reeve as the title character, it promised audiences that they would believe a man could fly. Although other superhero films had come before it, “Superman” was the first major one to have a budget befitting a superhero movie.