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  • Review: ‘A Royal Night Out’ is a charmingly simple comedy

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    Princess Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) & Princess Margaret (Bel Powley). (Shaw Organisation)

    Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.

    Secret ending? No.

    Running time: 97 minutes (~1.5 hours)

    “A Royal Night Out” is a British period comedy about a pair of sheltered British princesses who spend a night out anonymously. In the process, they discover that there’s more to life, and to themselves, than they could have ever realised. It stars Sarah Gadon (Princess Elizabeth), Bel Powley (Princess Margaret), Emily Watson (Queen Elizabeth), Rupert Everett (King George VI), and Jack Reynor (Jack).

    “A Royal Night Out” is classic British comedy, set in a more innocent, nostalgic time period. While it relies a great deal on dialogue and performances to bring out the humour in the film, there’s also a decent plot and good

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    A Parasyte attacks! (Encore Films)

    Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.

    Secret ending? No.

    Running time: 118 minutes (~2 hours)

    “Parasyte Part 1” is a Japanese science fiction film that is an adaptation of the manga and anime series “Parasyte.” It is the sequel to “Parasyte Part 1,” and follows the adventures of a boy whose hand has been possessed by a parasitic alien. It stars Shota Sometani (Shinichi Izumi), Eri Fukatsu (Ryoko Tamiya), Sadao Abe (Migi), Ai Hasimoto (Satomi Murano), Nao Omori (Kuramori), and Tadanobu Asano (Goto).

    While “Parasyte Part 1” was a rip roaring, action-packed adventure, “Parasyte Part 2” seems to have lost that element of fun. It over dramatises the internal conflicts of all the characters, giving everyone something to angst over. While this helps in character

    Read More »from Review: 'Parasyte Part 2' is an intense and grim ending for the franchise
  • Review: 'Tomorrowland' fails to inspire

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    Tomorrowland. (Walt Disney Pictures)

    Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.

    Secret ending? No.

    Running time: 130 minutes (~2.25 hours)

    “Tomorrowland” is a science fiction film about a futuristic, utopian society that chooses special individuals from our world to help. But when a terrible secret is unearthed, it will take the cooperation of both worlds to save everyone. It stars George Clooney (Frank Walker), Hugh Laurie (David Nix), Britt Robertson (Casey Newton), Raffey Cassidy (Athena), and Thomas Robinson (Young Frank Walker).

    “Tomorrowland” is a typical Disney adventure film, filled with fun, action, and a squeaky clean sheen despite some of the rather dark motivations of the characters. Set in the modern day, it manages to reference some of the more iconic science fiction names while still creating

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    Melissa McCarthy is Susan Cooper. (Twentieth Century Fox)

    Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.

    Secret ending? Yes!

    Running time: 120 minutes (2 hours)

    “Spy” is an action adventure comedy about an unlikely spy who is thrust into unexpected circumstances - and surprises everyone, including herself, with the unforeseen outcome of her spying. It stars Melissa McCarthy (Susan Cooper), Jason Statham (Rick Ford), Jude Law (Bradley Fine), Rose Byrne (Rayna Boyanov), Miranda Hart (Nancy), and Bobby Cannavale (De Luca). It is rated M-18.

    For its premise, “Spy” packs a great deal of action - almost as much as the comedy itself. It packs a lot of big names who all deliver superbly, rather than just being there for the sake of star power and a pay cheque cameo. Don’t let it’s silly premise or unusual lead fool

    Read More »from Review: Melissa McCarthy is a surprisingly good action star in ‘Spy’
  • Review: ‘Out of the Dark’ delivers a good old-fashioned scare

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    The haunting. (Shaw Organisation)

    Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.

    Secret ending? No.

    Running time: 94 minutes (~1.5 hours)

    “Out of the Dark” is a horror film about an American family who relocates to Columbia, not knowing about the terrible secrets that lie buried there. It stars Julia Stiles (Sarah Harriman), Scott Speedman (Paul Harriman), Stephen Rea (Jordan), Pixie Davies (Hannah Harriman), and Alejandro Furth (Dr Andres Contreras, Jr.). It is rated NC-16.

    “Out of the Dark” relies on traditional horror techniques to achieve its scares, which may not sound exciting at first. But rather than some avant garde horror style, the film’s tried and true tactics works to an impressively great effect. It’s a classic example of good film making without any of the incomprehensible pretensions seen in

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  • Seats are arranged on steep steps.Seats are arranged on steep steps.

    Singapore independent cinema The Projector opened at Golden Mile Tower in January this year, but a new cafe and paint job at its fifth floor foyer last month affirm its hipster appeal.

    Photos below taken last Thursday show what moviegoers can expect from the venue.

    At the ground floor entrance, one can probably still get a sense of history of the Golden Theatre, which was the biggest cinema in Singapore and Malaysia when it was completed in 1973 with over 1500 seats.

    The Projector is located at the 5th floor of Golden Mile Tower on Beach Road.The Projector is located at the 5th floor of Golden Mile Tower on Beach Road.

    Golden Theatre became a popular place to watch Mandarin films in the 1970s and 1980s, but it turned into a venue for adult artistic films in the 1990s, and, more recently, Bollywood movies.

    It is when one gets off the lift at the fifth floor that the air of modernity appears.

    The cafe offers pies and popcorn.The cafe offers pies and popcorn.

    A glance back at the lift doors shows the "coolness" factor care of design firm Kult.

    The decal on the doors of the lifts at the fifth floor were done by design firm Kult.The decal on the doors of the lifts at the fifth floor were done by design firm Kult.

    On the right, one can see the ticket counter.

    Press the bell for service.Press the bell for service.

    Off to the right side of the counter is a schedule for the month. The Projector shows films Tuesday to Sundays. It

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  • Review: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is hollow, meaningless action

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    Tom Hardy is Mad Max. (Golden Village Pictures)

    Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.

    Secret ending? No.

    Running time: 120 minutes (2 hours)

    “Mad Max: Fury Road” is a post-apocalyptic action film and the fourth in the “Mad Max” franchise. It follows the adventures of the titular Max, as he strives to save a band of refugees and bring them home in a harsh and unforgiving desert. It stars Tom Hard (“Mad” Max), Charlize Theron (Furiosa), Nicholas Hoult (Nux), Hugh Keays-Byrne (King Immortan Joe), and Rosie Huntington-Whitely (Angharad)

    “Mad Max: Fury Road” is a confusing beast of a movie. Perhaps it’s because of the hype leading up the movie that we have such high expectations of the end result. It doesn’t quite deliver the way you’d expect it to, and it comes across as a complete disappointment. But was it a

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  • Review: ‘Pitch Perfect 2′ delivers on both music and story

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    The Barden Bellas. (Universal Pictures)

    Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.

    Secret ending? Yes, mid-credits.

    Running time: 115 minutes (~2 hours)

    “Pitch Perfect 2” is a musical comedy that’s a sequel to 2012’s “Pitch Perfect.” It follows the adventures of a disgraced musical group, the “Barden Bellas,” as they strive to regain their former glory. It stars Anna Kendrick (Beca Mitchell), Britanny Snow (Chloe Beale), Rebel Wilson (Fat Amy), Hailee Steinfeld (Emily Junk), Anna Camp (Aubrey Posen), Adam DeVine (Bumper Allen), Skylar Austin (Jesse Swanson), Flula Borg (Pieter Kramer), Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (Kommissar), Elizabeth Banks (Gail Abernathy-McKadden), John Michel Higgins (John Smith), with cameos by Snoop Dog & Pentatonix.

    “Pitch Perfect 2” is a musical extravaganza that manages to pack a a

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  • The influence of Japanese culture in Singapore is hard to refute given the devotion to Hello Kitty in the city-state, but it also shows in the popularity of Japanese films and TV shows.

    Fortunately, in the coming months, two manga/anime series that have been adapted into live-action movies as well as a popular Japanese horror franchise will be hitting local box offices.

    While impressions of Japanese live-action movies have been tarnished by substandard adaptations like Black Butler and Dragon Ball Z, many still carry hope for a good adaptation of their favourite series.

    These are the live-action Japanese movies that you can look out for:

    1. Parasyte 2

    “Parasyte” is a live-action movie adapted from popular manga series “Kiseiju” by Hitoshi Iwaaki.

    As the sequel to “Parasyte 1”, the second installment revolves around the birth of a Parasyte baby. Stakes are raised as the Parasytes have evolved into formidably scary forms and cannot be stopped by mere bullets.

    Reviews for the first part

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  • Review: ‘Big Game’ is a comedy masquerading as an action film

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    The President (Samuel L. Jackson) and Oskari (Onni Tommila) hang precariously. (Golden Village Pictures)

    Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.

    Secret ending? No.

    Running time: 90 minutes (1.5 hours)

    “Big Game” is an action movie that follows the adventures of a stranded US President and a young boy training to be hunter as they elude terrorists in a forest. It stars Samuel L. Jackson (President of the United States) and Onni Tommila (Oskari).

    “Big Game” is billed as an action adventure, when it’s really a dated comedy. Samuel L. Jackson is pretty much the only reason why you’re watching it, but therein lies the problem - he’s not the Samuel L. Jackson you’re used to. It’s a silly title for a silly premise that’s executed in a horribly cheesy fashion. You’ll get some chuckles and laughs from it, but

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