JOHN LUI AND YIP WAI YEE RECOMMEND

Film Picks: John Lui and Yip Wai Yee's movie choices for the weekend

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SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Tickets for Korean director Kim Ki Duk's One On One (2014, R21, 122 minutes) are selling fast.

And if it is anything like his previous works, viewers can be guaranteed that it will puzzle, sicken, enrage and linger in the mind for a good while.

His latest work deals with the aftermath of a rape-murder of a schoolgirl. The killer goes free, but is kidnapped by vigilantes who exact their own form of vengeance.

Where: Various locations including Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands; The Salon, National Museum of Singapore; Shaw Theatres Lido; The Screening Room, The Arts House; & The Projector, Golden 2 at Golden Mile Tower, Beach Road MRT: Various When: Till Sun Admission: $25 (closing film), $15 (special presentation films), $12 (others) from Sistic. Go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555

John Lui


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NIGHTCRAWLER (PG13)

117 minutes

****1/2

Capitalism and criminality collide in this blackly comic take on the American economy, portrayed here as a system that bleeds citizens dry and spits them out onto the streets. The free market's minion, the news media, also gets a lashing for abetting the system with manufactured fear and outrage.

Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a street hood in a Los Angeles that has no need for men like him. Seeing a freelance news camera operator in action at a horrific road accident, he decides to become nightcrawler.

Writer-director Dan Gilroy's most interesting achievement is not his message or his politics - there are dozens of films wagging fingers at the political system and its ally, the news business. But few representations of society gone wrong have the pungent realism of this work, its forward rush of plot or the nail-biting build-up of suspense.

JL


ST 20141212 PAD 8 896341m

PADDINGTON (PG)

95 minutes

***1/2

All too often, when classic children's picture-book characters are brought to the big screen, they succumb to commercial movie studio interests and lose their original charm in the process.

This film adaptation of Paddington, however, makes you feel as warm and fuzzy as the original 1950s stories by Michael Bond did for so many children at the time.

Much credit is due to the quick-paced script, which, although geared towards younger kids, never dumbs itself down so completely that parents are left out.

Based on Bond's 1950s children's book series, this movie follows the life of a bear named Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw), who travels from his hometown of Darkest Peru to London in search of a new home. He is taken in temporarily by the kind Brown family (Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin), who set out trying to find a more permanent abode for him - hopefully before the sinister taxidermist Millicent gets to him first.

Yip Wai Yee


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LIFE ITSELF (M18)

Roger Ebert with co-host Gene Siskel gained fame for their movie review show, At The Movies, which spawned the signature thumbs up or down rating system. But this 120-minute-long documentary, based on Ebert's memoirs of the same name published shortly before his death last year from cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands, points to the side of the critic who could be cranky and championed unpopular work. Director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, 1994) followed Ebert as he went about his business, his tempo never flagging despite massive surgical excavations to his face and jaw. The work is backed up with interviews with friends such as Martin Scorsese, showing why one film fan, through talent and personality, became a national figure.

Where: Golden Village Suntec City MRT: Promenade When: Dec 20, 7pm & Dec 21, 4.30pm Admission: $13 (public), $9 (Singapore Film Society members) Info: Tickets from Golden Village box office or at gv.com.sg

JL