John Lui Film Correspondent and Boon Chan Media Correspondent recommend

Film Picks: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Room and more

PHOTOS: DISNEY PIXAR, NETFLIX, THE PROJECTOR, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (PG)

150 minutes/4 stars

The movie opens with a giant space battle and, except for a saggy middle section set in the island where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) lives, the action never lets up.

Writer-director Rian Johnson's story treats the cast as an ensemble. Each member of the Resistance has a job to do on a different planet. Johnson, thus, has the luxury of making each mission a mini-movie.

Picking up from A Force Awakens (2015), the characters are on separate missions.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) finds Luke Skywalker and hopes that he will join the Resistance, led by General Leia (Carrie Fisher). Finn (John Boyega, above right), the former stormtrooper, tries to find a way out of an imperial blockade, aided by engineer Rose (Kelly Marie Tran, above left).

John Lui


THE ROOM (M18)

102 minutes

There are films that are so bad they are good, but The Room (2003) is in a realm all its own.

Now, it is the subject of a major comedy, The Disaster Artist (2017), starring James Franco as the writer, director and lead actor of The Room, Tommy Wiseau (above right, with actor Philip Haldiman). He was once described as "an alien who has never seen a movie in his life, but has had them described to him".

Screenings of The Room are known to be fun gatherings, filled with fans of this now-infamous cult movie.

WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road MRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN: Dec 30, 8.30pm ADMISSION: $13.50 INFO: theprojector.sg

John Lui


COCO (PG)

105 minutes/4 stars

This is a visually gorgeous tapestry of Mexican culture and it fills the screen with the colourful vibrancy of Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) as people honour the memory of the departed with visits to cemeteries and gather for music, food and drink while bright orange marigold blooms carpet the ground.

Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is a 12-year-old Mexican boy dreaming of becoming a musician like his late idol Ernesto de la Cruz. But music is banned in his household because his great-great-grandfather had left his family to pursue those dreams.

Boon Chan


MUDBOUND (M18)

135 minutes/Showing on Netflix/3.5 stars

This lacerating look at one so-called American golden age - the period when the nation had just become a global military power, and before civil rights protests - shows that life was anything but golden for those born the wrong colour.

In pre-war rural Mississippi, the fates of two families - one white, one black - are entwined. The McAllans are landowners while the Jacksons are their tenant-farmers and slaves in all but name. When Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell) returns from the war, he brings dangerous ideas of racial equality. He finds common ground with Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund), also a veteran.

John Lui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2017, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe