Film Picks: Good Time, Take Me To The Moon and more

Robert Pattinson in Good Time.
Robert Pattinson in Good Time.PHOTO: ANTICIPATE PICTURES
Take Me To The Moon
Take Me To The MoonPHOTO: MM2 ENTERTAINMENT
The Big Sick
The Big SickPHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION
A Ghost Story
A Ghost StoryPHOTO: UIP

John Lui Film Correspondent and Yip Wai Yee Entertainment Correspondent recommend

GOOD TIME (M18)

100 minutes/ 4 stars

The ticking-clock thriller gets an indie makeover and the result is a pulse-quickening ride that, in entertainment value, beats anything that mainstream cinema has made in a while.

Small-time crook Constantine "Connie" Niklas (Robert Pattinson) and his intellectually disabled brother Nick (Benny Safdie) rob a New York City bank and, over the course of one night, an increasingly desperate Connie must raise the money to bail out his brother, while evading capture by the police.

The wunderkind Safdie brothers, Benny and Josh, co-direct this homage to 1970s low-budget cinema featuring a man on the run, trying to complete a mission, only to have one mishap after another dog his footsteps.

WHERE: Screening Room, The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane MRT: City Hall/Raffles Place WHEN: Till Monday ADMISSION: $13.50 INFO: Schedule and tickets at good-time.peatix.com or pay in cash at the door

John Lui


TAKE ME TO THE MOON (PG13)

105 minutes/ 3.5 stars

Emma's (Vivian Sung) pop star dreams do not amount to anything, leading her to suffer from severe depression. When her long-time friend, Wang Cheng-hsiang (Jasper Liu), miraculously travels back in time to their high school days, he decides to put a stop to her singing fantasies to change her fate.

It is easy to write this off as a cheap attempt to emulate the successes of Taiwan youth romcoms, You're The Apple Of My Eye (2011) and Our Times (2015).

But while those two earlier works - which went on to become huge hits in the region - were light, feel-good fun, a sense of melancholy pervades this film.

Yip Wai Yee


THE BIG SICK (NC16)

120 minutes/ 3.5 stars

This acclaimed comedy is brought back on New Year's Eve as part of The Projector's best-of, year-end series.

Kumail (comedian Kumail Nanjiani, playing himself) is a struggling stand-up comic who meets Emily (Zoe Kazan, playing Nanjiani's real wife Emily V. Gordon). His Pakistani Muslim immigrant family keeps setting him up with women from his culture. After he and Emily break up, she falls into a coma.

Because of the illness, the moments that form the background in romcoms are thrust into the foreground, giving viewers plenty of finely observed takes about the factor that gets omitted most often - families.

WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road MRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN: Sunday, 2.20pm ADMISSION: $13.50 INFO: For bookings, go to theprojector.sg

John Lui


A GHOST STORY (PG13)

92 minutes/ 3.5 stars

Writer-director David Lowery plays with story and visuals the way musicians play with sounds. This movie brims with loops, echoes and choruses.

Musician C (Casey Affleck) dies, but instead of moving on, he haunts the home of his widow, M (Rooney Mara). Lowery's goof is that Affleck spends most of the movie under a white sheet with two eyeholes, when he could have just shown Affleck as himself.

C becomes unstuck in time. Cycles of birth and death play out like a grand American pageant.

With the help of a powerful score from Daniel Hart, the effect is mesmerising and, yes, haunting.

WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road MRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN: From today, various times ADMISSION: $13.50 INFO: For bookings and schedule, go to theprojector.sg

John Lui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2017, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe