Yip Wai Yee Entertainment Correspondent and John Lui Film Correspondent recommend

Film Picks: Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse

(From left) Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, Nathanael Saleh and Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns. Louise Grinberg and Lee Hong-chi star in Cities Of Last Things.
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (PG)PHOTOS: MM2 ENTERTAINMENT, SGIFF, SONY PICTURES ANIMATION, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
(From left) Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, Nathanael Saleh and Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns. Louise Grinberg and Lee Hong-chi star in Cities Of Last Things.
(From left) Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, Nathanael Saleh and Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns. Louise Grinberg and Lee Hong-chi star in Cities Of Last Things.PHOTOS: MM2 ENTERTAINMENT, SGIFF, SONY PICTURES ANIMATION, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
(From left) Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, Nathanael Saleh and Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns. Louise Grinberg and Lee Hong-chi star in Cities Of Last Things.
Fifteen-year-old transgender girl Lara (played by Victor Polster, above) dreams of becoming a prima ballerina, but finds herself struggling against the restraints of her transitioning-from-male body.PHOTOS: MM2 ENTERTAINMENT, SGIFF, SONY PICTURES ANIMATION, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
(From left) Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, Nathanael Saleh and Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns. Louise Grinberg and Lee Hong-chi star in Cities Of Last Things.
Louise Grinberg and Lee Hong-chi star in Cities Of Last Things.PHOTOS: MM2 ENTERTAINMENT, SGIFF, SONY PICTURES ANIMATION, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (PG)

117 minutes/ 4 stars

In this animated film, gifted teen Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is bitten by a radioactive spider and has to overcome his fears to take on the villain Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), who has created a weapon that opens paths to alternate dimensions.

The film's dazzling visual style draws heavily on the aesthetic language of the comic books, from wiggly lines around the head to indicate a tingling Spider sense, to the written sound effects (the "Aaaa!" when Miles falls from a building).

John Lui


MARY POPPINS RETURNS (PG)

131 minutes/ 3 stars

In this sequel to Mary Poppins (1964), the Banks children - Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Emily Mortimer) - are now adults. One day, they see Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt), the nanny who used to care for them, float down from the sky.

Director Rob Marshall (the musical Into The Woods, 2014) is a safe pair of hands to deliver this most precious of Disney properties and, here, safety is priority No. 1. He does not deliver updates or cheekiness. He treats the source as sacred canon, both in story and tone.

John Lui


GIRL (R21)

Fifteen-year-old transgender girl Lara (played by Victor Polster, above) dreams of becoming a prima ballerina, but finds herself struggling against the restraints of her transitioning-from-male body.

The film, Belgium's official entry to the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, won the International Federation of Film Critics' Golden Camera prize at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

WHERE: GV Paya Lebar, 03-107 SingPost Centre, 10 Eunos Road 8 MRT: Paya Lebar WHEN: Today and tomorrow, 7pm ADMISSION: $13.50 from www.gv.com.sg WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road MRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN: Jan 4 to 6, various times ADMISSION: $13.50 from theprojector.sg

Yip Wai Yee


CITIES OF LAST THINGS (R21)

Told in three parts in reverse chronological order, this film by Malaysia-born, Taiwan-based director Ho Wi Ding is about one man (played by three different actors - Jack Kao, Lee Hong-chi and Hsieh Chang-ying) and the women who have influenced him at different points in his life.

Taiwanese actress Ding Ning won the Golden Horse for Best Supporting Actress last month for playing a troubled crime boss in the final segment.

WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road MRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN: Tomorrow, 8.30pm; Tuesday, 7.40pm ADMISSION: $13.50 from theprojector.sg

Yip Wai Yee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2018, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe