Monthly Archives:October 2011

The Three Musketeers

28 Oct , 2011,
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The Three Musketeers - Poster Art

Never mind what critics are saying.

It’s high time someone outta Hollywood gave Alexander Dumas’s classic The Three Musketeers a steampunk twist, and director Paul W.S. Anderson (who did Event Horizon, and a whole buncha Resident Evil movies)’s take on it is bloody brilliant.

I was already pretty impressed when I saw the movie trailer several months back (Airship! In 17th century France!), and by the end of its 110 minutes, The Three Musketeers had me completely sold.

The plot’s a fairly faithful rendition of the original, at least up to hickboy D’Artagnan’s encounter with the titular trio in Paris (if you discount the crazy awesome hijinks Athos, Porthos and Aramis get up to in the first 15 minutes of the film), but where it deviates, it does so in a good way.

In terms of casting, Milla Jovovich proved simply stunning as Milady, falling into the role of cunning temptress and witty rogue with easy grace, while Orlando Bloom was suitably slimy as Lord Buckingham.

It was nice to see him playing a decidedly unpleasant part for once, and he delivered it with panache, poofy hair and all.

I wasn’t entirely impressed with Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson)’s performance as D’Artagnan, but Matthew MacFayden, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans were great as the core three.

One thing that really stood out was the music. It was beautifully composed, and appropriately paired with the action on screen. And speaking of action, the sword fights were breathtakingly spectacular – it’s hard to describe the choreography in mere words.

Admittedly, calling it a steampunk film might be something of a misnomer. It’s at best steampunk inspired, if the airships and gadgets are any indication, but the real elements of steampunk – the fashion, trappings and stylistic elements were few and far between.

Still, that’s just one minor detail, and it’s a detail that’s easily overshadowed by everything else on screen. The sets – from the dank, underground vaults of Venice to the palace grounds in Paris – were designed to almost faultless perfection and the wardrobe, while not entirely suffused with cogs and gears, resonated with enough period chic to be charming.

A truly fine feat of film making, and great fun all round, especially if you’re a geek.

In Time

27 Oct , 2011,
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In Time - Poster Art

In Andrew Niccol’s ln Time, time is of the essence.

He paints a twisted dystopian future where everyone stops aging at 25, and time is currency. Everything’s paid for in hours and minutes – those who’ve amassed enough of it can live forever, while the impoverished struggle and toil just to live another day.

Enter Will Salas (played by Justin Timberlake), a factory worker from the slums of Dayton whose chance encounter with an upper-class  man (played by White Collar’s Matt Bomer) leaves him with more time on his hands than he’s ever dreamed of, and the Timekeepers, cops who regulate the flow of time in the city, hot on his heels.

Travelling to New Greenwich, Will meets and falls in love with Sylvia Weis, daughter of one of the world’s wealthiest men, and the two embark on a crime spree kinda like Bonny & Clyde.

Niccol demonstrates the same sort of verve and daring he did in his revolutionary ’90s work Gattaca. In Time boasts high production values, slick visuals, and some really excellent writing.

The script was punchy and punny (rather excessively so), but it was tight enough that by the end of 115 minutes, most of the major questions were answered. It was also timely (hurhur) in that it touched on a perennial problem – class division, and the notion of haves and have-nots.

As for the cast, they were beautiful and mostly proficient. Contrary to popular belief, Timberlake could in fact do more than pose and look pretty, and both he and Seyfried made a decent screen couple. It was Cillian Murphy (Inception) who ultimately sold the show as Timekeeper Leon, portraying the character’s chilling intensity and slavish devotion to the law to a ‘T’.

A great watch if you’ve got the time to spare.

Museum of Horrors Giveaway

24 Oct , 2011,
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We’ve concluded our Museum of Horrors ticket giveaway, and the winners are:

1. Dion Tan

2. Esther Tay

Don’t forget to get in touch with us either via email or Facebook to claim your prize!

Enter A New Dimension of Horror

21 Oct , 2011,
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Something eerie’s happening at *SCAPE.

The ghoulies and ghosties are out in force for the opening of Museum of Horrors, a one-of-a-kind show by Movie Mania that pays homage to Hollywood’s meanest monsters, goriest scenes, and creepiest themes.

It’s a scream-a-minute experience, rife with disturbing dioramas,  interactive sets, and monsters galore. What’s more, visitors can expect a whole new dimension of horror, in spook-tacular 3D, as they meander through Asia’s first ever 3D Halloween mini-maze.

Check out the Museum of Horrors promo video here:

Event Information:

Museum of Horrors II (in 3D)

Location: *SCAPE, 2 Orchard Link (next to Cathay Cineleisure Orchard)

Opening Hours: 21 Oct to 2 Nov 2011, 11am to 11pm daily

Tickets are available at the *SCAPE Information Counter. You can also purchase tickets online at

As part of our Halloween promo, we’ve got some Museum of Horrors tickets up for grabs. All you need to do is LIKE our Facebook fanpage, and answer a simple question to qualify.

We’ve got 2 pairs of tickets to give away, and this contest ends this weekend (23 Oct), so get to it!

Game to be fit

17 Oct , 2011,

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What’s Fitocracy? Just the single most radical idea to get gamers off their couches and into the gym.

Created by two flab-turned-fab gamers, it’s a website that’s designed to motivate peeps to shed the pounds by converting boring fitness routines into fun activities that mirror what you might experience in an actual MMO.

Fitocracy makes getting fit's like leveling up in real life. XD

You unlock achievements when you exercise, and ‘level up’ when you meet prescribed goals, and there’s even an in-built ‘quest tracker’, a web-based planner that allows you to keep tabs on your progress, and recommends ‘quests’ based on health level.

Guess I’ve got no excuse not to start working out now.

Check out the Fitocracy website here.


The Griff

11 Oct , 2011,
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The Griff - Cover Art.

What happens when the world goes to pot courtesy of a horde of ravenous flying lizards?

That’s the nightmare scenario Christopher Moore and Ian Corson paint in The Griff, a graphic novel that’s got all the hallmarks of an action-adventure movie.

In The Griff, aliens have invaded the Earth, descending from the atmosphere in a mothership that spews deadly… well death in the form of creatures resembling the griffins from folklore (they’re really more like wyverns, but you can’t always expect the writers to be big on D&D).

They’ve destroyed all civilization as we know it, leaving only scattered remnants alive, and this graphic novel charts their struggle for survival.

Thanks to Moore’s unique style and Corson’s film roots, this wonderful volume transcends what might have been an otherwise mundane plot.

Sure, it’s about a bunch of unlikely people (the male lead’s a sk8ter boy, and one of the supporting cast is a middle-aged chain-smoking  guy in a hamster suit) banding together against the alien threat, but hey, there’s plenty of twists and turns along the way to keep things fresh.

The characters too, while archetypal, grow as the story progresses. They’re not flat caricatures to say the least.

In terms of the art, Jennyson Rosero puts on a decent showing.

Nothing says "I love you" better than a BFG.

That's one ugly Griff.

Character designs are strong (I especially loved the goth programmer girl), and there are some really impressive full-page spreads in there.

I spotted some continuity issues however, and the art’s not always consistent in the more complex scenes, but those weren’t significant.

Simply put, it didn’t really detract from the overall appeal of the plot, and that was what mattered the most to me.

A great read for an independent title. Be sure to put this one on your reading list.


Real Steel

7 Oct , 2011,
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Real Steel - Poster Art

Seeing as how the reel robots in Transformers were a real letdown, it was hard for me to take Real Steel seriously.

The only names on the roster I could remotely recognize were Hugh Jackman (X-Men) and Shawn Levy (who was responsible for a string of average comedies), and the premise (Rocky meets Rock’em Sock’em Robots) was kinda weak.

It was a pleasant surprise, then, to discover that the film delivered on all counts. It had plenty of robot-on-robot action, the actors were proficient, and the story, while formulaic, had heart.

Real Steel is set in the near future, where boxing matches are fought between man-made machines.

Jackman plays Charlie, a down-and-out ex-boxer turned robot handler who gets a shot at turning his life around when he is saddled with Max (Dakota Goyo), the son he never knew, for the summer.

Max is mature and sensible, a perfect foil for the unreliable and sketchy Charlie. While the two get off initially on the wrong foot, they begin to bond over Atom, a scrapyard castoff they pick up and mold into a real fighter.

The movie’s finale comes in the way of a bout between the home-made ‘bot and Zeus, the World Robot Boxing champion,  and it’s an impressive finish, to say the least.

Though the robots and visual effects were impressive, it was the synergy between Jackman and Goyo that really stole the show. Goyo, especially, proved incredibly versatile for his age. It was a miracle, because the script wasn’t exactly inspired. Still, Levy’s touch kept it interesting enough that things moved at a decent pace.

Real Steel’s the sort of film that made no pretensions to be anything but good, old-fashioned family entertainment, the sort that comes with a moral at the end of the story (this time, it’s all about responsibility and dedication, and boxing robots) and ultimately, that’s what it manages to deliver.

An entertaining watch.

Taking Roleplaying to NYP!

6 Oct , 2011,

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Thanks to an invite from Sakuran Japanese Cultural Club Anime Addicts Anonymous Cosfilm Division, we got a chance to take our Cosplay Workshop to Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) where we introduced some 30 aspiring cosplayers to the basics of expression and emotion in cosplay performances.

The hour-long workshop included a short sharing and stage acting exercise, which served as a gauge of a participant’s relative strengths in characterization, as well as a taste of improvisation whilst adapting a cosplay persona.

It was a really great experience for us at The Neo Tokyo Project and a pleasure to meet so many young people passionate about cosplay.

Here are some photos from our session:

Haru Masquerade Cosplay Ball

4 Oct , 2011,
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Here’s a shout out for the good folks at Haru House.

In conjunction with their 6th anniversary party, they’ll be hosting a Masquerade Cosplay Ball at The Arts House on 26 Nov 2011.

This masked ball is first of it’s kind in Singapore, and highlights include prizes for the Best Dressed participants, a Fashion Show, and a Charity Auction.

Now if you’re wondering about the dress code, it’s formal, but almost every costume genre’s good to go.

It doesn’t matter if you’re rocking a really awesome Victorian gown, or if you’re dressed to kill as the chief of the Vongola Famiglia. You’re welcome to don whatever you like as long as it fits the theme. In keeping with tradition, masks will be provided at the door, though you could also bring your own.

It’s great fun, and what’s more, it’s all for a good cause. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the MILK (Mainly I Love Kids) fund.

If you’re interested in this event, don’t forget to check out the event page on Facebook and the Haru House fan page for more details.

Tickets to the Masquerade Cosplay Ball are priced at $30, and available from Haru House. Be sure to book early to avoid disappointment!

Checkin' out the CXC

3 Oct , 2011,
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With the dearth of comic conventions in Singapore, it was inevitable that I’d check out Comics Xchange (CXC) 2011 despite my crazy weekend schedule.

Grabbed this brochure at the door. XD

Touted as an event “where the greatest comic talents converge”, CXC saw artists in the local scene such as Kelvin Chan (rocketraygun), Noval Hernawan and Ray Racho, doujin groups Comix Pandora, Daiyaku and Collateral Damage Studios gracing the bazaar in Goodman Art Centre’s Block J.

Just a quick peek into the bazaar area.

Guests such as Benjamin Ang, Singapore’s first Marvel artist, and Aravind Menon, the creator of Salvation Sam, were also on hand to offer their insights in a series of paid seminars.

I have to confess one of the real reasons I was at CXC was because brochures claimed “over 100 cosplayers from CosAsia” would be in attendance. It would have been a definite crowd puller, so I was a little disappointed to discover that the venue was devoid of all save one costumed individual minding the CosAsia booth near the stage.

LFM 100 cosplayers for CXC...

Pity this was the only one.

The boys from FightSaber were around though, prepping for their stunts and performances on stage, so that livened things up a little (check out their CXC performance here).

Nothing beats geeking out to a good, old fashioned lightsaber duel. Photo credit: Mezame/FightSaber

All in all, it wasn’t an entirely bad event.

Sure, there were some shortfalls – the venue was kinda outta the way (which probably accounted for the lack of human traffic), and the cosplay bit could have been much better managed – but the seminars seemed pretty darned good.

I’m actually keeping my fingers crossed and hoping there’s a Comics Xchange next year, because things can only get better.