Monday, October 19, 2020

Cuteness Alert! There Will Be WE BABY BEARS - A Spinoff of We Bare Bears

Pic: Cartoon Network


WE BARE BEARS: THE MOVIE which aired on Cartoon Network recently was the end of a beloved animated series, and Red Dot Diva is sure that scores of fans around the world are still not able to get over that fact. But... hold on with the tears, there's a piece of good news!! Are you ready for it?

If you thought the adorable factor of Grizz, Pan Pan and Ice Bear surpasses all scales of adorableness, then get ready for the spinoff series, WE BABY BEARS! Yes, the Bears when they are cute little baby cubs! OMG.

The original comedy series, which is currently in production, will explore funny and fantastical adventures of baby Grizzly, Panda and Ice Bear. In each episode, the baby bears travel through imaginative and colourful new worlds via their magical cardboard box, searching for a place to settle down and belong. During their various journeys, they will get to meet familiar fairytale characters, and decide if they should stay or continue on with their search for a new home.

We Bare Bears director Manny Hernandez returns as executive producer alongside the franchise's creator Daniel Chong.

Manny’s admiration for anime and music come to life in this fresh new expansion of a beloved franchise,” said Tom Ascheim, President, Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics. “The spectacular landscapes and musical inspirations transform this new series into an unforgettable journey for all We Bare Bears’ fans and beyond. And did I mention they are baby bears?!

The new series is expected to premiere in the second half of 2021.

For the moment though, you can still get your We Bare Bears fix by watching (or re-watching!) the heartwarming WE BARE BEARS: THE MOVIE, which is still available on HBO GO for South-East Asian fans.




Sunday, October 11, 2020

MY RODE Reel 2020: Vote for Singapore Entry CLOSING TIME by Kyle Ong and Wayne Rée


A few months ago, Red Dot Diva held a livestream with her friend Wayne Rée to discuss about horror stories in this region. While introducing the South-East Asian podcast called GHOST MAPS that he is involved in, Red Dot Diva had expressed a wish for more local horror films that would appeal to today's audiences. A good scare is always cathartic when things get tense, don't you think? Like during a pandemic, for instance.

Then, suddenly... BOOO!!! just right in time for Halloween, Wayne messaged Red Dot Diva with a piece of spooky good news. Together with his GHOST MAPS collaborator and film maker Kyle Ong, they have made a horror-comedy short film called CLOSING TIME (打烊). The film had been submitted to MY RØDE REEL 2020, dubbed as The World's Largest Short Film Competition.

My RØDE Reel Short Film Competition, currently at its 7th year running, is organised by RØDE Microphones. This year, the highest cash prize ever is being offered for a short film competition. How much you ask? A glorious $1 million in cash is up for grabs!!

CLOSING TIME (打烊) is about a young couple Steven and Mavis who own a small convenience store. One late night, after an encounter with a friendly ghoul, they begin to receive several new (old?) supernatural customers in the dead of night. 

Red Dot Diva thought the film, unfolding in a familiar local setting, packs in humour, sadness and empathy succinctly in just 3 minutes. The lighting was impressive, and serves to blur the lines between the real and paranormal realms. Plus, the actors were so superb in it too.

Watch CLOSING TIME (打烊) here:



Do help vote for CLOSING TIME (打烊) in a bid for the film to win the People’s Choice Category.

To cast your vote, click to this link - https://myrodereel.com/watch/10453.

You can log your vote via your Facebook, Google or Weibo account, or your email address. Only one vote is allowed for each film entry. Voting ends at 12 PM AEDT (3 PM Singapore time) on 21 October 2020.

MY RØDE REEL 2020 offers 10 categories for film makers to compete in: 5 genre categories – Drama, Comedy, Documentary, Animation and Behind-The-Scenes – and 5 special categories – Judges Choice, People’s Choice, Sound Design, Young Filmmaker, and Best Chinese Film. If CLOSING TIME (打烊) gets to win a prize, the team will be able to have the funds to produce a longer cut!

So, give your support to local talent, and vote for it!


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

SRT Returns To The Stage In November With Tuesdays With Morrie


Hooray!!! Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) is the first theatre company returning to a live production on stage in November with Mitch Albom's TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE!

Live performances came to a halt since the Circuit Breaker in April this year, and those working in the artistic fields faced a challenging 7 months when gatherings were strictly limited. Luckily, the number of COVID-19 cases in Red Dot Island have been decreasing. Some safety restrictions have also been eased recently, allowing small scale performances of up to 50 attendees.

I’m so excited about this production for so many reasons. A fantastic script based on a book I love brought to life by a wonderful cast and creative team. Even though we may only have 50 people a night watching which is completely unviable financially, it is our passion and dedication to keeping theatre alive that has fuelled our desire to plough ahead,” said Charlotte Nors, SRT’s Managing Director.

TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE is based on the touching and intimate memoir of the same title by Mitch Albom. The play, written by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, takes the audience on a journey of a heartwarming and life affirming bond between mentor and student. 

After graduating from college, Mitch is now an ambitious journalist. He reunites and rekindles his friendship with his college professor Morrie, who is suffering from Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). After that, Mitch visits Morrie weekly, every time on a Tuesday. It is during these meetings that Morrie discusses and imparts to Mitch a last final gift - the important lessons on how to live life.


At rehearsal - Benjamin Chow, Remesh Panicker and Samantha Scott-Blackhall


Theatre veteran Remesh Panicker (Romeo and Juliet, Merchant of Venice) takes on the role of Morrie, while Benjamin Chow (The LYK Musical) plays Mitch. The play is directed by Samantha Scott-Blackhall.

To bring the play and its powerful messages even closer to the audience, SRT's theatre hall has been re-designed to a café-styled setting. This also serves to provide safe-distancing for everyone watching the performance.

If you have been craving hard for a live theatre experience ever since the Circuit Breaker, grab those tickets for TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE. and give SRT some love and support.

Here are some information for SRT's TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE:

Dates: Previews 1st November 2020. Premiere 4th November 2020
Prices: From $50
Venue: KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT
Ticketing: SISTIC at 6348 5555 or SRT's website



Friday, October 2, 2020

Experience "AUTUMN" the unusual 12-hour live instalment for HBO's Third Day series (3 Oct, 4:30 PM)



Unlike the islanders of Osea in HBO's psychological thriller THE THIRD DAY, there are no changing of seasons in equatorial Red Dot Island. Many of those who live here have not experienced autumn before, but now you would have an opportunity to do so.



Later on, at 4:30 PM (3 October, Saturday), there will be a special 12-hour theatrical event dubbed “AUTUMN”, where you can immerse yourself in the world of THE THIRD DAY'S Osea Island via a livestream on HBO Asia's Facebook page. The island exists in real life, by the way. So does the old Roman-built causeway that can only be navigated at low tide for approximately only 4 hours a day in every 12.

The cinematic broadcast features the show's cast including lead actors Jude Law, Katherine Waterston and Florence Welch. The audience will be able to watch events unfold on mysterious Osea Island in real time in one single day, in one single take. This sounds like such a unique, trippy experience that Red Dot Diva is making plans to log on and see what this is all about. What will the Osea villagers be doing during these 12 hours? Will they be making creepy eye-contact with the camera?

The first chapter of the limited series called “SUMMER” ended this week after 3 episodes. Instead of the usual dramatic episodes being aired, “AUTUMN”will act as the bridge to “WINTER”, the final chapter. However, viewers do not necessarily need to watch the other episodes in order to enjoy the “AUTUMN” live event.

“AUTUMN” is created by theatrical innovators Punchdrunk and co-directed by founder and artistic director of Punchdrunk, Felix Barrett, and “Summer” director Marc Munden.



The first three episodes of THE THIRD DAY begins with the story of Sam (Jude Law), who is trying to disentangle himself with a financial problem as well as deal with immense grief from a personal loss. After saving a girl from self-harm, he offers to drives her back home, and she leads him to Osea Island. Sam then finds himself at the epicentre of unsettling pagan folklore and traditions, meeting both helpful and menacing villagers, and stumbling into a helluva ‘WTH happened’ twists and turns, as the lines between reality and the mystical begin to blur.

Even before the live event, “SUMMER” is already a great indication of what followers can expect. The scenes in each episode are both visually and aurally atmospheric and serve to heighten one's senses either by a closeup of the emotions on Jude Law's face, a frantic chase through tall reeds, or the drone views of the sea and winding causeway.

After watching Sam's harrowing mind trip, Red Dot Diva knows that it is* NOT* a good idea to stay on Osea Island, especially if you are an unbeliever. But... since she is miles away, scary creepy stuff won't happen through the internet, right??????

*Gulp*



To watch“SUMMER”, the first chapter of THE THIRD DAY, you can stream or download the 3 episodes on HBO GO. “WINTER”, the next three episodes starring Naomie Harris (Academy Award nominee for “Moonlight”), will premiere on 6 October (Tuesday) at 9 AM on HBO GO and HBO, with encores on the same day at 10 PM on HBO. New episodes will be available every Tuesday after that.

Watch the disturbing trailer for THE THIRD DAY below:





Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Animated Musical Over The Moon Reimagines The Legend of Chang'E With Sumptuous Visuals


Every time the Mid-Autumn Festival comes around, Red Dot Diva is awashed with nostalgic childhood memories. She remembers her parents asking her to choose a traditional paper lantern from the nearby provision shop (she usually ends up with a dragon, phoenix or a dog), and then, help her to light the candle in the lantern.

In more than one occasion, someone was not as careful with the matchstick, and the poor lantern ends up in flames, accompanied by the inevitable flood of tears. But more often than not, little Red Dot Diva gets to happily parade around her old neighbourhood's cul-de-sac, carrying her pretty lantern under the light of a full moon.

This year, that same warm, magical feeling is most likely to come from Netflix's animated musical feature OVER THE MOON. The movie is directed by the Oscar Award-winning animator Glen Keane who has gifted us with unforgettable animation in Disney films like Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. John Kahrs (Paperman) acts as co-director of the film, which is jointly produced by Pearl Studio (Abominable) and Netflix.



OVER THE MOON is about Fei Fei, a smart, spirited young girl whose mother has passed away. Her dad is ready to move on with a new marriage, and Fei Fei is having difficulties dealing with these impending changes to her life.

Missing her mother deeply, she decided to build a rocketship and travel to the moon to look for the legendary Moon Goddess Chang'E. When she reaches there, Fei Fei not only gets to meet Chang'E, she also experiences an adventure of a lifetime together with some whimsical creatures.


The recently released trailer for OVER THE MOON is filled with exuberance and gorgeous visuals. The beautiful Chang'E and her flowing gowns is a feast for the eyes. Word is, the look of her gowns were by internationally renowned Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei, who also created the dramatic golden yellow gown with a fur-trimmed train adorned by Rihanna at the 2015 Met Ball.

An impressive list of familiar Asian actors provide the voices in OVER THE MOON. They are Phillipa Soo as Chang'E, Ken Jeong as Gobi, John Cho as Ba Ba, Margaret Cho as Auntie Ling, Kimiko Glenn as Auntie May, and Sandra Oh as Mrs Zhong. The role of Fei Fei is voiced by newcomer Cathy Ang, who also sings the title track of the movie entitled “Rocket To The Moon”.

OVER THE MOON is adapted from the book “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. The animated movie adds another layer to the story about loss and healing, when one learns more about its screenwriter Audrey Wells who wrote the first draft of the script in 2016. Sadly, Audrey Wells died of cancer in 2018, and the movie is also a touching love letter to her husband and daughter.

As someone of Chinese descent, watching the trailers for OVER THE MOON was so gratifying for Red Dot Diva. The space fantasy adventure showcases a modern Chinese aesthetic that is visually spectacular and depicts Asian values in a positive way. It is such a rare gem, that the film should be on your “must watch” list when it premieres on Netflix SG on 23 October 2020.







Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Red Dot Diva and Filmmaker Perry Lam to Discuss about Genre Films in Singapore



Do you love genre films, and wonder why they rare exist in Red Dot Island? Will the short lived TV series VR Man be the only local fictional superhero ever to be realised on screen?

Red Dot Diva and award-winning film-maker Perry Lam will attempt to answer these intriguing questions at a Facebook livestream entitled ENDANGERED SPECIES: GENRE FILMS IN SINGAPORE this Saturday, 26 September at 1 PM Singapore Time (GMT +8).
 


Currently based in Sydney, Australia, Perry Lam is passionate about genre films, and consumes blockbuster movies as well as relatively obscure ones. Some of these genre movies have provided inspiration for his short films, which have won awards in various film festivals. 

His student film BLACK RAT about a real-life crime-fighting vigilante in Sydney won Best Documentary at the Phoenix Comic Con 2016 Film Festival amongst several other achievements. His next film TONY, was a glimpse of post-apocalyptic world where humans have decided to live underground. The film was the winner for Annual Best Sci Fi at the Changing Face International Film Festival in Sydney 2018.

Perry's most recent film AFTER_LIFE was a made through the STOREYS initiative by IMDA. The poignant story about love and regret set just “10 minutes into the future”. AFTER_LIFE received positive reviews and it picked up the Annual Best Sci Fi award at this year’s Changing Face International Film Festival in Sydney. It was also recently translated and dubbed into Russian where it chalked up nearly 24,000 views on Youtube!!




Do grab a bucket of popcorn and join the discussion about the fate of genre films here, and whether like it or not, Jack Neo movies are all that Red Dot Islanders deserve.


DATE: 26 September 2020, Saturday

TIME: 1 PM, Singapore Time (GMT +8)

TO RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/320086799207366/

LIVESTREAM: www.facebook.com/reddotdiva/live


To watch some of Perry’s works - https://vimeo.com/perrylam29

Follow Perry on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/perrylam29

Watch AFTER_LIFE and other completed films in the “STOREYS” project here: https://www.storeys.video/watch-storeys

Red Dot Diva’s review of AFTER_LIFE - https://reddotdiva.blogspot.com/2020/04/singapore-short-movie-afterlife-perrylam.html

------------------------------------

If you have missed the other first two episodes of Live with Red Dot Diva, you can catch up by watching the livestreams at the links below:

Ep. 1 - Uncovering Unstable Universe: A Zine Launch with Joelyn Alexandra

Ep. 2 - Horrors, Both Real and Otherwise with Wayne Rée

Ep. 3 - A Dose of the Bright Side with Carlo Jose San Juan (MD)




Saturday, September 19, 2020

Going Absolutely Bat-ty on Batman Day 2020

Nanananananana... It's Batman Day!!

Fans of Batman usually gather at local comic book shops to celebrate the superhero's birthday. He made his very first appearance ever in ‘‘Detective Comic’’ back in 1939. Since 2015, DC Comics has dedicated the third September of the year to be Batman Day.

Since many of us are still on lockdown, DC Comics has turned on the Bat-Signal on 19 September for an online celebration with the Dark Knight's international fans. There was a call for fans to build and share their own interpretation of the Bat-Signal, a DC Batman Virtual Run, a Batman Activity Kit for the family, and the best of all - free comics to read on DC's website!

No prizes for guessing who's Red Dot Diva's #1 favourite superhero either. Of course it is Mr Broody Genius Billionaire Playboy Philanthropist before Iron Man was Genius Billionaire Playboy Philanthropist, Caped Crusader ‘‘I'm Batman’’ himself.

She had a field day spotting some Bat-gems on social media, while happily fantasizing she was part of the Bat-family. Here are some of them:


BILL SIENKIEWICZ'S BATMAN DAY ART

The inimitable Bill Sienkiewicz does it again with a glorious sublime artwork for Batman Day that is inspired by Matt Reeve's movie ‘‘THE BATMAN’’.



Red Dot Diva's eyes are still bleeding because this is so beautiful. 


BATMAN TEASER FOR THE SNYDER CUT

Zack Snyder, who is currently busy working on the Snyder Cut of the ‘‘JUSTICE LEAGUE’’ movie together with HBO Max, has also offered fans a closer look of Batfleck and his suit.



The director has also shared his astute thoughts about Batman and what the character means to the fans.




Ever since Batfleck appeared in the DC movie universe, most fans have considered Ben Affleck's interpretation to be the best of all time. This sentiment is shared by Zack Snyder as well, who has referred to Batfleck as the 'Best Batman'. So, Red Dot Diva is eager to see what are the new scenes featuring Batfleck in the Justice League's Snyder Cut, which will premiere on HBO in 2021. (Although, ... *in whispered tones*... Red Dot Diva actually thinks Lego Batman is the 'Best Batman'.)


BATMAN ARTWORK AND FAN ART

Artists and fans from all over the world have been posting their Batman artwork to show their love for the World's Greatest Detective, and here are some of the fun or lovely ones that Red Dot Diva particularly enjoyed.

A nice sexy one of The Bat and his Batman PJs by freelance artist Victor Regis, who hails from Brazil:



This adorable one of the Bat-family by Liz from Russia:



Oh, and Adam West, the iconic actor who portrayed Batman in the 1960s' TV series also shares his birthday with this year's Batman Day! Eisner Award-winning creator Francesco Francavilla creates an artwork for this special double-celebration:



An elegant take on Batman by Italian comic book writer and artist Enrico Marini:





FREE DIGITAL BATMAN COMICS TO READ




As part of the Batman Day celebration, DC Comics presented fans with free Batman comics to read - BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT #1 by writer/ artist Sean Murphy, BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE #1 written by producers of the original animated TV series Paul Dini and Alan Burnett, with art by Ty Templeton and BATMAN TALES: ONCE UPON A CRIME by Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen.

Red Dot Diva read all three of the comics and found that she enjoyed BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT #1 the most. The Joker has escaped from Arkham Asylum and knows of an ancient secret about the history of the Waynes. He recruits Azrael to expose this truth so that Gotham will be shaken at its core.

Sean Murphy fuses imagery and words with such skill that you are drawn into the enigmatic mystery of the Wayne ancestry and its ties to Gotham. The story is both mythic and mystery, including good ol' sleuthing by Bruce Wayne with the help of the Bat family. Red Dot Diva is definitely tempted to pre-order the graphic novel which compiles issue #1 to #8.

BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE #1 was classic cartoony fun, with Batman fighting a giant robot and finding out who was behind the destructive mechanised creature. Lex suddenly appears in Gotham, so of course something is afoot!

As for BATMAN TALES: ONCE UPON A CRIME, the graphic novel consists of four stories. The one made available for free was a special edition taking readers on a dopey trip into a Wonderland created by supervillian Tetch. By some accident, Alfred stumbles through the looking glass, finds the Bat-family captured for the Mad Hatter's tea part, and tries to save them!



One of the DC news flash this week was the news that Matt Reeves' ‘‘THE BATMAN’’ has returned to production after the recent coronavirus scare. Red Dot Diva's friend Atty writes about Robert 'Battinson' and the widely anticipated movie in her blog. You can read her article here - https://thisisatiqah.wordpress.com/2020/09/12/robert-pattinson-is-the-batman


So, how did your Batman Day go? Hopefully, fans will be able the meet with each other for a proper in-person celebration in 2021!


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