Tuesday, March 14, 2023

HBO's The Last Of Us: From Game To TV (by Atty)

HBO's game to TV adaptation series The Last Of Us is a rare beast. The 9-episode live action series is an engrossing odyssey of survival during an apocalypse when humankind is rapidly being infested by a type of cordeyceps fungus.

Just like in the game created by Naughty Dog, the show's viewers follow the journey of a weary man named Joel (Pedro Pascal) and snarky teenager Ellie (Bella Ramsey) as they travel to a revolutionary militia group called The Fireflies. Ellie is immune from the fungus' effects, and the Fireflies are supposed to be able to create a vaccine with Ellie's help. While making their way through the ruined landscape of the US, Joel and Ellie fight off dangerous people as well as the infested, also known as clickers.

There have been several attempts to adapt popular game franchises to live action shows, but most of these endeavours never quite hit the mark. Live action adaptations like Resident Evil and The Halo lacked compelling storylines, and were not able to create the sense of urgency or horror you get when you are playing the games. One of the better adaptations is Netflix's The Witcher, which has managed to please most fans - at least for the first season. Fan favourite Henry Cavill's screen presence as main character Geralt of Rivia has helped make the show somewhat bingeworthy.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Interview With Actor-Producer Jonathan Cheong About Award-Winning Action Short Film Bullet For Vengeance

At the age of 26, local actor-producer-action director Jonathan Cheong not only owns a film company called Raging Fire Productions, he already has a couple of award-winning action short films under this belt. Jonathan played a conflicted hitman in his 2021 film “Deadlock”, and he was awarded Best Actor at the World Film Carnival Singapore (WFCS) for the role. “Deadlock” also won Outstanding Crime Film and Best Outstanding Director for Samuel Delitans Lee at WFCS, and was selected for seven international film festivals.

Fueled by his passion for action genre films and ardent admiration for veteran martial arts actor Donnie Yen, Jonathan consistently puts in time and effort to hone his craft. His latest Raging Fire Productions offering entitled “Bullet For Vengeance” is an action thriller about the personal feud between between a criminal and a police inspector over a shooting gone wrong. The short film written and directed by Raphael Lim, stars Jonathan Cheong, Gary Gan, Johanna Van, Agnes Goh and Kris Mavericko.

To date, “Bullet For Vengeance” has clinched an impressive total of 8 Awards, 8 Official Sections and 7 Special Mentions at the local and international film festival circuit. This includes Best Cinematography by Benny Tan at the World Film Carnival Singapore (WFCS), Best Supporting Actor awarded to Kris Mavericko and Best Supporting Actress to Agnes Goh at the Golden Reel International Film Festival (Massachusetts, USA).

Ahead of the official release of “Bullet For Vengeance” for the general international audience, Red Dot Diva grabbed hold of Jonathan Cheong to ask him some nosy questions:

Friday, March 3, 2023

Diva's Movie Review: Missing Is A Riveting And Twisty Screenlife Thriller

Sony Pictures' Missing is the next installment of their critically acclaimed 2018 screenlife film, Searching. In this film genre (also know as desktop films), the audience is led through a series of events which unfolds mostly in front of a computer screen or smartphone. Directed by Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick, and a screenplay by Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian (the creators of Searching), Missing is not a direct sequel to older film, but it does follow the same formula. To its benefit, Missing manages to supercede its predecessor with a tauter and twistier thriller, and a touching mother-daughter relationship.

In Searching, Daniel Kim (John Cho) is a frantic father looking desperately for his missing teenage daughter Margot (Michelle La) via her online activities. The situation is somewhat reversed in Missing, with June (Storm Reid), a Gen Z teenager trying to trace the whereabouts of her mother Grace (Nia Long).