Saturday, August 31, 2019

Bebas Bersama Netflix This Merdeka with The Dark Crystal Age of Resistance and more

It's another LONG weekend in Malaysia, where this year is providing us Malaysians opportunities aplenty to escape from work and relax. For those not travelling on holiday, there is ample opportunity to binge watch the many TV shows, movies and other entertainment available on Netflix.


For geeky enthusiasts like ourselves, Netflix has just released The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance as a 10-episode series. Yes, this is the same world of The Dark Crystal way back in 1982 of Jim Henson's puppets. However, the Netflix series is a prequel to the original movie. Here's the synopsis:

Return to the world of Thra, where three Gelfling discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis' power, and set out to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world.


This new series remains due to puppet artistry with intricate sets enhances by modern CGI VFX. It also boasts a great voice cast of famous geek fandom celebrities comprising Sigourney Weaver as The Myth Speaker, Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones) as Deet, Taron Egerton (Kingsman) as Rian, Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, Glass) and Brea, Jason Isaacs (Star Trek Discovery) as Emperor of the Skeksis, Simon Peg (Star Trek), Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Benedict Wong (Marvel's Doctor Strange), Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians), Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider), Helena Bonham Carter, Mark Strong and more.

Gelfling Deet voiced by Nathelie Emmanuel (Missandie from Game of Thrones).
Photo source Netflix

Scary Skeksis receive famous voices the likes of Mark Hamill, Simon Peg, Jason Isaacs.
Read in-depth reviews of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance here by CNET and VOX.

Like a bonus of Netflix users, the original cult classic The Dark Crystal is also available for streaming. Those new to the world of Thra may wish to take opportunity to binge watch in the 10 episodes prequel series before viewing the original movie for a chronological experience, much like younger Star Wars fans today may watch the movies in sequence from Episode I to VIII.


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The following feature is provided by Netflix as a guide to its features that support binge watching:

Tanggal tiga-puluh-satu, bulan lapan lima-puluh-tujuh. If you read that with the late Sudirman Arshad’s ‘Tanggal 31’ tune in your head, it’s one of those things that make you truly Malaysian. That’s right - Merdeka!, Merdeka!, Merdeka!

This year, Malaysia celebrates its 62nd year of freedom, marking the anniversary of the day the Federation of Malaya gained independence from the British rule  on the 31st of  August 1957. Cue the display of fireworks and the flag-waving patriotism while we spectate the grand parade along the iconic Dataran Merdeka. Every year, this is how we pay homage to our founding fathers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun V.T. Sambanthan, Tun Tan Cheng Lock and many more Malaysians who fought tooth and nail to ensure that we had the freedom to be our own democratic nation.

Fast forward to 2019, Malaysians are enjoying a different kind of freedom, now with the  seamless convenience of connectivity and the power of choice in a click of a few buttons. And Netflix offers just that. The freedom to choose from more than 140 million hours of TV shows and movies, and watch as much as you want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected device. The best part is that you also have the freedom to play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments. Heck, you can even make choices for the characters of  Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and choose how the story unfolds.

Additionally, there are other ways to #BebasBersamaNetflix:
  1. Freedom to watch anything, anywhere, anytime, regardless of connection speed
We Malaysians want to watch our favourite shows uninterrupted, whether on the plane or in environments with intermittent bandwidth. Boy, do we know the pain of varying internet conditions and bandwidth limitations that have resulted in a less than satisfactory experience - buffering problems, intermittent outages and high data usage (and with it, costs) that often leaves us frustrated.

With Netflix, you can get an enhanced viewing experience with the Smart Downloads feature that allows you the flexibility to stream or download shows to watch offline without consuming too much data or memory, making it possible for you consume content on-the-go. Giving members more control over their entertainment experience is at the heart of everything we do and members can choose when they want to use Smart Downloads.
  • Save your data plan. The Smart Downloads feature only turns on when you're connected to Wi-Fi, so your data plan will never be used.
  • Save space. When you finish watching a downloaded episode, Smart Downloads will delete it, then automatically download the next episode in the series. If you would rather keep watched episodes on your device, you will need to turn off Smart Downloads so you can manually manage your downloaded content.
Smart Downloads is available on devices supporting downloads installed with the latest version of the Netflix app for Android mobile devices, iOS mobile devices, Amazon Fire tablets, and computers and tablets running Windows 10.


  1. Freedom to protect your loved ones
Parental controls are essential in ensuring the safety of your children online as parents are able to limit or restrict access to specific content that is deemed inappropriate. To ensure a safe viewing experience for the whole family, Netflix has a series of features and controls that can be accessed via the website on any desktop that help parents adjust and personalise the selection of content that can be accessed.
  • Kids Profiles. Profiles allow different members of your household to have their own personalized Netflix experience, built around the TV shows and movies they enjoy. You can have up to five individual profiles within a single Netflix account.
  • Choose Your Categories. There are four maturity levels for parents to choose from. Depending on the maturity level selected, you can access and view content that is appropriate for each of those levels from For little children only to All maturity levels.
  • Set Up Your PIN. Set up a 4-digit PIN that will allow you to restrict particular content that you deem unfit for your children. This applies across all the profiles, deterring kids from circumventing it by switching to your account.
  • Monitor Viewing Activity. To offer you a peace of mind, Netflix allows you to access the Viewing Activity via your Account area. Go to your Account and scroll down to My Profile and select Viewing Activity.


  1. Freedom to embrace your Malaysian pride
Netflix is constantly looking to curate new stories and find new voices in the unlikeliest of places whilst giving creative partners the freedom and opportunity to tell their stories the way they want to and find new audiences they’d never have had access to previously. In Malaysia, Netflix continues to expand its offerings of Malaysian content, allowing local stories to travel to more people than ever before.

New additions include Till Death: Azalea’s Wrath, written, directed and produced by local filmmaker, Sein Qudsi, is the first Malaysian movie that is exclusively available on Netflix. Featuring Khir Rahman, Vanidah Imran Nam Ron, Kodi Rasheed, Zain Hamid and Zulaika Zahari, the film is about a couple who just lost their baby due to complications during childbirth, and they move to a new house to start fresh. Little do they know, the house carries a dark secret and their journey of hardships have only just begun.

In celebration of Merdeka and National Day, Netflix is showcasing Bebas Bersama Netflix with its diverse offering of Malaysian content for viewers around the world, including some of the best Malaysian Box Office Hits including Munafik 2, Hantu Kak Limah, and Paskal: The Movie, Pulang, Jagat, and the multiple award winning Crossroads: One Two Jaga. Watch now at netflix.com/bebasbersamanetflix


  1. Freedom to choose your preferred language
Our nation is a melting pot of cultures, customs and languages and so is Netflix with its constantly growing library of content that comes in a vast variety of languages and diverse stories from content creators across the globe. Netflix’s international movies and series, including Money Heist from Spain, Sacred Games from India and Paskal: The Movie from Malaysia have managed to gain fans beyond their home base, proving that great storytelling can be appreciated by people all over the world regardless of what language you speak or where you are from.

Netflix believes that great content and the consumer experience shouldn’t be sacrificed with bad subtitles or dubbing. With this comes constant innovation to ensure that these international stories are conveyed in a way that stays true to the creative intent, optimising the viewing experience for you no matter what language you are watching in.

The service currently offers subtitles and dubbing in more than 20 languages around the world, including Turkish, Mandarin, French, Italian, German, Polish, Japanese and Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia.

  1. Freedom to choose your own narrative
Netflix offers an array of original series, movies, documentaries, stand up comedies and kids TV shows in addition to a broad variety of licensed programs. This year, Netflix pushed the boundaries of storytelling by adding an interactive element where you decide what the characters do and how the story plays out. This way, each choice leads to a different adventure, so you can watch again and again, and see a new story each time.


There are currently several original interactive titles, with more in the pipeline:
  • Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale Puss in Boots has fallen into a magic book ruled by a sneaky storyteller. Only you can help our hero find his way in this interactive story!
  • Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile They’ve got a bag full of dumb ideas, and you’re the one who gets to tell them which silly stunt to try next.
  • Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout Villains are rampaging through Charter City and Flex Fighters -- Jake, Ricardo and Nathan -- need your help to halt the chaos.
  • Minecraft: Story Mode Take control of an adventure set in the Minecraft universe. The future of the world is at stake, and your decisions shape the story -- so choose wisely!
  • Black Mirror: Bandersnatch In 1984, a young programmer begins to question reality as he adapts a dark fantasy novel into a video game. A mind-bending tale with multiple endings.
  • You vs Wild You vs. Wild is a survival show starring and following Bear Grylls in every episode on a survival show taking place in various remote locations around the world, and with a key feature of a branching narrative with multiple choices within the episode, where a user may direct the course of the story.
#BebasBersamaNetflix now at netflix.com/bebasbersamanetflix

Follow what's coming up on Netflix from Facebook and YouTube.

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P.S. from Outpost:

Did you know Netflix's big-budget historical epic Marco Polo was filmed in Malaysia at Pinewood Studios, Iskandar Johor? It ran for 2 seasons from 2014 to 2016 starring Lorenzo Richelmy as the namesake Marco Polo, Benedict Wong as Kublai Khan, Joan Chen as Empress Chabi and Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh as Lotus (in full martial arts glory). You may also spot a few Malaysia actors appearing like Patrick Teoh.

Mistress of Martial Arts Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh as Lotus in Netflix's Marco Polo Season 2.
Here's the Season 2 trailer and featurette:



Binge watch all 20 episodes this Merdeka on Netflix and marvel at this "Buatan Malaysia" production.

This article written for purpose of fan engagement without intent to infringe trademarks and copyright of their respective owners.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Into the Spider-Verse offers fan-gasms with the Ultimate Spider-man Team-Up


From the animation studio that brought The Smurfs to cinemas as well as cutesy monsters of Hotel Transylvania, Sony Pictures Animations now bring Marvel's friendly neighbourhood wall-crawler in animated form to cinemas with Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse. As movie goers may be aware, Sony Pictures currently holds the rights of Spider-man on film since Y2K and has produced six live-action movies to-date which ranks at the 10th highest grossing film franchise of all time at over USD4.8 billion. With such a lucrative property, Sony retains a super-strength grip onto the Spidey film rights and which includes associated Marvel characters such as Venom, Morbius, Black Cat, Kraven, etc. This Sony Universe of Marvel Characters (SUMC) has already paid off gruesomely in the standalone movie Venom released this October and ranking in over USD845 million worldwide.

The Peter Parkers to-date (left to right): Tobey Macguire, Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland.
Source: Time.com
Since the 1970's, live-action films of Spider-man has featured Peter Parker as their main protagonist, being the secret identify of the namesake superhero. The current Peter Parker is portrayed by Tom Holland and, through mutually profiting agreements with Marvel Studios, has been incorporated into the massively successful Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film franchise since 2016's Captain America: Civil War. So with Peter Parker temporarily exported from the live-action SUMC, here comes Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introducing Mile Morales as the new lead protagonist in the namesake role.


Official movie synopsis:
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.

Team Spidey GO!
The movie is directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey (Rise of the Guardians), and Rodney Rothman. Voicing teenager Miles Morales is Shameik Moore and Jake Johnson as Peter B. Parker. Forming the Spider Team are Hailee Steinfeld (Ender's Game, Bumblebee) as Gwen Stacey, Nicholas Cage as Spider-Man Noir, Kimiko Glenn as Peni Parker, and John Mulaney as Spider-Ham. Other supporting cast to note is Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins) as Wilson Fisk, Mahershala Ali (Luke Cage), Brian Tyree Henry and Lily Tomli.

Let's take a closer look into the different Spider-man of the Spider-Verse:

 MILES MORALES – The all-new Spider-Man
Miles Morales is a young teenager and a Brooklyn native. He’s a bright kid who’s been thrust into a new school and is having a hard time adjusting to a more rigorous academic environment. But he’s having an even harder time adjusting to his entirely new and unexpected life as a Spider-Man.  With the help of some surprising new friends, Miles learns to unlock the hero inside himself.

 PETER B. PARKER – Miles’ reluctant mentor 
He may look like Peter Parker, but he is older and the years of superhero life have taken a toll on his body. His experiences have left him world-weary and cynical. Peter never wanted to be a mentor, but training Miles Morales to be Spider-Man helps him to regain his original enthusiasm for that identity and reclaim the spirit of selflessness for which Spider-Man stands

SPIDER-GWEN – A super-cool Spider-Woman 
An intelligent and quick-witted teenager, Spider-Gwen is the Spider-Woman of her world, an excellent fighter who can swing and flip with the grace of a trained dancer. Although tough and brave when she’s fighting the bad guys, Gwen has suffered a loss in her universe that’s made her afraid to get close to people, even to an open-hearted kid like Miles. Once she learns there are others like her, she has the opportunity to let down her guard and become part of a team who have overcome their own tragedies to become the protectors of their worlds.

SPIDER-MAN NOIR – The Spider-Man of 1933
Spider-Man Noir, a Peter Parker from another century as well as another universe, is a more hardened version of Spider-Man who fought crime during the Great Depression in 1933. Unlike most Spider-People, Spider-Man Noir is only seen in black and white and has the 1930s perspective to match, which makes it harder for him to adjust to Miles’ modern (and colorful) world.

PENI PARKER and SP//dr – A half-Asian school girl from the future 
Peni Parker is a classic anime character, a school girl from an alternative universe with a psychic link to a spider. She’s an emotional, expressive vigilante who doesn’t wear the typical Spider-Man suit – instead, she has a mechanical, robotic Spidey suit that only responds to her DNA.

SPIDER-HAM – The comic relief
Meet Spider-Ham, aka Peter Porker… a cartoon pig! Spider-Ham is always the first one to crack a joke, but despite behaving like the ultimate ham, he takes his job as a Spider-Hero very seriously and fights alongside the others with own his special kind of cartoon fury.

AUNT MAY - A Pillar for all Spider-People
Aunt May has been very involved in her nephew's Spider-Man world, creating gadgets and providing tactical support for his superhero adventures. When May learns that there are Spider-People from other universes who need her help, she’s ready to provide coffee and web-shooters. She even wields a baseball bat to fight along side them when the villains arrive.

WILSON FISK aka KINGPIN – The ultimate crime lord 
Kingpin is the king of organized crime in New York. His climb to the heights of power has been built on decades of shady deals and ruthless violence, backed by an almost superhuman will. Kingpin blames Spider-Man for a loss so great that he is willing to risk the lives of every person in every universe to get back what he lost.

The Spidey team-up we've been waiting for is finally in cinemas!
The real thrill for Marvel fans would be to see this team-up amongst the different Spider-heroes. The animation style is very much inspired by its comic book origins, chock full of visual delights and “easter eggs” aplenty including the world's most famous cameo actor in animated form. But as aesthetically pleasing as a movie may look, it's core story must resound with the audience and this one most certainly strikes home.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has received raving reviews and even scored a perfect 100% by Rotten Tomatoes. Here's how it compared against the preceding live-action movies by Sony on the Tomatometer:



Even before it's US release, the movie already been nominated in the Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture – Animated, up against The Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet.


For more in-depth review, read what Star2.com has to say or watch opinion video by IGN:


Malaysia's Movie Premiere for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was held on 4 December 2018 at TGV 1 Utama and attended by our very local-verse of Spider-heroes:

Can you name each Spider-man in this group shot?
Cosplayers from Into the Spider-Verse with the exception of Spider-Ham.
Femme fatales Spider-Gwen, Mary Jane and Peni Parker.
Spider-men of the MCU.
Peter Parker: "I don't feel so good..."
Waiting patiently for the Marvel must-watch end-credit scene(s).
Once again, the Outpost Movie Recon Team (M.R.T.) has compiled the following intel of Spider-Verse promos from our local cinemas. Starting with TGV Cinemas, customers purchasing at least two tickets will be able to redeem a limited edition Spider-man phone ring (while stocks last). Find out participating cinemas and terms & conditions from TGV's website.


Furthermore, customers with minimum of three tickets may join TGV's Facebook contest for the chance to win movie premiums including a limited edition Spider-man PS4 Pro console as Grand Prize. Goto the contest post to participate and check terms & conditions at their website (ends 16 December 2018).


GSC Cinemas has similar movie premiums up for grabs (excluding PS4) via their own Facebook contest with no purchase requirements. But enter fast as the contest ends today / 10 December 2018.


For customers who have got at least two tickets, GSC is offering a limited edition 1:4 scale Spider-Gwen statue worth SGD900 / RM2,735 via another Facebook contest. Find out more on this premium collectible from XM Studios and join before 23 December 2018.


Over at MBO Cinemas, loyal Allstar members can make use of their points to redeem movie premiums once they have purchased minimum 2 tickets. Go ahead and redeem online at the URL links provided.


Plus mini-portable speakers may be redeemed for 5000 points at selected locations only.


So don't forget your web-shooters and swing into your friendly neighbourhood cinema to catch Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse showing NOW!

Teenager Mile Morales will be the next generation Spider-man.


©2018 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved. MARVEL and all related character names: © & ™ 2018 MARVEL


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Robin Hood retold reboot reimagined


England's legendary outlaw Robin Hood returns to cinemas this week in yet another reincarnation of the heroic thief famous for stealings from the rich to give to the poor. Indeed the modern generation consuming entertainment media would most certainly have come across Robin Hood in cinema or television as one of the most popularly adapted medieval folklore that's royalty free. For the Gen-X, 1991's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves led by Kevin Costner may be their benchmark to compare subsequent iterations against, despite being overly Americanised, e.g. Costner's Robin barely sounded English! Fast forward almost two decades to 2010, the Millennials may identify closer to Director Ridley Scott's big budget Robin Hood with Australian Russell Crowe in the leading role supported by an all-star cast.

Taron Egerton is Robin of Loxley, born into privilege but loses everything whilst away in at war in the Crusades.
This year's rebirth of Robin Hood brings a younger face to our hero starring rising action hero Taron Egerton, who is actually from England! Famous for his role as Eggsy in the two Kingsman movies, Egerton just recently turned 29 and would certainly find appeal amongst younger movie goers for his boyish smile and chiseled body.


OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS 
Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) a war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander (Jamie Foxx) mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown in a thrilling action-adventure packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography, and a timeless romance. 

"The Legend You Know. The Story You Don't."

Putting up Robin to thieving is an Arabian Moor known as John (in English) played by Award winning actor Jamie Foxx (Baby Driver, Amazing Spider-man 2, Django Unchained). Eve Hewson stars as Robin's love interest Marian whilst Jamie Dornan of Fifty Shades of Grey fame steps up as Will Scarlet. Another members of folklore is Friar Tuck played by Tim Minchin, providing godly counsel were heeded and then some. Of course taxing the good people of Nottingham is none other than the Sheriff embodied by Ben Mendelsohn (Star Wars Rogue One, Ready Player One).

The not-so-little John (Jamie Fox) is a hardened warrior fighting from the opposite side of the Crusades.

Marian, far from damsel in distress.

Will Scarlet is a rising community leader of the Mines.

This friar eparts from the classic rotund bald Tuck 

The ruthless Sheriff of Nottingham is all out for wealth & power.
Director Otto Bathurst wanted to start anew, and remake the mold with all the furious pace and contemporary action filmmaking. His “make it modern” mantra thoroughly upped the ante when it came to the film’s action. Old school static bow-and-arrow combat morphed into wildly, athletic clashes that bring a new energy and pop.

Armed only with bow and arrow, Robin becomes Nottingham's most wanted outlaw known as the Hood.
To prepare for the movie, Egerton trained to this generation's legendary modern-day archer, Lars Andersen. Hailing from Denmark, Andersen holds the world record for speed archery, firing 10 arrows in 4.9 seconds. Check out what he can do in this video and learn a bit more about historical archery:


Here are snippets of Egerton's training with Andersen translating to real archery stunts seen in the movie:


Andersen was especially gratified by how Egerton devoted himself to becoming as speedy and accurate an archer as he possibly could. So for you highly motivated readers who like to try your hand at this sport, check out Eureka Archery locally based in Klang Valley.

For the ladies who can't get enough of Christian Grey, take some liberties to swoon over this medieval version of him.
For reviews on this new Taron Egerton Robin Hood, refer to articles by Variety and Forbes.

The Malaysian Premiere for Robin Hood was held earlier this week at TGV 1 Utama. Special guests included hunky dudes for the search of Malaysia's version of Robin Hood (please steal from Jho Low and gift back to us ya?) as well as the Hood himself.

Candidates for Malaysia's Robin Hood.
Look-a-like or not?

Look out for these two characters transported from Nottingham to visit the following TGV Cinemas this weekend:


Also be rewarded for watching Robin Hood at TGV Cinemas by receiving a free poster for two tickets purchased as well as stand a chance to win movie premiums and TGIF dining vouchers via their Facebook contest (ends 23 October):



Similar movie premiums are also available vis GSC Cinemas Facebook contest (ends Sunday 25 November):


Over at MBO they are offering a Robin Hood member card for their Allstar club (it's Free):


Robin Hood is now showing in cinemas nationwide. Enjoy the ride!