Sunday 9 December 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.
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 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 22 November 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.

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!

Friday 26 October 2018

Halloween and Michael Myers: A Film Franchise that Won't Stay Dead

This month brings a festive spookiness to many western cultures celebrating Halloween on October 31st. The origins of Halloween derive from the ancient Celtic harvest festival where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to protect themselves from spirits by impersonating them. In the United States, Halloween day is celebrated by children dressing up for trick-or-treat and adults partying in costume.

40 years ago, notable cult classics director John Carpenter co-wrote and directed a movie titled Halloween, which at that time had never been a theme on film. Put simply, the movie is about a serial killer stalking and killing teenagers on Halloween night of 1978. But the killings actually began 15 years earlier when six year-old Michael Myers kills his older sister Judith and is subsequently hospitalised at a sanitarium. Now an adult, Myer escapes on the eve of Halloween and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield to stalk Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends. After brutally killing the said friends on Halloween night, Myers attempts to also murder on Laurie but is thwarted when shot by his psychiatrist Dr. Loomis. However despite his wounds and falling from heights, Myers appears to have escaped.

Although “tame” compared to today's film-making standards, Halloween is often regarded as the inspiration of slasher movies as a sub-set of American horror entertainment. The Halloween franchise itself has spawned ten more movies over the next four decades, including this week's release of the eleventh chapter just named Halloween (again!). For record, here is the line-up of franchise movies:
  • Halloween (1978)
  • Halloween II (1981)
  • Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
  • Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
  • Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
  • Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
  • Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
  • Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
  • Halloween (2007)
  • Halloween II (2009)
  • Halloween (2018)
IGN explains the Halloween franchise recapping the first movie and trying to summarise the rest.

Lengthy recap of the Michael Myers saga (excluding the 3rd movie and Rob Zombie's reboots).

Fortunately this latest Halloween (2018) does not require the audience to know anything of the preceding nine movies as it only plays sequel to the original Halloween (1978)... phew!

Movie Synopsis
Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. 

Master of horror John Carpenter executive produces and serves as creative consultant on this film, joining forces with cinema’s current leading producer of horror, Jason Blum (Get Out, Split, The Purge, Paranormal Activity). Inspired by Carpenter’s classic, filmmakers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride crafted a story that carves a new path from the events in the landmark 1978 film, and Green also directs.

Jamie Lee Curtis then & now as teenage Laurie Strode in 1978 (left) and Grandma Laurie today. 

Nick Castle recreates a set photo today (right) from 1978 when he dons the mask of Michael Myers.
Ignoring events of all other movies in the franchise except the original, this year's Halloween may be a tad confusing for those casual movie viewers may have recalled that Laurie was killed in one of the sequels. Furthermore the franchise was rebooted in the previous decade by musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie. So where does this latest Halloween fit in the franchise? Refer to this info-graphic:

So in this latest alternate Halloween timeline, 40 years have passed since Michael Myer's killing spree in Haddonfield. No secret from the trailer, Myers was captured after being shot and admitted to a mental institution. Laurie has attempted to move on but suffers from serious post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which led to failed marriages and lost custody of her daughter. Today she's a grandmother to Allyson (Andi Matichak) though estranged by the strained relationship with now grown-up daughter Karen (Judy Greer). When Myer's escapes, all three generations of Strode women find themselves in danger and need to re-bond to survive Halloween night.

Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) must band together with estranged daughter Karen (Judy Greer) for a final confrontation with Michael Myers.

Laurie's granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) finds herself ensnared in a trail of murders on Halloween night.

Find out more about rest of the movie cast from this article by Screenrant.

Although it's not yet Halloween, the opening weekend box office of this latest installment of the franchise has been smashing and ranks as the second highest for October in U.S. movie history (after Venom topped the chart earlier this month). Here's how movie-goers are rating Halloween:

This is not your grandfather's Michael Myers... oh, but HE IS actually!
In Malaysia, Halloween opens this week, launched by a Movie Premiere at MBO Cinemas in Starling Mall attended by horror fans and the cult classic slasher himself. Here's what happened:

Halloween's Michael Myers at MBO Cinemas
Michael Myers ?at MBO Cinemas the Starling Damansara Utama #MYHalloweenmovie now showing at MBO Cinemas. Tickets at and mobile app. #HalloweenMovie2018 #mbocinemas
Posted by MBO Cinemas on Thursday, 25 October 2018

Thanks to United International Pictures Malaysia, Outpost sent a few horror fans to face Michael Myers at the Movie Premiere. Here's what they have to say about Halloween:

A bit distracting to watch horror movie next to this guy, no?
Also read up on this review by Star2 and feature on “Screen Queen”, Jamie Lee Curtis.

Grandma Laurie gets a Sarah Connor tough-as-nails makeover in anticipation of Michael Myers inevitable return.
The Verge also provides a more in-depth look into the franchise, slasher movies and their take on this sequel.

For those who like a close encounter with Michael Myers, visit the following MBO Cinemas this weekend:

Halloween is now showing in cinemas nationwide so you don't need to wait until the actual night of 31 October itself. Hardcore fans may want to sit through the end credits... and if need to make more sense of that ending then search for "Halloween 2018 ending explained" on Google and YouTube.

#MYHalloweenMovie #NowShowing #UIPmalaysia
#MichaelMyers #versus #LaurieStrode

Outpost Productions like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a


Disclaimer: Halloween and associated trademarks are copyright to Miramax LCC, referenced here for fan service announcements without intent to infringe.