Arts & Entertainment

Your complete guide to Penang's art exhibitions, theatre plays, musicals, comedy, movie reviews and film trailers

Art

Penang's best art galleries

Your art appreciation begins now

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Things to do

50 things to do in Penang: Arts and culture

Here's how you can channel your inner culture vulture

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Art

Street art by Ernest Zacharevic

A look at Penang's most photogenic graffiti art

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Shopping

Independent bookshops in Penang

Where you can score some inspirational reads

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Art

Street art in Penang

A guide to George Town's glorious street art

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Latest film reviews and releases

Film

Man Up

Lake Bell is one of the coolest women in Hollywood.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Film

San Andreas

At one point in San Andreas, in which the largest earthquake in recorded history slices and shakes its way through California, Dwayne Johnson parachutes into the middle of a San Francisco baseball stadium with his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) clinging to his bulging midsection. ‘It’s been a while since we’ve been to second base,’ he says as they land safely on the field, sharing a chuckle after an afternoon spent watching several thousand people be swallowed into the earth. The disaster movie is back.‘San Andreas’ is a bloodless and boneheaded orgy of computer-generated destruction. The story, such as it is, centres around Ray (Johnson), a buff angel sent from heaven to save helpless women who are trapped by, in or under heavy things. A former army pilot who now flies LA’s rescue helicopter, Ray is in the cockpit of his chopper when he sees a highway implode beneath him. His first task is to rescue his wife downtown, then he off to retrieve their student daughter (Alexandra Daddario).Campy but never campy enough, the film is far too numbingly artificial to ever drum up any real suspense or sense of awe. Despite having the destructive powers of God at his disposal, director Petyon fails to conjure a single compelling set piece. Instead, his movie’s appeal is limited to whatever charm Johnson can muster from thin air and the genius of seismologist Paul Giamatti, who gets to look in the camera and say ominous things like ‘People need to know that the shaking is not over.’ Sadly

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Film

Big Game

Finns ain’t what they used to be. Cinema has long characterised Finland as a nation of heavy-drinking, drily philosophical outsiders, but that’s not how writer-director Jalmari Helander sees it. In this shambolic but lovable action throwback, he’s recast his people as a bunch of hardbitten heroes, taking on a team of terrorists with their rifle sights set on the biggest prize of all – the President of the United States.And he’s hauled in a surprisingly heavyweight cast to assist: Samuel L Jackson plays the Leader of the Free World, lost in the Nordic wilderness after Air Force One is shot down by shifty Middle Eastern revolutionaries. His saviour arrives in the form of Oskari (Onni Tommila), a 13-year-old bowman on a rites-of-passage mission to kill his first stag. Meanwhile, back at the Pentagon, CIA operative Herbert (played by Jim Broadbent – seriously!) struggles to organise a rescue mission.Helander’s breakthrough film, 2010’s ‘Rare Exports’, saw him channelling a love of ’80s American horror into a berserk tale of monstrous Santas and demonic octogenarians. With ‘Big Game’, he jumps forward a decade, drawing on ’90s high-concept action flicks like ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Cliffhanger’ for a rough-edged but always watchable survival romp. The dialogue may be hackneyed (yes, Jackson does get to call someone ‘motherfucker’ right before shooting them) and the special effects are sometimes painfully low-rent, but Jackson and Tommila have a sweet, convincing rapport. And it’s all carr

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Film

Tomorrowland

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to utopia in this peculiar, philosophically inclined Disney family adventure. Britt Robertson plays Casey Newton, a plucky suburban teenager with an uncanny knack for solving scientific problems. When she learns of the existence of Tomorrowland – a parallel dimension where humanity’s greatest scientists, thinkers and artists have created a hermetically sealed ‘perfect’ world – she’ll do anything to get there. Enter George Clooney’s grumpy, crumpled inventor Frank, who has a dire warning for the ‘real’ world and for the ailing Eden over the rainbow. ‘Tomorrowland’ is singularly unafraid of weighty concepts, tackling climate change, our ongoing fascination with the apocalypse and the very Disney-ish idea of being ‘special’. It does get dry (some scenes feel suspiciously like TED talks) and the script’s fleeting efforts to unpick its dubious Ayn Rand-ish central ideology are completely undermined by a disappointingly clunky, flat-as-a-pancake finale. But when it puts down its copy of ‘Political Philosophy for Dummies’ and focuses on character and action, ‘Tomorrowland’ is a blast. ‘The Incredibles’ director Brad Bird could choreograph daring rocket escapes and soaring jet-pack flights with both eyes shut, while George Clooney and Britt Robertson have a thoroughly convincing knockabout chemistry – though both play second fiddle to blank-eyed British youngster Raffey Cassidy as a mysterious dimensional exile. The production design, too, is glorious: To

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Film

Mad Max: Fury Road

The fourth instalment of George Miller’s punky post-apocalyptic ‘Mad Max’ saga feels like a tornado tearing through a tea party. 

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Film

The Age of Adaline

As many a movie vampire has discovered, eternal youth comes with its own set of issues. And so it proves in this fantasy romance, in which ‘Gossip Girl’ Blake Lively’s heroine hasn’t aged a day since 1937. Wary of being treated as a freak, she’s kept on the move for decades, and after giving birth to a daughter has steered clear of emotional commitment. Love may yet play a part in her destiny as the movie does its level best to blow its intriguing conceit: the explanation behind her condition is ridiculous, the fake-documentary asides laughable and Adaline herself is lacking in personality (big secret notwithstanding). By far the film’s best move is casting some lovable veteran actors. Ellen Burstyn is adorable as Adaline’s daughter and Harrison Ford steals the show as an old-timer with an instinct for saying the wrong thing. He’s so charismatic, so alive, it’s his best performance for decades – and that’s the big surprise in this otherwise wonky, frequently shambling tall tale.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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