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

Return to Sender

Rosamund Pike picked up an Oscar nomination for her brilliantly unhinged turn in ‘Gone Girl’, and she returns to familiar territory in this dark, satisfying indie. Pike is Miranda, an uppity-yet-likeable nurse who’s brutally raped in her home. Struggling with post-traumatic stress, she resolves to visit her attacker in prison, and, through a series of jarring flirting-through-the-perspex meetings, they appear to grow close.It’s an uncomfortable relationship to witness, but, despite appearing sincere, we’re left questioning Miranda’s true intentions. Is she as all-forgiving as she appears to be? Or is this a carefully calculated set-up for an almighty vengeful finale? Put it this way, there’s no way an actress of Pike’s intelligence would have signed on for what looks like, until the last ten minutes, a very poorly judged forgive-and-forget morality tale. And besides, the clue’s in the title.Props to Pike, then, for making an inevitable twist feel like a shock conclusion. Were it not for her trademark icy, enigmatic delivery, this could easily have been a shoddily transparent slice of revenge schlock, rather than a smart, subtly pitched thriller with a fist-pumping feminist finale.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Film

A Little Chaos

‘A Little Chaos’ is, you imagine, what Alan Titchmarsh might dream about after watching ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. Kate Winslet plays a pioneering seventeenth-century gardener in the French court of Louis XIV, and she’s the best thing about the film. Wearing a corset so tight that it’s a miracle she can breathe, let alone act, she gives an emotionally switched-on performance as Sabine de Barra, a woman with nothing to lose after the death of her husband and daughter. Scandalising the court, she applies for a job with André le Nôtre (Matthias Schoenaerts), the real-life landscape architect behind the Gardens of Versailles. Sabine, bosom heaving, bonds with André over the begonias. But the usually excellent Schoenaerts is a big letdown, doing what can only be described as dead-fish acting while sporting a career-killing, straggly haircut. To be fair, he does have to work with some hilarious dialogue: ‘Your heart beats furiously, mine just ticks’. Helen McCrory gives ‘House of Cards’ First Lady Claire Underwood a run for her money in the ruthless-bitch stakes as his viper of a wife, while Alan Rickman, also directing, is as dry as a desert in a drought as Louis.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Film

Aloha

It’s been four years since Cameron Crowe, director of sticky, heartwarming all-American comedies like ‘Almost Famous’ and ‘Jerry Maguire’ last made a film – the very nice but forgettable ‘We Bought a Zoo’. Now he’s back with a Hawaii-set romcom packed with more celebrities than Vanity Fair’s Oscars party. We can’t quite get our heads around the plot. But Bradley Cooper seems to be some kind of military contractor on his uppers. The trailer opens with him getting a royal bollocking from his boss Alec Baldwin. Then he’s off Hawaii to fly planes with Emma Stone and have deep and meaningfuls with his ex (Rachel McAdams). It all looks typically Crowe – sunny and sweet – and we’re enjoying Bill Murray dispensing twinkly, hard-won wisdom in the trailer.

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Film

Terminator Genisys

Precision-tooled yet lacking even the smallest glint of red-eyed emotion or coherence, this fifth 'Terminator' film will make your head hurt. 

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Film

While We’re Young

Maturity is a slippery staircase in the comedies of American indie filmmaker Noah Baumbach. 

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Film

Minions

From sidekicks to centre-stage superstars, the Minions have busted out of the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise and gone rogue in this berserk slice of semi-silent slapstick silliness. Little, yellow, peachy-keen, and essentially useless, the Minions are part of an animated tradition stretching back to the brooms in ‘Fantasia’, the Doozers in ‘Fraggle Rock’ and the aliens in ‘Toy Story’. But can they carry an entire film? The answer – surprisingly, pleasingly and resoundingly – is yes. Cut loose from the family-values slushiness of their parent franchise, the Minions are free to indulge their basest, weirdest, most randomly hilarious instincts. The plot is simple and largely irrelevant. Set before ‘Despicable Me’ in the heady summer of 1968, the film follows three Minions – bossy Kevin, reluctant Stuart and toddler-on-a-sugar-jag Bob – as they search for a new evil master to serve. They fix upon Scarlett Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock), a female super-villain making waves in the global community of evil. The film’s weakest aspect is, perhaps predictably, its human side: Scarlett is little more than a Cruella de Vil clone – though her feckless husband Herb (Jon Hamm) is louchely wonderful. And the geeky idea of a villainous subculture with its own icons and fan conventions feels a bit trite. But the action sequences are wild, the jokes relentlessly dumb-but-smart, and the sheer sense of anything-goes daftness – which reaches a pinnacle when Bob draws the sword from the stone and i

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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See all Time Out film reviews