Arts & Entertainment

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

Penang's best art galleries
Art

Penang's best art galleries

Your art appreciation begins now

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50 things to do in Penang: Arts and culture
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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Street art by Ernest Zacharevic
Art

Street art by Ernest Zacharevic

A look at Penang's most photogenic graffiti art

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Independent bookshops in Penang
Shopping

Independent bookshops in Penang

Where you can score some inspirational reads

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Street art in Penang
Art

Street art in Penang

A guide to George Town's glorious street art

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Latest film reviews and releases

The BFG
Film

The BFG

A little orphan girl is snatched from her bed late at night by a big-hearted vegetarian giant and whisked off to an unwelcoming land of over-sized cannibals in Roald Dahl's much-cherished 1982 book 'The BFG'.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Ghostbusters
Film

Ghostbusters

The all-female reboot of ‘Ghostbusters’ is here – pumped-up, subversive and often very funny.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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The Legend of Tarzan
Film

The Legend of Tarzan

This high-energy, big-budget new spin on the old Tarzan story is fun to watch if you take it as throwaway kitsch. 

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Our Kind of Traitor
Film

Our Kind of Traitor

John le Carré’s novels have undergone some attention-grabbing adaptations in recent years, starting with ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ in 2011 and continuing recently with ‘The Night Manager’ on TV. The latest is ‘Our Kind of Traitor’, based on le Carré’s 2010 spy story. Like ‘The Night Manager’, it’s a globetrotting story of ordinary people dragged into a high-stakes conspiracy that reveals our world to be run by snakes. Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris play Perry and Gail, two pretty average Londoners on holiday in Marrakesh. One night in the hotel bar, Perry befriends Dima (Stellan Skarsgård), a boisterous Russian mafioso who begs him to take information back to the UK and hand it over to British intelligence. Dima’s USB drive contains details of British politicians helping Russian oligarchs launder money through London. In return for the scoop he wants to defect to Britain. Back home, principled but bruised MI6 agent Hector (Damian Lewis) is sympathetic to Dima’s cause, but he struggles to get support for a mission from higher up. The idea of a wimpy British holidaymaker being drawn into a dangerous plot that hops from Paris to the Alps might have you rolling your eyes. However, once you get past some bumps in the road of believability, ‘Our Kind of Traitor’ turns into a brisk, energetic drama, with Anthony Dod Mantle’s photography adding interesting layers to a fairly straightforward plot. In the hands of director Susanna White, this is a less opaque film than some recent l

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Independence Day: Resurgence
Film

Independence Day: Resurgence

The blockbuster arms race officially goes into nuclear meltdown with this insanely OTT sequel to the hugely enjoyable, already-ludicrous-enough 1996 alien invasion smash. Never a man to shy away from a world-ending special effect – remember that tidal wave cresting Everest in ‘2012’? – director Roland Emmerich is trying really hard to outdo himself here. So hard that he ends up painted into a corner, with no recourse but to throw everything at the screen and hope that some of it sticks. So instead of the city-sized ships that terrorised Earth in the first movie, there is one massive mothership more than 3,000 miles across, spanning the entire Atlantic ocean. And instead of an Earth resistance force led by plucky jet pilots, humans have taken the alien technology and developed their own super-speed X-wing style dogfighters. And instead of a ranting, dire-warning Jeff Goldblum... well, he was already larger than life.Weirdly, the only thing not extra-huge is the running time – and that’s where the problems arise. ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ is crammed with pornographic destruction and madcap action, not to mention almost all the characters from the first movie (minus Will Smith) plus a heap of new ones – and it’s only two hours long. So it’s goodbye to proper character development and the slow-build tension that made the first film such a thrill, and hello to exposition delivered at double speed and a cop-out ending that makes absolutely no sense. Which isn’t to say ‘Resurge

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Alice Through the Looking Glass
Film

Alice Through the Looking Glass

This follow-up to Tim Burton’s 2010 ‘Alice in Wonderland’ brings back most of the same team (though Burton has stepped back to be a producer), and the same high-energy and bucketful of 3D digital effects approach. Mia Wasikowska returns as the eminently sensible Alice, who has been adventuring on the high seas since we last saw her (a little anachronistically, considering this is the 1800s). Now she must battle male chauvinism to follow her dreams back on dry land. The story bears little relation to Lewis Carroll’s novel. Instead, screenwriter Linda Woolverton aims for a sequel that also serves as a prequel, with plenty of flashbacks to the past lives of the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), White Queen (Anne Hathaway) and Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter). It’s Alice’s job, after tumbling through the mirror and returning to Underland, to negotiate with a brand new character, volatile almost-villain Time (Sacha Baron Cohen, on high-camp, slightly grating form) to save Hatter, who’s dying from a broken heart. The film’s pace barely leaves you time to think – blink and you’ll lose the plot. But there’s plenty of imagination here to honour the spirit of Carroll’s topsy-turvy tales, even if the emotional resolutions are of a distinctly twenty-first-century sort.

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