Arts & Entertainment

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

Spotlight on: 'Thunderstorm'
Theatre

Spotlight on: 'Thunderstorm'

The Malaysian restaging of Chinese playwright Tsao Yu's 'Thunderstorm', directed by Dato Faridah Merican and starring Patrick Teoh and Carmen Soo

The best film screenings in KL this month
Film

The best film screenings in KL this month

When the latest blockbusters just wouldn't cut it, head to these film screenings for documentaries, local films and festival picks

Ghost in the Shell
Film

Ghost in the Shell

‘Humanity is our virtue,’ says a character in ‘Ghost in the Shell’ — but you don’t get that feeling from the film, which is a slick, overly-digitised piece of weightless future schlock

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
Sneak peek: Escape from the SEA art exhibition
Blog

Sneak peek: Escape from the SEA art exhibition

‘Escape from the SEA’ is a group exhibition by The Japan Foundation KL in collaboration with the National Art Gallery and Art Printing Works (APW). Here are some of the works you can expect at this exhibition

New art spaces and galleries to check out in KL
Art

New art spaces and galleries to check out in KL

We check out some of the newest art spaces and galleries around the city – from Kampung Attap all the way to Klang. Now go earn some #CultureVulture points.

Latest film reviews and releases

Get Out
Film

Get Out

This American horror film has more fun playing with racial tensions than with scaring us to death, which for some will be a bit of a letdown. The problem with ‘Get Out’ is that it is perhaps a touch too in love with its big idea: that for a young African American man, meeting your white girlfriend’s parents might be hazardous to your health. (Even if they do say that they ‘would have voted for Obama a third time’). Serious young photographer Chris (British actor Daniel Kaluuya), clearly adores Rose (Allison Williams, Marnie from ‘Girls’). Still, their trip out of the city to her family’s secluded mansion in the suburbs fills him with dread. That deer they crash into on the drive up doesn’t help Chris’s fraying nerves – and the way the animal stares him down during its last gasps feels like a warning. ‘Get Out’ is sharp and cutting during its build-up. Rose’s parents (Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford) are awkwardly ingratiating, making a comic meal out of white liberal privilege (‘Hug me, my man!’ Rose’s neurosurgeon dad exclaims meeting Chris). Meanwhile, the family’s black servants disquietingly look on like wide-eyed zombies. The writer-director of ‘Get Out’ is Jordan Peele, one half of the defunct Comedy Central show ‘Key & Peele’. While you can’t help but cheer his debut film’s ambitions, the discipline he found in skit-writing is lost here. Many of the brightest moments in ‘Key & Peele’ were miniature nightmares in themselves – like their classic sketch ‘Continen

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Ghost in the Shell
Film

Ghost in the Shell

‘Humanity is our virtue,’ says a character in ‘Ghost in the Shell’ — but you don’t get that feeling from the film, which is a slick, overly-digitised piece of weightless future schlock. It’s a remake of a 1995 Japanese anime, which itself was mainly a chance to ogle a bodacious female android who blows stuff up in a story similar to ‘Blade Runner’. This new live-action version plays like animation redone as yet more animation: a computer-rendered skyline swarming with fake Godzilla-size holograms is patrolled by teams of tech-implanted detectives who act like plastic robots because that’s basically what they are. A stink has been made about the casting of Scarlett Johansson as our ostensibly Asian hero, the Major, a commando prone to swan-diving off buildings while hunting down corporate evil. That’s like opening a can of worms when you’re in a vat of pythons. There’s much more to worry about: Johansson is trapped in a role that requires little of her than to fill the contours of a flesh-coloured bodysuit. The soulfulness Johansson explored as an alien in ‘Under the Skin’ is absent; her action scenes are too few and too tame. When stone-faced Japanese actor ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano is the most human element in your movie, something’s wrong. Director Rupert Sanders (‘Snow White and the Huntsman’) serves up imagery from the original: briefcases that convert into machine guns; a pool of white goo that hatches Johansson’s sleek, nude form; weirdly empty city streets (who are all t

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
The Boss Baby
Film

The Boss Baby

Do you have a six-year-old? Are they conversant in office politics? Do they love intricate, mind-scrambling existentialist narratives that lead nowhere? Then hurry them along to this deeply strange but somehow also very dull family cartoon comedy. The setup is just plain odd: before birth, the film reveals, all babies are sorted into two categories. The majority travel to earth, where they become part of a family. The rest are trained as managers in Babycorp, the company responsible for the manufacture of babies (don’t over-think it, because that way madness lies). When promising recruit The Boss Baby (gravel-voiced by Alec Baldwin like he’s reading rejected ‘30 Rock’ scripts) is sent to earth on a secret mission that’s way too silly to go into, he goes undercover with the Templeton family. But their existing seven-year-old Tim (Miles Bakshi) isn’t best impressed with his new baby brother. ‘The Boss Baby’ is one of those snarky, post ‘Shrek’ cartoons that desperately wants to appeal to parents as well as kids, but its snappy, pop-culture-referencing script feels workshopped to death (there’s a running joke about Gandalf that’s bafflingly unfunny). Undemanding kids might get a kick out of its jazzy, restless visual style and poo jokes, but grown-ups may well find themselves taking some impromptu nap time.

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
Beauty and the Beast
Film

Beauty and the Beast

The virtue of courage is high up on the list of Disney princess must-haves (just below kindness, beauty and a strapping prince in tight trousers). And three cheers for director Bill Condon and star Emma Watson for having the courage to make a live-action musical adaptation of the adored 1991 animation with 2017 gender politics and a diverse cast. Not only is Belle the most feminist Disney princess ever, 'Beauty and the Beast' also features the first (and second) ever interracial kiss in a live-action Disney movie and the first openly gay character in a Disney movie fullstop. And it's all done with a lovely feeling of integrity too.This is a lavish pull-out-all-the-stops musical. Watson brings sincerity to the role of Belle, the only bookworm in the village in eighteenth-century France. (Her singing isn’t bad either). Luke Evans is hilarious as her sexist meathead suitor Gaston, whose charming chat-up lines include: ‘Do you know what happens to spinsters in the village when their fathers die? They beg for scraps.’ Josh Gad (Olaf the snowman in ‘Frozen’) is his adoring sidekick Le Fou. The pair’s get-a-room bromance is a highlight.Belle’s inventor dad (Kevin Kline) is on his way to market when he takes a wrong turn and finds himself locked in the gothic castle belonging to Beast (Dan Stevens from ‘Downton’, hiding behind a furry face). Of course, the Beast is actually a dashing prince, transformed by a kind witch as punishment for his cold-heartedness. Only true love – as Célin

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

Film and TV features

Dain Said interview
Film

Dain Said interview

The charismatic filmmaker talks identity, literature and his distaste for nostalgia

U-Wei Haji Saari interview
Film

U-Wei Haji Saari interview

Director U-Wei Haji Saari talks about his latest film, ‘Hanyut’, and the lost art of storytelling

Everything you need to know about ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’
Film

Everything you need to know about ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

From trailers to casting news, details about sequels and the release date – here’s everything you need to know about JK Rowling’s new movie set in the wizarding world of Harry Potter

Umapagan Ampikaipakan interview
Film

Umapagan Ampikaipakan interview

Umapagan Ampikaipakan strolls along eight of the city’s most prominent streets in his new TV show ‘Every Street Tells a Story’