Thursday, January 3, 2008

What's Up In Malaysia 2008

There's probably a plethora of stuff coming up in 2008 of which I'm not aware. But the ones I'm aware of I already knew in 2007 that they were going to happen. Here are a few things to look out for:

Yasmin Ahmad's new film, completed last year, has yet to be shown anywhere in the world It's possibly opening in Singapore in March or April, and the Singapore censors have passed it uncut. It's laso possibly opening here in Malaysia after Singapore. This time it's no longer an autobiographical story about Orked and family, but a drama about two Muslim girls who run away from a bad home and befriend a Catholic schoolteacher. I've seen three versions of the film, including the final cut, and I predict it's going to generate very mixed responses from extreme ends of the spectrum.

Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang
Mamat Khalid's Zombi Kg Pisang was riotous, satirical fun, the rare contemporary Malaysian comedy with a point. KMBM will be released soon, and it has some plus points already going for it. Response from the preview screening has been largely favourable, and the trailer looks absolutely ravishing.

James Lee doing a blood-and-gore horror movie with a monster stalking girls in a college? The washing machine guy known for his ponderous films now taking a plunge into visceral supernatural horror? Well, it is happening.

Johnny Bikin Filem
One-and-a-half decades in the making, or rather, made and kept in the vault for 15 years, Prof Anuar Nor Arai's noir thriller is finally going to see the light of day, or at least the light of the projector's bulb. The original cut was reportedly five-and-a-half hours long. But we're getting the two-hour version in the cinemas.

Jarum Halus
The Malaysian updated version of Othello. Its trailer looks pretty good, but can first-time feature director Mark Tan pull it off? He's got a cast of largely newcomers, except for veteran actor Rahim Razali and Juliana Ibrahim, who had an impressive role in Yasmin Ahmad's Gubra.

Cicakman 2
Not much information on this sequel, except that one of the extras on the film leaked some photos of the production. Actually, it can't really be confirmed that those photos are of Cicakman 2, but speculation has it that they are. Whatever. The first film was a big bore - not much action for a superhero film. Let's see what they'll do with this.

The novel of the film has been out a long time, the TV series has been aired. Now apparently the film will finally be released this year. Or is it? Do we trust any news about Susuk anymore?

Evolusi KL Drift
If you think the Initial D craze has long gone, well you're wrong. Our very own 2 Fast 2 Furious is set to drift along the roads this year. After Impak Maksima last year, dare we hope that this will actually be a good automobile action film?

BS21: Brainscan
If this were a serious sci-fi drama, that title would be professional suicide. But since this is a sci-fi comedy, it might prove self-deprecating. But since this is directed by Ahmad Idham of Jangan Pandang Belakang infamy, it could well revert to being a self-destructive title. Heh.

Antoo Fighter
Fantasy-horror-whatever that tries to look like an epic LOTR-meets-Ghostbusters, but comes across more like a knock-off of Miike Takashi's The Great Yokai War. It still looks like it could be a hell of a lot of fun. Let's hope it is.

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