All posts by Wing Fei Wong

Double 0-Penguin: The Birds are Back and Ready to Save the World

Even before stepping into the movie theater, I was entertained. The thought of Benedict Cumberbatch voicing a James Bond figure in wolf form was entertaining; the thought of John Malkovich voicing the Bond villain octopus was enough to get my giggle started. And of course, this wasn’t my first meeting with the penguins: in the Madagascar franchise, they are loose cannons with border-line illegal backup plans and crafty tricks up their flippers. They also happen to have their own spin-off television show, so the decision to give them a movie raises some questions about how much penguin adorability audiences can handle. However, I happen to have an unhealthy obsession with feathered flightless birdies, so you can bet your behind that I sat mine down in that theater seat, questions be damned. Continue reading Double 0-Penguin: The Birds are Back and Ready to Save the World

Viral: When Epidemics Hit Cinema

15935 cases. 5689 deaths. No end in sight.

So far, the 2014 Ebola Outbreak is spiraling down the path of a Hollywood disaster movie, but without the happy ending. It makes me wonder then what cinema will make of this terrifying global epidemic. Can it resist adding Ebola to its list of new disaster plots, from financial ruin, terrorist attacks, and severe climate change? Doubtful. Which is why I believe it’s worth revisiting films that arose under similar conditions, films like Outbreak (1995) and Contagion (2011). These “epidemic films” are similar in premise: a deadly pathogen is spreading in susceptible populations, and a group is tasked to save humanity. But where does salvation lie? And what can we learn from cinema’s attempt to grapple with a very real and terrifying epidemic? Continue reading Viral: When Epidemics Hit Cinema