So you’re not one of those people who enjoy the Marina Bay countdown shenanigans, making merry in the sand, or partying it up until the clock strikes midnight; not to worry. There’s no one right way to spend the last day of the year, so for the homebodies who hate human contact, we pulled together some screen recommendations you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

Before Sunrise

An oldie but a goodie, 1995 romantic drama Before Sunrise tells the tale of two strangers who fall in love over the course of a night and good conversation. Jesse (Ethan Hawke), a young American man, meets Celine (Julie Delpy), a young French woman, on a train in Europe; on a whim, the two disembark in Vienna and spend the night walking around the city and getting to know each other.

Don’t expect a grand plot; the film focuses on the depth of conversation between the two young, idealistic individuals, who ruminate on genuinely stirring beliefs that will have you tearing up and/or nodding furiously throughout the film. Should you fall in love with the couple (and their all-inspiring dialogue courtesy of writer and director Richard Linklater) by the end, there are two sequels that continue the story nine and 18 years after the first film respectively.

How To Be Single

Here’s one for the romance cynics who have no one to kiss when the clock strikes midnight. Despite its cheesy title, this 2016 film is actually a poignant narrative of self-discovery masquerading as a slapstick rom-com. Sit back and settle in for a string of poorly handled relationships, undertaken by a star-studded ensemble comprising Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann and Alison Brie. Adapted from a novel of the same name, How to Be Single gets in a good number of gags while weaving in multiple storylines that still manage to hold their emotional weight. Bonus: There are a few festive scenes of New Year’s Eve that will tie in nicely to your real-time mood.

Les Misérables

It was a 50-50 split when the 2012 musical drama film Les Miserables first hit cinemas; some hated the singing, others the 158-minute run time. Six years later, Victor Hugo’s classic story is getting another shot onscreen. A new non-singing adaptation by BBC is spinning the rich material into a six-episode mini-series premiering 31 December in Singapore. You’ll still get to see Jean Valjean’s (Dominic West) steady redemption from former convict to respected mayor; but fans will be pleased to know that the show is devoting significant screen time to Fantine, played here by the lovely Lily Collins, and her life before destitution.

The Hangover

While everyone else is out prepping for an actual hangover the next morning, get your own fix a safe cinematic distance away with the epic comedy trilogy of The Hangover that first premiered in 2009. For the uninitiated, Bradley Cooper and Co. spend a wild night in Las Vegas throwing a bachelor party – and spend the rest of the film trying to recall what happened, along with finding the lost groom. Understandably, the two sequels, which pretty much follow the same narrative arc, don’t quite match the first in freshness (how innovative can you get with the same concept?). But overall, the trilogy is dumb, loud, and deliciously entertaining for a chill night in away from real idiots noise.

Black Mirror

Let’s be real; society as we know it is getting progressively dystopian and international politics are going to run civilisation into the ground. Who’s to say 2019 will be any better? If you enjoy an unhealthy dose of pessimism and despair, kick off the New Year with a wake-up call from TV’s most depressing but realistic sci-fi anthology (which you can stream on Netflix). In no particular order, some of our favourite episodes include White Bear, Playtest, The Entire History of You, and Hang The DJ. And for fans well-versed with the series – the US drop of Black Mirror’s Season 5 is coming real soon (28 December); so now’s the best time to rewatch the first four seasons in anticipation.

A version of this article first appeared on SG Magazine.

More related stories: Ring In 2019 At These Unforgettable Year-End Countdown Parties12 Highly-Anticipated Movies To Watch Out For In 2019

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With a macabre moniker that translates literally to “End of the World”, one would’ve expected J-rock band Sekai No Owari to appear all dark and gloomy – but they were anything but.

Upon stepping into the interview room, we were greeted by the bright-eyed members who were all decked out in their performance get-ups – Fukase in his sharp suit and tousled hair glory, Nakajin looking dapper with a pair of shades, Saori rocking a gorgeous red dress, and of course, there’s DJ Love with his signature clown mask – ahead of their set at F1 Singapore.

 
 
 
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Thank you Singapore for having us🏁🏁🏁🍾🍾 @f1nightrace

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Known for their quirky brand of electropop tunes, Sekai No Owari is no stranger to performing on our shores, having played a solo gig here back in 2017 and now becoming one of the esteemed headlining acts for F1 alongside international artistes like Jay Chou, Dua Lipa and Martin Garrix. We speak to the pop quartet about their unique approach to songwriting, breaking into the US market and more.

End Of The World is a pretty dark name for a band, but your lyrics always have a positive element to them. How does this affect your songwriting process?

We consider ourselves as an entertainment band, so we put a lot of emphasis on what we think our fans like to watch us sing about. We don’t just express the fun aspects of life, but also sadness, anger and all sorts of different emotions – just like movies. There are lighthearted romcoms, there are horror films, so on and so forth. At the end of the day, what we aspire to do is to perform something that others can actually enjoy watching.

We know that the inspiration behind your moniker was because you’ve experienced the lowest period of your life, but what were the highest points of your career so far?

In terms of the highest point of our career, we feel that we are rewriting our record every day. For example, we had a concert in Hong Kong and now we’re able to perform in Singapore for the second time. It’s an ongoing process so we can’t really pinpoint and say that this is the highest point.

 
 
 
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Breaking into the US market admittedly isn’t easy, especially for Asian acts. What were some of the challenges you’ve encountered along the way?

One of the most prominent difficulties is obviously the language, so we had to take a different approach when we make English songs as compared to Japanese tracks. At the end of the day, the music that we’re making has to reach the audience. For the Japanese audience, we have a good idea of how they would respond to our music; but for the overseas fans, it’s kind of difficult to predict what the reception will be like.

At the same time, it’s easy to say that it’s all due to culture differences, but is it really? We can’t generalise our audience because every individual is different in their own ways. We don’t think it’s the correct thing to do because we’re all humans after all. All that matters to us is that we can connect with fans around the world, and it’s all thanks to our music that brings us to so many places. That’s what keeps us going.

You guys have known each other since your childhood days! Tell us a secret of the member next to you that people don’t know about.

Nakajin: Before we made our debut, we were building our own lifehouse called Park Earth. It was around the time when Saori used to wear army pants a lot; she looked almost like Bruce Willis from Die Hard. That was when she looked the coolest ever!

Saori: At our apartment, we have a water dispenser and Fukase has the habit of always leaving his cup on top of the water tank (laughs).

Fukase: From his high school days till he was about 24 years old, DJ Love only owned and wore one pair of shoes. He’d wear the same pair day after day, and after the shoes were damaged, he would throw it away and buy the exact same pair again. That was his rule back then!

DJ Love: Whenever Nakajin goes to the washroom, he takes a long time to come out. Mind you, he wasn’t showering!

 
 
 
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If the members were to swap roles bodies with each other for a day, who would you want to be?

Nakajin: For the rest of us, we all want to be DJ Love because his identity hasn’t been revealed yet and nobody knows what he really looks like so we’re free to do whatever we want to do, eat whatever we want to eat!

Lastly, what’s next for you guys?

We’re in the midst of producing our newest album right now, and after that we wish to tour around Asia. It’s going to be a themed tour!

Check out Sekai No Owari’s latest music video for ‘Illumination’:

Thanks to Sony Music Singapore for the interview opportunity!

More related stories: ONE OK ROCK Talks Global Success And Breaking Asian Stereotypes5 Reasons Why Japanese Heartthrob Koudai Matsuoka Is One To Watch

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We just can’t get enough of #Covinsky, can we? Barely four months after the initial release of romantic comedy To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Netflix has just confirmed that a sequel is in the works – and yes, our favourite onscreen lovebirds Lana Condor and Noah Centineo are onboard for the next instalment!

In an official announcement posted on Lana Condor’s Instagram, the actress is seen pondering over what Christmas gift to get for her TATB costar, Noah Centineo, when she receives a FaceTime from the latter (also, is it just us or is Noah extra cute here?).

Channeling her inner Lara Jean Covey, she says excitedly, “I was literally just thinking about what to get you for Christmas. By the way, if we’re going to do this thing, we’re going to need a new contract.” She adds on, “I am so excited. It’s officially official. We are making the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before sequel!”

And as if news of a sequel isn’t enough to get us all hyped up, Lana then takes a mysterious call and exclaims, “What? You’re going to make the perfect John Ambrose!” For the uninitiated, John Ambrose McClaren plays a major role in the upcoming sequel as Lara Jean’s childhood friend and possible love interest. In the previous film, the character is portrayed by Jordan Burtchett and Lana’s comment seems to be implying that they’ve recasted the role. Any guesses who the new John Ambrose might be?

There’s no word on the release date as of now, but we’ll be sure to keep you guys posted. Meanwhile, excuse us while we binge-watch TATB for the nth time…

More related stories: These Up-And-Coming Netflix Stars Are Your Next Instagram Crushes22 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Noah Centineo

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After dropping a major hint during his appearance for HeadRock VR in November, news is finally out that BIGBANG’s almighty maknae Seungri will be holding his very own solo concert in Singapore as part of The Great Seungri Tour.

Set to be held at The Star Theatre on 23 February 2019, VIPs can look forward to a variety of thrilling performances including solo hits off his latest record as well as a couple of BIGBANG fan-favourites. As a lil’ spoiler, the 28-year-old even included Jennie’s ‘SOLO’, G-Dragon’s ‘Good Boy’ and Taeyang’s ‘Eyes, Nose, Lips’ into his setlist for his recent Osaka concert. We can’t wait to see what other surprises he has up his sleeves!

When it comes to putting on a show, this man certainly knows how to entertain a crowd so you’re sure to be in for a fantastic (baby!) time. And just in case you needed more convincing to attend his concert, this is likely to be his final tour before he enlists for mandatory military service next year – don’t miss your chance to catch Seungri upclose and personal!

The Great Seungri Tour 2019 Live in Singapore

The Great Seungri Tour 2019 Live in Singapore
Date: 23 February 2019 (Saturday)
Venue: The Star Theatre
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $288, $248, $208, $168, $148

Tickets will go on sale 26 December 2018, 10am via APACTix.

Meanwhile, watch Seungri’s latest music video of ‘WHERE R U FROM’ featuring Winner’s Mino:

Entertainment

A Night Of Healing At IU's 10th Anniversary Concert In Singapore

18 Dec 2018 by Chew Hui Ling

If there’s a concert that you absolutely need to see in this lifetime, it’s IU’s. In Singapore for her long-awaited 10th Anniversary Tour Concert <이지금dlwlrma>, the K-pop starlet wasn’t here to just play a show – she knows how to make it one to remember.

Kicking off with a magnificent opening that looked like a scene straight out of an ’80s movie, the 25-year-old pulled out all the stops to deliver a theatric experience like no other, complete with a live band and a solid ensemble of backup dancers decked out in their retro best. But beyond the production value, it’s her voice that really holds it all together. Her emotive vocals shone through power ballads such as the fan-favourite ‘Good Day’, where she effortlessly belted out the legendary three-octave high note – alongside definitive hits from her decade-spanning discography including ‘Marshmallow’, ‘You and I’ and ‘Twenty Three’.

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There were also rare moments when she opened up about her innermost thoughts, allowing fans to see the vulnerable side of her that most people don’t get to witness beneath her happy-go-lucky demeanour. And perhaps it’s this sense of honesty that makes the show seem a lot more intimate, despite all three floors of the concert venue being filled to the brim with local UAENAs (whom she affectionately dubbed as Singaenas).

“I didn’t know I have so many fans here,” the songstress exclaimed upon seeing the 5000-strong crowd. “I’m sorry it took me so long to come. I’ll make tonight’s show a very special one!” True to her words, she certainly didn’t disappoint. Read on for some of the most memorable moments during the almost three-hour set. 

When she professed her love for Singapore

If you follow IU on Instagram, you’d have known that she was in town two days prior to her concert to do some sightseeing around the city – so it’s of no surprise that a huge portion of the show was really just her gushing over how she “fell in love with Singapore” (UGH, how adorable is that?). She even went on to reveal that she’s planning on returning with her family for a holiday next year, “I told my dad and he was really happy about it. I hope I can see all of you again.” We’re crossing our fingers that we get to at least bump into her on the streets!

 
 
 
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When she impressed with her flair for languages

Most K-pop acts usually have an interpreter onsite to help translate every word, but not for IU. The talented singer took us by surprise when she communicated with fans in fluent English throughout the show, to the point where the staff had to nudge her to speak in Korean otherwise according to them, “it won’t be interesting” (although we beg to differ – anything’s interesting with IU!).

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As if we’re not already impressed by her impeccable flair for languages, she caught us off-guard with a surprise rendition of Chinese pop singer Karen Mok’s 1998 classic ‘Love’ – in perfect Mandarin pronunciation, no less. If you close your eyes and listen, you’d think that a native speaker was singing. Karen Mok would be proud!

When she paid tribute to SHINee’s Jonghyun

Just a few days after IU’s concert is the one-year anniversary of Jonghyun’s passing, which would understandably be a tough time for all Shawols. But fans sought solace in IU, as she dedicated ‘Gloomy Clock’ – a song from her third album Modern Times that was written by the late SHINee member – to “the person I really miss”. Switching her mic to a pearl aqua green one (which represents SHINee’s official fanclub colour), the songbird explained that even though it wasn’t intended to be in her setlist, she prepared it as “the song has been a great comfort to me since I made it”.


When she opened up about her past self

From her bubblegum pop roots to the mature singer-songwriter we know and love today, the ‘Palette’ singer has certainly come a long way – but her quest in finding her own voice hasn’t been all that easy. She confessed, “When I was young, even though I received so much love, I used to pay more attention to people who dislike me and write lyrics that are dark. But now, I’ve become a person who can focus more on love.”

She added, “You guys make me a better person, and I’ll continue to write songs that convey more than simple words.” It takes a lot of courage for anybody, let alone an artiste who spends every waking hour under the public scrutiny, to speak up about their inner demons. And for that alone, she deserves major respect.

When she surprised fans with not one, but two encores

Just when we thought the show was over after the credits rolled, IU emerged back on stage for a second encore, causing fans to scramble back to their seats. Dressed in a simple black T-shirt, she gamely took in song requests and apologised for not being able to perform longer as she had a flight to catch. But all was forgiven when she delighted fans with two additional songs (‘The Shower’ and ‘Heart’) and even lifted the ban on videography and photography so that we could capture the last moments. How could you not love IU when she’s such a sweetheart?

IU15

Ending the night on a heartwarming note, she expressed: “Parting is really sad, but it’s not the end. I will never forget what we shared tonight.” Neither will we, IU.

Photo credits: ONE Production

What was your favourite moment of the night? Tell us in the comments below!

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