Must-see MVs

Tinashe flaunts her curves while Coldplay cycles through Mexico City in their new music videos

COLDPLAY - A HEAD FULL OF DREAMS

Directed by US film-maker James Marcus Haney, the video starts off with Charlie Chaplin's monologue from 1940's The Great Dictator and the English rock band cycling through Mexico City towards Foro Sol, the venue of their most recent tour.

The documentary-like footage of fans singing along and waving their arms injects sentimentality, bringing back memories of the band's musical journey so far.

Authentic and moving, this MV will leave you in high spirits.


EXO - LOTTO

The K-pop boy band is back with their latest MV and we're all in for a big treat.

The members cement their "bad boy" image against a dark and gloomy setting and gorgeously-shot scenes of gambling and drinking.

Besides being a platform to showcase their good looks, the MV also shows off the boys' new, suave choreography.


TINASHE - SUPERLOVE

The US singer-songwriter takes it to the beach for her latest offering.

She wriggles her butt and flaunts her curves in a sexy red bikini, portraying a lifeguard who saves male swimmers from drowning.

Tinashe's hotness is bound to make male viewers drool but her smooth moves, choreographed by JaQuel Knight, will also leave female viewers swooning at the screen.

Foodie homecoming

Celebrity Chow with actress Fiona Xie

PRETTY: Fiona Xie and the Maple-Cured Rainbow Trout at French restaurant Jaan.

Prawn noodles - that was the local dish former Mediacorp actress Fiona Xie missed the most when she was based in Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York over the past seven years.

She told M she could "never find prawn noodles that tasted the same as the ones back home".

"The broth was always different," said the 34-year-old who recently returned to Singapore permanently, adding that she "missed the food more than anything".

"That's why whenever I come back, my mum will get everything - from bak kut teh to carrot cake - because she knows I'll have a bit of everything."

But Xie, who makes her TV comeback in new Channel 5 drama Left Behind, airing every Monday at 10pm, also appreciates fine dining as much as hawker fare.

Iberico Pork Loin

Speaking to M over a three-course lunch at one Michelin-starred French restaurant Jaan on the 70th storey of Swissotel The Stamford, she said: "I love coming here because the ambience is fantastic and the view is just breathtaking."

Another reason Jaan is one of her favourites: chef Kirk Westaway, who added an appetiser, Maple-Cured Rainbow Trout featuring a beetroot collection served with a side of wasabi, to Xie's meal.

It was followed by his signature Heirloom Tomato, Iberico Pork Loin and Bigarreau Cherry, with another dessert, Gariguette Strawberry, thrown in just for her.

She raved: "The food is amazing. It's so good that I usually just decide on a course and leave it to Kirk to decide what to serve.

"I love his creativity whenever he plates any dish from the kitchen... I love art and feasting. So I get the best of both worlds when I get to (feed) my eyes at the same time."

Jaan is a classy joint that serves artisanal cuisine. Do you enjoy having meals at Michelin-starred restaurants, whether it's back home or abroad?

Yes, I do visit them especially when I'm abroad. It's nice to go to these restaurants especially since I like the way dishes are presented.

But having said that, I'm also the kind of person who will eat at a restaurant and then after that, I'll go have some good ol' bak kut teh or Teochew muay (porridge) for supper at the hawker centre. And that really hits the spot. So, I like both.

At the end of the day, I'll go back to a restaurant after enjoying it the first time because it's about the personal experience and it won't matter if it has a star or no star.

Gariguette Strawberry

What were your favourite foods when you lived abroad?

I'm a comfort food person and I always go to the same places.

In Hong Kong, I went back to this one particular dim sum place almost every day. In New York, I always went to the same Italian or Japanese place. In Shanghai, I ordered a lot of delivery because it was so easy and I do like staying in.

Generally, when women go through break-ups, they lose their appetite and struggle to eat. Was that the same for you when your last relationship ended last year?

Yes, totally - my world ends. I think I lost quite a lot of weight although I'm not sure how much exactly because I don't own a weighing scale.

I just become numb. Ask my friends - I love to eat so for me to not want to eat, they will say "Wow... who are you?"

But it's okay, breaking up is part and parcel of life and I always bounce back.

You cooked quite a bit when you were in Hong Kong and New York. What are some of your specialities?

I liked to boil soup when I was in Hong Kong.

But it depends on what inspires me that day and I'll just follow the recipe - from beef stroganoff to Thai beef salad.

I tried to make prawn noodles once and I quite enjoyed that, but when I wanted to make it again, I couldn't find the recipe online any more and I was quite sad.

Eat-and-run

Food TV host Luke Nguyen had to flee during a raid on street hawkers in Ho Chi Minh City

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AHyrDHytnI&index=1&list=PLlD3QiKcnV0e-KmnSR3mRo36uEr9MtxnZ
FOODIE: Vietnamese-Australian chef and restaurateur Luke Nguyen on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City for the TV series Luke Nguyen’s Street Food Asia.
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Tags: makan, Vietnam and hawker

Li Nanxing: 'I don't have the baby touch'

Li Nanxing says he felt jittery handling the four-month-old because she was so delicate

Li Nanxing.

Even though local actor Li Nanxing famously played a father of quadruplets on the 2003 Channel 8 TV series Baby Boom, it was not as scary as handling a four-month-old infant for the police drama C.L.I.F. 4, which starts next month.

Even after all these years, the 51-year-old still does not have the "baby touch".

What is ironic is that his co-star Rui En does. Ironic because she said, before filming for C.L.I.F. 4 started, that she would rather not work with babies because "they can be difficult (and) do not care that the camera is rolling", though she later retracted her comments.

In C.L.I.F. 4, which premieres on Sept 6 at 9pm, Li reprises his role as Wei Lantian, assistant superintendent of the Criminal Investigation Department and the husband of Rui En's inspector character Huang Zhijie.

This season, they become first-time parents and have a four-month-old girl.

HUSH, LITTLE BABY: Li Nanxing stars alongside Rui En, playing her husband, in the Channel 8 police TV drama C.L.I.F. 4. Their characters have a four-month-old daughter. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/LNXGLOBAL_OFFICIAL

At the show's press conference yesterday, Li told M in a mix of Mandarin and English: "(In Baby Boom), the quadruplets were older. (This baby) was very fragile because she was only four months old, so we had to be patient with her. I felt nervous handling her, especially when she cried. I panicked."

He joked: "Rui En told me, 'Can you treat her more gently?' Whenever Rui En carried the baby, she would be calm, but when I carried her, she would be crying."

Rui En did not attend the press conference because she is on leave. According to Lianhe Zaobao, she is in New Zealand for a month to visit her father, who emigrated from Singapore years ago.

On Rui En's 7kg weight gain for her previous TV drama If Only I Could and the fact that she still appeared chubby in C.L.I.F. 4, Li said: "I think it suits her mum role (here) because it is after her confinement period, where she has to take care of the baby."

Although they have been paired up for three seasons of C.L.I.F., Li said they are not close outside of work.

While in the middle of filming C.L.I.F. 4 in April, the 35-year-old local actress was involved in a high-profile accident at the Clementi Avenue 2 carpark. She was turning right into an open air carpark and lost control of her black BMW, which mounted a kerb and collided with a parked motorcycle.

The episode put her in a bad light with the public, as many were unhappy about the way she handled things initially.

GAVE HER SPACE

Li himself was infamously involved in a drink driving accident in 1997. He was fined $4,000 and given a 30-month driving suspension. He did not offer Rui En advice on how to cope because his case was different from her situation.

He said: "What I did was to give her space to calm herself down because it happened suddenly. We needed to give her time to process and reflect on her own... because everyone makes mistakes.

"I could tell that she was very sad on set (after the accident), but we just had to leave her alone."

Li said Rui En was still a "professional on set" and knew how to separate her personal problem from work.

He also commended the way she apologised and bowed on stage at the Star Awards Show 1 in April, saying: "I think it is up to the individual (on how he handles his own situation), but for her to (do that), I could tell that she was sincere."

Tags: TV, rui en and ACTRESS

MOVIE DATE

Movie Date: Ben-Hur (PG13)

This sub-par bust should rightly be left in the dust

STARRING: Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Morgan Freeman, Rodrigo Santoro

DIRECTOR: Timur Bekmambetov

THE SKINNY: Based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben- Hur: A Tale Of The Christ, the story follows Judah Ben- Hur (Huston), a Jewish prince condemned to slavery by his adoptive Roman brother Messala (Kebbell). Judah manages to escape the galley after a few years and becomes a chariot racer to exact revenge on Messala.


MARS by JASON JOHNSON

I read something really smart on the Internet.

Instead of remaking great movies, why doesn't Hollywood reboot the bad ones?

The idea is that a classic such as the 1959 version of Ben-Hur can't be improved upon, so why bother?

Go upgrade the flicks that need it, like Battlefield Earth or Gigli.

Anyway, this new version of Ben Hur isn't so much a disaster as just a nothing. It's one of those movies that vanishes from your mind as you watch it.

The main problem is its looks. It's visually bland, from the cast to the sets to the visual effects.

The 1959 Ben-Hur had immense interiors, endless exteriors and hordes of extras. It's colourful and filled with little details that delight the eye.

This new Ben-Hur feels claustrophobic in comparison. The shots are too tight. There are not enough people.

The colour palette is limited to the now-ubiquitous brown and blue.

Finally, there is just way too much bad CGI. You never get the idea anything real is actually happening.

It's as if their mission was to take a timeless classic and see how boring they could make it, like it was all a perverse experiment.

Whatever the case, my work here is done.

As I write this final sentence, Ben-Hur shall pass from my consciousness, never to return again.

Ratings: 2/5 stars


VENUS by JOANNE SOH

How can one watch this and not compare it to the famous 1959 version starring Charlton Heston?

Even with the limited technology then, it was a classic in many ways.

It was epic and that's what a sword-and-sandals flick should be.

This US$100 million (S$135m) production has already been labelled as 2016's blockbuster bomb.

That's sad, as Bekmambetov's retelling does have some moments of grandeur, such as the naval battle involving war galleys.

The climactic chariot scenes are arresting though not spectacular.

For me, the main problem lies with Huston.

As talented an actor as he may be - he does the dramatic moments well - there is no fire in his eyes. You don't feel his thirst for revenge or hatred, which is one of the main themes.

Also, with that wispy hair and lanky body, he comes across as soft for a role that needs someone macho.

Even if you don't compare him to alpha male Heston, you need that manly quality to handle such a genre, like Russell Crowe did with Gladiator or Henry Cavill in Immortals.

Huston's gentle good looks are his downfall here.

So by the time you get to the final chariot moments, it is too late to make any connection, as much as you want to.

Ratings: 2/5 stars


THE CONSENSUS: This sub-par bust should rightly be left in the dust

Triumphant Britons return home

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Images of Rio

1 FOR YOU, SON

Swimming great Michael Phelps regained his cherished 200m butterfly Olympic crown, dominating a grudge match with Chad le Clos in which the 2012 champion from South Africa was relegated to fifth place.

Phelps, 31, held off the challenge of young rivals Masato Sakai of Japan and Tamas Kenderesi of Hungary - then enthralled the Olympic Aquatics Stadium crowd with a climb into the stands to share his moment of triumph with three-month-old son Boomer, snuggled in the arms of his mother Nicole Johnson with Phelps' mother Debbie, at their side.

2 DOWN BUT NOT OUT

World-record holder Yohann Diniz's courageous effort in the 50km race walk ended in an eighth-place finish and a stretcher.

The Frenchman set a torrid pace in the sultry heat and led by 1min 40sec at the halfway stage.

He soldiered on through severe intestinal trouble before collapsing at the 38km mark, only to rise and finish the race, 5min 45sec behind winner Matej Toth of Slovakia.

3 SPECTACLE FOR THE SLUMS

The Rio Olympics threw the economic disparities of Brazil into sharp relief. The Aug 5 opening ceremony at the Maracana was low on technology and high on invention - thanks to the economic constraints faced by the recession-hit nation. But the festivities seemed a world away from those watching the fireworks from the Mangueira favela, a slum where some of the poorest live, less than a kilometre from the iconic stadium.

4 GIFT FOR THE GREAT LEADER

North Korean gymnast Ri Se Gwang had tears in his eyes as he stood to attention on the podium, giving a military-style salute as his national anthem blasted out in honour of his vault gold.

The two-time world champion crushed his rivals with the hardest combination then lauded North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"It does not mean anything to me," he said. "It is a gift that I present to my country."

5 FRENCH HORROR

A horrifying injury to French gymnast Samir Ait Said in men's vault qualifying shocked competitors and prompted questions about a scoring system that pushes athletes to try increasingly dangerous moves.

Ait Said snapped the lower part of his left leg in an awkward landing, suffering a double tibia and fibula fracture.

Ait Said had also missed the 2012 Games after breaking his right leg in a vault.

6 FROM BEGGAR TO BRONZE

Middleweight Misael Rodriguez (left) begged for money on Mexico City's streets and buses to fulfil his dream of reaching the Rio Olympics, saying the trip was "well worth all the pain" - despite coming away not with gold but bronze in a division won by Cuba's Arlen Lopez.

7 SPORTSMANSHIP, PLEASE

Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby was jeered out of the Olympic arena after refusing to shake hands with his Israeli opponent Or Sasson (far left), or make the customary post-bout bow. The snub reverberated beyond Rio, with the International Olympic Committee saying the Egyptian Olympic committee "strongly condemned" El Shehaby's action and he was given a strong reprimand.

8 LIGHTNING BOLT STRIKES THRICE

Usain Bolt danced for joy with his Jamaican teammates after anchoring them to a 4x100m victory that sealed his Olympic "triple-triple" - his third straight sweep of the 100m, 200m and 4x100m golds. Bolt, who says Rio was his last Olympics, departed with nine gold medals, level with Carl Lewis and Paavo Nurmi for the most haul among track and field athletes.

"We wanted to win to make Usain immortal and he is immortal," said relay teammate Yohan Blake. - AFP.

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