Netflix Confirms The Witcher: Nightmare Of The Wolf Animated Film

There’s no need for me or anyone to tell you that the Witcher series on Netflix is a massive success. And it looks like it’s big enough of a success that the streaming company has announced a new Witcher animated film. The title of the upcoming movie is The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf.
Netflix confirmed this on Twitter, following rumours of such a show that have been floating around the internet. The studio behind it is Studio Mir, which you may know from The Legend of Korra series. The Witcher series showrunner Lauren Hissrich also tweeted about keeping the animated film a secret for over a year. This suggests that it’s been baking in the background for quite awhile already.

It's a big day here in #TheWitcher world — and I've been keeping this one secret for over a year!
— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) January 22, 2020

For now, there are not many details available about The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf. Casting announcements for the animated film have also not been made just yet. The Verge reports that the show itself will be about “a powerful new threat facing the Continent”, and will expand on the live-action series.
While you wait for more news on The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf though, you should definitely catch up on the Netflix Witcher series. And if you’re into it, you should also get The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on Steam. Incidentally, as part of the currently ongoing PlayStation Store sale, its Game of the Year edition is has a 75% discount going for it, pushing its price down temporarily to just RM60.
(Source: Netflix / Twitter via The Verge)
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Captain Marvel 2 is in the Works and Looking For a New Director

When Marvel Studios announced their phase four slate for the MCU — which consists of the films and TV series that were gonna be released from 2020 to 2021 — it came as a surprise to many that Captain Marvel 2 wasn’t on the list. After all, the film was a big hit, grossing over $US 1.1 billion worldwide (including $US 10 million here in Malaysia) with a $US 152 million production budget. Well, it looks like that’s because Captain Marvel 2 will most likely be a phase five movie, set to hit the big screens in 2022.
Per THR:
Marvel is moving the action from the 1990s to the present day with scribe Megan McDonnell. A sequel to Marvel’s billion-dollar-grossing Captain Marvel is officially in the works. The company has tapped rising scribe Megan McDonnell, a staff writer on the Marvel-based series WandaVision, to pen a script for a follow-up to the 2019 pic that starred Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. McDonnell is in final negotiations to seal her deal.
THR also reports that Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck who co-wrote and directed the first Captain Marvel, will not be returning to direct the sequel. Marvel is currently scouting for their replacement and hopes to land a female director for Captain Marvel 2. The studio is eyeing a 2022 release.
While some might consider the decision to go with a new director surprising given the financial success of the first film, I think it’s for the best. While Captain Marvel was a fun film, it, in my opinion at least, is probably one of the least inspiring Marvel films in recent memory. The film lacks a certain level of style, energy and spirit found in movies like Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and the Russo brothers’ series of films.
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Sony WH-1000XM4 May Be Arriving Soon; Passes SIRIM Certification

Sony’s WH-1000XM3 ANC headphones have been on the market for some time and is inarguably the brand’s most popular audio accessory to date. That said, it appears that the 4th generation of Sony’s headphones may be around the corner, if a product listing on SIRIM is anything to go by.
The SIRIM certification was discovered by the eagle-eyed SIRIM database observer, Kevin Ng TK (@KevinNgTK), with the name of the product, WH-1000XM4, very boldly being listed at the very top of the database. Further, the certification was only grated approval within the last 24 hours, as evidenced by the approval date.
Of course, what’s even more interesting is that, despite the product already being listed in our nation’s product certification database, Sony itself hasn’t formally announced or acknowledged the existence of said product.

@LowyatNET @Soya_Cincau WH-1000XM4 passed SIRIM certification although the product not even launched yet
— Kevin Ng TK (@KevinNgTK) January 22, 2020

As these things usually go, information about the WH-1000XM4 is still scarce and limited. However, if we consider the fact that the product is already in the SIRIM database, it’s highly possible that Sony could be getting ready to launch the product this year. Hopefully, it’ll be sometime within the first half of the year.
(Thanks for the tip, Kevin Ng TK!)
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Toss A Coin To Your Witcher Finally Arrives On Spotify and Apple Music

While some of us felt skeptical about the series when it was first announced for Netflix, The Witcher turns out to be quite fantastic. It became such a hit to the extent that there was a sudden surge of interest on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt even though the Netflix series was based on the book series, rather than the video game trilogy.
At the same time, the hit series also spawned a surprise hit song called “Toss A Coin To Your Witcher”. Composed by Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli, the song appeared in the second episode of the series when it was sung by Jaskier which was played by Joey Batey.

When a humble bardWrote a catchy songYou tweeted and asked usWhat’s taking so long?
The Witcher Soundtrack Vol. 1 debuts everywhere 24 January.
"Toss A Coin" single out now:
— The Witcher (@witchernetflix) January 22, 2020

Despite the song’s popularity, it seemed that Netflix was not ready for song’s sudden rise to fame as the only official way to listen to it is via Soundcloud. That finally changed this week, as Toss A Coin to Your Witcher is now finally available through Apple Music and Spotify.
Not only that, the full soundtrack album will also be release into the world later this week. But let’s focus on what we already have here, hence it is time to put Toss A Coin To Your Witcher on loop.
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Grab, Razer, And AirAsia Considering Malaysian Digital Banking License

The running for Singapore’s digital banking license is currently underway, and it seems that things are gearing up as well for Malaysia. Reuters reports that several companies including Grab, Razer, and AirAsia are among the many that are exploring bids for the local license at this time.
Individuals familiar with the matter have informed the news agency that these companies have begun talking to consultancies in regards to digital banking. They added that “many financial and non-financial institutions” are currently assessing market opportunities and working with “external parties.” The individuals listed Grab, Razer, AirAsia, Ant Financial (formerly known as AliPay), Axiata, as well as local banks including Hong Leong Bank, Maybank and CIMB are considering the license.
According to Reuters, Razer Fintech CEO Lee Li Meng said that the company had extensive operations in Malaysia in the digital payment space and would evaluate the digital banking opportunity. The gaming firm opened a local office in Bangsar South last year, which focuses on its e-wallet business and eSports push in Malaysia.

Boost e-wallet owners Axiata also told the news agency that they are interested in applying for the license, but provided no further information other than that.
On the other hand, companies such as Grab, AirAsia, CIMB, and Hong Leong Bank declined to comment regarding this matter, while Ant Financial said that it was too early for them to provide any information.
Interestingly, Maybank declined specific comment but told Reuters that it could also operate as a digital bank under its existing licence.

As previously reported, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had announced plans back in December to issue up to five licenses to new online banks back. BNM had addressed that bidders whose equity is controlled by local companies are preferred, and that digital banks are not allowed to open any physical branches with the exception of a sole physical office for communication purposes. The proposed licensing framework is set to be finalised by the end of June of this year.
(Source: Reuters | Header image: Reuters.)
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The Ghost Bride Interview With Directors and Showrunner

The Ghost Bride is an adaptation of a New York Times bestseller of the same name created by Yangsze Choo. Set in 180s Colonial Malacca, Li Lan has been offered a marriage proposal from the wealthy Lim Family to become the “ghost bride” to their recently deceased son. The six-episode drama is directed by award-winning Malaysian directors Quek Shio-Chuan (Guang) and Ho Yu-Hang, written by an international team of screenwriters led by American-Taiwanese TV writer Kai Yu Wu (Hannibal, The Flash), and stars Wu Kang Ren, Huang Peijia, Ludi Lin (Power Rangers) and Tian Tze Kuang.

Recently, Dashran got the chance to sit with The Ghost Bride directors and showrunner, Zainir Aminullah to have a short discussion on the series.
In the video we discuss:

What exactly is the role of a showrunner in a series like this? (The showrunner did not pen the script nor direct an episode.)
The vision and direction for the show.
The directors have different styles and are from different generations. How did their styles complement each other? (Who directed the “real world” stuff and who helmed the more “fantasy” elements?)
What are they like on set?
Changes made when adapting the book to the series? (Non-spoiler, don’t worry.)
What did the directors learn from each other?

The Ghost Bride drops on Netflix today, 23 January 2020.

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Digi To Utilize Time Infrastructure To Expand Its Home Fibre Service

Digi and Time dotCom have jointly announced a brand-new partnership that will help expand the footprint of Digi Home Fibre services. Under this new deal, Digi will be utilizing Time’s fibre infrastructure to reach out to more customers.
Done in the name of National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) as well as government’s call for more cooperation among the industry players, among customers that would benefit from this partnership are those who reside at condominiums and apartments.
Prior to this announcement, Digi already has a number of existing cooperation with multiple access providers that provides the foundation for its Home Fibre service. Aside from TNB (and now Time) though, the telco stated that it was not at liberty to disclose the providers’ name when we reached out to them for clarification back in April 2019.
At the moment, the Digi Home Fibre service can be obtained for RM 99 per month with speed of 50Mbps while the 100Mbps, 500Mbps, and 1Gbps are priced at RM 129, RM 159, and RM 199. Its coverage area currently includes Klang Valley, Jasin, Penang, and Sabah.
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Star Wars: The Clone Wars Final Season Gets an Awesome Trailer

Star Wars is beyond just the movies. The extended canon, be it live-action series, animated series, novels, comics or games are filled with delicious stories. The best of the lot may just be Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The animated series which ran for six seasons from 2008 to 2014, is set in between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith and centres around the intergalactic war more commonly known as the Clone Wars. Unfortunately, the series got cancelled before showrunner Dave Filoni got the chance to end his story proper.
However, now that the House of Mouse owns Star Wars and have launched their streaming platform Disney+, the show has been resuscitated. This February will see the release of the 7th and final season of Clone Wars drop on Disney’s streaming platform, which is still sadly unavailable in Malaysia.
Check out the spine-chilling trailer for the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Just a quick note if you’re planning to watch the first six seasons of The Clone Wars for the first time. The series was aired out of order, for various reasons. So, for the best viewing experience, check out the proper episode order here.
Disney+ will also be the home to other Star Wars extended canon stories. The first season of The Mandalorian just wrapped up and the studio is also currently working on a Cassian Andor series and an Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor. Apart from that, Disney+ also includes older episodes of The Clone Wars as well as the entirety of Star Wars: Rebels.
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PlayStation Store New Season Sale Features Discounts Of Up To 85%

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has announced another sale on the PlayStation Store, called the New Season Sale. Featured are discounts of up to 85%, as well as a 25% discount on PlayStation Plus subscriptions.
Featured in the sale are discounts of new and acclaimed titles such as Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding. Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is another good game that’s got a discount going. These titles are getting a discount of 30% and 35% respectively, on both their standard and deluxe editions.

You can also get a 25% discount off the usual 12-month PS Plus subscription price. You can also get four extra months on your subscription if you buy the physical PS Plus subscription card from PlayStation authorised dealers, Sony Stores or selected convenience stores.
These discounts will be running until 3 February 2020. To get the four extra months of PS Plus membership, though, you’ll have to buy and redeem the subscription card by 4 February.
(Source: PlayStation Asia / Facebook)
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Dolittle Review: Robert Downey Jr Stars in an Incredibly Boring Affair

This is a spoiler-free review of Dolittle…
Last year saw the release of Cats — a complete and utter trainwreck and a meme spawning machine. Here’s the funny thing about that sh*t show: It’s made by a man with a vision. There is passion dripping out of every frame. It has the swagger and bravado of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Everybody on set, behind and in front of the camera, were convinced they were making a 21st-century musical masterpiece. It’s one of those epic cinematic ballcancers, like The Room and Batman & Robin, that force movie critics to stretch their literary wings and write something funny worthy of its legendary status.
Dolittle is not that movie.
It feels like it’s made by a large committee of people in suits and ties slicing and dicing away as they please. It feels like that because that’s literally what happened. The film was originally co-written and directed by Stephen Gaghan who won a Screenplay Oscar for Traffic and was nominated for his writing in Syriana. But apparently, test audiences didn’t like his version of Dolittle, so one of the writers of The Lego Batman movie was brought in for significant re-writes and the director of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was hired to handle reshoots. I’m curious to know what Gaghan’s original vision for this thing was. It could’ve been bad, but I’m almost certain it wouldn’t have been as lifeless and rhythmless as what I actually saw on the big screen yesterday. Dolittle is 160 minutes of an ECG machine connected to a dead person — a flatline.

The film opens in stylistically animated form introducing Dr. John Dolittle, the veterinary who has the unique gift of being able to converse with animals. He travelled the world helping animals and on one of his adventures, met the love of his life, Lily. One day, as Lily was sailing across the ocean, her ship was engulfed by large waves, ending her life. As the movie chugged along, I couldn’t help by wonder why that animated prologue, that tragic romance wasn’t the actual movie. It’s infinitely more engrossing than what we actually had to sit through.
After losing Lily, Dr. Dolittle is now a recluse. One day he’s summoned by the Queen of England, who’s on her deathbed. She’s been poisoned. So Dolittle has to traverse across the narrow sea to find a magical antidote that can cure her. The premise is fine, but the film doesn’t feel like the adventure of a lifetime. There are no clues, no interesting and thrilling obstacles to overcome, no memorable set pieces nor an epic musical score. It’s as bland as watching wet paint dry.
It’s just baffling the sheer amount of talent involved in this project but nobody is able to come up with anything remotely stimulating. (I know I shouldn’t be baffled by this since my opening paragraph was about effing Cats but just roll with my punches, ok?) How is it that you enlist Danny Elfman (Beetlejuice, Batman 1989) as the composer and aren’t able to extract even a fraction of a beat that’s noteworthy?

I don’t believe Robert Downey Jr when he said this is his passion project. Fantasy films are filled with wacky characters. Lord Voldermort, Luna Lovegood and the wackiest of all, Captain Jack Sparrow come to mind. But these characters feel alive. They’re flesh and blood. They have hearts that thump according to the pulse of the films. They fit seamlessly with the tone of their respective worlds. Here RDJ in his first non-Marvel role since 2014, is so over-the-top and excessive, you wince almost every time he’s on-screen. Seeing as how he’s on-screen almost every second of the movie, by the end of it, your face will be permanently disfigured from all the wincing. His accent is godawful and his body language always extra. You know how some dads try to mimic funny characters to try and make their newborns laugh but end up making them cry instead? Ya, that’s RDJ as Dr. Dolittle.
The rest of the characters suck as well. Sure, the CGI animals LOOK fine, but they lack even an iota of personality, unless you count little ticks like “anxiety” personality. They’re all voiced by supremely talented people (Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, John Cena, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer) but not one of them say anything remotely funny. Of course, it’s not their fault. What can you do if you’re handed pieces of paper with scribbles on them where they should’ve been lines of humorous dialogue. Even the villainous characters played by Antonia Banderas and Michael Sheen look like they’re part of a skit on an SNL stage. Nobody comes alive, not even for a second.

The thing is, this movie isn’t BAD in the sense that there are convoluted and contrived plot points, poor character motivation and the likes. It’s not the kind of film that makes my head explode at the utter stupidity that I’m witnessing. It’s just as lifeless as my mom’s potted plants when she goes out of town and leaves watering duties to me. After a while, I just closed my notebook (yes, I take notes at the movies like a loser nerd) and resigned myself to this aggressively below average affair, trying very hard not to fall asleep.
After the film, a number of people asked me if I’m being too harsh on a family/kids movie. But here’s my response. When I was seven, wide-eyed and clueless, my dad brought me to see a little movie called Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone. That too is a movie aimed at families and kids. It changed my life forever. When I was 10, I watched Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and was blown away by the swashbuckling adventure, the glorious set pieces and Hans Zimmer’s iconic score. But if your idea of a kids movie is watching Iron Man stick his hand up a dragon’s butt to pull out bagpipes and the dragon lets out a huge fart, then by all means. I’m just not going to be taking my kids to see Dolittle, mostly because I’m not married and don’t have kids, but also because I never want to see a dragon fart ever again.
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