New On Screen: October

A kidnapping, an unlikely spy, and an alien invasion are all set to keep you riveted this month.

By Yong Shu Chiang      15 October 2021

The Guilty

Out now, Netflix

Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough

A police officer under investigation (Gyllenhaal) is working the night shift at a 911 emergency hotline call centre a day before a court hearing to determine his return to active duty. He fields a series of monotonous calls, many related to a large wildfire in a Los Angeles neighbourhood, before picking up the call of a suspected abductee. Fearing for her life, he uses his instincts to try to track her down, before realising that she is in a moving van, and that the kidnapper has discovered her call.

Jake Gyllenhaal: Versatile actor? Guilty as charged

A prolific actor known for his intense roles, the Oscar-nominated star of Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain recently joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Some fans may know Jake Gyllenhaal for his Oscar-nominated turn in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain (2005) opposite the late, great Heath Ledger.

Yet others may know him for the cult classic movie Donnie Darko (2002), which launched his career and also starred his actress older sister, Maggie.

Some of the prolific actor’s more well-known movies over the last two decades include October Sky, Zodiac, Prince of Persia, Source Code, End of Watch, Nightcrawler and Stronger. It’s clear from his filmography that Gyllenhaal is not constrained by different roles and genres.

But he probably found a whole new generation of fans by starring opposite Tom Holland in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. In it, he played an apparent ally and friendly mentor-figure Quentin Beck / Mysterio to Holland’s Peter Parker / Spider-Man.

On screen, Gyllenhaal has more often than not been known for taking on difficult, intense roles. Off screen, he has a warm and offbeat public persona. At various times, he has also been held up as a sex symbol by various magazines.

In more recent years, the 40-year-old Los Angeles native has taken on more responsibility as a producer, helping to usher in films like Stronger, in which he played a Boston Marathon bombing survivor, and last year’s The Devil All the Time, which starred Holland and Robert Pattinson.

Gyllenhaal is both producer and leading man in his next high-profile project, The Guilty, a remake of a Danish thriller that is now streaming on Netflix.

Game Changer

Out Now In Cinemas

Stars: Pitawat Prusakit, Isara Kitnitchee, Sim Kyutae

The four young aides of a big-city crime boss are thrust into a dangerous situation when their leader dies unexpectedly. Instead of accepting that their gang, one that has been getting paid in dirty money by a number of competing gangs across the city when the boss was still alive, is finished, they decide to maintain a charade. By going to extreme lengths to keep their leader’s death a secret, they profit and thrive off the backs of their criminal partners, keep the police at bay, and step closer to the precipice.

Ron’s Gone Wrong

Out In Cinemas 21 October

Stars: Zach Galifianakis, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ed Helms

A socially awkward teenager (Grazer) struggles to fit in with the kids around him. In a world where everyone that matters is on social media, he feels left behind, until his father (Helms) buys him a high-tech B-bot, a robot and his digitally-connected “best friend out of a box”. It doesn’t take long for him to realise that his B-bot, Ron (Galifianakis), is a little weird and unconventional; he’s missing some programming code that would help him conform. Together, they get up to mischief and learn about true friendship.

The Courier

Out In Cinemas 21 October

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel Brosnahan, Merab Ninidze

In the midst of the Cold War, a British businessman gets recruited by intelligence agencies to play a pivotal role in an international conflict. The unlikely spy, a man named Greville (Cumberbatch) who considers himself “just a salesman”, makes repeated trips to Moscow ostensibly on business, in order to stay in touch with his Soviet contact Oleg (Ninidze). Together, they are to gather intelligence on suspected nuclear missiles being transported to Cuba, while being watched at all times.

Under The Open Sky

Out now, Projector Plus

Stars: Koji Yakusho, Taiga Nakano, Seiji Rokkaku

A reformed gangster (Koji), having paid his debt to society, attempts to reintegrate into normal, everyday life after his release from prison. While his job search leads him down several dead ends, in a world that has moved on without him, his attempt to find his long-lost mother attracts the attention of a TV director, who wants to document his story. As his struggles come to a head, he grows frustrated with those who want to help him, those who cannot and those who continue to judge him for his past.


Out 22 October, Apple TV+

Stars: Sam Neill, Shamier Anderson, Golshifteh Farahani

Five ordinary human beings, including a law enforcement officer (Neill), a soldier and a woman who works at a space agency, go about their day without an inkling of what is still to come. We observe this fateful day through their eyes as news reports of strange goings-on and attacks around the world start to add up to an inescapable conclusion: Earth is in the midst of an alien invasion. How will humanity react to this threat, and what part will these five individuals have to play?


SAFRA Tampines Upgrades

Fresh from an improvement, this clubhouse celebrates the new milestone with much fanfare.

Never The Twain Shall Meet?

As two disparate food cultures, Spanish tapas and Asian hotpot could not be more different. Or are they?

Master Commander

Ruminations of National Service and fatherhood.