Movie Review – Sell Out! ($311.0u7!) – Amusing

Yeo Joon Han's Sell Out! ($311.0u7!)

Her name is Rafflesia Pong, a bottom-ranking arts show host who’s disillusioned with “those over-rated underachievers we call artists.” He’s Eric Tan, a product designer who’s just about to learn that it doesn’t pay to be creative. They both work for FONY, a multinational conglomerate whose mission statement, copied from a Taiwanese company, is to be original.

This movie has been around for quite a while and netted itself a number of awards around the World, oddly enough though it’s only launching in Malaysia in May 2009! It’s the first Malaysian movie to secure a theatrical release in Italy.

Anyway after viewing the trailer I was quite interested to see the movie and headed down to check out the premiere earlier this week.

The trailer is here:

The movie is a brave effort crossing a number of genres and not having an real plot to hold them together. It’s more of a statement about art, society and Malaysian culture (there are a LOT of cultural references) and it takes swipes at film awards, indie film makers and shady business practice (why innovate when you can copy!).

The lead actress Jerrica Lai playing Rafflesia Pong is excellent, I think she had a theatrical background which helps in this kind of slightly over-the-top film.

The lead guy Peter Davis was kind of emotionless, he reminds me of a pan-asian Keanu Reeves.

Hannah Lo was quite frankly terrible, she should stick to modeling – I don’t think acting is her forte.

Overall the film was enjoyable, it made me laugh and it started out extremely strongly. Some parts were plain lame and too long (draggy in places – fat boy running up the escalator, 2 old ladies fighting for the taxi etc.) and sometimes it felt like it was just trying too hard (heart disease guy).

The originality of the jokes wore a little thin too as they were overused far too much (especially those which aren’t really funny like “Don’t but me..”).

I’m not sure how the spontaneous songs will go down as in my experience Malaysians don’t tend to enjoy musicals as they haven’t been brought up with them (most people thought Sweeney Todd sucked for example when in fact I thought it was quite good).

Anyway this film is definitely worth a watch, it’s quirky and the best Malaysian satire you’re likely to see for a while so do check it out and support the local movie industry.

I give it a pretty funny 6/10.




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26 Responses to Movie Review – Sell Out! ($311.0u7!) – Amusing

  1. KY April 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    hahaha pan asian keanu reeves, very very apt description!

  2. McGarmott April 29, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    Pan-Asian Keanu Reeves! That’s quite fitting, I thought!

    The two old ladies fighting for the taxis bit – wouldn’t you say it’s okay coz the audience would’ve still be chuckling over the entire karaoke sequence (or, hopefully like in certain film fest screeenings, actually sing along to it) and it had such a great punchline?

    Oh, btw, the pretentious indie director in the beginning is completely nude in the film festival versions. I hope people still get the symbolism in this U-rated version though.

  3. Patricia April 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm #


    “why? are you dying? you look pale.”

    “im always pale. im half-english”

    that was pretty funny~

  4. LV April 30, 2009 at 2:16 am #

    I’m Malaysian and I love musicals.
    Imho, Sweeney Todd sucked because the songs wasn’t good and the pacing of the movie was terrible.

  5. wenkt April 30, 2009 at 9:16 am #

    dont but me!!

    hello, i’m dr mohan. any message for me??

  6. joshuaongys April 30, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    ahh 6/10 lolx

  7. ShaolinTiger May 4, 2009 at 2:17 am #

    KY: Haha yah kayu is the word indeed.

    McGarmott: Thanks, but not really. It would have been funny if it wasn’t dragged out so long, same as the escalator scene. Some things lose the impact when they are dragged, because they just aren’t THAT funny in the first place.

    Patricia: Yah ‘pretty funny’ that sums up the whole movie really.

    LV: Ok so what’s a good musical then?!

    wenkt: Er ok!

    joshuaongys: So where’s your review!

  8. Darren May 5, 2009 at 8:39 am #

    I’ve read about it in FHM, just need to wait for the cinema here to air it.

  9. ShaolinTiger May 6, 2009 at 1:27 am #

    Darren: Comes out soon, this week or next week I think.

  10. wyndero May 6, 2009 at 5:35 am #

    Worth watching… Intelligent! Funny! Some part of it kinda bored, BUTTT… I enjoy it a lot! Especially you are malaysian… and you are doing a lot of things for “art sake”… you will really appreciate this movie…

  11. ShaolinTiger May 6, 2009 at 6:31 pm #

    wyndero: Indeed, if you are in movie/art industry you’d get a lot more of the jokes I guess.

  12. kennysia May 8, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    You know something is wrong with Malaysia when a non-Malaysia asks Malaysians to support the Malaysian movie industry.

  13. Pau Loong May 9, 2009 at 1:17 am #

    Dear “Sell Out!”, I have to praise you guys, you guys are my GOD! I had been hoping there will be a crew of talented people to make some outstanding movie from Malaysia! You guys made it. I watched the show in Langkawi Cinema (Cineplex) and I have to tell you that this movie had some great moment on comedy, life, reality, and fantacy. It was a bit slow at the beginning but I know that was your point to show the down side of Rafflesia Pong (Jerrica Lai), but a bit too slow, but the points stated by the “director” were reflected on this movie, which is brilliant! The songs were a hit! Of course, “You are not my tye” has becomes my type!

    Keep it up! Joon Han and the crew (inside or outside)

    Patriot Pau Loong

  14. ShaolinTiger May 9, 2009 at 1:19 pm #

    kennysia: Indeed, tragic.

    Pau Loong: Glad you enjoyed it.

  15. McGarmott May 10, 2009 at 10:45 pm #

    Just dropping a note. Those who are interested in getting the soundtrack – I know a lot of people are addicted to the song “You’re Not My Type” – well, you can! By tomorrow most Rock Corner shops would have had stocks of the soundtrack CD to sell.

    And, okay, I know the temptation is there to download the songs illegally … but director Joon Han stated that he used his own money to fund the publishing of the soundtrack CD and is dependent on it for his income, so do support original in this case, please!

  16. clem May 11, 2009 at 10:32 am #

    Eh I’m interested in the soundtrack McGarmott, thanks for the heads up – will definitely be looking out for it (been trying to buy Talentime’s soundtrack too, but can’t find it anywhere around).

  17. ShaolinTiger May 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    McGarmott: Thanks for the update, it is indeed a very catchy song. I’ll look out for it, hope it’s reasonably priced 🙂

  18. legendthan May 14, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    I like the song inside, hope to get it.
    but seems like it’s still not popular.
    that time i watch this movie in cinema, in the end i heard people say that regret to watch.
    oh my god. really bad taste

  19. ShaolinTiger May 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    legendthan: Yah the last song is super catchy. Like I said in my review, not sure if Malaysian audiences can accept this kind of movie.

  20. Kyle Lai May 15, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    It’s very funny but some of the jokes are kind of ridiculous.

  21. jane May 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm #

    nice movie. reality huh? songs r nice. i like the poem LoVe~

    money, y do u love rich ppl?

    i like the main song..smth like ‘u’r not my type …’
    is it the main song anyway? coz i heard it in the trailer.

  22. ShaolinTiger May 18, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    Kyle Lai: Most the jokes are ok I reckon, just some are overused or stretched on too long.

    jane: Yah the songs are actually good.

  23. KKSIM May 19, 2009 at 3:28 pm #

    I watch it on GSC midvalley, it is creative, funny, and full of Malaysian style of joke. Especially the songs are nice. But storyline is too unfocus. Overall it is a excellent for a new director like JoonHan.

    I like the songs the most, of course like those mocking jokes as well.

  24. ShaolinTiger May 22, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    KKSIM: Glad you enjoyed it, definitely a new style for Malaysian movies.

  25. YY May 28, 2009 at 11:30 pm #

    the screening time is kinda saddening thou, so limited & at non-peak hour (KL GSCs)…
    nice movie still.
    review: such as life

  26. ShaolinTiger June 4, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    YY: Yah seems like even the cinemas don’t want to support local movies properly.

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