The River Season 2 – Has The Mighty Fallen

After a critically acclaimed first season, 1Magic brings you a second season of the ground breaking telenovela, The River.

Last season we saw how Tumi, her family and the wider Refilwe community were drawn into a web of lies and turmoil by Lindiwe Dlamini. Lindiwe has murdered, destroyed households, and manipulated, continually evading justice.

Will the scales of morality tip in the favour of those Lindiwe has wronged in her ruthless quest to build a blood-drenched empire? Will this mark the end of the villainous boss lady, as she battles for her life amid her legacy crumbling, or will the bonds of family prove stronger than Lindiwe’s transgressions?

This season we’ll also find out if Tumi will lead the Refilwe rebellion to ensure that Lindiwe gets her day of reckoning? With mounting evidence against Lindiwe and co., will this be the final nail in her coffin sealing her fate, or will she prove to have more tricks up her sleeve and define the odds? Will a community torn apart by greed and violence finally rebuild and restore what was lost?

All the questions will be answered in the much-anticipated season two premiere of The River on 1Magic (DStv Channel 103) on Monday, 28 January at 8PM.

Produced by Tshedza Pictures, the intrigue continues in season two of The River with Sindi Dlathu, Hlomla Dandala, Moshidi Motshegwa, Presley Chweneyagae, Larona Moagi, and Lawrence Maleka.

Follow the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and at 1Magic.

The Cast Of Marvel’s Runaways Gives Us 5 Reasons To Binge The Show

With season two of Marvel’s Runaways now streaming first and only on Showmax in South Africa, we asked the show’s cast why we should watch. Here are their five best answers:

Every teenager thinks their parents are evil, but these superheroes’ parents really are

Runaways is the story of six diverse teenagers who can barely stand each other anymore but who must reunite against a common foe – their parents.

James Marsters, who plays Victor Stein, says, “It takes this inevitable tragedy – which is that you give up everything for your kids and then your kids turn around and go, ‘You’re not so great’ – and turns it up to 11. I was joking with Gregg Sulkin, who plays my son. We were shooting season one. He was like, ‘It’s about to come out; I hope people like it.’ And I‘m like, ’Well, the theme is kids who think their parents are supervillains, which is basically every teenager on earth, so it’s probably going to be pretty popular.’”

The teenagers have the superpowers this time

According to Rotten Tomatoes, Runaways offers “the youngest team of superheroes on Marvel’s TV slate yet.” As Virginia Gardner, who plays Karolina Dean, says, “A lot of kids don’t have superheroes they can relate to because it’s usually the adults who have the powers. So a different thing about this show is that it’s normal teenagers dealing with normal teenager things but then they have superpowers on top of it. I know if I read this as a teenager, I would have been really excited by it – to have the teens get to be bad-asses and have superpowers and be the ones questioning authority.”

It’s a diverse cast anyone can relate to

Ariela Barer, who plays Gert Yorkes, says, “There are characters of diverse ethnicity and orientation and personality. No one is alienated when they watch this; anyone can watch this and connect to whoever they want to… The beauty in the amount of representation we have is that no one has to be the perfect representation of each type of person they are – because we have it in abundance, we’re allowed to explore the nuance within it.”

Spoiler alert: Season one featured Marvel’s first on-screen gay superhero kiss

Pride called Karolina kissing Nico “Marvel’s first on-screen gay superhero kiss… That’s right. Two queer superhero women shared a kiss. On screen. And we could hardly contain our excitement… We need more queer superhero women in our lives.”

As Virginia says, “The response has been so great. I’ve had so many people come up to me and say they wish they had characters like this when they were in high school and confused.”

The girls save the guys…

According to Rotten Tomatoes, Runaways is “the first predominantly female superhero team on TV or film.” As Virginia says, “It’s pretty cool to be part of a superhero troupe that is predominantly female – especially because in our show it’s the females who are the ones who actually have the powers. So it’s a very empowering thing to be part of. We get to save the guys a lot of the time, which is cool too. For our generation of girls, growing up with these kinds of role models, it’s a really strong image to have.”

Runaways — “Radio On” — Episode 202 — Karolina, Nico, and Molly try to retrieve the Staff of One, but Tina puts up a fight. Karolina grows closer to Jonah while Alex and Livvie share a kiss. Alex Wilder (Rhenzy Feliz), Livvie (Ajiona Alexus) shown. (Photo by: Paul Sarkis / Hulu)

If the cast didn’t convince you, we should add that Runaways was nominated for a Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film as Best New Media Superhero Series and currently has an 85% critics rating and a 93% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Binge both seasons of Runaways first and only on Showmax: www.showmax.com/eng/tvseries/rv77xdag-marvels-runaways.

Frank Opperman Explores The Role Of A Modern Priest In Society In New Film ‘Dominee Tienie’

The decline in church attendance is a global phenomenon. The role of the priest in our rapidly changing world is one of the themes that lies at the heart of ‘Dominee Tienie’, a new film starring acclaimed actor Frank Opperman, who reprises on the big screen the role he played on stage in the one-man play of the same name, written by Dana Snyman.

Frank Opperman

Photo Credit Courtesy of Indigenous Film Distribution

The film tells the story of a priest who needs to win back his confidence if he is to again become the light he once was for everyone around him. After 16 years of serving as the priest of the mother church, Tienie Benade is faced with a steep decline in the number of congregants and a modern society that is rapidly changing. Is he brave enough to provide guidance to his congregation in this new era?

“The idea of an Afrikaans priest coming to the realisation that he has lost his way and doesn’t know where he fits within this modern society, immediately fascinated me,” says director and co-writer Sallas de Jager. “It has been a privilege to tread on proverbial holy ground. This is how I feel about adapting one of the most successful plays, written by one of the most beloved Afrikaans writers, Dana Snyman, for the big screen.”

Do clergymen still have a role to play in this world, asks Tienie? Does the church? He is trying his best to adapt and make sense of the changes, but in the process, he is alienating his wife and children. After an incident with a dying vagrant, Dominee Tienie finds himself at a crossroads. Will he be able to regain his self-confidence and win back the love of his family, and is he brave enough to provide guidance to his congregation in this new era?

“The film explores a topic that is close to the hearts of many South Africans,” says Helen Kuun, MD of Indigenous Film Distribution. “Keeping the faithful in a world where people consult other professionals for their problems highlights the dilemmas of the modern priest. Where once the pastor was the first person people turned to, today they can consult psychologists, psychiatrists, marriage counsellors, physicians and more. These are the factors that lead Dominee Tienie to question the relevance of his calling. It’s the type of role that is perfectly suited to an actor of the calibre of Frank Opperman.”

Henrietta Gryffenberg and Frank Opperman
Photo credit Courtesy of Indigenous Film Distribution

‘Dominee Tienie’ also explores the inner world of a man who is battling to get to grips with changing times while he confronts his own mid-life crisis. For Opperman, the role adds to the list of memorable alter egos for which he has become famous: from the eager-to-please Ouboet in Orkney Snork Nie, and the scheming Chris Karedes in The Big Time, to Koos Andries Koekemoer in Gauteng-a-Leng.

The film is directed by Sallas de Jager (Free State, Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux, Musiek vir die Agtergrond) who wrote the screenplay based on Snyman’s play. The cast also features Henriëtta Gryffenberg (Die Sonkring, Erfsondes, Malunde, Karate Kallie), Thapelo Mokoena (Fear Factor, Wild at Heart, Long Walk to Freedom), Regardt van den Bergh (Tornado and the Kalahari Horse Whisperer, Uitvlucht, Faith Like Potatoes), Deon Lotz (Skoonheid, Sleepers Wake, Faan se Trein), Paul Eilers (Verraaiers, Stuur groete aan Mannetjies Roux, Musiek vir die Agtergrond), (The Salvation, Blood Drive, Roots), and Annette Engelbrecht (Orkney Snork Nie, Geraamtes in die Kas, Elke Skewe Pot).

“The film will both entertain and challenge audiences,” says De Jager. “It will certainly afford them the opportunity to experience some of South Africa’s leading actors and technicians at their very best.”

‘Dominee Tienie’ is distributed by Indigenous Film Distribution and releases nationally on 25 January 2019.

Warner Bros. Pictures ‘Aquaman’ Continues To Dominate The Box Office

Warner Bros. Pictures ‘Aquaman’ has rocked the local box office, taking more than R43 million locally and crossing the $1 billion worldwide in just over one month.

Aquaman is now the biggest Warner Bros. film of all time locally as well as the biggest DC title in South Africa. It is also the 3rd biggest Super Hero film of all time and the 4th biggest film for 2018.

Aquaman began its remarkable run with its release in China in December when, on the heels of an appearance by director James Wan and stars Jason Momoa and Amber Heard, the film celebrated an almost $95 million opening weekend, the highest-ever opening for a Warner Bros. film in that market. The stop was just one in a global tour that hit cities across four continents, from London to New York City to Manila, Australia and beyond, capping off a strategic campaign that kicked off last summer with Momoa diving off a cliff to preview the trailer launch ahead of the casts arrival at San Diego International Comic-Con.

“We’re thrilled audiences around the world have embraced Aquaman in such a big, big way,” said Ron Sanders, President of Worldwide Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures Group and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Jason, the filmmakers and the team at DC have delivered a film that people love, and we are so appreciative of their support.

Aquaman has continued to ride the wave of success since its release in December,” commented Cameron Hogg, Commercial Executive for Empire Entertainment who sub-distributed the film in South Africa. “South Africans have connected with the hero and the story and we are excited to see what the film ultimately delivers.

ABOUT AQUAMAN

From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes Aquaman, the origin story of half-surface dweller, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry that takes him on the journey of his lifetime, one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be a king. The action-packed adventure spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, and stars Jason Momoa in the title role.

The film also stars Amber Heard as Mera, a fierce warrior and Aquaman’s ally throughout his journey; Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project) as Vulko, council to the Atlantean throne; Patrick Wilson as Orm, the present King of Atlantis; Dolph Lundgren as Nereus, King of the Atlantean tribe Xebel; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as the revenge-seeking Black Manta; and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours) as Arthur’s mom, Atlanna. Also featured are Ludi Lin as Captain Murk, an Atlantean Commando, and Temuera Morrison as Arthur’s dad, Tom Curry.

Wan directed from a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall, story by Geoff Johns & James Wan and Will Beall, based on characters created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger for DC. The film was produced by Peter Safran and Rob Cowan, with Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns and Walter Hamada serving as executive producers.

Wan’s team behind the scenes included such frequent collaborators as Oscar-nominated director of photography Don Burgess (Forrest Gump), Wan’s five-time editor Kirk Morri, production designer Bill Brzeski, and visual effects supervisor Kelvin McIlwain. They were joined by costume designer Kym Barrett and composer Rupert Gregson-Williams.

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents a Peter Safran Production, a James Wan Film, Aquaman. The film has been released in 3D and 2D and IMAX, and is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.

www.aquamanmovie.net

Read the SAMDB review of Aquaman.

Five Reasons To Binge ‘The Bold Type’ Now

Season two of The Bold Type, the hit series inspired by the life of former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, is now streaming first and only on Showmax in South Africa.

Created by Parenthood writer Sarah Watson and set in New York, The Bold Type is about three ambitious friends who met as they started at Scarlet, a global woman’s magazine that Vox describes as “a fictionalized version of Cosmopolitan by way of Teen Vogue’s rebrand as the internet’s most intersectional magazine.”

Season one kicks off as Jane (Katie Stevens from Faking It) has just been promoted to writer at Scarlet; Kat (Aisha Dee from Channel Zero: The No-End House) is now the social media director; and Sutton (Meghann Fahy from Political Animals), alone of the three, is still an assistant.

It’s like Younger set in the fashion and magazine world; or The Devil Wears Prada with a nicer boss; or a millennial Sex and The City with better friends and more of a social conscience.

THE BOLD TYPE — “Pilot” — Pictured: (l-r) Meghann Fahy as Sutton, Katie Stevens as Jane, Aisha Dee as Kat — (Photo by: John Medland/Freeform/Universal Television)

You shouldn’t need more reasons than that to add this to your watchlist, but here are five more anyway:

You’ll raise your #friendshipgoals

Jane, Kat and Sutton may make you feel like you haven’t been a good enough friend recently.

They see each other every day – and almost every night. They drink wine and gossip in Scarlet’s fashion closet, have frank conversations about EVERYTHING, go on group Tinder dates, get drunk in a bathtub together, and even make breakfast for each other – during the week.

These are the kind of friends who step in to offer free housing when you hit financial troubles, who hold your hand when you get tested for the BRCA gene, who force you to take off a fedora before you humiliate yourself, who would even pull a Yoni egg out your vagina – literally…

It’s about women who work

The Chicago Tribune hailed The Bold Type, and Younger, as successors to “Sex and the City’s unique brand of single-city-girl life,” but added that, in contrast, “they stand out because dating partners consistently take a back seat to the 9-to-5 grind for the main characters…”

If watching people work doesn’t sound like fun to you, just remember that this is a fashion magazine. If nothing else, as Vulture says, “The Bold Type is really the place to visit for wardrobe envy these days.”

For a change, you’ll also want to work for their boss, Jacqueline (Melora Hardin from Transparent). As Bustle writes, “Unfortunately, being an asshole has often felt like a prerequisite to being a female boss on screen: look no further than The Devil Wears Prada’s fearsome Miranda Priestly as evidence that female bosses — especially in the cutthroat world of women’s magazines — are hardly portrayed as supportive and kind… With Jacqueline, The Bold Type offers up a different kind of female boss who doesn’t have to act like a man to get ahead. She just has to be her fiercely feminine self….”

It’s changing the conversation around sex on TV

The Hollywood Reporter called The Bold Type “a transformative series for the way in which its characters navigate sex and sexuality” and noted that the three friends have “no boundaries when it comes to normalizing conversations around sex and sexuality.”

Never had an orgasm? Your partner is unwilling to perform oral sex? Starting your first lesbian relationship in your mid-20s? The Bold Type is full of candid conversations about topics you normally only read about in your favourite women’s magazine…

The romance is fun too. As Vulture wrote, “How lucky we are to be alive during the TV rom-comaissance! The Bold Type fits nicely next to shows like The Mindy Project, Jane the Virgin, and Younger — all smart, funny, swoony rom-coms.”

The show is “millennial utopia.”

Indiewire called The Bold Type “the summer’s most insightful series about young women… The rom-com fearlessly tackles the politics of the ‘Woke Generation’ with style and humor.”

To quote Mashable, “If you aren’t watching The Bold Type, you are missing out. The show is millennial utopia; feminist, progressive, positive, all packaged with a frothy style.”

It’s also refreshingly non-judgemental about millennials. As Cosmopolitan says, “In the age of think pieces about millennial entitlement, it can be hard to find a TV show that manages to both critique our social media-obsessed culture and engage with it… The Bold Type continues to be this kind of show — capable of poking fun at the world of Instagram and Twitter without discounting it as a real force in young people’s lives…”

It started well – and is getting even better

Season one has an impressive 96% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes but the new season is doing even better, with a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus, as Slate says, is that “The Bold Type is getting better and better. Season two is a big improvement. ”

Still not convinced? The series was nominated for Teen Choice Summer TV and Choice Summer TV Star Female (Aisha Dee) awards, as well as a GLAAD for Outstanding Comedy, a Satellite Award for Best TV Drama, and an Imagen Award for Best Actress (Katie Stevens).

Binge-watch the first two seasons of The Bold Type on Showmax here.

THE BOLD TYPE — “Plan B” Episode 208 — Pictured: (l-r) Aisha Dee as Kat Edison, Meghann Fahy as Sutton Brady — (Photo by: Philippe Bosse/Freeform/Universal Television)

The Meg (DVD) : Review

Film

Review

Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham – Fast & Furious 8, Fast & Furious 7) is a tough guy with a sad story. who escaped an attack by a seventy foot shark must now confront any fears he may have, and save a team trapped in a sunken submersible. Of course, all the time, danger looms. Is there indeed a large shark in the water; the Megalodon, or was this a figment of Taylor’s imagination. Lives are at stake.

The Meg starts off with some back story, an incident, and some rather impressive sets (of which we don’t see enough of). Then our hero is on the scene, to put things right.

And so we are thrown head first into an action movie. The Meg is your average action film. Spectacular stunts, tough fights, and close calls. There’s the usual touch of mixed personalities, and arguments in a group. Yet, the film is fun. It’s enjoyable. It’s an afternoon of escape.

The visuals are certainly stunning, and Statham is his usual self. The Meg is one of those film that can distract a viewer from their daily troubles for a few hours, while they watch the hero battle with his (hopefully his troubles are indeed the larger troubles). The plot is straight forward, the story is easy to follow. So have a thrill, and enjoy the ride.

Re-watch Value

With a film that contains more visual and action scenes than actual drama scenes, it can be easy to get into a mood where one is looking for a simple detraction, and to while away a few hours yet again. For this reason, the film would have a level of rewatch value.

Disc

Overall, the disc is of a decent technical standard, albeit with just the one bonus feature. The main feature is enjoyable too.

Video

Video is encoded at a decent average bitrate. This is variable, meaning that compression is more in slower scenes, yet has a higher bitrate during action scenes, where motion on-screen is faster and the need for additional detail is greater.

There are no visible artefacts on-screen, nor any visible colour bleed. Colour are vibrant, and detail in the darker scenes good.

Viewers with the necessary hardware or software could scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, should they wish.

Audio

Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, and presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker, with fair use of the surround channels to expand the on-screen world, and further draw the viewer into the action.

Use of descreet audio panning between the channels is good.

Audio on the menu does appear to be a lot louder than audio in the film and bonus feature, so forewarning should one change the volume a lot for the main feature.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The disc launches directly into the main menu. The main menu is static with accompanying background music and text links to play the main feature, scene selections, languages, and special features.

The scene selection sub-menus each contain six and five medium sized, colour, static thumbnails respectively, for a total of eleven chapters. With this small number, and the fact that these are only numbered, and not labelled, nor is there any sort of chapter listing insert in the packaging, this would mean that navigating to a specific place in the film would require an amount of guesswork. Viewers would do better to use their own software or hardware to create bookmarks for places they with to view again.

The languages sub-menu has a text list of audio languages, including English Descriptive Audio, and a text list of available subtitles, including English for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The bonus features sub-menu has a text link for the one extra feature on the disc.

Bonus Features

Chomp on This: The Making of The Meg – A short featurette with some behind the scenes footage, and interviews with cast and crew, starting with director Jon Turteltaub (Last Vegas) and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Maze Runner: The Death Cure, American Assassin) talking about why they hoped to have actor Jason Statham in the film.

Crew interviews also provide an insight to the viewer about how some of the water sequences were filmed, and about filming in the middle of the ocean.

While short, the featurette does shed light on the filmmaking process of The Meg, and would be of interesting to fans and budding filmmakers alike.

Read some more about the megalodon, from the 2 Oceans Aquerium, in Cape Town: www.aquarium.co.za/blog/entry/megalodon-largest-shark-ever-facts-myth-truth-is-it-alive-extinct

Packaging

Packaging is standard, with a poster on the front with title and main cast listing. The back of the case has a short synopsis, bonus feature listing, and the usual technical information and logos.

There are no package inserts, such as chapter listing, including in the case.

Enter M-Net’s Brand New Blind-dating Show

2019 is all about Finding The One – with a little help from your friends!

The very first Bachelor SA – superhot former Sharks rugby player, entrepreneur and international model Lee Thompson – is not the only one who will be dating up a storm on M-Net 101 in 2019 in the hopes of finding true love. In addition to The Bachelor SA, the channel has conjured up a fresh and fun-filled highly original new blind-dating reality show for everyone who has lost faith in impersonal online sites and apps for desperate singles, or has their hearts pierced too often by Cupid’s wayward arrows. The aptly titled Finding The One will hand back the matchmaking power to real people, the ones who know you best – your friends and family.

If you’re keen on Finding The One, with a little help from your own loved ones, or if you wish to nominate a lonely soul who you think deserves your help, sign up now at www.mnet.tv/findingtheone. Entries close on Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2019, the very same day that Bachelor Lee will start his quest for love on M-Net 101.

How does Finding The One work?

Discarding digital matchmaking, three people who want only the absolute best for a single bud or family member join forces to take on the important task of identifying three potential love interests from a dating pool. During the first crucial phase, the panel of three will sift through potential dating diamonds and dust. They will consider every single piece of information they can dig up about the potential love matches, grill them with difficult questions, dissect their social media profiles and conduct compatibility gauges.

Once the investigation has been completed, three candidates will get the green light for a group date with the panel, allowing them to probe a little deeper, test compatibility and size up the candidates. This is also where the power starts to shift. The panel now also has to persuade the potential love interests, and the final chosen one, that their single friend is indeed a catch in a million. Will the panel manage to identify and hone a true “connection”? If it’s a “yes”, their chosen one will go on a high-stakes blind date with their single friend. If not, the friend will arrive alone at a romantic dinner table for two.

So, the question is: Do your friends “get you” enough to find you the one, and will that one be attracted to you in return?

“There’s a great deal of jeopardy involved in this one-of-a-kind new dating show that will create loads of drama, suspense and fun,“ says M-Net’s Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard. “We have been bringing viewers local versions of the very best big-format international reality shows, but shows like The Wedding Bashers and The Wild Ones have recently showed that our viewers also crave formats that are created by our own content creators. Finding the One is an innovative, entertaining way of showcasing South Africans who want to do what’s best and see their dear ones happy and in love. It’s a great family show with which everyone will be able to identify!”

For Finding The One, M-Net is looking for a diverse array of potential love seekers across genders and sexual preferences. You have to be South African citizen and be over the age of 18 and single – either never married or legally divorced. The three panel members can include family members, colleagues, friends or even former lovers, who will know your romantic needs, and meet the requirements stipulated in the Terms and Conditions (published on the M-Net website).

You can either enter the show for yourself, or nominate a friend to be a part of Finding The One. The easy entry process involves completing a simple online entry form on www.mnet.tv/findingtheone, and submitting it along with two pictures of yourself or the person you’re nominating.

If your online application is successful, you will be contacted by the Finding The One team for a call-back and, who knows, true love could be waiting!

Finding The One is produced by Okuhle Media and will be screened on M-Net 101 in the second half of 2019.

The Predator (DVD) : Review

Film

Review

Over thirty years have passed since film audiences were introduced to the alien creature that hunts violent humans on Earth, and we are again treated to an action packed outing in the Predator universe.

When soldier Quinn McKenna’s (Boyd Holbrook – Logan, Morgan) son Rory (Jacob Tremblay – Shut In, The Smurfs 2) accidentally triggers some Predator technology, it falls to a group of misfit soldiers, and scientist Casey Brackett (Olivia Munn – The Lego Ninjago Movie, X-Men: Apocalypse) to figure out the alien plans, and not only save themselves, and Quinn’s family, but possible the entire world. All the while avoiding government man Traeger (Sterling K. Brown – Black Panther)

Much to the chagrin of Quinn’s wife Emily (Yvonne Strahovski – I, Frankenstein), from whom he is separated, Quinn brings the entire troupe, consisting of Nebraska Williams (Trevante Rhodes), Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key – Get Out, Storks), Baxley (Thomas Jane), Nettles (Augusto Aguilera), and Lynch (Alfie Allen), into their house as they prepare for a war.

The Predator is an action romp, and while it lacks the nostalgic bravado of the first film, and the tension of the second, it does well to restore the franchise, and introduce the near unstoppable creature to a new generation, and thrill those who have been with the series from the start. The film reels one in, but just not far enough. It is certainly entertaining, great effects, and plenty of action, but there is that little something be it humour, perhaps the over the top violence of the 80’s, or just the fact that so much of the mystery has been taken out of the creature after so many outings on the big screen.

The cast most certainly have a great deal off off-screen camaraderie going, and this is evident in their on-screen characters, feeling and looking just like an actual military unit. The alien technology goes just far enough to stand out, but stops before venturing into the realm of unbelievable, keeping things grounded, and letting one know that while the battle will most certainly be tough, we here on Earth might just stand a chance.

Explosive fun in a pumping action film, that should most certainly be a part of any movie collection, The Predator takes one on an explosive ride, with some rather glib humour along the way. Sit back, strap in, and head for the chopper.

Re-watch Value

Being part of a franchise, and one that has a cross-over to the Alien universe, there will be a fair amount of rewatch value to the film.

After watching the bonus features on the disc, and hearing from the director and cast about some of the training, research, and subtle choices made by the actors, one is sure to want to go back to the film see any of those that were missed during an initial viewing. Hearing from the cast certainly changes some of the scenes of the film, adding a touch of depth to what might otherwise have been just your average action / science fiction movie.

Disc

Overall, the disc is of a decent technical quality, with some entertaining bonus features, and a fun main film.

The Predator is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video is encoded at a variable bitrate, that is at a decent rate during the action scenes, and drops down a lot lower during scenes where there is a lot less motion. There are, however, no artefacts visible on-screen, and while much of the film’s story takes place at night, there is no visible colour bleed. Details in these many darker scenes is still good.

Viewers with the relevant hardware or software can scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, should they wish.

Audio

Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, and presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker. There is ample use of the surround channels, especially in action scenes, serving to expand the on-screen action, and further draw the viewer into the story.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The main navigation screen has a still background with accompanying music. There are text links to play the main feature, set up, scenes, and extras.

They set up sub-menu has a text list of audio and subtitle languages to choose from, including English descriptive audio, and subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The scenes sub-menu has four large, still, colour thumbnails per page, for a total of thirty two chapters. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, nor is there any chapter listing in the DVD case, meaning that some guesswork would be required to find a specific part of the film.

The extras sub-menu has a text list of the all the bonus material included on the disc.

Bonus Features

The disc holds a good number of bonus features, with those showing behind the scenes of a decent length too, lasting more than a few minutes. An interesting look at the making of the film, and how far the series has come as far as effects and story goes.

Deleted Scenes – Four scenes removed from the main feature. There is unfortunately no commentary on why they were removed, but it is on can deduce the reasons, being most likely for pacing, and overall feature length. These can be accessed individually, or via a playlist to play all of them in succession, with a title prior to each scene.

While there is no additional information provided by the filmmakers as to why these were removed, as it is just the scenes that play, these are still great to have as they add a small amount to the story, when watched after seeing the film.

A Touch Of Black – Everything about writer, director, the man who is Shane Black. This feature takes a look at both the past and present work of Black, relating to the franchise. For someone who has the list of nostalgic titles such as his, to their name, it bring a sense of amusement to see how those films, and the work of Black, has influenced the actors that now appear in this latest incarnation of The Predator and the franchise. And interesting feature to watch, with some fun background information on the crew.

Predator Evolution – A look at how the Predator has evolved since the first film, both as a creature, and all the technology and armour it brings with it. The cast and crew discuss their experience both on set as character and actor, as well as how things have progressed for those who created the creature and suit.

Along with cast and crew interviews, there is a decent amount of behind the scenes footage of the Predator in action

The Takedown Team – A look at the cast, as a military type unit, with the show of camaraderie, and the inherent humour the actors bring to the scenes and their characters. In so doing, the film does hearken back to the feel of the first film, the tough guys who throw out glib lines in the midst of a battle.

A great look too, behind the scenes at the military training by the cast, and how they put in months of time prior to filming, to get things just right for their character and the movie.

Predator Catch-up – The viewer is treated to a look at how far the Predator creature, and the film franchise has come since the first movie, showing a summary of each film in the form of short clips from each movie, covering Predator, Predator 2 and Predators. No mention is made of the crossover films with Aliens vs Predator. The featurette only includes the edited video clips, and no narration or context, but should serve as a brief reminder to anyone who has indeed watched the films in recent time. If not, it would be wise to watch those before watching this latest incarnation.

Gallery – A collection of art and images from the film. An interesting addition for those who wish to see the various elements, locations, vehicles and Predator looks from the conceptualisation stage of the film.

The gallery starts with on-screen instructions on how to navigate, or there is an option to automatically advance the images.

Packaging

Packaging is a standard DVD jewel case, with a poster on the front. The back has a short synopsis, an incomplete list of bonus features (there are more on the disc than what is mentioned here), some stills from the film, and the usual technical information and logos.

There are no packages inserts, such as chapter listing, included in the case.

Acting Technique 2 Starting 22 January 2019 – Bonnie Rodini

Technique 2 is designed to help the actor stay in the moment and really listen, using substitution in the 2nd half of the class. Exercises are done in pairs and are essentially improvisation performed inside structured exercises. Props need to be brought in for the exercise but there are no rehearsals in-between classes.

6 Classes over 6 weeks. No classes can be missed as you are working in pairs.

Days: Tuesday mornings
Dates: 22, 29 January and 5, 12, 19, 26 February
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Venue: 30 Alpina Road, Claremont (Off Keurboom road)
Investment: R3,100

www.rodinifilms.com
Tel: +27 83 2652236

Sisters Of The Wilderness Premieres Internationally At IFFR In Rotterdam On 26 January 2019

Sisters of the Wilderness, the social impact feature-length documentary, which won best South African Feature Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival in July last year, and qualified for an Oscar consideration, will have its International Premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) on January 26, 2019.

Set in the iMfolozi wilderness, South Africa, in the oldest game park in Africa, the iconic Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park, Sisters of the Wilderness tells the story of five young Zulu women venturing into the wilderness for the first time on a journey of healing and self-discovery, reminding us that we are all intimately linked to nature.

The film follows the women as they walk in big game country and camp under the stars, totally surrounded by wild animals. Exposed to the elements and carrying on their backs all they need for the journey, they face emotional and physical challenges, and learn what it takes to survive in the wild.

“We want to ‘transfer’ the audience to an ancient place where no barriers separate human and nature,” says creator / producer, Ronit Shapiro, of One Nature Films, whose experience in the iMfolozi wilderness and a meeting with South Africa’s legendary conservationist, the late Dr Ian Player, inspired her to make this film. “A journey into wilderness is an intense experience where one can expect to undergo a personal transformation.”

The film also explores the plight of the primordial iMfolozi wilderness which is severely threatened by an expanding open-cast coal mine on its border, and the intensifying rhino poaching calamity in that area.

Award-wining South African documentary filmmaker, Karin Slater, directed and shot the film. “I was born in Empangeni and spent my early years, close to the iMfolozi wilderness. I have a deep love and connection to this area. I know what the wilderness has done for me over the years, ” says Karin.

Sisters of the Wilderness is the foundation for an outreach and audience engagement programme that will use multiple platforms to re-connect global audiences with nature, and empower young people, especially women. The social impact programme was launched in South Africa in September 2018 in celebration of Heritage Month in the country, and World Rhino Day.

“We are delighted that the film was selected to have its International Premiere at the renowned International Film Festival in Rotterdam and we are looking forward to sharing the story of how the film came about, in the Q&A with the audience after each screening,” says Ronit.

Sisters of the Wilderness will be screened at IFFR on:

  • 26 Jan 2019 20:15 Pathé 7 – Public
  • 7 Jan 2019 20:00 Cinerama 6 – Public
  • 9 Jan 201913:15 Cinerama 7 – Press & Industry
  • 9 Jan 201921:15Cinerama 2 – Public

For more information go to: www.sistersofthewilderness.com

IFFR: iffr.com

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