Film Review

Schuks! Your Country Needs You: Review

The king of the candid camera is back. Leon Schuster returns to Schuks the unsuspecting in his various disguises and personalities, in Schuks! Your Country Needs You.

Joined by Alfred “Shorty” Ntombela, Rob van Vuuren and Laré Brink, there are plenty of the gags we have come to expect, and plenty more new ideas, including a few where the targets of those gags get the upper hand with some very unexpected reactions.

Schuks! Your Country Needs You is great medicine for all South Africans, allowing us to laugh at ourselves, poke fun at the various daily issues we have come to know and hate, and just having a laugh.

Leon “Schuks” Schuster is the main gagster, in his many disguises and voices. As usual, the reactions from some of the public tend to include a few punches and slaps. Alfred “Shorty” Ntombela gets up to some of his usual mischief, usually ending in his addictive laugh. Returning from the previous movie, where he Schuks’d the Schukster is Rob van Vuuren as the son of Schuks, Wayne. And last, but not least, the rose amongst the thorns, Laré Brink as Sammy, who is herself Schuks’d, resulting in her being cast for the rest of the movie due to her over the top reaction, that will leave audiences rolling with laughter.

Schuks! Your Country Needs You has gags for Schuster fans, and those who are new to his series of films. A good laugh that doesn’t require too much brain power to follow any sort of plot. It opens 29 November 2013 on SA screens.


10 Live Action Shorts Advance In 2013 Oscar® Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 live action short films will advance in the voting process for the 86th Academy Awards®.  One hundred twenty pictures had originally qualified in the category.

The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production companies:

“Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me),” Esteban Crespo, director (Producciones Africanauan)

“Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything),” Xavier Legrand, director, and Alexandre Gavras, producer (KG Productions)

“Dva (Two),” Mickey Nedimovic, director, and Henner Besuch, director of photography (Filoufilm Dani Barsch)

“Helium,” Anders Walter, director, and Kim Magnusson, producer (M & M Productions)

“Kush,” Shubhashish Bhutiani, director (Red Carpet Moving Pictures)

“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?),” Selma Vilhunen, director, and Kirsikka Saari, screenwriter (Tuffi Films)

“Record/Play,” Jesse Atlas, director, and Thom Fennessey, executive producer (Collaboration Factory)

“Throat Song,” Miranda de Pencier, director (Northwood Productions)

“Tiger Boy,” Gabriele Mainetti, director (Goon Films)

“The Voorman Problem,” Mark Gill, director, and Baldwin Li, producer (Honlodge Productions)

The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting at screenings held in Los Angeles.

Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select three to five nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist.  Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in December.

The 86th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network.  The presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.


Dark Matter By Lady M

LadyM3b&wDark Matter is the first ever release from newly launched label Magique Music, a forward thinking musical platform supporting the deeper and darker sounds of electronica, house and techno. This single is produced by Lady M, South Africa’s leading female artist in the local deep house scene, and features Tanzania-born vocalist ‘Kennifer’. Kennifer is an individual oozing raw, untainted talent, whose passion stems from being a creature of the night moving from one dancefloor to the next. He has fast become a frequent in the recording studios in Cape Town and has a number of forthcoming releases on the way.

The track comes in tough from the start with a powerful kick, moody atmosphere and an underlying bass intro that sets the tone. It builds up continuously towards the main break where the full bassline kicks in and then builds up again to the main drop where the first vocal verse reveals itself. As much as Dark Matter is tough and driving, it progresses smoothly with airy melodies and layered vocals, keeping the track’s overall sound well balanced. All components are blended in with an array of delays, effects, atmospheric stabs and other moving sounds that give the track its electronic edge. Its a dancefloor pounder that leaves you feeling both elated and fierce at the same time. This release consists of an ‘Original Mix’ is an ‘Afterhour Dub’.


Dark Matter will be exclusive to Beatport for 2 weeks and then available on other online platforms including iTunes, Juno Download and Traxsource.

Film Review

Justin & The Knights Of Valour: Review

Voiced by Freddie Highmore, we enter Justin’s world, a kingdom where knights are outlawed and bureaucracy prevails.

But what is a tale of knights without a quest? An inspiring visit to his grandmother, voiced by Julie Walters, Justin bids farewell to his crush Lara and sets off to become a knight, meeting a plethora of interesting characters along the way, and showing yet again, that with the right heart, the underdog can emerge supreme.

Justin & The Knights Of Valour is an animated story of revealing your inner hero, standing up for what is right, and having a fun time along the way. It’s a tale of the gallant deeds of yore, a story of family love and values, and the epitome of a boy growing up. An adventure that will thrill young and old, and provide an afternoons entertainment for the younger generation.

Justin & The Knights Of Valour opens 22 November 2013 on South African screens.

Film Review

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom: Review

Based on former South African president Nelson Mandela’s autobiography “Long Walk To Freedom”, the movie Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom tells the story of his early life, leading to his incarceration on Robben Island, and eventual release and presidency.

Riaad Moosa (Ahmed Kathrada), Lindiwe Matshikiza (Zindzi Mandela), Deon Lotz (Kobie Coetsee), Terry Pheto (Evelyn Mase), director Justin Chadwick , Naomie Harris (Winnie Madikizela-Mandela), Idris Elba (Nelson Mandela) and producer, Anant Singh. - (Photo credit:  Haidee Malkin – courtesy of Videovision Entertainment)
Riaad Moosa (Ahmed Kathrada), Lindiwe Matshikiza (Zindzi Mandela), Deon Lotz (Kobie Coetsee), Terry Pheto (Evelyn Mase), director Justin Chadwick , Naomie Harris (Winnie Madikizela-Mandela), Idris Elba (Nelson Mandela) and producer, Anant Singh. – (Photo credit: Haidee Malkin – courtesy of Videovision Entertainment)

Under the direction of Justin Chadwick, Idris Elba plays a very true to life Mandela, bringing to screen the many idiosyncrasies the world has come to know. Coupled with a storyline that stays true to the facts, and does not take sides in the delicate telling of this part of South Africa’s history, the audience is treated to a gritty view of the violence perpetrated by both sides in the struggle to find an end to apartheid.

Naomie Harris plays an angry Winnie Mandela, caught up in her own quest for revenge, and desire to see her people in power. There is an intricate chemistry between the two Mandela’s, much that which we can piece together from what public exposure their lives had.

Riaad Moosa at the Cape Town press screening (image copyright Andrew Germishuys - SAMDB)
Riaad Moosa at the Cape Town press screening (image copyright Andrew Germishuys – SAMDB)

There are scenes of violence, but those are tempered with an objective eye, neither pointing a finger at any political regime, nor glamorising the events.

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom is a candid look at important times for South Africa, and allows us to look inwards and ponder where all the violence and hatred in the world has come from.