Film Review

The Grandmaster: Review

Set in the 1930s, and chronicling the martial arts grandmaster of Wing Chun, Ip Man (Ton7 Leung Chiu-Wai), starting with him in Foshan, and his later years in Hong Kong.

A martial arts master, Gong Yutian, declaring his retirement, seeks to champions to represent the North and South. Ip Man is selected to challange Gong Yutian, and declared winner in a battle of ideas and philosophy.

Enter Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi), daughter to Gong Yutian, looking to regain her family’s honour by challenging Ip Man.

The two keep contact for the ensuing years, leading to a love between the two that neither acts upon.

The Grandmaster is stylistic, with breath-taking fights set to a story of honour, and romance. A superb look at the arts of fighting and love. A must see for any martial artist or romantic at heart. See the story of the one who taught screen legend Bruce Lee.

The Grandmaster opens 21 February 2014 in South African cinema. It is in Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese, with English subtitles.

Film Review

The Nut Job: Review

The Nut Job, its a fun ride with a bunch of furry creatures, yet tells a story akin to the great bank  heists of days gone by.

The story begins in a city park, where Surly the squirrel has just caused the loss of the local animals food supply, meaning they will no longer have anything for the winter. On a vote, he is banished to the city, never to return,

At the same time, squirrels Andie and Grayson are charged with finding a new food source. It is while on this mission that they discover their lead, Racoon, has his own agenda, and stumble on to a plot by a gang of humans to rob a bank.

The Nut Job is a feel good adventure tale, full with heroics, humour and the obligatory cuteness, not to mention a guest appearance by Psy (he of Gungnum Style). Be sure to sit through the end credits to catch a funny rendition of this dance.

There are two target audiences for The Nut Job; the children, who will live the adorable, friendly animals, and their parents, who will enjoy the humour and more mature side to the story.

The Nut Job opens 21 February 2014 in South African cinemas.

Film Review

Saving Mr Banks: Review

The story of P. L. Travers, creator of the children’s story Mary Poppins and the 20 years she was pursued by Walt Disney himself in a bid to obtain the movie rights.

Saving Mr. Banks is a wonderful tale of the drama of holding on to ones creation, interspersed with some musical numbers, as is the signature of many a Disney classic, and some very humorous scenes where Mrs. Travers does her utmost to foil Mr. Disney, and his own time who must use all their wits to create a film she would approve.

There are two stories, juxtaposed in the film. That of the world we live in, and the back and forth of requests, demands, and disapproval, while we are treated to the story of Mr. Banks as the Disney team come to understand him, and Mr.s Travers reveals more.

Saving Mr. Banks is a wonderful story, on many levels,and superbly acted by Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as the veritable P. L. Travers.

This is a must see, and opens 21 February 2014 in South African cinemas.

Film Review

Ride Along: Review

Ride Along, pairing Ben (Kevin Hart) and James (Ice Cube) in a buddy cop movie with a difference.

Ben, a high school security guard, wants to marry Jame’s sister. James is a cop. Ben has yet to win James’s respect, so they strike a deal. Ben will ride with James for one day on patrol as a cop. If he makes it, he can marry Angela (Tika Sumpter).

James does all he can to scare Ben, to bore him,and to get him into situations that will put him off and have him running home. As the story progresses, each of the pair will be forced to take a look at themselves, and face their faults. Only then can they overcome those and work together when a new challenge arises, putting both James and Ben in danger.

Buddy cop movies are a dime-a-dozen, and it takes one with great on screen chemistry and comedic timing to make things work, and Ride Along pulls this off.

It’s an action packed comedic ride, that tells a story of friendship and family.

Ride Along opens 21 February 2014 on South African screens.


Jobs (DVD): Review

The Film

Jobs, a glimpse into the life of visionary Steve Jobs, who with the other great names of the tech world, helped shape the world into what we know today.

One can not compress such a story into the time it takes to watch a film, and therefore some events are summarised, while others are glossed over, but the essance that was the man remains.

Ashton Kutcher delivers a remarkable performance, completely embodying the character on screen, with a talented supporting cast, and a well written and well directed story.

Jobs is a drama at its best, and while we might all think we know the story, there are many asepcts of Steve Jobs life and struggle that are not often discussed in the public arena. Jobs does not shy away from the bad, while delivering the message of the good.

The Disc

The disc is ecoded at a high bitrate, meaning non onscreen artefacts (save for some archive footage) and can easily be upscaled in software to HD. While the audio is presented in a 5.1 soundtrack, this type of film does not lend itselt fo much use of the surrounds, and most people are not likely to notice its abscence.

Unfortunatly there are no special features included on the disc. A pity as some footage of Steve Jobs himself might have been fun.

Jobs is available to own in South African stores now.