The Hunger Games Catching Fire (Blu-Ray & DVD): Review

The Film

The second film in the Hunger Games series, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has repeat viewing power, meaning you can watch it again with friends and family on disc now, and take home the cinema experience.

Read the SAMDB Review of The Hunger Games; Catching Fire.

The Blu-Ray

The Blu-Ray is how a disc should be presented. There are hours of behind the scenes features on the cast and crew, including everything from the elaborate costumes, to the difficulties of filming, music, sound design, the editing process, and countless other aspects of the production.

There are over 3 hours worth of bonus video to watch, not including the director and producer audio commentary, which too provide some insightful information to the process of making the film; a great bit of knowledge for those in the filmmaking business and for fans alike.


The DVD is encoded at a high bitrate, and those with viewing platforms with some of the advanced capabilities, would have no problem scaling up to an HD screen. Sound is well encoded too, and makes good use of the surrounds.

The DVD includes a few bonus features, namely the audio commentary, some deleted scenes, and the Divergent sneak peak.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire DVD and Blu-Ray are available now in South Africa, and will be a great addition to any collection.


The Family (DVD): Review

The Film

With Robert De Niro, Tommy-Lee Jones, and Michelle Pfeiffer, you’re sure to get a tour-de-force of talent, and they don’t disappoint.

The Manzoni family, part of a mafia organisation, are relocated by the FBI to Normandy, France, as part of a witness protection deal. Old habits die hard, and Giovanni soon gets up to his usual tricks.

The Family is full of talent, well written, and superbly executed. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. This, combined with the talented cast, provide the humour. At it’s core, there is a great story, and an interesting angle on a story that has been told many times in other films.

The Family is one that will appeal to everyone, and a fun tale of a family and their struggles.

The Disc

The disc is encoded at a high bitrate, and can scale via software to HD. Sound make superb use of the surrounds, and expand the on-screen action by providing a wide and immersive stage for the sound design.

There are no bonus features on the disc, which is a bit disappointing, as it would be nice to have a commentary, or some behind the scenes.

The Family is available now, to purchase, in South Africa.


Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa (DVD): Review

The Film

Reprising his role as Irving Zisman, Johnny Knoxville returns in Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, on a journey from Nebraska to North Carolina, with his 8 year old grandson, Billy.

The unlikely companions take the audience along on a ride of hidden-camera hijinks, catching the public unaware, and setting up some elaborate pranks and stunts for the viewers amusement.

There is a bit of a story in the movie, but it’s a silly movie. Fans of the Jackass movie will be excited just because this is from the team that brought them all those, sometimes atrocious, dares. Bad Grandpa, however, is well executed, and one can see why it got an Oscar nomination for make-up. Knoxville does an excellent job as Irving, and Jackson Nicoll, as Billy, holds his own.

Viewers are bound to find a part of the movie that will appeal to their sense of humour, and Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa will provide a fun filled evening with friends.

The Disc

The disc is encoded at a high bitrate, however, due to the type of footage included, as part of a hidden camera setup, it does not seem to scale, via software, up to HD too well. The soundtrack will not touch your surrounds, but again, due to the subject matter, it won’t really be missed.

There are some great bonus features on the disk. Some gags that did not make the final cut, and a very informative collection of behind the scenes that provide some interesting insights into what goes into a gag.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is available in South Africa, to purchase, now.

Film Review

Muppets Most Wanted: Review

They’re back, and this time it’s a global tour. The Muppet’s Most Wanted follows their world tour, and the seedy story of the World’s Number One Criminal. Just one problem,  he looks almost like Kermit!

The cast is a veritable who’s who of cameos and stars, with Tina Fey delivering a hilarious performance as a Russian guard at a gulag. Ricky Gervais provides the sidekick to the most wanted criminal, as Number Two, and of course, most of the Muppet gang is back to thrill the younger audience.

The film is a light hearted laugh for the kids, and will keep them occupied in the holidays. There isn’t too much of a story aimed at the older audience, so it will be hit or miss as to whether parents will enjoy the show. There is a sense of nostalgia seeing those creatures back on screen though.

Muppet’s Most Wanted opens 28 March 2014 on South African screens, and is bound to be a delight for the kids!


iNumber Number Wins Audience Choice Award At Jozi Film Festival

iNumber Number’, the South African thriller written and directed by Donovan Marsh, has won the coveted Audience Choice Award at the third annual Jozi Film Festival. The festival winners were announced 23 February at an Awards ceremony held at The Rand Club in Johannesburg. The film opens in cinemas nationwide on 25 April 2014.

“Now a regular on the annual film festival calendar, the Jozi Film Festival showcases the latest films made by South African and international filmmakers,” says film director Marsh. “It highlights the best in filmmaking across a number of categories. To win the critically important Audience Choice Award is a fantastic achievement and we are very proud. We believe it’s an indication of the quality of the film and the outstanding performances of the actors.”

Helen Kuun,CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution, which is distributing ‘iNumber Number’ in South Africa, agrees. “Audience choice awards are particularly special and gratifying because they’re voted on by cinema’s biggest cheerleaders: the audience. The win highlights the fact that ‘iNumber Number’ is a high-energy crowd pleaser.”

‘iNumber Number’ follows an honest undercover cop who,after being cheated out of a promotion, crosses over to become a part of a cash-in-transit heist gang. The film, which stars S’dumo Mtshali and Presley Chweneyagae, had its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival in September 2013. It was produced by Marsh, Quizzical Pictures’ Harriet Gavshon, JP Potgieter and Mariki van der Walt, and executive produced by Nim Geva and Owen Kessel.

An action-packed movie, ‘iNumber Number’ is about a pair of cops battling corrupt colleagues as well as a gang of armoured-car thieves.Chili (S’dumo Mtshali, winner of ‘Class Act’ in 2010), and Shoes (Presley Chweneyagae of ‘Tsotsi’ and ‘State of Violence’ fame) have been partners in the police force for eight years. After they make a risky arrest, their corrupt superior refuses to give them the reward they are due. Enraged, Chili realises that honesty does not pay and sets about infiltrating a gang of armoured car thieves. His scheme goes awry when the gang discover his true identity. They take Shoes hostage and go through with the heist. Lured by the potential loot,but finding himself in the midst of a killing spree, Chili has to shake off his rage and cynicism to do the right thing. The film boasts an oddball cast that brings comic relief to the ruthless thuggery.

‘iNumber Number’ is South African director Donovan Marsh’s fourth film. An award-winning director, writer and editor, Marsh has worked in the local film industry since 1992. He wrote and directed the feature films ‘Dollars and White Pipes’, ‘Spud’ and ‘Spud 2: The Madness Continues’.