Locke: Review

The story of Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy), dedicated family man, and successful, and hard working construction manager. His night begins at the end of a shift, and he receives a call that will set into motion a series of events that threaten this carefully cultivated existence.

Hardy delivers a tour-de-force of emotion, thoughts, and as well are witness to call after call, he skilfully unravels the intimate details of his private life, as this too begins to fall apart. All this as he makes his journey along the highway.

There are few who could turn a story of a man, in a car, on the phone, into a riveting story, and it would take the combined force of a well written script, great direction, and masterful talent to pull this off. And Locke succeeds. Hardy is on his ‘A game’ here, and we’d expect nothing less.

Locke opens 27 June 2014 on South African screens, and those looking for a well crafted story, should thoroughly enjoy this one.

How To Train Your Dragon 2: Review

Based on the books by Cressida Cowell, and five years on since the young Viking Hiccup befriended the injured dragon, Toothless, we join the colourful characters once again for How To Train Your Dragon 2.

With grown-up responsibilities looming, Hiccup and Toothless set off searching for answers, only to encounter a mysterious dragon rider, who turns out to be his long-lost mother, at the same time discovering they Vikings are threatened by a power-hungry villain.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 does not disappoint with stunning visuals. The screen comes alive, with the attention to detail, from the impressive rendering of fur, scales and hair, to the smallest detail and background action taking place. Berk feels real, and the younger audience will be in awe of the flying, twirling dragon creatures.

The story is a great ride, a tale of twists, and one that will appeal to both young and old. There are tons of laughs, from the jokes appealing to children, the cuteness of some scenes, and the humour aimed more at an older audience.

This is one fun film, and one the entire family will enjoy. A must see for 2014. How To Train Your Dragon 2 opens 20 June 2014 in South Africa.

22 Jump Street: Review

Previously, in 21 Jump Street, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) were back in high school, true to the original television series. Now, in 22 Jump Street, they pair are in for big changes, as they go undercover in a local college.

Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the local athletic team, while Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene.

22 Jump Street steps up the jokes. Less crudeness, and far more hilarity. There is not a moment that goes by that you are not laughing. Jokes aside, there is a story to enjoy too. The pair have a palpable energy on screen, when they’re arguing, being friends, or just being silly in a fight scene, adding to the fun of the story, and leaving you to wonder if they really are such numb skulls in real life.

The story holds it own, which although not one that will push the limits of anyone’s intelligence, it has enough twists and turns to keep you thinking.

This is by far one of the funniest movies of the year, and well worth a watch. 22 Jump Street opens 20 June 2014 in South Africa.

Edge Of Tomorrow: Review

Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), an officer who has not seen a day of combat, is unceremoniously dropped into an impossible mission. Killed within minutes, Cage finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop, forcing him to live the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying, again and again.

Edge Of Tomorrow is a macho romp of bravado, saving the world, defeating the aliens, Cruise in his element. There are a ton of special effects, but Blunt shines in her first major outing as an action star, totally believable as a war hardened warrior, tasked with training Cruise on each iteration of his day, as it repeats again, and again.

Edge of Tomorrow has hints of Groundhog Day, coupled with Starship Troopers. The story is Cruise, becoming the hero he portrays in each of his films, but there is more to it, with some humour interspersed between the action scenes.

It’s a fun, action journey. Forgetting that in the end it’s Tom Cruise saving the world, the ride is an exciting one.

Edge Of Tomorrow opens 13 June 2014 in South African cinemas.

Candid Confessions Fundraiser

An exclusive one-night performance of Candid Confessions at The Milnerton Playhouse on June 25 at 8pm is a fundraising event to secure funds for our staging of The Beauty of Incomplete Things at the Fringe at The Joburg Theatre in July.

Candid Confessions IS NOT a re-staging of the World Premiere production of The Beauty of Incomplete Things that took place at The Intimate Theatre in January 2014, but offers a clever telling of the story.

In Candid Confessions the characters of David ( Wojtek Lipinski) , Tommy ( Rowan Malcolm Studti) and Steve ( Andre Lombard) are trapped in limbo after the tragedy of what happened during their encounter in the cabin that fateful weekend, and poignantly reflects on what happened through introspective and intimate conversation with the audience.

Drifting in and out of a circle of light, they share their thoughts through Candid Confessions….

Filled with humour, pathos and candour, Candid Confessions is a provocative and intimate journey into the hearts and souls of three befuddled men trying to redeem themselves through a final confession. Possessive love, obsessive fantasy and tainted passion clash head-on in an alluring emotional journey of love, wrath and redemption, where three rivals discover that there lies beauty in incomplete things.

Candid Confessions is written and directed by Daniel Dercksen and features the same cast of The Beauty of Incomplete Things who are now in rehearsal for the tour to Johannesburg.

Make sure not to MISS this special fundraiser and support our team on our journey to Johannesburg.

Tickets are R120 and bookings can be made online at www.milnertonplayers.com or by calling 072 474 1079. You can also send an email to beauty@writingstudio.co.za or visit www.writingstudio.co.za There will be a cash bar and you are invited to share light snacks with the cast after the performance

“Edge Of Tomorrow” Rises Early In International Openings

Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ “Edge of Tomorrow,” starring Oscar® nominee Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt and directed by Doug Liman, has earned an outstanding $33 million at the box office in early international openings ahead of its June 6 worldwide debut. The announcement was made today by Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

“Edge of Tomorrow” had a spectacular opening in Korea, with an estimated KRW 3.9b ($3.8m) on 681 screens, including sneak preview showings. Its Wednesday debut marked the biggest opening of all time for Warner Bros. Pictures in Korea, as well as the fourth biggest opening industry-wide, for that market. The film also opened yesterday at #1 in Denmark and Norway, as well as France, where it was #1 in both admissions and box office even amid strong competition from U.S. product and a popular local comedy.

Kwan Vandenberg said, “The sensational results on Wednesday, coupled with the film’s excellent playability in territories where it debuted last weekend, give us great momentum as we launch in 36 additional countries this weekend, including such major markets as Russia, Australia, Mexico and China.”

The early box office results come on the heels of the film’s groundbreaking worldwide event when, for the first time ever, three fan premieres were held in three different citiesLondon, Paris and New Yorkin just one day, “resetting” the red carpet as Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt raced the clock to make each event before time ran out.

Sue Kroll, Warner Bros. Pictures President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, noted, “Tom is a huge star globally and has been a phenomenal partner as we’ve introduced this exciting and original adventure to audiences everywhere. The film has been enthusiastically embraced by critics and consumers alike. Tom has gone above and beyond to support the film, traveling all over the world to share it with fans, and these incredible efforts have made a tremendous impact as we gear up to release ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ worldwide.”

Oscar® nominee Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ sci-fi thriller “Edge of Tomorrow,” under the direction of Doug Liman.

The epic action of “Edge of Tomorrow” unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world.

Major William Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop—forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again…and again.

But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt). And, as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy.

The international cast also includes Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Noah Taylor, Kick Gurry, Dragomir Mrsic, Charlotte Riley, Jonas Armstrong, Franz Drameh, Masayoshi Haneda and Tony Way.

Liman directed “Edge of Tomorrow” from a screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie and Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth, based on the novel entitled All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Erwin Stoff produced, along with Tom Lassally, Jeffrey Silver, Gregory Jacobs and Jason Hoffs. The executive producers are Doug Liman, David Bartis, Joby Harold, Hidemi Fukuhara and Bruce Berman, with Tim Lewis and Kim Winther serving as co-producers.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a 3 Arts Production, in association with Viz Productions, a Doug Liman Film, “Edge of Tomorrow.” The film is distributed in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow.

“Edge of Tomorrow” opens in South Africa on 13 June and is distributed locally by Times Media Films.

www.edgeoftomorrowmovie.com

The Quiet Ones: Review

Inspired by actual events, The Quiet Ones tells the story of a university professor, and his team of students, who are conducting an experiment on a young woman, to rid her of inner psychological issues they believe are causing her to manifest some unexplained occurrences. In the process, they unlock terrifyingly dark, unexpected forces.

This is a horror story that, much like it’s central theme, carries a psychological aspect. It is more the expectation of what will happen, and the fact that there were true events which inspired this film, that will thrill and scare the viewer. There are a few jump-scares, some of which serve only to detract for the story line, and would have been best left out.

The characters are well cast, with each actor filling out their respective roles, as the various personalities mix on screen, with love, conflict and various obstacles to the end goal the experiment.

The Quiet Ones is less about blood and gore, and more about what is possible, and what could happen. It’s an enjoyable thrill for audiences and horror fans.

The Quiet Ones opens 6 June 2014 in South African cinemas.

Maleficent: Review

One of Disney’s iconic villains, Maleficent, gets her own story. From the classic 1959 story of Sleeping Beauty. A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, with an idyllic life, growing up in the peaceful forest kingdom. She rises to be come the land’s protector, but is betrayed by the human boy she comes to love, the boy who will become king. Maleficent curses his first born, but as the child, Aurora grows, Maleficent comes to realise that this young girl may hold the key to peace, and happiness.

Angelina Jolie inhibits the role of Maleficent, bringing a beauty, and underlying menace to the character. However, Disney has created a new angle on a fable long told, bringing to the fore a debate on the goodness inside everyone, and showing that even this being often seen as the evil fairy, has a side of love and peace.

The betraying love, and King Stefan, is played by South African home-by Sharlto Copley, adding his own unique mix to the character, as the somewhat dishevelled king, who’s life is consumed with the impending result of that curse, bestowed all those years ago.

Elle Fanning is the lovely Aurora, always portraying beauty and poise, and is set to overtake her more famous sister Dakota, who is taking a respite from big film projects.

Maleficent is a family film, a story talking of honour, and standing up for the good in all of us. It’s a Disney film, and one for the entire family. The effects are stunning, yet do not detract from the story, choosing to add to the on-screen events, instead of dominating them.

This is a film that the young will love, and the older audiences will enjoy. It’s a new angle on the age old story, but an interesting twist, one with which some will agree, and some might feel cheated. Either way, it’s a story to be enjoyed, and one that will leave the viewer satisfied.

Maleficent hits South African screens 6 June 2014, and is bound to continue the international box office trend on our screens.

Anchorman 2 Out on Blu-Ray And DVD This June

Called “hilarious” (A.O. Scott, New York Times), “fall-down funny” (Peter Travers,Rolling Stone) and just plain “awesome” (Claudia Puig, USA Today),  “the funniest movie of the year” (Drew Taylor, AOL Moviefone) makes its highly-anticipated home entertainment debut when ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES arrives
JUNE 27, 2014 on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and VOD from Paramount Home Media Distribution.  Fans can be the first to own either the Theatrical Version or the Unrated Version when they arrive on Digital in June.

The ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES Blu-ray Combo Pack includes THREE versions of the film—the original Theatrical Version, the Unrated Version and, in a home entertainment first, the Super-Sized R-Rated Version with 763 new jokes!  Never before in the history of home entertainment has anyone replaced 763 jokes.  This must-own three-disc set also features OVER FOUR HOURS of bonus content including commentary by Adam McKay, Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner, gag reels, more than 90 minutes of deleted, extended and alternate scenes, five behind-the-scenes featurettes, table reads, cast auditions and much, much more.

The ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES Blu-ray Combo Pack includes THREE versions of the film—the original Theatrical Version, the Unrated Version and, in a home entertainment first, the Super-Sized R-Rated Version with 763 new jokes!  Never before in the history of home entertainment has anyone replaced 763 jokes.  This must-own three-disc set also features OVER FOUR HOURS of bonus content including commentary by Adam McKay, Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner, gag reels, more than 90 minutes of deleted, extended and alternate scenes, five behind-the-scenes featurettes, table reads, cast auditions and much, much more.

Grudge Match (DVD): Review

The Film

As the DVD box cover artworks says, it’s a rivalry 30 years in the making. And what a rivalry it is. Two ageing boxers are coaxed out of retirement to fight one last bout, a Grudge Match. Each has only lost one match, and that was to the other. Right now, they are tied, and it’s time to decide a winner.

That 30 year rivalry takes on another meaning, with Slyvestor Stallone (Rocky) playing Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp, and Robert De Niro (Raging Bull) playing Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen. Each actor has starred as a legendary boxer, so it’s high time those legends squared-off, even if as different characters.

Grudge match has romance, in a heart warming story, fit for a family evening viewing. There’s more than enough humour to keep viewers smiling (it’s an intelligent humour, playing off life, and none of the slapstick stuff). Stallone and De Niro have a tangible rivalry on screen, circling and jousting at every opportunity.

The Grudge match is a thrilling, funny and enjoyable film.

Disc And Bonus Features

The film is encoded at a high bitrate, with no visible artefacts, and scales via software to a high definition screen. The audio is crisp, and will make fair use of the surrounds, adding to the on-screen action.

There are a few bonus features, in the form of some deleted and extended scenes, with an optional introduction, with an optional introduction by director Peter Segal. These are very short, and will likely only be of interest to a few people.

Grudge Match is available now, for purchase, in South Africa.