Justice League Gods And Monsters (DVD): Review

The Film

Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, in an alternate universe. Framed for the murder, they are pitted against the government and a mysterious force, and need to prove their innocence, and once again save the day.

With a talented voice cast, with the likes of Benjamin Bratt and Michael C. Hall, this animated feature is incredibly engrossing. And interesting look at what could be, with three of the more powerful superheroes.

A very well put-together story, and a very interesting angle. One is left guessing who is good and who is bad, as we meet each new, yet familiar character, even throughout the story, there are clues and red herrings as to what mix of good and evil lay with the three main characters.

While the film is rated 10 for violence and language, parents should take heed. The action sequences are what one would expect from this type of film, but the language can be a little harsh on occasion. These are thankfully rare moments.

Fans of this story universe, and younger viewers alike are sure to enjoy this alternate romp with the super beings.

Disc And Bonus Features

As should be expected, the disc is encoded at a high bitrate, with no visible artefacts on screen. Viewers who would wish to do so, and have capable hardware or software, can scale the image up to a larger / higher resolution screen.

Sound is presented on a 5.1 soundtrack, adding to the on-screen action, and expanding the viewing experience for the viewer.

There are sadly no bonus features on the disc.

Justice League: Gods And Monsters is available now, to buy on disc, in South Africa.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials: Review

Having escaped The Maze in The Maze Runner, the Gladers story moves from the tight confines of that artificial structure to the open wasteland, facing new challenges as the story moves forward.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials explores two sides to the solution to the infection that has plagued mankind, and begs the question “which side is on the side of right?”. Is WCKD justified in their stance, that they need to find a cure, no matter the cost, or is it better to live as the resistance does?

The Scorch Trials is a big change from the fast pace and confines of the first movie, and leaves the viewer wanting more. As with all of the other multi-part films that are being released these days, one is left slightly unfulfilled, with not enough story resolution. Not that this is by any means not an enjoyable film, but it is certainly one that begs a weekend of binge watching, once the conclusion to the series is released.

Great landscapes, fun action sequences, go see the next instalment to The Maze Runner series, in South African cinemas 24 September 2015

Everest (Imax 3D): Review

Everest, the highest mountain on planet Earth (save for those below the ocean). A challenge that has inspired man for ages. The film tells the true story of an two expeditions of climbers (with Jason Clarke and Josh Brolin), as they start their final ascent to summit Mount Everest.

A sudden, intense storm descends on the area, engulfing the climbers and not only brining incredibly high winds, but the accompanying blizzard makes it impossible to see where they are going.

With an ensemble cast of incredibly talented actors (the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Emiy Watson, Sam Worthington, Robin Wright and Jason Clarke, to name but a few) audiences are in for a treat.

While the film takes a bit of time to get going, one is left marvelling at the sights of this, the highest point on Earth. The huge vistas, and seemingly impossible camera shots. One then begins to focus in on the characters, as they are revealed to us, and then just as you begin to wander what the film is about, dark clouds appear on the horizon and the pace for the various characters quickens.

While this is a true story, there is none of the usual harping on sentiment that often comes with stories of this nature. The emotion is real, nothing is forced. The characters are portrayed expertly, and the story delivered in a packaged that will leave you breathless, and as anxious to see each person to safety, as must have been felt on that fateful day. Taken from multiple books and accounts on the actual events, this is as entertaining as it is documentary.

Everest is a masterful piece of work, and seeing this in Imax 3D is probably the only way to do this film justice. The visuals are just too grand to be scaled down.

Everest opens 18 September 2015 in South Africa, and is certainly a must see for movie goers.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (DVD): review

The Film

With the story left open, at the end of the first film, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 looks at what might be wrong with the lives the friends have created for themselves, using knowledge of the present, that they took back to the past with them.

When things to way out of control at one of Lou’s (Rob Corddry) parties, Nick (Craig Robinson) and Jacob (Clark Duke) fire up the old hot tub in an order to save him. But instead of going back in time to before that event, they are propelled into the year 2025.

What follows is a bumbling adventure, full of raw, dirty humour, sex, drugs and if the boys had their way, rock’n’roll. Yet, as silly as these guys act, and as raw as the humour is, and as much as you know you shouldn’t be laughing, the story is still incredibly amusing. Almost like a sneaky vice, that you watch with a bunch of friends, after one of your own raucous parties.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is a fun romp on the wild side, and a subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, look at what might be, and where one might come from. Don’t worry too much about intense science. The moment this is mentioned, the group break down in a mocking song, and all thoughts of math and science go right out the window.

Well written, well cast, and well directed, this is great bit of escape from one’s daily duties, such as thinking. A bit of fun indulgence, that while it won’t appeal to everyone, is sure going to find a huge target audience.

Disc And Bonus Features

The disc is encoded at a high bitrate, meaning there are no visible artefacts on screen. Those with the correct hardware or software capabilities can scale this up to a larger or higher resolution screen.

Sound is presented in a 5.1 soundtrack, which makes use of the surrounds in several scenes to expand the soundscape, and draw the view in to the on-screen action.

Bonus features include a short feature on the making of Hot Tub Time Machine 2, with some cast and crew interviews. There are deleted and expanded scenes includes on the disc, a blooper reel, and a feature looking at how the time tub is so central to the story.

While it would be great to have a commentary to listen to while watching the film, this would not be possible on a single disc.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is now available to purchase on disc in South Africa.

Glory Game – The Joost Van Der Westhuizen Story Exclusive To BoxOffice

This spring, BoxOffice brings you a movie about a man fighting against all odds, a man determined to make a difference in the world. Global rugby icon, Joost van der Westhuizen shares his battle with a debilitating illness in Glory Game: The Joost van der Westhuizen Story available exclusively on BoxOffice from 7 – 21 September 2015.

Known for years as the golden boy of South African rugby, the world reeled in shock in April 2011 when the news broke that Joost van der Westhuizen had been diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (MND). The disease attacks the central nervous system, causing progressive disability and there is no known cure.

His game-changing prowess as a rugby player is now galvanised in a battle for survival and, more importantly, to make a difference to the lives of others with the disease. Despite specialist assurances that he’d be in a wheelchair in a year and not likely see his 42nd birthday, Joost not only celebrated in style, but took to the skies, travelling internationally with his J9 Foundation to meet the great minds who are working to find a cure.

“In the beginning you go through all the emotions and you ask, Why me?’ It’s quite simple, Why not me?’ If I have to go through this to help future generations, why not me?” commented van der Westhuizen.

Joost’s quest for a cure is relentless and his spirit has motivated those around him to champion the cause because in spite of the adversity he has faced, Joost remains a man to envy.

For die-hard rugby fans, there are some fantastic prizes up for grabs including a limited-edition 20th Anniversary PS4 gaming console and a Rugby World Cup 2015 PS4 game. There is also an autographed rugby ball personally signed by Joost van der Westhuizen.

BoxOffice is available to DStv Premium, Extra and Compact customers with a PVR decoder or an Explora. Renting a movie is R30 for 48 hours.

GloryGameBanner

Comedy Central Open Week For DStv Compact – September 2015

To celebrate the upcoming debut of Trevor Noah as host of legendary ‘fake news’ programme The Daily Show, DStv and Comedy Central (DStv channel 122) are opening the channel to DStv Compact customers for the first week of broadcast (28 September – 2 October).

The news comes as Noah limbers up to step into the shoes of beloved Daily Show creator, Jon Stewart, who left the show in August after 16 years.

The hotly anticipated Noah debut will be the first time in history that an African has hosted a US late-night TV franchise.

Commented Evert van der Veer, Head of Comedy Central, Africa, “Every comedy fan in the country is eager to witness how Trevor is going to handle the biggest gig of his life, and also to see him fly the flag for South Africa. This is such an important milestone for African comedy and we are expecting record viewing figures for the premiere and first week of broadcast.”

Aletta Alberts, General Manager of Content for MultiChoice commented: “The launch of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah is such a proud and historic moment for all South Africans. We’re delighted to share Trevor’s international success with our DStv Compact customers.”

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah will air Tuesdays to Fridays on Comedy Central (DStv channel 122) at 21:00 CAT from Tuesday 29 September, just 24 hours after the live US premiere. Comedy Central will be running, full catch-up episodes of The Daily Show online at www.comedycentralafrica.com (from 30 September). Noah’s smiling face is currently gracing the front page of the September issue of the DStv Magazine.

Among the select audience witnessing Noah’s debut will be South African Lalenthra Naidoo, who beat more than 20.000 applicants to win a Comedy Central all expenses paid trip to attend the debut taping of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Lucky Lalenthra and her best friend will be attending the show in New York on 28 September.

Find out more by logging onto www.comedycentralafrica.com,or follow Comedy Central on Twitter@ComedyCentralAF, Instagram at ComedyCentralAF, and like Comedy Central on Facebook at www.facebook.com/comedycentralafrica.  To join the conversation about The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, please use the hashtag #TDSTrevorNoah.

McDonald’s is the official South African sponsor of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Descendants To Premier Friday 18 September 17:00 On Disney Channel (DStv 303)

Disney Descendants

Disney’s Descendants is a contemporary live-action adventure comedy that introduces the teenage progeny of Disney’s iconic characters – most notably its evil villains.

Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart and Sofia Carson star as the teenage sons and daughters of Disney’s most infamous villains, in Disney’s “Descendants,” a live-action movie that – with a knowing wink at traditional fairy tales – fuses castles with classrooms to create a contemporary, music-driven story about the challenges in living up to parental and peer expectations. Made for kids, tweens and families, the movie premieres FRIDAY, September 18 (17:00, CAT) on Disney Channel (DStv Channel 303). The notable cast also includes Mitchell Hope, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Maz Jobrani, Kathy Najimy and the Tony Award-winning Kristin Chenoweth.

Maya The Bee Buzzes Onto The Big Screen In South Africa – In English, Afrikaans And isiZulu

Beloved animated character Maya the Bee and friends will be making their big screen debut in South Africa in 3 languages, in 3D – and on 18 September, just before Heritage Day! The inhabitants of the hive get local voices in Afrikaans and isiZulu, with the international cast providing English voices.

A host of talented local actors have lent their voices to the film, and were delighted to be able to give a local spin to characters generations of South Africans grew up with, thanks to television broadcasts of the original animated series. Christine Voorendyk voices Maya in Afrikaans, while Sylvia Kgoadi does the same, in Zulu. The rest of the cast features a host of talented local actors, including: Leandie du Randt & Jessie Palmer (Juffrou Cassandra / Miss Cassandra); Elma Potgieter & Gcina Mkhize (Royal Advisor); Franci Swanepoel (Spies); Karen Wessels & Bonginkosi Buthelezi (Willie); Magda van Biljon & Cindy Dlatu (The Queen); Lochner de Kock & Philip Mathebula (Kriewel / Crawley); Richard van der Westhuizen & Moses Zimu (Flip) and Francois Stemmet & Hamilton Dlamini (Henk / Hank). The English-language cast includes Coco Jack Gillies (Maya); Richard Roxburgh (Flip); Kodi Smit-McPhee (Willy) and Miriam Margolyes (The Queen).

Maya the Bee was created over 100 years ago and brought to life in print and on the small screen in a popular animated series. The big-screen adventure, follows Maya, a young bee who leaves the hive and embarks on a new adventure to discover the beauty and mysteries of nature. Freshly-hatched Maya is a little whirlwind who won’t follow the rules of the hive. One of these rules is not to trust the hornets that live beyond the meadow. When the Royal Jelly is stolen, the hornets are suspected and Maya is thought to be their accomplice. No one believes that she is the innocent victim and no one will stand by her, except for her good-natured best friend, Willy. After a long and eventful journey to the hornets’ hive, Maya and Willy soon discover the true culprit and set about bringing him to book.

The local dubbing was overseen by Presto Post, with dubbing direction by Aubrey Madlala (Zulu) & Rina Nienaber (Afrikaans).

Maya The Bee is distributed by Black Sheep Films and will be available in 2D and 3D at cinemas across South Africa on 18 September 2015, available in all three languages on DStv’s ‘Box Office’ on 4 December and will be broadcast on M-Net Movies Family (English), Mzansi Magic (isiZulu) and kykNET (Afrikaans) early in 2016.

Sam Smith To Sing Title Song To “Spectre”

Sam Smith Spectre

Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Sony Pictures Entertainment today confirmed that Sam Smith has recorded “Writing’s On The Wall,” the theme song to SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond adventure. SPECTRE will be released in the UK on October 26 and in the US on November 6 and in South Africa on 27 November 2015. The song, released by Capitol Records, will debut and be available to purchase and stream on September 25.

Multi-platinum selling artist Sam Smith has co-written the title song, “Writing’s On The Wall,” with fellow GRAMMY® Award winner Jimmy Napes. It is the first James Bond theme song recorded by a British male solo artist since 1965. Smith’s debut album In The Lonely Hour launched at No. 1 in the UK and bowed in at No. 2 in the US, and has since earned five No.1 UK singles, four GRAMMY® Awards, three Brit Awards, six MOBO Awards, Q and AMA Awards.

Commenting on the announcement, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the producers of SPECTRE, said, “Sam and Jimmy have written the most inspirational song for Spectre and with Sam’s extraordinary vocal performance, ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ will surely be considered one of the greatest Bond songs of all time.”

Smith said: “This is one of the highlights of my career. I am honoured to finally announce that I will be singing the next Bond theme song. I am so excited to be a part of this iconic British legacy and join an incredible line up of some of my biggest musical inspirations. I hope you all enjoy the song as much as I enjoyed making it.”

The 23 previous James Bond theme songs make up some of the most memorable movie music of all time. The previous Bond theme song, “Skyfall,” was performed by Adele, and was honored with the Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, the Brit Award for British Single of the Year, and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

Spectre

A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.

Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot.

As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.

Sam Mendes returns to direct SPECTRE, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as 007 for the fourth time. SPECTRE is produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. The screenplay is by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth, with a story by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade.

SPECTRE is set for release in the UK on October 26, 2015, and in the US on November 6, 2015 and in South Africa on November 27, 2015.

The Transporter Refuelled: Review

The Transporter Refuelled. Yet another remake, another reboot, and this one started out with an empty tank.

A former special-ops mercenary (Frank Martin, played by Ed Skrein) is unwillingly roped into a games of high stakes by a female client. Tricked into the job, and now with his father held hostage, he needs to out wit these woman, the authorities, and survive the men of a sinister Russian kingpin.

Transporter Refuelled is painful from the start, with the accents and dialogue feeling as if dubbed from a 1960s Chinese martial arts movie. The amazing driving and chases one would hope for are more of what looks like an advert for the product placement of the Audi in the film. Fights feel weak and lacking. Add to all of this the story and direction, and you are better of taking your bicycle for a ride.

This is certainly that movie goers should give a miss to. Pull into the pit lane, go see something else, and keep the fun memories of the original film starring Jason Statham.