dvd / blu-ray Review

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.

Film Review

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

Film Review

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.

dvd / blu-ray Review

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.