Film Review

Learning To Drive: Review

Learning To Drive a delightful film, about self and overcoming.  It’s a story about finding the courage to take a leap of faith, and tackling one’s problems head-on, even if they scare you.

A writer, Wendy (Patrician Clarkson), from Manhattan takes on the challenge of Learning To Drive as her marriage is in the process of crumbling around her. Braving this life event, at a late stage in her life. Her instructor, Darwan (Ben Kingsly), is a Sikh with his own marriage troubles, brought on by an arranged marriage.

The two begin to develop a bond, and an unspoken need, for each other, as they drive about the city, and share their problems. Darwan has a very calm outlook on life, while Wendy is quickly and easily flustered by the troubles of daily life.

We are witness to this pairs journey of self-discovery and becoming. Each realising what they need to focus on, and overcome. The story is a sweet tale, and one that is testament to what we all endure in our own lives.

The story is well paced, following the emotional up’s and down’s of the characters, on their journey (and car drive). One almost gets the feeling that we’re peaking into their secrets. Secrets that should remain in the car, once the days lesson has ended.

Masterfully acted, and shot. Learn To Drive is sure to be enjoyed by all. Don’t let the art-house feel put you off, as you’d miss out on this uplifting tale.

Learning To Drive opens 20 November 2015, in South African cinemas.

Film Review Uncategorized

No Escape: Review

They Dwyer family, Jack (Owen Wilson), Lucy (Sterling Jerins), Annie (Lake Bell) and Beeze (Claire Geare) have just arrived in a new country. Jack has a new job and they’ve uprooted their lives to start this new journey. No sooner have their arrived though, and they’ve made a new friend, Hammond (Pierce Brosnan). Soon after however,  a coup strikes, and people are being attacked and killed all over the city. So begins a harrowing attempt to escape a violent death, at the hands of those who will show no mercy.

No Escape puts the viewer right into the action. It’s tense, and will leave you feeling the urgency of avoiding the attackers, and checking every corner, waiting for the next rebel to take a shot at the family. The action and pacing stay close to the reality of the situation, choosing to avoid great shows of destruction, and over the top action.

This isn’t a film filled with plot twists, and an intellectual plot. It’s a fun escape, placing the viewer into the midst of a situation that we have all likely thought about, given current world events. The Hammond character is a sort of wizard, appearing just as he is needed, and anyone paying attention to the geography of the location, would be left wandering how he found the family. He’s a convenient way to get the family out of a tough situation. You’re also not sure if you’re meant to like him, or not. Although, he’d likely not care, and go on as he sees fit.

As for the Dwyer’s, they manage to overcome their own issues, fears, and relationship problems, and band together to survive. A journey of self. Viewers are likely to relate to at least a few of the issues they overcome.

A competent cast, and a tense ride, No Escape is one for action fans, and those looking for a less cerebral viewing experience. The film opens 20 November 2015 in South African cinemas.

dvd / blu-ray Review

The Guest (DVD): Review

The Film

A film with a bit of mystery, a bit of thriller and some action. The Guest is about a soldier, back from deployment overseas. He pays a visit to the family of a fallen army buddy, the Petersons. The family urges him to stay a few days, but soon a series of sudden deaths start pointing to something in his past, a secret mission, an experiment, something not being as it seems.

David (Dan Stevens) is a cool character. You like him from the start, but is he just too nice? With the straight forward story, one would think The Guest would be easy to predict. And that is probably what they want you to think. They mess with your mind, much like it seems someone has messed with David’s mind.

With a story shifting so often, it keeps the entire viewing experience fresh. David is immediately likeable, however this is bound to change back and forth throughout the story as appearances seem to change, and one is not quite sure what his motives are. Worse still, is he is always polite, quiet and calm.

When we eventually reach the action sequences, they are well presented, not over the top, choosing rather to keep things within the realm of realistic, and maintaining this right up until the climactic showdown.

The Guest is an enjoyable film, one that will keep you trying to outguess the main character, but not one that will require too much concentration to follow. A fun, action thriller, to keep anyone entertained for an evening. The feeling of a horror, with the pace of a thriller.

Disc And Bonus Features

The disc is encoded at a high bitrate, with no visible artefacts on screen. The image is clear, and stable. For thsoe with the correct hardware or software, the video can be scaled up to a larger screen.

Sound is presented in a 5.1 mix, with ample use of the surrounds to enhance the on-screen action, and further draw the viewer into the story.

Menus, while very plain and basic, are easy to use and functional.

There are no bonus features on the disc, other than a few trailers at the beginning.

The Guest is available now, for purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Film Review

Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse: Review

The Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse (#ScoutsVsZombies). The title gives a clue as to what to expect. There’s the obvious: there are scouts, there are zombies, there might be an apocalypse. But, read the title again, and you might not take the film too seriously, and that’s exactly what the film does. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. So go in expecting that, and you’ll have a fun time, with a quirky film.

Three scouts head out for a night of camping in the woods (well, two of them have other plans). And as the title tells us, somewhere along the way, something happens and there’s an impending zombie apocalypse.

Guess who are the only ones equipped to save the day? The three friends set out to rescue friends, family and the town. Zombies aren’t the only obstacles to be overcome in this story though. The friends have to take a good long look at themselves, and their friendship. They learn a few things along the way, and these don’t just include things a scout should know, but things any growing guy should – yes, they encounter girls.

The innuendoes, jokes and puns are thick and fast, catering for a wide audience, from genre in-jokes to the silly slapstick that will cater to the more immature sense of humour.

The Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse is a fun film, with a simple plot and a humorous way of presenting it. A great way to spend an evening with a group of friends, having a good laugh. It opens 6 November 2015 in South African cinemas.


Design A Costume For Luc Besson’s Epic Science Fiction Film – Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets

Do not miss this great opportunity to design a costume for Luc Besson’s movie VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS due for release in South Africa in July 2017. Submitted costume designs will be considered for the actual wardrobe selection for one scene in the film.

Entrants are asked to create a piece that could be worn by a human, alien, humanoid or any other intergalactic creature you can think of. The scene for which you are designing will take place at a political cocktail party inside a space station called Alpha and the year is 2580. Entrants are encouraged to get inspired by reading more about the costume specifications and film below.

Up to 20 costume designers will be selected by Filmmaker Luc Besson, Editor in Chief of Yahoo Style Joe Zee and Valerian Costume Designer Olivier Bériot to receive $1,000 each and potentially have their work created and worn by actors in the film. Submissions are due November 27, 2015.