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dvd / blu-ray Review

The Conjuring 2 (DVD) : Review

Film

The Conjuring 2, the next true story account of a case file from Ed (Patrick Wilson)  and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga). Nothing brings a chill more than a horror based on fact.

This time, the Warrens travel to north London, eschewing the usual mishaps of the evil persuasion always occurring in the United States. They are seeking to aid a single mother, Peggy Hodgson (Frances O’Connor) raising four children alone in a house plagued by a malicious spirit.

Much like its predecessor, this latest incarnation of The Conjuring series bring a cerebral level to the horror genre. While not beset with plot twists a plenty, there is enough to keep one guessing, if only in a few small, varying degrees.

And it is the cerebral aspect that is likely to scare many a viewer, allowing ones mind to wander, and attempt to out-think the protagonist couple, as they pit their wits against the entity from the darkest depths. WIth the most chilling aspect, when one entertains the notion that there may be evil amongst the kids in the Hodgson household.

The Conjuring 2 is an well rounded story in the horror genre, that captures the viewers attention from the start, and drags them along on its chilling journey.

Disc

Overall, the disc is of a good technical quality, and while devoid of a generous helping of bonus features, the film is good, and you get a few deleted scenes.

The Conjuring 2 is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate, choose to use less compression on the main feature, rather than load the disc with extra material. There are no visible artefacts, colour are vibrant with no bleed, and the several darker scenes maintain a fair amount of detail (given the now aging DVD format).

Viewers with the necessary hardware or software could scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, should they wish.

Audio

Audio is encoded at a high bitrate, with dialogue on the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix clear via the centre speaker. There is ample use of the surround channels to expand the on-screen action, and further draw the viewer in to the story. Panning between channels is precise and clear.

Navigation

 

Bonus Features

The disc contains some deleted scenes. These are unfortunately the only bonus features on the disc.

 

 

Categories
Television

Another M-Net Pop-Up Channel – More Sunday Premiers And Other December Delights

M-Net dishes out mega movie delights this December:
Get set for two Sunday blockbusters, an inspirational pop-up channel, a special animation festival and hand-picked world cinema

M-Net is upping the entertainment ante yet again with fantastic additions to its movie offering. In future, DStv Premium customers will be treated to two blockbuster premieres on a Sunday night – one on M-Net 101 and one on M-Net Movies Premiere. From Friday, 16 December until Sunday, 29 January a special pop-up channel called M-Net Inspire will infuse positive thinking on DStv’s channel 109, and during the holidays the young at heart can expect visits from their favourite animation characters with a special Animania movie festival on channel 105, M-Net Movies Smile. Then, there’s also a first-class, unprecedented gift for movie connoisseurs: from mid-December, premium channel M-Net Edge (channel 102) will boast a world cinema slot with the best of the best foreign language or nouveau films.

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Two Sunday night blockbusters

“Our blockbuster Sunday night movie premieres have been a much-loved institution for many years,” says Jan du Plessis, Director: M-Net Channels. “Just after eight on M-Net and half an hour later on M-Net Movies Premiere, we have showcased the hottest first-to-TV Hollywood films on our screens. Now, it’s getting even better!”

From Sunday, 4 December there will be not one, but two brand new blockbuster movie premieres on the M-Net Channels. This means that M-Net 101 and M-Net Movies Premiere channel 104 will not be screening the same film 30 minutes apart any more. There will be another fresh blockbuster on M-Net Movies Premiere at around 20:30.

“This exciting scheduling change not only gives viewers more than one movie option for a Sunday night; it also allows us to bring more top-notch movie premieres to our audiences much quicker,” Jan du Plessis explains. “And if you prefer to watch the eight o’clock M-Net movie a little later, you can always tune into M-Net Plus 1 (channel 901), our time-shifted M-Net 101 channel at 21:00.”

While the rip-roaring comedy Vacation will be the premiere on M-Net 101 at 20:05 on Sunday, 4 December, M-Net Movies Premiere will be the first to screen The Night Before, in which three friends, including the always hilarious Seth Rogen, are out to find an unforgettable Christmas bash. Due to the high age restriction of this movie, however, it will only be screened at 21:00.


Hugh Jackman will take us to Neverland in the family adventure Pan on M-Net 101 on Sunday, 11 December. Then, on M-Net Movies Premiere at 20:30, Chris Pine and Casey Affleck are in grave danger in the disaster and rescue film The Finest Hours, based on a true event.

Read the SAMDB review of Pan.

Multi-talented Bradley Cooper dons the apron as a down-and-out chef in Burnt on M-Net 101 on Sunday, 18 December, alongside a top-notch cast including Sienna Miller, Emma Thompson and Uma Thurman. On the same night the dystopian young adult science fiction thriller The 5th Wave will keep M-Net Movies Premiere viewers on the edge of their seats from 20:30.


On 25 December, M-Net 101 will celebrate Christmas with three Oscar winners – Diane Keaton, Alan Arkin and Marisa Tomei – in Love The Coopers, while Will Smith is in top form on M-Net Movies Premiere in the sports drama Concussion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io6hPdC41RM
M-Net Inspire

Following hot on the heels of the Harry Potter pop-up Channel, M-Net Inspire is the perfect pop-up curation for the festive season. Launching on Friday, 16 December at 06:00 and running until Sunday, 29 January at midnight, M-Net Inspire will feature movies that are motivational and celebrate the triumphs of the human spirit.

Every evening from 19:45, viewers can catch a feel-good film. These titles include inspirational favourites such as Yes Man, Eight Below, The Preacher’s Wife and American Dreamz. There will also be a selection of awesome classics including Coach Carter, Remember The Titans, Rocky (instalments 1 to 6) and Invictus.

In addition to all the soul-enriching movies, the M-Net Inspire pop-up channel will also play host to influential and inspirational faith leader, Bishop T.D. Jakes. Viewers can catch episodes of The T.D. Jakes Show, a heart-warming talk show hosted by the man himself, at noon as well as at 19:00 every day. Interviewing everyone from celebs, to kids, to stay-at-home moms, Jakes takes audiences on a journey of positivity by showcasing stories about the triumphs of the human spirit.

In South Africa, M-Net Inspire will be available to both DStv Premium and Compact customers.

Animania on M-Net Movies Smile

Guess who will be paying us a visit on M-Net Movies Smile, channel 105 on DStv Premium, during the holidays? Open the door for Maya The Bee, Kung Fu Panda, Khumba, Shaun the Sheep, Tarzan, The Minions, Spongebob and many more.

M-Net Movies Smile will feature a festival of the most popular animation films from Monday, 5 December 2016 until Tuesday, 10 January 2017 from 06:00 until midnight.

World cinema

December also sees the start of a special movie slot on M-Net Edge, channel 102 on DStv Premium, on Sunday nights at 21:00. As of Sunday, 18 December, discerning viewers can get right into the kind of films they have been craving: highly-acclaimed world cinema. The Palestinian film The Idol, which received rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival, will be on M-Net Edge on Sunday, 18 December. Then, the following week, the French film Saint Laurent, about famed fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent will be the special Christmas viewing treat.

“We trust that all this mega movie magic will bring loads of joy to our viewers this December and January,” says Jan du Plessis. “More good news is that this is just the start of more amazing content on our channels in the new year. There will be plenty of surprises, including more local shows and more movie pop-up channels!”

All the Sunday night premiere movies (M-Net 101, M-Net Premiere and M-Net Edge) will also be available on DStv Catch Up and Catch Up Plus as well as through DStv Now. Selected titles from the M-Net Inspire pop-up channel, as well as from the Animania festival, will be available on Catch Up Plus as well as through DStv Now.

Categories
Uncategorized

Applications Now Open For The Realness Pan African Scriptwriting Residency 2017

Following the success of the inaugural scriptwriting residency, Realness is thrilled to announce the call for submissions for the 2017 edition.

Realness is a pioneering residency that provides filmmakers with the opportunity to hone and develop their creative scriptwriting skills. It serves to address the need for promising African film projects to be supported in their development phase to be able to realistically compete in global film markets.

This year five filmmakers – Amirah Tajdin (Kenya), Hiwot Admasu (Ethiopia) Luck Razanajaona (Madagascar), Sheetal Magan (South Africa) and Wim Steytler (South Africa) spent six weeks at the Nirox Artists’ Residency in the Cradle of Humankind under the mentorship of script consultants Selina Ukwuoma and Nadja Dumouchel, including attending the Durban FilmMart and Talent Campus at the Durban International Film Festival.

“The success of this residency is not only evident in the encouraging feedback from the participants, who welcomed the opportunity to be in a quiet headspace to tap into their creative sources, but it is also evident in the numerous awards they have received and the progress made following the residency,” explains Elias Ribeiro, Creative Director of Realness. “Luck, for example, had a project selected for the Durban FilmMart prior to the residency, where we met and worked with participants as a precursor to programme. Here he walked off with awards from CineMart (International Film Festival Rotterdam) and the International Organisation of La Francophonie to further develop his script. Hiwot has since won an award to participate at another residency programme in Switzerland the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, and two of the projects have signed co-production agreements since completing the residency.”

As a result of the Realness programme, Ribeiro has,been invited to present the initiative at five major international festivals since starting it earlier this year, namely Berlinale, Cannes, Locarno, Venice and Torino. “The continued interest is very encouraging and serves as a platform for the residents to maintain the momentum towards getting their films made. We have structured Realness in a very holistic and strategic way, engaging with heavy-weight partners and advisors in developing the framework for the programme. It is rewarding to see the genuine interest in developing synergy between African cinema and the rest of the world.”

Amirah Tajdin said “Realness made me realize that…time and space really does make all the difference during script writing.” Wim Steytler said that Realness gave him the courage to “throw my script and 8 months of work into the bin. I gained important insights into how to take my story from decent to good. After Realness my goal is to take the project from good to great.”

Realness is proud to announce that the partnerships established in 2016 will continue into the second edition, which means that the 2017 residents will also have the opportunity to further develop their projects through the awards offered by the Durban FilmMart, Locarno Filmmakers Academy, Torino Film Lab, Midpoint, EAVE and La Fabrique des Cinema du Monde.

The submission window opens on 28 November 2016 and closes on 31 January 2017:

Applicants must submit ONE PDF dossier containing:

  • a motivation for wanting to participate in REALNESS (1 page)
  • a synopsis of the proposed feature project (1 page)
  • a narrative treatment of the proposed feature project (6 pages)
  • a draft of the screenplay (if available)
  • a writer’s note of intention (1 page)
  • a short biography (1 paragraph)
  • two links to samples of previously produced work, uploaded to vimeo. If selected, residents will be required to donate one copy of their previous work to the Nirox film library.

The call is open to screenwriters from across the African continent and selection will be based on artistic merit. REALNESS will hold no legal claim over the work once the residency is completed.

All submitted material must be in English. A committee appointed by the Realness team and their partners will read the project entries and conduct interviews with a shortlist of candidates in April. The REALNESS selection will be announced at an event hosted by the pavilion Les Cinemas du Monde in Cannes, 2017.

Dossiers must be submitted to realness@urucumedia.com. For further information and to download the application form go to www.urucumedia.com/realness.

Categories
Film

Met – Live In HD Schedule

CINEMA NOUVEAU PRESENTS THE NEW 2016 / 17 METROPOLITAN OPERA SEASON, INCLUDING SIX NEW PRODUCTIONS
Exclusively at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor theatres countrywide, ten opulent operas, including five new productions, from the Met stage to the big digital screen

MET: LIVE IN HD BROADCASTS A NEW PRODUCTION OF WAGNER’S TRAGIC OPERA, TRISTAN UND ISOLDE

“An audacious new production… Compelling, vulnerable performances… from a strong cast, especially the astonishing soprano Nina Stemme… [Her Isolde is] outstanding…” – New York Times

Tristan Und Isolde

The second opera in the current 2016/17 Met: Live in HD season, filmed for broadcast into cinemas from The Metropolitan Opera in New York, is a new staging of Richard Wagner’s epic tragedy, Tristan und Isolde. This powerful production releases at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor cinemas on Saturday, 03 December, for limited screenings.

Now in its eleventh year, The Met: Live in HD series is screened in cinemas around the world, including exclusive releases at Cinema Nouveau and Ster-Kinekor here in South Africa. The Met’s new season presents ten opulent, full-length operas including five new productions, three of which are new to the series.

All three acts of Tristan und Isolde are originally set, respectively, aboard ship on the Irish Sea, in Cornwall (southwestern Britain), and in Brittany (northwestern France). The many versions of this story all pay homage to the Celtic ambience and probable origin of the tale. Wagner’s preservation of this context emphasises several key themes associated with ancient Celtic culture: mysticism, knowledge of the magic arts, an evolved warrior code, and a distinctly non-Christian vision of the possibilities of the afterlife.

The opera is conducted by Sir Simon Rattle in his first Live in HD performance, and is directed by Mariusz Treliński. Nina Stemme stars as the world’s pre-eminent Isolde, a touchstone role she has sung with major opera companies around the world. Her Tristan is Australian heldentenor Stuart Skelton, who sang Siegmund in the Met’s Ring cycle in 2013.

The cast also includes Ekaterina Gubanova as Brangäne and Evgeny Nikitin as Kurwenal (both in Met role debuts), with René Pape reprising King Marke, a role he has sung to acclaim in three previous Met seasons. The staging, by Mariusz Treliński (who directed the 2015 Met double bill of Iolanta and Bluebeard’s Castle) is a co-production with the Festival Hall Baden-Baden, Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, and China National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) Beijing.

With its world premiere at Munich Court Theater in 1865, Wagner’s breathtaking meditation on love and death holds a unique place in the opera world. Its music has astounded, infuriated, and inspired audiences since it was first heard, and the title roles in Tristan und Isolde are acknowledged as among the most extraordinarily demanding in opera. The vocal challenges, the sumptuous symphonic scale of the orchestral writing, and the mystical nature of the story, with its opportunities for creative visual design, make this awe-inspiring work a phenomenon of the Met repertory.

In addition to the production, cinema audiences are invited behind the scenes with the Met’s stars. Singers serve as hosts for the HD series, conducting live interviews with cast and crew members as well as the production teams. They introduce the popular behind-the-scenes features during the intermissions, giving cinema audiences an unprecedented look at what goes into staging an opera at one of the world’s greatest houses. The series has become a global phenomenon with more than 19 million tickets sold since its inception ten years ago.

The Tristan und Isolde intermission feature includes:

  • Peter Gelb previews the 2016-17 HD season
  • Live backstage interviews with conductor Sir Simon Rattle and stars Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton

50th anniversary feature celebrating the Met at Lincoln Centre

The approximate running time is 4 hrs 47 mins, including two intervals.

Preview of Mariusz Treliński’s new production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, starring Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton and conducted by Simon Rattle:

The Met: Live in HD 2016/17 season trailer:

These grand operas, filmed at the iconic Metropolitan Opera House, feature some of the world’s most talented singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers and dancers.

With these exclusive productions, Cinema Nouveau continues to give local audiences the opportunity to witness these spectacular ‘live’ opera productions broadcast on the big screen, in full digital projection, at various sites across South Africa. Past productions have received critical acclaim and gained recognition around the world.

For booking information on Don Giovanni as part of The Met: Live in HD season, visit www.cinemanouveau.co.za or movies.sterkinekor.co.za. Follow us on Twitter @nouveaubuzz and on Facebook at Cinema Nouveau. For information, call Ticketline on 0861-Movies (668 437).

The Met: Live in HD – 2016-17 Schedule

The season opened on 19 November with Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and is followed by Wagner’s epic tragedy, Tristan und Isolde from 03 December. The season continues in 2017 with the series’ first broadcast of Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin (07 January 2017), Verdi’s famous Nabucco (04 February), Charles Gounod’s lush adaptation of Shakespeare’s Roméo et Juliette (11 February), Rusalka by Antonin Dvorak (25 March), Verdi’s favourite La Traviata (08 April), Idomeneo by Wolfang Amadeus Mozart (24 April), Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (20 May), and finally, Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier (10 June).
L’AMOUR DE LOIN – Kaija Saariaho (releases on 07 January 2017) Met Premiere
Libretto: Amin Maalouf
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Production: Robert Lepage
Set Designer: Michael Curry
Costume Designer: Michael Curry
Lighting Designer: Kevin Adams
Lightscape Image Designer: Lionel Arnould
Cast: Susanna Phillips (Clémence), Tamara Mumford (The Pilgrim), Eric Owens (Jaufré Rudel)

One of the most highly praised operas of recent years, which had its premiere at the Salzburg Festival in 2000, Kaija Saariaho’s yearning medieval romance L’Amour de Loin (“Love From Afar”), has its Met premiere this season. Finnish composer Saariaho’s breakthrough opera, described by the New York Times as “transfixing…a lushly beautiful score”, has its Metropolitan Opera premiere in a dazzling new production featuring glimmering ribbons of LED lights that extend across the length of the stage and over the orchestra pit. The production is by Robert Lepage, co-produced with L’Opéra de Québec, where it premiered to acclaim last summer, in collaboration with Ex Machina. Debuting Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki leads the performance, which stars Susanna Phillips as Clémence, Eric Owens as Jaufré, and Tamara Mumford as the Pilgrim who carries messages of love between them.
(Running time:  2hrs 33 mins, including one interval)

Categories
Film

Power Rangers – Rita Repulsa First Images

Lionsgate have released 2 new images of Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa in the upcoming POWER RANGERS film releasing on the 24th of March 2017

power-rangers-rita-repulsa-elizabeth-banks-1

Saban’s Power Rangers follows five ordinary teens who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove — and the world — is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers.

power-rangers-rita-repulsa-elizabeth-banks-2

Directed by Dean Israelite (Project Almanac), Saban’s Power Rangers stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, featuring Bill Hader, with Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks. The screenplay is by John Gatins (Kong: Skull Island, Real Steel). Story is by Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold) and Michele Mulroney & Kieran Mulroney. Producers are Power Rangers creator Haim Saban, Brian Casentini (“Power Rangers” TV series), Wyck Godfrey, and Marty Bowen (The Twilight Saga, The Fault in Our Stars, The Maze Runner franchise).