Categories
dvd / blu-ray Review

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (DVD) : Review

Film

Hailing from the world of Harry Potter, yet set some seventy years before the adventures of that famous wizard, we join one Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne – Jupiter Ascending, The Theory of Everything), writer and expert in the many interesting and fantastic beasts one might encounter, often with a dose of magic.

Now available for the home video aficionado, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is most certainly a title one should acquire for one’s collection. Not only is the film part of the much larger world of the Harry Potter films, but holds its own as a title that can be enjoyed by all, young and old.

Rewatch value on the film is high, with all the many fantastic beasts we get to meet, the many small easter eggs to the future Harry Potter world that are so easy to miss with all the on-screen action at the time, and the fact that this is just one very engrossing movie.

Read the full SAMDB review of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Disc

Overall, the disc is of a good technical quality, although not with many extra material. The main feature is a very enjoyable film.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video for the main feature is encoded at a high average bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on screen, nor any visible colour bleed. Detail is maintained in the darker scenes, as well as the opening sequence where there is a lot of text visible in the scene.

Viewers with the relevant hardware and software can scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, should they wish.

Video for the menus is a lot more compressed. While these are static, the still image does have signs of compression artefacts, but not much. Text on the menus is still very clearly legible.

Audio

Audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker. There is a fair amount of surround channel usage, serving to expand the on-screen world, and further draw the viewer into the story.

There is no stereo 2.0 downmix on the disc, but this would be available via the viewers hardware or software player.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The main menu has a static background image, with accompanying music. There are text links for playing the main feature, scene selection, language selection and special features.

The scene selection sub-menus contain six large, colour, still thumbnails each. These are numbered, but not labelled, so some guesswork is needed in order to navigate to a specific place in the main feature.

The languages sub-menu presents a text list of available audio languages, and a further sub-menu to another text list of available subtitle languages.

The special features sub-menu has a text list of the two included bonus videos.

Bonus Features

Magizoologist – A short featurette, all about Newt. From his clothing, to props (including wand), this clip covers many aspects. Redmayne gives some great insight into how he researched several aspects of Newt’s behaviour prior to filming. There is also some behind the scenes footage, giving us a brief glimpse into the filming process.

Meet the Fantastic Beasts – A look at some of the creatures in the film, and how they were conceptualised. We’re taken behind the scenes where the beasts are shown as puppets, or still as pre-visualised creations on a computer. The cast give some input as to how they interacted on-set prior to the final scene composits too.

Categories
dvd / blu-ray Review

Collateral Beauty (DVD) : Review

Film

Howard (Will Smith – Suicide Squad, Concussion) is a successful advertising executive in New York. His company is thriving, everyone loves him, and he is successful. But of late, he has retreated from the world, following a tragedy. His friends and co-workers, Whit (Edward Norton – Sausage Party), Claire (Kate Winslet – Triple 9, Divergent) and Simon (Michael Peña – Chips, The Martian) are concerned, and decide they need to intervene, for Howard’s sake, and for the sake of the company and all who work there, or are connected to those who work there. The friends devise a plan, and seek the help of local actors Brigitte (Helen Mirren – The Fate of the Furious, Woman in Gold), Amy (Keira Knightley – Everest, The Imitation Game) and Raffi (Jacob Latimore – The Maze Runner, Ride Along).

As part of trying to cope with the terrible emotion that has befallen him, Howard writes letters to Love, Time and Death. He ventures near a support group, run by Madeline (Naomie Harris), but struggles to get up the courage to actually approach them.

Collateral Beauty takes an extremely talented ensemble cast, and places them in an engrossing, and heart warming story, with a script that gifts the viewer a rather different take on the usual, and oft-portrayed, story of love, loss and family.

There are enough plot twists and reveals to keep the viewer engrossed, even if they are not already sold in the emotion of each character, feeling for them, and the goal of healing.

Collateral Beauty is a film that one should see at least once, as it is well constructed, tells a very relatable story, and is presented in the best of ways.

Disc

Overall, the disc is of a decent quality technically, with a good main feature, despite being very light on bonus material.

Collateral Beauty is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video for the main feature is encoded at a high average bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on screen. Colours are vibrant where appropriate, and there is no visible colour bleed. Detail in darker scenes is decent.

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

Video on the menus, and bonus feature, is a bit more compressed than the main feature, but this allows for more space on the disc, meaning the main feature would need less compression, meaning better video quality.

Audio

Audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. While there is a track with descriptive audio, there is no stereo 2.0 downmix, so viewers would need to use their own hardware or software for this purpose, if needed.

Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker. with a large portion of the weight of the soundtrack carried by the front channels. Surround channels serve to broaden the on-screen world, and further draw the viewer into the story. There is not an exceptional amount of use for these channels, given the genre of the film.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The main menu is a static screen, with a collage of images as background, and accompanying music. Navigation takes the form of a set of standard icons, with text labels, for playing the main feature, scene selection, language, and extras.

Scene selection comprises of two sub-menus, each with five large, colour, still thumbnails. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, so an amount of guesswork is needed to navigate to a specific spot in the main film.

The languages sub-menu provides a text list of audio languages, and subtitle languages to choose.

The extras sub-menu has the one bonus feature as a text link.

Bonus Features

A Modern Fable: Discovering Collateral Beauty – This short featurette has some input from cast and crew about the meaning of the film, and the message behind it, and what each viewer might take away from the story. Some insight for the viewer, into what went into creating this movie, and worth a view.

Categories
Television

M-Net, M-Net Binge, M-Net City Line-up For August 2017

M-Net (channel 101), M-Net Binge (channel 900) and M-Net City (channel 115) highlights for August 2017

M-Net Schedule Updates

New Information:

  • First Dates US season 1 has been added to the August schedule and will start on Sunday 13 August at 17:00. This means that Wedding Bashers season 1 will no longer start in that timeslot.
  • Ray Donovan season 5 has been added to the August schedule and will start on Tuesday 29 22:30.
  • Please note the addition of World Cinema movies on M-Net to the highlights below. Note: the World Cinema movies below will also have an additional repeat on Wednesdays between 02:00 – 02:30.

Reminder:

  • Madam Secretary season 3 returns from its broadcast break on Monday 7 August at 20:30.
  • I’m Dying Up Here season 1 will start on Friday 4 August at 21:30 and not 22:00 as previously communicated.
  • From 11 August, American Housewife season 1 will air on Fridays at 17:45 in addition to its regular timeslot on Wednesdays at 17:45.
  • Apple Tree Yard season 1 ends on Tuesday 22 August at 22:40.
  • The final episode of Great News season 1 will be broadcast on Thursday 31 August at 18:00, meaning that the comedy will now end on this day. Note that the Monday episode on 28 August at 18:00 will be broadcast as normal.

M-Net City Schedule Updates

Reminder:

  • Elementary season 5 has been added to the August schedule and will start on Wednesday 16 August at 20:00 (and not 19:50 as previously communicated).

Saturday Movies

Saturday 05 August 2017

21:30 Marauders   16VL Action

Action man, Bruce Willis, WWE superstar Dave Bautista and Christopher Meloni, play a very dangerous game of cat and mouse in this high stakes action film. When a bank is robbed the investigation leads to a larger conspiracy.

Read the SAMDB review of Marauders.

Saturday 12 August 2017

21:30 Skiptrace    PG13VL Action

Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville form an unlikely alliance in this global adventure. A Hong Kong detective and an American gambler team up to battle a notorious Chinese criminal.

Saturday 19 August 2017

21:30 Underworld: Blood Wars    16VSL Action

Kate Beckinsale reprises her role as Selene for this fifth fantasy instalment. This time the ultimate vampire fights to end the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires.

Read the SAMDB review of Underworld: Blood Wars.

Saturday 26 August 2017

21:30 Don’t Breathe   16VL Horror

Thrilling horror that takes your breath away. A trio of teenagers break into a blind man’s home, but he’s is far from helpless and the thieves soon become the prey.

Sunday Night Blockbusters

Sunday 06 August 2017

20:30 Bad Moms         16SNL Comedy

Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn kick the status quo to the curb, in a crazy comedy that sees three moms raise hell when they revolt against the ‘perfect moms’.

Sunday 13 August 2017

20:05 Rogue One   13V Science Fiction

Felicity Jones heads to a galaxy far, far, away, in this sci-fi epic. With the tide of war shifting, the Rebels embark on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.

Read the SAMDB review of Rogue One.

Sunday 20 August 2017

20:05 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back  13VL Action

Tom Cruise reprises his role as the explosive Jack Reacher. Now a fugitive, Reacher races to uncover a government conspiracy and clear his name.

Read the SAMDB review of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.

Sunday 27 August 2017

20:05 Arrival   13VL Drama

Amy Adams leads an incredible cast in this sci-fi filled with mystery. After spaceships inexplicably appear around the world, a linguist is tasked with interpreting the aliens’ language.

Read the SAMDB review of Arrival.

World Cinema Movies

Sunday 06 August 2017

22:50 Walk With Me 16SNL

Beautiful Danish drama about hope and redemption. After a tragic explosion, a young soldier struggles to regain his mental and physical strength.

Sunday 13 August 2017

22:55 Northwest 16VSNL

Dark and gritty Danish crime thriller. A young, small-time criminal is drawn into a violent conflict after he starts working for a prominent gangster.

Sunday 20 August 2017

22:45 The Man Who Knew Infinity PG13VL

Dev Patel delves into the mind of a brilliant Indian mathematician in this intriguing biographical drama, following the amazing life of a pioneer in his field.

Sunday 27 August 2017

22:45 Life Deluxe   16VNL

This sequel to the 2010 Swedish thriller stars Joel Kinnaman. A former drug runner who goes in search of his sister is lead to the world of organised crime in Stockholm.

New, Returning & Series Finales

Wednesday 02 August 2017

20:30 Salvation 01 0001 *Season 1 Starts*

Humanity hangs in the balance in this suspense thriller that centres on a staggering discovery: an enormous asteroid is just six months away from colliding with the Earth.

Thursday 03 August 2017

22:30 Reign 04 0016 “All It Cost Her…”  *Series Ends*

In the series finale of this period drama, Mary makes a decision that will change the course of history- forever shaping the fate of her nation, her crown, and her newborn son.

Friday 04 August 2017

17:45 Speechless 01 0023 “C-A– Camp”  *Season 1 Ends*

In the season finale of this irreverent comedy, Jimmy and Dylan have a father/daughter moment, Maya gets a surprise and Ray looks forward to reinventing himself over the summer.

21:30 I’m Dying Up Here 01 0001 “Pilot” *Season 1 Starts*

Executive produced by Jim Carrey the series premiere of this dramedy opens in 1970s L.A., where a group of up-and-coming comedians struggle to make it big on the Sunset Strip.

Sunday 06 August 2017

18:00 Kicking & Screaming 01 0008 “Survival Of The Fittest”  *Season 1 Ends*

Ten expert survivalists are partnered with a pampered group of civilians to face the toughest challenges of their lives, in this unique reality competition series.

22:10 Last Week Tonight With John Oliver 04 0019 *Series Returns From Production Break*

Late night satirist John Oliver delivers his unique take on the week’s news, politics and current events with characteristic, unwavering humour.

Monday 07 August 2017

20:30 Madam Secretary 03 0014 “Labor Of Love”  *Series Returns From Break*

Elizabeth works to reunite the son of the Colombian president and the daughter of the rebel leader, whose union is at the heart of an important peace deal. Acclaimed political drama.

Thursday 10 August 2017

21:30 The Blacklist  04 0022 “Mr. Kaplan: Conclusion”  *Season 4 Ends*

Red (Golden Globe-nominee James Spader) enlists a powerful fixer to undermine the government’s case against the Task Force. Season finale of the critically acclaimed crime thriller.

22:30 Jamestown 01 0001 “Episode #01”  *Season 1 Starts*

Set in the early 17th Century, the premiere of this gritty period drama opens with the arrival of a group of women who have left their dark pasts behind in England to journey to the New World.

Friday 11 August 2017

17:45 American Housewife 01 0013 ‘Then And Now” *Season 1 starts broadcast on Fridays*

The Ottos face the prospect of leaving Westport when their house is put up for sale. Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly) stars in this unapologetic family comedy.

19:30 World Of Dance 01 0010  *Season 1 Ends*

Jennifer Lopez serves as a judge and producer on this reality competition series that gives elite dancers the opportunity to compete for a life-altering grand prize.

Sunday 13 August 2017

17:00 First Dates US 01 0001  *Season 1 Starts*

From executive producer Ellen DeGeneres comes this relatable reality series that follows the promising, awkward and often hilarious first date experiences.

18:00 My Kitchen Rules South Africa 01 0001 *Season 1 Starts*

In an epic South African culinary showdown amateur cooks invite viewers- and celebrity judges- into their homes for an evening of pressure cooker competition.

Tuesday 15 August 2017

20:30 Shades Of Blue 02 0013 “Broken Dolls”  *Season 2 Ends*

In the dramatic season finale Wozniak (Golden Globe-nominee Ray Liotta) faces the ally who betrayed him and makes his most difficult choice yet. A web of corruption unfolds in this popular crime drama.

Thursday 17 August 2017

21:30 American Crime 03 0001 “Episode One” *Season 3 Starts*

In the season premiere of this critically acclaimed crime anthology series, Luis Salazar, an illegal immigrant, arrives in the United States to find work. From the Oscar-winning writer of ’12 Years A Slave’.

Tuesday 22 August 2017

20:30 Chicago Justice 01 0001 “Fake”  *Season 1 Starts*

This riveting new instalment to the ‘Chicago’ series follows the city’s dedicated prosecutors in the State’s Attorney’s office. The series premiere sees the team handling the fallout of an arsonist’s deadly attack.

22:40 Apple Tree Yard 01 0004 *Season 1 Ends*

Academy Award-nominee Emily Watson stars in this provocative psychological thriller about a married woman who embarks on a passionate affair that ultimately spirals dangerously out of control.

Friday 25 August 2017

18:15 My Kitchen Rules 08 0050  *Season 8 Ends*

Pete Evans and Manu Feildel return to host another round of hot competition in this popular reality cooking competition series.

Saturday 26 August 2017

17:00 Superhuman 01 0009  *Season 1 Ends*

Ordinary people with extraordinary abilities show off their skills in a never-before-seen competition that will test the limits of belief.

Sunday 27 August 2017

22:05 Last Week Tonight With John Oliver 04 0022  *Series Breaks and returns in September*

Late night satirist John Oliver delivers his unique take on the week’s news, politics and current events with characteristic, unwavering humour.

Monday 28 August 2017

18:30 America’s Got Talent 12 0001 “Auditions 1 Part 1”  *Season 12 Starts*

Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell return for another round of spectacular reality competition with brand new host Tyra Banks.

21:30 Game Of Thrones 07 0007  *Season 7 Ends*

The epic struggle for power, survival and revenge is ongoing in the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning fantasy phenomenon that follows several families in the fictional kingdom of Westeros.

Tuesday 29 August 2017

22:30 Ray Donovan 05 001 *Season 5 Starts*

Golden Globe nominee Liev Schreiber reprises his role as L.A.’s preeminent fixer for the rich and famous. In season five family turmoil leaves Ray more vulnerable than ever before.

23:50 Chance 01 0010 “Fluid Management” *Season 1 Ends*

With no memory of his encounter with Blackstone, Chance struggles to understand what transpired in the season finale. Golden Globe-winner Hugh Laurie stars in this compelling thriller.

Thursday 31 August 2017

18:00 Great News 01 0010 “Carol’s Eleven” *Season 1 Ends*

In the season finale of this smart workplace comedy Katie makes a huge discovery about the story she’s been chasing. Emmy-winner Tina Fey penned this workplace comedy.

23:45 Man In An Orange Shirt 01 0001  *Season 1 Starts*

Based on the novel of the same name, this poignant drama explores the unfolding of two love stories sixty years apart. Academy Award winner Vanessa Redgrave stars.

Saturday 5 August 2017 

21:30 Supergirl 02 0001 “The Adventures Of Supergirl”  13V

22:17 Supergirl 02 0002 “The Last Children Of Krypton”  13VL

23:04 Supergirl 02 0003 “Welcome To Earth”  13V

23:51 Supergirl 02 0004 “Survivors”  13VL

00:38 Supergirl 02 0005 “Crossfire”  13VL

01:25 Supergirl 02 0006 “Changing”  13VL

02:13 Supergirl 02 0007 “The Darkest Places”  13VL

03:00 Supergirl 02 0008 “Medusa”  13VL

03:47 Supergirl 02 0009 “Supergirl Lives”  13VL

04:34 Supergirl 02 0010 “We Can Be Heroes”  13VL

05:21 Supergirl 02 0011 “The Martian Chronicles”  13V

Sunday 06 August 2017 

21:30 Supergirl 02 0012 “Luthors”  13VL

22:17 Supergirl 02 0013 “Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk”  13VL

23:04 Supergirl 02 0014 “Homecoming”  13VL

23:51 Supergirl 02 0015 “Exodus”  13VL

00:38 Supergirl 02 0016 “Star-Crossed”  13VL

01:25 Supergirl 02 0017 “Distant Sun”  13VL

02:12 Supergirl 02 0018 “Ace Reporter”  13VL

02:59 Supergirl 02 0019 “Alex”  13VL

03:46 Supergirl 02 0020 “City Of Lost Children”  13V

04:33 Supergirl 02 0021 “Resist”  13VL

05:20 Supergirl 02 0022 “Nevertheless, She Persisted”  13VL

Saturday 12 August 2017

21:30 The Flash 03 0001 “Flashpoint”  13VL

22:17 The Flash 03 0002 “Paradox”  13VL

23:04 The Flash 03 0003 “Magenta”  13VL

23:51 The Flash 03 0004 “The New Rogues”  13V

00:38 The Flash 03 0005 “Monster”  13V

01:25 The Flash 03 0006 “Shade”  13VL

02:13 The Flash 03 0007 “Killer Frost”  13VL

03:00 The Flash 03 0008 “Invasion!”  13VL

03:47 The Flash 03 0009 “The Present”  13VL

04:34 The Flash 03 0010 “Borrowing Problems From The Future”  13VL

05:21 The Flash 03 0011 “Dead Or Alive”  13VL

Sunday 13 August 2017

06:08 The Flash 03 0012 “Untouchable”  13VL

21:30 The Flash 03 0013 “Attack On Gorilla City”  13VL

22:17 The Flash 03 0014 “Attack On Central City”  13VL

23:04 The Flash 03 0015 “The Wrath Of Savitar”  13VL

23:51 The Flash 03 0016 “Into The Speed Force”  13VL

00:38 The Flash 03 0017 “Duet”  13VL

01:26 The Flash 03 0018 “Abra Kadabra”  13VL

02:13 The Flash 03 0019 “The Once And Future Flash”  13V

03:00 The Flash 03 0020 “I Know Who You Are”  13V

03:47 The Flash 03 0021 “Cause And Effect”  13VL

04:34 The Flash 03 0022 “Infantino Street”  13VL

05:21 The Flash 03 0023 “Finish Line”  13VL

Saturday 19 August 2017

21:30 Arrow 05 0001 “Legacy”  13VL

22:17 Arrow 05 0002 “Recruits”  13VL

23:04 Arrow 05 0003 “A Matter Of Trust”  13VL

23:51 Arrow 05 0004 “Penance”  13VL

00:38 Arrow 05 0005 “Human Target”  13VL

01:25 Arrow 05 0006 “So It Begins”  13VL

02:11 Arrow 05 0007 “Vigilante”  13VL

02:58 Arrow 05 0008 “Invasion”  13VL

03:45 Arrow 05 0009 “What We Left Behind”  13VL

04:32 Arrow 05 0010 “Who Are You?”  13VL

05:19 Arrow 05 0011 “Second Chances”  13VL

Sunday 20 August 2017

06:06 Arrow 05 0012 “Bratva”  13VL

21:30 Arrow 05 0013 “Spectre Of The Gun”  13VL

22:16 Arrow 05 0014 “The Sin-Eater”  13VL

23:03 Arrow 05 0015 “Fighting Fire With Fire”  13VL

23:50 Arrow 05 0016 “Checkmate”  13VL

00:37 Arrow 05 0017 “Kapiushon”  13VL

01:24 Arrow 05 0018 “Disbanded”  13VL

02:11 Arrow 05 0019 “Dangerous Liaisons”  13VL

02:58 Arrow 05 0020 “Underneath”  13VS

03:45 Arrow 05 0021 “Honor Thy Fathers”  13VL

04:32 Arrow 05 0022 “Missing”  13VL

05:19 Arrow 05 0023 “Lian Yu” 13VL

Saturday 26 August 2017

21:30 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0001 “Out Of Time”  13VSL

22:17 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0002 “The Justice Society Of America”  13VL

23:04 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0003 “Shogun”  13VL

23:51 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0004 “Abominations”  13VL

00:38 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0005 “Compromised”  13VL

01:25 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0006 “Outlaw Country”  13VL

02:11 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0007 “Invasion!”  13VL

02:58 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0008 “The Chicago Way”  13VL

03:45 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0009 “Raiders Of The Lost Art”  13VL

Sunday 27 August 2017

21:30 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0010 “The Legion Of Doom”  13VL

22:17 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0011 “Turncoat”  13VL

23:03 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0012 “Camelot/3000”  13VL

23:50 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0013 “Land Of The Lost”  13VL

00:37 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0014 “Moonshot”  13VL

01:24 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0015 “Fellowship Of The Spear”  13VL

02:11 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0016 “Doomworld”  13VL

02:58 DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow 02 0017 “Aruba”  13VL

New, Returning & Series Finales

Thursday 03 August 2017

22:00 Mr Robot 02 0010 “Python.P7z-Pt 1 & 2”  *Season 2 Ends*

Golden Globe-winning psychological thriller. In the season finale, an old friend reveals all to Elliot, just as fsociety find themselves in too deep.

Friday 04 August 2017

22:00 The Night Of 01 0001 “Part 1 – The Beach”  *Season 1 Starts*

In the premiere episode of this critically acclaimed miniseries, a Pakistani-American college student is implicated in the brutal murder of a young woman. From the acclaimed writers of ‘Schindler’s List’.

Sunday 06 August 2017

22:05 Orange Is The New Black 04 0001 “Work That Body For Me”  *Season 4 Starts*

Critically acclaimed dramedy from the Emmy winning creator of Weeds. In the season premiere, Caputo has to call in the big guns, after a major security breach and the arrival of new inmates.

Tuesday 08 August 2017

23:00 Bates Motel 04 0001 “A Danger To Himself And Others”  *Season 4 Starts*

Unravel the origins of a killer in this chilling prequel to the classic horror film. In the season premiere, Norma searches desperately for Norman, who finds himself in unfamiliar surroundings.

Wednesday 09 August 2017

20:00 Taken 01 0010 “I Surrender”  *Season 1 Ends*

In the season finale of this action-packed thriller, Bryan and John lead a rogue mission to stop Mejia’s associates-before they cross the border. Based on the blockbuster films of the same name.

22:00 Mad Dogs 01 #109  *Season 1 Ends*

In the season finale of this dark, comic thriller, Joel hurries to covertly complete Jesús’ mission, while Gus and Cobi each deal with the authorities. An ensemble cast stars.

Thursday 10 August 2017

22:00 Wentworth 04 0001 “First Blood”  *Season 4 Starts*

Acclaimed Australian drama that follows a young woman trying to survive the dark politics of prison. The women return to Wentworth after the rebuild and a new dynamic is in play, in the season premiere.

Wednesday 16 August 2017

20:00 Elementary 05 0001 “Folie A Deux” *Season 5 Starts*

In the season premiere of this Emmy-nominated crime drama following a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, a serial bomber becomes active again, forcing Watson to seek help from a former patient.

22:00 The Fall 03 0001 *Season 3 Starts*

In the chilling season premiere of this unsettling crime thriller serial killer Paul Spector is rushed to Belfast General Hospital where staff attempt to save his life. Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson star.

Monday 21 August 2017

23:00 Bates Motel 04 0010 “Norman”  *Season 4 Ends*

Emmy nominee Vera Farmiga stars as Norma Bates in this prequel to the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie. In the season finale, Romero faces pressure from all sides, while Dylan considers reaching out to Norman.

Tuesday 22 August 2017

23:00 Banshee 04 0001 #31 “Something Out Of The Bible”  *Season 4 Starts*

The Emmy-winning thriller returns for a fourth and final season of gritty action and drama. In the season premiere, Lucas returns to Banshee to find everything dramatically changed.

Saturday 26 August 2017

21:00 House Of Cards 04 0013 “Chapter 52”  *Season 4 Ends*

Golden Globe winner Kevin Spacey stars in this acclaimed political drama. Claire secretly negotiates with Yusuf al Ahmadi, as the hostage situation continues, in the season finale.

22:10 Bates Motel 05 0001 “Dark Paradise”  *Season 5 Starts*

In the fifth and final season premiere of this acclaimed, Emmy-nominated horror series, Norman tries to keep up appearances, despite a troubling discovery.

Monday 28 August 2017

22:00 The Last Ship 03 0013 “Don’t Look Back”  *Season 3 Ends*

Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy) stars in this post-apocalyptic drama from the producer of ‘The Closer’. In the season finale, Chandler faces a challenge, as the fight for America reaches its conclusion.

Thursday 31 August 2017

23:00 Banshee 04 0008 #38 “Requiem”  *Season 4 Ends*

Follow the fourth and final season of the Emmy-winning action-thriller, about a former criminal and convict. In the series finale, Lucas learns that a murder case he thought was closed may be opening again.

Categories
dvd / blu-ray Review

Cross Wars (DVD) : Review

Film

Brian Austin Green reprises his role as Callan (from Cross, and the future Cross 3), who returns with his team of “weapons experts” in order to oppose the return of the evil Gunnar (Vinnie Jones). Callan again crosses paths with Frank Nitti (Tom Sizemore), a detective under the city of Los Angeles. Not forgetting the appearance of Muerte (Danny Trejo – Storks).

Cross Wars, second in what will be a trilogy, is strong contender for the worst movie of 2017. The action is horrific, made ever more fake by the ameture special effects and total lack of any weapons or tactical knowledge by the characters, humorously referred to just moments prior to the opening gunfight, as “weapons experts”. They are anything but, tossing out ridiculous one-liners, that would make even the most B-grade action character cringe.

The story is weak, the acting non-existent. The budget would have been better spent hiring some students from a local acting school. At least things might have been ever slightly bearable.

Not much else to say, other than Cross Wars is just plain terrible. Avoid it.

Disc

Technically, the disc is of a decent quality, however the actual content is certainly not.

Cross Wars is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video for the main feature is encoded at a high average bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on screen, colours are vibrant (perhaps too much vibrancy, but this was a creative choice of the filmmakers).

Viewers with the relevant hardware or software can scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, should they wish, however this is likely just going to make the terrible effects just all that more noticeable.

Video bitrate for the menus is considerably lower, but this does not affect viewing the main feature, and rather leaves more room on the disc to allow for a higher bitrate for the film.

Audio

Audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. There is no stereo downmix, so one would need to rely on the hardware or software of the player or amplifier for this.

Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker, with the weight of the film’s audio carried by the front channels.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The main menu has a static background, with no accompanying music. There are text links to play the main feature, languages, scene selection and special features. The menu colours are a bit garish, but this would be to personal taste, fitting in with the colour of some of the films effects.

The languages sub-menus provide a text list to several audio languages, and several sub-menus of subtitles.

The scene selection sub-menus contain large, colour, still thumbnails. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, so some guesswork would be needed to navigate to a specific part of the film.

The special features sub-menu provides a text list to select the audio commentary or alternate credit sequence.

Bonus Features

Audio commentary by Director Patrick Durham and Executive Producer Gary T. Williams: As the film contends for worst movie of 2017, the director and producer have put in the effort to have the worst audio commentary of 2017, keeping in line with their film. The two mumble a few things such as calling the opening action scene “cool”, or spotting themselves. There is nothing of value imparted here, neither to the casual viewer, or any budding filmmaker who might be seeking insight. They seem to have forgotten they were doing an audio commentary, and got wrapped up watching themselves on-screen. Give this a miss, along with everything else.

Alternate Credits: An alternate to the films credits. This feels thrown on, just to have an additional bonus feature. Not worth the effort of clicking the remote buttons.

Categories
dvd / blu-ray Review

Sleepless (DVD) : Review

Film

Vincent (Jamie Foxx – A Million Ways to Die in the West, The Amazing Spider-Man 2), a seemingly corrupt cop with connections to the criminal underworld, lands himself in deep trouble when his son is taken. Investigated by internal affairs officer Bryant (Michelle Monaghan – Patriots Day, Pixels), chased on all sides by crime families, Vincent is in a race to rescue his son, and save his family.

Sleepless is a fast paced, tense, and exciting film. The plot provides the viewer with clues, but these are always clearer with hindsight. There are enough twists and turns to keep one guessing, and escape the “same old” feeling of action films. And action the film provides, from chases, to shoot-outs, fights and trashed hotel rooms, Sleepless does not let up one bit.

The film dives right in, establishing Vincent as the main character, beset with troubles on both sides of the law. And as his day gets worse, we learn more about those he works with, and does business with.

Along comes the ass-kicking Bryant, skeptical and by-the-book. Soon their paths cross, and an intense stand-off ensues.

Sleepless is a fun film, with a talented cast, all bundled together with a good story. Certainly an action film to enjoy.

Disc

Overall, the disc is of a decent technical quality, with an enjoyable main feature.

Sleepless is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video for the main feature is encoded at a high average bitrate, with no visible artefacts on screen, nor any visible colour bleed. Colours are vibrant in the relevant scenes, with detail maintained in the several darker scenes.

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

Audio

Audio for the main feature is encoded at a high average bitrate. The soundtrack is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, with a stereo 2.0 downmix available. Strangely enough, the stereo mix is the default track selected, so a visit to the setup menu, or use of the DVD player controls, is needed.

Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker, with much of the weight of the soundtrack carried by the front channels. A great deal of use is made of the surround channels though, either for filling out the space with music, atmospherics, or just expanding the on-screen world for the viewer, further drawing them into the action.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to use, with a static main menu, and three text links to play the main feature, chapter selection, or audio setup.

The chapter selection sub-menus have four large, colour, still thumbnails. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, meaning that an amount of guesswork would be required in order to navigate to a specific spot in the film.

The setup sub-menu allows the viewer to choose between the 5.1 or 2.0 soundtracks. Note, that the 5.1 mix is not the default soundtrack, so a visit here before watching the film is a good idea.

Bonus Features

There are no bonus features on the disc, other than trailers for The Hunters Prayer, Brimstone, and the game Prey. These autoplay at the beginning of the disc, and can be skipped or fast-forward individually, but are not accessible again from anywhere on the disc.

Categories
Uncategorized

August Highlights On Showmax

HARLOTS

First and only on Showmax

Two-time Oscar-nominee Samantha Morton (In America, Sweet and Lowdown) and 2016 and 2017 BAFTA nominee Lesley Manville (River, Mum) star as rival brothel owners in 18th century England, where one in five women made their living selling sex. Premieres 7 August 2017.

YOUNGER

First and only on Showmax

After a revelation three seasons in the making, Liza’s future at Empirical Publishing is hanging in the balance. Meanwhile, Kelsey (Hilary Duff) is surprisingly entwined with Josh (Nico Tortorella) – both finding solace in their shared betrayal. As Liza (Sutton Foster) draws closer to Charles (Peter Hermann), her desire to stop lying to the people she loves slips further and further away. Premieres 3 August 2017.

KINGDOM

First and only on Showmax

The final episode of the third and final series premieres on Showmax on 3 August 2017, express from the States. Brace yourself for the hardest-hitting season of the MMA drama yet, where the fights are brutal inside and outside the cage. Teen Choice and People’s Choice winner Nick Jonas stars alongside Frank Grillo (Warrior, Captain America), Matt Lauria (Friday Night Lights) and Jonathan Tucker (Parenthood).

COMING SOON

Acclaimed series and films

  • Golden Globe winners like The Big Bang Theory (S9 due 21/08) and nominees like Insecure (trailer above; S1 due 14/08)
  • Emmy and International Emmy winners like Shameless (S6 due 21/08), Shaun The Sheep: The Farmer’s Llamas (due 03/08, with S5); South Park (S19-20 due 17/08), Curious George (S7-9 due 31/08) and Mike The Knight (S3 due 21/08), as well as nominees like Vikings (S4B due 24/08); The Flash (S2 due 03/08); and The Whispers (S1 due 10/08)
  • Image Award winners like Being Mary Jane (S1-3 due 24/08), Real Husbands Of Hollywood (S1-3 due 28/08) and True Jackson, VP (S1 due 07/08) as well as nominees like Ballers (S2 due 10/08) and The Haunted Hathaways (S1 due 10/08)
  • Acclaimed African films like Mbithi Masya’s Toronto International Film Festival International Critics’ Prize winner Kati Kati (due 03/08); Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award winner God Grew Tired Of Us: The Story Of The Lost Boys Of The Sudan (due 21/08); Jahmil Qubeka’s controversial, SAFTA-winning Of Good Report (due 31/08) and Leila Djansi’s Africa Movie Academy Award-winner Ties That Bind (due 03/08)
  • Classic international movies like Charlize Theron’s Oscar-winning Monster (due 03/08); John Hughes’ 80’s cult favourite The Breakfast Club (07/08); and Kids Choice winner Big Fat Liar (14/08)
  • BAFTA winners like Doctor Foster (S1 due 17/08)
  • People’s Choice nominees like Arrow (S4 due 07/08)
  • Award-winning local TV series like MTV Shuga (S1-5 due 28/08) and Donkerland (S1 due 03/08)

Browse more of the Showmax August line-up

Categories
Television

Nia Long Joins Cast Of “NCIS: Los Angeles”

Yesterday, CBS announced that popular actress Nia Long will be joining the cast of NCIS: Los Angeles as a series regular. She will be introduced in the ninth season premiere which will start on M-Net 101 in November 2017. An exact date will be announced closer to the time.

Long will play the team’s new executive assistant director, Shay Mosely. As a former Secret Service agent now working for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Mosely is an experienced Washington insider who brings an east coast style and demeanor to the west coast team.

“The character was created specifically for Nia to capitalize on her strengths and personality, and we are excited about the new opportunities and dynamics she brings to the show,” said NCIS: Los Angeles executive producer R. Scott Gemmill. “We couldn’t be happier to have her join our family.”

Since making her feature film debut in “Boyz N the Hood,” actress Nia Long has gone on to star in more than 50 movies and television shows. Some of her notable film credits include Friday, Soul Food, Love Jones, The Best Man, Boiler Room, Big Momma’s House, Alfie, Are We There Yet?, Big Momma’s House 2, The Best Man Holiday and Keanu.

Long is the ambassador for the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets program, a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria. She will be traveling to Tanzania for the campaign, to visit the world’s largest refugee camp where she will meet with refugee families and distribute insecticide-treated mosquito nets that help keep families safe from the disease.

NCIS: Los Angeles stars Chris O’Donnell, LL COOL J, Linda Hunt, Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen, Barrett Foa and Renée Felice Smith. It is produced by CBS Television Studios and the new season (nine) will air exclusively on M-Net 101.

Categories
Film

Thrilling Adventure In “Son Of Bigfoot” Out In CInemas This August

‘Discover a new force of nature’

11TH AUGUST 2017. Releasing at all SterKinekor cinemas, The Son of Bigfoot will definitely be worth your while. Directed by Belgian film director, producer and screenwriter Ben Stassen in collaboration with Jeremy Degruson, This awesome animation brings together a refreshing blend of flawless animation and impeccable story-telling.

The movie follows the journey of an awkward teenager Adam, who struggles to fit in to the school community and physically appears very different to the other children

As Adam sets out on an epic and daring quest to uncover the mystery behind his long-lost dad and his extraordinary physic, he finds out his search for answer may very well put all that he holds dear in grave danger

Be sure to book your seats on August 11 to be the first to watch the Son of Bigfoot in action.

Classification: TBA
Running time: TBA
Genre: Animation, Comedy

For further information on Son of Bigfoot, including official trailers, please visit www.facebook.com/sterkinekorentertainment or follow SterKinekor on Twitter at @SterEnt, using #SOBFSA

Categories
Film

Principal Photography On Travis Knight’s Bumblebee Has Begun

Paramount Pictures, in association with HASBRO, announced today that principal photography has commenced on “BUMBLEBEE.” The film’s shoot will take place entirely in California, including in Southern and Northern California.

Directed by Travis Knight (“KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS,” “CORALINE”), the film stars Hailee Steinfeld (“EDGE OF SEVENTEEN”), Pamela Adlon (“BETTER THINGS,””LOUIE”), John Cena (“DADDY’S HOME 2,” “TRAINWRECK”), Stephen Schneider (Comedy Central’s “BROAD CITY”), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (“SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING”), Jason Drucker (“DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL”), Kenneth Choi (“AMERICAN CRIME STORY”), Ricardo Hoyos (“DEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS”), Abby Quinn (“LANDLINE,” “THE SISTERHOOD OF THE NIGHT”), Rachel Crow (“DEIDRA & LANEY ROB A TRAIN”), and Grace Dzienny (“ZOO”).

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken.  When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

The film is produced by “TRANSFORMERS” franchise veterans Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Michael Bay, along with executive producers Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. Chris Brigham (“ARGO,” “INCEPTION”) will also executive produce. The screenplay is written by Christina Hodson (“UNFORGETTABLE”).