Categories
Awards Television

Big Little Lies Wins Big At Golden Globes – Becomes Metaphor For Time’s Up Movement

Big Little Lies repeated its Emmy’s haul at last night’s Golden Globes, again winning Best Limited Series and all but one of the main awards within the category, taking home Best Actress for Nicole Kidman, Best Supporting Actress for Laura Dern, and Best Supporting Actor for Alexander Skarsgard.

The hit HBO show is an adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s bestselling book about marriage, motherhood and murder in upper-middle-class suburbia, but last night its themes of (spoiler alert) standing up to abuse became a metaphor for what’s happening in post-Weinstein and #metoo Hollywood at the moment.

As Kidman said after collecting her fourth Golden Globe, for her role as an abused wife, “This character that I played represents something that is the centre of our conversation right now: abuse. I do believe and I hope that we can elicit change through the stories we tell and the way we tell them. Let’s keep the conversation alive.”

Similarly, her fellow executive producer and co-star Witherspoon said in her speech, “This show is so much about the life we present to the world, that can be very different than the life we live behind closed doors. So I want to thank everyone who broke their silence this year and spoke up about abuse and harassment; you are so brave. Hopefully shows like this – more will be made. So people out there who are feeling silenced by harassment, discrimination, and abuse – time is up. We see you, we hear you. And we will tell your stories.”

Dern won for her role as a mother who is “terrified because her little girl was being abused and bullied, and she was too afraid to speak up.”

She urged parents to encourage their children to speak up. “Many of us were taught not to tattle. It was a culture of silencing and that was normalised. I urge all of us to not only support survivors and bystanders who are brave enough to tell their truth but to promote restorative justice. May we also please protect and employ them. May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new North Star.”

Female-driven narratives were the night’s big winners: in addition to Big Little Lies dominating the mini-series category, The Handmaid’s Tale won Best Drama Series, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel Best Musical or Comedy Series, Lady Bird Best Musical or Comedy Film, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri winning Best Drama Film.

HBO has renewed Big Little Lies for a second season due in 2019, which will be directed by Oscar, BAFTA and four-time Cannes winner Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank, Red Road, American Honey, Transparent).

Big Little Lies is available to binge on Showmax, while season three of the night’s only other limited series winner, Fargo, comes to Showmax this Thursday. Ewan McGregor won Best Actor in a Limited Series for his dual role in Fargo as probation officer Emmit Stussy and his brother Ray, the “Parking Lot King Of Minnesota.”

The Handmaid’s Tale, which also won Best Actress for Elisabeth Moss, is coming soon to Showmax, while other Golden Globe nominees already on Showmax include Game of Thrones, Mr Robot, The Deuce and The Young Pope. Earlier seasons of 2018 nominees Black-ish, Ray Donovan, Shameless and Top of the Lake are also on Showmax, with Top of the Lake: China Girl coming to Showmax in March 2018.

Read the full winners list for the 75th Golden Globe Awards.

Categories
Awards

75th Golden Globes Winners – 2018

Best actress – limited series or TV movie
*Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies)

Best supporting actor in any movie
Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best actress – television musical or comedy
Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

Best actress in a TV series – drama
Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Best actor – television drama
Sterling K Brown (This is Us)

Best TV series – drama
The Handmaid’s Tale

Best supporting actor in a TV series, limited series or TV movie
Alexander Skarsgard (Big Little Lies)

Best original score – movie
The Shape of Water

Best original song – movie
This Is Me (The Greatest Showman)

Best actor – musical or comedy movie
James Franco (The Disaster Artist)

Best supporting actress in a TV series, limited series or TV movie
Laura Dern (Big Little Lies)

Best animated movie
Coco

Best supporting actress in any movie
Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Best movie screenplay
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best foreign language movie
In the Fade

Best actor – limited TV series or TV movie
Ewan McGregor (Fargo)

Best television series – musical or comedy
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Best actor in a TV series – musical or comedy
Aziz Ansari (Master of None)

Cecil B. De Mille Award
Presented to Oprah Winfrey

Best director – movie
Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Best limited TV series or TV movie
Big Little Lies

Best actress – musical or comedy movie
Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)

Best film – musical or comedy
Lady Bird

Best actor – drama movie
Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Best actress – drama movie
Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best film – drama
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Categories
dvd / blu-ray Review

The Belko Experiment (DVD) : Review

Film

In a twisted social experiment, eighty Americans are locked in the Belko company office, situated in Bogotá, Colombia, and ordered by an unknown voice on the intercom to kill each other, or be killed. One of these employees is Mike Milch (John Gallagher Jr.).

The Belko Experiment is certainly a different sort of film, and it keeps just one step ahead of the viewer, who at most attempts, would fail to predict the next turn in the films plot.

The film is a balance of action, thriller, and some slasher style horror. Yet, while it has the appearance of a B grade film, it puts many an intellectual question to its viewer, challenging all those who share its story, to ponder how they might react, if placed in a situation such as that depicted here. Would it be possible to survive, yet stick to ones morals? Is it a situation where one should forgo all societal norms, and do whatever necessary to survive?

It is the constant mix of emotion, and genre that keeps the viewer intrigued, cheering one character, only to have ones hopes for them dashed as they meet a violent end, or cause the end of another.

The Belko Experiment in itself, feels like an experimental film, lending more credence to the premise. A fun, if sometimes violent, journey down the rabbit hole of the human psyche.

Disc

Overall, the disc is of a good technical quality, with an enjoyable main feature, and several bits of bonus material.

The Belko Experiment is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on-screen, nor any visible colour bleed. Details is good in darker scenes.

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

Audio

Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, with dialogue clear via the centre channel. There is fair use of the surround channels, serving to expand the on-screen world, and further draw the viewer into the action.

Audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, and includes a descriptive audio track.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The main menu, after a brief video transition, has a static background, with accompanying music. There are options to play the main feature, setup, scenes, and extras.

The setup menu leads to a sub-menu with text options for audio soundtracks, and a plethora of subtitles.

The scenes sub-menus each have four large, still, colour thumbnails, for a total of 28 chapters. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, meaning an amount of guesswork is needed in order to navigate to a specific place in the main feature.

The extras sub-menu has a text list of all the bonus features.

Bonus Features

There are a two small video featurettes includes in the bonus features of the disc, along with deleted scenes, trailer and a few photos from behind the scenes. Certainly more than what one usually gets on a DVD these days.

Rules of the Game: The Secrets Behind The Belko Experiment – Writer, directors James Gunn talks about the original idea he had for the film, and his vision for the movie, how he wished to have the events portrayed. This featurette has some interesting information imparted to the viewer, and should intertest the average viewer, and budding filmmaker, alike.

Lee Hardcastle’s Survival Tips – A collection of four short clips, that look as if they were designed to be TV spots, created with clay, to illustrate the deadly tasks laid out before the Belko employees. Rather violent, but amusing, at the same time.

These can be played one at a time, or via a playlist that will play them all.

Deleted Scenes – A collection of 8 deleted scenes, each with its own text title prior to the scene.

Gallery – A collection of production stills, showing behind the scenes of the shoot.

Theatrical Trailer – The films theatrical trailer.

 

Categories
dvd / blu-ray Review

Bedeviled (DVD) : Review

Film

A group of five friends receive invites to a new mobile app, after a friend of theirs is killed. Soon, they are being terrorised by a supernatural entity.

Yes, indeed, Bedeviled is actually as bad as it sounds. A sub-par b-grade attempt at a horror. Starring Saxon Sharbino (Poltergeist) as Alice Gorman, and Bonnie Morgan (Rings) as her dead grandmother, the films plot had potential, even if seeming like several other low-budget horror films. But the story drags along with awkward dialogue, and with the characters seeming determined to make the most incorrect decisions at the most inopportune time, in a deliberate attempt to steer the plot along in a certain direction, in order for the story to drag out so we can finally encounter the evil entity that is after them.

The friends being stalked feel like templates for typical persons to be in a horror film, and this, coupled with so many fortuitous moments, make for some cases where one merely shakes ones head, and begins to cheer on the demon (or whatever it is, in clown form).

Bedeviled has a really weak story, with some bad writing. Watch it if you’re really that bored, else perhaps go look elsewhere for something with a bit more substance.

Disc

Overall, the Bedeviled DVD is of a decent technical quality, but lacking in bonus material, and with a rather mediocre main feature.

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

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate, with no visible artefacts on-screen. Colours are vibrant, with no colour bleed. Detail is maintained in darker scenes.

Video on the menus and trailers is also of a decent quality.

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

Audio

Audio is encoded at a decent bitrate, and presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround soundtrack. Dialogue clear via the centre channel, for the most part. There are a few occasions when one would need to be concentrating in order to catch what was said, but these are few and far between. Volume does seem a little low on dialgue at times.

There is an options for a stereo 2.0 downmix soundtrack.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The main menu is a text menu, with items to play the main feature, chapter selections, and audio. The main menu is a static menu, with background image, and accompanying music.

The chapter selection sub-menus comprise of six small, motion thumbnails each, for a total of twelve chapters. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, making navigating to a specific part of the main feature a bit difficult, and some guesswork is required.

The audio sub-menu has text options to select between the 5.1 surround and 2.0 stereo soundtracks.

Bonus Features

There are no bonus features on the disc, other than trailers for First Kill, The Lost City of Z, and Atomic Blonde that autoplay at the beginning of the disc.

These can be individually fast-forward, and skipped, but can not be accessed again via the disc menu. When skipping the final trailer, the disc will navigate to play the main feature, and not access the main menu.

Categories
Television

Catch All The 2018 Golden Globe Winners Tonight On M-Net

The 2018 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards took place in Beverly Hills last night and the spectacular ceremony honoured the best in film and television in the year that passed. The awards show will be broadcast on M-Net (channel 101) tonight, Monday January 8 at 21:10, so there’s still time to avoid the spoilers and tune in.

From the glitz and glam of the fashion, to first-time host Seth Meyers’ fiery opening monologue, the show had plenty to entertain when it aired live on M-Net Movies Premiere (channel 104) at 03:00 this morning. Also a first for the awards was the presence of not one but two South African Miss Universes: Margaret Gardiner (who was crowned in 1978) and the newly-crowned Demi Leigh Nel Peters. Both South African beauties looked stunning in their black gowns that honoured the all-black theme highlighting sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.

For more info on this year’s nominated series and movies, check out mnet.tv. Join in the conversation tonight on twitter @Mnet (#Mnet) and follow M-Net on Facebook.

Refresh your memory with the spoiler-free nominees list for the 75th Golden Globe Awards.

Categories
dvd / blu-ray Review

Dunkirk (DVD) : Review

Film

May 26 to June 4, 1940, allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army at Dunkirk. They withdraw to the harbour, and a massive operation is launched to evacuate them during the very fierce Battle of France, in World War II. An evacuation that included boats requisitioned from civilians, and the many civilians who stepped forward to help.

The fast-paced story follows the land, sea and air aspects of combat, with Commander Bolton (Kenneth Branagh – Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) as part of the navy,  and civilian Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance). In the air, fighter pilot Farrier (Tom Hardy – Child 44The DropLocke). With the ground covered by soldier Alex (Harry Styles, of boy band One Direction) and Tommy (Fionn Whitehead). Look for a shivering Cillian Murphy (Transcendence)  amongst the men.

The epic story, heroism, and intense action of Dunkirk are a must for any film collector. The action will thrill viewers, and the story engross them with its tales of heroism and sacrifice.

There is a fair amount of rewatch value for the film, whether it is to marvel at the old war planes used in the film, or just to rewatch action sequences.

Read the full SAMDB review of Dunkirk.

Disc

Overall, the Dunkirk DVD is of an average technical quality, let down by the less than ideal picture encoding that comes across grainy, and with visible artefacts and edge sharpening.

However, the main feature itself is a very good film.

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

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate, however there is a small amount of grain from compression artefacts visible, and some of what appears to be edge sharpening. This however would not be too visible when viewed at a normal viewing distance on an average size screen.

Artefacts aside, there is no additional colour bleed. And colours do appear to be graded to match the original theatrical release.

Audio

Audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, and encoded at a high average bitrate. Dialogue clear via the centre channel. There is a fair amount of surround channel usage, serving to expand the on-screen world, and further draw the viewer into the midst of the action.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The main disc menu has a static background, with accompanying music, and text selections to play the main feature, scene selections, and languages.

The scene selection sub-menus have six and five small, colour, still thumbnails, respectively, for a total of eleven chapters.

The languages sub-menu has a list of audio languages, including English descriptive audio, and a further sub-menu to select subtitles, if desired.

Bonus Features

There are no bonus features on the disc whatsoever.

Categories
dvd / blu-ray Review

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (DVD) : Review

Film

A top, triple A rated, bodyguard, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds – LifeDeadpool), is struggling after an incident that cost a client their life. Now he unwillingly gets a new client, a hit man, Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson – Kong: Skull IslandxXx: Return of Xander Cage), who must testify at the International Court of Justice against powerful dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman – The Space Between UsChild 44). The two have a history, and now must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time.

Action, and hilarity, ensue as Bryce and Kincaid make their way to the trail. A fun film, with several humorous and action packed scenes.

Rewatch value on The Hitman’s Bodyguard is high, owing to the fast past of the jokes and fights, and the overall enjoyment of the film itself.

Read the full SAMDB review of The Hitman’s Bodyguard.

Disc

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is technically a good disc, overall, although sparse on any bonus material. The main feature is also a fun, action packed story.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate, with no visible artefacts on-screen. There is no visible colour bleed, and colours are vibrant when needed. Detail is maintained in the darker scenes.

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

Audio

Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, and presented in a Dolby Digital surround format. Dialogue clear via the centre speaker. A good deal of use is made of the surround channels, expanding the on-screen world, and further drawing the viewer into the action.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, with an easy to follow main menu with text links to play the main feature, scene selection, bonus features, and setup. The main menu is has a motion background, with a few small clips from the main feature, and accompanying music.

The scene selection sub-menus comprise of ten small, desaturated, still thumbnails, for a total of twenty chapters. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, and with their small size, navigating to a particular part of the main feature would require a great amount of guesswork. Viewers would be better off bookmarking their favourite scenes using their own player hardware or software.

The bonus features sub-menu contains text links to select between playing the deleted, extended, or alternate scenes.

The setup menu has text links for selecting between either the Dolby Surround or Dolby Stereo soundtracks.

Bonus Features

The only additional features on the disc are deleted, extended, and alternate versions of some scenes. This should be of interest to some viewers, and worth at least one view.

Categories
dvd / blu-ray Review

Atomic Blonde (DVD) : Review

Film

Undercover MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron – Fate of the FuriousA Million Ways to Die in the West) is sent to Berlin during the closing days of the Cold War to investigate the murder of fellow agent James Gasciogne (Sam Hargrave), and recover a missing list of double agents.

Now available to own for your home cinema, Atomic Blonde on disc. The rewatch value on the film is pretty high, with all the eighties nostalgia, spy intrigue, thumping soundtrack, and adrenaline fuelled fights.

Read the full SAMDB review of Atomic Blonde.

Disc

Overall, the Atomic Blonde DVD is of a decent technical quality, with a fun and enjoyable main feature film. The disc is however devoid of any bonus material.

Atomic Blonde 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. Colours are vibrant where necessary, and detail is good 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.

Video for the trailers that autoplay at the beginning of the disc are understandably compressed at a much lower bitrate, thus saving space on the disc for the main feature.

Audio

Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, and presented in Dolby Digital (with a Dolby Stereo option available). Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker, with a fair amount of use of the surround channels to expand the on-screen world, and further draw the viewer into the story.

Navigation

Navigation is basic, and easy to follow. The main menu has motion video showing some small clips from the main feature, with accompanying music, much in-line with the overall feel of the film.

There are text menu items to play the main feature, scenes, and setup.

The scene selection sub-menu has 10 small, desaturated, still thumbnails. There is only this one sub-menu, meaning there are a total of ten chapters for the main feature. While the thumbnails are numbered, they are not labelled, meaning that with the small size, there is a lot of guesswork needed to navigate to a particular point in the main feature, and this sub-menu is pretty pointless, as viewers would be better off using the bookmarking features on their set-top player or software.

The setup sub-menu has text menu options for selecting Dolby Surround or Dolby Stereo.

Bonus Features

There are no bonus features on the disc, other than trailers for Molly’s Game, Tulip Fever, and The Big Sick, which autoplay at the beginning of the disc.

While these can be skipped and fast-forward individually, they can not be accessed again via the disc menu.

 

Categories
Television

Auditions For My Kitchen Rules Season 2 Around The Corner

M-Net confirmed at the spectacular season finale of My Kitchen Rules SA Season 1 on 10 December 2017 that the channel will be embarking on another exciting season of the hit local show.

For all of the aspiring home cooks out there who are keen to show judges David Higgs and J’Something that they’ve got what it takes to clinch the next title of this blockbuster series, auditions for Season 2 of #MKRSA are right around the corner!

Auditions will be taking place on Saturday 13 January and Sunday 14 January respectively across the country in the following cities:

Durban – the Unilever HQ – 15 Nollsworth Crescent, La Lucia Ridge Office Estate;

Cape Town – Mac Suppliers – 32 Benbow Avenue, Goodwood;

Johannesburg – MLK School of Cooking – 44 Rietfontein Road, Glenmarais, Kempton Park.

Entrants are advised to join the MKRSA Season 2 Whatsapp group in order to receive more information, such as top tips, directions to the venues and even the location pins for the big audition day, by simply visiting www.mnet.tv/mkr and clicking on the link provided.

So, what do you need to prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime competition?

You and your fellow foodie partner will have to prepare a cold dish for our panel of judges that you bring with to your audition in a cooler box with ice to ensure that the dish stays fresh. You can prepare anything you like, but your dish should show some flair, innovation and – most of all – your personal style! You will also have to provide the necessary crockery and equipment for plating your dish when you get there.

“I think what we learnt from Season 1 of My Kitchen Rules SA is that simplicity is key,” says award-winning Chef and MKRSA judge David Higgs. “To make a good impression at the auditions, keep things simple and cook something that is close to your heart. Something that has a story,” he advises.

Passionate home cook and judge J’Something agrees: “Stick to the brief and you can’t go wrong,” he adds. “Make a cold dish that will blow us away.”

As was the case in Season 1, M-Net is looking for authentic, honest, everyday South Africans who are passionate about cooking, entertaining, fun and adventure. You must enter with a partner as you will have to work together with your partner and against the clock to impress the show’s two celebrity chef judges and your fellow competitors should you make it into the series.

Entrants must be over the age of 18 by 13 January 2018 and must be South African citizens or permanent residents.

For more information and details about the My Kitchen Rules SA auditions, visit www.mnet.tv/mkr and click on the FAQ page.