Ready Player One : Review

In the not too distant future, humanity has weathered some dark times. Now they find fulfilment for their lives inside a virtual reality world known as The Oasis. But, when James Halliday / Anorak (Mark Rylance – Dunkirk), the creator of The Oasis dies, he leaves an easter egg inside this virtual world for all its users. The first person to pass three challenges, and collect three keys, will win his entire fortune and control of the world he has created.

Enter the High Five. A group of players, who like many others, take up the challenge to find solve the puzzles left by Halliday. The group is made up of several disparate characters, namely Parzival / Wade (Tye Sheridan – X-Men: ApocalypseScouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse), Art3mis / Samantha (Olivia Cooke), Aech / Helen (Lena Waithe), Daito (Win Morisaki), and Sho (Philip Zhao). 

Massive global conglomerate 101 has a huge army of players, and as a group are seeking the elusive easter egg, but victory for them is to come at any cost, even if they have to kill for it.

Ready Player One, is as much an escape from reality, as the artificial world it depicts. From the cinematic computer generated world of The Oasis, the fast paced scenes inside the VR world, to the drama back in the real world, to the barrage of pop culture references and icons, the film is a thrill ride of the most fun kind, and is sure to delight any audience member.

While fast paced, the story is engrossing. The drama of the real world, and the action of the computer generated one. Ready Player One is set to be a sure fire hit, appealing to different audiences on different levels, as it resonates with different viewers, through different layers.

Not many films include as many appealing aspects as Ready Player One, yet it’s one of those films one would seek to enjoy more than one, in the hopes of catching yet another pop culture reference, spotting a hidden gem on-screen, or merely to marvel once more at the worlds it reveals.

Read SAMDB’s Ready Player One Q&A.

Ready Player One opens 29 March 2018 in South African cinemas.

Tomb Raider : Review

Tough, and adventurous Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander – The Light Between Oceans, Jason Bourne), daughter to Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West – Money Monster), find herself pitted against many opponents, needing to push herself like never before, when she finds the island where her father vanished many years prior.

Coming some thirteen years after we first saw Lara Croft on the big screen, this time played by Angelina Jolie, Tomb Raider as a film has seen a similar reboot as the game did some years back. Being one of the more successful game to film cross-overs, this latest incarnation does not disappoint.

Vikander is well cast for the title role, bringing both talent, and a physicality to the role that embody the beloved heroin. The overall feel of the film is pretty similar to the original though, while not ruining any nostalgia one might have.

The film has plenty of action, but spares audiences the violence. It is however slightly lacking in mystery and suspense. A plot devoid of too many twists, meaning one could pretty much predict a favourable outcome towards the end, however the story does shed light on the formative years of Lara and how she become the international adventurer in the games.

While fans are sure to flock to see the film, mainstream audiences are forgotten, and one does not need to have played the game, nor be a fan to enjoy a good romp, and some escapism. Tomb Raider is both fun, and enjoyable, and sure to delight audiences across all ages.

Tomb Raider opens 16 March 2018 in South African cinemas.

M-Net, M-Net Binge, M-Net City Schedule Update For April 2018

M-Net Schedule Updates

  • Supergirl season 3 goes on a production break on Monday 2 April at 17:00.
  • High Maintenance season 2 now starts Friday 6 April at 23:40.
  • The Voice US season 13 now ends on Saturday 7 April at 19:00.
  • The Australian crime drama Harrow season 1 has been added to the schedule and will start on Thursday 12 April at 23:00.
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden season 4 will be going on a production break from Friday 13 April. The season returns with new episodes on Monday 28 May.
  • American Idols season 16 now starts with two back-to-back episodes on Friday 13 April from 19:00-21:00.
  • In order to accommodate crossover episodes of the Chicago series franchise in May: Chicago PD season 5 will air as two back-to-back episodes from Tuesday 24 April at 20:00 and 21:00. This means that Chicago Med season 3 will be on a broadcast break from Tuesday 24 April.
  • Suits season 7 ends with two back-to-back episodes on Thursday 26 April at 21:00-22:00.
  • Riverdale season 2 returns from a broadcast break on Saturday 28 April at 20:00.
  • Kevin Can Wait season 2 will go on a broadcast break on Sunday 29 April at 16:00. The sitcom will return in May.
  • Man with a Plan season 2 will go on a broadcast break Sunday 29 April at 16:30. The sitcom will return in May.

Saturday Movies

Saturday 07 April

21:00 Last Rampage: The Escape Of Gary Tison 16VL Crime

Based on a true story, this dark and unsettling crime drama unpacks the infamous prison break of a convicted murderer.

Saturday 14 April

21:00 CHiPs 16VSNL Action

Inspired by the hit 70s and 80s show, this action cop comedy sees an undercover FBI agent and a former motocross racer team up to take down a crime ring.

Read the SAMDB review of CHiPs.

Saturday 21 April

21:00 Fixed 16VSL Comedy

An action-packed mid-life crisis ensues in this silly bro comedy. A responsible husband and father of three has a complete meltdown, after his wife requests that he get a vasectomy.

Saturday 28 April

21:00 War On Everyone 16VSNL Action

Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña make a fine pair of corrupt cops in this dark crime comedy, when they set out to exact revenge on all who’ve wronged them.

Sunday Night Blockbusters

(Note: The Sunday Night Movies start at 20:30 to accommodate the Dancing With the Stars SA Live Results Show)

Sunday 01 April

20:30 Sleepless 16VL Action

Actions have consequences in this Jamie Foxx crime drama. Two crooked cops try to steal from the mob and in retaliation the ruthless mafia kidnaps one of their sons.

Sunday 08 April

20:30 Baby Driver  16VL  Action

High-octane car chases and pulsating action drive this heist movie. A talented young driver is coerced into working for a crime boss alongside an unhinged group of criminals.

Read the SAMDB review of Baby Driver.

Sunday 15 April

20:30 Kong: Skull Island 13VL  Action

The King of Beasts gets a visually stunning fantasy film. When a team of scientists and soldiers explore an uncharted island, they soon discover its hostile inhabitants.

Read the SAMDB review of Kong: Skull Island.

Sunday 22 April

20:00 Trevor Noah: There’s A Gupta On My Stoep 13L Stand-up

South Africa’s sweetheart Trevor Noah returns to the country for an iconic live performance, where nobody’s president or politics is off limits.

21:20 Girls Trip 18SNL Comedy

The party heads to New Orleans for an ensemble cast in this acclaimed comedy. On a wild reunion trip, four lifelong friends find romance, sisterhood and absolute chaos.

Sunday 29 April

20:30 American Made 16VSNL Action

Tom Cruise tells an unbelievably true story in a rough-and-tumble biopic of Barry Seal, an American pilot who becomes a drug-runner for the CIA.

Read the SAMDB review of American Made.

World Cinema Movies

(Note: Additional repeat has been added. See it again on Tuesdays at 01:00)

Sunday 01 April

22:50 Silence 16V  Adventure

Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese draws amazing performances from his cast in this drama. Two priests who travel to Japan looking for their mentor find a hostile place.

Sunday 08 April

23:05 La Pelle Dell’orso

This tense Italian drama explores the relationship of an estranged father and son, who journey into the wilderness in search of a deadly bear.

Sunday 15 April

23:10 A Serious Game

Based on the acclaimed Swedish novel this emotional drama explores the passionate affair between a married woman and a journalist.

Sunday 22 April

00:10 Strange Birds PG13L Drama

An eccentric French dramedy. A young woman and a cynical old librarian form an intriguing, unconventional friendship that soon grows into something surprisingly heartfelt.

Sunday 29 April

23:05 Key House Mirror 13VS Drama

Poignant Danish drama about second chances. An elderly woman devotedly cares for her catatonic husband in a nursing home, while longing for freedom and excitement.

New, Returning & Series Finales

Monday 02 April

16:45 (CAT) Supergirl 03 0013 “Both Sides Now” *Season 3 goes on a production break*

The DEO captures a second Worldkiller named Purity and Supergirl and Alex use very different methods of interrogation hoping to defeat Reign. Comic book fantasy from the producer of ‘Arrow’.

Thursday 05 April

22:00 A Very English Scandal 01 0001 *Season 1 Starts*

The Oscar-nominated director of ‘The Queen’ backs this British miniseries, unpacking the 1970s political scandal in which an MP was tried for the murder of his ex-lover.

23:00 Longmire 06 0010 “Goodbye Is Always Implied” *Season 6 Ends*

In the series finale of this crime drama, Walt gets an unexpected visitor as Jacob’s troubles escalate at the casino and an inevitable confrontation leads to changed lives.

Friday 06 April

23:40 High Maintenance 02 0001 #07 “Globo” *Season 2 Starts*

In the season premiere of this eclectic dramedy, The Guy has a busier-than-usual day as New Yorkers react to world-changing news. Follows the colourful life of a Brooklyn drug dealer.

Saturday 07 April

21:00 The Voice 13 0028 “Live Finale, Part 2” *Season 13 Ends*

Adam Levine and Blake Shelton are joined by songstresses Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson for this season of the Emmy-winning reality singing competition.

Monday 09 April

16:45 Ellen’s Game Of Games 01 0001 *Season 2 Starts*

Multi-award winning talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres brings us this high-energy reality competition show, that sees contestants play popular games to win a big cash prize.

Thursday 12 April

23:00 Harrow 01 001 *Season 1 Starts*

The series premiere of this Australian crime drama sees brilliant forensic pathologist Dr Daniel Harrow investigating the apparent suicide of a young woman. From the creator of ‘Secrets & Lies’.

00:10 The Late Late Show With James Corden 04 0092 *Season 4 goes on a break*

James Corden hosts this Emmy winning talk show featuring celebrities, games and Carpool Karaoke.

Friday 13 April

19:00 American Idols 16 0001 *Season 16 Starts as two back-to-back episodes*

Ryan Seacrest hosts this season of the popular Emmy-winning reality singing competition with Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie on the judging panel.

21:00 American Idols 16 0002 *Season 16 Starts as two back-to-back episodes*

Ryan Seacrest hosts this season of the popular Emmy-winning reality singing competition with Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie on the judging panel.

Tuesday 17 April

21:00 Chicago Med 03 0007 “Over Troubled Water” *Season 3 goes on a broadcast break*

Dr Charles feels pressure when Dr Choi and Dr Manning criticise his medical decision regarding an ill new-born baby. This medical drama follows a courageous team of doctors and nurses.

23:00 Chance 02 0010 “Especially If You Run Away” *Season 2 Ends*

With Lorena’s help, Chance and D return to San Francisco to handle unfinished business, in the season finale of this compelling psychological drama.

Friday 20 April

22:00 Divorce 02 0008 #18 “Alone Again, Naturally” *Season 2 Ends*

Robert and Jackie take a step forward in their real-estate business as Frances faces the fallout of a successful opening at her gallery, in the season finale of this acclaimed, Emmy-nominated dramedy.

Sunday 22 April

17:00 Dancing With The Stars South Africa 01 0021 *Season 1 Ends*

Twelve untrained local celebs will be putting their best foot forward to compete in this proudly South African version of the glamourous reality series.

Monday 23 April

21:00 Here And Now 01 0010 *Season 1 Ends*

The Oscar and Golden Globe-winning writer of ‘Six Feet Under’ penned this introspective family dramedy about a multi-racial family consisting of a couple, their three adopted children and one biological child.

22:00 Westworld 02 0001 *Season 2 Starts (Express)*

An ensemble cast star in this dark sci-fi thriller about a world of artificial consciousness, from Emmy winner JJ Abrams (Lost).

Tuesday 24 April

20:00 Chicago PD 05 0010 “Rabbit Hole”

Halstead’s partying with Camila unintentionally puts him in the middle of a drug-related homicide. Dick Wolf (Law & Order) created this fast-paced addition to the Chicago series.

21:00 Chicago PD 05 0011 “Confidential”

Burgess’ confidential informant reveals a possible murder which Burgess discounts but Upton pursues, revealing a corpse. An elite group of law enforcers take down crime in this cop drama.

23:00 Transparent 04 0001 “Standing Order” *Season 4 Starts*

This critically acclaimed, Golden Globe-winning dramedy explores the sincere and poignant story of a transgender woman’s journey.

Thursday 26 April

19:00 NCIS Los Angeles 09 0015 “Liabilities” *Season 9 goes on a broadcast break*

Television’s most popular undercover agents of NCIS: LA continue to take down the bad guys- one dangerous case at a time, in this acclaimed, Emmy-nominated cop drama.

21:00 Suits 07 0015 *Season 7 Ends with two back-to-back episodes*

Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams return as the dynamic duo in the popular drama, following the exploits of New York’s top dog lawyers in the high-stakes legal scene.

22:00 Suits 07 0016 *Season 7 Ends with two back-to-back episodes*

Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams return as the dynamic duo in the popular drama, following the exploits of New York’s top dog lawyers in the high-stakes legal scene.

Friday 27 April

22:00 Barry 01 0001 *Season 1 Starts*

Emmy-winner Bill Hader stars in this dark comedy, about a depressed hitman who decides to pursue an acting career, despite not being able to leave his criminal past behind.

Saturday 28 April

20:00 Riverdale 02 0005 “Chapter Eighteen: When A Stranger Calls” *Season 2 returns from broadcast break*

When Alice publishes a fiery piece blasting the Southside, Jughead is forced to take matters into his own hands to keep the peace.  Emmy-nominee Greg Berlanti backs this teen drama.

Sunday 29 April

16:00 Kevin Can Wait 02 0009 “Cooking Up A Storm” *Season 2 goes on a break*

Kevin is adamant about cooking Thanksgiving dinner at home, as Donna used to do, but Kendra wants to eat a restaurant instead. Follows the escapades of a single dad.

16:30 Man With A Plan 02 0013 “The Party Planner” *Season 2 goes on a break*

Adam attempts to organise a birthday dinner for Andi and he quickly discovers that managing guests isn’t easy. Golden Globe winner Matt LeBlanc starts in this family comedy.

17:00 Harry Potter: A History Of Magic PG13N Documentary *Special*

Author of the magical ‘Harry Potter’ series JK Rowling ventures behind the scenes of the British Library, where the real-life inspiration for her fantastical world originated.

18:00 The Wedding Bashers Specials: With Love 01 0001 *Special Starts*

The Wedding Bashers Specials: With Love. South Africa’s favourite Bashers return for a series of special weddings.

Monday 30 April

21:00 Billions 03 0001 *Season 3 Starts*

The stakes are in the billions, in this provocative drama starring Golden Globe-winners Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis as two men caught in a struggle for justice, power and money.

Sunday 01 April

22:00 Power 03 0006 “The Right Decision”   18SNL

23:03 Power 03 0007 “Don’t Go”         18VL

00:04 Power 03 0008 “Trust Me”         18VSNL

01:07 Power 03 0009 “I Call The Shots” 18SNL

02:10 Power 03 0010 “In My Best Interest”  18VL

Saturday 07 April

21:30 iZombie 03 0001 “Heaven Just Got A Little Bit Smoother” 16V

22:16 iZombie 03 0002 “Zombie Knows Best” 16

23:03 iZombie 03 0003 “Eat, Pray, Liv” 16V

23:50 iZombie 03 0004 “Wag The Tongue Slowly” 16VL

00:37 iZombie 03 0005 “Spanking The Zombie”      16VL

01:24 iZombie 03 0006 “Some Like It Hot Mess” 16L

02:10 iZombie 03 0007 “Dirt Nap Time”        16VL

Sunday 08 April

21:30 iZombie 03 0008 “Eat A Knievel” 16VL

22:17 iZombie 03 0009 “Twenty-Sided, Die” 16V

23:04 iZombie 03 0010 “Return Of The Dead Guy”  16VL

23:50 iZombie 03 0011 “Conspiracy Weary”  16VL

00:37 iZombie 03 0012 “Looking For Mr. Goodbrain, Part 1” 16VS

01:24 iZombie 03 0013 ‘Looking For Mr. Goodbrain, Part 2″16V

Saturday 14 April

21:30 Emerald City 01 0001 “The Beast Forever”    16VS

22:15 Emerald City 01 0002 “Prison Of The Abject” 16V

23:00 Emerald City 01 0003 “Mistress-New-Mistress” 16V

23:45 Emerald City 01 0004 “Science And Magic” 16V

00:33 Emerald City 01 0005 “Everybody Lies” 16V

Sunday 15 April

21:30 Emerald City 01 0006 “Beautiful Wickedness” 16V

22:18 Emerald City 01 0007 “They Came First” 16V

23:05 Emerald City 01 0008 “Lions In Winter” 16V

23:52 Emerald City 01 0009 “The Villain That’s Become”  16V

00:39 Emerald City 01 0010 “No Place Like Home” 16V

Saturday 21 April

21:30 The 100 04 0001 “Echoes”        16V

22:15 The 100 04 0002 “Heavy Lies The Crown”     16V

23:02 The 100 04 0003 “The Four Horsemen”         16V

23:49 The 100 04 0004 “A Lie Guarded”        16V

00:35 The 100 04 0005 “The Tinder Box”      16V

01:20 The 100 04 0006 “We Will Rise” 16V

02:07 The 100 04 0007 “Gimme Shelter” 16V

Sunday 22 April

21:30 The 100 04 0008 “God Complex” 16V

22:17 The 100  04 0009 “DNR”  16V

23:04 The 100   04 0010 “Die All, Die Merrily”         16V

23:50 The 100   04 0011 “The Other Side”    16V

00:37 The 100   04 0012 “The Chosen” 16V

01:24 The 100   04 0013 “Praimfaya” 16V

Saturday 28 April

21:30 Marvel’s Inhumans 01 0001 “Behold… The Inhumans”     13VS

22:17 Marvel’s Inhumans 01 0002 “Those Who Would Destroy Us” 13V

23:05 Marvel’s Inhumans 01 0003 “Divide And Conquer” 13V

23:52 Marvel’s Inhumans 01 0004 “Make Way For… Medusa” 13VS

Sunday 29 April

21:30 Marvel’s Inhumans 01 0005 “Something Inhuman This Way Comes…”     13VL

22:18 Marvel’s Inhumans 01 0006 “The Gentleman’s Name Is Gorgon” 13V

23:05 Marvel’s Inhumans 01 0007 “Havoc In The Hidden Land” 13V

23:53 Marvel’s Inhumans 01 0008 “…And Finally: Black Bolt”    13V

M-Net City Movies

Friday 06 April

21:00 Wild Card 16VNL

This tightly-wound thriller starring Jason Statham, follows the story of a tough bodyguard who lands in hot water with the mob after he goes after one of their own.

Friday 13 April

21:00 American Heist 16VSL

Hayden Christensen is sucked into the greed filled crime world in this heist movie. Trying to escape the life, he’s reluctantly pulled back in by his brother.

Friday 20 April

21:00 Need For Speed PG13V

Fast and Furious fans will not want to miss Need For Speed. This high octane, street-racing movie starring Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Friday 27 April

21:00 Stolen 13VL

Hollywood action hero Nicolas Cage stars in this adrenalin-filled crime drama about a former thief who is in a race against time to save his kidnapped daughter.

New, Returning & Series Finales

Sunday 01 April

21:00 Pure Genius 01 0013 “Lift Me Up” *Season 1 Ends*

In the series finale, the Bunker Hill staff attempt multiple surgeries on a patient: by putting him in a state of suspended animation. Cutting-edge medical drama.

Tuesday 03 April

20:00 Trust Me 01 0004 “Episode 4” *Season 1 Ends*

Brigitte asks Ally to stick with her to avoid internal enquiry, but Ally refuses to lie. Jodie Whittaker stars in this gripping drama about a nurse who loses her job after whistleblowing.

22:00 Guerrilla 01 0001 *Season 1 Starts*Aired on 1Magic*

In 1971, politically engaged young lovers fight against injustice and deep-rooted prejudice, but they end up being targeted.

Tuesday 10 April

20:00 The Last Ship 04 0001 “In Medias Res” *Season 4 Starts*Aired on M-Net*

The Nathan James faces another global disaster sixteen months after thwarting the coup in America, in the season premiere of this post-apocalyptic drama. Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy) stars.

Saturday 14 April

22:00 12 Monkeys 03 0010 “Witness” *Season 3 Ends*

In the season finale of this fast-paced thriller, Cole, Railly, and Athan arrive in 1959 at the House of Cedar and Pine where Jones’s forces appear for a confrontation. Based on the acclaimed film.

Wednesday 18 April

22:10 From Dusk Till Dawn 03 0010 “Dark Side Of The Sun” *Season 3 Ends*

With Kate Fuller near death, our heroes race against an eclipse to defeat Amaru and close the gate before hell consumes the world. Season finale of the horror series.

Saturday 21 April

19:00 iZombie 04 0001 “Are You Ready For Some Zombies?” *Season 4 Starts*Premieres on M-Net City*

The acclaimed creator of ‘Veronica Mars’ backs this cult fantasy crime drama. After a medical resident is transformed into a zombie, she uses her newly-acquired skills to assist the police.

20:00 The Originals 05 0001 *Season 5 Starts*Premieres on M-Net City*

The creator of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ penned this Emmy-nominated supernatural drama, following the tumultuous lives of the first vampire family.

21:00 Sleepy Hollow 04 0001 “Columbia” *Season 4 Starts*Premieres on M-Net City with two back-to-back episodes*

This Emmy-nominated supernatural drama explores the resurrection of a 18th Century hero who fights to protect the world from evil.

22:00 Sleepy Hollow 04 0002 “In Plain Sight”

This Emmy-nominated supernatural drama explores the resurrection of a 18th Century hero who fights to protect the world from evil.

Wednesday 25 April

20:00 The Americans 05 0013 “The Soviet Division” *Season 5 Ends*

The riveting season finale finds Philip and Elizabeth racing against the clock as a life hangs in the balance. Critically acclaimed spy-thriller following two married KGB agents.

22:05 Longmire 06 0001 “The Eagle And The Osprey” *Season 6 Starts*Aired on M-Net*

In the season premiere, a bank robbery ends in a shooting, giving Sawyer Crane more leverage against Walt.  Final season of the gritty crime drama about a troubled county sheriff.

Thursday 26 April

19:00 The Disappearance 01 0006 “Redemption” *Season 1 Ends*

In the season finale of this thrilling drama, the mystery behind the disappearance is nearly unravelled as a race against the clock to find Anthony alive ensues.

20:00 Seven Types Of Ambiguity 01 0006 “Anna” *Season 1 Ends*

Feeling the weight of her testimony during Simon’s trial, Anna wrestles with her conscience over the right course of action. Suspenseful and gripping Australian psychological drama, about the abduction of a child.

Friday 27 April

19:00 Stitchers 03 0010 “Maternis” *Season 3 Ends*

With help from Ivy the Stitchers team finally apprehends Daniel Stinger and finds out where Kirsten’s mother, Jaclyn is being held. Season finale of the sci-fi drama.

Sunday 29 April

22:00 Blood Drive 01 0013 “Finish Line” *Season 1 Ends*

In the season finale, Arthur, Grace and Slink attack Heart Enterprises, but their deepest fears are waiting for them. Set in a dystopian future this grisly drama follows a former cop.

Monday 30 April

19:00 Prison Break 2017 01 0009 Behind The Eyes *Season 1 Ends*

In the season finale, Poseidon continues to outsmart Michael and the rest of the gang which leads them to the ultimate showdown. This crime drama revival follows the exploits of two jailbird brothers.

22:00 The Last Kingdom 02 0010 *Season 2 Ends*

In the season finale, deception and betrayal are rife as Uhtred fights for Wessex and he struggles to secure Aethelflaed’s freedom. This 9th century period drama follows the Viking invasion of England.

West Side Story – Must Close 22 April 2018

Now playing
Must close 22 April
This is the final season in South Africa – get your tickets today!

Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre’s smash-hit, grand-scale musical is back for one final season in South Africa. This is your last chance to catch this magnificent production on home soil!

The superb cast of 40 is backed by The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra playing Leonard Bernstein’s magnificent score which includes the world famous songs “Something’s Coming”, “Maria”, “I Feel Pretty” and “Tonight”. 2018 marks the centenary year of Bernstein’s birth.

Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and set in mid-1950s New York, the musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two street gangs of different backgrounds. Tony, a former member of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks.

Come and see why everyone has been raving about this production!

Read More | Book Now

Suits Season 7 Returns From Its Annual Production Break

Don’t miss it this Thursday 29 March at 21:00 on M-Net!

Fans of the acclaimed legal drama Suits would very happy to know that legendary hotshot lawyer Harvey Specter and his brilliant partner in crime Mike Ross are back for the remaining 6 episodes of season 7 starting this Thursday 29 March at 21:00 on M-Net 101.

Last year, the series took its annual production break in September with episode 10, with quite a tense midseason finale: After their power move was countered, Mike and Harvey found their backs against the wall when they realised that Andrew Malik was a step ahead of them. In true Suits style however, the Batman and Robin of the legal world won their case with a last-minute comeback. Matters of the heart also loomed large in this episode, forcing Donna to confront her feelings for Harvey and ending the episode with a fateful kiss between the pair.

The drama reached its 100th episode milestone on 30 August with an episode directed by series star Patrick J. Adams. Media reports confirmed that after being regulars on the show, season 7 will be the last appearance for Meghan Markle (who plays Rachel Zane) and Patrick J. Adams (who plays Mike Ross).

The second part of Suits season 7 will continue with episode 11 this Thursday at 21:00. Fans of the show will look forward to gauging Harvey’s reaction to that kiss. Will this finally be the beginning of #Darvey? Also, with the ghosts of Mike’s past haunting them still, will he and Rachel find their happily ever after? And let’s not forget Louis’ many personal and professional troubles which have yet to improve. All will be revealed over the next six weeks.

The popular legal drama stars Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter, Patrick J. Adams as Mike Ross, Rick Hoffman as Louis Litt, Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane and Sarah Rafferty as Donna Paulsen. The series is created and executive produced by Aaron Korsh (The Deep End). Doug Liman (Covert Affairs, The Bourne Trilogy), David Bartis (Covert Affairs, The O.C.) and Gene Klein (Covert Affairs) serve as executive producers. Daniel Arkin (90210) and Rick Muirragui (Men of a Certain Age, The Good Guys) and Silver Tree (The Real O’Neals, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce) also serve as executive producers.

Watch the following new and returning shows on M-Net channel 101 this April:

  • ­From the creator of Secrets & Lies comes the Australian crime drama Harrow season 1, starting Thursday 12 April at 23:00.
  • The long-awaited Westworld season 2 starts Monday 23 April at 22:00.
  • Emmy-winner Bill Hader stars in a new dark HBO dramedy titled Barry season 1, starting Friday 27 April at 23:00.
  • Golden Globe-winners Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis continue with their struggle for power and money in Billions season 3, starting Monday 30 April at 21:00.

PS: Ryan Seacrest hosts the brand new season of the popular Emmy-winning reality singing competition American Idol season 16 from Friday 13 April at 19:00 and on Saturday 14 April at 18:00. This season also features Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie on the judging panel.

For more information on Suits and other popular M-Net shows go to m-net.dstv.com/South/home , follow M-Net on twitter twitter.com/MNet or like M-Net on Facebook www.facebook.com/MNet

DISCOP Znzibar Announces Next Gen Program

The organizers of DISCOP Zanzibar (11-13 July) announced today the preliminary backbone of their NEXT GEN knowledge-transfer and development program to run parallel to the 3-day market.

DISCOP Zanzibar will take place at the brand new and 100% green VERDE HOTEL, champion of sustainable development and located 2KM from Stone Town (the main city). Zanzibar is one of the greatest cultural crossroads, where Africa meets Arabia meets the Indian ocean.

The NEXT GEN program will feature a potent trio of tracks aimed at delegates attending both the Zanzibar International Film Festival, Africa’s largest and most respected film festival, and DISCOP Zanzibar as both events will take place at the same time.

DISCOPRO | Organized in partnership with Screen Africa, this track will focus on international distribution opportunities for entertainment content produced in Africa. Some of the industry’s biggest buyers of content produced in Africa, from broadcasters and VOD platforms to aggregators and theatrical distributors will share their insight

DISCORE | Organized in partnership with ONGEA Africa, East Africa’s largest music conference, this track will focus on the production of original music to accompany film, television, and online entertainment content in a world under the influence of multiple cultural backgrounds. This track will also see international experts including music supervisors, publishers, content producers and others sharing their insights specifically for the East African market.

DISCOMICS | Organized in partnership with the African Animation Network, this track will focus on the ubiquity of animated content, the staying power of comic books, the evolution of video games, and the surging popularity of eSports across all platforms and screens.

Driven by the tastes, expectations and usage patterns of an extremely young demographic, Eastern Africa is booming and has not just become a desired location for international productions, but is also now the hub of a booming film, television and online content production, adaptation and distribution industry.

500+ delegates from 50 countries representing 300+ companies will attend DISCOP Zanzibar, including 150+ film, television, online content and adaptation right buyers representing 100+ broadcasters, satellite, cable, online pay-tv platforms, mobile operators, airlines and territorial sub-distributors operating in Eastern Africa. The 3-day market will primarily facilitate business, with and across, Eastern Africa’s eight major countries Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda.

The inaugural edition of DISCOP Zanzibar will also feature two special additions to its program:

  • Open to the public, the ZANZIBAR TV SERIES FESTIVAL presented by The Africa Channel will screen for three days some of the best TV Series from across Africa and beyond.
  • Sponsored by the pan-Africa LADIMA Foundation who works to create and promote opportunities for women in the industry, the WOMEN OF INFLUENCE EVENING CONVERSATION will bring together the most creative, iconic and culturally relevant women in Africa’s entertainment and media industry.

Celebrating the sustained and growing presence of Ethiopian companies on the international scene, Ethiopia will be named as DISCOP Zanzibar 2018 Guest Country. This nomination will help the nascent Ethiopian film, television, digital content production and distribution sectors build stronger connections with key industry executives driving Africa’s multiplatform entertainment content production and distribution industries.

To attend DISCOP Zanzibar 2018, you can choose to participate as:

  • A non-exhibiting delegate and register online as a SELLER | BUYER | PRODUCER | INFLUENCER with a 50% discount until 11 May – and use EB11MAY as promo code
  • An exhibiting delegate and book a MEETING TABLE priced at $1,000. This cost includes one SELLERS Market Badge

All delegates will be provided with the following benefits:

  • Access to our online and personalized « Meetings on Demand » services before and during the market;
  • Access to our « Online Content Catalogue » to list and source programs presented at the market;
  • Invitations to all social events;
  • Access to discounted hotel accommodations.

FOR MORE INFORMATION | discop.com / info@discop.com

Scene Study Workshop With Bonnie Rodini – 17 April 2018

A scene study workshop gives an actor tools to approach a new script or audition sides correctly, before line readings are developed and poor choices are made.

It covers character study, first contact with the script, the rehearsal process, breaking down a scene into beats, objectives, obstacles, relationships, sub text and finally and most importantly sending and receiving dialogue honestly. Actors are paired up with a partner and given a scene to prepare together for class. In class Bonnie will direct the scene and help the actors find different interpretations of the work and challenge the actor to take direction.

“A good actor is one who can truly listen”.

Registration deadline Tuesday 10th April so I have time to research roles for all the actors and different characters.

Investment:  R3,100
Date:
17 April – 22 May
Days: Tuesdays
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Venue: 30 Alpina Road Claremont
Off Keurboom Road
Cape Town

www.rodinifilms.com

DISCORE Panel At Kalasha On 28 March 2018

During 2017, DISCOP in partnership with ONGEA! Africa, announced the launch of a new sidebar programme – DISCORE; that will commence in DISCOP Abidjan (29th-31st May 2018), followed by DISCOP Zanzibar (11th-13th July 2018).

DISCORE is a programme that will specifically target the music industry across Africa, with a focus on music production and supervision for content, licensing, synchronisation and all the related implications.

DISCORE will provide a unique opportunity to learn from the pros and build relationships with international Music Supervisors; as well as with film, television, digital content producers seeking original songs and scores that can accompany entertainment content destined for global audiences.

Ahead of the first full DISCORE programme in Abidjan, DISCOP Markets and ONGEA! Africa will present a Panel Discussion at the KALASHA International TV & Film Market, at 9am-10am on Wednesday 28th March 2018, entitled: Opportunities for Music from Africa in Film & Television – a DISCORE Perspective.

The Panel will be moderated by Mike Strano, the Founding Director of PHAT! Music & Entertainment in Nairobi – Kenya. Mike has been in the Africa Music Industry for 19 years, and is also the Founder of ONGEA! – The Eastern Africa Music Summit. ONGEA! Africa is PHAT!’s social enterprise, helping to further Develop an Industry that is Professional, Transparent and Profitable for All.

Panelists for this session include:

Appie Matere – Executive Producer at Zamaradi Productions, who is the prolific producer behind KONA – a 260episode telenovela that was aired for audiences across Africa on Africa Magic Entertainment. Additionally, she is the Executive Producer for 71 x 60 minute movies, as Africa Magic Original Films (AMOF), also airing on Africa Magic Entertainment.

Tim ‘Timwork’ Rimbui – Composer, Music Producer & Owner Director at Ennovator Music, has work that has been seen and heard around the world via projects by: Warner Brothers, Universal Music Group, BBC, MTV, Endemol, Coke Studio Africa and Ogilvy Africa; as well as producing several major Kenyan acts, such as: Sauti Sol, Wangechi, King Kaka, Khaligraph, Phy, Eric Wainaina, Atemi, Mercy Myra and more. Inspired by the runaway Success of Black Panther, as the biggest movie ever in Africa, Tim has deconstructed the opportunities that it has created for African music globally.

Likarion Wainaina – the Director of the famed new Kenyan film Supa Modo, shall take us through the role and importance of music in this film, the very day after its premiere in Nairobi.

Designed as a knowledge-transfer and matchmaking programme, DISCORE will continue to Engage such African-based creative, production and technical experts, from within the expanding African music, television and film industries.

For more Information, visit www.discop.com.

Dancing With The Stars: It’s Anyone’s Game

Support your favourite in the Top 6!

There’s only one certainty every Sunday night at the Dancing With The Stars SA live extravaganza: that absolutely nothing is guaranteed once the couples get out onto the gleaming dancefloor.

Last week’s shock results show saw two of the show’s top performing celebrity couples placed in the elimination dance-off. In the end, actress Juanita de Villiers was sent home in an emotional farewell as the panel of internationally-acclaimed Dancing With The Stars judges looked on in total shock, making it clear to the audience that neither Juanita, or her competitor Eden Classens, deserved to find themselves as the bottom of the log.

If there is one difficult lesson that the remaining celebrities took away with them last week, it was that one can be at the top of the leader board at the start of the show, and still end up in the dreaded dance-off when it comes to the results reveal. It really is anyone’s game.

At this stage of the competition, with only four weeks to go to the grand finale, the public’s votes are more crucial than ever. Viewers must register at www.mnet.tv/dwtssa before the start of each Sunday night live show at 17:00 and remember to vote during the show.

This week fans can look forward to more swirls and twirls and a special performance by local superstars MiCasa during the Live Results Show! Judge Jason Gilkison will also be back in his judging seat this week, providing his expertise and constructive critique to all of the performers.

The couples plan to wow fans with the following dance styles:

Singer and songwriter Connell Cruise and his partner Marcella Solimeo have been at the top of the leader board for the past 2 weeks. This week they’re preparing to impress us with a sexy Samba.

Protea Netball Goal Shooter, Vanes-Mari du Toit and her partner, Johannes Radebe will perform a powerful Paso Doble, while actor and model Eden Classens and his partner Ash-Leigh Hunter perform the Charleston.

Screen and stage personality Frank Opperman will be flowing across the dance floor with Jeanné Swart as they perform the Foxtrot, which will also be performed by radio host and former Miss SA Liesl Laurie and her partner Ryan Hammond.

Television actress Zola Nombona and her partner Tebogo Mashilo are back after Zola recovered from her ankle injury last week, and they plan to dazzle with a Rumba.

Over and above of the dance styles that the couples will perform this week, The Top 6 also have to master the moves for a Lindy-Hop-a-Thon! All 6 couples will be on the floor at the same time showcasing their technique of the Lindy-Hop,  which will count towards their final score.

Remember, you have to be registered to vote for your favourite couple! You can register at mnet.tv/dwtssavote to participate in the live Dancing With The Stars SA voting on Sunday night. Voting registration closes at 16:30 on Sunday, 1 April, ahead of the live episode. Viewers only need to register once to be able to vote in every episode of the season.

Dancing with the Stars SA is produced for M-Net by Rapid Blue and is sponsored by Lottostar. Join the conversation on the Dancing with the Stars SA Facebook page, or on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #DWTSSA.

For more information about M-Net’s impressive new local slate, visit www.mnet.tv

Ready Player One : Cast, Writer, Author, Director Q&A

Synopsis

In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place.  The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spend their days.  In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone—the only limits are your own imagination.  The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his immense fortune and total control of the OASIS to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir.  When Wade conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends—known as the High Five—are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS and their world.

Three-time Oscar winner Spielberg (“Schindler’s List” [director & picture], and “Saving Private Ryan” [director]) directed the film from a screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline.  It is based on the novel by Cline, which has spent more than 100 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List, recently climbing to the #1 spot, as well as reaching #1 on Amazon’s Most Read Fiction chart.  “Ready Player One” was produced by Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Spielberg and Dan Farah.  Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Chris deFaria and Bruce Berman served as executive producers.

Q&A With Cast & Crew

What was it about this story and these characters that made you want to make Ready Player One your next movie?

STEVEN SPIELBERG: I think anybody who read the book and was connected at all with the industry would have loved to make this into a movie. I mean, the book had seven movies in it – maybe 12 [laughs]. It was just a matter of trying to figure out how to tell a story about both of these worlds, and to make it sort of an express train racing toward the third act, and, at the same time, a little bit of a cautionary tale about leaving us the choice: where do we want to exist? Do we want to exist in reality? Or do we want to exist in an escapist universe? Those themes were so profound for me, and are consistent throughout the whole book. But there are so many places we could have taken the story.

Themes of reality versus fantasy run throughout your filmography. Is the process different for you when you’re making an escapist film than it is when you’re exploring historical events or real life issues?

STEVEN SPIELBERG: This was my great escape movie. For me, it was a film that fulfilled all of my fantasies of the places I go in my imagination when I get out of town. I got to live this for three years. I got to actually escape into the imagination of Ernest Cline and Zak Penn; it was amazing. But I came back to Earth a couple of times. I made a few films. I made Bridge of Spies and The Post while I was making Ready Player One, so I got that whiplash effect of going from social reality to total escapist entertainment. And I’m feeling it. It’s a great feeling, but it also makes my wife and kids kind of crazy because they don’t know who dad’s going to be when he comes home in the evening, or which dad they’re going to get [laughs].

Your passion and joy is evident in every frame of this film. How did that play into the choices you made in telling this story?

STEVEN SPIELBERG: Thank you. For one thing, I had a passionate and amazing cast. I think if you combine all their ages together, they’re still younger than me [laughs]; I fed off that energy. I’d come to work in the morning and Olivia would say, ‘Okay, what do we do now? I can’t wait!’ Then Lena would say, ‘Hey, throw anything at me. I’m ready for it.’ And Tye was completely the same. Ernie gave us a playground to basically become kids again, and we did. We all became kids again. Even though I was working with really young actors – except for Ben who’s way over that [laughs]. That’s where the energy came from.

You have to understand, also, that we made the movie on an abstract set. The only way the cast had a chance to understand where they were was through the virtual reality goggles we all had. Inside the goggles was a complete build of the set that you see in the movie. But when you took the goggles off, it was a big, white space. It was a 4,000 square-foot, white, empty space called a volume. But when you put the goggles on, it was Aech’s basement. Or it was Aech’s workshop. Or it was the Distracted Globe. So the actors had a chance to say, ‘Okay, if I walk over there, there’s the door and there’s the DJ.’ It was really an out-of-body experience to make this movie, and it’s really hard to really express what that was like.

OLIVIA COOKE: It was wonderful because we just lived in our own imagination for five months, and we hadn’t had a chance to do that since we were children. So, to be able to completely rely on our gut and our interaction with Steven and with the other cast – that was what made it so special and so different from anything that I think any of us have ever done before.

LENA WAITHE: When we got to live action, it was like, ‘Oh, okay, this is real world now.’

TYE SHERIDAN: When we got to live action, everybody was like, ‘(SIGHS) Oh, okay, I know how to do this.’

LENA WAITHE: It’s fun, but it’s not as fun as when you’re just in an empty space and anything is possible.

There is a spectacular mix of music in the film. Are any of the songs on the soundtrack from your own playlist, Mr. Spielberg? Also, did you play music on set to get everyone warmed up?

STEVEN SPIELBERG: We did. I played a lot of the Bee Gees on the very first day [laughs].

TYE SHERIDAN: I want to tell a story about that. I was extremely nervous on the first day. I actually didn’t even know it was going to be our first day. We had two weeks of rehearsals, just kind of feeling out the mo cap volume and getting familiar with some of these environments that we were going to be in in the movie. And Steven shows up on the last day of rehearsal and says, ‘Let’s shoot something.’ I’m thinking, ‘Oh sh**, I hope he doesn’t want to shoot anything with me.’ He’s like ‘Yeah, you can send everyone else home, I just want to use Tye.’ [Laughs]

Tye Sheridan (Parzival / Wade)

So, he brings me over to the side and says, ‘Have you been working on your Parzival walk?’ I said ‘What? What is a Parzival walk? I didn’t know I had to work on a Parzival walk.’ [Laughs] ‘Yeah, it’s kind of like the John Travolta walk in the beginning of Saturday Night Fever. You know, he’s got a certain swagger. I just want to capture you walking.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, okay.’ So there I am, standing on one side of the volume and Steven’s on the other side of the volume. And it’s just me and him, no one else is on the floor. And my heart’s racing. I’m just waiting for him to call action. He pulls out his phone and hits the screen, and then he starts playing ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees. Then he just starts walking towards me and he’s nodding his head and holding up his phone. And he goes, ‘And action.’

STEVEN SPIELBERG: And you can see that walk in Ready Player One. It’s in the movie. A lot of the songs. But I have to say that most of the came from Zak Penn and Ernie Cline, from their playlist.

ZAK PENN: We would confer late at night on the phone about which songs off of the giant playlist in the book. I mean, the playlist from his book is absurd; I couldn’t even load it on my phone. But we came up with some good options. And Ben threw in a couple of choices too, but they were more punk, which I respect.

BEN MENDELSOHN: Some of them didn’t like the playlist.

Mr. Spielberg, there are so many references in this film; how did you get the rights to all of them?

STEVEN SPIELBERG: Kristie Macosko, who along with Donald De Line and Dan Farah produced the movie, can probably answer that question because Kristie spent three years with the Warner Bros. legal team getting the rights. And we couldn’t get all of them. They wouldn’t give up the Star Wars rights.

BEN MENDELSOHN: You could have called me on that one, Steven. I mean, I built the Death Star, I’m just saying [laughs].

Tye, can you talk about your experience with videogames prior to the movie?

TYE SHERIDAN: Actually, there’s a scene in the movie where I play an Atari game. And, I researched the game and watched videos, and did as much research as I possibly could without actually playing the game. So, when it came time to shoot the scene, I was like, ‘Listen, guys, I’ve actually never played an Atari. So you guys are going to have to teach me how to hold the controller, because I don’t want to look like I’m holding it the wrong way.’ So, I got lessons from Steven and Zak about the Atari controller.

BEN MENDELSOHN: The younger generation [laughs].

For everyone, what was the one thing in the movie that spoke to you personally? The movie speaks to all generations, so which reference really geeked you out?

LENA WAITHE: Well, the thing that I liked the most was the Chucky doll, just because I used to be genuinely afraid of those movies. So now, as an adult, it’s kind of nice to play a character who uses Chucky as a weapon [laughs]. But, also, in terms of the music, there’s a moment where they’re playing ‘Just My Imagination,’ which is a song that my mother played all the time when I was a kid. So, hearing that in Aech’s warehouse was kind of cool.

TYE SHERIDAN: I guess for me it was The Iron Giant. That was a movie that played so many times during my childhood. I have a very sentimental connection to that figure, and it was just super cool, even when we were shooting the movie, because we could see our avatars in real time on a 2-D screen. I would look over and I could see my avatar, and then the Iron Giant’s foot. I’m like, ‘That’s Iron Giant’s foot.’

STEVEN SPIELBERG: Yeah, Brad Bird is a genius. I saw Iron Giant when it was in theaters the first time, and have been a big fan of Brad Bird’s. We actually worked together on something called Family Dog on television a long time ago. So this was to honor Brad Bird and to honor the Iron Giant.

Olivia Cooke (Art3mis / Samantha)

OLIVIA COOKE: I used to go disco dancing when I was a kid in my hometown, so I really relished getting to learn the Saturday Night Fever dance. And Tye and I got very close, very quickly, with these dance lessons [laughs]. I don’t know how much of it is digitally enhanced in post-production, probably a lot. But that was a lot of fun.

TYE SHERIDAN: All of my dancing was digitally enhanced [laughs].

LENA WAITHE: No, you were good! You got good, man!

OLIVIA COOKE: That was the highlight of the job for me.

TYE SHERIDAN: It was so much fun. Yeah, we spent like three weeks on wires. But then three weeks just rehearsing after work or in between, or yeah.

ERNEST CLINE: Tye played John Travolta’s son in a movie, right? Has he seen your performance?

TYE SHERIDAN: I didn’t tell him. I texted him and said, ‘I just want you to know that you’ve got to see this film, because it’s a huge nod to some of your stuff.’ But you were great friends with him, weren’t you, Steven?

STEVEN SPIELBERG: Yeah. John Travolta and I have been friends for like a long time. We met on the set of Carrie, which was 1976, something like that? So we’ve been friends since ’76 and I can’t wait for John to see the film.

HANNAH JOHN-KAMEN: I think I’m with Olivia on the dance sequence in the film for me; I just got chills. And I didn’t know that the Saturday Night Fever walk was the inspiration for Tye’s. But actually looking back, I’m like, ‘Oh yeah!’ I thought it was so cool; he just looked awesome. So, yeah, I think that was pretty cool.

BEN MENDELSOHN: You used to be able to rent a place that was either the guest house right next door or the guest house of The Nightmare on Elm Street house. So I’m going to say, Freddy getting blown away early on [laughs].

ERNEST CLINE: Well, for me, it’s the BACK TO THE FUTURE time machine, the DeLorean. It was always my dream car from the time I was a kid, even before I saw Back to the Future. But then, when I saw Back to the Future, I always dreamed of owning a DeLorean someday. And when I sold my novel, and I realized I could finally buy a DeLorean and use it in my author photo, because it’s an ‘80s time machine, which is kind of what my novel is. And then I could drive it around the country on my book tour and it would be a business expense [laughs]. So, it worked its way from the novel into my life, and now it’s in the movie.

Inside The Oasis – DeLorean from Back to the Future

ZAK PENN: The spaceships. I really like that there’s the Galactica and the ship from Silent Running. I think Steven was the one who pointed that out. And I was like, ‘Oh my God, of course, the Silent Running ship. Because you wouldn’t let us put in the mothership from Close Encounters,’ which I had originally written in as a joke.

STEVEN SPIELBERG: There comes a point when I would have had to just defer to somebody else who liked my movies and not make a movie about my movies. I let a couple of little iconic characters in from my films, especially the DeLorean, which came from the book directly. But otherwise, there were a lot of things that we could have put in.

ZAK PENN: Oh yeah. I don’t blame Steven. I didn’t know Steven was going to direct the movie when I wrote the joke. But, anyway, all those spaceships, to me, sum up the wonder, and that’s directly from the book, the idea of everybody having their own spaceship.

PHILIP ZHAO: Mine would probably be the Iron Giant, because I was a kid when that was filming.

STEVEN SPIELBERG: And now you’re an old man [laughs].

PHILIP ZHAO: Yeah, now I’m an old man. I’ve aged quite well, I think [laughs]. When I saw The Iron Giant on screen, which was played by Lena, I was really impressed. Lena had this, like, pink ball on top of her head when we were filming it, and we had to look at that.

TYE SHERIDAN: That was difficult because when you’re shooting motion capture, whenever Lena says her line, they’ll say ‘Look up, look up.’ And you look over at Lena but you look at her face first, and you’re like, ‘Dang, I’m supposed to look at the ball.’

PHILIP ZHAO: And you had to talk to a ball, which was really weird.

WIN MORISAKI: Yeah, for me it’s definitely Gundam. Japanese fans are going to be screaming out, ‘WHOA!’

ERNEST CLINE: You also got to drive the Mach 5 from SPEED RACER. You got cool toys.

WIN MORISAKI: Yeah, thank you!

For the younger cast, having not grown up in the ‘80s, how did you immerse yourself in that era? And was there something you hadn’t seen that you now really love?

LENA WAITHE: I was born in ’84. So a lot of the 80s I didn’t remember, I don’t really know a ton about. But because I grew up in the 90s, a lot of the stuff I remember is the music. Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston – really that’s where they began, in the ‘80s. So it was not hard for me to revisit. But we did, Tye and I watched some ‘80s movies together, just to get in the vibe. And the interesting thing about that time was that everything was so big and loud and happy and colorful. It was a prosperous time. So, that’s why I think I’m kind of happy I was born in that decade. And I think that’s why it really translates on screen. There’s so much joy, and it’s reminding us of a happier time. And that’s why we’re so obsessed with it.

STEVEN SPIELBERG: I think we’re nostalgic for the ‘80s because it was a decade when there wasn’t global and domestic turbulence, chaos and seismic change. In the ‘60s we had seismic change with the Civil Rights movement. There was so much change with the assassinations of Jack and Bobby Kennedy, and there were all these different eras.

TYE SHERIDAN: I guess it also makes sense because the OASIS stands for the great escape. It’s anything you want it to be. And because the ‘80s was such a vibrant decade, full of all this crazy hope, I think it makes total sense that there are all these references to ‘80s pop culture in there.

Special effects has changed so much in the past 30 years. Have you ever considered going back and digitally redoing some shots, like George Lucas did with Star Wars, in E.T. the Extraterrestrial?

STEVEN SPIELBERG: Well, I actually got in trouble for doing that. When E.T. was re-released, I digitized five shots where E.T. went from being a puppet to a digital puppet. I also replaced the gun when the F.B.I. runs up on the van – now they’re walkie-talkies. So, there’s a really bad version of E.T. where I took my cue from Star Wars and did a few touch-ups in the film. And in those days, social media wasn’t as profound as it is today, but what was just beginning erupted in a loud, negative voice about how could you ruin our favorite childhood film by taking the guns away and putting walkie-talkies in their hands, among other things [laughs]. So, I learned a big lesson and that’s the last time I decided to ever mess with the past. What’s done is done, and I’ll never go back to another movie I made and I have control over to enhance or change it.

The film got an incredibly enthusiastic reaction when you recently previewed it at the South-by-Southwest Film Festival. What was that like for you?

STEVEN SPIELBERG: I was hiding in the back [laughs]. But I heard a lot of it. I’ve made a lot of movies and I’ve gotten a lot of interesting reactions to my films; I’ve never heard anything like this before. And we were right in the center of the action.

LENA WAITHE: I was just happy to be there because I had seen the movie prior and enjoyed it thoroughly sitting there by myself. But it was great being able to experience it with these people, and I spent a lot of time watching the audience, and they were right there, just leaned in and revved up, because I think it brought a real sense of joy. Talk about a time when we want escapism and want to feel good again, and I think Spielberg represents that for a lot of us. He’s been such a huge part of our lives.

I remember seeing Jurassic Park in the movie theater with my family and how I was one person before I walked into the theater and a different person when I walked out. So, to be in this movie and to be around these people who are having that exact same experience, I saw that they were different when they walked out of that theater. They were lighter; they were walking taller and smiling and slapping hands. I’ve never experienced anything like that before and I’ll never experience that again, and it was phenomenal, and I’m glad I got to experience it with all those fans.

The Stacks

Can you talk about your relationship with nostalgia and how that may have changed over the years?

STEVEN SPIELBERG: That’s a great question because I have the most intimate relationship with nostalgia. It’s based on the fact that from when I was 11 or 12 years-old, I started taking 8mm movies of my family on camping trips when I was a kid growing up in Arizona. When videotape came in, I started taking videotapes. And then I started taking my 8mm sound movie camera when I was hanging around with [Francis Ford] Coppola and [George] Lucas and [Martin] Scorsese and [Brian] De Palma, and that whole group, back in the ‘70s. I’ve got something like 60 hours of footage of all us growing up and making movies together, which someday might make an interesting documentary – if I can get the rights to any of these guys – probably 80% of the footage, they would not want released to the public [laughs]!

Today in my life, I do all the videos of my family growing up. I have a really great editor, Andy, in our office, and he cuts together the whole year in the life of my family – all of my children, my grandchildren – and every year we have little screenings. It’s called the Annual Family Video. So, I basically live in nostalgia, and that might be the main reason I reacted so positively to Ernie’s book and Zak’s script. Because I’m kind of livin’ that way most of my life [laughs].

Read the SAMDB review of Ready Player One.