9 Scientific And Technical Achievements To Be Honoured With Academy Awards®

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that nine scientific and technical achievements represented by 27 individual award recipients will be honored at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation on Saturday, February 9, 2019, at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

In addition, cinematographer Curtis Clark will receive the John A. Bonner Award (a medallion) for his extraordinary service to the motion picture industry.

“Each year, the Academy forms a diverse committee made up of nearly 60 experts on the technology of filmmaking tasked with examining the tools that artists use to create films,” said Doug Roble, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. “This year, the committee is recognizing nine technologies from around the world. These extraordinary contributions to the science of filmmaking have elevated our art form to incredible new heights.”

Unlike other Academy Awards to be presented this year, achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards need not have been developed and introduced during 2018. Rather, the achievements must demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures.

The Academy Awards for scientific and technical achievements are:


To Eric Dachs, Erik Bielefeldt, Craig Wood and Paul McReynolds for the design and development of the PIX System’s novel security mechanism for distributing media.

PIX System’s robust approach to secure media access has enabled wide adoption of their remotely collaborative dailies-review system by the motion picture industry.

To Per-Anders Edwards for the initial design and development of the MoGraph toolset in Cinema 4D for motion graphics.

MoGraph provides a fast, non-destructive and intuitive workflow for motion designers to create animated 3D graphics, as used for title design and fictional user interfaces in motion pictures.

To Paul Miller for the software design, principal engineering and continued innovation, and to Marco Paolini for the efficient, artist-friendly workflow design of the Silhouette rotoscope and paint system.

Silhouette provides a comprehensive solution for painting, rotoscoping and image manipulation of high-resolution image sequences. Its fast, scalable and extensible architecture has resulted in wide adoption in motion picture post-production.

To Paul Debevec, Tim Hawkins and Wan-Chun Ma for the invention of the Polarized Spherical Gradient Illumination facial appearance capture method, and to Xueming Yu for the design and engineering of the Light Stage X capture system.

Polarized Spherical Gradient Illumination was a breakthrough in facial capture technology allowing shape and reflectance capture of an actor’s face with sub-millimeter detail, enabling the faithful recreation of hero character faces. The Light Stage X structure was the foundation for all subsequent innovation and has been the keystone of the method’s evolution into a production system.

To Thabo Beeler, Derek Bradley, Bernd Bickel and Markus Gross for the conception, design and engineering of the Medusa Performance Capture System.

Medusa captures exceptionally dense animated meshes without markers or makeup, pushing the boundaries of visual fidelity and productivity for character facial performances in motion pictures.

To Charles Loop for his influential research on the fundamental scientific properties of subdivision surfaces as 3D geometric modeling primitives.

Loop’s 1987 master’s thesis, “Smooth Subdivision Surfaces Based on Triangles,” together with his subsequent research and publications, extended the theory of subdivision surfaces and inspired further development of methods that transformed the way digital artists represent 3D geometry throughout the motion picture industry.


To David Simons, Daniel Wilk, James Acquavella, Michael Natkin and David Cotter for the design and development of the Adobe After Effects software for motion graphics.

After Effects’ pioneering use of consumer hardware to host an application that is extensible, efficient and artist-focused has made it the preeminent motion graphics tool in film production, allowing motion designers to create complex animated elements for title design, screen graphics and fictional user interfaces.

To Thomas Knoll and John Knoll for the original architecture, design and development, and to Mark Hamburg for his continued development and engineering of Adobe Photoshop.

Photoshop’s efficient, extensible architecture, innovative virtual-memory design and powerful layering system introduced a new level of user interactivity, which led to its adoption as the preferred artistic tool for digital painting and image manipulation across the motion picture industry.

To Ed Catmull for the original concept, and to Tony DeRose and Jos Stam for their pioneering advancement of the underlying science of subdivision surfaces as 3D geometric modeling primitives.

Their creation of essential geometric operations and sustained research on the fundamental mathematics of subdivision surfaces helped transform the way digital artists represent 3D geometry throughout the motion picture industry.


Curtis Clark

Presented to an individual in recognition of extraordinary service to the motion picture industry.

The 91st Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.


76th Golden Globes Nominations And Winners

Best Motion Picture – Drama
  • Black Panther
  • “BlacKkKlansman”
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” – WINNER
  • “If Beale Street Could Talk”
  • “A Star Is Born”
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
  • Glenn Close (“The Wife”) – WINNER
  • Lady Gaga (“A Star Is Born”)
  • Nicole Kidman (“Destroyer”)
  • Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
  • Rosamund Pike (“A Private War”)
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
  • Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
  • Willem Dafoe (“At Eternity’s Gate”)
  • Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”)
  • Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) – WINNER
  • John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman”)
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
  • “Crazy Rich Asians”
  • “The Favourite”
  • “Green Book” – WINNER
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • “Vice”
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
  • Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
  • Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) – WINNER
  • Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”)
  • Charlize Theron (“Tully”)
  • Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”)
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
  • Christian Bale (“Vice”) – WINNER
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
  • Viggo Mortensen (“Green Book”)
  • Robert Redford (“The Old Man & the Gun”)
  • John C. Reilly (“Stan & Ollie”)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
  • Amy Adams (“Vice”)
  • Claire Foy (“First Man”)
  • Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) – WINNER
  • Emma Stone (“The Favourite”)
  • Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
  • Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”) – WINNER
  • Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”)
  • Adam Driver (“BlacKkKlansman”)
  • Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
  • Sam Rockwell (“Vice”)
Best Motion Picture – Animated
  • Incredibles 2
  • “Isle of Dogs”
  • “Mirai”
  • “Ralph Breaks the Internet”
  • “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” – WINNER
Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
  • “Capernaum”
  • “Girl”
  • “Never Look Away”
  • “Roma” – WINNER
  • “Shoplifters”
Best Director – Motion Picture
  • Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
  • Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”) – WINNER
  • Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”)
  • Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”)
  • Adam McKay (“Vice”)
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
  • Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”)
  • Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara (“The Favourite”)
  • Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
  • Adam McKay (“Vice”)
  • Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie (“Green Book”) – WINNER
Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Best Original Song – Motion Picture
  • “All the Stars” (“Black Panther”)
  • “Girl in the Movies” (“Dumplin’”)
  • “Requiem For a Private War” (“A Private War”)
  • “Revelation’ (“Boy Erased”)
  • “Shallow” (“A Star Is Born”) – WINNER
Best Television Series – Drama
  • “The Americans” – WINNER
  • “Bodyguard”
  • “Homecoming”
  • “Killing Eve”
  • “Pose”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
  • Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”)
  • Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
  • Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”) – WINNER
  • Julia Roberts (“Homecoming”)
  • Keri Russell (“The Americans”)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama
  • Jason Bateman (“Ozark”)
  • Stephan James (“Homecoming”)
  • Richard Madden (“Bodyguard”) – WINNER
  • Billy Porter (“Pose”)
  • Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”)
Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
  • “Barry” (HBO)
  • “The Good Place” (NBC)
  • “Kidding” (Showtime)
  • “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix) – WINNER
  • “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
  • Kristen Bell (“The Good Place”)
  • Candice Bergen (“Murphy Brown”)
  • Alison Brie (“Glow”)
  • Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) – WINNER
  • Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
  • Sacha Baron Cohen (“Who Is America?”)
  • Jim Carrey (“Kidding”)
  • Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”) – WINNER
  • Donald Glover (“Atlanta”)
  • Bill Hader (“Barry”)
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
  • “The Alienist” (TNT)
  • “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX) – WINNER
  • “Escape at Dannemora” (Showtime)
  • “Sharp Objects” (HBO)
  • “A Very English Scandal” (Amazon)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
  • Amy Adams (“Sharp Objects”)
  • Patricia Arquette (“Escape at Dannemora”) – WINNER
  • Connie Britton (“Dirty John”)
  • Laura Dern (“The Tale”)
  • Regina King (“Seven Seconds”)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
  • Antonio Banderas (“Genius: Picasso”)
  • Daniel Bruhl (“The Alienist”)
  • Darren Criss (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”) – WINNER
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”)
  • Hugh Grant (“A Very English Scandal”)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
  • Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
  • Patricia Clarkson (“Sharp Objects”) – WINNER
  • Penelope Cruz (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)
  • Thandie Newton (“Westworld”)
  • Yvonne Strahovski (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
  • Alan Arkin (“The Kominsky Method”)
  • Kieran Culkin (“Succession”)
  • Edgar Ramirez (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)
  • Ben Whishaw (“A Very English Scandal”) – WINNER
  • Henry Winkler (“Barry”)

Empire Entertainment Collaborate With Nigerian Stars For Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer

Empire Entertainment are pleased to announce their collaboration with FilmOne Distribution and Production Directors, Kene Okwuosa and Moses Babatope in bringing together Nigerian stars Ayo ‘AY’ Makun and Omoni Oboli as voice cast for the Exclusive Voice Over theatrical version for the Nigerian release of ELLIOT: THE LITTLEST REINDEER on 14 December 2018.

The inclusion of these stars announces a new era of collaboration across Nigeria and hopefully other territories across Africa. The collaboration came about after seeing the need for two worlds to come together and make cinematic history.

Ayo “AY” Makun will be voicing the character DJ (Donner Junior) who has extremely large shoes to fill. With his talent as well as his pedigree, he is Walter’s top prospect amongst the Witty Bitty’s reindeer. But what the others don’t know is DJ also has a crippling fear of flying, clumsily masked by his boisterous ego. Ultimately DJ will be forced to reconcile his desire to please his father with a greater need to be true to himself.

Omono Oboli is voicing Hazel – she is Elliot’s best friend and biggest supporter. Hazel is a quirky goat with a loud personality and an even louder appetite! She knows Elliot’s got what it takes to be one of Santa’s reindeer, and she’s determined to help him get there. Although she may seem flighty at times, Hazel has a sharp eye; when push comes to shove, whether she’s at his side or behind the scenes, Hazel is there to make sure Elliot keeps his eye on the prize.

Speaking on their involvement with the project, Ay and Omoni both expressed their delight, as parents themselves, at being a part of a project that was sure to bring some of that Christmas cheer to not just children but also all lovers of animated movies in Nigeria and also something the family can share together this holiday season. They would like to encourage families to come together and see this great movie.


Elliot is a miniature horse with a great big dream. Ever since the petting zoo where he lives became an Official North Pole Reindeer Training Camp, his job wrangling the zoo’s goat population with his great uncle Peanut Butter has seemed kind of…lame. What Elliot really wants is excitement. Thrills. Glory! That’s right, Elliot wants to work for the Big Man himself. Elliot wants to be a reindeer.

So, when Blitzen announces his retirement on December 21st and Santa schedules a three-day emergency try-out, Elliot sees his chance. He summons all of his courage and against his best friend Hazel the goat’s advice, stages an impromptu try-out of his own for head coach Walter. He aces the hair-pin turn. He breezes through the tire course. He shreds the pylon circuit. But Walter completely ignores him. What’s worse, his arch-nemesis DJ (short for Donner Junior – Yes, that Donner) and his reindeer pals all laugh at him. Peanut Butter just berates him for getting too big for his britches. Humiliated, Elliot suffers his first real wave of self-doubt. Maybe he really is dreaming too big.

But when Hazel and Elliot discover that Walter is planning to sell the petting zoo animals to a maniacal jerky manufacturer named Ludzinka because they haven’t made a profit in years, Elliot decides that it’s up to him to save the farm by making Santa’s team. After all, everyone in the world would want to visit the petting zoo that produced the first non -reindeer reindeer! He convinces Hazel to stow away with him in Walter’s trunk and head to the North Pole. After Elliot’s initial attempt at registering for the try-outs is thwarted by his non-reindeer status, he dons a pair of fake antlers and fools the officials. Now all he has to do is beat twenty of the world’s foremost reindeer competitors and he’ll be home free!

Despite his diminutive stature, Elliot manages to advance through phase after gruelling phase of the competition to the finals. But DJ discovers Elliot’s true identity and reveals it to the world in a boldly humiliating stunt. Shamed and belittled (literally!) Elliot is convinced his dream is dead. Corkie, the ambitious news reporter breaks the story that DJ and his dad have been sneaking extra doses of Mrs Claus’) magic cookies (which are what give reindeer the ability to fly) and that Head Elf Lemondrop’s heanefarious plans to replace the Reindeer altogether with modernized, state -of- the art sleighs have led him to sabotage the entire competition. Santa isn’t even sure he’ll be able to pull off this year’s Christmas at all.

But when Lemondrop sets off the North Pole’s climate generator (used to train Reindeer to handle all types of weather) in the middle of a crowded stadium as a final act of revenge, Elliot is able to prove his worthiness by using his small stature to bravely save everyone from a raging tornado. Santa reconsiders his reindeer-only policy and invites Elliot to join his team. The petting zoo is saved and DJ and his dad are demoted to Peanut Butter’s goat wrangling assistants. Inspired, Hazel begins her own training program, because if a miniature horse can buck tradition, why not a goat?


Film Donates All Its Proceeds To Kids With Cancer

2018 has been a big year for faith-based films, and one that’s coming to South African screens just in time for Christmas is ‘The Healer’. Screenwriter, director and producer of ‘The Healer’, Paco Arango, is donating all of the film’s revenue to help children with cancer all over the world.

Camilla Luddington and Oliver Jackson-Cohen

In South Africa, the proceeds will be donated to the Childhood Cancer Foundation (CHOC), the only organisation in the country that provides comprehensive nationwide support for children with cancer, and their families.

Less explicitly Christian and more spiritual, ‘The Healer’ is a drama-comedy film in which a troubled young man discovers that he has a mysterious and unwanted ability to heal people. He meets a teenage girl with cancer who convinces him to embrace his gift.

Th film has already been a major hit in Spain, Mexico, Central America, and Colombia, and it won the  2018 José María Forqué Award for Values and Education (Educación en Valores) in film.

“The film has a mix of everything and embraces positive messages and traditional values,” says Helen Kuun, MD of Indigenous Film Distribution. “It captures hearts and looks at how moments of doubt can be turned into a testimony of faith. And the film achieves this with a cheerful, light-hearted and charming touch. That’s what makes ‘The Healer’ entertaining and enlightening for all viewers.”

‘The Healer’ tells the story of a gambling, womanising, bankrupt electrical repairman named Alex Bailey (Oliver Jackson Cohen) who is traumatized by the death of his twin brother. His distant uncle Raymond Heacock (Jonathan Pryce) offers to absolve his debts under the condition that he agrees to live with him in Halifax, Nova Scotia. With no alternatives, Alec accepts and embarks on a life-changing journey as his uncle reveals that he comes from a long-time family of healers with the gift of being able to heal all those who are diseased. Trying to understand this gift and the new reality that it offers Alec meets Cecilia (Camilla Luddington), a beauty and local veterinarian, and a teenage girl Abigail (Kaitlyn Bernard) with terminal cancer who unexpectedly show him the way.

Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Kaitlyn Bernard

‘The Healer’ is the first film to donate proceeds to children with serious illnesses. According to Mayenzeke Baza, head of sales at film sales company AAA Entertainment, the film tells a wholesome story in the tradition of Christian dramas like ‘God’s Not Dead’ and ‘Facing the Giants’, both of which were hits at the box office.

“Audiences are demanding interesting and well-made depictions of real-life stories and struggles. ‘The Healer’ reinforces the message that no matter how dark the circumstances, values like love, kindness and goodness can get people through even the worst of times,” Baza adds.

“It’s a heart-warming film for the whole family with a positive and hopeful message,” says Kuun. “The story is authentic, thought-provoking and inspiring. It strikes just the right note during the season of giving.”

The film is dedicated to Paul Newman, the legendary actor and philanthropist, who three decades ago started a free camp for kids with cancer.

Today, there are 30 ‘Serious Fun’ camps and programmes serving the needs of children and families around the world. Arango has been a member of Serious Fun’s board for more than nine years and, with this movie, aims to raise funds and awareness for children with cancer all over the world.

‘The Healer’ opens nationwide on Friday, 7 December.

Indigenous Film Distribution:


Marvel Magic Makes Vodacom Super Rugby Superpowered In 2019

South African rugby is entering a whole new universe in 2019 as SA Rugby, SuperSport, Vodacom and Marvel team up to bring Super Heroes to life and create an all-conquering, planet-shifting, villain-busting “Superpowered” Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

Some of Marvel’s most iconic Super Heroes will join forces with South Africa’s most powerful rugby stars to turn every one of the South African derbies in the 2019 Vodacom Super Rugby season into an action-packed adventure in and outside the stadiums.

In a ground-breaking collaboration between SA Rugby, SuperSport, Vodacom and Marvel, each of the South African Vodacom Super Rugby teams will be assigned a Marvel Super Hero as their look for the home derbies next season.

The Vodacom Bulls kit will be emblazoned with the colours of Captain America, the Emirates Lions will channel their inner-Spider-Man, the Cell C Sharks’ kit will be inspired by Black Panther and the DHL Stormers will be wearing Thor’s colours. The kit designs will be revealed at a later stage.

“Marvel Super Heroes are among the most loved and recognisable characters in the world, very much like local Vodacom Super Rugby players and clubs,” said Luke Roberts, Retail Director for The Walt Disney Company Africa.

“Whether it’s Spider-Man’s genius and agility, Thor’s strength and endurance, Captain America’s honour and strategy or Black Panther’s speed and stamina, we are thrilled to collaborate with clubs in this year’s South African Conference in Vodacom Super Rugby, aligning these character attributes with our own iconic teams.”

Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, said this is one of the most exciting developments to the local Vodacom Super Rugby scene in many years.

“Vodacom Super Rugby has always been about entertainment and providing supporters with something new, and in 2019 we will definitely achieve that with this exciting endeavour with Marvel,” said Roux.

“The global rugby landscape is changing and teams across all continents are trying new things to further raise the interest of fans. We envisage reaching new audiences and gaining new supporters for our franchises and the game as a whole in South Africa.”

Gideon Khobane, SuperSport CEO, said: “These are great times in sport with innovation pivotal to success, which is why SuperSport is thrilled to support the Super Heroes initiative.”

The true impact of next season will be felt when the real-life super heroes take over the story off the pitch.

With great power comes great responsibility, and the heroes of South African rugby are ready to unleash this as they use their power for good and tackle cancer in a partnership with the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Michelle van Eyden, Vodacom’s Executive Head of Sponsorship, echoed the excitement for the forthcoming Vodacom Super Rugby season and highlighted the importance of giving back.

“Besides the innovation and excitement we will be seeing during Vodacom Super Rugby in 2019, Vodacom is also extremely proud to be associating itself with CHOC,” said Van Eyden.

“Every Super Rugby season, Vodacom partners with an organisation that is in need of support, and with the Marvel partnership, we feel there is a perfect fit between between the rugby super heroes we’ll see doing battle every weekend on the field and the little super heroes of CHOC who fight a far larger battle every day.”

For every tackle made by a South African player during the 2019 Vodacom Super Rugby competition, Vodacom and SuperSport will each donate R50 to CHOC through the #TacklingCancer campaign, with the goal of raising R1 million by the end of the season.

And if heroes give us hope, this will be a season in which every fan can also be a hero as they join forces to keep the hope alive for those who need it most.

Vodacom Super Rugby fans can also expect the best in-stadium entertainment and activations that are going to inject rugby into a new “Superpowered” era in a fresh and exciting way.

This is Vodacom Super Rugby “Superpowered”, with Real. Live. Super Heroes.


Sugar-daddy Theatre Co Presents ‘Blueberry Toast’

Come see Blueberry Toast!

A well written, gut wrenching dark comedy. Limited run til 15 Dec.
Venue: Pop-up Theatre at the Foundry:

Book on Computicket:

What goes on behind closed doors in the heart of suburbia?

Just how functional can a dysfunctional family be?

On the surface Walt (Gavin Werner) and Barb (Marlisa Doubell) may seem like your typical all-American suburban couple with two precocious children, Daniel Wolson as Jack and Nikita Latimer as Jill, but perhaps the demands to uphold the all-American-dream family is taking its toll…

Experience the darker side of ‘happily ever after’ with this modern-day revenge comedy.

No under 16.
Includes language / violence / sexual content


Five Reasons To Binge The Deuce

Season two of The Deuce, which chronicles the rise of pornography and how the multibillion-dollar industry transformed American culture, is now available to binge first and only on Showmax in Africa.

The Deuce season 2 2018 Cast: James Franco- Vincent Maggie Gyllenhaal- Candy Gary Carr- C.C. Margarita Leviea- Abby Lawrence Gilliard Jr- Chris Alton Dominique Fishback- Darlene Emily Meade- Lori Gbenga Akinnagbe- Larry Brown Chris Bauer- Bobby Dwyer Chris Coy- Paul Hendrickson Luke Kirby- Gene Goldman Daniel Sauli- Tommy Longo Jamie Newman- Ashley Dagmara Dominczyk- Genevieve Furie Don Harvey- Danny Flanagan Ralph Macchio- Haddix Michael Kostroff- Rizzi Aaron Dean Eisenberg- Tod Lang David Paterson- Randy the Bartender Gary Pastore- Matty the Horse

Here are five reasons to add the HBO hit series to your watchlist right now:

1. It’s about the ‘Golden Age of Pornography’

Season two of The Deuce picks up in 1977: the start of the ‘Golden Age of Pornography’ and five years after the culmination of the first season. “This is the moment when porn had its most exaggerated ambitions for itself,” says co-creator David Simon (The Wire). “It was almost granted a full artistic license. There was this moment when people thought – and not entirely naively – that pornography could become its own narrative form that would be taken seriously. It almost seems silly and quaint now but at the moment it felt like the world was opening up for anything.”

2. It stars Maggie Gyllenhaal in a Golden Globe-nominated role

Oscar nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart) was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in The Deuce as Eileen ‘Candy’ Merrell, a prostitute turned pornographer. In season two, she’s getting more ambitious: she wants to make ‘art porn,’ which will appeal to both women as well as men. “Porn was just beginning when she started. She’s like, ‘I want to be a part of figuring out what it can be, what its limits are,’” says Maggie. “She wants to express herself in her work, and why shouldn’t she?”

3. It’s from the creators of The Wire

The Deuce was created by George Pelecanos and David Simon, who previously collaborated on the HBO series The Wire, widely hailed as “the best TV show ever.” They put together a star-studded writing team that includes the likes of Edgar-winning crime novelists Richard Price and Megan Abbott, and Edgar nominee Lisa Lutz – with season one earning a Writers Guild of America nomination.

4. Season two is even better than the first

The second season has even better reviews than the first, with a whopping 99% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus is that “The Deuce’s excellent character-driven drama returns with even more immersive world-building and a welcome focus on its leading ladies, carried by a tour de force performance from Maggie Gyllenhaal.” Unsurprisingly, HBO has renewed The Deuce for a third and final season.

5. It’s the best conversation starter of the year

According to Pornhub’s 2017 Year in Review insights, the site had over 28 billion visits last year. Pornhub’s visitors voted over 120m times – a million more votes than were cast in the last US election. So it’s about time we talked about porn – and The Deuce is the perfect way to slip it into polite conversation. The series will also get you talking about #metoo, blaxploitation, grindhouse, the mafia, peak disco, attempts to regulate sexuality, how pagers displaced pimps, and among other things, the need for ‘intimacy co-ordinators’ on TV series, something The Deuce was a pioneer on.

Watch The Deuce first and only on Showmax in Africa:

dvd / blu-ray Review

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (DVD) : Review


Once again Owen (Chris Pratt – Avengers: Infinity War, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard – Gold) must put themselves on the island to rescue the dinosaurs from a dormant volcano that now threatens to erupt and wipe out all life in the park.

Since the first film, the dinosaurs have been left in peace, the island abandoned, but now we are returning, to save the creatures. While the first film was all about the park, the second in the Jurassic World series is more about the creatures, expanding the film setting and then bringing things down to a small and claustrophobic level, set to poke at inherent phobias of the viewer, akin to the bogyman at night.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, while a fun and engrossing film, does lack some of the awe and wonder that the first film brought. Perhaps because we know what to expect now, and perhaps because one can not help but compare this new trilogy to the original, causing one to wonder and hope, that things will get better and not worse, as was the case those many years ago.

Comparisons aside, this is a an enjoyable film, full of all the elements one would hope for, coupled with talented cast and filmmakers, the viewer is still in for one exciting ride.

Of course, with the action, and all the stunning visuals, there is plenty of rewatch value to be had, and this is one disc well worth owning and adding to ones collection.

Read the full SAMDB review of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.


Overall, the disc is of a decent technical quality, with a good main feature. It’s a pity this is let down by terrible navigation of the menu system.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.


Video is encoded at a high average bitrate, with no visible artefacts on-screen, nor any visible colour bleed. Colours are vibrant where needed, with detail in darker scenes of a decent quality.

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


Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, and presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker, with great use made of the surround channels (as one would expect, considering the first Jurassic Park was one of the first films to really push the digital surround format).


The main menus is the typical old, confusing icons associated with a disc from Next. The symbols are not very clear, and the menu items automatically revert back to the main menu if left. The main feature will then also autoplay if the disc is left on the main menu. Really not the smartest option, as the disc manufacturers are now making decisions for the viewer, forcing them to abide by their choices. Not smart, and often annoying.

The main menu has a motion background, with some clips from the main feature, and accompanying music.

Navigation symbols on the main menu consist of a triangle to play the main feature. A book shaped icon for chapter selection, a speaker icon for choosing language, a square with some lines that allow one to pick the desired subtitle, and a flower or asterisk shaped icon to access the bonus features.

The chapters sub-menus each consist of four large, colour, still thumbnails, for a total of twenty chapters. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, so navigating to a particular part of the main feature would still require some guesswork, and one would be better off using the bookmark feature of a set-top box or software player to keep track of favourite parts of the film.

The bonus features sub-menu has a text list of the various features listed on two further sub-menus as text links. This is the only sub-menu with accompanying background music.

The audio sub-menu allows the viewer to choose between English or English descriptive audio, presented as text links.

The subtitle sub-menu has a text list of the available subtitles, or the option to turn them off.

Bonus Features

The bonus features, while short, do offer some interesting insight into many areas of the film, and show the fun that was had in creating this well known world.

On Set With Chris & Bryce – A brief look behind the scenes, focusing on Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, some insights into their characters, methods, and how they are on-set.

The Kingdom Evolves – A look at how the world of the dinosaurs has evolved, since the first Jurassic Park to the latest Jurassic World, with input from cast and crew, director J.A. Bayona and Steven Spielberg, and how Fallen Kingdom fits into a trilogy.

Island Action – A look at shooting on location, how some of the big shots on the island were created, how certain effects were created, and how some of the story was brought to life.

Birth Of The Indoraptor – A look at some of the sets of the Lockwood Estate, including the high tech lab, with some background into the set, setting, and the dinosaurs created by the characters. The featurette also looks at the mix of practical and computer generated effects.

Start The Bidding! – Some footage of stunt and fight preparation, by Chris Pratt, as well as how some of the sequences that take place during the final scenes and auction were shot.

Death By Dino – A very brief look at how the filmmakers created some of the damage, death, and injury caused by the dinosaurs.

Monster In A Mansion – Behind the scenes of some of the more iconic shots of the film, and how these relate to director J.A. Bayona and his vision for some of the shots, designed to evoke a feeling of fear in the viewer.

Rooftop Showdown – A look at the climactic rooftop scene, from conception, and storyboard, to the practical elements that were shot on location.

Malcolm’s Return – The brief, yet iconic and expected, return of Jeff Goldblum and his Ian Malcolm.

VFX Evolved – Looking closer at the computer generated effects of the dinosaurs, showing the various creative passes by computer, and how these were brought to life in photorealistic spender.

Chris Pratt’s Jurassic Journals – A bunch of short clips, with actor Chris Pratt introducing and talking to some of those on set he dealt with on a daily basis. Not something that one would watch many times, but a nice bit of respect to all those who work so hard behind the scenes to help create the magic.

There are some trailers that autoplay at the beginning of the disc, namely Mortal Instruments and Pacific Rim: Uprising. These are not accessible again from the disc menu.


Packaging for the DVD is standard, with a poster on the front, and a short synopsis on the back with some stills from the film. There is also a listing of bonus features, and the usual technical information and logos on the back. There are no package inserts, such as chapter listing, etc.


dvd / blu-ray Review

Hereditary (DVD) : Review


Soon after the death of her mother, Annie (Toni Collette – xXx: Return of Xander Cage) and her family, husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), son Peter (Alex Wolff – Patriot’s Day), and daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro) are beset by some haunting occurrences, and as the story unfolds, many dark secrets are revealed amidst some very tragic events.

Hereditary is a horror, with loads of drama. A film with an engrossing story, and yet one knows that something, very soon, is going to change and scare you. As the story unfolds, the viewer is left trying to piece together events before the characters do, and encouraged by the film, this leaves one’s imagination to start running wild, meaning the film doesn’t rely on the usual cheap jump-scares, but instead allows the viewer to scare themself, and just at the right time, it adds to this with a sound, or a visual, that chills one to the bone.

With an expertly devised soundscape for the film, the viewer is lead by sounds, but also totally encompassed in the environment, with the sounds one would expect from nature, a house, and a town. Not to be outdone, the visuals are just as immersive, with the camera angles and scene transitions not quite what one would expect, serving yet again, to suck the viewer right into the story, put them in the midst of whatever danger might be lurking, and make them feel a part of events.

Hereditary is one of those rare horror films that is driven by drama, accompanied by talent, and with a great story. It will leave one thinking, guessing, and debating what was and might have been, for days after, and it is this that would add an amount of rewatch value to the disc.

A great horror, and a must see film.


Overall, the disc is of a good technical quality, with a slightly higher than usual video bitrate. There is no bonus material on the disc, but the main feature is one that will thrill and scare many a viewer. A great film.

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


Video is encoded at a high average bitrate, with no visible artefacts on-screen. There is no visible colour bleed. Details in the several darker scenes is good, as is detail in some of the faster moving scenes. The video encoding, on average, is above what one would usually find on a DVD, and would be welcomed by those with larger screens.

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


Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, with dialogue clear via the centre channel. Use of the surround channels serves to expand the on-screen action, totally drawing the viewer into some of the more tense scenes, and adding to the feelings evoked by the film. Great use of sound design (and at times, lack of sound) are used to a great degree.

Great use is made of the LFE channel, to enhance a the feeling of foreboding and dread brought on by the story.


Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The main menu has text links to the various sub-menus, namely a link to play the movie, scene selection, and setup. There is a motion background, with video from the main feature, and accompanying music.

The Scene selection sub-menus each have ten small, desaturated colour thumbnails, for a total of twenty chapters. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, nor is there any chapter listing including in the packaging, meaning that navigation to a part of the film would likely include some guesswork. Viewers would be better off using the bookmarking functions of their respective hardware or software.

The setup sub-menu has just two text links, allowing the viewer to choose between Dolby Surround and Dolby Stereo.

Bonus Features

There are no bonus features on the disc, not even trailers that autoplay at the beginning of the disc.


Packaging is standard, with a title on the front, with poster. The back of the packaging includes a short synopsis, along with some small stills from the film. There is also the usual technical information and logos. There are no package inserts, such as chapter listing, etc.


dvd / blu-ray Review

Tag (DVD) : Review


A group of friends from high school hold an annual game of tag, for one month, every year, into adulthood. Taking place any place, and any time within this period, it’s a no holds barred playground contest. What makes this even more intriguing and fun, is the fact this is all inspired by actual events.

Tag is a fun film. and one gets the impression the cast had fun making it. The story foloows the antics of Hogan ‘Hoagie’ Malloy (Ed Helms), Randy ‘Chilli’ Cilliano (Jake Johnson – The Mummy, Smurfs: The Lost Village), Kevin Sable (Hannibal Buress – Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Secret Life of Pets), Bob Callahan (Jon Hamm – Baby Driver, Minions), and Jerry Pierce (Jeremy Renner – Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Age of Ultron) who has as yet not been tagged.

Once news of this on-going childhood games gets out, intrepid reporter Rebecca Crosby (Annabelle Wallis – Annabelle: Creation, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) decides to follow the group, and cover this rather unique bond they have. Rebecca’s view of the entire event mirrors what many viewers might have, and that is one of amusement, that a group of grown men could act in such a way. Not only still playing a game from the school grounds, but the level and detail of planning that goes into this annual event.

Let us not forget the main characters themselves, with each possessing their own skills and personality, brought to life the the talented cast. Jeremy Renner for one feels as if he has brought much of himself to the role, prompting one to pause and wonder if he might just narrate some things in his every day life.

Tag is a fun, light-hearted, and feel good film, if there ever were one. A story that is not at all hard to follow, a diverse group of characters, given depth by a well known cast. A story that will not only have the audience laughing, but wondering how they too can create this sort of bond with those closest and dearest to them.

A film most certainly worth watching, and adding to one’s collection, Tag is a brings joy, much as their game it depicts does.


The disc is of a good technical quality overall, with a fun main feature.

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


Video is encoded at a high average bitrate, with no visible artefacts on-screen. There is no visible colour bleed, and colours are vibrant where needed, although the grade does differentiate between past and present. Details in faster moving scenes and dark scenes is good.

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


Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate. Dialogue is clear via the centre channel, with great use of the surround channels when scenes would warrant it.


Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The main menu is static, with a background poster and accompanying music. Menu items consist of text links to their respective sub-menus, and consist of a link to play the main feature, scene selection, languages, and special features.

The scene selection sub-menus consist of six and five large, colour, still thumbnails, for a total of eleven chapters. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, so navigating to a specific part of the main feature might require some guesswork. There is also no chapter listing included in the disc packaging.

The languages sub-menu consists of a text list of audio languages, namely English and English Descriptive Audio. There is also a list of available sub-titles, including English for the hearing impaired.

The special feature sub-menu contains one link, to the single included featurette.

Bonus Features

Meet the Real Tag Brothers – This short featurette gives the viewer a look at the real life persons that inspired the film. This makes the main feature even more enjoyable. A fun look at the bond between these friends.


The disc packaging is rather standard, with a poster on the front, with cast listing. The back of the case has a short synopsis, with some small stills from the main feature. There are also the usual technical logos and information one would expect. There are no package inserts in the case, such as chapter listing.