Categories
Film Review

Avengers: Endgame – Review

After the devastation that was Avengers: Infinity War, and Thanos (Josh Brolin – Everest) wiping out half of all living beings in the universe, everyone is left to mourn and try pick up the pieces. Those of the Avengers that remain must now come together in their darkest hour and try restore order and life.

With ranks fractured, egos hurt, and hearts torn apart, can there be one final stand, and bring to a conclusion twenty two films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

With reminders of battles past, persons loved and lost, Avengers: Endgame is most certainly sure to have set a record for characters and star attendance, with Tony Stark / Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers / Captain America (Chris Evans – Captain America: Civil War), Bruce Banner / Hulk (Mark Ruffalo – Now You See Me 2), Thor (Chris Hemsworth – Thor: Ragnarok), Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson – http://www.samdb.co.za/blogs/blog/2017/09/06/ghost-in-the-shell-blu-ray-review/), Clint Barton / Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner – Arrival), James Rhodes / War Machines (Don Cheadle – Iron Man 3), Scott Lang / Ant-Man (Paul Rudd – Ant-Man and the Wasp), T’Challa / Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman – Black Panther), Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel (Brie Larson – Kong: Skull Island), Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Tom Holland – Spider-Man: Homecoming), Nebula (Karen Gillan – Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Gamora (Zoe Saldana – Star Trek Beyond), Hope van Dynee / The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly – Ant-Man), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Frigga (Rene Russo), Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen – Godzilla), Sam Wilson / Falcon (Anthony Mackie – Detroit), Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan – I, Tonya), Loki (Tom Hiddleston – Crimson Peakhttp://www.samdb.co.za/blogs/blog/2015/10/21/crimson-peak-review/), Okoye (Danai Gurira), Wong (Benedict Wong – The Martian), Mantis (Pom Klementieff – Oldboy), Drax (Dave Bautista – Riddick), Shuri (Letitia Wright), Howard Stark (John Slattery – Churchill), The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton – Doctor Strange), Happy Hogen (Jon Favreau – The Jungle Book), Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell – Christopher Robin), Jane Foster (Natalie Portman – Jackie), Aunt May (Marisa Tomel), Korg (Taika Waititi), Ramonda (Angela Bassett – Mission: Impossible – Fallout), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas – Last Vegas), Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer – Mother!), Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt – The Host), Jarvis (James D’Arcy – Dunkirk), Groot (Vin Diesel – Ralph Breaks the Internet), Rocket (Bradley Cooper – War Dogs), Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford – Truth), Peter Quill / Star Lord (Chris Pratt – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch – Star Trek into Darkness), and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson – Incredibles 2http://www.samdb.co.za/blogs/blog/2018/12/18/incredibles-2-3d-blu-ray-review/).

Who will survive, who remains, who can muster the strength for just one more showdown; all questions that should be answered, but in the Endgame, all bets are off. Anything might happen, and all you know will be turned upside-down as it is a race to restore the universe, save lives, and at long last put an end to one epic adventure.

Avengers: Endgame brings so much together in one film, story, character, plots, emotions, coming full circle after all these years. There is not a single one who could walk away not touched by the journey we have all shared.

A word on length, as the film is just over three hours, and that is wear something comfortable. And keep an ear out for a small easter egg right at the end of the credits.

Be warned too, that still far too many cinemas in South Africa do not have the expertise to actually screen the film at a brightness level that would allow one to see all details. Through many complaints, and requests, this has still not been sorted in a great number of cinemas, so do not waste your money on poor quality projection, and demand you get what you pay such an exorbitant price for.

Avengers: Endgame is one epic film, far funnier that one would think, full of action, thrills, and enough emotion. Most certainly a must see, a part of the Marvel Universe you need to experience, and finally to round off the tales of so many characters we have come to know so well.

Avengers: Endgame opens in South African cinemas 26 April 2019.

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Uncategorized

It’s Every Child’s Dream Come True – Nickelodeon Toy Sprint

Nickelodeon’s Thrilling Toy Sprint is coming to a Toys R Us Store near you

It’s every child’s dream come true – packing a trolley to the brim with all the toys they can carry. Throw in a race against the clock and you have yourself an exhilarating race that is incredibly entertaining to watch. In collaboration with Toys R Us, Nickelodeon Africa (DStv channel 305) has officially announced the fourth instalment of their highly anticipated Toy Sprint, giving another 12 lucky kids the opportunity of a lifetime.

The Nickelodeon Toy Sprint will be taking place across the country, at designated Toys R Us stores in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, and is open to all kids aged between six and 12 (sorry mom, this one’s for the kiddies).

“We are excited to be kicking off another entertaining Nickelodeon Toy Sprint in partnership with Toys R US. This year’s race against the clock will be bigger and better than ever, and we expect a lot more entries than the previous instalments,” commentedTasania Parsadh, Channel Director at Nickelodeon Africa.

Nicole Jansen Van Vuuren, Head of Marketing at Toys R Us & Babies R Us South Africa said, “The Toys R Us team is eager to present yet another exhilarating Toy Sprint partnership with Nickelodeon. This year certainly promises to be bigger and better and we encourage our loyal Toys R Us customers to take advantage of this incredible opportunity. Nothing gives us more satisfaction than our Toys R Us fans getting a chance to turn their dreams into a reality.”

“We are really looking forward to another adrenalin-charged space ship experience this year, which promises to ‘take you to the moon and back’ with fun,” added Jansen Van Vuuren.

Toy fanatics who think they have what it takes to grab as many toys and gadgets (maximum value R15 000) in 60 seconds, can enter online on www.nickelodeonafrica.com. Entry cadets have three opportunities to apply for a position on the Toyship. If cadets want to increase their chances of being chosen, they will need to enter a barcode which will give them an additional 2 entries into the draw. Cadets can head to their nearest Toys R Us store for more information on how to enter and only 12 cadets can move up to be Sprint Rangers on board the Toyship.

“We also urge South African communities to support their respective participants during the sprint by egging them on with words of encouragement, live support on the day of the event and social media support throughout the competition,” concludes Parsadh.

For more information on Nickelodeon’s Toy Sprint with Toys R Us please log on to www.nickelodeonafrica.com, like Nickelodeon on Facebook or follow Nickelodeon on Twitter @NickAfrica using the hashtag #nicktoysprint.

Categories
Television

Coming Up On Carte Blanche – 28 April 2019

On M-Net & M-Net HD [101], Sunday, 28 April 2019 at 19:00 & again on M-Net Plus 1 [901] at 20:00

Devastating Floods Wreak Havoc in KZN

It’s been a terrifying few days for hundreds of people in Kwa-Zulu Natal and parts of the Eastern Cape, as heavy rains and flooding have forced them to evacuate their homes. With at least 70 people dead, about 1000 people displaced, collapsed buildings and road closures, emergency services have been stretched to capacity. Now as the storm dissipates, can residents rebuild their stricken communities?

Producer: Stenette Grosskopf
Presenter: Claire Mawisa

The Palm Oil Problem

From soap to chocolate, face cream to fast food, palm oil is versatile and cheap and the most widely used edible oil in the world, despite being high in saturated fats. But internationally, pressure is growing on government and industry to cut out palm oil or switch to certified sustainable sources. Carte Blanche investigates the dubious practices of the palm oil industry, including the destruction of forests in the Far East, dispossession of farmers and threatening of the last orangutans. We speak to South African distributors about what it takes to go sustainable.

Producer & Presenter: John Webb
Researcher: Laura Byrne

Online Loan Scam

Struggling to make ends meet in the current economy, South Africans who have found themselves desperate enough to apply for certain online loans have stepped into a world of pain as they inadvertently end up in a debt spiral, having to pay for services they never asked for, through debit orders they had no idea they were authorising. It’s a nightmare that once begun, can take years to clear up. Carte Blanche confronts the National Consumer Commission about what their investigators have done to help stop the exploitation of the broke and despairing.

Producer: Liz Fish
Presenter: Derek Watts

Break-In Alert – Could Your Car be Next?

Every single day cars are targeted by criminals who break the locks and loot the boot of all valuables – but perhaps not just any vehicle – it seems that currently there’s a specific manufacturer of choice. In recent months, owners of certain Ford models have become easy targets and have now taken to social media to voice their concern. Carte Blanche investigates.

Producer: Nicky Troll
Presenter: Devi Sankaree Govender
Watch the trailer

Line-ups are subject to change. Stories can be viewed at www.carteblanche.co.za.

Facebook: Carte Blanche #CarteBlanche
Twitter: @carteblanchetv #CarteBlanche
Instagram: @carteblanchetv #CarteBlanche

Categories
music

Liani Reynolds Shares Stories From Her Life In Debut Album

Liani Reynolds is one of those artists who makes an impression when you hear her performing for the first time… an even more so when you are privileged enough to read through her soulful storytelling lyrics. There is a heart-warming sincerity and melodic tone to her voice that demands your attention and stays with you long after the last note has been sung. It is these characteristics that make her debut album so unforgettable.

Her first single, MOSSIE was released to radio stations nationwide last week and her debut album, LIGSOOM, is now also available on all digital platforms nationwide. Get the album here:

Spotify: open.spotify.com/track/5nGrB8mjIPqj1EVbRLRJTY?si=9AVnuEkZTNCDArYsIyajLg
Deezer: www.deezer.com/track/666307642
iTunes: itunes.apple.com/za/album/mossie/1459990850?i=1459990851

MOSSIE, written by the artist herself, is one of those songs that will capture the hearts of audiences of all ages. It boasts a catchy, yet soothing melody, which is perfectly complemented by her amazing voice. The best part of this single, however, is the gripping lyrics that promises to take listener on a very emotional journey.

“MOSSIE is about someone who is willing to sacrifice their own comfort and lifestyle in order to ensure the survival and happiness of a loved one. It tells a story of sacrifice and unconditional love,” the talented singer shares about the meaning behind this special song. “I grew up with a disabled girl, Mossie. She was my Granny Botha’s youngest child of four. My grandmother devoted forty-nine-years of her life to taking care of her. The song was written a year after Mossie had passed away and three days later my grandmother also died unexpectedly.”

Liani, who chose the song as her first single because the story has always inspired her so much, says: “It was not always easy to take care of Mossie and it took a lot of sacrifice. Grandma Botha gave up a normal life for Mossie. When we look at birds in nature, we always notice majestic birds like eagles, but we tend to overlook the efforts of the sparrow (mossie). My grandmother became a sparrow because of her love for Mossie.” A music video for the song, will also be available soon.

LIGSOOM can be described as a uniquely compiled contemporary album that takes listeners on a mystical personal journey through the singer’s own life. “The album consists of songs about personal experiences and also pays homage to special people in my life that means the world to me,” she reveals. “The title summarises the theme that is evident in most of the tracks on the album. We all have this idea about how something should look that is good, pure and unspoilt. The way that is supposed to be. Some call it the light or heaven, but to me that place is LIGSOOM. When you look closely, you will see sparrows living inside of it. Those people who go unnoticed in order to give others the opportunity to shine.”

Eight of the eleven tracks on the album are original Afrikaans works, from her own pen, each of which are carefully interwoven with the finest melodies and lyrics to capture the hearts of audiences from the get-go. A duet with Joshua na die Reën, Vlieërs, can also be expected on the CD, as well as creations by Amanda Strydom (Pelgrimsgebed) and Bittereinder’s Jaco van der Merwe (Gewoond). “The songs are stories. I can only hope that they will mean something to someone out there who hears it. When compiling the track list, I tried to start and end the story with the two singles that both refer to situations that are happening in the LIGSOOM… the event where one keeps searching for the light that is hidden in the reality of now. Songs that are meant to take listeners to a quiet place were also placed together with other tracks that support this atmosphere. The composition was actually easy to see because, if you look carefully, you will find the theme of hidden light in each song’s lyrics,” she explains.

When asked about her favourite tracks on the album, she responds: “It’s so hard for me to choose one song as my favourite, because every track has its own story in my heart and sentiment. The ones that are very close to my heart, are Mossie, Groen, Herontmoeting, Skuiling and Vlieërs. All we have, is our stories. I hope this album encourages everyone who listens to it to write and share their own stories too.” The first single and music video off this brand new release will also be available soon.

Joshua na die Reën describes Liani Reynolds’s voice as rich and colourful. According to this versatile farm girl, she has been surrounded by music for as long as she can remember, because her parents and other family members also play instruments. “I am the youngest of three children and the only girl. My parents, and the way in which I grew up on our farm in Piet Plessis, plays a major role in who I am and how I create my music,” the singer says. She has been working in the music industry for two years and was encouraged by Ronel Brink to exploit her musical talent after they met at a praise and worship event. This is also how she met Joshua na die Reën with whom she had an immediate connection. He then offered to help her with the production of her songs, and that was the start of a beautiful friendship.

The artist likes to follow her heart and enjoys listening to music with a sincere message and that is not afraid to experiment with different sounds. She says: “I admire singers who have the courage to be who they are. Musicians who have influenced my style of music or my way of thinking about music are Jubal’s Kin, Tom Odell, Efterklang, Björk, Joshua na die Reën, Coldplay and Tracy Chapman.”

If you ask her about the inspiration for her lyrics, she answers that it often comes from stories about people and who they are. “A song that is written for a specific person, or about a particular situation, always invites me to listen to it again. Those lyrics often find a special place in heart and I can literally experience what the lyricist felt when he was writing the song,” she shares.

There are many other dreams and plans she has for the future, which includes writing more songs and recording another album, but for now she is focusing on the opportunities at hand. She will also be part of the Musiek Soos Grond concerts scheduled for later in the year. A website with the stories behind her music, will also be available soon.

LIGSOOM has an emotional and nostalgic style that showcases strong musical elements, as well as an impressive vocal range that is not only set to secure Liani Reynolds a permanent place in the hearts of South African music lovers, but will also become a collectable in which listeners will discover aspects of themselves each time they listen to it.

“Nothing on this album was included to try and convince people to like me or my music. It’s just what it is. I think everyone can look forward to lyrics that paint a picture in your head and that will include you as part of the story. I hope that those who listen to it will walk away with a lighter mind and soul,” she concludes.

TRACK-LIST

  • Sterredigter (written by Liani Reynolds)
  • Mossie (written by Liani Reynolds)
  • Swaeltjie (written by Liani Reynolds)
  • Skuiling (written by Liani Reynolds)
  • Pelgrimsgebed (written by Amanda Strydom)
  • Ruimte (written by Liani Reynolds)
  • Gewoond (duet with and written by Jaco van der Merwe)
  • So baie dinge (written by Liani Reynolds)
  • Vlieërs (duet with and written in collaboration with Jacques de Villiers)
  • Herontmoeting (written by Liani Reynolds)
  • Groen (written by Liani Reynolds)

Liani is also part of the MUSIEK SOOS GROND movement which promises magnificent music shows and will showcase some of the most gripping music and talent ever seen in South Africa!

She will be sharing the stage with her friends Joshua na die Reën, Len Muller, Leon Gropp, Lizandra Winter and Kaleidoskoop at the planned concerts. The musicians will be sharing some of their own material and will also be doing some remarkable collaborations.

The first MUSIEK SOOS GROND concert will take place this coming weekend in Bloemfontein at Villa Avianto (Bloemfontein) and on 4 May in Pretoria at The Big Red Barn

CONCERT DATES
27 April 2019 – Villa Avianto, Bloemfontein
4 May 2019 – The Big Red Barn, Pretoria

Doors will open at 17h00 and close at 22h00. Guests are welcome to bring along their picnic blankets, camping chairs or pillows to sit on while enjoying this spectacular event.

Tickets will be available from www.musieksoosgrond.co.za and prices will range between R200 and R250 per person.

Categories
Television

And, The Show Goes On – Tellytrack Continues To ‘Run’ On All DStv Platforms

For over 15-years, DStv has been the ‘race track’ of choice for many horse racing lovers across the country, through the broadcast of the Tellytrack channel. This almost two-decades long partnership, between Tellytrack and Multichoice, will continue to run on DStv channel 239 enabling viewers to experience the ‘Sport of Kings’ in the comfort of their homes.

‘’Over the years we have seen consistency in the channel’s viewership ratings, indicating that the South African television market has an appetite for the sport,” explains Rob Scott – Sports Betting Executive for Phumelela Gaming. “As such from a business perspective, extending the contract became key, as the partnership continues to provide extended reach of the sport.”

The channel will see a ‘look and feel’ as well as content facelift – launching new content propositions as well as injecting a more lifestyle feel into the programming. “We will be introducing an hour-long daily Morning Show, that will carry 30 minutes of horseracing content and 30 minutes of other sports. Our objective is to provide our viewers with variety through the morning show but through our other offerings, become a channel that features predominantly local horseracing,” says Scott.

Currently the channel, on DStv 239, is available across five packages with the lowest – Access – costing only R105 per month and adds to the variety of sport available on our platform. “The Tellytrack channel forms part of our platform’s strategy to bring great quality and diverse content to SA audiences,” explains Aletta Alberts – Head of Content Strategy for Multichoice. “Through our content we celebrate our diverse audiences’ interests, and this can be demonstrated in the number of channel offerings available on our packages. The Tellytrack channel allows us to continue to meet this mandate – of continuously serving our viewers with content that is relevant and excites them.”

The revamped channel will go live on 4 May 2019.