Categories
Film Review

Cars 3 : Review

Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson – Zoolander 2, No Escape) is back, and this time he has to prove himself against the rookies, who are faster, modern, and train with technology, where numbers matter. A new rival emerges, in the form of Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer – The Lone Ranger).

Not wanting to retire, and fearing that he will no longer be number one, Lightning heads off to train at a new facility, helmed by by billionaire Mr. Sterling (Nathan Fillion – Guardians of the Galaxy, Monsters University), and with coach Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo – The Angry Birds Movie). It is these two, Lightning and Cruz, who drive the story, feeding off each other for strength, lessons, and with each others support to eventually find the paths they must take. Of course, it’s not always smooth sailing, and there are many obstacles, in many forms, thrown before them.

Cars 3 has returned somewhat to what worked with the first film, in this lucrative franchise, although this time with a lot less appeal for the older audience. So sorry parents, but it’s going to be a bit of a mission watching with the kids. While some of the message of the film might be a bit too deep for younger audiences, they’re sure to enjoy the very lively world created by Disney and the Pixar studio.

A heartwarming story, superb animation, but floundering in the middle when it comes to a target audience. Instead of aiming for both young and old, it seems to not be for either. Cars 3 is, however, of a very high production quality, so kids are sure to enjoy the few moments of humour, and all the flashy racing cars.

Cars 3 opens this Youth Day, 16 June 2017, in South African cinemas. A word of warning, to pick the cinema where you view the film. There are a few where framing is not correct, so vote with your feet, and see the film as it was meant to be viewed.

 

Categories
Film Review

The Mummy : Review

The Mummy… The story of An ancient princess, named Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella – Star Trek: Beyond, Kingsman: The Secret Service), is awakened from her crypt beneath the deserts of Iraq, by Nick Morton (Tom Cruise – Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation). This brings with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

Boutella is magnificent as the resurrected Ahmanet, bringing yet more variance to her mystic and physicality used in her acting. Cruise on the other hand is doing Cruise, not adding much to what we’ve seen in other films.

This attempt to bring the original film, with Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) as the lead character, however it falls way short on so many aspect, especially a lack of story and logic. One is left with many questions about the possibility of things, at the end of all too many scenes.

The appearance of Dr. Jekyll (Russell Crowe – Noah) is also a mystery, or a plant for sequels, but there is next to no difference between him, and his alter-ego Mr. Hyde, save for some gruffness in the voice. This should have been either an all out change, or skipped. If there can be outlandish mummy’s walking about, why stop there, and why not just bring out the evil of Hyde.

A sad, unfortunate attempt at yet another remake. A story that should have been left buried for some archaeologist to one day dig up, and fear. There is not much more to say about The Mummy, other than to just avoid it. There is plenty of other entertainment to go enjoy.

The Mummy opens 9 June 2017 in South African cinemas.

 

Categories
Film

Experience The Mummy’s Resurrection At Ster-kinekor Imax From 9 June

The Mummy tells the story of Ahmanet, an ancient pharaoh princess whose hunger for power saw her go into the dark side, leading to her mummification instead of claiming her place of being a pharaoh of ancient Egypt.

After 1000 years, she is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert with the sole mission of world domination.

The action-adventure horror film, where Gods and monsters meet, launches in South Africa on 9 June (Friday) and will show in IMAX theatres and Ster-Kinekor sites nationwide.

Immerse yourself in the IMAX experience® of the modern-day reboot of The Mummy with its mix of horror, action and terror. The movie is an excellent introduction of the new wave of the monster-movie genre of Universal Studios.

The Mummy has a stellar cast of A-listers, Oscar-winners, stunt master Tom Cruise playing Nick Morton and Russel Crowe as Dr Henry Jekyll. Former dancer-turned actress, Sofia Boutella is Princess Ahmanet.

Ahmanet’s modern-day transformation from bones and rags to a monster with captivating eyes can only be fully appreciated on the giant IMAX screen with its revolutionary projection system, which delivers lifelike, crystal-clear images.

The powerful sound system, which delivers laser-aligned sound you can feel, will leave your ears buzzing as explosions of doom go off in the streets of London and mayhem ensues in the hot deserts of the Middle East. Eagle-eyed local viewers will be able to identify the scenes shot in Namibia, where shooting moved for two weeks during production.

With the IMAX, customized theatre design, you will feel like you’re doing the death-defying and zero gravity stunts, spinning through the air – and the 3D special effects, prosthetics come alive, leaving you wide-eyed and hungry for more.

Director Alex Kurtzman said he wanted to honour the spirit of the classic monster films but he knew that generations of people had never seen those films.

“The goal was to honour those things and bring something new to the table and ultimately not portray the history of what the monsters are,” he said.

This is one movie that will have you at the edge of your seat. So, strap in and brace yourself for an epic production, where evil is personified and darkness reigns supreme. This thrilling horror movie will have you terrified, horrified and satisfied — all at the same time.

Enjoy the IMAX release of The Mummy – the IMAX® 3D Experience only at Ster-Kinekor’s seven IMAX theatres across the country, situated at Eastgate in Johannesburg, Cradlestone Mall in Krugersdorp, Mall of Africa in Midrand, The Grove Mall in Pretoria, Gateway in Durban, Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth and CapeGate in Cape Town.

Bookings are now open. Members of the various Ster-Kinekor loyalty programmes will enjoy all the benefits and discounts offered by the different programmes from SK Club, Discovery Vitality and Edgars Club, when booking tickets for this film.

It will be screened at IMAX theatres nationwide for two weeks only.

This is a perfect film for action and horror movie buffs – a fitting night out with friends! In addition, The Mummy can also be enjoyed in the luxurious environment of Ster-Kinekor’s Cine Prestige 3D cinemas at select sites. The film’s running time is 2 hours and 09mins, and the classification is PG 13.

For more information, and to book your tickets and the official launch of The Mummy, visit www.sterkinekor.com or the Ster-Kinekor app.  Follow @sterkinekor on Twitter or Ster-Kinekor Theatres on Facebook. For queries, call Ticketline on 0861 MOVIES (668 437) or book at the box office.

Categories
Film

Nil Is Nie Niks Nie – From Novel To Big Screen And Beyond

Filmmakers are increasingly looking to turn popular young adult books into movies. Now, out of South Africa, comes ‘Nul is Nie Niks Nie’, a heart-warming and darkly amusing new film about life, death and everything in between. The film tells the story of three friends living in a sleepy town – Martin ‘Hoender’ (Jaden van der Merwe), Drikus (Pieter Louw), and Chris (Daniah de Villiers) – who set out to make Drikus’ dying wish come true.

Young adult book to film successes include Whale Rider, a 2002 New Zealand-German family drama film directed by Niki Caro, based on the novel of the same name by Witi Ihimaera, which earned more than $41 million, as well as an Oscar nomination for 13-year-old Keisha Castle-Hughes. In 2012 The Perks of Being a Wallflower brought to the big screen the tale of a trio of friends struggling to find a place where they belong. The Fault in Our Stars, the 2014 drama directed by Josh Boone, and based on the novel of the same name by John Green about two young cancer patients who meet at a support group, was a blockbuster that grossed more than $307 million.

‘Nul is nie Niks Nie’ is based on the hugely popular ‘Oor ‘n Motorfiets, ‘n Zombiefliek en Lang Getalle Wat Deur Elf Gedeel Kan Word’, (About a Motorcycle, a Zombie Movie and Large Numbers Divisible by Eleven), by prolific South African children’s book author Jaco Jacobs who has published more than 100 books for children and young adults. The film was directed by Morne du Toit.

“It was a big responsibility to adapt the film because Jaco Jacobs is a well-known and much-loved author,” says Lizé Vosloo, who wrote the screenplay for the film and is also a producer with Stefan Enslin who produced the hugely successful Strikdas: ‘n Familie Gedoente “There are no rules or guidelines that tell you exactly what makes a novel a good contender for a film. Both set out to tell a story. The difference between the two is that a novel makes use of words to create the world the story is set in. With a film, you tell the story by making use of pictures; you show the story through actions.”

Like the terminally ill teenagers in The Faults in our Stars, the characters in Nul is Nie Niks Nie show readers and viewers that a short life can still be a good life. In between all the pranks, there is a profound, realistic portrayal of teenage tragedy.” Comments Helen Kuun of Indigenous Film Distribution.

Vosloo says the first time she read, “Oor ‘n motorfiets, ‘n zombiefliek en lang getalle wat deur elf gedeel kan word,” she was deeply touched by the story, a factor that helped her convey the essence of the book to the film.

“Adapting a novel is challenging. Because words are charged with meaning, they can describe a feeling, a setting, a thought. You don’t have that in film. Your characters can’t say everything they feel or think, you have to show what your character is experiencing.  That’s why capturing the heart of this moving, delightful novel was so important.”

Knowing every part of the story is essential, says director Morne du Toit, including themes, characters, setting, and plot. “If you understand the characters, their world, the choices they make, the relationships they have with other characters and with their world, you will be able to capture the essence of the story.”

The film is brought to life by the trio of friends at the heart of the story. Thirteen-year-old Hoender is a mathematics genius and a successful chicken farmer who is missing his father. When Drikus moves in next door, Hoender unexpectedly befriends him and discovers that the new boy has Hodgkin’s disease and dreams of making a zombie movie before he dies. The trio is completed by Chris, Hoender’s dream girl.

They quickly form an unbreakable bond, and together they escape the monotony of their daily lives – school bullies, Drikus’ overprotective parents and Hoender’s reclusive mother are all forgotten as they focus on making their movie. Together, the friends discover that zero is not nothing — it’s slap bang in the middle of the positive and the negative, signifying pure potentiality.

Also appearing in ‘Nul is Nie Niks Nie’ are Morné Visser, Marisa Drummond, Antoinette Louw, June van Merch, Kim Syster, Bradley Olivier, and Francois Jacobs. ‘Nul is Nie Niks Nie’ was produced by Stefan Enslin and Lize Vosloo and directed by Morne du Toit.

The film is produced by Redhead Productions and Faith in Motion Productions, in association with kykNET Films, the ATKV, and the DTI. It is being distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution, and will be released in cinemas nationwide on 7 July.

Categories
Film Review

Passengers (DVD) : Review

Film

The Avalon, a vast spaceship carrying thousands to a new world, and a new life. To cover this vast distance, everyone is put into suspended animation for decades, but a malfunction causes one passenger to wake part way into the long voyage. As the story unfolds, choices are made, and we are taken along on a race to save the entire ship.

Passengers is a science fiction film, set in space, but delves into some really grounded issues about life, love and the value of selflessness. With so many layers to the story, such a talented cast, a cinematic setting, the re-watch value on this film is rather high. Even with most of the plot laid out, subsequent viewings turn up more and more gems, whether a new understanding of a character, or spotting the great detail of the setting or special effects that were perhaps missed before.

Passengers remains a very engrossing film, that is well presented, and will be a valued addition to any home cinema collection.

Read the full SAMDB review of Passengers.

Disc

The disc is of a decent quality overall, both technically, and with the inclusion of several bonus features.

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

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate, with no visible artefacts on screen. Colours are vibrant, enhancing the futuristic look of the Avalon vessel. There is no visible colour bleed, and detail is maintained adequately in the many darker scenes.

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

Audio

Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate. Dialogue is clear via the centre channel, with much of the weight carried by the remaining front channels. The surround channels are used to great effect to help expand the on-screen world, and further draw the viewer into the story.

Navigation

Navigation is simply and easy to follow, with text links for all. The menus present a static background poster each, with music on the main menu. Options are available to play the movie, select languages, scene selection or special features.

The languages sub-menu allows viewers to select both audio language choice, and desired subtitles.

The scene selection sub-menus contain four large, colour thumbnails. These are static, and numbered, but not labelled, so an amount of guesswork would be required when wanting to navigate to a specific part of the main feature.

The special features sub-menu provides access to the bonus materials included on the disc.

Bonus Features

Casting The Passengers: The driving force behind the characters of the film, the cast. The main cast give input to the casting of each particular character, and how it was to work with each other, although there does tend to be a slight focus on Christ Pratt, being the main protagonist of the film.

On The Set With Chris Pratt: The clowning and musings of actor Chris Pratt, with input from fellow cast, and crew, on what it’s like to work with him. Pratt himself gives insight into the process he had to endure, being alone for a portion of the story, and working with all the various technical aspects that were needed to portray a story in outer space and on-board a large spaceship.

Creating The Avalon: A very interesting look at the Avalon, the ship at the heart of the story. With input from both cast, crew, and those who created the ship, talking about the look and feel of the huge vessel that was to carry thousands to another world. This look behind the scenes provides an insight that is sure to be of interest to both the casual viewer, science fiction buff, and budding filmmaker alike.

Outtakes From Set: Some fun moments on set, had by the cast and crew, with a few genuine laughs.

Booking Passage: A collection of clips, in the form of promotional material, that might be used to advertise a trip on the Avalon, namely Choose Your Star, Dare To Dream, Elite Suites, and A Flight To Remember. These are of the same high production quality as the main film, and provide some additional, fictional, entertainment for the viewer, in the form of marketing and promotional material.

Previews: Trailers for Inferno, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, and Resident Evil: Vendetta are included on the disc. These autoplay at the beginning of the disc, but can be skipped individually, and fast-forwarded. These can be access again from the special features menu as a playlist that plays them all again, in one go.