Ant-Man And The Wasp (Blu-Ray) : Review

Film

Following the events of Ant-Man, and further along, Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang / Ant-Man (Paul Rudd – Sausage PartyAnt-Man) is now suffering the consequences of the decisions he made, and the support he lent to be a hero. Yet, Lang is also fighting another battle, that of family and father.

Soon, he is approached very persuasively, by Hope van Dyne / Wasp (Evangeline Lilly – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) and her father, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas – Last Vegas) with an mission that will ripple through the world of many, affecting countless lives, as Lang must now not only overcome personal obstacles, but needs to learn to work as a team as the choices of the past catch up to all.

Ant-Man and the Wasp, while possible to watch with one’s only background being the first Ant-Man film, forms part of the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), meaning that there are not only many references in the story, based on its placement in time, but several small, and some large, setups that will forward the MCU major story arch, as a whole. Most certainly, the aforementioned films would stand one in good stead, to watch. As would the recent Avengers: Infinity War.

Rewatch Value

Being part of the MCU automatically adds a great deal of rewatch value to the film, however, the Ant-Man and the Wasp holds its own, and even as a stand-alone film, there is plenty of reason for subsequent viewings. Thoroughly enjoyable, packed with action, and that Marvel goodness we all know.

Read the full SAMDB review of Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Disc

Overall, the disc is of a decent technical quality, with a great main feature, and would do well with any film collection.

Ant-Man And The Wasp is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on-screen. Colours are vibrant, with no visible colour bleed. Details in darker or faster scenes are good too.

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

Audio

Audio is compressed at a high average bitrate, and presented in a DTS-HD 7.1 mix. Dialogue is clear via the centre channel, with the front, rear and surround channels used to great effect, with distinct audio, to expand the on-screen world, and further draw the viewer into the action.

The soundscape is broad, and mixed in such as way as to constantly surround the viewer, and is used to great effect throughout the film.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. On initial play, the viewer is asked to choose a disc language, then taken to the main menu, which consists of a motion background of some clips from the main feature, accompanying music, and navigation bar with text links to play the main feature, bonus features, scene selection, and set up.

The play sub-menu allows the viewer to choose between playing the film, or opting to play the film with an introduction by director Peyton Reed before.

The bonus features sub-menu has a text list of each bonus feature, with a further sub-menu for the ‘making of’ featurettes. Here the viewer can select each individually, or via a playlist that will play each of the four in succession. The same goes for the gag reel and outtakes, leading the viewer to a sub-menu,

The scene selection sub-menu has small, colour, still thumbnails, for a total of eighteen chapters.. These are both numbered and labelled, and so should help when trying to navigate to a particular part of the main film. It is worth noting, that navigation is not done via the thumbnails, but via a progress bar to the left of these thumbnails.

The setup sub-menu has further sub-menus for languages and subtitles. The languages sub-menus has a text list of available languages and sound formats, while the subtitles sub-menus has a list of available subtitle languages, or the option to turn them off.

Bonus Features

There are four bonus featurettes that shed light on the process and journey of making the film. These can be played one at at time, in any order, or via a playlist that will play them all.

Making-of Featurettes – There are a few short videos that take the viewer behind the scenes of the film, showing some on-set footage, and garnering input and insight from both cast and crew. While brief, these are sure to be of interest to fans and budding filmmakers alike, even if just for a once off viewing.

Back In The Ant Suit: Scott Lang: A look at the character Scott Lang / Ant-Man, with some behind the scenes footage of Paul Rudd. This is a short, yet insightful look at the character, where he comes from, and how far he has come since the first movie in the Ant-Man series, and some of the characters other outings in the MCU.

A Suit Of her Own: The Wasp: Hope Van Dyne / Wasp, a look at the character, the actress, and the question of whether Ant-Man does indeed need a partner, and if so, what must they overcome to realise this joining and team. Brief, but with some interesting input from cast and crew.

Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Jane: The team that started it all, with Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer. While this is about the two as an on-screen duo, the viewer is treated to some of the choices and thoughts of the actors themselves.

Quantum Perspective: The VFX And Production Design Of Ant-Man And The Wasp: The longest of the short featurettes included as bonus material on the disc, and how the various ideas for the stories main plot devices and effects were conceived. Again, with input from both cast and relevant crew, this is something that would be of interest to both fans and filmmakers.

Gag Reel And Outtakes – Some very brief clips with outtakes from Stan Lee and another set from Tim Heidecker. These, unfortunately, are not too funny, and do not feel like true outtakes, but rather more like a long list of improvised lines

Deleted Scenes – There are two deleted scenes included on the disc, which one can play individually, or play both via a playlist. There is also the option of either watching the scenes with or without audio commentary by director Peyton Reed. The scenes should prove of interest to fans and filmmakers alike, and the addition of the directory commentary for these scenes is a great added bonus.

Audio Commentary – An audio commentary by director Peyton Reed, that plays while one watches the main feature. He gives an insight into the story on-screen while talking, plus how these different story pieces fit together over the course of the film, and Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as a whole, and of course the various story arcs between those. This commentary should prove interesting to fans of the film and MCU, and prove insightful to budding filmmakers. A great addition to the disc, and a great listen after watching the film.

Info – While this is not strictly a bonus feature, it is likely necessary for a host of reasons, and is basically a disclaimer for the interviews and opinions therein.

Packaging

Packaging is a standard Blu-Ray case, with a poster on the front, with the film title. The back has a short synopsis, with a listing of the bonus features, and the usual technical information and logos. There are no case inserts, but there is not really a need for anything such as chapters headings, as these are included on the actual disc, and would appear on-screen.

iKhaya – Will Secrets Ever Cease, As One Lie Births Another?

What happens when shocking secrets are revealed, and the two worlds collide? iKhaya season one, answered this question, as the drama series showed us how Eddie Sebatjane maintained two lives, two wives, and far too many secrets.

In the conclusion of season one, Eddie’s worlds came to literal catastrophe as Cebile, Eddie’s second wife ran over and killed Mosima – his first wife’s daughter, in a hit and a run. Will Eddie suffer in silence this time round, or will he bring this new dark secret to the fore and risk sending the mother of his, now only living, child to prison? Will Raisibe, in her quest for justice for her daughter Mosima, find out that she is living under the same roof with the very killer she is searching for.

The intrigue continues in season two of iKhaya from Monday, 7 January, as Eddie attempts to build a harmonious home, as he tries to stay with both his wives from two totally different worlds. Will he be able to shape an “amicable” polygamous marriage, despite the horrendous secret that could tear his whole world apart? What does the future hold as Raisibe leaves her rural world to assert herself as Eddie’s first wife?

Produced by Urban Brew Studios, the drama continues on iKhaya in January with Eddie (Saint Seseli), Raisibe (Molobane Maja-Mbatha), Cebile (Nqobile Siphamla). Also, among the returning cast this season is Mpho Molepo, Aubrey Makola, Laki Khoza, Thulane Shange, Sphamandla Dhludhlu alongside Khomotso Manyaka. The role of Gundane is now played by Siya Sesimani. With the introduction of a new character MJ, played by Nyanyiso Dzedze.

“It’s no secret that Mzansi Magic is about stories that are authentic and challenge our viewers’ perspectives, whilst creating meaningful conversations. The new season of iKhaya seeks to tell a story that our viewers will relate to whilst staying highly entertained,” says Reneilwe Sema, Director of Local Entertainment Channels at M-Net.

With Eddie’s dual lives and lies entwined under one roof, how long will he manage to keep the new dark secret that lingers and threatens to destroy what is left of his family? Find out how he attempts to head two families bound by deceit, secrets and lies on Monday, 7 January 2019 at 8PM on Mzansi Magic (DSTV Channel 161).

Follow the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and visit our website: mzansimagic.dstv.com.

Monologue Workshop With Bonnie Rodini – January 2019

Only 10 places available
Don’t be caught out at an audition without a prepared monologue
Monologue Workshop (6 Classes over 6 weeks)
Specific monologues will be selected for each actor. The class is designed to help the actor find their character truthfully and and make the words their own through action. Actors will have the opportunity of working on 2 or 3 very different characters in each monologue. The film industry has exploded in South Africa and exciting top notch films are being brought here. Actors must be ready for any eventuality. Auditions are becoming more and more demanding and actors need to be able to rise to this challenge. It is therefore essential to have a monologue ready to perform, if requested by the director, at a call back.

Registration Deadline: 9 January so I have time to select suitable monologues for each person.

Days: Wednesday + Friday mornings
January 16, 25, 30 and February 8, 13, 22
Time: 10:00 am – 1:15 pm
Venue: 30 Alpina Road
Claremont (Off Keurboom road)

Investment: R3500 for 6 classes.

www.rodinifilms.com
bonnie@rodinifilms.com

Tel: +27 83 265 2236

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:

TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS (ACADEMY CERTIFICATES)

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.

SCIENTIFIC AND ENGINEERING AWARDS (ACADEMY PLAQUES)

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.

JOHN A. BONNER AWARD (Medallion)

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.

MORE ABOUT ELLIOT: THE LITTLEST REINDEER

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: www.indigenousfilm.co.za

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: goo.gl/maps/An7cq3fgXxM2

Book on Computicket:
online.computicket.com/web/event/blueberry_toast_by_mary_laws/1272443698/606145751

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: www.showmax.com/eng/tvseries/vb43rl9v-the-deuce.

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