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April 2014 Your one resource for what’s happening at the South African Box Office.

www.offthescreenmagazine.com

Art Imitating Life

Former South African Survivor star Irshaad Ally talks to us about his role in the gangster film, Four Corners

Different from the Rest Hollywood actress Shailene Woodley talks to us about her role in the new young adult fiction film adaption, Divergent


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Content s Cover Story:

16 Different from the Rest We talk to young Hollywood star Shailene Woodley about her starring turn in the latest young adult novel film adaption to hit our screens, Divergent

Features:

10 All about the Monster Australian TV actress Yvonne Strahovski talks to us about her latest venture onto the big screen in the action adventure, based on the classic horror story, I, Frankenstein

22 Art Imitating Life Survivor star Irshaad Ally tells us about his starring turn in the Cape Flats gangster film, Four Corners

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Reviews: Film Released March 14th 28 The Lego Movie 29 Nebraska 30 About Last Night 31 August: Osage County 32 I, Frankenstein

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Editor Jon Broeke jon.broeke@gmail.com

10 Released March 21st 33 The Grand Budapest Hotel 34 The Spectacular Now 35 Need for Speed 36 Tyler Perry’s The Single Mom’s Club 37 Mr Peabody and Sherman 38 Reasonable Doubt Released March 28th 40 Philomena 41 Captain America: The Winter Soldier 42 Muppets: Most Wanted 43 Agent 2000: Die Laksman 44 Four Corners

22 Released April 4th 46 Divergent 48 Europa Report 49 Hours 50 Noah 51 Old Boy Releasing April 11th 52 The Forgotten Kingdom 53 All is Lost 54 Rio 2 55 Non-Stop 56 That Awkward Moment DVD 59 Playback Closed Circuit The Sapphires

Divergent Giveaway

Editors Letter This month is all about the books with features about the latest young adult novel adaption to hit out big screen with Divergent, a very different take on a horror classic with I, Frankenstein and a film inspired by a non-fiction South African novel in Four Corners. We also have all the reviews for the films that opened over March at the South African Box Office, as well as films that are coming up, so be sure to check them out. Also be sure to check our other interviews and entertainment news on our website: www.offthescreenmagazine.com and also our Youtube channel: Off The Screen TV for more interesting content coming your way. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you at the movies in May.

Photo Credits Nu Metro, Ster Kinekor, Getty Images, UPI.com, Google Images, imdb.com, Daniel Daza, Richard Foreman

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Best Wishes Jon Broeke Editor __________________________________________________ Off The Screen Magazine

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All about the Monster

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The classic story of Frankenstein gets turned on its head this month with the release of the horror, action film, I, Frankenstein. We sat down with TV star Yvonne Strahovski to chat to her about her role as a scientist in the film and she gave us the low down about the monster and the war

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his month sees a very Though she has no idea what it really interesting take on the classic going on at first, her character eventually Frankenstein story with the finds out about the war between the release of the action adventure, I, gargoyles and demons and has to choose Frankenstein. In the film the Frankenstein sides. We asked her what she thought about monster, played by Aaron Eckhart, finds the war, and what Terra’s impression of it is. himself living for hundreds of years, caught in “There’s a big war going on in this the middle of a centauries movie between the gargoyles When she realises that and demons,” she tells us. old war between the he is in fact real, I think “That is unseen to the human gargoyles, on the side of good, and the demons, on race. Again it’s not something that her scientific the side of evil. Caught in she buys into, gargoyles and training kicks in an she the middle of all this is the demons are just a fantasy looks at him as an unwitting scientist brought thing, they’re creatures of the into the war by the object, as something to imagination, as far as Tara is demons, without knowing concerned, so when she be studied, and what she’s really doing. realises that the creature potentially discarded at The doctor, Terra, is played Frankenstein is, in fact, telling by Australian born actress her the truth, telling her that the end of it, without Yvonne Strahovski, better these things are real, it’s realising that he known for her work on TV unbelievable to her, but it is actually has the shows like Chuck and more one of my favourite scenes in recently Dexter. We sat the movie, when she sees a potential to grow into down with Strahovski and someone who can care demon for the first time.” chatted to her about the The film is a thrill ride for another being and film and her role, starting from the first moment to the can be a member of the last, and these days, all the with Terra’s feelings towards Adam, the name thrill rides need to be in 3 D. community in a good the gargoyles give to the We asked Strahovski if she way, monster. thought the 3D was “Adam is a myth,” she says. warranted for this film. “Something that isn’t real, something that she “This film, I feel, is a really great fit for doesn’t believe in, to begin with. Frankenstein 3D,” she says. “Because of its content, its is just a story. When she realises that he is in mythology, it’s one of those films that you’re fact real, I think that her scientific training going to see at Comic Con that people are just kicks in an she looks at him as an object, as going to go crazy over. Its action packed. The something to be studied, and potentially fight scenes are more than what I ever discarded at the end of it, without realising imagined they would be, which are going to that he actually has the potential to grow into look really great in 3D. We’ve just created a someone who can care for another being and really unique world, which I don’t think really can be a member of the community in a good has been seen before, between the gargoyles way, so she has that evolution throughout the and the demons and everything else that movie as well, learning from him just as he we’re telling in this story. It’s not a traditional learns from her.”

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________________________________________________________ Frankenstein horror movie, it’s much more than that.” It being an action filled romp we ended off our interview by asking Strahovski what scenes she liked the best, and what scenes the viewers out there in the cinema world, should be on the lookout for. “There are a few scenes that I really liked in watching the movie,” she says, thinking about her favourites. “A few of the slower motion action movements, the character Gideon [played by Jai Courtney] jumping off the bell tower in that crazy fight

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manoeuvre, I think that’s going to look pretty wicked on a massive screen.” Too see that scene, and the rest of the amazing effects including the gargoyles turning from stone to human and back again, which is very cool, go and see I, Frankenstein right now.

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Different from the Rest

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This month sees the release of the latest in the line of young adult novel adaptions with Divergent. We sat down with young Hollywood star Shailene Woodley to talk to her about her role of Tris in the film

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he next in the line of young adult novel film adaptions hits our screen this month with the release of Divergent. The film, and book, takes place in a future after a war has torn apart most of the world. Those that are still alive live in what’s left of Chicago in a faction

system where everyone is split into specific factions, according to their personality types. They can choose which faction to join, but they are aided in their decision by a test that tells them which one they’re best suited too. In this world Beatrice Prior, played by the wonderful Shailene Woodley, comes of age and takes the test, only to discover that she is in fact divergent, meaning that she can fit into three of the five factions, not just one. This is very dangerous since she cannot be controlled, and those in charge are trying to kill all like her. We sat down with Woodley and she told us about her character. “I play the character of Beatrice Prior,” she tells us. “More recognised as Tris Prior, and she starts off in a faction called Abnegation, which values selflessness, and throughout the film she just decides to transfer into a different faction which values bravery, and her constant battle within her own mind is, ‘Am I selfless, or am I brave?’, and through that indecision she becomes a young woman and also brings others with her to, eventually, save her whole colony.” Divergent deals with a lot metaphorical themes of intelligence destroying kindness and being put into a certain grouping because of the way you think, even though people can’t be categorised. We asked Woodley what she thought about the film, and what she thought it was really about. “I see Divergent as a movie about integrity” she says. “It follows a young adult, a young woman, who leaves a faction behind who values selflessness and transfers herself

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“[Neil Burger’s] capability of creating a world that doesn’t exist is unbelievable. I’m so in awe of what he’s created and what he continues to create. We couldn’t be luckier to have a director that’s so open to collaboration.” into a faction that values bravery, and there’s another faction that values intelligence, who’s trying to take over many things that they don’t have the right to take over, and throughout the movie, Tris, this young woman, has to bring together her community to change some paradigms, to shift some paradigms of thinking in order to, not only save the current world that she lives in, but also remind people of the importance of integrity and the importance of being who you are and sticking to your truths.” The film is directed by Neil Burger, a fairly inexperienced director, better known for his work on Limitless with Bradley Cooper and The Illusionist, starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. We asked Woodley what he’s like to work with, and if he was the best choice for directing a film that could possibly create a franchise as big as Twilight itself. “This movie’s going to be so beautiful to watch,” she answers. “His capability of creating a world that doesn’t exist is unbelievable. I’m so in awe of what he’s created and what he continues to create. We couldn’t be luckier to have a director that’s so open to collaboration. He doesn’t seem to have an ego, you know. I’m able to talk to him about things, whether he agrees with them or not, he’s able to hear me, and it’s not just me, it’s anybody on set, no matter what

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department they’re in, hair and makeup, art direction, art department, other actors, he’s very open to collaboration and that’s a beautiful and rare quality to have within a big profound director. In the film acting heavyweights Tony Goldwyn and Ashley Judd star as Tris’ parents, also hiding a big secret that comes out towards the end of the film. We asked Woodley what they were like to work with on the set. “What was so beautiful about Tony Goldwyn and Ashley Judd is that they have worked together before,” she says. “And I had never worked with either of them, and I’ll never forget the very first day when we were all on set. It was It was Ansel [Elgort], I, as well as Ashley and Tony, and Tony had such deep respect for Ashley and Ashley had such deep respect for Tony, and they both had really, really phenomenal things to say about each other, which doesn’t always happen, between two actors or two brokers, or two people who work at the fast food chain, so it was really amazing to sort of witness the deep reverence for each other, in between getting to know both of them, I mean, Ashley is such a strong woman who I respect so deeply. I’m in awe of what she’s able to accomplish, and what she has accomplished with such ease and such beauty and such raw, strong humanity, and Tony. I haven’t worked with him as much, but he is just a kind, pure person. Just a really strong person. We’re just really lucky in this film to be surrounded by very strong people with high integrity, and pure intentions. People who get things done, and also who do work with the world.” Based on a book, people have an idea of what the locations are going to look like before the film even starts. We asked Woodley what the sets were like, and if they live up to the ideas created in the book. “The world of Divergent is giant,” she laughs. “It’s sort of unfathomable. The pit alone is almost the size of a whole sound stage. It’s one thing to read a book, especially a book about the future, and then come up with that world, and through the director, Neil Burger, and through the art department, as well as every other department involved in

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________________________________________________________ this movie, they’ve created something that is relatable, I mean it’s something that we can recognise in today’s world, in today’s society, but it’s also tweaked just enough to establish that it’s something of the future. We’re of the future in this movie. We’re not in the present day.” With all the young adult novel adaptions coming out we only had one question left to ask Woodley at the end of the interview. Why should people go and watch Divergent? “Divergent, visually, is going to be really compelling,” she answers. “I think that’s going to bring a lot of people in because it’s this new world, and it’s full of new experiences and new walls to sort of explore, but ultimately what drew me to this movie, and what I think will draw a lot of people, is

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that it’s very metaphorical to things that are happening today. There’s a lot of beauty in that. There’s a lot of beauty in seeing a movie that visually is stunning and that takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions through the character’s experiences, but yet you can also relate too, and this being a dystopian, sort of, futuristic world, and yet having so many comparisons to today’s model, and what’s going on in today’s world, I think is intriguing and very interesting. I think a lot of people will respond to that.” Divergent is showing at cinemas now.

Check out our Divergent giveaway on page 59 under the DVD reviews

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Art Imitating Life

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Irshaad Ally hits the big screen this month playing a gangster in the South African film, Four Corners. Jon Broeke sat down with him recently to discuss the film, the role and his past

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his month a film hits our screen which highlights the gang war that’s going on the Cape Flats. The film, Four Corners, shows the gang war that’s covering the Cape Flats between the two gangs, the 28s and the 26s’, and all their subsidiary gangs. I had the chance to sit down with the cast of the film recently at the Lucky Bean restaurant in Melville, including ex-Survivor star Irshaad Ally, who grew up in circumstance very similar to those portrayed on the screen. Ally plays Gasant in the film, one of the main characters and a major gangster. I asked him about the character. “In the film Gasant is the antagonist,” Ally tells me. He’s wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a casual suit jacket and looks every bit the movie star. “Which means he’s the bad guy. Gasant is a gangster, he was in prison, but he’s out now, and he belongs to a gang called the Americans in Cape Town, which is the biggest gang in Cape Town at the moment. He’s power hungry. His power is really important to him having control over whoever’s around him or what’s around him.” In the film Gasant is brought into the action, firstly because he is one of the leaders of the gangs, but also because his younger brother has gone missing and he thinks it’s the 28s, the rival gang, that are responsible. Of course the truth is far more complicated, even though Gasant refuses to see it. I asked him about that dynamic in the character. “What’s interesting is that there’s a war between the 26’s and 28’s on the Cape Flat’s today,” he says. “I grew up in and around gangsters, so I know a lot about the gangs. I know that the 26’s just really hate the 28’s. So this war is an ongoing war, and I think that the fact that my brother is gone, it doesn’t matter if they were involved or not, that blind hatred makes Gasant hate them for everything. He just feels that obviously they are behind it. It has to be them.”

The loss of his brother humanises his character somewhat, so I asked him what it was about the loss that turned Gasant so crazy. Was it just the hatred of the rival gang, or was there more to it than that? “I think what happens to characters like Gasant is that they put so much into their gang lives that they almost forget about the family,” he explains. “But then there are moments when they almost try to overcompensate for that by really going over board to stand up for your family. It comes down to them not being around and not being present brothers or sons. I had a whole backstory for Gasant, that there was a father and he abandoned the family and then another guy came, who was a member of the gangs and he indoctrinated us in loving the gangs. Part of the loss is that Gasant wanted Michael, his little brother that disappears, to become part of the gang, to have the family connection inside the gang.”

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“There’s an enigma behind the number, a secrecy and mystery that surrounds it that makes it even more appealing. That being said I didn’t really know anything about the number, so I don’t think I sold out the number, but going back to my friends, most of them, the guys I grew up with, the older ones, they were cool about it.” As research for the film Ally went back to where he grew up and reconnected with some of his old friends, some of whom are actually in the gang portrayed in the film. “There was one guy that came up to me and told me that I was selling the number,” he says about the experience of going back to his roots. “But I didn’t. I know nothing about the number really. There’s an enigma behind the number, a secrecy and mystery that surrounds it that makes it even more appealing. That being said I didn’t really know anything about the number, so I don’t think I sold out the number, but going back to my friends, most of them, the guys I grew up with, the older ones, they were cool about it. They were gad for me to have the role. You’d be surprised how much intellect those guys actually have. They’re really smart, even though they’re in this gangster lifestyle. It’s strange.”

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The question that plagued me was whether or not Ally was concerned that some gangster out there would see the film and feel that he had portrayed the number or something, and that there would be repercussions for the role. I asked him if he was concerned by it. “No, I don’t think so,” is his answer. “I was very careful to be as authentic and as, discreet, if I can put it that way. I kept it as real as possible. I kept my need for money real, I kept my need to get this lighty, Ricardo, into the gangs for more power, real, I kept my love for my brother real. Like I said I knew nothing about the number, but I tried to be as true as possible. Ally is better known as a reality TV star for his time on the M-Net show Survivor, but that’s a far cry from starring in a feature film. I asked him how he went from Survivor to Four Corners, how he got onto Survivor in the first place, and what came in between. “I was naughty,” he starts off. “I was 16, a drug addict and I ended up in the gangs. By 20 I managed to rehabilitate myself from the drugs, but I was still doing house breakings and robberies and whatever. I wasn’t so bad at school, I liked to read and like languages. Some of my friends went to university while I was busy with the gangs. I’d actually been expelled from high school. I looked at these guys and saw that their lives were moving forward while I was just this drug addict. So I moved in with my sister, kicked the drugs, and ended up working as a driver, but I didn’t know anything. This job taught me how to work the computer, they taught me a design program which got me a job as a designer, and then I told my story to M-Net, and they told me to be a contestant on Survivor. Survivor is quite a thing, living with no food, at some point I had this existential moment when I wondered what I was doing with my life, and where I was going. So when I got back I sat down with my sister Naima and she reminded me that I love to read and write and she suggested that as a career of some kind. Then she suggested that she actually had a friend who was opening a drama school who was actually Abduragman Adams who stars with me in this film. The

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drama school had a writing block, so I went there. I had to audition, but I got in and studied with Abdu for three years until I finished and got my first real role in Anthony and Cleopatra at the Maynard Theatre, and then I got the opportunity to become a presenter on Pasella, and I’ve been acting ever since.” And this is the role of a lifetime, and Ally has taken full advantage of it. To close the interview I asked what the entire experience was like. “This as one of the easiest roles I’ve ever played,” he says. “When I was approached to play a 26 I couldn’t believe it. I remember as a kid looking at these 26’s who got out of jail and looking up at them and seeing their tattoos and the way they walked and this air around them, and I wanted to be them. I know better now, but I’m glad I got to play this role. It was like the closing of a circle, like provenance, like fate.” And we’re glad he got to play the role too, because this is really what I would call Ally’s stand out performance. Four Corners is playing at cinemas nationwide right now, so go and see it.

For more Four Corners interviews look on our website www.offthescreenmagazine.com

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Film Review: Released March 14

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The Lego Movie 9/10

Starring the voices of Will Ferrell, Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

The Story: Emmett (voiced by Chris Pratt) is an ordinary construction worker in Lego land. He’s happy to follow the instructions and be one of the faces in the crowd, but secretly wishes for more. Then one day he sees a mysterious woman, Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks), digging around in the construction site, moments before he falls through a hole and finds a magical piece that is supposed to save the entire Lego universe. Now he finds himself thrust into an epic adventure that transcends his world and our own as he tries to learn to become a master builder under the tutelage of Wyldstyle and Vitruvius (voiced by Morgan Freeman), an ancient holy Lego man, as they battle the evil Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell) as he tries to take completely control of the Lego world using the fantastical relic, the Kragle. The Verdict: This is craziest, most mental, most genius film so far this year. The fact that it’s Lego, the characters, the locations, the vehicles, even the storyline is Lego, is genius in itself, but the fact the plot has such an interesting message that comes through at

the end makes this a brilliant piece of marketing genius. The film revels is what Lego is really about, making insane things that don’t seem to fit, but actually do. The crazy ships and cars and bikes, and spaceships, people who see the film will get that reference, are the entire point of Lego, not the instructions that come with the pieces. That’s not the point. The point is to try new things, build crazy vehicles and people using nothing but your imagination. That is why they invented Lego and why it has become the most popular toy range in the world. This film really celebrates what it means to play with Lego and the characters work well with the moral of the story. Ferrell is great as the bad guy’s voice, and the dad that sees the error of his ways at the end. The other voice actors do a great job, especially Freeman, whose unmistakable voice is wonderful in the mildly insane Vitruvius. The entire thing is fabulous and fun for young and old.

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Film Review: Released March 14

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Nebraska 8/10

Starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte and June Squibb Directed by Alexander Payne

The Story: Woody (Bruce Dern) is an elderly man whose mind doesn’t work all that well anymore, so when he gets a letter from sweepstakes telling him that he might have won a million Dollars, he decides he needs to travel to Nebraska, from Montana, to collect his winnings, and nothing will stand in his way. Seeing that his sick father is willing to walk all the way to Nebraska if he needs to, David (Will Forte) decides it couldn’t hurt to take him to Nebraska, if for no other reason than to prove to him that it is nothing but a con, so the two set off on a journey to the state where Woody was born, stopping at family on the way, but when Woody tells everyone that he’s won all this money they suddenly all want a piece, and David and Woody need to deal with the jealousy and insanity that comes with money, even imaginary money. The Verdict: A fantastic story that is smart and understated and really clever. The idea that an old man might mistake a sweepstakes letter for a real deal of money is really sad, and more common than not, if you take the woman at the sweepstakes office in the film at her word. It also

explores the way people will go crazy when there seems to be a little bit of money going. It really is human nature to exploit your loved ones to get what you can, and people can be really mean. The performances in this film are stellar, especially from Dern as the confused old man who just simply wants things to go back to the way they were when he was young, and thinks that the money can do that for him, so the trek to get the money turns into a trek to retrieve a past he can’t quite remember anymore. Forte is serious for a change in this film, and does it beautifully. He tries to help his dad by taking him to Nebraska and does, in a roundabout way, but he learns a lot about his family, and himself, in the process, so he wins also. June Squib has some scene stealing moments in the film as Dern’s wife. The scene in the graveyard is some of the funniest writing for a while and Squib pulls off the no filtered dialogue with ease. She is really wonderful. I will say that the film is really slow, that’s the style that the director, Alexander Payne, was going for, but it does seem a little too slow in the long driving down the road with long lingering shots of the horizons scenes. It’s made up for, though, in the other scenes and makes this a film to see.

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Film Review: Released March 14

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About Last Night 6/10

Starring Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy and Regina Hall Directed by Steve Pink

The Story: On the night that Bernie (Kevin Hart) introduces his best friend, Danny (Michael Ealy), to his new girlfriend, Joan (Regina Hall), she brings her best friend, Debbie (Joy Bryant), as well. Danny and Debbie aren’t immediately interested in each other, but as the night continues, and Bernie and Joan are only interested in each other and the drinks, they start to get to know each other. This leads to a one night stand, which leads to something more serious, including moving in together, but almost as soon as they do, things start to go wrong and they begin to wonder if they made the right decision. Meanwhile Joan and Bernie’s relationship falls apart, making things even more complicated. The Verdict: This film starts off pretty well. It’s funny and has some touching moments. The problem is that it’s a little too much after a while. I like Hart’s work, especially Ride Along, which was released last

month, but unless he’s reined in he has a tendency to get out of control. Add to that the over the top performance by Hall, which is kind of her trademark, and you’ve got one crazy, out of control ride that gets a little too much to handle at times. Ealy and Bryant are good as the more stable, straight couple, but they begin to seem mediocre after a while and, while their struggle is touching, you don’t really get much of an emotional connection with them. If you like romantic/life together now what films, or gross out comedies, you may find something in this film to touch your funny bone, but it tries to balance between the two genres too much to really stand out in either.

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Film Review: Released March 14

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August: Osage County 8/10 Starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney Directed by John Wells

The Story: When Beverly Weston (Sam Shepard), the patriarch of the Weston family, disappears his family comes back together to support each other, including Barbara (Julia Roberts), her husband, Bill (Ewan McGregor) and their daughter, Jean (Abigail Breslin), Karen (Juliette Lewis) and her fiancé, Steve (Dermot Mulroney), Ivy (Julianne Nicholson), the sister who stayed at home to take care of her parents, but is secretly having a relationship with her cousin, Little Charles (Benedict Cumberbatch), and Mattie Fae (Margo Martindale), the girl’s aunt, and her husband, Charlie (Chris Cooper), but after it’s discovered that Beverly is in fact dead, having committed suicide, things get even more complicated. Especially while the girls have to deal with their own issues and the issues of their mother, the alcoholic and drug addicted Violet (Meryl Streep), who seems to be adamant to drive a wedge between every member of her family. The Verdict: This is some of the best acting you’re ever going to see. Based on the play of the same name, each and every character have several scenes that really give the actors something to work with to show a full range of emotions and depth, something every actor dreams of, and each and every one of them manage to take those scene to full advantage. Streep is epic as a self-destructive absolute cow of a woman who isn’t happy unless she’s the centre of attention. Robert’s is incredible as the daughter who is desperate to be nothing like her mother, to such a point that she’s just like her and it’s ripping her family

apart. Nicholson shines as the good girl who stayed to care for her family, but now uses them as a crutch, and an excuse, for not getting on with her life. Lewis is magical as the little daughter, the one who was loved the most and has a string of failed relationships to show for it. The men in the piece, Shepard, in a small but vital role, Cooper, McGregor, Cumberbatch and Mulroney are all great in their own rights, but are really there as a sound off for the incredible performances by some of the greatest actresses of our time. The problem is that the film hits you like a sledge hammer from the opening scene and doesn’t relent until the closing credits. It’s just one heavy, dramatic scene after another and it really takes a toll on the viewer. It’s difficult, but also incredibly fulfilling to watch at te same time. If you want to see why more actresses over fifty should have serious work then watch this film, and revel in some of the most amazing performances you will ever see.

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Film Review: Released March 14

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I, Frankenstein 7/10

Starring Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy and Miranda Otto Directed by Stuart Beattie Gentlemen. There’s nothing really new here. It’s nice that they followed the classic tale of Frankenstein before veering off on a complete tangent, but the story really becomes a little generic and strange once the gargoyles and demons are introduced. I will say that the effects are incredible, especially the changing of the gargoyles between their stone and human forms, which is done with a cloak each one wears and is very cool. Eckhart’s fighting skills, as well as the skills of the gargoyles, are also very impressive, and the weapons are great. If you like an action film that has great effects, but not much storyline, and you don’t have to think too hard in, then this is the one for you. The Story: After the events in Mary Shelley’s book, the Frankenstein monster (Aaron Eckhart) brings his creator back to the burial place of his wife to lay him to rest next to her when he’s attacked by a group of demons. They are fought off by a couple of gargoyles, the stone creatures, and the monster is carried off to face the gargoyle queen, Leonore (Miranda Otto). The other gargoyles want to destroy him, but the queen decides not to and lets him go, naming him Adam. A hundred years later and the monster is still alive and battling demons, but not with the gargoyles, for his own vengeful reasons, but things change when the demons hatch a devilish plan and Adam needs to pick a side. The Verdict: This is a little bit of nonsense in the vein of Van Helsing and The League of Extraordinary

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Film Review: Released March 21

The Grand Budapest Hotel 9/10 Starring Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori Directed by Wes Anderson

The Story: When a young writer (Jude Law) stays at what’s left of the Grand Budapest Hotel, he meets the mysterious Mr Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), the owner of the hotel. After striking up a conversation the man offers to tell the writer how he acquired the hotel, and over dinner, he tells him about the flamboyant M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), the first concierge of the hotel, and his adventures involving the death of Madame D (Tilda Swinton), her son, Dmitri (Adrian Brody), his henchman, Jopling (Willem Dafoe), and a painting called Boy with Apple. The Verdict: Wes Anderson, the director, is known for making strange, quirky, downright weird films, and this one is no different, but the quirkiness and weirdness is part of the charm that makes his films completely wonderful. The story in this film is so odd that it’s fascinating. The characters

are quiry and strange and just jump off the screen. From Gustave, the poetry sprouting, gigolo who runs the hotel, played with superb ease by Fiennes, to the young Zero Moustafa, painting on his moustache too look older, and taking everything Gustave says to heart, played by Tony Revolori, the Agatha, with her birthmark on her face shaped like Mexico and her baking chisels into pastry, played by Saiorse Ronan, to Jopling, the psychopath with a horrible under bite, played by Dafoe, to Dmitri, a strange, self-important little man, who looks like he should be on the Addams family set, played by Brody, to Madame D, the decrepit old woman who is love with Gustave, played by Swinton, all carry their roles like well-worn jackets, with complete comfort. Even the much smaller roles are interesting and compelling; you can understand why every actor wants a role in an Anderson piece. The quirky characters match the quirky landscape of the Hotel, with its pink roofs and travellator to reach the high mountain it’s perched on. The entire movie is just beautiful. From the moment it starts it captures your attention and makes you want to watch more, something a lot of films can’t match. It really is a wonderful watch I would recommend time and time again.

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Film Review: Released March 21 The Spectacular Now (not rated)

Starring Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley and Kyle Chandler Directed by James Ponsoldt

The Story: Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) lives in the now. It’s a good place for him. A high school senior, charming and self-possessed, he’s the life of the party, loves his job at a men’s clothing store, and has no plans for the future. A budding alcoholic, he’s never far from his supersized, whisky-fortified Thirst Master cup. But after being dumped by his girlfriend, Sutter gets drunk and wakes up on a lawn with Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley) hovering over him. She’s different: the “nice girl” who reads science fiction and doesn’t have a boyfriend. While Aimee has dreams of a future, Sutter lives in the impressive delusion of a spectacular now, yet somehow, they're drawn together. The Verdict: Unfortunately we missed this one, but if you like sweet, teenage, coming-ofage films then this should be on your list of ones to watch.

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Film Review: Released March 21

Need for Speed 7/10 Starring Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper and Imogene Poots Directed by Scott Waugh

The Story: When professional racer Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) tries to prove that he’s better than Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), the best street racer in the town where the both grew up, but too poor to race professionally, they go on a street race in some really expensive cars, along with Pete (Harrison Gilbertson), Tobey’s friend as well as Dominic’s girlfriend’s (Dakota Johnson) brother, but when an accident, caused by Dino, gets Pete killed, Dino covers his tracks, sending Tobey to jail. Two years later Tobey gets out of prison with only one thing on his mind, revenge against Dino and clearing his name, so he enlists the help of a business man with more expensive cars, especially a Shelby Mustang, and heads off on a cross country trek to join a massive race to finally beat Dino and get his life back. Along for the ride is Julia (Imogene Poots), the business man’s assistant, who needs to stay with the car, no matter where, or how fast, Tobey drives it. The Verdict: Since Fast and Furious these kind of car films have been very popular. We even

did one in South Africa, The Racist, which was a horrible flop, but the film makers saw the audience appeal. This film has the added benefit of being based on the hugely successful video game franchise of the same name, but that also counts against them. People expect a lot when filmmakers try to turn popular video games into films, and nine times out of ten, the filmmakers don’t do what the videogame lovers want them to do. This is the case with Need for Speed. Yes it is a racing film, and the action sequences are great and the cars are really awesome, but the films is lacking in terms of story. The plot is overly complicated and involved, especially considering your audiences for this kind of film just wants to watch the racing anyway. The characters are interesting, and Tobey’s sidekicks are quirky and the comic relief for a lot of the film, even Paul is good, though his strong and silent character is a little too silent. Poots is pretty and fun and a great female counterpart for Paul’s character. Without her a lot of the emotional crux of the film would be lacking. I like Cooper, but in this film he doesn’t seem to do much except snarl and drive. He doesn’t get the rope to really play with the emotional core of his character, which is a pity, because there is a core there, and an actor like Cooper could get to it. If you like racing films and fast cars, then this is a film you will enjoy, but don’t expect it to be like Fast and Furious, it just doesn’t quite match up.

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Film Review: Released March 21

Tyler Perry’s Single Moms Club (not rated) Starring Nia Long, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Amy Smart Directed by Tyler Perry

The Story: Brought together by an incident at their children's school, a group of single mothers from different walks of life, May (Nia Long), Jan (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Hillary (Amy Smart), Esperanza (Zulay Henao) and Lytia (Cocoa Brown), bond and create a support group that helps them find comedy in the obstacles of life, as well as their inner strength to overcome their personal challenges. The Verdict: Unfortunately we didn’t see this one, but if you’re a fan of Perry’s other work, Good Deeds or the Madea movies, then you should enjoy this one as well.

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Film Review: Released March 21

Mr Peabody and Sherman 8/10 Starring the voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles and Stephen Colbert Directed by Rob Minkoff

The Story: Sherman (voiced by Max Charles) and his adopted dad, the world’s smartest dog, Mr Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell), learn about history the best way that you can, by travelling back in time in the Way Back, a devise that Mr Peabody invented, but when Sherman starts school, and shows up the know it all little girl in class, Penny (voiced by Ariel Winter), and ends up in a fight with her, Mr Peabody thinks it’s a good idea to invite

her and her parents over to smooth things over, especially since Sherman bit her and now they might take Sherman away. Things get overly complicated though when Sherman tells Penny about the Way Back and she forces him to use it to take her back in time, and that’s just the start of their adventures. The Verdict: This is another in the long line of really funny, clever and wonderful animated films from DreamWorks. It’s smart and interesting and will keep everyone glued to their seats, young and old. I love the way that it teaches children about history, in a slanted kind of way, but I had trouble finding the overall message. Usually these types of films have a very clear moral, a lesson they’re trying to teach, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the film and think it’s wonderful, I just couldn’t see the overall moral that the filmmakers were trying to convey. It doesn’t really matter though, because it really is a great film and the kids, and parents, are going to absolutely adore it.

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Film Review: Released March 21

Reasonable Doubt 8/10

Starring Dominic Cooper, Samuel L. Jackson and Erin Karpluk Directed by Peter Howitt snapped after a horrible incident, and now looks for vengeance in all the wrong places. He has a lot of layers and Jackson shows them all with ease. It’s also lovely to see Karpluk in something else. I loved her in Being Erica, and it’s lovely to see her career advancing. She does a great job as the wife pulled into everything while trying to stand by her husband, and her scenes with Jackson are frightening and great. If you like this kind of film then this is one that you should see. It is a good film.

The Story: Afraid of leaving his car in a bad area, the clearly drunk Mitch Brockden (Dominic Cooper), an assistant district attorney, drives his car home and hits a man in the street. Afraid of losing his job, his wife (Erin Karpluk) and his brand new baby, Mitch leaves the man in the road, after calling the police and goes home. The next day he discovers that Clinton Davis (Samuel L. Jackson), an auto mechanic, has been arrested for the crime, after the police found the man in the back of his van. Of course Mitch knows what really happened, but if he tells the truth he loses everything, so he decides to do the only thing he can, throw the case to get Clinton off, but as soon as he has and Clinton is free, he discovers that the man is not the innocent bystander he thought he was, and he may have made a terrible mistake. The Verdict: This is great thriller, serial killer fare. The characters are interesting and wellrounded and the performances are great. Cooper delivers all the emotional depth of a man who’s trying to do the right thing, while trying to protect himself and his family at the same time. He is conflicted and confused and Cooper manages to portray all these complex things in his time on screen. Jackson is at his frightening best as a man who has completely

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Film Review: Released March 28

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Philomena 9/10

Starring Steve Coogan and Judi Dench Directed by Steven Frears

The Story: When disgraced government PR consultant and former journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) stumbles onto a human interest story about an elderly woman, Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), who was forced to give up her child for adoption when she was just a teenager by a group of nuns and has been looking for the boy ever since, he’s not the slightest bit interested, but circumstances arise and he decides to take the story, for monetary gain, but as they search for the child, who would be fifty already, a search that takes them from a small town in Ireland to Washington and back again, he begins to understand what this woman went through, and sees his redemption in the story they’re putting together. The Verdict: Based on the book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, by the real Martin Sixsmith, this is a fabulous film of redemption, renewal and forgiveness. The way they’ve weaved this story together is mesmerising from the very first moment it begins until the credits role, you just sit, glued to the screen, and when it’s over you crave for more. Dench is sublime as Lee, the woman in search of her child. She’s been trying to find him for as long

as she’s lost him, but her kind nature, and humility make it easy for people to take advantage of her and keep the truth from her. It’s not until she meets Martin, the pushy exjournalist that they begin to get some real answers, even if those answers aren’t the ones she was hoping for. It really breaks your heart, spoiler alert, when they discover that the boy died, and Dench pulls off the heartbreak with an ease associated with an actor of her ability. Coogan steps away from his comic roots in this one to play a disillusioned, bigoted man who doesn’t seem to like anyone, especially the always optimistic Philomena, but as the story develops he begins to see her as a mother figure and really connects with her. Coogan, who also co-wrote the script, does a fabulous job as the journalist and carries the film. This is some of the best film making we’ve seen this year, and stands shoulder to shoulder with the other films that were nominated for Oscars. If you like Dench or Coogan, or like good hearted beautiful films, then you should go and see Philomena.

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Film Review: Released March 28

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier 8/10 Starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo and Joss Whedon

The Story: Steve Rodgers (Chris Evans) better known as Captain America is having a hard time fitting in to the modern world. He’s trying to meet new people, with the not so subtle nudging from Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansson), better known as the Black Widow, but when you’re a superhero that’s not the easiest thing in the world, and he’s having trouble dealing with the more and more clandestine part of his work with Shield, the covert agency Cap works for. Then, after obtaining information for him on a tanker, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the director of Shield, is attacked by a seemingly unstoppable assassin, the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), and Cap finds himself being chased by people he used to call his friends, the very same agents he’s been working with, he finds himself investigating a conspiracy that reaches into the highest levels of power at Shield, and reaches back to his very own past. The Verdict: The latest instalment in the Marvel franchise of superhero films is interesting, exciting and full of action. The Captain America in this film is more like the Captain America in the comics in terms of his abilities and strength, which I found was slightly lacking in The Avengers, though still very cool. Here he’s running through walls, jumping from tall buildings and beating up entire platoons of men al on his own. The opening scene, him jumping from a drop ship without a parachute is very cool, and then he single handed, virtually, takes out a dozen

pirates, it’s very cool to watch. Evans offers real emotional depth to the character, showing the turmoil the Cap, the true man out of time, feels. He’s trying to fit in, but he’s still got the mind-set of a man from the 1930’s and the world has changed so much. He finds a friend in Sam Wilson, played by Anthony Mackie, an Air Force vet who works at a treatment centre for other veterans. He becomes the man who’s been through a similar thing to Cap, so someone that can relate, and also not a member of Shield, so someone Cap can trust. Johansson is back at her mysterious best as the superspy. We still don’t know much about Romanov, but in this one she shows her humanity a little more, and her trust in Cap’s judgement, even if she doesn’t agree. I will say that, even though this is still a very cool movie and the effects are absolutely amazing, there’s not really much here that we haven’t seen before. This being the third Cap film, and the umpteenth in the Marvel franchise, the filmmakers need to be careful not to repeat themselves, and show something new every time, or the audience will eventually get bored. Not with this one though, and it stands strong next to Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3, the latest films in the franchise. Also, be sure to stay for the sneak peak at the end for the first look at Quicksilver, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, from Kick-Ass, and the Scarlett Witch, played by Elizabeth Olson, from Martha Marcy May Marlene, as well as baddy Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, played by Thomas Kretschmann, rumoured to be one of the bad guys in The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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Film Review: Released March 28

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Muppets: Most Wanted 7/10 Starring Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey Directed by James Bobin

The Story: Picking up after the events of The Muppets (2011), the Muppets, led by Kermit the frog (voiced by Steve Whitmire) and Miss Piggy (voiced by Eric Jacobson), try to decide what to do next when they meet the slightly suspicious promoter Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), who convinces them that what they need to do next is a world tour. The catch is that Dominic is in fact the second best criminal in the world and he’s using the Muppets and their shows as a cover to rob some of the most prestigious museums in Europe all in an attempt to steal the crown jewels. Joining him on his criminal escapades is the worst criminal in the world, Constantine (voiced by Matt Vogel), the world’s most dangerous frog, who happens to look just like Kermit, with the exception of a mole on his lip. He frames Kermit to look like him, sending him to a Russian gulag, and takes control of the Muppets. Will the others figure out he’s an imposter and stop him and save Kermit in time, or is this the end for our heroes? The Verdict: This film is completely mental from start to finish. It’s based a lot on the old TV show that the Muppets used to do back in 1976 to

1981, and the stage shows they do in the film are based on the format of those episodes, of course the outside events, the gulag ad the crimes aren’t from the TV show, and are great. It’s a fun filled hour and a half with a bunch of laughs and adventure for fans of the Muppets. One of the highlights of the film are the cameos, from Tina Fey as the singing warden of the gulag who falls in love with Kermit, to Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo as two of the gulag prisoners, to the spot cameos, which include Saiorse Ronan, Chloe Moretz, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga Christophe Waltz and Usher Raymond, just to name a few of the many starts that joined this insane ride. The songs are also very cool, as are the performances by Gervais and Ty Burrell as the very Clouseau-esque French inspector trying to capture the thieves. If you’re a fan of the Muppets then you’ll love this film, if not this may be a bit much for you.

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Film Review: Released March 28

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Agent 2000: Die Laksman 7/10 Starring Paul Loots, Izel Bezuidenhout and Ruan Wessels Directed by Stefan Nieuwoudt

The Story: Walter Du Toit (Paul Loots) is a super spy known as Agent 2000. Trained by his father (David James) he is the best and youngest agent around, but when he gets hired to track down a bully at Randburg High School, called Die Laksman, the Hangman, he may have met his match. Firstly he has to start at school, after being home schooled for most of his life, He has to deal with the bullying and insanity that is the first few weeks of grade eight at high school, he has to deal with making friends for the first time, and with his first crush, the beautiful ChanteAmore (Izel Bezuidenhout), all the while trying to maintain his secret identity, deal with his little sisters, who want to be spies too, and trying to make sure the principal, Mnr Von Brakel (Cobus Visser) isn’t fired. Then things get really complicated when Walter discovers that Chante-Amore’s brother, Jean-Jaques (Francois Jacobs), the

head boy at the school, the captain of the first team rugby and the son of the chairman of the school’s governing body, is his prime suspect. The Verdict: This is a fun film for the younger Afrikaans market. The story is interesting, though there are several plot holes that probably could have used a little work, even so it has a good moral at the end and keeps the audience interested throughout. Loots gives a good performance as the secret agent as well as his nerdy alter ego, who he portrays himself out to be when he starts at school. He carries both personas well and is convincing as both. Jacobs is good as the bad guy, showing both sides of the character, the side that does the bad deeds, and the side that is a scared little boy just trying to get his father’s attention. The rest of the cast give good performances, though they don’t really have any real characters to speak of, but I did like the sisters, played by Loots actual sisters, Marise and Shani. They are cute and pretty and precocious enough to win the audiences hearts. If you like kid’s shows, or you’re young at heart, and Afrikaans, then you will enjoy this film.

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Film Review: Released March 28

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Four Corners 9/10

Starring Lindiwe Matshikiza, Brendon Daniels and Irshaad Ally Directed by Ian Gabriel

The Story: The lives and stories of three individuals intersect as they live their lives on the Four Corners of the Cape Flats. Having just been released from prison, Farakhan (Brendon Daniels), only has one thing on his mind, to get his father’s home back from the rival gang member that took it, to get out of the 28’s, the gang he belongs too, and find his thirteen year old son, but things are complicated by a rival gang member, Gasant (Irshaad Ally), who wants him dead, and a long lost love, (Lindiwe Matshikiza), who happens to be back in South Africa from London for her father’s funeral. A thirteen year old boy, Ricardo (Jezzriel Skei), lives his life for chess on the Cape Flats, doing everything he can to survive to play his next game, but with his grandmother struggling to support him he gets involved with the gangs to try and find money. A cop, Detective Tito Hanekom, (Abduragman Adams) is searching for the killer of his ex-partner, as well as several missing little boys, but in a place where every crime is attributed to the gangs, what hope does a cop have to find a criminal that isn’t a gang member? These stories intersect as Farakhan searches for Ricardo, his son, Ricardo goes to Gasant for help, and Tito searches for the killer while the killer gets closer to Ricardo, it’s a recipe for a massive showdown that changes everything. The Verdict: I was hesitant to see this film, after the slew of bad local films we’ve had to deal with, but I was pleasantly surprised. This

is very good film. The cinematography is great. The way they made use of the Cape Flats, actually shooting on location, makes the place as much a part of the film as the characters, and it looks like a crazy place to live. The directing is good, keeping the scenes tight and interesting and keeping the audience interested in the film the whole way through. The performances are wonderful. Daniels is compelling as a man who did what he had to do to survive, but now wants to do things differently, but keeps getting pulled back into the same life he’s trying to leave. Ally is wonderful as a man so full of hate and prejudice that when his brother dies he can’t see anything but his enemy, the other number that he’s been fighting against for so long. Skei shines as a young boy trying to just play chess, but needing to do more, even if that means breaking the law to do it, and Adams is great s a cop hot on the trail of a killer, but living in a city full of them, and none of them will talk to him to help him catch a worse killer than any of them. I will say that I had a little issue with the script. I would have preferred them to break the script up and make three separate films, one about Farakhan and his plight, one about the boy wanting to play chess with the gangsters in hot pursuit, and one that was a serial killer film with Hanekom in the lead. This is a really good film, and I’m really glad it got made and South Africa gets to see it, but it could have made three separate really good films, and it’s just a pity that they didn’t do that. That said, go and see Four Corners, because it is really wonderful.

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Film Review: Released April 4

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Divergent 9/10

Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet Directed by Neil Burger

The Story: In a futuristic world pulled apart by war, those lucky enough to have survived now huddle behind huge walls and fences in what’s left of Chicago. To maintain the peace these people have been divided into five different factions, Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, Amity, and Candor. The people in Dauntless are brave, courageous, adrenaline hounds, who like to test themselves. They are not only brave, but brave to the max! They make up the soldiers and peacekeepers of the new society. Those in Abnegation are selfless. They choose to have less material things and to have less luxury. They are all about helping others and run the government to try and make things better for all people in the city. Those that make up Erudite are smart, intellectual, a little bit cold, a little bit sterile, and value knowledge above everything else. Above emotion, they prize science and believe in a religion of facts. They also think they

should be running the government, instead of Abnegation. Those in Amity are all about love and kindness. They are happy farmers, and they view the world through the lens of people are good, and spread the love, and the last faction is Candor, which values honesty. They do not filter their thoughts to please other people. Just say what you think, the truth always wills out. They think to accept the truth will be the best way to go about anything, as opposed to sugar coating it. They are almost all lawyers. When the children of this society come of age they need to choose which faction they’re going to join, either the one they were born into or another, but to aid them they are given a test that tells them which is best for their personality. That is the position that Tris (Shailene Woodley) finds herself in when she goes to take the test, but instead of being told which faction to join, she’s told that she got an inconclusive result, that she’s divergent. She’s also told that she must never tell anyone about this or she will be killed. Born in Abnegation she chooses Dauntless to join and goes about becoming a soldier, very different from what she was raised as, but always the fact that she’s divergent plays in the back of her mind, and as she gets to the end of her training it becomes apparent that others are going to find out, and she’s going to be killed, but that’s just the start of her troubles as she also finds herself pulled into a massive conspiracy to take control of the city, and falls in love with her instructor, Four (Theo James), who carries a deep secret himself. The Verdict: Falling into the same category as Twilight, The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, Divergent is great young adult fare. What I liked about the film, which I knew little about when I went to see it, was the complexity of the story. Very much like Hunger Games, Divergent has a really strong moral centre and the themes are layered on thick. The Erudite’s trying to take control from the Abnegation’s is reflective of man’s

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Film Review: Released April 4

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Divergent (Cont’d) struggle between logic and kindness. I will say, however, that it gets a little thin at times. Maybe it’s better explained in the book, but, spoilers ahead, why is Tris immune to the brainwashing stuff? Why are all divergent immune? And if the dauntless soldiers follow orders, as we were told in the film quite graphically by Eric, played by Jai Courtney, and the leadership is involved in the coupe, why do they need the brainwashing thing? Also, people can’t be classified as one thing, they are all different things, that’s why we’re so complicated, but I guess that’s kind of the point of the film, people can’t be classified. I loved this film. The story, despite the logic holes, is interesting and compelling and keeps you watching to see what’s going to happen next. Woodley carries the film on her considerable acting ability. If there had been a lesser actor cast as Tris the film probably wouldn’t have worked, but Woodley can show the complexities of emotions that the girl is going through with ease, and as such is a pleasure to watch. The rest of the supporting cast is made to look better thanks to her. The action sequences are taut and sometimes frightening, and the scenes inside Tris’ head are amazing. The music is also great, using current artists to sing rock anthems that work with the moment on the screen. It’s great. This film falls well into the market that it’s aimed at, but anyone should enjoy it. I can’t wait for the sequel, and since it’s based on a four book series there should be at least one more.

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Film Review: Released April 4

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Europa Report 4/10

Starring Sharlto Copley, Michael Nyqvist and Christian Camargo Directed by Sebastián Cordero

The Story: A group of international astronauts made up of William Xu (Daniel Wu), James Corrigan (Sharlto Copley) and Daniel Luxembourg (Christian Camargo), just to name a few, are on their way to Jupiter’s fourth moon, Europa, to see if there really is water beneath the layers of ice. When things go wrong on board the ship and one of them dies the rest of the team need to decide whether or not they’re going to continue with the mission, or turn back. They decide to continue, but as soon as they land they realise that the moon is not at all what they thought it was, and that they’re not alone.

The Verdict: This found footage space adventure film is seriously lacking in the adventure department. The entire film is just boring. They try as hard as they can to keep the audience interested, but it just really doesn’t work and by the tenth minute you just want to go to sleep. Not even Copley, who we love in everything he does, can save this film, especially since he’s the one that dies in the first twenty minutes of the film. His death scene is even the highlight of the film. This is not one I would recommend to any one, unless you’ve got insomnia and need a good night’s sleep.

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Film Review: Released April 4

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Hours 7/10

Starring Paul Walker Genesis Rodriguez and Nancy Nave Directed by Eric Heisserer

The Story: On the eve of Hurricane Katrina making landfall a man, Nolan Hayes (Paul Walker), and his wife, Abigail (Genesis Rodriguez) make their way to a hospital. She is pregnant, and though it’s too early, she is in labour with their child. The baby is born, but Abigail dies during childbirth. Nolan is grief stricken at first, but soon realises that he’s the only person that can save his child when the hospital is evacuated, then loses power and Nolan has to keep the incubator, keeping his child alive, with power for at least the next 36 hours. The Verdict: I liked this film. I found the story interesting and compelling and I liked Walker in a serious acting role for a change, hardly a car in sight. Yes, there are a few issues with the plot, and yes, the timing doesn’t really fit, you’ll understand that if you watch the film, but I enjoyed the film as an

hour and a half escapist romp, which is what it is intended to be. If you liked Walker in the Fast and Furious series then you should enjoy Hours.

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Film Review: Released April 4

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Noah 8/10

Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connolly and Emma Watson Directed by Darren Aronofsky

The Story: Based on the Biblical tale, in the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth, as well as the animals, birds and fish that inhabit it. He then created man, in the form of Adam and Eve, but they ate from the forbidden fruit and was kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Not long after they had three children, Cain, Abel and Seth. Cain killed Abel before running from his family. His descendants then went on to create vast cities, with the help of the fallen angels, and populate the Earth with wicked men, taking after Cain. The descendants of Seth became the protectors of Creation, but fought a losing battle against the descendants of Cain. The last of Seth’s descendants is Noah (Russell Crowe) and he’s sent a message by the Creator to travel to see his grandfather, Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins). So he takes his family, his wife Naameh (Jennifer Connolly), his sons, Shem (Douglas Booth) and Ham (Logan Lerman) to see the old man, finding a wounded girl, Ila (Emma Watson) along the way and taking her in. Once there Noah learns that the world is going to be wiped clean, and he has to build an ark to save the innocents, the animals. Years later he is well on his task creating his ark when men, descendants of Cain, find him and want the ark. Now starts the real battle for the world, with the good on one side and the bad on the other as they all struggle for survival.

The Verdict: This is a very interesting take on the Noah story. All the basics are there, the family, the animals going in two by two, but it’s not like the one you heard at Sunday school. Let’s start with the positives. It’s a beautiful movie. The cinematography is great, as you would expect from Aronofsky. The effects are amazing, especially the water and the animals. The snakes coming towards the ark are really incredible. The performances are good, especially from Crowe, but the girls, Connolly and Watson, especially Connolly, are guilty of a little over acting in places, but that’s not the major issue I had with the film. The problem I had was that, especially considering that this is a film based on a Bible character; this movie has a lot of magic and mysticism in it. The characters are all doing magic, not miracles performed through the power of the creator, as they put it, but magic themselves. Add to that the strange fallen angels, which look like badly formed Tranformers, and you’ve got a little bit of a strange combination. I’m on the fence about this film. I enjoyed it, but the fact that it is so far removed from the Bible story I know is a little hard for me to reconcile. The film makers have gone on record saying that this is a fictionalised retelling of the story, not meant to be recognised as the Bible version, but because Noah is such a well-known character, it’s a little hard to see him turn into a crazy guy willing to kill children, his own children, in order to wipe out all mankind. It’s all a little much, but you should go and see it. It’s one of those films that you really have to decide for yourself.

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Film Review: Released April 4

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Oldboy 6/10

Starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Samuel L. Jackson Directed by Spike Lee girl trying to help the man, and falling for him at the same time. The stand out performance comes from Copley as the stranger, the man who is orchestrating all of this, for the more nefarious of reasons you can imagine, or rather, and I’m fairly certain of this, you can’t. That’s the problem with this film. It’s great until the last twenty minutes when the final plot points are divulged and you finally realise the extent of the revenge the stranger has wrought, and it’s decidedly creepy, with a capital C. I’m not going to go into any detail, because it gives away the whole plot, but just believe me that once you’ve seen this film, you’ll never be the same. It is weird and strange and just wrong on so many levels. One for only those with strong stomachs. The Story: Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) is a horrible man, an alcoholic, a womaniser and a horrible father, but what happens to him way overcompensates for his crimes. One night he is kidnapped and placed inside what looks like a really bad motel room. 20 years later he is released from the room and goes on a search for vengeance against the people who put him in the room. The problem is, he has no idea who put him in the room and why. Then he gets a call from a stranger (Sharlto Copley) telling him he has only a few days to answer those very questions, or his daughter, now a young woman, will be killed. The Verdict: I really enjoyed this film, at first. The performances are great, especially from Brolin as the man obsessed with vengeance and Elizabeth Olson as a

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Film Review: Releasing April 11

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The Forgotten Kingdom 9/10 Starring Zenzo Ngqobe, Lillian Dube and Jerry Mofokeng Directed by Andrew Mudge

The Story: Atang Mokoenya (Zenzo Ngqobe) life is completely changed when his father dies and he has to take him home to his ancestral land for the funeral. Once there all he wants to do is leave and get back to Jo’burg, but when he runs into an old friend, Dineo (Nozipho Nkelemba), a girl that he obviously liked, and who obviously liked him when he was young and they were at school together, he starts to see a new life for himself. That’s shattered when her father chases him away, telling him how much lobola he would have to pay for the girl. He decides to go back to Jo’burg, but a series of incidents leads to him trying to find his way back to Dieno, only to discover that she has moved away, deep into the mountain with her family. Atang’s only hope is a young, mysterious orphan boy (Lebohang Ntsane) with a couple of horses who offers to help him get to the lady, and then Atang’s real adventure begins. The Verdict: This is really beautiful film. The scenery alone is enough to warrant going and seeing this film, the rolling hills and mountains of Southern Africa are completely incredible. Add to that the script, the performances and the directing, which are all first class and you’ve got a really fabulous South African film. Ngqobe plays a man stuck between tradition and culture, but more so between what he thinks he should be, in the city, and who he really is, in the village. He carries this emotional turmoil throughout the film and naturally portrays it to the audience so you can feel his dilemma perfectly. Nkelemba is a girl also trapped, but between her love for her family, her work as a teacher, and her dying

sister, one that her father tries to hide. Again she portrays the emotions beautifully and guides the audience through her problems so that we feel them as deeply as she does. The rest of the supporting cast, especially Ntshane as the mysterious orphan boy who comes to Atang’s aid, and screen legend Jerry Mofokeng as Dineo’s father. He’s backwards and superstitious and when he finally changes and learns the errors of his ways, I will say it’s the first time I’ve had tears in my eyes in a South African film. If you like films with grandeur, like Cry, The Beloved Country, then this film will appeal to you, but everyone in SA should go and see it, especially film makers, so they can see what can be accomplished in this country with a little hard work.

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Film Review: Releasing April 11

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All is Lost 6/10 Starring Robert Redford Directed by J.C. Chandor

The Verdict: There isn’t much to say about this film, because there isn’t much in this movie. The only thing is Redford on a boat for an hour and a half, saying nothing and trying, unsuccessfully, not to sink. His performance is not bad, but even can’t hold a viewer’s attention for an hour a half under those circumstances., hence it’s kinda boring, and by the time he gets to the end of his rope, so to speak, you really don’t care whether or not he lives or dies. I don’t know, maybe people familiar with sailing will see something that I missed, but I wouldn’t spend money to watch this film.

The Story: A man (Robert Redford) is sailing alone in the middle of the Ocean when he collides with a floating cargo shipping container. He manages to fix the hole in his boat, but the weakness is now there and a few nights later a massive storm rips it open and his ship sinks. He now finds himself floating on a life raft, hoping to be rescued, but with each passing moment his chances drift away, as does his hope.

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Film Review: Releasing April 11

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Rio 2 9/10

Starring the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg and Jemaine Clement Directed by Carlos Saldanha

The Story: Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) are back, and this time, when Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) think they’ve found evidence of other Blue Macaw Parrots in the Amazon Rain Forest, Blu and Jewel set out with their kids, Carla (Rachel Crow),Tiago (Pierce Gagnon) and Bia (Amandla Stenberg), along with their friends Nico (Jamie Foxx), Pedro (Will.i.am) and Rafael (George Lopez) to see if they can find the other parrots. Of course when they do, and they discover that it’s Jewel’s old family, including her father, Eduardo (Andy Garcia) and her old flame, Roberto (Bruno Mars), Blu tries to fit in, but, once again, he is the fish out of water. Meanwhile Nigel (Jemaine Clement) plots his revenge against Blu, along with Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth), a poisonous frog that’s crazy in love with him.

The Verdict: This is really sweet film. Following a similar format to the first film Blu is out of place, once again, within the realm of the wild birds, but he shows them that not all humans are evil, while they show him that it’s good to be a little wild once in a while. The kids are really cute, and the stand out voice is Chenoweth, who uses her amazing ability as a stage actress to belt out one of the stand out tunes in the film. The entire thing is fun, and entertaining, and carries a very strong conservation message, but it’s not forced down your throat. I recommend everyone should take their kids to this film. They’re really going to love it.

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Film Review: Releasing April 11

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Non-Stop 7/10

Starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore and Scoot McNairy Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra The Verdict: If you loved Neeson in the Taken film then you’ll love this one. It’s got everything you want out of this kind of film, excitement, action, fight scenes and Neeson brooding about the plane, trying to save the day. I will say that the overall plot, at the end of the film, is a little thin and not very well explained, but it doesn’t really matter, because before that the action is intense and exciting and the story is a side line anyway in this kind of film.

The Story: A routine flight starts off as per normal for Federal Air Marshal Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) when he boards a plane going non-stop from JFK to London, but things take a very serious turn when he gets a text on his secure network saying that a person is going to be killed every twenty minutes unless the airline pays $150 million. The Marshal jumps into action to try and find out who is responsible for the text, but the more he looks the more it’s made out to look like he himself is the person responsible, and that he is hijacking the plane. Soon he finds himself, not only trying to locate a murderer, but also dealing with ground crew who think he’s a hijacker, and the plane’s passengers who are getting suspicious, and dangerous, to him and themselves.

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Film Review: Releasing April 11

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That Awkward Moment 6/10 Starring Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller Directed by Tom Gormican

The Story: Jason (Zac Efron), Daniel (Miles Teller) and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) are three best friends. Mikey is married to Vera (Jessica Lucas) and thinks he’s happy, while Jason and Daniel are habitual womanisers. Things change, though, when Mikey’s wife asks him for a divorce. To show their solidarity the three make a pact to stay single, but it’s one that none of them can commit to, when Jason meets Ellie (Imogen Poots), Daniel starts having a relationship with Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis) and Mikey starts seeing his soon to be ex-wife again, soon they find themselves trying to keep the relationships secret, while trying delude themselves that they’re not really relationships.

The Verdict: There is something about American men in their twenties that makes them think that having a relationship means they’re going to be executed or something. It’s been the basis of so many films that I’ve lost count, and here it is again. This isn’t a bad film. There are a couple of funny moments, and the performances aren’t bad, they’re not going to win any awards, but they’re not bad. The problem is that there’s nothing new here. It’s all just very much the same as what we’ve seen before. Also the comedy is all below the belt, which sometimes is funny, but gets really old, really fast. If you like juvenile jokes about juvenile people congratulating each other on being juvenile then you’ll like this film. Otherwise avoid it.

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_____________________________________________________ Playback 6/10

Starring Christian Slater, Ambyr Childers and Toby Hemingway Directed by Michael A. Nickles When Julian (Johnny Pacar) and Nate (Jonathan Keltz) decide to do a school assignment on the massacre that took place in a small farm house near the town they live in, they think that all they’ll find are good grades. Instead they stumble onto a supernatural situation involving video cameras and a man that created films, and then used them to live forever. Now they need to run as their friends are killed one after the other as the man searched for his heir and the only one that can contain his soul. This started out being an interesting film, it’s a good concept, but the film is so boring that by the time you get to main plot you just don’t care anymore. Even the death scenes are slow and uninteresting. Not good in a horror that’s supposed to keep audiences on their toes; instead you just want to sleep. A swing and a miss.

DVD Reviews

The Sapphires 8/10

Starring Chris O’Dowd, Deborah Mailman and Jessica Mauboy Directed by Wayne Blair In 1968 in Australia three girls, Gail (Deborah Mailman), Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell) and their little sister, Julie (Jessica Mauboy) manage to convince an out of work, drunk, former musician, Dave (Chris O'Dowd), to accompany them to an audition to sing for the troupes over in Vietnam. They enlist the help of their cousin, Kay (Shari Sebbens), and the four of them get through the auditions. And even though, once in Vietnam, old rivalries, jealousy and the truth of being war zone, rear their heads, the girls never stop singing. This is a lovely film based on the true stories of these four amazing woman who just wanted to sing, but became symbols of something much bigger in a time of white versus black in ever sphere of life. The performances are great, but the highlight of the film is the singing by all four of the girls, as well O’ Dowd himself. It’s great.

Closed Circuit 8/10 Starring Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall and Denis Moschitto Directed by John Crowley When the barrister of a terrorist suspect commits suicide Martin Rose (Eric Bana) is assigned to the case, but the more he looks into it the more he’s convinced that things are not what they seem. Things are made worse by the fact that most of the evidence is being kept secret for national security, and the only person who can see it is the woman he had an affair with that ended his marriage, Claudia (Rebecca Hall). This is an exciting, fast paced conspiracy mystery with all the intrigue of a major John Grisham novel. It’s interesting and engaging and the performances add to the enjoyment of the watch. If you liked The Client or The Pelican Brief, then you’ll enjoy this film.

Divergent Giveaway We have two Divergent Hampers to give away which include: Earphones with pouch, a Zip up Hoodie, a wristband USB and a Drawstring Bags. All you need to do is visit our website:

www.offthescreenmagazine.com, send us a message on our contact

page, with the subject: Giveaway, and tell us the name of the film this giveaway is for. This giveaway lasts until April 18th, and is open for all South African Residents. Good Luck!

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Off the screen magazine april 2014  

Your only resource for what's happening at the South African Box Office

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