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November 2012

This Activities Not Normal Rising star Kathryn Newton talks to us about her starring role in the new scream-fest, Paranormal Activity 4 Someone Else’s Shoes We talk to Rob Van Vuuren and Siv Ngesi about walking a mile in each other’s bodies in the new film Copposites

Up the Beanstalk Bongi Mthombeni talks to us about girls, giants and beanstalks


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Kathryn Newton in Paranormal Activity 4

Contents Cover Story: This Activities Not Normal

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Features: The Sound of Silence Someone Else’s Shoes Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner Up the Beanstalk South African Mzansi Ballet Profiles: Lauren Summerly Monier Jouve

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Reviews: Feature Reviews The View from the Isle What the H**l is Inside? DVD: Mad Buddies Film Jeff, Who Lives at Home House at the End of the Street

Andre Frauenstein and Angelique Pretorius in Stilte

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Bongi Mthombeni as Jack in Janice Honeyman’s Jack and the Beanstalk

Reviews: (cont’d) Taken 2 Piranha 3DD Paranormal Activity 4 Hope Springs Frankenweenie Stilte Hysteria Copposites Cloud Atlas Theatre No Romance Here Dangerously Good Liaisons DVD Snow White and the Huntsman Metal Tornado One for the Money Knockout Dark Shadows The Romantics Phineas and Ferb: The Perry Files Salmon Fishing in the Yemen Boy Wonder The Lucky One Cinderella Die Wonderwerker

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Editors Letter Thanks for picking up the November issue of our magazine, I hope you enjoy it. We have an interesting issue for you this month with a few changes. Firstly, it has been brought to my attention that you, the reader, want ratings on our film reviews, so this month we have started doing just that. You can find them next to the titles, and at the end of our Feature Reviews. Next, this month we are starting our Get-To-KnowYour-Company campaign with profiles of two of the dancers from South African Mzansi Ballet, so check those out. We also have some great interviews for you this month including Bongi Mthombeni,

the star of the new pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, Bryony Whitfield, star of the stage version of Dirty Dancing and Rob van Vuuren and Siv Ngesi, the stars of the feature film Copposites. We also have an exclusive interview with Kathryn Newton, star of the latest Paranormal Activity film. As you can tell there’s a lot this month to check out, so I hope you enjoy it and be sure to pick up our next issue, coming first Monday of December. It’s going to be a bumper Twilight issue, including an interview with Ashley Greene, so if you’re a fan, don’t miss it.

Best Wishes Jon Broeke Editor


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Off The Screen Magazine Or you have an event you’d like us to cover Email us at:

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The Sound of Silence


In the new South African Afrikaans drama Stilte Angelique Pretorius plays a woman shattered by the death of her parents, so much so that she refuses to speak, and the fact that she used to be one SA’s best rising singing stars makes things worse. We sat down with Angelique to discuss her role in the film.


”She is a South African pop sensation, loved by all her fans and, supposedly has it all, on the surface. Then when the tragedy strikes, when her parents get killed in a house robbery, you see a very different side to her.” “


Something we in South Africa are familiar with is crime. It affects all of us on almost a daily basis, and if we haven’t directly been held against our will by an armed man, then we know someone that has been. This is the world we live in, right or wrong, and art is known to imitate life. The new South African Afrikaans drama Stilte does just that. Angelique Pretorius plays Antoinette Van wyk in the film. “She is a pop singer,” Angelique says of her character in the film. “She is a South African pop sensation, loved by all her fans and, supposedly has it all, on the surface. Then when the tragedy strikes, when her parents get killed in a house robbery, you see a very different side to her. She suddenly has to cope with very raw emotions, and then you see different elements to her character, like her stubbornness, and her anger, and just her unwillingness to open up and engage with anyone, which is understandable under the circumstances, obviously it’s very heightened circumstances. As the story unfolds you start to see a change in her. Sort of an embracing of the tragedy as much as she can, and an acceptance of it, and then a willingness to actually turn it into something positive. In a nutshell.” Angelique was convinced she wanted to play the part as soon as it came to her attention. “It was an amazing acting opportunity,” she says. “The range of emotions and the depth of the character were really appealing. With Darryl [Roodt] directing, and having written it, I’ve worked with him before on WInnie, and I knew it would be a worthwhile project from that point of view. The script, I thought, was… Quite simplistic in terms of the story line, but very thought out and symbolic of a lot more meaning than what appears on the surface. The team, I was sure would be great, and just the opportunity to use it as an acting platform was very exciting.” Roodt is one of the best known directors in our country and is known for shooting his films very quickly. There was a rumour, in fact, that Stilte was shot over just

seven days, unheard of for a feature film. Angelique laughs when I bring up the rumour and tells me the film was shot over three weeks, not seven days. “Which is,” she tells me. “Unfortunately, in this country, pretty common. You can’t really, unless you have a very decent budget, afford to go over that. Having a smallish cast, it was do-able. It was tight; we worked under pressure, especially when we were in Oudtshoorn because the days were long, it being summer we had long days at our disposal, but sometimes when it’s mid-day and the suns out and it’s hot everyone wants to have a break, and the scene takes place in the sun we have to just grin and bear it.” She didn’t mind doing it though, she believed in the project. “I did it with a smile though,” she confirms. “And so did everyone else. I wouldn’t call it a passion project, it was more than that, there is actually more substance and more to it than it just being done for the sake of it, but there is a bit of that. There has to be that commitment and passion for it so at those times when we have to push yourself a little harder you’re happy to do it. Especially my character who was up and down and the she’s smiling and then she’s crying, and then she’s throwing a fit…” She laughs. Angelique’s co-star in the film is Andre Frauenstein. Frauenstein first came to our sttention in the South African vampire film Eternity, and was recently seen in Ek Lief Jou. He’s reputed to have a very complicated process for getting into his characters head, making him a little hard to work with, but Angelique didn’t find that at all. “I found him wonderful to work with,” she tells me of our very own film vampire. “In fact, I found his insights and advice to me to be useful, because he has Meisner training, I have theatre training which draws on Stanislavsky, which is similar. You also use certain principals and certain techniques to get to have certain desired effects and character development and emotional access, but I found his approach sometimes to be helpful. We worked very well together.”


“In fact, I found [Andre Frauenstein’s] insights and advice to me to be useful.”


The film deals with some pretty deep issues, especially the crime aspect. I asked Angelique where she looked to for inspiration for the role. “I didn’t have to dig to deep,” she says. “Because my brother passed away a few years ago. I probably would have been able to pull it off, to a degree, in the past, but that experience just gave it a whole different meaning and understanding. I think until something like that happens to you, I could always sort of imagine what it would be like, but I didn’t really want to, so you don’t really let yourself go there, whereas when you experience it, and you see how people that you love the most, your parents, just fall apart, and the process… That’s why, in the movie, there are quite a few emotional scenes, and maybe in the past I would have thought a tear once in the film would have been enough, but after experiencing that kind of grief myself, I cried. I think as a girl that’s the way you deal with it. I cried all the time, and that’s the only way I could deal with it. So when Antoinette starts to give into her emotions, it’s so rough and raw, primitive, those feeling. That was my main source of research. I also had a look at the typical symptoms of posttraumatic stress, because it’s not just grief, it’s also the trauma of the crime. That was already quite well imbedded in the text, in terms of anger. Outbreaks are quite common, and withdrawal from

whoever, as well as re-enactment of the actual occurrence, for example, when Johannes, the farm worker, comes to her and she gets a big fright, and runs away. She immediately associates him with the criminals just because she’s in such a state of shock.” She also identifies with Antoinette’s learning something from the death of her parents. She feels the same thing about her brother. “With me,” she says. “Even though it’s considered a tragedy that I lost my brother, a lot of good came out of it. As a person I grew enormously, spiritually and just in terms of my perspective on life, my mom and I both. We changed essentially. I think we appreciated life more. I also didn’t realise how deep ones love goes for someone, until it’s not there. There are layers and layers that you’re not aware of at the time because you don’t see the person that often, but actually you share such a history. You can’t fully appreciate it until, unfortunately, you experience that type of tragedy, but those sorts of perspective changes, and the fact that I believe that tragedies happen to us in such a way so we can learn and we can grow and learn lessons.” Let’s hope we can all learn those lessons, but not at such a dear price. In the meantime though, we can see Angelique on the silver screen, and perhaps learn a thing or two from her story.


Someone Else’s Shoes

The new comedy Copposites, hitting our screens this month, is South Africa’s first real attempt at a buddy cop film. Jon Broeke sat down with the stars of the film Rob Van Vuuren and Sivuyile “Siv” Ngesi and chatted about the film, and what it really means to them.


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uddy cop films are always big at the box office. Whether it’s Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg buddying up in The Other Guys or Mel Gibson and Danny Glover buddying up in the Lethal Weapon films they are almost always a success. The very first buddy cop film from South Africa, Copposites, has just released at our cinema’s. Technically it’s not a buddy cop film, one character is a cop and the other is a criminal, but it’s close enough. I met with the stars of the film, local funny men Ron Van Vuuren, familiar to us all as one of the two members of The Most Amazing Show, and Sivuyile “Siv” Ngesi, currently on Mzansi Magic in the show S.I.E.S, at the African Pride Hotel at Melrose Arch recently. Rob plays the role of Detective Jan Venter in the film. “He’s a kind of a washed up policeman,” Rob tells me. Both he and Siv are wearing Copposites t-shirts and seem completely at ease with each other and being interviewed. “With a drinking problem, exwife problem, personality problem. He’s bitter. He’s twisted.” “Previously advantaged,” Siv interrupts. “Previously advantaged,” Rob agrees before continuing. “And currently an a**hole. The kind of movie starts with him at his lowest point. He discovers that his ex-wife, who he still loves, is dating a successful black lawyer, which really grates him.” “He’s giving it to her good,” Siv interrupts again, knocking Rob off his train of thought as he laughs. “He gets suspended,” Rob continues. “And ends up working as a security guard in a science lab where he crosses paths with Sharky Majola.” At this point Siv takes over. He plays the role of Sharky Majola in the film. “A guy, who was a criminal trying to go straight,” Siv tells me. “On the straight and


narrow, when he discovers that his girlfriend, wife to be, is pregnant, and then he owes someone money because he bought a wedding ring, and stuff goes bad and his last job is where he encounters Venter. And that’s where the magic begins.” Being friends before the film was a big reason why the actors got involved in the project. This was especially true for Rob. “Siv actually phoned me,” he tells me about how he got involved in the film. “I got the script and it kind of slipped past me and I never got back to Oliver [Rodger, the director] properly. He got hold of Siv and asked who he would like to play against, or with, and he said me. Oliver said he couldn’t get hold of me, so Siv said ‘Hold on’, he picked up his phone and phoned me. I was like ‘Oh, you’re doing it, great let’s go.’” I look at Siv for his answer. “And me?” he begins. “[Oliver had] been speaking to agents in Joburg and Cape Town. They were looking for a black guy that could act Afrikaans. A lot of people said there’s this one guy called Siv…” “He’s practically Afrikaans,” Rob comments. “Thanks,” we all laugh at Siv’s off the cuff thanks of Rob’s comment. “Then agents, whose books I wasn’t even on, sent me forward,” he turns to Rob. “Including the agent that didn’t send you.” They then spend the next two minutes discussing this agent and the way she tried to keep Rob out of the project before we continue with the interview. I ask how they prepared for their roles in the film, which in tales them swapping bodies and becoming the other person. “I lived in a town ship for seven months,” Rob jokes. “I adopted a child of colour. Ate nothing but pap for seven years.” We all laugh again before Siv takes over. “As I was saying…” he comments before continuing. “We spent some time together, bouncing off each other, but I think a lot of the magic happened on the set. I don’t think we could have prepared too much before. A lot of stuff happened on set, and when we had time we were around each other, and played some words off each other,

“We just made specific choices as actors when creating our base character, in other words the character we start playing in the movie. What’s rad is what we’re doing is we’re creating a character who you’re then handing over to the other actor. That was fun.” got some physicality’s down, and watched each other perform, and just played, had a lot of fun. Some quality comes from having fun.” Rob agrees with his co-star. “Ja,” he says. “We just made specific choices as actors when creating our base character, in other words the character we start playing in the movie. What’s rad is what we’re doing is we’re creating a character who you’re then handing over to the other actor. That was fun. We were kind of creating something for each other, and then we kind of checked with each other if physically we were getting it, or watching each other closely and listening to each other. A lot of kind of just talking it through as the film went on.” They had a lot of input into the others role and performance during filming, but something they had no hand in was Detective Venter’s catch phrase, don’t force my wors, which he uses throughout the film. “That was all Oli,” Rob tells me. “I was like, ‘What is, ‘Don’t force my wors? Who says that? What the f*** is wrong with you?’ He was like, ‘No man, yeah, that’s great let’s do that,’” Rob mimics the English accent of director Oliver Rodger. “And it kind of works, it works in the movie. It’s his catch phrase and people dig it.” I moved onto the stunts in the film, and being a cop film there are several, including one where the two beat themselves up in the others body. “Siv turned into a stuntman,” Rob jokes. “When I hit the man over the head with the guitar. That wasn’t Siv.”


“Siv was like, not this head, not this face,” Siv jokes as we all laugh. “And I had to pick up a stunt man,” he continues. “To throw him through the vase, but don’t tell my agent that… We just caused k** man. Heila k**.” “That was probably the scariest moment in the entire film for me,” Rob continues. “Was when Siv was throwing little, like, ornaments at me, very hard and very fast. If you look very closely I’m not acting in that scene. I’m k****** myself. And there’s one little thing that flies right past my face, cause Siv was trying to make it real, he’s very method like that.” “But I believe in Rob,” Siv interjects. “I believe in his reflexes. I believe in his abilities to act and his physicality because he studied at Rhodes University.” “What was scary for me though,” Rob continues shooting back at Siv. “Was that with all that belief, moments before Siv actually broke a window by mistake and head butted it, with his own actual head, which he wouldn’t allow me to hit with the guitar and then started throwing stuff a me, so I’m sure you can understand my fear.” “It came across very real and I’m glad I did it.” Siv says. Both Rob and I start laughing again. The film deals with the two lead characters, one a white cop, the other a black criminal, swapping bodies, which leads to a lot of embarrassing situations. It also leads to racial issues, especially since both the characters are racist in their own rights. I ask both actors how they felt about the racial nature of the film, and whether or not they were concerned about the way the audience would take the jokes. “Huge,” Rob tells me about his concerns over the project. “That’s the genre we’re doing. If you’re going to sign up for a project where it is race comedy and using the whole body swap genre in the South African context allows you to play with that comedy. So there’s got to be a level of this is what we’re dealing with. I was incredibly sensitive to it, and I was worried about coming across as insensitive or racist or any of those things. I find race comedy quite difficult, whereas Siv is quite comfortable with it. It’s part of his shtick


as a stand-up comic, and I think he deals with it very well, but I was very aware of it and kind of nervous about it. We talked about it quite a lot and Oli was very comfortable with our suggestions and our changing things. Because he’s originally British and he has a very particular idea about race comedy he’s not as sensitive to it as we South African’s are, even though he has a coloured girlfriend, Carla, who is the writer/producer of the movie as well. So a lot of it is from his own experience, living in South Africa and the reactions that he gets with his interracial relationship. Having said that he wasn’t sure where the line was, and he was happy with us to discuss it. What I’d hoped would happen eventually was that we were dealing with stereotype and race, but that we were approaching it from the point of view of respect and love and hopefully we present certain stereotypes and throughout the process of the film we subvert those stereotypes and your perception of those stereotypes, your preconceived notions of what those are.” “Like De Klerk and Mandela,” Siv jokes. “That was the aim.” It’s a joke, but Siv feels the same way that Rob does about the project. I ask them what their next projects are and they answer in more than a little rehearsed way. “Rob is travelling the world,” Siv answers. “With a documentary about the corruption in the police force. It’s going to New York, Amsterdam, Australia, doing a national tour. That’s for 2013.” “Siv’s just finished a run of Race Card in Cape Town,” Rob answers. “His one man show, which is massive and will be touring the country throughout next year. He’s also got a new one man show that’s being written for

him by celebrated South African playwright Mike Van Graan, who also does really amazing political social satire for the theatre and he’s crafting a show specifically for Siv which he’ll take to Grahamstown.” “But I’m looking for some quality film work,” Siv interjects, more seriously this time. “I think we’re both hoping that this film does really well,” Rob agrees. “And offers us the opportunity to do more film work together and help grow the industry and get the ball rolling, to help us move onto the next project.” “As clichéd as it’s going to sound,” Siv says. “We really get on like a house on fire. You watch these Hollywood movies and you think that they’re lying, but we really get along. We can sit down and say nothing, or we can talk s*** with each other.” “I think that’s what’s really important about the movie,” Rob says. “When you’re dealing with this really sensitive subject matter, and the whole racial thing, we skated a really thin line and I think it could have really easily have fallen into rather harmful stereotyping and surface dealing with the subject matter, but because there’s a genuine affection between Siv and I, because we dig each other as people, and we respect each other as artists, that’s there, you can’t really fake that stuff. I think that really shines through in the movie and kind of lifts it a little so it’s not just about one thing. So it’s more about individuals and people, rather than types of people.” It’s a wonderful sentiment and the love between the two men is obvious. I look forward to their next projects, and the next one they do together, which I’m sure will be very soon, and will be great.


This Activities Not Normal This month sees a familiar face coming from an unfamiliar place when TV star Kathryn Newton comes to the big screen in the latest film in the Paranormal Activity franchise. Jon Broeke spoke with her on the phone from Los Angeles about the film, horror in general and kids that scare us to death.


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athryn Newton is best known to South African audiences as Jay Mohr’s smart, and sassy, daughter in Gary, Unmarried. This month we get to see another side to the young actress when she picks up the mantle as lead in one of the most successful horror franchises in recent history, Paranormal Activity. “I play Alice,” she tells me over the phone from Los Angeles when I ask about her character in the film, the fourth in the franchise. “She’s just like a normal teenage girl. She’s going through high school. She’s starting to like boys, she has a little brother. I think anybody going through high school, struggling to communicate and find out who they are, but now Alice has a problem going for her. It’s hard enough for her to tell her mom that she might like this boy and now she has to tell her mom that there’s a demon named Toby trying to get her, but she doesn’t let Toby get the best of her, and she fights back and she’s not going to let Toby take her down.” The film is shot like the other three films, with a series of hand-held cameras. This time round they make use of web-cams as well to try and catch the ghostly occurrences. I asked Kathryn what it was like to have to play double duty, both acting and filming. “I loved getting to do a lot of the cinematography,” she tells me. “That was something really cool. It was so real, the way that we didn’t have lines, that we used improve, and that I got to do a lot of the cinematography was awesome. I thought that was so cool that I actually had control over what the audience was going to

see.” There is one specific moment in the film when Kathryn’s character Alice is walking around outside, in the dark, and comes face to face with an army of demon worshippers. “I was holding the camera the whole time for that last sequence,” she says when I ask her if she saw the scene the way the audience did. “But I could see them. It was pitch black, so it was kind of difficult to see them, but you could feel their presence.” I wondered if that made the scene scarier to shoot, not being able to see the people, but feeling their presence. “It was funny,” she says. “Because it’s the same kind of thing where I was freaking out over Toby, and there’s a hundred, five hundred witches standing out in a field looking at you like, ‘What are you doing?’” One of the most memorable moments in the film is when Kathryn is lifted three feet from her bed while she’s sleeping. I


asked her how they shot the scene. “It was the stunt co-ordinator,” she tells me. “And he set up that whole thing in about three days, and they tested it. One of the AD’s, named Megan, did the levitation before me so I could see what was going on, but I had to do all my own stunts, which was awesome, and I felt invincible with the harness on and I loved it.” This being the fourth film in the franchise I asked Kathryn, whose only fifteen now, if she’d seen the other Paranormal Activity films. “We have a little tradition,” she says. “Every Halloween, with all my friends, and we all get scared together. I mean, I’ve never really watched all the movies ‘cause my eyes were closed the whole time, but when I was testing on the project I watched all of them alone in my room and all the lights went out, and then the next day when I met Henry Joost [the director], I told him what happened and

he said ‘No way, we were watching all the Paranormal Activity movies and all the lights went out too.’ That’s something paranormal.” Paranormal indeed, but it didn’t put off Kathryn, a fan of the horror genre. “I love horror films,” she says. “Because they’re the only film where the audience is really invested, especially the Paranormal franchise. We write the movies for the fans and so it was really great to get to go to the screenings with all the fans to really support us, and to get to see them be happy and screaming. That’s what we wanted, we wanted everybody to get scared.” I asked her what her favourite horror film is, besides the films in the Paranormal Activity franchise. “What’s my favourite horror film besides Paranormal?” she repeats my question, thinking about it. “Well, I loved Insidious, a lot, It was very, very good. It was like a psychological thriller, kind of like the Paranormal.” She used other horrors to prepare for the film as well. “When I was practising my screams,” she tells me. “I watched the first five minutes of Scream, my favourite part with Drew Barrymore. I love that, she’s in the movie, oh, wait, never mind she’s going to die in the first five minutes.” We both laugh at that before I mention Insidious again, and the monster sharpening his claws with Tiptoeing Through the Tulips plays in the background, one of the scariest scenes


“It’s hard enough for her to tell her mom that she might like this boy and now she has to tell her mom that there’s a demon named Toby trying to get her, but she doesn’t let Toby get the best of her, and she fights back and she’s not going to let Toby take her down.”

ever put on screen. She agrees. “That song’s so creepy.” I move the interview to children in horrors. People don’t like kids in horror, and find the films scarier for them. I ask Kathryn why she thinks that is. “I think it bothers them,” she explains


her theory. “Because they’re so freaky and cool. Kids scare you because they’re so truthful. Kids always tell the truth because they don’t really know how to lie, so they’re much scarier if they say something scary because you’re going to believe, and I think it plays tricks in your mind.” I ask about the people who think that children who act in horrors risk getting traumatised. “I feel like on set it was never scary,” she tells me about her experience. “The boy playing

Robbie, he never knew he was playing the weird kid, he was just really having fun, and that was really just how he was a boy and he played really well on camera. Everybody was great, both of them were so good and so real, you just fell in love with them watching, but they had no idea what was really going on about demons and Toby. They didn’t really get that, they just thought that we were all having fun playing pretend, and that’s really what we were doing.” Well, there playing pretend scares the c**p out of the rest of us, and that’s the point, isn’t it. Kathryn is funny and charming and a joy to speak with, and I wish what happened to her at the end of the film didn’t, but that’s horror, huh? If you want to know what I’m talking about go and check it out today, but be prepared for a scare.

ots


Nobody puts Baby in the Corner Photos by Pat Bromilow Downing


Baby, from Dirty Dancing, is such an iconic character. She’s up there with Scarlett O’Hara and Juliet. Now we get to see her on the stage in the new stage version of the hit film. Actress and dancer Bryony Whitfield is playing this wonderful part. Jon Broeke sat down with her at the theatre to get her impression on the role and what keeps bringing the audiences back for more.


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love the film, Dirty Dancing. I remember seeing it as a teenager and wanting to be Johnny Castle, so I was thrilled to go along to the Teatro at Montecasino for the press call and sit down the with the star of the film, the girl that has been chosen to give on stage life to one of the most iconic characters in dance film history, Baby. That person is Bryony Whitfield. Small in stature, but big in personality, Bryony sits with me still wearing her hair like Baby’s and wearing her denim shorts and peasant shirt, I need to remind myself I’m not sitting with the character herself, but then again, I am, aren’t I? I ask her about her impressions of the character she is playing. “Baby is a character that, I think, most girls can relate too,” she tells me. “The people that have seen the movie they look at Baby and they’re like ‘I wish I could be Baby,’ because her character is very positive. She wants to change the world, nothing stops her. She’s faced with so many challenges and she’s like, ‘I’m not going to let this get to me, I’m going to learn how to dance, I’m going to help get money for Penny’s abortion,’ so there’s a lot of challenges that she faces and nothing gets her down. Only towards the end of the show does she really get to a point where she’s just like, ‘I can’t do it anymore. I’ve had a punch from every angle,’ but she’s so positive. She’s extremely naïve, and has a beautiful relationship, especially with her father, and those are all beautiful characteristics that people can relate too and they go, ‘I wish I was that positive.’ Bryony has a definite idea of what has made the film so popular, and what is bringing people to the theatre to see the stage version as well.


It’s a beautiful love story,” she says. “I think that’s bringing everyone here. It’s the music, absolutely, but it’s the love between two completely different characters, being Johnny and Baby. Johnny is from the streets, he’s rough around the edges. He doesn’t show emotion whereas Baby is completely the opposite. She wears her heart on her sleeve, and they come together and they form such a beautiful relationship and they help each other bring out what they need to change in their lives, and support and they encourage each other to grow. So people are coming for that, the love. Dirty Dancing is about real people. It’s not dramatic, it’s real emotions that real people feel and the end scene, where Johnny leaves, it always gets to me, not only as Baby, I can relate to her, but we’ve all felt pain in our life when someone we love has left and that physical pain, you can relate to her, you can feel what she’s feeling, so there’s all these issues that you see that are completely real. Bryony was a fan of the film as child. I asked her what impact it had on her. “It came out 25 years ago,” she begins. “I was born in 86, so I was 1 when the film came out, but I remember watching it. I remember the pink, you can’t miss, and the Dirty Dancing logo, and I remember this girl, how she couldn’t dance and this really sexy guy taught her how to dance, and I loved the story. I loved the concept of it and the lift at the end.” The film played an important part in her preparation for this iconic role. “While I’ve been growing up,” she said. “I haven’t watched it that much,


“Baby is a character that, I think, most girls can relate too. The people that have seen the movie they look at Baby and they’re like ‘I wish I could be Baby,’ because her character is very positive.”


and when the auditions came up I thought it could be a really interesting show. When I auditioned I didn’t think about landing any role. I just thought because I’m a dancer I could be a dancer in Dirty Dancing, but when I went to the audition they encouraged me to look at the character. I went home and went and bought the DVD, and basically stalked her for the time that we were auditioning, although our director, she’s wonderful, Sarah Tipple, she’s really given us amazing freedom. You can’t be a carbon copy, it’s impossible, I can’t be Jennifer Grey, but I can take the emotions that Bryony feels and incorporate that into the character. They’ve given us an amazing freedom to develop our characters ourselves, which has been fantastic, because it just takes the pressure off. If you feel comfortable with what you’re doing as a character, then that’s easier for us, and I’m sure the audience enjoys it more.” That doesn’t mean that theirs is no pressure, after all she is playing a character loved by millions of fans. I asked her if she felt that pressure of taking on the character, as well as being compared to the original actress to take on the role, Jennifer Grey.

“As a performer there’s always pressure,” she says. “It depends on what role in the show you are, that level of pressure. This is my biggest role to date and I’m in the front line of that pressure. People do come to see the show and they do want to see Jennifer Grey, but there are a lot of things that I’m supported by as well, being the costumes, my hair, the dialogue is exactly the same, I’ve got all of that, that is Jennifer Grey, which is associated with Jennifer Grey. I can just add a few things of my own personality in that. It becomes organic. You want acting to be organic, you want people to feel what you’re feeling, and you can’t just be like a robot. I was extremely nervous, but I think more excited during the rehearsal period.” Bryony is no stranger to the stage, having performed in Cats, Phantom of the Opera and African Footprint, but this is quite different, being her first leading role. I asked her about the rehearsals for the role. “My preparation for rehearsals,” she tells me. “I watched the film, I studied the script, so I could be as prepared as I possibly could be and when we started rehearsing we learned he show in just over three weeks and


“This is my biggest role to date and I’m in the front line of that pressure. People do come to see the show and they do want to see Jennifer Grey.”


then we had a nice week to really solidify everything and just get comfortable with it, especially the American accent. That we got training and group sessions we had. The American accent can be so diverse, we wanted to do kind of a general accent so people weren’t confused as to where they were, so that was very interesting, and I loved that part of it. Then we had a week where we could run the show and get comfortable and then we teched. During those weeks I was very excited, because I was enjoying what I was doing and when you love what you’re doing it’s the best.” She’s also on stage for almost the entire film, and has a staggering 21 costume changes during the show. “Baby is extremely busy,” she says. “If she’s not on stage she’s changing in the wings and they’re 25 second changes, 30 second changes, but I love that, it keeps me so busy, and the show flies for me. It feels like twenty minutes, when it’s actually two hours. It’s up and down, up and down, and I love it.” Well, from audience reactions they love it as well, just as much as the film. If you’re a fan, or are not yet a fan you will be after you’ve seen Bryony doing her stuff. Go and catch Dirty Dancing at the Teatro at Montecasino running until the middle of January, and then go and buy the DVD and love them both forever. I know I do.

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Up the Beanstalk It’s pantomime time again and this year Janice Honeyman is giving us an old classic, Jack and the Beanstalk. Jon Broeke sat down with the star of the show, Bongi Mthombeni, of Idols SA fame, and found out what it was like to climb that beanstalk.


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e’re heading fast into the end of the year again. Towards that silly season where people spend way too much money on presents and eat too much at our favourite days lunch, or dinner, however you do it in your family. If you’re looking for something different, or if you’re already on the bandwagon of those who attend every year, the pantomime is about to hit the Joburg Theatre. This year Janice Honeyman, the resident director of the pantomime, is bringing us the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. The story is the same old familiar fairy tale that we all grew up with. Having no money Jack’s mom sends him to sell his cow. He does, for a handful of magic beans, which then grow into a gigantic beanstalk. Jack climbs the beanstalk and finds himself in the world controlled by a monstrous giant, who he then needs to battle to save the day. Of course Honeyman has added a couple of things to make it more of a pantomime and less of a fairy tale. Jack has a brother and two sisters, and is fighting for the love of the rocking Raspberry Rose, played by Carly Graeme. The giant also has a sidekick, the devious, evil Henry Hideosa, played by a staple on the pantomime stage Tobie Cronje. Heading up the cast again this year, after last year’s success in Cinderella, is Bongi Mthombeni. He plays the title character in the production. “Jack. Now Jack,” he laughs when I ask him about his character in the production. “Jack is very street wise. With energy, of course, with a lot of energy, but Jack, now, he wants to be this hero, because of Raspberry Rose. No one wants Raspberry Rose, none of the guys in the whole village want Raspberry Rose, but the first time Raspberry Rose comes out and he sees

Bongi with Tobie Cronje as Henry Hideosa and Desmond Dube as Dame Dora Dimpledumpling.


“Jack is very street wise. With energy, of course, with a lot of energy, but Jack, now, he wants to be this hero, because of Raspberry Rose.”

her, he falls in love with her, because she’s very rock and she’s very out there, and very violent, because there are parts in the story where she’s very interesting. Jack is like the superhero. He’s a very naughty guy, he owes speed fines, he’s got summons everywhere. So he’s a naughty guy. All he’s got is his mother, two sisters, a brother and a cow. Because they owe so much the mother decides that they must sell the cow, and Jack is very close to the cow. So, like in [the original] fairy tales, he goes up the beanstalk and he sees the giant, and there’s a lot of nice that’s been put in, in terms of songs and language which kids can relate to, like cartoons and stuff. Jack is the crazy hero who saves the crazy girl.” When I spoke to him the rehearsals had only just began, but things like the giant and the beanstalk had been discussed, but not in detail. “I haven’t seen how I’m going to get up the beanstalk yet,” he tells me. “But the giant is a huge machine, it’s like huge. His arm is so huge. I don’t know how they’re going to do it, I’m so excited. We’re just going through the first act now sort of polishing the act, and we have to dance, so all those things are coming together.” With a huge giant I’m sure it will be an exciting show. We all know Bongi from his times as an idol on the hit TV show Idols SA. He was wonderful as a singer on the show, but it’s a far cry from what he’s doing on the stage. It was interesting to find out how he got involved in the panto’s. “I did Idols 2010 and Bernard [Jay] saw me,” he tells me about being approached by the CEO of the Joburg Theatre, Bernard Jay. “While I was doing Idols the producer of Idols came to me and told me that the CEO of the Joburg Theatre is interested in doing a show with you, and he wants to cast you as one of the lead


roles. I was excited, until the day I actually met with Bernard and he explained to me what the pantomime is and what is required from the actors and how much work it is. Then, in my heart, I was like ‘Bernard, I’m actually just a guy, who’s got no big qualifications.’ I think Bernard saw something in me that I didn’t know that I had, and that’s how it all developed. “ He is thrilled to be returning to the stage again this year in the latest pantomime. “To be Jack this year,” he says. “They asked me again. I remember I was having supper here at News Café [at Joburg Theatre]. They said ‘Bongi we just want to talk to you. How would you feel being Jack next year?’ I was screaming with joy and happiness, because that to me meant that I’ve got something that I don’t know about, but I’ve got it in me, and if people see it in me I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing.”

He is doing a lot more of it this year with his role being so much larger than it was in last year’s performance. “When I got the script last year it was like, skip a few pages, and there’s me, then skip a few pages and there’s me,” he tells me about his role in Cinderella compared to his role as Jack. “This year I’m on like every page. It’s like constant. This year’s going to require double dedication. Now I know what’s required of me. I know what I’m putting myself into.” I asked him if he would want to pursue a career on the stage, in various other musicals and plays. “Yes I would,” he tells me without a second thought. “I expressed myself a lot when I was on stage, [for Idols SA], and I guess that’s what people fell in love with. That’s what Bernard saw. Randall [Abrahams] always said ‘Bongi, you’ve got a great performance.’ Basically I’m an entertainer. Not that I can’t do studio work, because I can also do that. I think it’s important to be able to sing and act and dance. You’re building up your entertaining skills. So pursuing it, yes I would. I’d pursue it very much.” With the sort of dedication and commitment he’s shown in recent production I’m sure only the sky is the limit for this talented man. If you want to see more of him in the meantime you can catch him on the stage at the Joburg Theatre, fighting the giant and winning the girls heart.

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Bongi with Desmond Dube as Dame Dora Dimpledumpling.


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Dancers Profile:

Lauryn Summerly


South African Ballet Theatre, La Traviata Rehearsal, The Nelson Mandela Theatre at the Civic. Photograph: John Hogg

I started doing ballet at the age of 10. I didn't really want to, but I was doing modern and contemporary and started for the technique that you get from ballet. I started and the rest you can say was history.” History indeed, Lauryn Summerly has earned her place as one of the best dancers in South Africa, and a prestigious member of South African Mzansi Ballet. Born in Johannesburg, she trained under some of the best teachers around, including Lynne Fouché, Gail Myburgh, Paula Olivier and Liane Lurie. She also spent two years at the English National Ballet School under the tutelage of Anthony Dowson, Francine Richard and Jean-Paul Pascal. “I always knew that I wanted to dance,” she says. “It was one my earliest memories. I remember thinking that my elder sister was going be the dancer in the family and I was very envious of her. It’s quite amusing when I look back at it.” In 1995 Lauryn won the Mabel Ryan Award and was recipient of the Val Whyte Award in 1996. She won the Natalie Stern Trophy for the Most Artistic Dancer and won both Ballet and Spanish championships at the 1997 Concours de Ballet. She joined South African Ballet Theatre in 2002 and was part of the merge when Mzansi Productions joined to create South African Mzansi Ballet. We asked her what her favourite roles are.


“I always knew that I wanted to dance,” she says. “It was one my earliest memories.”

South African Ballet Theatre, La Traviata Rehearsal, The Nelson Mandela Theatre at the Civic. Photograph: John Hogg


“I have three favourite ballets,” she says. “Each for different reasons. Performing Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, was a dream come true. Carmen was also an amazing character to play but the one closest to my heart is

Camille in La Traviata. The character, the music, the costumes...it was my best time on stage.” Lauryn has danced in dozens of ballets, including: Odile, Pas de Trois, Cygnets and Fiancées in ‘Swan Lake’; The Lilac Fairy,

Golden Vine Fairy, Songbird Fairy, Pas de Quatre and Friends in ‘The Sleeping Beauty’; Peasant Pas de Deux, Myrthe Queen of the Willis and Zulma in ‘Giselle’; Louise, Snow Queen, Sugar Plum Fairy, Spanish, Chinese and Arabian in ‘The Nutcracker’; Camille in ‘La Traviata’; Swanhilda, Dawn

South African Ballet Theatre, La Traviata Rehearsal, The Nelson Mandela Theatre at the Civic. Photograph: John Hogg

and Friends in ‘Coppélia’, just to name a few. We also asked her if there are any productions that she wasn’t too fond of. “I don't hate or dislike any ballets,” she told us. “But The Sleeping Beauty for me has been one of the most challenging. I made my debut in Aurora last year and was one the hardest roles I have ever had to dance.” As a ballerina, and principal dancer for South African Mzansi Ballet, we asked her if she had any advice for up and coming dancers that want to be professional one day. “You have to be strong, take the knocks that you are given on a regular basis and use it to make you stronger.”

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“You have to be strong, take the knocks that you are given on a regular basis and use it to make you stronger.�


Dancers Profile:

Monier Jouve


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orn in Cuba, Monvier Jouve only came to South Africa in 2012 after being invited by the then Mzansi Productions. After they merged with South African Ballet Theatre Monvier stayed on to become a member of the newly established company. He started dancing at the age of nine at the Alejo Carpentier Provincial School of Ballet in Havana, Cuba. At age 15 he started training at The Cuban National Ballet School (Escuela Nacional Cubana de Ballet) in Havana, directed by Ramona de Sáa. In his third year, he won a medal in recognition of his achievements and was cast in Soloist and Principal Roles. “It was a decision from my parents,” he says on his reasons for starting ballet. “They wanted me to go dancing, and I agreed, I said yes and that I wanted it, and since then I fell in love with ballet, although at the beginning it was difficult for me, as what I used to do before that was play ball, but then that was unimportant. What is important is to follow ballet, to go so far and be with this marvellous

company.” In 2011 he was selected to travel to Mexico for classes with Ballet Folklorico’s Ollin Yoliztli where he performed excerpts from Le Corsaire and La Bayadére. We asked him about his favourite roles to dance. “My favourite ballet is Don Quixote,” he says. “Because it is the ballet wherein I can show my technique and expressive qualities, it is also a very dynamic ballet, very explosive. Don Quixote has a lot to do with my character; in this ballet I can also express my feelings of love, an emotion I find strong within myself. I have not had the possibility to perform a lead role in this ballet, but when I do, I will give all my strength.”

Cuban dancer Monier Jouve in LE CORSAIRE PAS DE DEUX Celebration 3 Mzansi Productions 2012 (Photo: Pat Bromilow Downing)


“I fell in love with ballet, although at the beginning it was difficult for me, as what I used to do before that was play ball, but then that was unimportant. What is important is to follow ballet, to go so far and be with this marvellous company.�


We also asked about his least favourites. “Personally,’ he tells us. “I have not had a good or bad role; I have liked all the roles that I have had the opportunity to perform. I try to enjoy every ballet I perform and I always do. I give my best, so every performance is cheerful and if the audience likes what I do and are satisfied, then I experience best feeling for a dancer on stage. If it is like this always, I will never have a bad character or role.” Monvier has always dreamed of being a great dancer, though becoming a professional wasn’t something that occurred to him. “Since I started studying ballet,” he says. “The only thing that I have had in my head is to be a great dancer and to be with the best companies in the world, this is the dream of all young dancers. I never thought that I was going to study ballet when I was a child; I only wanted to have fun and enjoy myself like the rest of the children. I always wanted to be a football player and not a dancer, but my parents always wanted me to be a dancer, as they are dancers themselves. They wanted me to follow in their footsteps, but it did not occur to me at a young age to be a professional dancer.” We asked him for some advice for young dancers wanting to dance professionally, maybe with South African Mzansi Ballet one day. “The advice that I can give to the future dancers, is to have lots of discipline, to work hard and never give up what they love doing.”

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The View from the Isle


Morgan Freeman is on our screens this month as Monte Wildhorn, a writer with more than a bad attitude, who is befriended by a precocious 8 year old. We went along to the cinema to check it out.


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t’s hard when we lose our drive. When we lose that one thing that makes us happy and makes our lives worth living, whether it’s a loved one, or a career it’s hard for someone to get back on the path once it’s vanished before our eyes. This, in part, is what The Magic of Belle Isle is about.

Monte Wildhorn, played by Morgan Freeman, is a once famous writer, now a wheelchair-bound alcoholic. When his nephew, played by Keenan Thompson, drags him out to the rural village of Belle Isle as a house sitter, he is not happy about it, and plans to drink the entire time, and hopefully die. His plans are interrupted though by a meeting with his next door neighbour, Finnegan, played by Emma Fuhrmann, a little girl who makes Monte a deal he can’t refuse. She wants him to teach her how to write a book, how to access her imagination. At first he’s not interested. But the girls’ persistence wears him down, and soon he is learning as much from the little girl as she is from him. He also develops a relationship with Finn’s mother, Charlotte, played by Virginia Madsen, a woman struggling through a divorce, and together they try and discover a way through the loss they have both endured.


“This is a sweet film, really sweet. It’s the type of film that could give you cavities if you’re not careful. It is cheesy and completely sentimental, but that is some of the charm of the film. Sometime you just want to swim in the sugar of a sappy film.”


This is a sweet film, really sweet. It’s the type of film that could give you cavities if you’re not careful. It is cheesy and completely sentimental, but that is some of the charm of the film. Sometime you just want to swim in the sugar of a sappy film. The story is universal. Monte is a man that has lost his will to do anything. Since the death of his wife he’s had no reason to fight and has started to give up, using the drink to hide from people and things that he’d rather not face. Finn brings him back from the brink, re-awakening the drive, and the joy he used to feel when creating stories. The short stories he writes about the elephants are his first step to exiting his self-imposed isolation and opening himself up to the world of writing

again. The acting is good in this film too, especially from Freeman and Fuhrmann. The interactions between these two characters are the highlights of the films, especially the ‘Tell me what you don’t see’ moments, which are pivotal, not only to the film, but to any writer, which they could tell you. Freeman gives a solid performance as is expected from an actor of his calibre, but Fuhrmann is lovely. She precocious and curious and delivers a believable amount of emotion when the scene calls for it. She could be a great actress, so keep an eye out for her. This is a lovely film and reminds us all to hang onto what matters most to us, whatever it takes, but because it is a little sappy and may put a few viewers off, it gets 8 out of 10.

OTS


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What the h**l is inside? Boxes can be dangerous things. There’s no way to know what’s inside until you open it, but by that time it may be too late. This is part of the premise for the new horror film The Possession. Jon Broeke went to the cinema to check it out.


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’m a fan of horror films. Ever since I saw Freddy Krueger skewering his first victim with his glove I was hooked. It may sound a bit strange, but I’m sure there are a few out there who know what I’m talking about. As a horror fan I look at every horror film that comes my way, and usually I’m sorely disappointed. It’s very difficult to find a good horror film. Usually the story is lame, or the bad guy doesn’t match expectations, or the acting is so wooden they may as well have set up mannequins for the bad guy to kill instead of people. So for the horror lovers, like me, out there I have very good news. The Possession is great. Recently divorced dad of two little girls, Clyde, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, has just moved into a new house. His relationship with his eldest, a teenager, Hannah, played by Madison Davenport, is strained, but he’s best friends with ten year old Emily, played by Natasha Calis. That changes though one day when they stop at a yard sale and Emily sees an old box with strange markings on it. She gets her dad to buy it for her, then strange things begin to happen, and Emily begins acting very strangely. After a few run in’s Clyde looks for help and discovers that the box that Emily is compulsively tied to, is actually a prison for a demon, and Emily has opened the box, letting the monster out, and straight into her. I loved this film. The story is good, based on true events as well which gives it an added air of horror. It takes a lesser known Jewish type of demon and brings it to the limelight, at the same time putting in all the classic possession devices, the dark rings under the eyes, the mysterious movement of objects, the only thing missing is the girl projectile vomiting, but that would be pushing it. The highlight of this film comes from the special effects and the acting. First, the effects. They are awesome. The demon is truly frightening, the wind that scares people, does just that, and the moths are creepy to no end. You’ll have to


“I loved this film. The story is good, based on true events as well which gives it an added air of horror. It takes a lesser known Jewish type of demon and brings it to the limelight, at the same time putting in all the classic possession devices.�


see the film to get that reference. The effects work seamlessly within the film and create a really frightening reality in which the characters find themselves, and the audience gets sucked into. Second, the acting. Everyone performance is good, from Morgan, who I’ve liked ever since I first saw him on Grey’s Anatomy, to Sedgewick, aslos a favourite of mine, but the stand-out performance comes from Calis. Not since Linda Blair in the original Exorcist have I seen a child so inhabit a

possession. She is terrifying, but at the same time pulls off the complete fear that a child in that situation would feel. Her performance is complete and solid and wonderful. Now that Jodelle Ferland, the former child-star of horror, has grown up, I feel that Calis should be the next to pick up the reigns. And she will do a tremendous job. This is a film I would recommend to anyone that’s a fan of horror films, and so I give it 9 out of 10.

OTS


Mad Buddies Leon Schuster hits our small screens this month with the release of his latest film on DVD, and I gotta tell you, these buddies, they’re mad.

A sure bet at the South African box office is Leon Schuster. If his name is on a film you know exactly what to expect from the picture, and you know it’s going to bring in the crowds. Mad Buddies was no exception when it was released on the silver screen, and now it hits the DVD rentals for round 2. Beast (Kenneth Nkosi) and Boetie (Leon Schuster) are enemies, ever since Beast shot off Boetie’s big toe in a poacher incident. When they meet again at the wedding of a minister’s (Alfred Ntombela) son, it’s fireworks straight away, leading to the two getting arrested. It’s at this point that Kelsey (Tanit Phoenix), a TV producer, enters the picture. She offers them an opportunity: walk the 600 kilometres to Gauteng together, or stay in jail. They accept readily, not knowing that she plans to film and televise their every move on her new reality show, with them as the unsuspecting stars. If you’re a fan of Schuster than this is the film for you. It has all the slapstick comedic moments that you expect from a Schuster film. That

is about all it has though. The story is silly and not well thought through; the acting is pretty shoddy, even from the big names of Phoenix and Nkosi. The locations are beautiful though. The two walk through our country and the film makers made the most of the scenery that South Africa has to offer. It also has to be said that the CGI effects in this film far surpass any in the previous Schuster films, and are really quite impressive.

This is a film for fans only, and since rumour has it it’s the last film Schuster will be starring in, you fans better get your fix. We’ll just have to wait and see if that’s true, and if so, who will become the new box office sure thing.

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Jeff, Who Lives at Home Starring Jason Segel, Ed Helms and Judy Greer Directed by Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass Meanwhile, his mother discovers she has a secret admirer at her office, this also leads her to a dramatic conclusion in which all the strings of this story come together. This is a lovely film. It is so clever and eff (Jason Segel) is a lovable thirty year old sweet and funny that I absolutely loved it. The slacker who lives in his mother’s way the story is woven together in such a way basement. He is desperately trying to seek that the viewer gets so involved in the plot is out reason and his destiny, while getting high fantastic, and rare. The acting is wonderful, and doing little else. When he gets a phone especially Segel, who I’ve loved in all the films call asking for Kevin it sets his world spinning I’ve seen him in. He has a sincerity that makes as he contemplates the meaning of this event. the viewer route for him whether he’s going It leads him to leaving the house to run an through a Five-Year Engagement, or trying to errant for his mother, Sharon (Susan Forget Sarah Marshall. Helms is over the top Sarandon), getting mugged, running into his and insane as the brother we can all say we brother, Pat (Ed Helms), discovering that his know, and Sarandon is funny and touching as sister-in-law, Linda (Judy Greer), may be the woman who thinks she’s over the hill, but having an affair and leading to something that then finds love in the most unexpected place. no one sees coming, let alone him. This is a film I would definitely recommend.

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House at the End of the Street Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue and Max Thieriot Directed by Mark Tonderai place in the house next door, Sarah begins to think that maybe things aren’t as great as she first thought. Elissa thinks she’s nuts, but as things begin to happen, and Ryan starts acting stranger and stranger she begins to think that maybe he’s hiding something. She has no idea… This isn’t a completely original idea. We’ve seen this type of film before, think Hide hen a mother, Sarah, and Seek, but there are enough plot twists, (Elizabeth Shue) and her spaced well throughout the film, to keep the teen daughter, Elissa audience interested. The acting is also good, (Jennifer Lawrence) move to a new house in a especially from Lawrence and Thieriot. small town they think it’s going to be the Theiriot is truly frightening at the end of the perfect new start for them, even though the film and stands out as an actor to be watch house next door was the scene of a double out for in future, whether in horror, as in this murder where a girl, Carrie Anne (Eva Link), or My Soul to Take, or in other genres. If you killed her parents, a few years earlier. Things like psychological thrillers, with a large dollop are good at first, but when Elissa makes of scares thrown in, then this is the one for friends with Ryan (Max Thieriot), the son and you. only survivor of the double homicide that took

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Taken 2 Starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen Directed by Olivier Megaton This film is a sequel in the truest sense of it. If you haven’t seen the first film, you will be able to understand what’s going on, but you won’t be able to appreciate it as much. The acting is good again, which we expect t’s been awhile since the events of from the likes of Neeson, but it seems like the first film and Bryan Mills (Liam more of the same. The first film was new and Neeson), the ex-CIA operative from interesting and really lit the imaginations of Taken, as well as his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke those that watched it, and while there are Janssen) and his daughter, Kim (Maggie parts in this film that I enjoyed, and Neeson Grace), are moving on with their lives, but can still fight with the best of them, I felt that after Lenore’s new husband leaves her, Bryan there was nothing new, and that we’ve seen it invites her and Kim to come with him to all before. In essence it was a let-down, Istanbul for a vacation. After they arrive in the considering I enjoyed the first one so much beautiful city everything seems perfect, but, and expected more from the sequel. That unknown to them, the father of the man he being said, this is still a good film, and, putting killed in the first film (Rade Serbedzija) is after the first one aside, it’s an action filled film him and his family to exact his revenge for the that catches your attention. If you like that death of his son. Soon he discovers all their type of thing this is for you, but don’t go in lives are in danger, but this time it’s not just expecting Taken 1, because you’ll just be him fighting, it’s his whole family. disappointed.

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Piranha 3DD

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fter the events at Lake Victoria the entire town has become deserted, a ghost town. The piranha that destroyed their home has been eradicated, or so they think. A new waterpark is about to open in another part of the country and people have started dying. Maddy (Danielle Panabaker), co-owner of the worst, cheesiest water park in the history of the world, has noticed the deaths and tries to convince her step-father, Chet (David Koechner), that they need to close the waterpark to save the people, but he refuses to listen. Then the fish make their way through an intake pipe into the swimming pools, and all hell breaks loose. This is the lowest form of film making in my opinion. I quite enjoyed the first Piranha film. Yes it was ridiculous, and yes the gore

Starring Danielle Panabaker, David Hasselhoff and Matt Bush Directed by John Gulager was way over the top, but there was a kind of tongue in cheek humour about the whole thing. It never took itself seriously, and that was part of the charm. Add to that cameo from Richard Dreyfuss and the film is a god laugh. This film has none of the nuance of the original. The plot is non-existent, plodding along from one naked girl getting eaten to the next, the gore is just as much, but not even amusing this time, and the cameos by David Hasselhoff and Ving Rhames, yes, they are cameos even though they are listed in the credits, are ludicrous and stupid and downright insulting. This is not a film anyone should see, it’s just a lame attempt to try and make more money from an unsuspecting audience. Shame on the producers of this piece of ****.


Paranormal Activity 4

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t’s been five years since Katie (Katie Featherstone) murdered her boyfriend, Micah (Micah Sloat), her sister, Kristi (Sprague Grayden) and her husband, Daniel (Brian Boland) before making off with her nephew Hunter (William and Jackson Prieto). The quiet lives of 15 year old Alice (Kathryn Newton) and her brother, Wyatt, as well as their parents are thrown into turmoil when their neighbour, a strange little boy named Robbie (Brady Allen) comes to stay with them. Things are fine at first, besides the boy’s strange behaviour, but the Alice starts to notice strange noises and things happening in her house that scare her. They are headed to a showdown with the very monster that has destroyed so many lives already, and it’s

Starring Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton and Matt Shively Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman closer to them than any of them could have possibly imagined. There’s nothing new here. It’s just the same thing over again that was featured in the first three Paranormal Activity movies. Strange things start happening so they set up cameras. Then noises start sounding, shadows moves across the screen and things start moving by themselves and then all hell breaks loose in the last ten minutes of the film. This time they’ve added a *spoiler alert* cult to the mix, but this is a poor attempt to revitalise a failing franchise. The kids are good, especially Newton, who plays the naïve, wide-eyed, doe-to-the-slaughter very well, but even the addition of the young blood, not that they’ll be in the sequel since this film ends the same way others did, isn’t enough to save this film. If you loved the first three, you’ll like this one, since it’s the same film. If not, steer clear.

Hope Springs

Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep and Steve Carell Directed by David Frankel risking loosing what they have in the processes. This is a lovely film. The story is sweet and compelling and the acting is wonderful. Jones is wonderfully funny as the grumpy old man, stuck in his ways and unwilling, or fter 31 years of marriage a woman, Kay unable, to change. Streep is her fantastic self (Meryl Streep), feels discontented in as the wife, trying to recapture the magic, but her marriage. Her and her husband, not even knowing where to look for it, or how Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones), is more like to find it. I will admit I got a little annoyed roommates then husband and wife, living in with the musical interludes that came a little the same house, but hardly speaking or too often. When a lead character walks along interacting with each other in any way. In an the beach, or through a museum, with a song attempt to save the marriage Kay buys the in the background it can denote the emotion two of them a week long intensive couples the characters going through, but when the counselling course under the watchful eye of director uses it for the fifth time it seems less Dr Feld (Steve Carell) in the small coastal than subtle, and heavy handed. Other than Maine town of Hope Springs. Once there the that, though, this is the kind of film that wins two try and discover where the magic that actors Oscars, so if you’re a fan of those types they had has gone, and try and recapture it, films than this one is for you.

A


Frankenweenie Starring the voices of Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara and Martin Short Directed by Tim Burton to save his newly resurrected dog, but he needs to save the entire town. I’m always harking on about how I don’t understand why a film is stop-motion ictor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie animation, or this new CGI animation that I Tahan) is an inventive young man that don’t like, when it could just have easily been loves science and making films with his live action. I don’t know if the producers are best friend, his dog Sparky, but Victor’s life trying to cut costs, or don’t want to work with falls apart when Sparky is hit by a car and dies. actors, but it makes no sense to me. This film Then, one day in science class, Victor gets an is a perfect case of a film that wouldn’t have idea. Death may not be the end. After setting been the same if it had been live action. It up an elaborate experiment Victor manages needed to be stop-motion and is all the better to bring his beloved pet back to life. Soon for it. The characters are so over the top that news of the reincarnation is all over his town they couldn’t be real, which is great. They are and all the kids want a piece of it. Their goal: all awesome, from the Spooky Girl with her to outdo each other so they can win the big eyes and her cat, to the science teacher, coveted big trophy that is the prize for the to Victor himself. I loved them all. The story is science fair, but the experiments go horribly sweet, and homages are well done and and wrong and now, not only does Victor has respectful, all in all this is one of the films of the year and one that everyone should watch.

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Stilte

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ntoinette (Angelique Pretorius) is one of the best, most promising up and coming singing stars in South Africa, but when her parents (Deon Coetzee and Dienie Steenkamp) are killed in a home invasion she vows to never talk, let alone sing, ever again. She’s sent to live with her Aunt Dorrette (Chante Hinds) and Uncle Hans (Chris de Clerq). The try to help her as best they can, but there’s little they can do for the girl. It’s only when she meets the local pastor, Peter (Andre Frauenstein) that she starts to open up. He discovers that her not talking is because she doesn’t want to, not because she can’t, and that she’s not dealing with what happened to her parents, instead choosing to ignore it. He helps open her eyes to the truth, and come through the other side in one piece.

Starring Angelique Pretorius, Andre Frauenstein and Chris de Clerq Directed by Darrell Roodt This is very difficult film for me to review. The version of the film we, the critics, saw was unfinished. The audio was very bad, the subtitles were incorrect and it was shoddily put together. I’ve been told that since I saw this film the new version has the wound and subtitles fixed, so I don’t feel right to comment about those, which I otherwise would. What I will say is that I still don’t think this is a good film. Firstly, to show an unfinished version to the critics is not a good idea. You want us to think the best of the film, so show us the best. Secondly, the film is not good, the acting is not great, even by Frauenstein, who I personally love as an actor. The story is weak, not really going anywhere, and the script is preachy, pushing the writer’s beliefs onto the audience in an unwanted way. It is a very disappointing film, even if it was perfect, it still wouldn’t have been good.


Hysteria Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy and Jonathan Pryce Directed by Tanya Wexler “exertion” and is sacked again. Then he pays a visit to his friend, Lord St. John-Smythe t the beginning of the 1800’s the (Rupert Everett), and finds his new electric medical community is torn between feather duster. A contraption that vibrates the new investigations in germs and most beautifully. science and the old guard who still believe in This is fantastic film. It’s funny and bleeding and possession. In this world is Dr clever and well written and well-acted. It has Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy). He is a firm everything you would want from a comedy. I believer in the new order and wants the will say that the subject matter, the creation doctors in London to try new methods to treat of the modern vibrator, is not for the young, their patients, instead of killing them. He has or faint hearted, but it is handled in such a gone from employment to employment being way as to make it truly amusing and touching. sacked from one after the other for his I especially loved Maggie Gyllenhaal as the thoughts, and vocal nature, when he comes to older doctor’s rebellious daughter. She is head the office of Dr Robert Dalrymple (Jonathan strong and wilful, and completely steals every Pryce). He has a very successful practice scene that she is in. She is simply marvellous. treating an ailment known as hysteria, which If you like dry British humour this will tickle is exclusive to woman. The treatment is your funny bone, if you like your comedy applying pressure to the most private area of more in the gutter, watch The Campaign a woman. Granville starts working at the instead. practice, and becomes very popular, but he suffers injuries in his hand from too much

A

Copposites Starring Rob van Vuuren, Casey B. Dolan and Sivuyile “Siv” Ngesi Directed by Oliver Rodger criminals, and trying to keep their respective others in the dark. I really wanted to like this film. I read the synopsis and found myself remembering etective Jan Venter (Rob van Vuuren) the good old body switching films, like Vice is a drunk cop whose ex-wife (Casey B. Versa, or Like Father, Like Son, and found Dolan), who he’s still in love with, is myself hoping that this would be as good. Add having a relationship with a successful black to that the buddy cop slant that they’ve lawyer. Shrky Majola (Sivuyile “Siv” Ngesi) is a added and I was hoping for a winner, down on his luck, trying to reform criminal, unfortunately I was disappointed, as happens whose trying to propose to his pregnant so often with South African cinema nowadays. girlfriend, but being thwarted at every turn. This film just isn’t funny. Every joke in it is He also owes a loan shark (Alfred Ntombela) a racial, and not funny racial, insulting racial. lot of money, so he goes on one last job to The performances are over the top and square things, but it happens to be at a unappealing, even from Dolan, who I’ve seen science lab that Venter, after being suspended in other things and liked. She just had nothing from the force, is guarding. The two have a to work with here. Again I am disappointed run in and after a vial of chemicals is spilt in with a film that could have had promise, but I the lab the two change bodies. Now they still live in hope that we will get somewhere in need to learn to work together to change this country. back, all the while running from the cops, the

D


Cloud Atlas

Starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent Directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski that inspire a revolution, is very clever, but in the same breath very confusing, since it’s so subtle that you really need to think about it loud Atlas is the exploration of how an afterwards to understand it. That being said it individual’s actions can ripple through is an amazing film. The attention to detail is time and affect other’s live in the remarkable and the scripting is inspired. The future. Told in six separate stories, one set in most amazing thing the 1800’s involving a man who is travelling though is way the on a long journey and finds a black stowaway actors were used. Each in his cabin and sets about helping the man, actor has multiple roles one set in the 1920’s revolving around a man in the film, coming to who takes a job working with an old, mean the audience in every composer so he can write his own musical time period in the film. masterpiece, one set in 1970’s where a As such the make-up reporter discovers that a new nuclear reactor effects are Oscar isn’t what appears, and is tied to a conspiracy worthy and absolutely wonderful, along with that involves murder, one set in present day the visuals on the various sets for the that resolves around an aging publisher who, different times. If you like films with a good after taking money from the sale of a deal of thought necessary on the watchers gangsters book and having his life threatened, part, then this is the film for you, if you prefer finds himself imprisoned in an old age home, mindless action, or comedy, then don’t watch and at the mercy of the nurse from hell, one this, it will only confuse and irritate you. set in the distant future where servers at fast food chains are grown, instead of born, leading to massive class distinction for these “Fabricants” and the young clone who is supposed to save the world, and the last set in the very distant future, where a man living a quiet life in a farming village is forced to take a mysterious woman to a dangerous place so she can “Phone home” All the stories meld into each other as the characters from the past effect the characters from the future in ways that neither could imagine, or even know. I still can’t really tell you what this film is about. It is one of those films that leaves you wondering long after the final credits have rolled. The way the filmmakers connect the characters, through books the past characters have written, or songs that they created, or messages beamed to the world

C

OTS


No Romance Here Photos by Jan Potgieter

Cindy Swanepoel as Janet


The UJ Arts Centre’s Con Cowan theatre played host to the last production of the That So Gay Festival this month, Dalliances. We went along to the opening night to see if romance was in the air, or sorely lacking.

From left to right: Jacques Le Roux as Andy and Christopher Dudgeon as Leo


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think it’s fair to say that the That So Gay Festival of plays hosted by UJ Arts and Culture was a huge success. Featuring Snowman, written by Greg MacArthur and directed by Renos Spanoudes, Little Poof! Big Bang!, written by Bruce J. Little and directed by Neels Clasen and The Boy Who Fell Off the Roof, written by Juliet Jenkin and directed by Jade Bowers, each performance was strong and well written and a joy to watch. The festival ended this month with the production of Dalliances, written by Pieter Jacobs and directed by Alby Michaels. The show follows the lives of Janet, played by Cindy Swanepoel, Leo, played by Christopher Dudgeon, and Andy, played by Jacques Le Roux. When Leo meets Ken, played by Zak Hendrikz, at a supermarket and they hook up in the elevator it leads to a series of events that change the lives of all four people. Ken, a serial philanderer, Andy, his unstable boyfriend, Leo, a nightclub owning playboy and Janet, the unstable young woman who is hooked on drugs and runs the nightclub with Leo. Things get worse when Ken and Leo meet again and Leo gives him a business card so he can find him. This leads to Ken hooking up with Janet, Andy finding the business card and making a suicide pact with Janet, then finding Leo and holding a gun on him, and all around insanity. This is only topped when they discover that AIDS has come into the mix. I have to be honest in my opinion of the show, and though others loved this work, I didn’t. I found the entire thing pretentious. I thought it was over written and the dialogue wasn’t true or realistic. The thing that bothered me the most was that none of the characters learnt anything. They did bad things and died from the bad things, but none of them learnt from their actions. Yes, there were repercussions for their actions, but none of the characters gained any knowledge about how they had grown from the experience. They just simply had to face the consequences. I really wanted them to learn something.

The acting is not bad, but for some reason it was stilted and confused. All the actors were under the impression that by


“I have to be honest in my opinion of the show, and though others loved this work, I didn’t.”

In front: Jacques Le Roux as Andy. Behind: Zak Hendrikz as Ken


shouting their lines, or bursting into tears at the appropriate moment, they were acting. There was no subtlety in any of the performances, each of them being more heavy handed and see-through than the next. And why they needed to be naked in the first five minutes of the show eludes me. The writer and director probably wanted to shock the audience, but I wasn’t shocked, I was bored. The gasps from the rest of the audience denoted shock, sure, but mixed with nervous giggles that said to me that the only reason they stayed to watch the rest of the show was because they knew someone on stage, and that was true for about 80% of those watching. The set was great, at first. I was really impressed with the bar, and the bedroom sets. The elevator was also very cool, and the way the moved it, like it was a character in the play was impressive, but after about half an hour it all seems a bit much, and becomes cumbersome to the actors. Less is more and maybe a little less would have been better. I know I’ve ragged on this show pretty heavily, but I have a good reason. Over the last few months I’ve watched several shows at UJ, including Snowman, which opened this festival, and each and every one has impressed me no end, so to go and watch this show, that just doesn’t meet up to the others, is a real disappointment. That being said, I suppose you can’t win them all, so I will put this show behind me and move onto the next. All in all the festival was a huge success, and I look forward to next year’s festival, and the fantastic productions that will be featured.

ots


Dangerously Good Liaisons Photos by Jan Potgieter

This month sees the dancers of UJ Arts and Culture back on stage in the original work Dangerous Liaisons. We went along to the opening night to check out the liaisons, and see how dangerous they really are.

Kiki Moopa in Dangerous Liaisons


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he French novel Le Liaisons Dangereuses has inspired several films that revolve around the plot points. Now the latest dance production to come out of the UJ Arts and Culture department is inspired by this very same book. Choreographed and directed by resident dance director Owen Lonzar the show tells the story of three people. The Man, danced by guest artist Angelo Collins, is a philanderer. The type of man who takes what he wants from woman with no thought to the consequences, that is until he meets the Virgin, danced by Nontsikelelo Mosa Khasu. She is a naïve, completely out of her depth girl who is seduced by the man, but instead of him using and discarding her, he falls for her. This is infuriating for the Girl, danced by the dance captain of the company Kiki Moopa, who is a seductive, manipulative witch of a woman who uses her sexuality to get what she wants. It was her idea for the Man to seduce the Virgin, but when he falls for her the Girl gets incredibly jealous leading to a fall out with dramatic consequences. Add to the mix the jealous Other Man and things turn explosive very quickly. I’ve seen a couple of the dance productions done by the UJ Dance Company, as they called themselves for the last production, though the name doesn’t appear this time, and I’ve got to say, this is by far the best I’ve seen them perform. The entire production was fabulous. It was clever and original and inventive. Lonzar did a great job with the choreography, which made good use for all the dancers, and played to their strengths well. The opening, done behind screens which are used to create silhouettes of the dancers, is very clever and catches your attention from the moment the lights go down. The dancing from everyone involved is good, especially from Collins, the only professional dancer on the stage, and Moopa. The first duet danced by the two of them was especially riveting, and the use of lifts, and the execution of them by the dancers, was breath taking at moments.


The highlight for me though was the dances performed by the entire company together, especially the guys. They performed strong hip hop feel numbers, moving as a solid unit, as one person, and were an absolute joy to watch. The music was also wonderful. An eclectic mixture of rock and new age with heavy beats. Everything from Evanescence to a remix of Adele’s Someone like You, mixed with Rumour Has It. The music was absolutely wonderful. Songs that the audience recognises goes a long way to adding to their enjoyment. There were one or two issues I had with the show, but only in nit-picking. I would have liked the company to be wearing dancing shoes, or going barefoot, rather than wearing the sneakers they were wearing. It would have added a more professional feel to their performances. Also, I would have liked Khasu to have a little more characterization. Her attempt at looking coy made her look like she had no neck, and her crying made the audience laugh, never a good sign. These are little things though, and didn’t distract from the show in anyway. I loved it and look forward to the next performance by this talented company.

ots


“The entire production was fabulous. It was clever and original and inventive. Lonzar did a great job with the choreography, which made good use for all the dancers, and played to their strengths well.�


Snow White and the Huntsman Starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron Directed by Rupert Sanders When an evil queen (Charlize Theron) takes control of a kingdom, killing the king, she locks the princess, Snow White (Kristen Stewart) in the north tower, imprisoning her. But on her 18th birthday, the queen discovers that the girl now has the power to destroy her. She sends for the girl, to kill her, but she escapes into the dark forest. The queen then sends the huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to capture the girl, but when he finds her, and discovers who she is, he decides to fight for her instead of helping the queen. This is great action film with a good dollop of fantasy thrown in. It does run a little long, and there are a few scenes that it probably could have done without, but Theron’s performance is fabulous, and I love the queens back story, something you don’t normally get.

Metal Tornado Starring Lou Diamond Phillips, Nicole DeBoer and Greg Evigan Directed by Gordon Yang When the Helios Corporation tries to solve the worlds energy troubles by gathering ions from solar storms, they unintentionally release a rogue magnetic vortex, a tornado made up of magnetic fields, which goes on a rampage across Pennsylvania, destroying everything in its path. It falls on Michael Edwards (Lou Diamond Phillips), one of the scientists that created the vortex, and his girlfriend, Rebecca Adler (Nicole DeBoer), another of the scientists, to stop the vortex, but with the next attempt being planned for France, and a CEO unwilling to accept responsibility; can they stop it in time? This is completely a B-grade film. The story is silly and full of holes, the effects are about as unbelievable as they could be, and the acting is not good. Even Phillips and DeBoer, who I have always liked as actors, can save this film. That being said, if you rent a film called Metal Tornado, you must know what you’re letting yourself in for.

One for the Money Starring Katherine Heigl, Jason O’Mara and John Leguizamo Directed by Julie Anne Robinson With poverty, and debt collectors, nipping at her heels, Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) takes a job as a bounty hunter. When she finds a bond on her ex-boyfriend, Morelli (Jason O’Mara), a cop that is accused of killing someone, she immediately takes the bond and starts trying to track him down, but as soon as she does she finds herself wrapped up in something a lot bigger than she had anticipated, and it may cost her more than her home. It may cost her life. Based on the wildly successful set of Janet Evanovich books this is a great film. It’s funny and exciting, with loads of action. Heigl is wonderful as the street smart Plum, a girl trying to make it on her won, but failing in a lot of respects. If you liked the book, you’ll love the film. Let’s hope they make more soon.

Knockout Starring Steve Austin, Daniel Magder and Emma Grabinsky Directed by Anne Wheeler When Matthew Millar (Daniel Magder) moves to a new town with his mom and step dad, and starts at a new school, he immediately becomes the target for the school bully. When he tries to stand up to the boy things go wrong, and it just gets worse. He finds an ally in the schools janitor, Dan Barnes (Steve Austin), once an up and coming boxing star. Matthew gets the chance to fight back when he enters a boxing match with the bully, the schools bets boxer, and Dan agrees to train the boy, but he learns far more from Dan than just how to fight. This is Karate Kid in a boxing environment. Matthew’s new girlfriend, played by Emma Grabinsky, even mentions the film to him. It goes the way you’d expect, and it’s fun and inspirational. Austin is good as the mentor, but Magder needs a little more acting training. It’s not bad, but rather watch its inspiration.


Dark Shadows Starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Chloe Moretz Directed by Tim Burton Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) is a dashing aristocrat in 1700’s Maine, but he spurns his lover, Angelique (Eva Green), for another, she takes revenge on him by killing his love and cursing him to become a vampire. She then locks him in a coffin. Two hundred years later he is released from his prison, but 1972 is very different from the world he left. He reconciles with the Collins family and tries to rebuild his home and fortune, only to find that the business rival of the Collins family now is the very same witch that condemned him all those years ago. Based on the 1970’s TV show, this is a very interesting film. Depp is great as the over the top, out of place vampire, as is Green as the witch who loves him to death. The effects are great, especially the porcelain Angelique, but the whole film is very odd, so be warned.

The Romantics Starring Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel and Anna Paquin Directed by Galt Niederhoffer Lila (Anna Paquin) is marrying Tom (Josh Duhamel), so the day before the wedding her best friends from school, including Tom’s ex-girlfriend and Lila’s maid of honour, Laura (Katie Holmes), travels to her home by the sea. That night, at the rehearsal dinner, the alcohol flows freely, but it’s afterwards that the real fireworks begin to fly. As the group of friends reminisce about their pasts, Tom freaks out and swims out to sea. During the search for the missing groom, feelings are expressed and clothes are shed. Then Laura finds Tom, hiding from his life, and the truth behind their relationship comes out. I suppose there is a place for this type of film, but it’s not for me. I found it plodding and boring from the moment it began until the end, which wasn’t an end at all, just a continuation of the pointless storyline that crashed to black. If you like this type of film, as in pointless drama, or are a fan of the book, watch away, otherwise don’t waste the money on the rental.

Phineas and Ferb: The Perry Files Starring the voices of Ashley Tisdale, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Vincent Martella Created by Jeff 'Swampy' Marsh and Dan Povenmire Phineas and Ferb are average everyday kids enjoying their summer vacation, with one big difference. Every day they create wonderful, fantastical contraptions that they share with their friends. From the world’s largest aeroplane, to an amazing backyard fort, to a transport to Mars, they have the most fun of any kids. Add to this a sister trying to bust them to their mom all the time, and a pet platypus, who is secretly a secret agent, and you have the recipe for great fun. I am a fan of the Phineas and Ferb series on Disney and Disney XD. I think it’s smart and funny and great for kids. The five episodes on this disc focus on the exploits of Perry, the platypus, as he battles his arch enemy, Dr Doofenschmirtz. They are quirky and amusing. If they’re fans buy the DVD for them to own.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen Starring Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas Directed by Lasse Hallstrom When Dr Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor) gets an email from Harriet (Emily Blunt), the financial advisor for an Arabian Sheik (Amr Waked) about introducing salmon into the Yemen, he thinks it’s a load of rubbish, but after some pressure from her, and a large amount from the government, desperate for good publicity from that part of the world, Jones agrees to get involved. As soon as he begins though he finds himself being pulled into the Sheiks vision for the place, and his feelings for Harriet, causing him to re-evaluate the project, and himself. This is a lovely film, filled with good humour and a wonderful message. It is a great film for a Friday night, and I recommend it highly.


Boy Wonder Starring Caleb Steinmeyer, Zulay Henao and Bill Sage Directed by Michael Morrissey Sean’s (Caleb Steinmeyer) mother is killed in front of him when he’s just a child. Ten years later he’s still looking for the killer, but at the same time forging himself into a vigilante. As he begins ridding the street of those that he feels the police can’t, a new detective (Zulay Henoa) is transferred to the police precinct where he spends time. She immediately thinks that something isn’t right with the kid, but as Sean gets closer to his mother’s killer they both discover that they are more connected than they realised. We’ve all heard the story of a boy’s parents being killed turning him into a vigilante, think Batman, so it’s not a new idea, but the way it’s done is good. The plot twists happen in good time, and are compelling. The performances are good too, giving the film real appeal. It’s an enjoyable watch.

The Lucky One Starring Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling and Blythe Danner Directed by Scott Hicks A marine, Logan’s (Zac Efron), life is changed when he finds the photo of a girl (Taylor Schilling) in the rubble of Iraq. Moving to pick it up he evades a mortar, so, thinking the photo saved his life, when his tour is over he leaves on a mission to find her. When he does, he just can’t tell her the real reason he’s tracked her down, but manages to land a job at the dog hotel she owns. As the two get to know each other they help each other, her, with the death of her brother, also a marine, and him, with his survivors’ guilt. This is lovely chick flick. Based on the book by Nicolas Sparks, who wrote the Notebook, this is along the lines of that film, very emotional and moving. If you enjoyed the Notebook, or that type of film, this is one for you.

Cinderella Starring the voices of Ilene Woods, James MacDonald and Eleanor Audley Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske When Cinderella’s father dies her stepmother turns her into a servant to wait on her and her two horrible daughters. When news comes of a ball that the king is throwing to find a wife for the prince, everyone in the house is excited, but when her stepmother makes it impossible for Cinderella to attend, her fairy god mother appears and saves the day getting her to the ball in style, but when Cinderella has to leave at midnight, and loses her slipper on the stairs the prince starts a search for her. One her stepmother is desperate to stop. This is a classic animated film. Shot in 1950 it is still one of the most loved Disney films of all time. Yes, the animation is old fashioned, compared to what they’re releasing nowadays, and the songs, with the exception of Bibbity Bobbity Boo, aren’t as catchy as most Disney songs, but it’s a classic and should be owned by all fans of Disney. Buy yours today before it’s off the shelves again.

Die Wonderwerker Starring Dawid Minnaar, Elize Cawood and Anneke Weidemann Directed by Katinka Heyns In early 1900’s South Africa Eugene Marais (Dawid Minnaar) is already a well-respected Afrikaans poet, conservationist and scientist. The film revolves around his time at a small farm of Rietfontein and the way he changes the lives of the people that live there, including Maria (Elize Cawood), the unhappy wife of the farm’s owner who falls for Eugene, and Jane Brayshaw (Anneke Weidemann), the young girl who lives there and also falls for Eugene, but Eugene falls for her too, creating a dangerous dynamic in the house that effects everyone. This is one of the best South African films ever, and it’s a travesty that it wasn’t entered as Foreign Language contender in the Oscars. The acting, cinematography, costumes, directing, are all good. Buy it today, it’s well worth it,


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Off The Screen Magazine November 2012