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All posts by Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch).
  • These were the biggest movies in Southern Africa in 2017

    Hollywood did not have a great 2017. During the US summer blockbuster season, South Africa took a 17% drop in revenue from 2016. The US didn't fare that much better, and pundits began worrying the year would be disastrous for Hollywood. So how did we come out in the end? And which films won over locals' hearts? Grab some popcorn, because this is how South Africans (and Zimbabweans) were spending their money at the cinemas last year. Fast and Furious 8 was the highest-grossing film in South Africa last year The most prolific film of the year was Fast and Furious 8, which...

  • Last week in trailers: Red Sparrow, Black Panther, Teen Titans Go! and more

    Last week felted like it lasted eons. The logical reason is that the first week back at work always feels like that -- but I'm going to blame it on movie studios and their not-so-exciting trailer lineup. That makes way more sense. Red Sparrow Jennifer Lawrence sports a terrible wig and a Russian accent in this first full trailer for Red Sparrow. Directed by Francis Lawrence (who also worked with the actress in the Hunger Games franchise), the film tells of a "master of seductive and manipulative combat" who has too much of a soul to truly become the best. Catch Red Sparrow in SA cinemas 2 March. Black Panther Black...

  • Facebook redirects focus to social interaction, leaving businesses in the dust

    In a post to Facebook Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was changing its focus from providing users with "relevant" content to that which drives social interaction. The announcement is consistent with tests to the News Feed that Facebook ran last year, which moved all Page content (from the likes of businesses, brands, and media) from the News Feed to the Explore tab. But these tests were met with criticism. Take, for instance, the Serbian editor of a non-profit investigative journalism organisation who wrote an op-ed in the New York Times decrying the change as detrimental to Serbia's already shaky democracy. CEO Mark Zuckerberg...

  • TWR Podcast: 2018 tech, crypto prospects and 2017 porn stats

    Welcome back to The Weekly Roundup, where the Burn Media staff talk the latest in tech and startup news! This week, Hadlee Simons hosts Andy Walker and Stephen Timm. We kick off with Ventureburn, and the gang talks South Africans in the tech startup ecosystem you should follow in 2018. And if you think you can avoid cryptocurrency this year, think again; Stephen tells us what to expect from the ongoing boom. Second on the agenda is the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), showcasing some of what 2018 is bringing in the world of tech. From loads of new laptops to US$30 000...

  • Google Doodle honours anti-apartheid activist Alan Paton

    Anti-apartheid activist and author Alan Paton, who wrote the novel Cry, the Beloved Country in 1948, is the subject of Thursday's Google Doodle as the platform celebrates what would have been his 115th birthday. The static Doodle features a painted Paton enjoying the train ride said to have inspired the now-classic novel that helped incite local and global anger at the apartheid regime. "I hoped to influence my fellow whites," Paton said of the novel before passing away in 1988 at the age of 85. "I still believe there is hope." Alan Paton wrote Cry, the Beloved Country to spur his "fellow whites" into action Cry, the...

  • What are world leaders liking on Twitter?

    Twitter likes can be dangerous for prominent figures -- just ask Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whose account found notoriety after liking a porn video last year. But they can also offer some interesting insights into what leaders (or rather their social media managers) find important to acknowledge and endorse. Not only do likes hint at what content world leaders are consuming on social media, but they give direct access to the content they deem noteworthy, and that's a pretty neat feature for civilians. World leaders' Twitter likes give a rare glimpse into the content they consume and deem noteworthy Perhaps Twitter's most notorious user,...

  • South Africa’s box office: Jumanji brings in the big bucks

    Welcome to the first box office roundup of 2018! The year is already off to an interesting start as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle holds on to first place for the second week in a row. More impressive? The sequel has already claimed the title of the chart's highest life-to-date grosser with R32.3-million. To put that into perspective: In two weeks, Jumanji has bested Star Wars: The Last Jedi (on the chart for four), and has already earned more than what Justice League accumulated by its final week on the chart. In just two weeks, Jumanji has bested The Last Jedi and Justice League In fact, if Jumanji were to bow out...

  • Google discriminates against men and underpays women – lawsuits

    Google has been accused, in two separate lawsuits, of discriminating against conservative white men and underpaying female employees. The most recent suit comes from James Damore, the fired author of a sexist memo circulated around the company last year. In the memo, Damore argued that women are biologically ill-equipped for senior engineering positions, and that Google's diversity efforts should be examined in regards to their "costs and benefits". He was fired for advancing harmful gender stereotypes and violating the company's code of conduct. Now, Damore is fighting back. James Damore is suing Google for firing him after releasing a memo deeming women biologically unfit for...

  • The holidays in trailers: sex, drugs, and good ol’ heists

    It's the 8th of January. The roads are filling up. The hangovers are fading. It's time to catch up on all the pop culture you missed. Here are the trailers released between 18 December and 8 January, in order of release. Godspeed. Ocean's 8 This Ocean's sequel stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham-Carter, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, and Rihanna. Do you need any other reason to give it all your money? Catch it in South African cinemas 8 June. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is an Alice-in-Wonderland-esque adaptation of the classic ballet. It stars Morgan Freeman, Keira...

  • Here’s what you missed at the 2018 Golden Globes

    Last night's Golden Globe Awards promised activism, hypocrisy, and no acknowledged female directors, and boy did it deliver. But if you missed the 3am wake-time (and aren't keen to watch this evening when the web has thoroughly spoiled you), here's which moments made the biggest waves. #TimesUp and the black clothing Celebs rocked up to the Globes in all black to show support for women around the world who had been sexually harassed, assaulted, or abused in the workplace. In response to the #MeToo movement, actresses joined forces to form the TIME'S UP legal defense fund, which raises money for women who can't afford to...

  • How to keep up with awards season in South Africa

    There are plenty of reasons to keep up with Hollywood's awards season -- whether you're a film buff, a fashion follower, or just someone who wants to be in the loop on Twitter, awards season offers bountiful gifts for all. But it's tough to do in South Africa: not only do we have to deal with sleep-depriving time differences, but we also have to cope with DStv's frustrating online TV guide. Which is why I took it upon myself to trudge the murky waters of The Guide to find out what I can about 2018's awards season. Keeping up with awards...

  • Here are five things to watch on Netflix South Africa this January

    It's that time of year between raging holidays and looming work, so if you're looking to cram in a bit of relaxation before heading back to the office, here's Netflix South Africa's first month of new content in 2018. 1 January: Lovesick New Years Day is the perfect time to hear the word "sick", no? British sitcom Lovesick rings in 2018 as Dylan, Luke, and Evie trudge their way through the world of love, lust, and STIs. In the show's third season, Evie faces her feelings for Dylan, who's in a serious relationship with Abigail, who is unsure of where she stands in the midst of all the drama....

  • Meet Instagram’s most-followed pets

    Beyoncé may have stolen the show this year with her pregnancy announcement on Instagram, but did she dress up as Eleven and take an awkward prom photo with the Stranger Things cast? Of course she didn't -- but Doug the Pug did, and that's why he's one of Instagram's most-followed pets. And you best believe he's in good (boy) company. So without further ado, here are the most-followed pets on Instagram. Brace yourselves. 10. Loki (1.6 million+ followers) Momma nature rolled out the green carpet for me. A post shared by Loki (@loki_the_wolfdog) on Dec 10, 2017 at 11:56am PST Loki's is "husky/arctic wolf/malamute mix", and he loves the outdoors. Hailing from Denver, Colorado,...

  • Pitch Perfect lived long enough to see itself become the villain [review]

    Pitch Perfect may not actually be perfect. It isn't original, it isn't visually stimulating -- its soundtrack is good at best, annoying at worst. But Pitch Perfect has character. It has a clear story, and it tells it. In 2012, the film quickly became woven into our culture -- from the revival of the Cup Song to that GIF of Fat Amy engulfing the internet. Pitch Perfect is not without its flaws -- but it was sweet enough to win the hearts of audiences and stay there. Until the sequel. Pitch Perfect 2 tried desperately to recapture the energy of its...

  • Netflix’s low-budget Christmas movies, ranked

    There's something intoxicating about "bad" films -- unsubtle films, low-budget ones, empty films that sell nothing bar unexplained concepts like love at first sight or Christmas cheer. Is it because they're mindless entertainment? Because sometimes it's nice to think, even for a second, that life will sort itself out in the end? That happy endings with your one true love are possible? This is a science-based* ranking of the Christmassy rom-coms on Netflix South Africa Whatever the reason, there is no better time to be a fan of b-rate rom-coms than Christmas. It's a season in which low-budget films overflow with magic,...