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TV & Movies

  • John Wick Chapter 2 movie review: gun-fu at its finest

    This second instalment in the John Wick franchise will have a lot of people questioning the protagonist's motives. John Wick Chapter 2 continues just a few days after the first film when Wick is dragged back into the bloody life he left behind. Rather fittingly this took the form of a blood oath, an oath John made with a "friend" to be able to complete the impossible task that set him free from his life as an assassin. The antagonist confronts Wick to cash in this oath and, according to the assassins network known as the "Continental, an oath can never be denied. Compared to...

  • The Matrix reboot is the nail in the coffin for original cinema

    All around the world, there are young filmmakers trying to raise the minimum amount of money to make their films. They receive little to no salary for their work, and often pay their team below minimum wage. They’re working other jobs, doing things they barely like -- all in the name of passionate creation. And when they finally make something they’re proud of? No one wants to distribute. So their films show at a few festivals (that all cost money to submit), and they win back maybe 1/20th of what they spent. And yet, here I am today to announce that...

  • Netflix picks up Orson Welles’ last unfinished film

    Citizen Kane director Orson Welles died before he could complete his swan song The Other Side of the Wind. The film -- produced from 1970 to 1976 -- hit many obstacles during its creation. Welles incurred his first speed bump when the Iranian Shah who helped fund the film was overthrown. After his death in 1985, his daughter pushed for the rights to all his films, unfinished or otherwise. Battles waged for decades, but fans will finally be able to see The Other Side of the Wind -- thanks, in some part, to Netflix. In 2014, producers promised that they were going to screen the film the next...

  • South Africa’s box office: Kong is King

    Kong: Skull Island (review) has made itself known with bangs to the chest and a number one debut in South Africa's box office this weekend. The remake of the Hollywood classic may have received mediocre reviews from critics, but when has that ever stopped South Africans from going to watch the latest blockbuster (spoiler alert: never)? So how did the other films do this weekend (10 to 12 March 2017)? Kong's triumphant debut meant that Logan (review), Hugh Jackman's Wolverine swan song, was pushed down to second place after only one week at the top. Fifty Shades Darker, which dominated the top spot for three weeks before falling...

  • Kong: Skull Island movie review: you won’t go bananas for it

    Kong: Skull Island, the latest movie to feature the giant gorilla, sees a group of scientists driven to discover the untouched island of Primal Eden. Escorted by badass tracker James Conrad (played by Tom Hiddleston) and "anti-war" photographer Mason Weaver (played by Brie Larson), the group wakes an ancient enemy... something fiercer than a big ape. When you first meet Kong you're introduced to the primate's incredible presence with a gorgeous overlooking shot of his kingdom. The movie does well to make you feel the immense difference in size between humans and him. Kong has come a long way from his 1933...

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events scores sorrowful season two

    You've got to admire this franchise's dedication to the aesthetic. Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events has announced its "frightening decision" to renew the show after a successful first season with an announcement filled with hidden clues and a message from Lemony Snicket himself, no less. The teaser "A Miserable Message" reveals a not-so-subtle hidden one: the URL www.vastlyfrighteningdecision.com. The link takes directs viewers to a page that showcases a letter by Lemony Snicket. "It has come to my attention that, despite my repeated warnings, you have viewed the Netflix adaptation of my distressing work, known collectively as A Series of Unfortunate Events," he writes. "To my...

  • Last week in trailers: Wonder women and wheels

    It's South by Southwest time and the world of trailers is booming. It doesn't matter if you like Charlize Theron, action or Charlize Theron action -- there's something in this list for everybody. So sit back, relax, and let's get stoked for the future of cinema. Baby Driver Critics have been raving about Edgar Wright's Baby Driver, a film that premiered this weekend at South by Southwest. "A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to...

  • Game of Thrones’ reduced final season will feature Ed Sheeran

    David Benioff and Dan Weiss have been with HBO's Game of Thrones since the beginning: they were the ones who convinced George R.R. Martin they could do his series justice (they lied), and they were the ones who decided that some story lines in the books were better off being about a girl imprisoned and abused in the only place she ever felt safe (I'm bitter). But now the two are gearing up for the airing of Game of Thrones' final two seasons, and, at a panel at South by Southwest this weekend, the two revealed what they could about the hit show's ending. The creators have...

  • Kalushi movie review: an unapologetic tale of South Africa’s past and present

    If Invictus is a film on one side of the political spectrum, Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu sits firmly on the other. Uncompromising in its politics, the South African-made film about struggle stalwart Solomon Mahlangu (Thabo Rametsi) holds no punches in its retelling of the violence of the apartheid regime. The film follows Mahlangu as he struggles with his political identity in 1970s South Africa. The young man is shown as a loving son, brother and boyfriend who cares deeply for the happiness of the ones he loves. Mahlangu works hard for his money, and avoids conflict at all...

  • #DStv2017 showcase: fewer repeats, but no option for self-selected channels

    There is no doubt that TV is becoming more and more accessible online. Platforms like Netflix have offered users an efficient and affordable way to curate the way they watch series. YouTube TV has launched in the US, allowing users the ability to watch live TV on any device. The game is changing -- and DStv needs to keep up or get left behind. The DStv 2017 Media Showcase is underway, and that means we'll be hearing all about what the service is doing to compete in an industry that seems to be on its way out. What you need to know from...

  • Logan movie review: a tale of a broken man redeemed

    Logan is the story of Wolverine post X-Men when the world no longer needs heroes and mutants are a thing of the past. This Western-style film was written by Scott Frank and James Mangold, with the latter also claiming a director credit. Mangold had previously directed The Wolverine so he's no stranger to the character. He's also directed the critically acclaimed western 3:10 to Yuma which explains why this instalment to the Wolverine franchise feels much like an adage to old Westerns. In fact, it feels pretty close to the Old Man Logan comics, the aesthetic and general tone of the movie...

  • South Africa’s box office: Logan dominates Fifty Shades Darker

    Fifty Shades Darker is finally out of stamina and has been ousted from its three week-long stint on top, proving unable to compete with the sexiness that is Hugh Jackman in Logan: The Wolverine. The X-Men standalone movie is the last time we'll see Jackman roughed up and sporting metal claws, and South Africans have rushed to the cinema to view the character in all his final Australian glory. But how did the other films on the circuit fare this weekend (3 to 5 March 2017)? South Africa's very own Keeping Up with the Kandasamy's debuted in third place and raked in R1,6 million on its opening...

  • Last week in trailers: The Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool’s butt

    If last week was a drought of trailers, this week was Cyclone Dineo. Major franchises have reminded us of their existence in the past seven days whether we wanted to remember or not. So sit back, buckle up and get ready for the onslaught of White Male Protagonists in High Budget Movies. Let's go. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Jimmy Kimmel Live premiered the trailer for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on Tuesday to the joy of fans everywhere. While YouTube is notorious for not allowing movie trailers the benefit of the doubt, the comment section for Guardians has become a home for excited fans gushing over everything from...

  • Big Little Lies S01E02 review: The sexy, violent juggling act

    This week on Big Little Lies saw an unhealthy amount of toxic sexuality and very little plot. But its real issue stems from the way it balances its various characters and storylines. The second episode of the HBO mini-series dove deeper into the relationship between sexuality and violence, and not even the children were immune. Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgard (has anyone said their characters' names even) are still on some whack shit, and Madeline (whose name I do know) has a difficult time enjoying the unpassionate relationship she's in now. Even Madeline's daughter -- who has clearly picked up on this...

  • Hollywood under threat of another writers’ strike

    The final seasons of Lost scarred us all. Never before had a generation felt the build-up of hope and excitement for a new TV show that stretched the boundaries of our imaginations. Where were they? Who was the smoke monster? Will Kate and Sawyer finally confess their love? But then the writers' strike of 2008 hit. In six episodes, the plot dissolved into a mess of unfathomable proportions, never to be revived despite the writers' return for season five. Sadly, Hollywood has not learned from its mistakes, and is putting all your favourite shows at risk for travelling to the land of the Lost. On Saturday 25 February, members...