Love, thrills and chills

The Local Romance Vir Die Voëls Soars Triumphantly!

Vir Die Voëls  was inspired by the true story of Irma Humpel (Simoné Nortmann), a surly tomboy who ends up in a wedding dress, in front of the altar, with the boy who relentlessly teased her as a child. She has always believed that independence was the only form of freedom, until Sampie de Klerk (Francois Jacobs) came along and challenged her convictions on all levels. The film is set in the late 1970s and will make you feel nostalgic. It’s a film about a strong, mature woman and an equally strong man who respects that woman enough to fight for her love. It’s a story about inner conflict and preventing external circumstances and emotional baggage from getting in the way of future happiness. Director Quinton Krog’s visual sensibility is impeccable, drawing you into the story and on a journey you will always remember. If there’s one reason to see this outstanding South African film, it’s for the endearing performances and sizzling chemistry between Nortmann and Jacobs.  This is what romance is all about!  The bonus features include a behind the scenes feature. The film is in Afrikaans with English subtitles.  Read interview with director Quentin Krog.

Thrilling And Captivating 9th Life Of Louis Drax

the-9th-life-of-louis-drax_0If you are looking for a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat, The 9th Life Of Louis Drax is a suspense thriller and psychological mind bender that offers first rate entertainment and plenty food for thought, testing the fragile boundaries of fantasy and reality.  After surviving eight near-death accidents throughout his unlucky life, Louis Drax [Aiden Longworth] plunges off a steep cliff on his ninth birthday. While police investigate the cause of Louis’ near-fatal fall and the whereabouts of his violent father Peter [Aaron Paul], acclaimed neurologist Dr. Allan Pascal [Jamie Dornan] uses unorthodox techniques to try to tap into the boy’s unconscious mind and reveal the truth about the events that led to his condition. But as he’s drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery of Louis’ seeming ability to cheat death, the doctor finds himself falling for Louis’ mother, Natalie [Sarah Gadon]. As new clues emerge in the case, a shocking revelation changes the fates of Louis Drax and everyone around him. Read more about the film

Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween Will Kill you With Laughter

tyler-perrys-boo-a-madea-hallowee-poster1-759x477Blending Tyler Perry’s distinctive humor with elements of horror, this hilarious culture clash between generations –Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween – heralds a fresh turn in the Tyler Perry/Madea franchise: a movie that blends Perry’s distinctive humor with elements of horror. As the film begins, divorced dad Brian (played by Perry) must leave his rebellious teen daughter Tiffany home alone on Halloween.  He enlists his aunt Madea, Uncle Joe (both also played by Perry), and friends Hattie and Aunt Bam to keep an eye on her.  Determined to meet her girlfriends at a nearby frat party, Tiffany tricks her four gullible chaperones with a frighteningly realistic ghost story that convinces them to stay in their rooms so she can sneak out. All hell and hilarity break loose when Madea, Hattie and Aunt Bam crash the party to bring their baby girl home. And when the women call the cops to break up the Halloween rager, the brothers of Beta Psi Alpha dress as ghosts and ghouls to terrorize them. But of course, the boys soon learn that they are messing with the wrong woman. “This is a whole new side of Madea because audiences don’t think of her as someone who gets scared,” says Perry. “Watching Madea running from ghosts had everyone on set cracking up. They chase her right into a church — a place she swore she’d never go unless they had a smoking section!” Read more about the film

IntruderIn the thriller Intruder a young woman’s quiet night in becomes a free-fall into fear in this disturbing home invasion thriller. After she lands her dream job, a young cellist (Louise Linton) settles in for a relaxing few days holed up in her apartment-but as a violent storm rages outside, she can’t shake the feeling that someone is watching her every move. Cleverly toying with the rules of suspense, director Travis Z wrings maximum terror from everyone’s worst nightmare: you may not be alone.  Watch the trailer

John Taylor (MORRIS CHESTNUT) and Anna Walsh (JAZ SINCLAIR); 2am... John lets the last catering staff out... heads up to bed and hears music; John finds Anna playing music in the living room in Screen Gems' WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS.

John Taylor (Morris Chestnut) and Anna Walsh (Jaz Sinclair); 2am… John lets the last catering staff out… heads up to bed and hears music; John finds Anna playing music in the living room…

In When The Bough Breaks John and Laura Taylor (Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall) are a young, professional couple who desperately want a baby. After exhausting all other options, they finally hire Anna (Jaz Sinclair), the perfect woman to be their surrogate – but as she gets further along in her pregnancy, so too does her psychotic and dangerous fixation on the husband. The couple becomes caught up in Anna’s deadly game and must fight to regain control of their future before it’s too late. The bonus features include audio commentary with director John Cassar, writer Jack Olsen and actress Jaz Sinclair, as well as 9 deleted and extended scenes.  Watch the trailer

 

Romance, Drama, Comedy and Horror.

Love rules In The Light Between The Oceans

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The Light Between The Oceans is a heartfelt film about love, truth and the secrets people keep in relationships, and what happens when those secrets are exposed to the light of day. The best-selling novel that swept readers away with its transporting story of fate, love, moral dilemmas and the lengths one couple will go to see their hard-fought dreams realized, comes to the screen as a lush, classically star-crossed romance starring written for the screen and directed by Derek Cianfrance. As mesmerizingly beautiful as it is heartbreaking, M.L. Stedman’s novel “The Light Between Oceans” was a literary sensation upon its publication in 2012. Set on the remote edge of Western Australia in the years following the devastation of the Great War, the book lured readers into a seductively old-fashioned tale of love and impossible choices beneath which lay roiling, contemporary questions of right and wrong, the effects of war and peace, the wonders of connection and the dangers of blind scruples. Michael Fassbender is sensational as Tom Sherbourne, a shell-shocked veteran, who devotes himself to his new job as lighthouse keeper on the otherwise uninhabited Janus Rock, surrounded by nothing but the vast sea, seeking solace in the solitude. He intends to remain alone, but unexpectedly meets Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander)a vivacious young woman from the town of Partageuse across the harbor, herself grieving two brothers lost in the war. Despite the obstacles, their love flourishes in the stark isolation and they are soon married. Passionate for each other and hoping to be part of creating a new life together, they try to start a family, but fate intercedes. Then, one night, a mysterious rowboat holding a dead man and an infant girl washes ashore, setting off a chain of decisions—some impetuous, others wrenching— that unravel with shattering consequences. “’The Light Between Oceans’ is a film about love, truth and the secrets people keep in relationships, and what happens when those secrets are exposed to the light of day,” says Cianfrance. “It is a moral drama, but at the core, it is a timeless love story.”  Go behind the scenes of the film

Hilarious Nine Lives Is A Film For The Whole Family

NineWhen a work-obsessed real-estate mogul suffers a magical accident that leaves him trapped inside the body of his 11-year-old daughter’s cat, he realizes he has to put his family first if he ever hopes to regain his human form in Nine Lives. He has built an empire at the expense of any sort of true human connection and is surrounded by good people who love him in spite of his skyscraper-sized flaws. But it isn’t until he finds himself with four paws and a tail that Tom realizes how lucky he’s been.  When the Nine Lives script crossed Kevin Spacey’s desk, he decided the time to get silly again was, well, right meow. “Barry Sonnenfeld has done some of the great films of all time, no doubt about it,” says the actor. “So when he came onto this project, I was enormously excited.” According to Sonnenfeld, Spacey’s unique qualities made him ideal for the duality of the role — first playing an insensitive human, then voicing the same person transplanted into a cat’s body. “Kevin is perfect for the role because he’s smart, funny, sarcastic, and can portray very warm or very cold,” says the director. “Kevin’s voice is also perfect for this because it’s recognizable, it’s droll, it can be sardonic — it’s all the things you want for the voiceover.” Go behind the scenes of the film

The Power Of Miracles Shines In Sully

Sully‘On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard.  However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career. Now Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood brings the story to the big screen,  from a screenplay by Todd Komarnicki, based on the book Highest Duty by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow, with Tom Hanks as Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. Moments after takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia Airport, a flock of birds strikes US Airways flight 1549, taking out both engines at only 2800 feet and causing an immediate, forced water landing.  It is, we will learn, unprecedented.  “No one has ever trained for an incident like that,” notes Tom Hanks, speaking as the titular Captain Chesley Sullenberger in director/producer Clint Eastwood’s “Sully.” Recounting the real events that took place on that cold day in January 2009, the film also explores their very real aftermath. Looking back on his experience from just seven-and-a-half years ago, able to now put things into perspective, he says, “Part of the emotional context of this story is that it happened in a time in our history when there was worldwide concern on several fronts: it was post-9/11, we had troops in the Middle East, there was the ’08 financial meltdown…people were worried.  That this happened in Manhattan and that we survived it, well, I think it gave people hope, even ones who were not directly connected with the flight.” The bonus features include a doccie on the man behind the miracle; the difference between disaster and deliverance rested on the character of the man with his hands on the controls.  Go behind the scenes of the film

Blair Witch Lives

Blair_Witch_reviewIt’s been 20 years since James’s sister and her two friends vanished into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland while researching the legend of the Blair Witch, leaving a trail of theories and suspicions in their wake. Now James (James Allen McCune of TV’s“Shameless”) and his friends Peter (Wreck-It Ralph’s Brandon Scott), Ashley (Corbin Reid of TV’s “Disney Star Darlings”) and film student Lisa (Callie Hernandez of upcoming La La Land and Ridley Scott’s upcoming Alien: Covenant) venture into the same woods in Blair Witch, each with a camera to uncover the mysteries surrounding their disappearance. The Blair Witch Project, which premiered in 1999 to become a global phenomenon, created lasting lore around our timeless fear of being alone in the woods. The nearly no-budget film grossed millions and set the gold standard for found footage movies, spawning a new generation of horror fans. “When it first came out, I was one of a billion high school kids taking a camcorder into the woods and doing a Blair Witch spoof with my friends,” says Wingard. “The film had a total dedication toward authenticity. No one has so completely committed to that type of realism before or since. Simon and I re-watched the film half a dozen times during pre-production to consider every option when creating our story, and were we were astounded by how well it held up — not just as a found footage movie but also as a horror movie.” Go behind the scenes of the film

Add these great titles to your collection!

There are some great new releases this month: Genius is a masterful drama about the complex friendship and transformative professional relationship between the world-renowned book editor Maxwell Perkins and the larger-than-life literary giant Thomas Wolfe; The Meddler is a charming coming-of-age story with Susan Sarandon in top form as a woman who discovers that it is never too late to find true love; Woody Allen conjures up a 1930s world that has passed to tell a deeply romantic tale of dreams that never die in Café Society; Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story with The Magnificent Seven;From director Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) comes War Dogs, a comedic drama based on true events, following two friends in their early 20s living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows smaller businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts; Nobody’s Died Laughing is a documentary on Pieter-Dirk Uys, one of South Africas most prolific writers, satirists and activists; Life On The Line is a riveting action thriller and family drama centered on Beau (John Travolta), his beloved niece Bailey (Kate Bosworth) and the hardworking men who risk their lives to work “on the line” and keep the electric grid running; and Sausage Party, the world’s first R-rated CG animated comedy, is definitely for adults only.

Genius – an intelligent masterwork for discerning viewers

From Academy Award-nominated screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator, Hugo, Skyfall) and acclaimed, Tony Award-winning director Michael Grandage (former artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse) in his feature film debut, comes the masterful drama about the complex friendship and transformative professional relationship between the world-renowned book editor Maxwell Perkins (who discovered F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway) and the larger-than-life literary giant Thomas Wolfe.  If there’s one reason to see this film, besides Logan’s intelligent screenplay and brilliant interpretation by director Grandage, it’s for the commanding performances delivered by Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) as Max Perkins, alongside Jude Law (Anna Karenina, The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Thomas Wolfe. Finding fame and critical success at a young age, Wolfe was a blazing talent with a larger-than-life personality to match. Perkins was one of the most respected and well-known literary editors of all time, discovering such iconic novelists as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Wolfe and Perkins develop a tender, complex friendship. The film is based on the biography “Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg, it also stars Guy Pearce (The Rover, Lawless) as F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Dominic West (Testament of Youth, Pride), as Ernest Hemingway. Watch The Trailer  / Go behind the scenes of Genius

Café Society – Woody Allen at his best

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Woody Allen fans will indulge in this superb journey into the allure of fame and fortune in Hollywood during the roaring 30s. Allen’s vibrant and panoramic tale of New York and Hollywood features a kaleidoscopic cast of characters that range from movie stars to millionaires, playboys to professors, and working girls to wise guys. This bittersweet romance follows Bronx-born Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) to Hollywood, where he falls in love, and back to New York, where he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life. Centering on events in the lives of Bobby’s colorful Bronx family, the film is a glittering valentine to the movie stars, socialites, playboys, debutantes, politicians, and gangsters who epitomized the excitement and glamour of the age.

Poignant, and often hilarious, Café Society, a film with a novel’s sweep, takes us on a journey from pastel-clad dealmakers in plush Hollywood mansions, to the quarrels and tribulations of a humble Bronx family, to the rough-and-tumble violence of New York gangsters, to the sparkling surfaces and secret scandals of Manhattan high life. With Café Society, Woody Allen conjures up a 1930s world that has passed to tell a deeply romantic tale of dreams that never die.  Watch the trailer / Go behind the scenes of Café Society

Meddler

Susan Sarandon and J.K.. Simmons in The Meddler

The Meddler is a charming coming-of-age story with Susan Sarandon in top form as a woman who discovers that it is never too late to find true love. Armed with a new iPhone, an apartment near the Grove, and a comfortable bank account left to her by her beloved late husband, Marnie Minervini (Susan Sarandon) has happily relocated from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be near her daughter Lori, a successful (but still single) screenwriter, and smother her with motherly love. But when the dozens of texts, unexpected visits, and conversations dominated by unsolicited advice force Lori to draw strict personal boundaries, Marnie finds ways to channel her eternal optimism and forceful generosity to change the lives of others – as well as her own – and find a new purpose in life. Watch the trailer  / Read an interview with writer-director Lorene Scafaria

magnificent-7Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story with The Magnificent Seven, from a screenplay by Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk. With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), the desperate townspeople, led by Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns – Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier).  As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money. “When MGM asked me about making a Western, I got excited about the possibility of it, because I grew up with Westerns,” says Antoine Fuqua, who re-teams with Denzel Washington in the story of seven outlaws, gunslingers, gamblers and bounty hunters who band together to save a town under the thumb of corruption in The Magnificent Seven.  “So I asked myself, ‘Why make a Western now?  Why would it be important?’ And the answer was, the idea of tyranny, happening in our world today – that’s what made it timely.  You’d need a special group of people to come together to fight tyranny.” Watch the trailer/  Go behind the scenes of The Magnificent Seven

Pieter-Dirk Uys

Nobody’s Died Laughing is a documentary on Pieter-Dirk Uys, one of South Africas most prolific writers, satirists and activists. Having written and performed over 20 plays and over 30 revues and one-man shows throughout the world, and been awarded South Africas prestigious Truth and Reconciliation Award in 2001, the film covers his many achievements including his travels around South Africa, visiting over 1.5 million school children, as well as prisons and reformatories, with a free AIDS-awareness entertainment programme. Watch the trailer

john-travolta-life-on-the-lineLife On The Line is a riveting action thriller and family drama centered on Beau (John Travolta), his beloved niece Bailey (Kate Bosworth) and the hardworking men who risk their lives to work “on the line” and keep the electric grid running. These unsung heroes brave raging storms and dangerously dizzying heights in their dedication to keeping the populace safe. Toiling hundreds of feet in the air on wires carrying as much as 500,000 volts of electricity, tragedy is often inches away. Haunted by the electrocution death of his brother, Beau is devoted to Bailey and determined to see her go off to college and away from the life of linemen. Bailey has other plans, which include the strapping second-generation lineman Duncan (Devon Sawa), whom Beau despises. A deadly tempest is brewing and headed straight to their Texas town. Beau, Duncan and a legion of linemen are thrust into the eye of the storm and must face down impending disaster to keep their community connected. This compelling action drama also stars Sharon Stone, Ryan Robbins, Julie Benz and Gil Bellows. Watch the trailer

War Dogs 2From director Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) comes War Dogs, a comedic drama based on true events, following two friends in their early 20s living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows smaller businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. The screenplay is by Stephen Chin and Todd Phillips & Jason Smilovic, based on the Rolling Stone article titled “Arms and the Dudes,” by Guy Lawson. War Dogs grew out of the story of two stoner kids, barely into their 20s, who became multi-millionaires as the most improbable of international arms dealers. But just as they reached what should have been the pinnacle of success, it all came crashing down in spectacular fashion. Watch the trailer / Go behind the scenes

Sausage partySausage Party, the world’s first R-rated CG animated comedy, is definitely for adults only. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have been the masterminds behind some of the world’s most outrageous, inventive, and hilarious comedies – from Superbad to Pineapple Express to This Is the End to The Interview.  Now, they go into the world of animation for Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures’ Sausage Party, the world’s first R-rated CG animated comedy, about a group of supermarket products on a quest to discover the truth about their existence and what really happens when they become chosen to leave the grocery store.“The concept of the movie was ‘what if sausages could live out their dreams of getting in buns?’” says executive producer Kyle Hunter, who co-wrote the screenplay with Ariel Shaffir, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. “It’s about a sausage, Frank, that’s in love with a bun named Brenda,” says Shaffir.  “They believe they’re going to get ‘chosen’ to leave the store together, and getting out of the store is their version of what they believe to be heaven.  But then Frank overhears a product who has actually been out of the store, who says it’s not what everyone thinks – it’s actually terrible, more akin to going to hell.  They fall out of the shopping cart instead of getting chosen, and Frank goes on a journey to find out the truth about what actually happens.”  “It’s a very bizarre take on a hero’s journey….an outrageous, anything-goes animated movie about the raunchy life of our food.” Watch the trailer / Go behind the scenes

Fantastic Titles For Everyone!

Magical and Miraculous Captain Fantastic

Captain Fantastic 2Here’s one film you cannot miss! From the wacky minds-cape of writer-director Matt Ross springs a story that will shake your core, and challenge your perceptions about the state of the human condition. Viggo Mortensen is outstanding as the fiercely independent patriarch living in the woodlands of the Pacific Northwest, raising his family as far as he can from the influence of modern consumerist culture. Filling the days of his six children with rigorous Matt Rosseducation, demanding physical training and intense instruction for surviving in the wild, Ben raises a tribe of “philosopher kings” with the cardiovascular and muscular endurance of elite athletes and a grasp of classic texts far beyond their years. For Matt Ross, the writer and director of Captain Fantastic, the story is an exploration of the choices that parents make for their children. “I’m fascinated by all the issues that revolve around parenting,” Ross says. “Ben has given up the outside world and whatever personal ambitions it held for him to devote his life to being the best father he thinks he can be. The question becomes: is he the best father in the world or the worst? Is what he’s doing insane or insanely great?” Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

Heartbreaking and Soulful Free State of Jones

Free State of Jones 1Based on Oscar-nominated writer/director Gary Ross’ original screenplay, the epic action-drama Free State of Jones tells the extraordinary story of a little known episode in American history during which Newt Knight, a fearless Mississippi farmer, led an unlikely band of poor white farmers and runaway slaves in an historic armed rebellion against the Confederacy during the height of the Civil War. Matthew McConaughey delivers an Oscar-worthy performance as a man torn between what he believes and who he loves, with other superb performances from Keri Russell, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the two women who shape his life.  Juxtaposing and complementing the narrative in intermittent flash-forwards is the 1948 trial of The State of Mississippi versus Davis Knight, the key defendant in a ground breaking miscegenation trial, and the great-grandson of Newt Knight and his Free State of Jones 2common law wife and former slave, Rachel.Standing side by side in opposition to a ‘rich man’s war, and poor man’s fight,’ Knight’s brave followers took up arms against the Confederacy and established an indomitable rebel regiment deep in rural Mississippi’s impenetrable swamps, giving them a tactical advantage despite being vastly outgunned and outnumbered. A visionary leader, Knight’s passionate opposition to exploitation and prejudice and his establishment of the region’s first mixed-race community, ultimately distinguished him as a celebrated and alternately vilified presence long after the war.  Read more about the film  / Watch the trailer

me-before-youMe Before You – A Faity-Tale Romance You Will Never Forget

Adapted from the bestselling novel by Jo Jo Moyes, Me Before You tells the story of the unexpected relationship that blossoms between a contented small town Englishwoman and the wealthy, paralyzed Londoner who hires her as his caretaker. Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin will steal your heart and then shatter it as two star-crossed lovers whose love is greater than the circumstances that confront them. Theater director Thea Sharrock makes her feature directorial debut. Read more about the film / Watch the trailerThea Sharrock talks about Me Before You, marking her feature film debut

Nice Guys – A Soulful Comedy With Bite

nice-guys-movie-crowe-gosling-angourie-riceIn 1970s Los Angeles a down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March and hired enforcer Jackson Healy must work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power. If there’s one reason to watch this film, it’s for the electric chemistry between Russell Crowe and Ryan Gossling, and excellent comedy timing reminiscent Laurel and Hardy. Writer/director Shane Black relates, “L.A. in the ‘70s was this moldering town where smog covered the city like a crust and Hollywood Boulevard had turned into this cesspool of pornography. And in this scenario, you get these two numbnuts who kind of stumble into shoes they can never fill when they uncover this huge conspiracy. So you’ve got your corruption, you’ve got your decadence, and then the question became how unsettlingly inappropriate could we make these two guys for the task for which they set themselves up.” Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

Action-packed Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek 2This highly anticipated next installment in the globally popular Star Trek franchise, created by Gene Roddenberry and reintroduced by J.J. Abrams in 2009, returns with director Justin Lin (“The Fast and the Furious” franchise) at the helm of this epic voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise and her intrepid crew, from screenplay by newcomer Doug Jung (Dark Blue, Banshee) and returning cast member turned co-writer, Simon Pegg. In “Beyond,” the Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the

Left to right: Chris Pine plays Kirk, Sofia Boutella plays Jaylah and Anton Yelchin plays Chekov in Star Trek Beyond from Paramount Pictures, Skydance, Bad Robot, Sneaky Shark and Perfect Storm Entertainment

Federation stands for to the test. Adm. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) has defeated his archenemy but at great cost. His friend Spock has apparently been killed, the USS Enterprise is being scrapped, and starship physician Dr. Leonard ”Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelley) has taken ill. McCoy’s odd behavior is evidence he’s harboring Spock’s katra, or animating spirit, and Kirk seeks to take the Enterprise back to the Genesis Planet and find his friend. Rebuffed, Kirk takes dramatic action that results in war with deadly Klingon. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

Heidi-1008x515Heartwarming Heidi in Afrikaans

Heidi spent the happiest days of her childhood with her reclusive grandfather in a simple wooden hut in the Swiss mountains. Together with her friend, Geissepeter, she tends to goats and enjoys the freedom – but the carefree time ends abruptly, as Heidi is taken by her Aunt Dete to Frankfurt. Director Alain Gsponer talks about bringing Heidi to the big screenFrom Page to Screen: Bringing Heidi to the Big ScreenScreenwriter Petra Volpe talks about adapting Heidi for the big screenJohanna Spyri: a writer ahead of her time /  Watch the trailer

Spaced Out Action, Shark Attack, and Human Drama

Trip To Mars

approaching-the-unknown-2016In Approaching the Unknown Mark Strong plays Captain William D. Stanaforth, who’s making a solo flight to Mars to begin colonization there. He knows he won’t be coming back to Earth, and he’s not too concerned about this. “Six billion people on Earth cheering me on are also wondering why I do this,” he muses in voiceover. Well, he does it because it’s what he does. Like all astronauts, he’s also an advanced scientist, one who’s figured out a way to make drinking water out of dirt, and whose spaceship is carrying a reactor that’s essential not just to his trip but to the job he’s going to do once he lands on the red planet. Following his craft is another spaceship, this one piloted by Sanaa Latham’s Capt. Maddox. She is, in the sparse video-screen views of her from Stanaforth’s craft, considerably less chill than Strong’s character, and her temperament and the tech problems she faces provide the movie with some tense conflict early on. When not trouble-shooting for Maddox from afar, Stanaforth interacts with earthbound colleague and apparent best friend Louis Skinner, an ever-earnest Mission Control archetype played by Luke Wilson. “Approaching the Unknown” is the feature debut of writer/director Mark Elijah Rosenberg. Watch The Trailer

Letters To Mother Theresa

theresaOn Sept. 10, 1946, Mother Teresa (Juliet Stevenson) receives a message from God that tells her to help the poor, the sick and the downtrodden. Her new purpose initially causes conflict with the Roman Catholic Church and the government of India. After her death, a Vatican priest begins to recount her life’s work, her political oppression and her unbreakable spirit. As her story unfolds through 40 years of personal letters, history remembers her as one of the world’s greatest humanitarians.  Watch the trailer

Never Back Down

Picking up after the events of Never Back Down 2, former MMA champion Case Walker is on the comeback trail to become champion once again. Watch the trailer

The Shallows

shallowsIn the taut thriller The Shallows, when Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing on a secluded beach, she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy’s ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude. The Bonuss Features include deleted scenes, How To Build A Shark, Shooting In The Shallows, Find the Perfect Baech: Lord Howe Island, and When Sharks Attack. Watch The Trailer

Bourne Returns for More Action

jason-bourne-3Mattt Damon returns to his most iconic role in Jason Bourne . In the world of action choreography, chase sequences and intricate switchbacks, the Bourne films—with their innovative story and structure—have set a new standard for an entire genre.  Almost two decades ago, a brilliant young soldier volunteered for an experimental special-ops program after he was told that terrorists killed his father.  He was promised he could honor his family and country by evolving an already impressive intellect, deft agility and adaptable skillset into the unimaginable. It was all a lie. Subjected to brutal training he doesn’t remember by people he couldn’t then identify, the elite-trained assassin who came to be called Jason Bourne was molded into a $100 million human weapon who, according to his designers, malfunctioned. Jason-Bourne-2016-e1461252181808When Bourne tracked his makers to learn their end game, they tried to erase him and took away the only woman he ever loved.  Once he found revenge, learned his real identity and what he believed was the goal of his creators’ campaign, Bourne felt a semblance of peace and vanished…for what he hoped was forever. Once a new program is activated—one developed by a global power structure more intricate and duplicitous than in the period of superpowers from which Bourne was created—he is flushed out of hiding by an instantly malleable network that is more dangerous than any individual government.  The singular goal of this power nexus is to manipulate terror, technology and insurgency to fit its end game. While his pursuers believe Bourne will come in for reconditioning if they deliver him what he most desires, the most elite weapon ever designed knows what his trackers cannot grasp: even broken soldiers defend the innocent from those with unchecked power. It is directed by Paul Greengrass.  The bonus features include ‘Bringing Back Matt Damon As Bourne’, Bare Knuckle Boxing, Close Quarters Combat, Underground Rumble, The Athens Escape, Convention Chaos and Shutting Down The Las Vegas Strip. Watch the trailer / Read more about the film

The Allure Of Food And New Love!

Dis koue kos skatDis Koue Kos, Skat is a charming local film that features Anna-Mart van der Merwe in top form as a renowned food writer  Clara, who discovers that her husband is cheating on her with one of her best friends and moves to Cape Town with her two kids where she rediscovers her true nature, and gloriously uncovers the allure of food in romance! Clara undergoes this journey not only of healing, but of rediscovering her passions in life, all the while plotting her revenge on her ex husband and his new, much younger wife. Deon Lotz is equally brilliant as the cheating husband with Frank Opperman ideally cast as a restaurant owner and chef who has a peculiar food fetish. Elzabe Zietsman is also fantastic as the best friend and matchmaker who adds to the humour in the story of love lost, and ultimately found in the strangest of places.  Make sure to add this delightful story to your collection! The Bonus features include a fun gag reel as well as deleted scenes.

Read and interview with director Ettienne Fourie

Win a Dis Koue Kos, Skat DVD!

If you want to win a Dis Koue Kos, Skat DVD, tell us who wrote the novel the film is based on and send your answer and contact details with Koue Kos in the subject line to us before December 31, 2016.

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Local Is Indeed Very ‘Lekker’

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Amalia Uys and Stiaan Smith in Sy Klink Soos Lente

Sy Klink Soos Lente is a refreshing revival of the Afrikaans Romantic Comedy genre, with Corné van Rooyen’s sensitive directing style and Stiaan Smith’s fresh script create a wonderful background for Amalia Uys and Smith’s gripping performances and pulling out all the emotional stops.  It’s a delightful tale of a mechanic (Smith) who falls in love with a beautiful and brainy redhead (Uys) who is the daughter of his boss at a car dealership in Johannesburg. The chemistry between Smith and Uys is pure magic and when the sparks begin to fly, the mechanic spins a white lie and tells her he’s the lead singer in a band. Linda immediately likes the charming muso, they fall for each other, and Ben has to start a band to conceal his lie and win over the girl of his dreams. “  It’s not just a fun comedy of errors and mistaken identities, but features memorable music by Bouwer Bosch. The bonus features features Bosch fun music video ‘Sy Klink Soos Lente’, a lively behind the scenes feature, as well as two hilarious mockumentaries on the characters in the film.  Well worth it!   Read an interview with Stiaan Smith

NOEM MY SKOLLIE

Dann Jaques Mouton in Noem My Skollie

If you are looking for a gritty and hardcore prison drama, Noem My Skollie features Dann Jaques Mouton (last seen in Abraham) delivering a touching performance as a man who grows up on the impoverished ganglands of Cape Flats in the 1960s. It tells the tragic story of four teenagers, AB (Austin Rose) and his three best friends Gimba (Ethan Patton), Gif (Joshua Vraagom) and Shorty (Valentino de Klerk), and their vicious journey into adulthood. It’s the autobiographical story of screenwriter John W. Fredericks who takes us into the hardship of prison life, but also the story of a man who find life in a hellish existence.   Sensitive viewers are warned that the film carries an age restriction of 18 due to the graphic violence, rape scenes and foul language. The bonus features include audio commentary on some of the deleted scenes. Read more about the film

First-rate Home Entertainment for the whole family

The South African film My Father’s War is undoubtedly one of the best local films of the year.

edwinvdwalt-1_0This bilingual (Afrikaans/English) drama focuses on the heartbreaking broken relationship between a father and his rebellious teenage son with outstanding performances by Edwin van der Walt as a conflicted young man who is constantly at was with his father, a veteran of the Angola border war, with an equally powerhouse performance by Stian Bam as a man torn between a past that shattered his life, and a future that holds little promise. Erica Wessels is also superb  as the wife who is caught in the middle of their epic battle. The men don’t see eye to eye on anything, and there seems to be no hope for reconciliation between them.The films takes a refreshing turn when young Dap has a series of dreams in which he is a combat soldier in the Border War in the 1980s, and he meets his father at the same age.The haunting dreams turn young Dap’s perception – and life – completely upside down. There’s no going back. But what is the way forward? Writer-director Craig Gardner brings his potent script to life with great vision and understanding. Features: You can view the film in its original version, with English subtitles, or you can view it in English.  There is also an interesting behind the scenes featurette. Watch the trailerRead an interview with writer-director Graig Gardner

Hardcore Keeping Room

The keeping roomAmid the rising suspense of three Southern women defending their besieged home, director Daniel Barber finds both grit and a deeply moving grace in the actions the women must take to stay alive in the face of desolate circumstances in The Keeping Room. Barber’s radically reimagined American Western is set towards the end of the Civil War, Southerner Augusta (Brit Marling, Arbitrage, The East) encounters two renegade, drunken soldiers (Sam Worthington, Avatar and Kyle Soller, BBC’s “Poldark”) who are on a mission  of  pillage  and violence. After escaping an attempted assault, Augusta races back to the isolated farmhouse that she shares with her sister Louise (Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit, Pitch Perfect 2) and their female slave Mad (newcomer Muna Otaru.) When the pair of soldiers track Augusta down intent on exacting revenge, the trio of women are forced to take up arms to fend off their assailants, finding ways to resourcefully defend their home––and themselves––as the escalating attacks become more unpredictable and relentless. This tense drama rife with jeopardy, is at its core an uncommon depiction of women boldly countering the impact of war on their lives; Augusta, Louise and Mad turn the very source of their vulnerability into a fierce drive to unite and survive. Watch the trailer.

A Classic Newsroom Drama At Its Best

truth-cate-blanchettTruth is a classic newsroom drama, a suspenseful behind-the-scenes procedural, a multi-character study—and also something more: In the words of former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, “This film is about what has happened to the reporting of news, how and why it’s happened, and why you should care.” For Writer-Director James Vanderbilt, a fascination with journalism initially drew him to the project. “Movie making and journalism are different ways of telling a story. I grew up with All the President’s Men and wrote and co-produced Zodiac, about the San Francisco Chronicle, and I’ve always been intrigued with what goes on in newsrooms. When a big story breaks on 60 Minutes, how does that happen? How does the sausage get made?” The film tells the story of The Killian Documents controversy (a.k.a. “Rathergate”) in the days leading up to the 2004 presidential election. When veteran newscaster Dan Rather and CBS News head Mary Mapes choose to air a segment on 60 Minutes exposing how President Bush avoided being drafted to Vietnam through his father’s political advantages, the resulting fallout ultimately costs them their jobs and reputations.  If there’s one reason to see this film, it’s Cate Blanchett’s commanding performance. Watch the trailer

Conflict Between Jesus And The Devil

last-days-in-desertEwan McGregor is Jesus – and the Devil – in an imagined chapter from his forty days of fasting and praying in the desert. On his way out of the wilderness, Jesus struggles with the Devil over the fate of a family in crisis, setting for himself a dramatic test. The Last Days in the Desert follows Jesus on his way out of the wilderness, where he struggles with the Devil over the fate of an ordinary family in crisis, setting for himself a dramatic test with distinctly human conflicts. The film is written and directed by Rodrigo García with spectacular cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki, who perfectly captures torment and drama.  Watch the trailer

The Terrifying Angst Of Cyber-Stalking

ratterIn this disturbing found footage drama, thriller and horror film written and directed by Branden Kramer, Emma (Ashley Benson) a graduate student living alone in New York City, is watched by a stalker on all of her technological devices. Eventually, the video feeds are not enough and he goes from a virtual to a physical stalker.The film is based on a short film also written and co-directed by Kramer titled Webcam and follows in the tradition of recent shockers like Unfriended.  Watch the trailer.

Thrilling action

maraudersMarauders is an action crime-thriller film directed by Steven C. Miller and written by Michael Cody and Chris Sivertson. FBI agents (Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista) uncover a conspiracy while trying to nail a group of deadly bank robbers. This tale about a team of FBI agents — who are trying to catch a gang of ruthless bank robbers whose motivation appears to go well beyond money — throws in lengthy debates about the nature of evil, a subplot involving the war in Afghanistan and scenes of emotional upheaval to little dramatic effect. Watch the trailer.

blunt-force-traumaIn the action-packed Blunt Force Trauma John (Ryan Kwanten), a modern duelist, seeks a match with the reigning champion (Mickey Rourke) while Colt (Freida Pinto) seeks revenge for her dead brother. Watch the trailer

 

 

Fun For Kiddies

swan_vi_coverIn The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today! young Princess Alise must spend her time with Queen Uberta when her parents is away for the summer. Fun-loving Princess Alise gets training to be the perfect, proper royal…But what she really wants is to become a swashbuckling pirate! Princess Alise sets sail with Lord Rogers, Jean-Bob the frog and Speed the turtle on a bold, high seas journey filled with amazing adventure, danger and discovery. After a shipwreck leaves the brave crew stranded on a wild, mysterious island, they meet Lucas, a young boy who has been living in seclusion. Now the faithful friends must work together to escape the island and the ferociously hungry creatures that dwell there. Watch the trailer

 

Terrifying Supernatural chills with The Conjuring 2 *****

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Be afraid, be very afraid for this supernatural thriller will have you sleeping with the lights on! James Wan is a master of paranoia, of playing on such universal fears as being in the dark, being alone and, in the case of The Conjuring 2, being overtaken by the unknown. It follows the record-breaking success of The Conjuring, seeking to terrify moviegoers once again with his depiction of another highly publicized case involving the real-life horrors experienced by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren with The Conjuring 2, from a screenplay by Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes (The Conjuring) & James Wan and David Leslie Johnson (Wrath of the Titans) , story by Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes & James Wan. Reprising their roles, Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (Up In the Air) and Patrick Wilson (Hard Candy) , star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, who, in one of their most terrifying paranormal investigations, travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits. In 1970, the Warrens battled a malevolent presence that permeated a remote farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island—a case brought to the screen in 2013 in Wan’s hugely successful “The Conjuring.”  Then came the most highly publicized case of their careers, Amityville, which would nearly destroy them. It’s late 1977 when, with the effects of Long Island still haunting them, the Warrens come out of a self-imposed sabbatical and travel to northern London to take on a vile demonic entity that has taken root in the home of the Hodgson family, in the populous borough of Enfield.  What is thought by many to be a hoax will become the most documented case in paranormal history. Read more about the film

More magical illusions with Now You See Me 2 ****

Now YOu See Me 2 (b)The master magicians known as the Four Horsemen return for their most daring and astounding caper ever in Now You See Me 2, elevating the limits of stage illusion to new heights in hopes of clearing their names and exposing the ruthlessness of a dangerous tech magnate. One year after their astonishing Robin Hood-style magic shows win the public’s adulation and confound the FBI, the quartet resurfaces for a dazzling comeback performance that will make their previous escapades seem like child’s play. With the help of FBI Special Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), the Horsemen — J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) and new addition Lula (Lizzy Caplan) — mount a meticulously planned surprise appearance, in hopes of exposing corrupt tech tycoon Owen Case (Ben Lamb). But their scheme backfires, exposing Dylan’s involvement with the Horsemen and sending all five of them back on the run. To regain their freedom and their reputations they are forced by wealthy recluse Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe) to recover an unimaginably powerful computer chip stolen by his treacherous former business partner — none other than Owen Case. The Horsemen soon find themselves once again squaring off against unscrupulous businessman Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) and professional skeptic Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) as they attempt to accomplish the most difficult heist of their careers — but even they cannot anticipate the ultimate surprise awaiting them. The film is directed by Jon M. Chu (Step Up 2: The Streets, G. I. Joe: Retaliation) from a screenplay by Ed Solomon (Now You See Me, Men in Black), story by Ed Solomon & Peter Chiarelli (The Proposal, Eagle Eye), and based on characters created by Boaz Yakin & Edward Ricourt. The bonus features include a fantastic audio commentary by director Jon M. Chu and a You Can’t Look Away featurette.  Read more about the film

X-Men: Apocalypse, The Boss, Bad Neighbours 2 and Barbershop: The Next Cut.

brody-x-men-1200Following his acclaimed work on X-Men: Days Of Future Past, director Bryan Singer takes the franchise to new heights with the spectacular mind-blowing X-Men: Apocalypse, in which the X-Men battle the original and most powerful mutant — Apocalypse.

In 1983, the invincible and immortal Apocalypse is set free after being entombed for several millennia.  Enraged that his kind are no longer treated as gods, Apocalypse assembles a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto, to destroy humankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign.  To end Apocalypse’s path of global destruction, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) and Professor X (James McAvoy) lead a team of young X-Men in an epic showdown with a seemingly unstoppable enemy. The stage is set for an epic mutant versus mega-mutant war.  The battle between the X-Men and Apocalypse is insane!”

Moviegoers got their first glimpse of Apocalypse in a post-end credits sequence in X-Men: Days Of Future Past, where a younger version of the mutant was seen building pyramids, telepathically, while his minions looked on.

Apocalypse’s 5,000-year absence began when civilization was at its peak; his sleep ends when it’s arguably at its nadir.  Upon rising in Cairo in 1983 from his millennia-long slumber, Apocalypse is shocked and repulsed by our planet’s decline—the cars, noise, pollution—all signs of a failed world that he must cleanse.  His mission: exterminate the weak and rebuild it for the strong.

“It’s a time of conflict, war and destruction,” notes Singer.  “Apocalypse sees this as a civilization in desperate need of culling.   There are false idols: people now worship money, and possess nuclear weapons, which gives them a false sense of godlike power.   This does not work for Apocalypse.  So he wants to put an end to it and start everything fresh again—and to reshape Earth in his image.”

The fantastic bonus features include an insightful audio commentary by Brian Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg. Watch the trailer /   Read more about the film.

the-boss-07The insanely hilarious The Boss taps into the zeitgeist of the mercurial nature of modern-day celebrity with a ribald, if not insightful, commentary on wealth, family, fame and the power it all wields.

The Boss was written by McCarthy, director Ben Falcone and screenwriter Steve Mallory, who met almost 15 years ago at The Groundlings, the Los Angeles-based improv troupe whose notable alumni include comedy stalwarts, such as Will Ferrell, Paul “Pee-wee Herman” Reubens, Jack Black, Kristen Wiig and Jennifer Coolidge, among a multitude of others.

Mccarthy, whose pitch-perfect timing and deceptively effortless physical comedy has helped to rocket Spy, The Heat, Identity Thief, Tammy and Bridesmaids to blockbuster status, stars as Michelle Darnell in The Boss, a titan of industry who is sent to prison after she’s convicted of insider trading and emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart and reestablish herself as the doyenne of finance, but not everyone she steamrolled is so quick to forgive and forget.

The fun bonus features include the crazy alternate ending, deleted and extended scenes, and a gag reel. You also have the choice of watching the extended version or theatrical version. Watch the trailer Read more about the film.  

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Life is good for Mac Radner (Seth Rogen) and pregnant wife Kelly (Rose Byrne) in Bad Neighbours 2, until the unruly sisters of Kappa Nu move in next door. As the loud parties threaten the sale of their home, the couple turn to ex-neighbor and one-time enemy Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) for help. Now united with the former college student, the trio devises schemes to get the wild sorority off the block. Unfortunately, the rebellious young women refuse to go down without a fight. The bonus features include deleted scenes, a gag reel and audio commentary with c-writer and director Nicholar Stoller and producer James Weaver. Watch the trailer.

barbershop-2This sequel to the 2002 film returns to the Chicago barbershop owned by Calvin Palmer Jr. (Ice Cube) in Barbershop: The Next Cut. His employees — Isaac (Troy Garity), Terri (Eve), Ricky (Michael Ealy), Dinka (Leonard Earl Howze) and Kenard — have their own personal and workplace problems, and a new barbershop called Nappy Cutz has moved in across the street. As Calvin tries to change the character of his business, Nappy Cutz and gentrification become a threat to the surrounding community. Watch the trailer

New titles to add to your collection

MONEY MONSTERMoney Monster is a mainstream thriller that’s exciting, fast-paced, and smart.  In the real-time, high stakes thriller Money Monster, George Clooney and Julia Roberts star as financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty, who are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor who has lost everything (Jack O’Connell) forcefully takes over their studio. Clooney stars as Lee Gates, a celebrated stock picker and famed host of the titular financial television show, who darts and dances around his set, shouting investment advice and punctuating market talk with silly props and sound effects.  Re-teaming with George Clooney is Julia Roberts, who plays Patty Fenn, the unflappable, steadfast and longtime producer of “Money Monster.”  “I love this movie because it has two things that sometimes people think are opposites,” says Jodie Foster, who directs the thriller from a screenplay by Jamie Linden and Alan DiFiore & Jim Kouf with a story by Alan DiFiore & Jim Kouf. Read more

Everybody wants some3A “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused set in the world of 1980 college life, writer-director and producer Richard Linklater’s delightful Everybody Wants Some!! is a comedy that follows a group of friends as they navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood. Get ready for the best weekend ever. “It’s pretty autobiographical,” confesses Linklater. “Looking back, I realize it was a fun time to be in college, not only personally, but it was an interesting cultural moment. It was still the end of the 70s. What people now think of as the 80s really didn’t kick in until ’82 or ’83. As soon as he arrives at the baseball houses, the frat like homes of STU’s baseball team, Jake receives a less than friendly welcome from senior Glenn McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin) and his roommate Roper (Ryan Guzman). With the clock ticking down to the first day of class, the guys throw themselves into the very best that 1980 has to offer. The first night out, the team hits the town in their tightest jeans and polyester shirts to dance the night away at the local disco, then dons Stetsons to line dance to Cotton Eye Joe at the town’s best honky-tonk bar. Before the weekend is over, Jake and the gang have rocked out to Van Halen and Cheap Trick and survived their first mosh pit at a punk show. Read more

 

RegressionSpanish Writer-director Alejandro Amenábar returns to the big screen with the mind-bending Regression, which represents a return to suspense, the genre of The Others which marked his feature film debut in 1996. Set in Minnesota, 1990, Regression tells of detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) who investigates the case of young Angela (Emma Watson), who accuses her father, John Gray (David Dencik), of an unspeakable crime. When John unexpectedly and without recollection admits guilt, renowned psychologist Dr. Raines (David Thewlis) is brought in to help him relive his memories and what they discover unmasks a horrifying nationwide mystery. The term ‘regression’ signifies, among other things, going back,” says Amenábar.  “For me this project is about revisiting mystery, returning to the genre that marked the beginning of my career with Thesis, a film that explored the nearly hypnotic power that contemplating horror can sometimes have upon us, continued with Open Your Eyes, a hallucinatory and feverish glance in which dreams and reality co-exist, and culminating with The Others, an attempt to recover the taste of old classic suspense films.  I always look for what drives me, what motivates me, that energy which you find sometimes exploring things that are completely different.  That’s why I’ve explored different genres: drama, horror, suspense, or the mix of genres you find in Agora. Read more

SING STREET

Sing Street delivers an honest and moving perspective on the perils and wonders of teenage life. “I wanted to do something that was personal. I didn’t want to just be doing a musical story for the sake of it,” says Irish writer-director John Carney, whose Sing Street tells of a Dublin teenager (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) who forms a rock ‘n’ roll band to win the heart of an aspiring model (Lucy Boynton). The origins of Sing Street go back many years to the director’s life as a teenager in 1980s Dublin. John Carney experienced growing up in the Irish Capital by moving from private school to an inner city comprehensive.  It ultimately became the seed of an idea to create a musical film about this period in his life growing up. Read more

Irrational Man 7Woody Allen exposes his core philosophical beliefs in Irrational Man. Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) is a philosophy professor who has lost his way. His study of the great minds has not made him happy—he has lost all faith in his vocation and hope for his future.“Since I was very young for whatever reason I’ve been drawn to what people always call the ‘big questions,’” says Woody Allen. “In my work they’ve become subjects I kid around with if it’s a comedy or deal with on a more confrontational way if it’s a drama.” Allen’s Irrational Man is about a tormented philosophy professor who finds a will to live when he commits an existential act. Randomness is central to Irrational Man.  It hinges on a string of chance occurrences that have life and death consequences. Its story illustrates one of Woody Allen’s core philosophical beliefs. “I’m a great believer in the utter meaningless randomness of existence,” he says. “I was preaching that in Match Point and Abe preaches it in his class.  All of existence is just a thing with no rhyme or reason to it. We all live subject to the utter fragile contingency of life. You know, all it takes is a wrong turn on the street…” Irrational Man is a story that expresses an unvarnished picture of Woody Allen’s world view. Read more

Women take control!

Jane Got A GunJANE GOT A GUN This riveting and epic love story told amidst the sprawling expanse of the American west, tells of Jane Hammond (Natalie Portman), who has built a life on the rugged western plains with her husband Bill “Ham” Hammond (Noah Emmerich) and young daughter. When Ham stumbles home riddled with bullets after a run-in with the relentless John Bishop (Ewan McGregor) and his gang, she knows they will not stop until her family is dead. In desperation, Jane turns to Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton), a man from her past, for help. Haunted by old memories, Jane’s past meets the present in a heart-stopping battle for survival. When 27-year-old Brian Duffield started Jane Got a Gun as a spec script in 2011, he had a very clear idea of the type of story he wanted to write.  “I wanted to write about a woman whose big victory was going to be in making a stand,” says Duffield. After experimenting with different genres, Duffield decided to write a western with a woman named Jane as the main character. Watch the trailer.  Read more about the film

touched-with-fire-573adea364fbfTOUCHED WITH FIRE A first rate drama about two poets, Carla (Katie Holmes) and Marco (Luke Kirby), struggling with bipolar disorder and the painful truth that their romantic relationship fuels their mania.  For director, first-time filmmaker Paul Dalio, the subject was important to him because it was based on his own experience dealing with mental illness. The film is based on Dalio’s “feeling of being misunderstood for a long time, and the rebirth of fully showing the world what this thing really is. It was cathartic,” Dalio said, adding that before he got healthy, he had been through a period of hospitalization and suicidal depression and “the shame of being a freak and not knowing who you are anymore — and then, romanticizing your difference. The heaven and hell we all go through.” Dalio was a student at NYU’s film program, and his professor Spike Lee took an interest in his work, and eventually agreed to produce his film. “He gets behind projects he believes in. When it was time for me to graduate, I showed him a commercial script I had written, and he advised against doing it,” Dalio said, “and this script, my wife really liked it, and she made a point that I had already come out of that stuff, and by wallowing down in there it wouldn’t help anyone, and if I wrote a story with real reflection, it could help people. You listen to the wife.” Holmes’ co-star Kirby, best known for playing attorney Jon Stern on “Rectify,” said he prepared for the role by talking with Dalio about his experiences and by reading “Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament” by psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison, which is referenced heavily in the film (Jamison even makes an appearance at the end) and the poems of William Styron, who battled mental illness. Watch the trailer

girl-in-the-bookTHE GIRL IN THE BOOK is about a young writer’s transformation when her past invades her present. Forced to face difficult memories and make bold decisions, she ultimately overcomes her demons, allowing her to find love and rediscover her creative voice.Emily VanCamp plays Alice, a 28 years old, living in a small apartment in the upper east side. While she has her fair share of one-night-stands, she’s been single for far longer than she’d like to admit. She’s finally met a guy worth keeping around, but is in danger of screwing it up, as always. Relationships aren’t the easiest things for her. By day, Alice works as an assistant editor for a notable book publisher. Like anyone climbing the ranks, she’s trying to make her mark. By night, in between her various dates, Alice tries to write. She has an incredibly compelling story to tell – her story. But that story was written fifteen years ago…by someone else.Michael Nyqvist plays Milan, is a 35 year-old aspiring writer on the eve of releasing his first novel. Represented by Alice’s father, a prominent book agent, Milan becomes close to 14 year-old Alice, and during that time writes the novel that makes him a world renowned author. Today, 15 years later, Milan and Alice’s paths cross once again, forcing the two to confront events that have long gone unaddressed. Alice’s work life and personal demons converge when her boss tasks her with promoting the one book she would most like to forget exists. This American drama was written and directed by Marya Cohn in her directorial debut. Marya has written and directed several award-winning short films. Her short, Developing, starring Natalie Portman and Frances Conroy, screened at Sundance, won grand prizes at the Belgian Festival Mondial du Cinéma de Court Métrage and the St. Petersburg Message to Man Film Festival, and aired on The Sundance Channel. She received her MFA from NYU’s Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television and her BA from Harvard, where she was awarded the Louis B. Sudler Award for Achievement in the Arts. Watch the trailer

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MOTHER’S DAY In this big-hearted comedy, Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) is a stressed-out, single mom who learns that her ex-husband is marrying a younger woman. Her friend Jesse (Kate Hudson) is a fitness freak who doesn’t tell her parents that she has a family. Bradley is a widower (Jason Sudeikis) who’s trying to raise two daughters on his own, while Miranda (Julia Roberts) is too busy with her career to worry about having children. When their respective problems start coming to a head, the Mother’s Day holiday takes on a special meaning. It shows what happens if three generations come together in the week leading up to Mother’s Day. Watch the trailer

 

Supernatural chills, romance, adventure and Angry Birds!

UITVLUCHT Poster HR6UITVLUCHT  An inspirational romance from local filmmaker Regardt van den Bergh (Faith Like Potatoes, Klein Karoo). The story of Anna (Clara Joubert van den Bergh), a teacher who through an error in judgement loses everything that matters to her in life. In her heartache she finds a job at a farm school called Uitvlucht in the Eastern Cape. As she is confronted with the choices she made in her life she slowly starts experiencing healing and restoration and learns to forgive herself. She starts accepting her circumstances and the fact that someone will love her again. With the support of the teachers and Dok (Stian Bam) , a kind hearted and friendly farmer, who visits the school and make friends with Anna, she finds the courage to re-build herself and others around her. Besides her own drama, she must also suddenly deal with the alcohol abuse of school parents, molestation and ruthless people who have no respect for their own lives. Bonus feature: The music video Bou Aan Liefde and a behind the scenes doccie. Rating: 10 – 12 PG. Running Time – 88 mins. Watch the trailer.  Read an interview with Regardt van den Bergh

beforeiwakeBEFORE I WAKE Fear is real in the tense and terrifying supernatural horror, which exists in a world with supernatural elements while maintaining a strong foothold in reality. This nightmarish and surreal journey into fear at its most extreme begins as a story about parents trying to reconcile the loss of a child, and ends as a story about a child reconciling the loss of a parent. Jessie and Mark’s irresistible longing to see their dead son, Sean, again, even when they know he isn’t real, drives the narrative. In the hope of manipulating his dreams and bringing Sean back to life, Jessie goes so far as to medicate Cody to ensure he slumbers and dreams. However, they soon discover it is not just Cody’s pleasant dreams that manifest but that as he sleeps his nightmares also awaken. “The horror of Before I Wake is born of the souls of its characters,” says Director/Co-writer/Editor Mike Flanagan. “This is really a bedtime story for grownups complete with its own boogie man.” If you are looking for a supernatural horror that will make your skin crawl, this is it!  Rating: 13 H/ Running Time: 97 Min    Watch the trailer.  Read more about the film

tumbledown-3TUMBLEDOWN Hannah (Rebecca Hall) is beginning to move on with her life after the death of her husband, an acclaimed musician and the subject of her latest biography, when she meets Andrew (Jason Sudeikis), a brash writer from New York, who has a different take on her husband’s life – and death. The unlikely pair must collaborate to put together the famous singer’s story and begin to write the next chapter of their lives. Rating: 10-12 PGLS/ Running Time: 103 mins. Watch the trailer.

 

ForestTHE FOREST Rising with terrifying grandeur at the base of Mr. Fuji in Japan, the legendary real-life Aokigahara Forest is the suspense-filled setting of the supernatural thriller The Forest. An American woman, Sara (played by Natalie Dormer of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games), journeys to the forest in search of her twin sister Jess (also played by Ms. Dormer), who has mysteriously disappeared.  Accompanied by a charismatic new acquaintance, expatriate journalist Aiden (Taylor Kinney of Chicago Fire), she enters the forest having been well warned to “stay on the path.” Forest guide Michi (Japanese star Yukiyoshi Ozawa) keeps a protective eye on them both, but when night falls he cannot dissuade them from staying in the forest, and reluctantly leaves the duo to face the elements alone. Fear soon fragments Sara’s consciousness; she begins to question Aiden’s motives, including his claim that he has never seen Jess. Determined to discover the truth about her sister’s fate, Sara will have to face the angry and tormented souls of the dead that prey on anyone who dares come near them. These malevolent spirits lying in wait for Sara at every turn will plunge her into a frightening darkness from which she must fight to save herself. Ideal for those looking for a thrilling supernatural horror with a deadly twist! The bonus features include an insightful behind the scene doccie and interviews with the filmmakers and cast. Rating: 10 – 12 PGH. Running Time: 89 mins.  Watch the trailer.  Read more about the film

angry-birds-movie-picANGRY BIRDS A funtastic animation comedy! Flightless birds lead a mostly happy existence, except for Red (Jason Sudeikis), who just can’t get past the daily annoyances of life. His temperament leads him to anger management class, where he meets fellow misfits Chuck (Josh Gad) and Bomb. Red becomes even more agitated when his feathered brethren welcome green pigs to their island paradise. As the swine begin to get under his skin, Red joins forces with Chuck and Bomb to investigate the real reason behind their mysterious arrival.  The features include a Bonus Scene, Symphony mode, Character Sketch Gallery and a Blake Shelton ”Friends” music video. Rating: PG. Running Time: 93mins. Watch the trailer.

Home-invasion-sHOME INVASION  Terror arrives at the one place we all feel safest in this taut psychological thriller starring Natasha Henstridge. When a wealthy woman and her stepson are targeted by a trio of expert thieves in their remote mansion, her only form of help comes from a call with a security systems specialist. But as the intruders become increasingly hostile and the connection wavers, will she trust him to be her eyes and navigate her to safety? Rating: 13V. Running Time: 85 mins Watch the trailer

QueenQUEEN OF THE DESERT An epic biographical drama film written and directed by Werner Herzog, based on the life of British traveller, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer and political officer Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman) .The film follows Bell’s life chronologically, from her early twenties till her death. It is Herzog’s first feature film in six years after his 2009 film My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?. Rating: PG. Running Time: 128 mins. Watch the trailer

 

 

The loveable underdog with a never say die attitude

Eddie-The-Eagle-Movie-1The feel-good Eddie The Eagle takes us into the life of Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton), an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself, and with the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach Hugh Jackman), took on the establishment and won the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. It was directed by Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill), from a screenplay by Sean Macaulay and Simon Kelton. Jackman says he was indeed a huge Eddie the Eagle fan growing up — just another reminder of the huge impact Eddie’s exploits had on the world at large. “Eddie was a legend who embodies that pure spirit of having a go. And he had a go at the most crazy, almost suicidal event in sport, the ski jump. I mean, I wanted to be in the Olympics as a kid; I just wasn’t going to go this far!” The bonus features include some fun doccies: ‘Soaring with Eddie The Eagle’, ‘All for Nothing: The Hero’s Heart’, ‘An Unlikely Friendship: Eddie and Peary’, ‘Attitude is Altitude: Filming the Ski Jumps’, and a gallery. Read more about the film

A significant and profound celebration of individuality

THE-DANISH-GIRL-6-1200x678The extreme truth of his hidden identity and acceptance of his true self sets an impassioned artist free in the exceptionally soulful The Danish Girl.It’s the much anticipated new film from Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables), and one that will make its mark in history.The visual sensibility and commanding artistry of director Tom Hooper astounds. From the first frames he sets a poignant and spiritual tone with imagery of the natural beauty of Copenhagen where revered landscape painter Einar Wegener lived during his formative years; these crisp images are perfectly balanced and significantly underscored by the emotional and lush score by Alexandre Desplat (who also lensed Hooper’s The King Speech).This reflective and sensual journey into the gentleness of women is truly magnificent and takes us into the heart and soul of a man who is willing to sacrifice everything to find true happiness and understanding. Eddie Redmayne delivers a tour de force in his dual roles as man and woman; it is astonishing how he never imitates or impersonates, but becomes, immersing himself wholeheartedly into the character of Lili, allowing his transformation to be truthful. Redmayne’s passionate performance is layered with immense sadness, but equally presents us with the blissful joy of true fulfillment and absolute enlightenment. What’s truly admirable about Redmayne’s courageous performance is how he perfectly captures the innocence and essence of a man who the-danish-girl-e1442882751888falls in love for the first time when he unleashes the goddess inside. The film tells the extraordinary story of Lili Elbe, one of the world’s first people to undergo gender confirmation surgery, and the powerful love story of two people who go through Lili’s journey together. It movingly portrays a marriage going through a profound transformation.: ‘’This is a story of authenticity, identity, and courage, but at its heart it is a love story. About the courage that it takes to find yourself – to be yourself,” says Eddie Redmayne (who won an Oscar for his performance in The Theory of Everything). The bonus features include a behind the scenes documentary.  Read the review.  Read more about the film

Joy offers ultimate joyfulness

joy-jennifer-lawrence-trailerAs with emotion, Joy the film is full of outstanding surprises, where an optimistic dream turns into a heated warzone where self-expression, individualism in a tightly-knit family, and the empowerment of identity and ownership clash head-on. It springs from the extraordinary mind of writer-director of David O. Russell, who gave us the equally magnificent The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, and based this delightful tale loosely on the life and rise of inventor and home shopping star Joy Mangano. Russell describes it as genre-blurring story that boldly fuses reality with fantasy, linear narrative with inventive flashbacks and flash-forwards, convention with experimental explorations, and an old-fashioned family drama with a contemporary women’s film. It follows the wild path of a hard-working but half-broken joygallery3-gallery-image.0.0family and the young girl who ultimately becomes its shining matriarch and leader in her own right. Driven to create, but also to take care of those around her, Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) experiences betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love as she finds the steel and the belief to follow her once-suppressed dreams. The result is an entertaining emotional and human comedy about a woman’s rise – navigating the unforgiving world of commerce, the chaos of family and the mysteries of inspiration while finding an unyielding source of happiness. The bonus features included a making of doccie: Joy. Strength and Perseverance. Read the review.  Read more about the film.

 

 

 

 

 

Faith in divine providence,  miracles from heaven, and saving humanity

Z_For_Zachariah_-_poster_debutZ FOR ZACHARIAH When the world is devastated by a catastrophic nuclear event in the rousing Independent Australian film Z for Zachariah, a solitary young woman (Margot Robbie), thrives on the farm she once shared with her family in a single idyllic valley spared from the radioactive fallout. Living on her own for some time, her fears that she may be the event’s only survivor prove unfounded when she encounters John Loomis (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a pragmatic scientist, turned refugee, searching for a safe haven. Forming a delicate if powerful bond, their budding relationship – and with it, the tenuous promise of a better life – begins to unravel when a mysterious stranger (Chris Pine), enters their world. Her faith in divine providence is put to the test by the two men who enter her life. Inspired by the posthumously published 1974 novel, “Z for Zachariah”, by award-winning author, Robert C. O’Brien, the film is written by Nissar Modi (Breaking at the Edge) and directed by Craig Zobel (Compliance). “I was very taken with the idea of doing something that, even though it had sci-fi and post-apocalyptic elements, was really a ‘desert island’ situation in which you could study the relationship dynamics of a small group of people,” says Zobel. Watch the trailer. Read more about the film.

MiraclesMIRACLES FROM HEAVEN “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle, ” said Albert Einstein and in the uplifting Miracles from Heaven we experience  the rousing portrait of a family suddenly discovering joy and promise in the most tumultuous moment of their lives. Based on Texas mom Christy Beam’s inspirational memoir, this astonishing true story of the girl rescued by an out-of-the-blue accident is directed by Patricia Riggen (who recently directed the superb The 33), from a screenplay by Randy Brown (Trouble with the Curve).Jennifer Garner stars as Christy Beam, a tenacious, devoted mother whose world is flipped upside down when her daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) is struck with a rare, incurable disorder.  With a parent’s fiercest determination and supported by her devoted husband (Martin Henderson of Grey’s Anatomy), Christy summons the courage to do everything she can and beyond for her child, heading on a heart-gripping quest through a medical maze, even as her faith begins to flag. The bonus features include audio commentary with Patricia Riggen and Randy Brown, a look into how the film was made, creating heaven, and the concept art explorations. Watch the trailer. / Read more about the film

Grimsby 9THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY When it comes to creating dynamic characters who delight, entertain and infuriate, Sacha Baron Cohen is the only one who knows how to bring his creations to glorious life in the films Borat, Bruno and Ali G, and now brings us a new character in Grimsby, Nobby Butcher, a terminally unemployed but fun-loving football fan who is forced to save the world. In Grimsby, which was filmed England and South Africa, Nobby has everything a man from Grimsby could want – 9 children and a girlfriend he loves more than anything (Rebel Wilson). There’s only one thing missing in his life: his little brother, Sebastian (Mark Strong), from whom he was separated as a child. After 28 years of searching, Nobby has finally tracked his brother down in London – unaware that he’s an MI6 assassin. After a disastrous reunion in which Nobby accidentally ruins Sebastian’s life and puts them both on the run, they uncover a plot to destroy the world. In order to save humanity, and his brother, Nobby has to embark on a global mission and undertake a complete transformation from lovable idiot to sophisticated secret agent. The screenplay for Grimsby is by Sacha Baron Cohen & Phil Johnston & Peter Baynham, from a story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Phil Johnston, and directed by Louis Leterrier, France’s highest grossing director who gave us The Transporter at the age of 26, and also directed Unleashed, The Incredible Hulk, Wrath of The Titans (and its sequel) and Now You See Me. The Bonus features include a making of doccie and hilarious outtakes.  Watch the trailer. / Read more about the film

 

 

 

An epic local war drama, explosive human drama and an athletic superstar faces off against Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy.

Modder en BloedMODDER EN BLOED In this emotional journey into the heart and soul of a war that divided a nation, reconciled revenge forces underdogs to triumph in the spirit of togetherness. It’s a poignant story of man versus himself when incarcerated with other Boer prisoners-of-war on the island of St. Helena in the Atlantic Ocean, but also the story of Afrikaner men tortured emotionally and physically by a monstrous British tyrant during the Anglo Boer War of 1899-1902, as well as the story of a British woman who redeems herself through the horrors she witnesses.These three narratives are neatly woven into a tapestry of suspense and drama, where the humanity of tortured souls is tested and the evil of dark souls are confronted.Boer prisoners-of-war are subjected to the most brutal violence and degrading treatment.They are constantly humiliated by the British commander and his soldiers in an effort to break them down emotionally, and to physically cripple them.But, despite the untold torture they had to endure and the inhumane suffering they had to bear, their resistance and quest for vengeance, by whatever means, became stronger and stronger by the day.So, when the gauntlet was thrown down, Willem and his fellow prisoners rose to the challenge, eventually leading to sweet revenge in the most important rugby match of their lives. The Bonus feature include a behind the scenes doccie, and Bok Van Blerk’s music video Read the review / Interview with writer-director Sean Else/ Interview with producer Henk Pretorius

RaceRACE Based on the incredible true story of Jesse Owens, the legendary athletic superstar whose quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy. Race is an enthralling film about courage, determination, tolerance, and friendship, and an inspiring drama about one man’s fight to become an Olympic legend.Written by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse and directed by Stephen Hopkins, Race tracks the journey of James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens (portrayed by Stephan James of Selma). As filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl (Carice van Houten of Game of Thrones) readies her cameras to record the Games under the steely gaze of Nazi officials, Jesse reaffirms his determination to compete with excellence and honor. With the world watching, he will place in sharp relief his own country’s history of racism as well as the Hitler regime’s oppressiveness. Forever defining what an athlete can accomplish, Jesse Owens races into history as an inspiration to millions, then and now. The bonus features include a making of doccie, Becoming Jesse Owens, and The Owen Sisters.  Read more about the film

DEMOLITION_quad-e1457559510694DEMOLITION The explosive Demolition tells a mind-blowing story of a man whose life unravels and starts to rebuild it, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew. The film is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild), from an original screenplay written by Bryan Sipe. Jake Gyllenhaal is in top form as a a successful investment banker who struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. Despite pressure from his father-in-law (Chris Cooper) to pull it together, Davis continues to unravel. What starts as a complaint letter to a vending machine company turns into a series of letters revealing startling personal admissions. Davis’ letters catch the attention of customer service rep Karen (Naomi Watts) and two strangers form an deep connection that becomes a saving grace for them both. With the help of Karen and her 15-year-old son (Judah Lewis), Davis starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew. At its core, the story of Demolition explores themes of loss, grief and reinvention.  Facing his own crossroads, young screenwriter Bryan Sipe developed the story and script (included on The Black List) based on his own stunted creative journey. Read more about the film

 

 

Forbidden Love and Drone Warfare.

Free stateFREE STATE This heartbreaking romance is set in 1979 and tells the story of a forbidden love affair between Jeanette – a white Afrikaans girl – and Ravi – an Indian man.  The film is written and directed by multi-award winning filmmaker, and graduate of The Writing Studio,  Sallas de Jager. “The film explores the predicament of a parent and child relationship within three families when they are confronted by the ripple effect of the forbidden love affair between Ravi and Jeanette.  The parents are confronted by the need of a parent for your child to find true happiness versus the need for your child to uphold the way of life taught to him/her from childhood in order to fit into a community as an adult.  The ruthless punishment for breaking society’s rules is something that every parent wants to protect his/her child against…The possibility of true happiness of which love is the foundation, will always outweigh the sanctions of society, governments and religion – therefore making one person’s love towards another the most powerful human experience.  Not even the tragic nature of forbidden love is enough to stop good people from risking everything just for a taste of something that is bigger than them.”It features great performances from Nicola Breytenbach and Andrew Govender as the starcrossed lovers, with great support from Deon Lotz (Roepman, Skoonheid) and Rolanda Marais (Wolwedans in die Skemer, Ballade vir ’n Enkeling).  Read an interview with Sallas de Jager

 

Eye in the sky 3EYE IN THE SKY Drone warfare on the big screen was launched by The Good Kill last year and now gathers intensity with Eye In The Sky, a British thriller set in the shadowy world of remotely piloted drone warfare. It is helmed by South African director Gavin Hood from an original screenplay by Guy Hibbert. In Eye In The Sky London-based military intelligence officer Colonel Katherine Powell (Academy Award winner Helen Mirren) is remotely commanding a top secret drone operation to capture a group of dangerous terrorists from their safe-house in Nairobi, Kenya. The mission suddenly escalates from a “capture” to a “kill” operation as Powell realizes that the terrorists are about to embark on a deadly suicide mission. From his base in Nevada, American drone pilot Steve Watts (Breaking Bad star and Emmy Award winner Aaron Paul) is poised to destroy the safe-house when a nine year old girl enters the kill zone just outside the walls of the house. With unforeseen collateral damage now entering the equation, the impossible decision of when to strike gets passed up the “kill chain” of politicians and lawyers as the seconds tick down. Watch an interview with Gavin Hood / Read more about the film

A teenage rites-of-passage comedy and Christian drama

Dope-film-still-007DOPE Every generation has a teen comedy that speaks perfectly to the time it was made, whether it’s Sixteen Candles, Clueless, or Mean Girls. Dope, written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Our Family Wedding) is yet another update of the familiar formula, where a bunch of nerds have their revenge and eventually come into their own, defeat the jocks, rule the school, and get the girls who would be way too pretty for them in real life. This comedy/rites-of-passage drama, produced by Forest Whitaker and executive produced by Pharrell Williams and Sean Combs, has a subversive edge. It chronicles the misadventures of Malcolm (Shameik Moore), a nerdy high-school student in Inglewood, a city south of LA. Malcolm spends his spare time listening to 1990s hip-hop and performing in a band but studies ferociously hard to go to college. After a chance encounter with a local drug dealer, who uses him as a go-between to pass messages to the girl (Zoë Kravitz) he is wooing, Malcolm winds up with a backpack full of drugs. Bonus Feature: A behind the scenes featurette

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90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN Inspired by Baptist minister Don Piper’s bestselling account of his lengthy and arduous recovery from a 1989 auto mishap so serious that he initially was declared dead at the scene, this inspirational indie earns points by being more bluntly realistic than many other faith-based dramas in its depiction of an ordeal that likely would challenge the faith of even the most devout Christians. Piper has testified that he got a glimpse at a warmly inviting afterlife, and actually came tantalizing close to passing through the Pearly Gates, during those long minutes when first responders considered him deceased. But while the movie respectfully accepts Piper’s claim as fact, writer-director Michael Polish (“Big Sur”) wisely refrains from depicting the near-death experience until well into his third act. Instead, he concentrates more on the struggles that can be part of life after a miracle — not unlike Peter Weir’s “Fearless” — and by doing so, fashions a modestly compelling narrative that may attract a crossover audience in theaters and home-screen platforms. Bonus Features: A making of short and Meet The Real Pipers.

Solving the mystery of the Resurrection and an impossible heist!

Tripple NineTRIPLE 9 With a stellar cast, taut script and explosive action, Triple 9 delivers a startlingly fresh take on the classic heist thriller.  When a bank-robbing crew of corrupt cops and ex-Special Forces soldiers is forced to attempt a nearly impossible heist for a ruthless mobster, they decide their only hope of survival is to distract the entire Atlanta police force with a “999” — cop code for “officer down.” In the film ex-Special Forces member Michael Atwood (Chiwetel Ejiofor) leads a crew of corrupt police officers and former soldiers (Anthony Mackie, Clifton Collins Jr., Aaron Paul and Norman Reedus) in a daring bank robbery that ends in a frenzied freeway shootout. As Detective Sergeant Jeffrey Allen (Woody Harrelson) investigates the spectacular crime, he is unaware that his own nephew, straight-arrow cop Chris Allen (Casey Affleck) has unknowingly been partnered with one of the robbers on Atlanta’s gang task force. When ruthless Russian-Israeli mob boss Irina Vlaslov (Kate Winslet) strong-arms the crew into attempting one last, seemingly impossible robbery, they decide their best hope is to divert the entire police force’s attention by staging a “999” incident — cop code for “officer down.” Read more about the film

risen-joseph-fiennes-e-un-tribuno-romano-nel-film-di-kevin-reynolds-v2-225110-1280x720RISEN The powerful story of a non-believer’s journey into faith, with Joseph Fiennes delivering a heartfelt and impassioned performance as a powerful Roman military tribune who is tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus (referred to by the Hebrew name Yeshua in the film) in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumours of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.  The biblical account of Yeshua’s crucifixion and resurrection has been portrayed on the big screen many times, so when LD Entertainment approached Kevin Reynolds to make a movie about the world-changing events of 2,000 years ago, the writer-director was determined to bring a fresh approach to the story.In contrast to previous versions, including Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 silent film The King of Kings, 1965 blockbuster The Greatest Story Ever Told and Mel Gibson’s 2004 The Passion of the Christ, Reynolds imagined the narrative told though the skeptical eyes of a non-believer. “We wanted to do something completely different from what had come before, so I came up with the idea that Risen would be told as a detective story,” he says. Bonus Features: There’s some great behind the scenes doccies on The Mystery of the Resurrection, Creating A.D. Jerusalem., From Script to Screen, as well as an insightful feature commentary by director Kevin Reynolds.  Read more about the film

Make sure to add The End Of The Tour to your collection

The-End-of-the-Tour-ReviewTHE END OF THE TOUR ***** If there’s one film you cannot miss that’s now available on DVD, it’s the incredible The End Of The Tour, based on David Lipsky’s memoir about the five-day interview he had with acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace for Rolling Stone Magazine.  Jason Segel’s portrayal of Wallace as a skeptical, ambitious, modest, hyper-self-conscious, depressive, and fundamentally generous figure of genius is unbelievable and is as revelatory of the unexpected depths of this hitherto bro-centric actor as it is of Wallace’s self-effacing fascination.  Equally brilliant is is Jesse Eisenberg as Lipsky, delivering a sympathetic rendering of a highly idiosyncratic individual. The film is an emotional tour-de-force and takes you into the heart and soul of what it takes to be a writer and journalist. Directed with imaginative flair and insight by James Ponsoldt, with a crackling screenplay by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Donald Margulies, it’s one of those films that grabs hold of you and never let’s go.  In his review for the New York Daily News, Joe Neumaier awarded the film five out of five stars, calling it “one of the best movies of the year . . Director James Ponsoldt’s smart, incisive and extraordinary drama is the kind of film that burrows into your head and leaves you illuminated about life and how to live it.” In his review for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers called the film “riveting” and “mesmerizing”, writing “As the details accumulate, so does the power of the film, an illuminating meditation on art and life. . .That’s what makes the movie, elevated by two extraordinary actors, an exhilarating gift.”  Make sure to watch the scene at the end of the credits and do not skip the deleted scenes on the bonus features. Website

Thrills, chills and romance

Careful what you wish forCAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR Nick Jonas, best known as one of the Jonas Brothers, loses his innocence in this erotic thriller from Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum. He plays a kind-and-loving high school kid who moves with his parents to North Carolina’s Lake Lure for the summer. He buses tables alongside his best buddy Carson (Graham Rogers) while trying to shrug off his shallow talk of getting laid. Everything changes when a rich couple moves in next door to Doug’s family. Doug soon gets involved with the lives of Elliot Harper (Dermot Mulroney) is a self-made jerk with an endless list of hobbies and a dominating personality and his super sexy young wife Lena  (Isabel Lucas from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, The Pacific, Immortals and The Loft).  When Lena fills her lonely hours by seducing Doug and leading him up the garden path, all seems fine until murder shows its foul face and idyllic bliss turns into a nightmare.  The resolution of the film is well worth waiting for so don’t spoil the story by knowing too much about what happens.  Just relax into its gentle eroticism and enjoy its viscous twist.  It has an age restriction of 13 for the sexual explorations.

CurseTHE CURSE OF DOWNERS GROVE It’s good to see American Psycho’s Bret Easton Ellis back in action as screenwriter, teaming up with director Derick Martini for this strange blend of romance and teen angst thriller that soon escalates into bloodshed and excessive violence.  Its alluring concept deals with an apparent curse that claims the life of a senior every year at a high school in Downers Grove, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and results in a visceral experience blended with bizarre and creepy images to heighten the horror aspect. The hero is a skeptical teenager Tracy (Bella Heathcote from Dark Shadows and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) who believes that it’s all just coincidence, until she sets off a hellish wrath from a football stud (Kevin Zegers), that turns bliss into horror for her and her mechanic boyfriend (Lucas Till) and all her friends.  It’s offers fun and entertaining viewing and carries an age restriction of 16 for violence and language. Sensitive viewers will definitely be disturbed by the animalistic revenge during its conclusion.

Win a Sonskyn Beperk DVD

Sonskyn beperkSONSKYN BEPERK  In this charming romance, Anya du Plessis (Annelle Bester) leaves her boyfriend in New York to reconnect with her estranged father (Andre Roothman) back in South Africa to deal with her mother’s passing. In Philadelphia her father is obsessed with his beer brewing hobby , he believes is the answer to their financial crisis. When a charming  cocky Ruan (Neels van Jaarsveld) enters the fray in search of a winning beer recipe, it seems Anya’s the only thing between him and craft beer glory. The last thing she expects is to fall for Ruan until her boyfriend shows up unexpectedly. Ruan is the suave stranger on a mission to identify a new winning beer recipe with which to enter the annual craft beer competition- the only thing standing in his way on the path to craft beer glory, is the feisty daughter of the farmer.  The film carries a 7-9 Age Restriction.

WIN A SONSKYN BEPERK DVD

If you want to add this DVD to your collection, tell us where the story takes place and send your answer and contact details, with Sonskyn Beperk in the subject line to us before July 30, 2016. Enter here

 

Noah is really, really funny!

Trevor NoahAfter watching Welcome to America , it is understandable why Trevor Noah is South Africa’s favourite stand-up comedian, and has now found fame in America as the host of The Daily Show, with his razor-sharp with and heightened sense of ‘Racism Spotting’!

Noah’s success can be contributed to the fact that he does not try to be funny, and never uses profanity to raise laughter.

He has the natural ability to be funny, using oodles of charm, refined wit, and intelligent reasoning to turn the absurd reality of humanity inside out, leaving plenty food for thought as he provokes and challenges conventions.

Filmed as part of the Lost in Translation tour at The Lincoln Centre in Washington D.C in 2015, Noah is truly ”a thinking fan’s comic, on a global scale” !

Some of the hilarious highlights include Noah’s observations about the police force, how he became a token during the Ebola scare on a flight from South Africa to the States, a laugh-out-loud journey into Kentucky, and his observations about the American culture.

Make sure to add Welcome To America to your collection, it’s definitely well worth it, and a DVD you are bound to share with friends.

Reviewed by Daniel Dercksen. 

Love and Romance.

Choice 2THE CHOICE An inspiring love story about the unexpected choices. With his latest film, The Choice, internationally best-selling author and literary superstar Nicholas Sparks returns to his beloved North Carolina roots for an inspiring love story about the unexpected choices, large and small, that come to define a lifetime.It chronicles the power of love from a young couple’s rocky first meeting to a life-long romance that will be tested as their lives take a turn that neither of them ever anticipated.When feisty medical student Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies, I Am Number Four) moves in next door to perennial ladies’ man Travis Shaw (Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, In the Heart of the Sea) , they embark on a surprising romantic journey neither imagined possible. Travis has always believed a serious relationship would cramp his easygoing lifestyle, while Gabby is preparing to settle down with her long-term boyfriend—until an irresistible attraction between the unlikely couple upends both of their well-planned lives. Spanning a decade and tracing the evolution of a love affair that is ultimately tested by life’s most defining events, this story features a memorable ensemble of friends and family in Sparks’s beloved North Carolina setting, culminating with the question that every couple must ask themselves:  how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?  Read more about the film

How to be singleHOW TO BE SINGLE An all-out comedy that shows how they’re all out there making the most of the single lifestyle, in the most outrageous ways imaginable.There’s a right way to be single, a wrong way to be single, and then…there’s Alice.  And Robin.  Lucy.  Meg.  Tom.  Ken.  David.  Josh.  George. New York City is full of fun seekers seeking the right match, be it a love connection, a hook-up, or something in the middle.And somewhere between the late night date nights, teasing texts and one-night stands, what these unmarrieds all have in common is the need to learn how to be single—and have a hell of a time—in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love. Sleeping around in the city that never sleeps has never been so much fun. Led by an ensemble cast that includes some of today’s hottest comedic actresses, including Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie and Leslie Mann, and such rising comedy stars as Damon Wayans Jr., Anders Holm, Nicholas Braun, Jake Lacy, Jason Mantzoukas and Colin Jost, the film follows a host of singles at various stages of—and with varying opinions on—the single state. Bonus feature: Deleted Scenes.  Read more about the film

Human drama at its most dramatic in Sink and Spotlight

Sink websiteSink is a contemporary drama written and directed by  Brett Michael Innes that poignantly explores the themes of entrapment, loss and forgiveness against the backdrop of the current South African class structure and the experience of foreign nationals in the country. It tells the compelling story three people trying to deal with a tragic situation: Rachel (Shoki Mokgapa), is a mother trying to come to terms with the loss of her child and the bitterness that she feels towards the people responsible; Michelle (Anel Alexander), a woman trying to deal with the arrival of her own child and the guilt that she feels towards her involvement in the death of another’s; and Chris (Jacques Bessenger), a man trying to juggle both of the above as well as a relationship with a co-worker that threatens his marriage. Bonus features: There’s an interesting behind the scenes documentary with insightful interviews by the cast, director and creative team that captures the essence of the passion that was poured into making the film. Read an interview with Storyteller and Storymaker Brett Michael Innes 

SpotlightSpotlight serves as a shining example of what professional, top-flight journalists can accomplish. It tells the astonishing true story of the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Spotlight” team of investigative journalists, who in 2002 shock the city and the world by exposing the Catholic Church’s systematic cover-up of widespread pedophilia perpetrated by more than 70 local priests.Written by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, and directed by McCarthy, it’s a deeply moving film that sheds light on a world where petrified kids are not ‘’prayed’’ on by priests, but ‘’preyed’’ on by those they respect as mediators of God. Liev Schreiber delivers a commanding performance as the newly appointed editor of The Boston Globe, who arrives from Miami to take charge of the Globe in the summer of 2001, and directs the Spotlight team to follow up on a column about a local priest accused of having sexually abused dozens of young parishioners over the course of 30 years. It’s a magnificent ensemble piece, with equally brilliant performances by Michael Keaton as the Spotlight editor, and Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Brian d’Arcy James as reporters and researchers who are fully aware that taking on the Catholic Church in Boston will have major ramifications when they delve more deeply into the case. Bonus Features:  Sadly there are no features although the back sleeve of the DVD does advertise some behind the scenes features and interviews.  Read more about the film

JUNE RELEASES

ROOM Both highly suspenseful and deeply emotional, Room is a unique and touching exploration of the boundless love between a mother and her child. At once a taut narrative of captivity and freedom, an imaginative trip into the wonders of childhood, and a profound portrait of a family’s bonds and fortitude, Room is a beautifully transcendent experience based on the award-winning global bestseller by Emma Donoghue, who wrote the screenplay, based on her original novel. Director Lenny Abrahamson remains faithful to the novel while bringing Jack, Ma and their entirely singular world to heart-pounding and intensely cinematic life. After 5-year- old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and his Ma (Brie Larson) escape from the solitary, locked, 10”x10” room that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world. As he experiences all the joy, excitement, and fear that this new adventure brings, he holds tight to the one thing that matters most of all—his special bond with his loving and devoted Ma. At once a taut narrative of captivity and freedom, an imaginative trip into the wonders of childhood, and a profound portrait of a family’s bonds and fortitude, Room is a beautifully transcendent experience based on the award-winning global bestseller by Emma Donoghue, who wrote the screenplay, based on her original novel. Read more about the film.  There are no bonus features.

SOLACE  This intelligent supernatural thriller tells the story of a veteran FBI detective (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his younger ambitious partner (Abbie Cornish) who enlist the help of a reclusive, retired civilian analyst, Dr. John Clancy (Anthony Hopkins) to help solve a series of bizarre murders. When Clancy’s exceptional intuitive powers, which come in the form of vivid and disturbing visions, put him on the trail of the killer (Colin Farrell), the doctor soon realizes his gift of second sight is little match against the extraordinary powers of this elusive murderer on a mission. “The story and characters in Solace were unique,” said Flynn, who has produced more than 30 films including the critically acclaimed Choke, Requiem for a Dream and Tigerland and blockbusters such as Journey to the Center of the Earth, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and Hercules. Read more about the film.  There are no bonus features.

STATE OF THE NATION  If you are a fan of spicy and racy stand-up-comedy and Loyiso Goya, you will enjoy Goya’s third comedy special that was filmed in front of a live audience in Cape Town’s Grand West Casino. His no holds barred musings takes us through issues that include the Oscar Pretorius trials, the differences that separate and divide the Rainbow Nation, and politicians.

THE 5TH WAVE  In this alien invasion film about the breakup of one family, four waves of increasingly deadly attacks have left most of Earth decimated.  Against a backdrop of fear and distrust, Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz) is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother Sammy.  As she prepares for the inevitable and lethal 5th wave, Cassie teams up with a young man who may become her final hope – if she can only trust him. Directed by J Blakeson, with a screenplay by Susannah Grant and Akiva Goldsman & Jeff Pinkner, the film is based on the novel by Rick Yancey. Read more about the film.  Bonus features:  There are some exciting features that include a interesting journey behind the scenes and how the film was made,  young Zackary Arthur (who plays Sammy) talking to the creative team about what their job on the film was, and there’s an audio commentary with director J. Blakeson and actress Chloë Grace Moretz.

Win a Vir Altyd DVD

Vir Altyd - beachThe delightful Vir Altyd (Forever) is a romantic adventure movie that is guaranteed to wow audiences and is an honest and sincere journey into the hearts and souls of two young lovers on the rollercoaster of love and life, it’s a heartfelt film about love and how Cupid’s arrows pierces the hearts of those who want to love but are hopelessly lost on their search for meaning and understanding,  and revered conquerors of love celebrating its joy and anguish. Botha and Roberts wrote and co-produced Vir Altyd with Danie Bester, whose Johannesburg-based company, The Film Factory produced three of the top six highest grossing Afrikaans feature films at the South African box office: the very successful teen comedy trilogy Bakgat!, Bakgat! 2 and Bakgat! 3; box office hits Ballade vir ’n Enkeling, Wolwedans in die Skemer, Hoofmeisie and Pad na Jou Hart; as well as the critically acclaimed Roepman and Verraaiers. Read an exclusive interview with darling superstars of the local film and TV industry, Ivan Botha and Donnalee Roberts, who charmed filmgoers in Pad Na You Hart, and sizzle in their latest charmer Vir Altyd (Forever) which they wrote and co-produced. Features: You can view the film in Afrikaans (with the choice of English subtitles), or in English with Afrikaans subtitles. You can also take a look at how the film was made and reached the big screen, as well as a look at the characters of two couple that influences the choices the young lovers make.

If you want to win a VIR ALTYD DVD, tell us who wrote the screenplay and your answer and contact details to us before June 30.  Enter the competition. 

 

 

 

Add some Fantasy, Romance and Drama To Your Collection!

BryanCranstonHelenMirrenTrumbo-1TRUMBO A vibrant film about a very serious subject, the right to free speech! In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood’s top screenwriter, until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. The film Trumbo recounts how Dalton (Bryan Cranston in top form) used words and wit to win two Academy Awards and expose the absurdity and injustice under the blacklist, which entangled everyone from gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (equally brilliant Helen Mirren) to John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger. The film is directed by Jay Roach, the winner of four Emmys, a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award, who is best known for directing such comedy classics as the Austin Powers trilogy, Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers and The Campaign. The screenplays was written by John Mcnamara (Writer, Producer) is a writer, producer, showrunner and television creator. Screenwriter John McNamara first heard the story of Dalton Trumbo when he was studying screenwriting under formerly blacklisted scribes Ring Lardner Jr., Waldo Salt and Trumbo supporter Ian McClellan Hunter. Unfortunately there are no bonus features.  Read more about Trumbo

The-Last-Witch-HunterTHE LAST WITCH HUNTER An epic battle that will determine the survival of the human race in this mind-blowing fantasy adventure! A gorgeously rendered, explosively physical and thoroughly original fantasy adventure, The Last Witch Hunter propels audiences into a complex mythological universe packed with shocking violence, unthinkable treachery and unforgettable characters. Set in a world never before seen by on screen, the story spans over 800 years of one man’s quest to keep at bay an army of vicious supernatural creatures determined to wipe out humanity.Global action hero Vin Diesel produces and stars as Kaulder, the centuries-old guardian of the human world who has lost his family, friends and perhaps even his hope in the battle against the dark forces. In The Last Witch Hunter the modern world holds many secrets, but the most astounding secret of all is that witches still live amongst us, vicious supernatural creatures intent on unleashing the Black Death upon the world. Armies of witch hunters battled the unnatural enemy across the globe for centuries, including Kaulder, a valiant warrior who managed to slay the all-powerful Witch Queen decimating her followers in the process. In the moments right before her death, the Queen curses Kaulder with immortality, forever separating him from his beloved wife and daughter in the afterlife. Today Kaulder is the only one of his kind remaining, and he has spent centuries hunting down rogue witches, all the while yearning for his long-lost loved ones. However, unbeknownst to Kaulder, the Witch Queen is resurrected and seeks revenge on her killer, causing an epic battle that will determine the survival of the human race. The inspiration for Kaulder and his story came from Diesel’s days as an avid gamer—particularly his more than 20-year fascination with the popular fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. There are no bonus features on the DVD release.  Read more about The Last Witch Hunter.

Elsa and FredELSA & FRED In New Orleans, a feisty retiree (Shirley MacLaine) and her new neighbor, an uptight widower (Christopher Plummer), discover that it’s never too late for true love and romance. It’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane about two people who, at the end of the road, discover that it is never too late to love and make dreams come true.  Elsa has lived the past 60 years dreaming of a moment that Fellini envisaged: the scene in La Dolce Vita at the Trevi fountain in Rome. The same scene without Anita Ekberg in it, but with Elsa instead. Without Marcello Mastroiani but with that love that took so long to arrive.  Fred is a bit younger than Elsa and has always been a good man who did everything he was supposed to do. After losing his wife, he feels disturbed and confused and his daughter (Marcia Gay Harden) decides it would be best if he moves into a smaller apartment where everything changes when he meets Elsa.  It’s a delightful, feel-good, battle-of-the-sexes story for anyone who has ever yearned for ultimate romance and happiness.  There are no bonus features.

 

Home Entertainment at its most entertaining!

carol-612x572CAROL Love is larger than life in Carol, Todd Haynes’ masterful poetic ode to passion, a sumptuous adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt, following two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. Carol poignantly reveals how dangerous it can be to love for real and break the moral code.Love is splendid and beautiful and deserves to be celebrated with honour and dignity, no matter how impossible the quest.Haynes’ lingering haunting images beautifully captures the essence of true love,  with Rooney Mara absolutely radiant in her heartfelt performance as the beguiling 20-year-old Therese Belivet, a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (a mesmerising Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) begins to question her competence as a mother as her involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) come to light. Carol is directed by Todd Haynes and written by Phyllis Nagy with moving performances from Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy and Cory Michael Smith.

Win a Carol DVD!

If you want to add this must-have DVD to your collection, tell us who wrote the screenplay and send us your name and contact details before May 31, 2016

murder_of_cat_05MURDER OF A CAT Here’s a murder mystery you will never forget! When Clinton (Fran Kranz) finds his beloved cat dead in front of his house he sets out to find the murderer, even though everybody else could care less. His investigation leads to Greta (Nikki Reed), a woman whose cat was also killed, because they’ve been sharing the same cat. Finding out that his cat was living a double life is only the first sign of trouble for Clinton, as his search for his cat’s killer reveals a massive crime ring operating out of the local megastore.

MurderFran Kranz is great as Clinton, the immature adult who hates the local megastore owner Ford (Greg Kinnear) because he blames him for the loss of his comic book store. When his cat winds up killed by a bolt from a crossbow, he heads to the store to find out who bought a crossbow in their town. Equally wonderful is J.K. Simmons as the local Sheriff, and the one person who tries to help Clinton and Greta, even though he’s not really interested in anything that they’re doing. Murder of a Cat is solid work from first time feature director Gillian Greene and writers Christian Magalhaes and Robert Snow.  Watch the trailer.

Lady and the Van 2THE LADY IN THE VAN Starring the legendary Maggie Smith, The Lady In The Van is based on Alan Bennett’s autobiographical play of the same name. It tells the true story of his strained friendship with the singular Miss Mary Shepherd (Maggie Smith), a dotty and stubborn former nun, and now a transient woman of uncertain origins living in her car. They form an unexpected bond after Shepherd ‘temporarily’ parks her van in Bennett’s London driveway and proceeds to live there for 15 years. Alex Jennings is equally brilliant as playwright Alan Bennett.

Hateful 8THE HATEFUL EIGHT  Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film, The Hateful Eight is set post- Civil War; and starts with a stagecoach hurtling through a Blizzard in Wyoming. Bounty hunter John Ruth and his fugitive captive Daisy Domergue race towards the town of Red Rock, where Ruth will bring Daisy to justice. Along the road, they encounter Major Marquis Warren (an infamous bounty hunter) and Chris Mannix (a man who claims to be Red Rock’s new sheriff). Lost in a blizzard, they seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery. When they arrive they are greeted by unfamiliar faces: Bob, who claims to be taking care of the place while Minnie is gone; Oswaldo Mobray, the hangman of Red Rock; Joe Gage, a cow puncher; and confederate general Sanford Smithers. As the storm overtakes the mountainside, the eight travellers come to learn that they might not make it to Red Rock after all…  Age restriction: 18 LPV

The-Loft-movie-dual-audio-HD-free-downloadTHE LOFT Erik Van Looy updates his own Belgian thriller The Loft and gives us a captivating Hitchcockian thriller that will keep you glued to your seat.  For five men (Karl Urban, James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Eric Stonestreet, Matthias Schoenaerts), the opportunity to share a penthouse in the city — in which to carry on extramarital affairs — is a dream come true, until the dead body of an unknown woman turns up. When they discover the body of a beautiful woman dead and cuffed on the bed in the loft, they have a mystery on their hands to find out who is the responsible.Realizing that her killer must be one of their group, the men are gripped by paranoia as each one suspects another. Friendships are tested, loyalties are questioned, and marriages crumble while fear and suspicion run rampant. Age restriction: 16 DLSV

CONCUSSION While conducting an autopsy on former NFL football player Mike Webster (David Morse), forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) discovers neurological deterioration that is similar to Alzheimer’s disease. Omalu names the disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy and publishes his findings in a medical journal. As other athletes face the same diagnosis, the crusading doctor embarks on a mission to raise public awareness about the dangers of football-related head trauma.Inspired by true life events, Concussion tells a compelling story about Omalu’s race against time to publicize CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a football-related brain trauma. Omalu’s emotional quest puts him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful institutions in the world.  Age restriction: 7-9 LPG

The GiftTHE GIFT  The Gift is a heart-stopping, thought-provoking psychological thriller from producers Jason Blum and Rebecca Yeldham and actor, writer, producer and first-time director Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby, Zero Dark Thirty, Warrior), that asks the question: What if someone you wronged long ago reemerged in your life through a chance encounter?When married couple Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) unexpectedly encounter Gordo (Joel Edgerton), an acquaintance from Simon’s past, little do they know that their perfect lives will be thrown into a terrifying tailspin. At first, Simon doesn’t recognize Gordo, but after a troubling series of uninvited encounters and mysterious gifts, a horrifying secret emerges. As Robyn learns what really happened between Simon and Gordo, she begins to question how well she knows her spouse.

before-we-go-alice-eve-chris-evansBEFORE WE GO A chance encounter between two strangers (Chris Evans, Alice Eve) in Grand Central Terminal sparks a life-changing, nighttime sojourn through New York City. Starring Chris Evans, Before We Go, tells the story of a woman who misses the 1:30 train from New York to Boston and the street musician who spends the night trying to help her make it home before her husband does. Throughout the night they learn about one another and even find romance.

The Night Before 2THE NIGHT BEFORE As their annual reunion tradition comes to an end, three lifelong friends (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie) plan a night of debauchery and hilarity by searching for the Nutcracka Ball, the Holy Grail of Christmas parties in New York.For the last 10 years, lifelong buddies Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have gathered on Christmas Eve to celebrate the holidays with a bang. As Isaac prepares to become a first-time father, the friends realize that their annual tradition is coming to a sad end. To make it as memorable as possible, they plan a night of debauchery and hilarity by searching for the Nutcracka Ball, the Holy Grail of Christmas parties in New York. Read more. Age restriction: 16 DLN

sinister-2-al-cinema-1675x1080SINISTER 2 Following the events from the first film, a different family; a mother and her 2 sons move into a rural house that’s marked for death. When the deputy from the first film learns that this family is next in line to fall to the demon Bhughul, he races before time to stop it and save them from the same fate.Hiding from her abusive, estranged husband, Courtney Collins lives in a rural house with her 9-year-old twins, Dylan and Zach. Young Dylan receives nightly visits from ghoulish kids who show him disturbing images of families being slaughtered. It’s all part of the grand plan of Bughuul, the evil spirit who recruits innocent children to murder their loved ones. The only hope for his intended new victims may be a former deputy who’s familiar with Bughuul’s fiendish work from the past. Age restriction: 16 HLV

Secret in their eyes 2SECRET IN THEIR EYES Rising FBI investigators Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Jess (Julia Roberts), along with Claire (Nicole Kidman), their district-attorney supervisor, are suddenly torn apart following the brutal murder of Jess’ teenage daughter. Thirteen years later, after obsessively searching for the elusive killer, Ray uncovers a new lead that he is certain can permanently resolve the case and bring long-desired closure to the team. But no one is prepared for the shocking and unspeakable secret that follows.

In a remote stretch of Patagonia, Argentina, there is a 100-year-old community that speaks Afrikaans – a language only spoken in South Africa.

In a remote stretch of Patagonia, Argentina, there is a 100-year-old community that speaks Afrikaans – a language only spoken in South Africa. It’s such an incongruous language in this area that it would be like finding a community of Icelanders in the Australian outback.

The superb documentary Die Boere op die Aardsdrempel/ The Boers At The End Of The Earth unraveling the facts behind this geographical anomaly reveals a story of pioneers who ventured far from home…

TheBoersattheEndoftheWorld_1In southern Africa, after the destruction of their farms caused by a war with the British, the Boers (“farmers”) – descendants of Dutch settlers from the 1600’s – sailed across the Atlantic to start a new life in freedom in 1902. The Boers headed into the arid heart of Patagonia where they found a land that reminded them of their distant home.

Today, their children and grandchildren still endure in this harsh place. They speak archaic Afrikaans, cook traditional foods and sing the old folk songs. But despite their fierce pride in their roots, their culture has been eroded over time and only a few dozen of the oldest individuals still speak their mother tongue. They struggle to keep their culture alive but are resigned to the knowledge that they are the last generation to speak the language in the region, and they will be gone in a decade or two. It is a parallel world of contemporary Afrikaans society, separate from the Apartheid policies that intervened in South Africa, giving a unique glimpse into what might have been.

The film focuses on a family, the Dickasons, who long to reconnect with their relatives. They travel back to Africa for the first time, exploring their sense of identity and connection with their roots, and experiencing emotional reunions with family from whom they have been separated by decades and oceans. Their ideas of home, culture and belonging will never be the same.

The bonus features include subtitle in Afrikaans and English, deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes feature.

Some Great Titles To Add To Your Collection!

brooklyn-movie

Saoirise Ronan and Emory Cohen

Add some romance to your collection with John Connelly’s well-crafted and feel-good Brooklyn, with great performances from Saoirise Ronan and Emory Cohen as two young people who meets by accident in Brooklyn in the 50s.  Ronan plays an Irish girl who is lured the the U.S.A to explore the American Dream but soon finds that she must not only choose between two countries, but between two lovers.

 

 

 

Kristen Wiig as Charlotte Goetze, Bel Powley as Minnie Goetze and Alexander Skarsgard as Monroe - Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Kristen Wiig as Charlotte Goetze, Bel Powley as Minnie Goetze and Alexander Skarsgard as Monroe – Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl is set in San Francisco in 1976 and takes us into the life of a teenager (Bel Powley) who grows up at the crossroads of the fading hippie movement and the dawn of punk rock. Like most teenage girls, she longs for love, acceptance, understanding and a sense of purpose in the world. Living with a wacky mother (Kristen Wig), does not make it easier for her, but when her mom’s super-sexy boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgård) appears on the scene, life becomes much more interesting. What follows is a sharp, funny and provocative exploration of a girl’s sexual and artistic awakening.  Bonus Features:   Take a look at how the film was created, there’s  Q & A with Bel Powley,  Alexander Skarsgård and director Marielle Heller at the LA Film Festival,  and an audio commentary with Heller and her cast.

Premiere Invitation - The Jakes are MissingIn the South African film The Jakes Are Missing an unhappily married woman (Mampho Brescia) has been struggling with her marriage to her husband Donald (Pope Jerrod) and finds herself at a crossroad wanting to leave. Donald is so occupied at work that he doesn’t notice his wife’s disposition. When their son (Mpho Sebeng), who is obsessed with music, sneaks out to a concert that could change his career, it changes his life when he becomes a witness to a murder. To escape the wrath of criminals, the Jakes family are forced to pack their bags and move to a secret location  where they meet the funniest people, fall in love and find their roots all over again.  Read an interview with writer-producer Bianca Isaac.

Deon Lotz and Deirdre Wolhuter

Deon Lotz and Deirdre Wolhuter

Explore the zany world of a crazy South African family in the writer-director Koos Roets madcap ‘n Paw Paw Vir My Darling  that takes place in post-1994 South Africa and takes a look a family’s desperate and sometimes hilarious attempts at surviving. Based on Jean Goosen’s bestseller, the story is told from the point of view of Tsjaka, the family dog (voiced by Tobie Cronje), a pavement special who witnesses the family members struggling to adapt to their circumstances and to maintain peace within themselves, their neighbours, and the authorities. The cast and great and it offers entertaining escapism.  Read an interview with Koos Roets. Read the review. Bonus features: A behind the scenes feature and music video.

GrandmaIn Grandma Lily Tomlin is terrific as a feisty Grandmother, who is trying to cope with breaking up with her girlfriend when her granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) shows up needing money for an abortion.  Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.  It offers fun and lighthearted entertainment that is amusing and poignantly shines a light on the lives of women from two distinct generations. Read an interview with writer-director Paul Weitz.  Bonus Features: Audio commentary with Lily Tomlin, Sam Elliott, Julia Garner and director Weitz, as well as a Q and A with Lily Tomlin, Sam Elliott and Weitz.

War RoomFrom the award-winning creators of Fireproof and Courageous comes the inspirational War Room, a compelling and heartfelt human drama that tells of a married couple who have everything. But appearances can be deceiving, and as their world crumbles under the strain of a failing marriage, their lives take an unexpected turn the wife is challenged to establish a ‘war room’, and a battle plan of prayer for her family.  Bonus Features: Audio commentary with director Alex Kendrick and producer Stephen Kendrick, deleted scenes, and features on ”War Room in 60 Seconds”, ”The Heart of War Room”, ”A Pastor’s Call To Prayer”, ”Investing In The Next Generation”, ”The Church On Its Knees” and a look into how the film was made.

Maggie2If you are looking for some thrills,  Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a small-town farmer who will stop at nothing when he discovers that his daughter (Abigail Breslin) is infected with a virus that transforms her into a zombie. and excitement, In Maggie.

no_escape4Owen Wilson plays man who finds an opportunity to relocate with his family to Southeast Asia, and when they get trapped in the middle of a violent rebellion that erupts, he finds that there’s No Escape and teams up with a mysterious British tourist (Pierce Brosnan), who must help him to get his family to safety;  in the action-packed Captive death and despair intersect when a man who is on the run from the police (David Oyelowo) meets up with recovering drug addict (Kate Mara) who is anxious to re-unite with her daughter – the special features on Captive include a look at how the film was made, as well as as a doccie on ”Faith and Purpose’.’

elimination-game_converted-1140x641In Elimination Game, Dominic Purcell  plays a disgraced Navy SEAL who is sentenced to rot in a maximum security military prison until he is offered to put his life on line to win his freedom. A one-man force of nature, he will have to take -on and take-down some of the world’s most ruthless killers in some of the world’s most brutal locations to win the game, obtain his freedom, and find out why he was set up. It’s a race of life and death as he tries to accomplish his task before Game On is Game Over!

Spoils of Babylon Season 1In the dance drama Breaking Through a talented young dancer (Sophia Aguar) is discovered on You Tube and gets thrust into the modern world of internet celebrity and culture where she must find a way to balance her true identity with her online persona, or risk losing everything she care about.

Open-Season-Scared-Silly-DI-1For the kids, there’s Open Season: Scared Silly.  Boog and Elliot are back in an all-new funtastic adventure. When Elliot tells a campfire story of a monster in the woods, Boog – who has never been the bravest of bears – becomes very scared. His best friend Eliot comes up with a crazy plan to scare the fear out of Boog! With the help of Mr. Weenie, McSquizzy and all your favourite forest friends, they venture on an hilarious journey where the power of friendship helps Boog to overcome his fears with lots of laughs and some surprises along the way. Bonus features: There’s a fun audio commentary with director David Feiss and writer Carlos Kotkin, a super speedy recap, and a profile on David Feiss.

Pups and pirate

In Pups and the Pirate Treasure there are six PAW Patrol adventures: Pups and the Pirate Treasure, Pups and the Ghost Pirate, Pups save the Bay, Pups save a Goodway, Pups save a Pool Day and Circus Pup-performers! Join the pups as they discover a secret pirate cave and emBARK on a treasure hunt! They also stop a ghostly pirate ship from sailing away and dive into the bay for more PAWsome water rescues. The DVD also features the video storybook Pup. Pup and Away!

 

 

A David and Goliath Story With The Chess Board As Warzone

Pawn Sacrifice is one DVD that should be added to your collection.  It’s a tense and gripping drama that focuses the spotlight on American chess phenomenon Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire), who squares off against his Russian rival Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber) in the 1972 “Match of the Century” in Reykjavik, directed by  Edward Zwick (Glory) from a crackling screenplay by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke).

Pawn

Liev Schreiber as Boris Spassky and Tobey Maguire as Bobby Fischer in the riveting Pawn Sacrifice

You don’t have to be a master at chess, or know anything about the game to enjoy it; it’s a brilliant human drama that probes the psyche of a genius who found it difficult to come to terms with his talent and rebelled against the world which he believed was filled with conspirators prying on him.

From Page To Screen: Adapting Pawn Sacrifice

 

Add These New Titles To Your Collection.

Abraham Will Break Your Heart

ABRAHAMIf there’s one film that will change your views about local film making, it’s the unforgettable Abraham from legendary South African filmmaker Jans Rautenbach,. It tells the tale of Abraham, a consummate artist from Kannaland in the early 1980’s. A dedicated husband and father who struggles to provide for his young wife Katie and their four year old daughter. But through his creative determination he finds loyal patronage in Jong Jans and his wife, Almeri. Abraham and Katie settle into their new home working for the Jans’s but Katie’s battles with mental illness and alcoholism infringe on their new found happiness. Read the review. It has an age restriction of 10-12 PGDL

 

Vampires On The Run

Byzantium-14From Neil Jordon (The Crying Game), comes the Irish horror fantasy thriller Byzantium about a mother and daughter vampire duo on the run from other vampires. When these two mysterious women seek refuge in a run-down coastal resort, Clara (Gemma Arterton) meets Noel, who provides shelter for them in his deserted guesthouse, Byzantium. Young Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan, recently seen in Brooklyn) befriends Frank (Jonny Lee Miller) and tells him their lethal secret – they are 200 years old and survive on human blood. Their past starts to catch up on them with deathly consequences as their secret spreads. If you are familiar with Neil Jordon’s sense for horror and the bizarre with films like The Company Of Wolves, this will provide ample thrills. It has an age restriction of 16 HLV

Marriage On The Rocks

Premiere Invitation - The Jakes are MissingOn the local front  The Jakes Are Missing is a romantic comedy that deals with a couple whose wedded bliss is not what it use to be.  Even with all the riches in the world they are still unhappy in love. At a crossroads, Janice is unsure of what she wants to do with her life and relationship, whilst her husband has been so obsessed with work he hasn’t noticed his wife’s despair. Their son Simon is infatuated with music but his parents do not approve of his musical interest. One night, Simon sneaks out to a music event which changes his life’s course as he becomes the key witness to a murder and escapes the crime scene with the one thing the criminals are willing to kill for.  Read an interview with producer Bianca Isaac.  It has an age restriction of 7-9PG

Walk Your Dream

The WalkThe Walk is an absolutely gripping film from director Robert Zemeckis (who gave us Forest Gump and What Lies Beneath) and tells extraordinary true story of a young French high-wire artist Philippe Petit, and a band of unlikely recruits who together achieved the impossible: an illegal high-wire walk across the immense void between the World Trade Centre towers in 1974. With little more than nerve and blind ambition, Petit and his crew overcome daunting physical obstacles, betrayals, countless close calls and overwhelming odds to beat the system and execute their mad plan. Read the review. Go behind the scenes of how the film was made. This release has an age restriction of 10-12 PG

Teenage Girl In Search Of Love And Purpose

Kristen Wiig as Charlotte Goetze, Bel Powley as Minnie Goetze and Alexander Skarsgard as Monroe - Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Kristen Wiig as Charlotte Goetze, Bel Powley as Minnie Goetze and Alexander Skarsgard as Monroe

In the provacative and alluring The Diary Of A Teenage Girl, Minnie Goetze is just like most teenage girls, longing for love and a sense of purpose in the world until she finds it in the most unlikely of places: in the arms of her mother’s boyfriend!  Set in San Francisco in the 1970s, the young vixen starts a complex love affair with her mother’s boyfriend, “the handsomest man in the world.” What follows thereafter is a sharp, funny and titillating  account of her sexual and artistic awakening, without judgment.  It has an age srestriction of 18 DLNS

The High And Lows Of Gambling.

Mississippi GrindIn Mississippi Grind, Ben Mendelsohn plays a wisecrack and talented poker player Gerry who is about to be overtaken by his gambling habit and debts. His luck starts to change after he meets the young, charismatic Curtis (played by Ryan Reynolds). Gerry convinces Curtis to hit the road with him, towards a legendary high stakes poker game in New Orleans. The highs and lows the duo experience unveil their true characters, and they form an undeniable bond along the way. It has an age restriction of 13 L

 The Kindness Of A Stranger

Take CareIn Take Care Frannie (Leslie Bibb) returns home bed-ridden after being hit by a car in need of help. After being brushed off by her sister, best friend, and neighbour, she is left with only one option: to force her reluctant and bitter ex-boyfriend (Thomas Sadoski) to care for her. Wrestling with old wounds, his jealous fiancé and disapproving friends they quickly realise that her injuries are just the beginning of their problems. This romantic comedy has an age restriction of 13 L

Freedom Killers

Elimination GameIn the action thriller Elimination Game Dominic Purcell plays a disgraced Navy SEAL who is sentenced to life in a maximum security military prison in the wake of a shocking civilian massacre in a foreign war zone.  When he is offered the opportunity to put his life on the line to win his freedom Tyler will have to take-down some of the world’s most ruthless killers in some of the most brutal locations to win the game, obtain his freedom and find out why he was set up. The question is, can he accomplish all of this before Game On is Game Over? It has an age restriction of 16 LV

The Power Of Prayer

War RoomWar Room follows Tony and Elizabeth Jordan, who on the surface seem to have it all – great jobs, a beautiful daughter and a dream home. In reality, their marriage has become a war zone and their daughter is being used as collateral damage. With guidance from Miss Clara, an older woman, Elizabeth discovers she can start fighting for her family instead of against them. As the power of prayer starts to transform her life, will Tony join the fight and become the man he knows he needs to be? Together, their real enemy doesn’t have a prayer against their faith.

An Ultimate Challenge

Robert Redford plays celebrated travel writer in A Walk In The Woods,  who challenges himself to hike the Appalachian Trail instead of retiring to enjoy his beautiful wife, and family. The Appalachian Trail is 2,200 miles of America’s most unspoiled, spectacular and rugged countryside from Georgia to Maine. However, the peace and tranquillity he hopes to find, escapes him once he agrees to being accompanied by his long lost and former friend Katz, a down-on-his-luck serial philanderer who, after a lifetime of relying on his charm and wits to keep one step ahead of the law – sees the trip as a way to sneak out of paying some debts and sneak into one last adventure before it’s too late. Also starring Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson. This romantic adventure has a 10-12 PGLS age restriction.

Hope Transforms Lives

In the drama Where Hope Grows a baseball player whose professional career was cut short due to personal problems is awakened and invigorated by a young-man with Down syndrome who works at his local grocery store. Through his new-found friendship he learns about himself and finds new hope.

Imaginary Demons Raise Hell

GoosebumpsIn Goosebumps a teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R. L. Stine after the writer’s imaginary demons are set free on the town of Madison, Delaware. Starring Jack Black. This wacky thriller has an age restriction of 10-12 PGH

A great feast of Home Entertainment for all tastes

LifeLIFE If ever you wanted to spend a week with James Dean, the superb Life is an outstanding film that transports us to New York of the 50s when Dean was at the beginning of his career. Inspired by the true story of a friendship that developed between Magnum photographer Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) and actor James Dean (Dane DeHaan) when Stock was commissioned to photograph the actor for LIFE magazine in 1955,  Australian screenwriter Luke Davies’s heartfelt screenplay is strikingly brought to life by director Anton Corbijn (A Most Wanted Man). Pattinson and DeHaan are perfectly cast and embody the true spirit of their characters, with and equally brilliant performances by Ben Kingsley as the enigmatic producer Jack Warner and Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby, Warrior) as John Morris. The film is not just a biopic about Dean’s life, but the heart-warming story of a photographer who desperately wanted to capture the soul of a fledgling star and free spirit who would change popular culture from suits to jeans and from matinee idols to teenage heartthrob.Life is an ideal film for anyone who has a love affair with movies, and also a film for discerning audiences looking for a film that captures the essence of true friendship and how strange encounters can alter our lives.

life2WIN A LIFE DVD! 

If you want to add Life to your collection, tell us who wrote the screenplay and send your answer and contact details to us

 

 

 

UNTITLED JOHN WELLS PROJECT

BURNT Bradley Cooper delivers another great performance as an impassioned Chef in search of perfection and understanding. He plays a celebrity chef who had it all and lost it. As a two-star Michelin rockstar with the bad habits to match, the former enfant terrible of the Paris restaurant scene did everything different every time out, and only ever cared about the thrill of creating explosions of taste. To land his own kitchen and that third elusive Michelin star though, he’ll need the best of the best on his side, including the beautiful Helen (Sienna Miller). Daniel Brühl is superb as Adam’s former maître d’hôtel, who now manages his father’s hotel and gives Adam a second chance. Burnt is a remarkably funny and emotional story about the love of food, the love between two people, and the power of second chances.

HomesmanTHE HOMESMAN A gritty western produced and directed by Tommy Lee Jones and co-written with Kieran Fitzgerald and Wesley Oliver, based on the 1988 novel of the same name by Glendon Swarthout.  It tells the alarming story of three women (Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter) living on the edge of the American frontier who are driven mad by harsh pioneer life and are saved by the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy (a superb performance by Hilary Swank). Transporting the women by covered wagon to Iowa, she soon realizes just how daunting the journey will be, and employs a low-life drifter, George Briggs (an equally superb performance by Tommy Lee Jones), to join her. The unlikely pair and the three women head east, where a waiting minister and his wife (Meryl Streep). James Spader makes a great cameo appearance as an arrogant Hotel owner who refuses to give them a place to overnight. The title refers to the task of taking immigrants back home, which was typically a man’s job to carry out.

Dark PlacesDARK PLACES  Heart-breaking secrets are uncovered in this haunting thriller that shines a hopeful light on the human condition and broken lives.  Adapted from Gillian’s Flynn’s 2009 novel that that preceded her breakout hit Gone Girl, it features Charlize Theron immersing herself heart and soul in the character of a Libby Day, a woman whose entire life is based on a lie.The tragic circumstances that shaped Day’s existence and turned her into a ‘celebrity’ occurred on a farm in Kansas, where she was the only surviving witness of a horrific massacre that took the lives of her mother and sisters. Believing the slaughter to be the work of a Satanic cult, she testified in court against her own brother and almost thirty years after the murder, she remains haunted by the gruesome violence of her past. Her funds run out and in a desperate attempt to get money she meets the leader of a group of amateur true crime enthusiasts (Nicholas Hoult) who call themselves ‘The Kill Club’, and is persuaded to unearth painful memories and possibly prove her brother’s innocence.Theron plays another wounded character in search of redemption, following similar roles in Monster and Mad Max: Fury Road. French director Gilles Paquet-Brenner (who also wrote the screenplay) has created a taut character piece that takes us on a gloomy and gritty journey into the lives of characters that live in the shadows of humanity.

Kidnapping-Freddy-Heinekennew-xlargeKIDNAPPING OF FREDDY HEINEKEN This thrilling human drama is based on crime journalist Peter R. de Vries’s account of what has been called “the most notorious kidnapping of the 21st Century,” Kidnapping Freddy Heineken explores the abduction of Dutch billionaire brewery magnate Freddy Heineken (Anthony Hopkins) and his chauffeur, Ab Doderer, who were kidnapped in 1983 and held for what was the largest ransom for an individual at the time.  It features great performances from Jim Sturgess, Sam Worthington and Ryan Kwanten as the hapless kidnappers who find themselves in a world of snags.

Miss MeadowsMISS MEADOWS Katie Holmes is fantastic as a prim school teacher Miss Meadows, who is not entirely what she appears. Her well-mannered exterior hides the soul of a vigilante, who takes it upon herself to right the wrongs in this cruel world by whatever means necessary. Complications arise when she becomes romantically entangled with the town sheriff (James Badge Dale) and her steadfast moral compass is thrown off, begging the question: “Who is the real Miss Meadows and what is she hiding?”

CATCHHELL-master675CATCH HELL The film follows washed up Hollywood actor Reagan Pearce (RyanPhillippe) who is kidnapped by thugs in Shreveport, Louisiana while on location making a movie. Trapped in a swamp hut, his kidnappers (Russ Russo and Stephen Louis Grush) torture and blackmail him, hijacking his twitter account and threatening to upload compromising material. Accused of sleeping with the wife of one of his kidnappers, Pearce must now face his own demons in order to escape his captors and regain his reputation.  How can he escape his predicament? This exciting thriller marks the directorial debut of Philippe, who also wrote the screenplay.

Green InfernoTHE GREEN INFERNO New York college student Justine (Lorenza Izzo), a lawyer’s daughter, meets a student activist named Alejandro (Ariel Levy) when he goes on a hunger strike on behalf of underpaid janitors. Smitten, Justine agrees to help Alejandro undertake his next project: to save the Amazon. She soon learns to regret her decision when their plane crashes in the Peruvian jungle and she and the rest of their group are taken captive by a tribe of hungry cannibals. This splatter cannibal horror film was directed by Eli Roth and co-written by Roth and Guillermo Amoedoand was inspired by Italian cannibal films of the late 1970s and early ’80s “cannibal boom,” including Cannibal Holocaust (1980), which features a film-within-a-film titled The Green Inferno. The film was criticized by Survival International, which campaigns for indigenous peoples and indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation, as reinforcing colonialism and respectively neocolonialism, as well as their stigmas against indigenous peoples, portraying them as savage.

Eli Roth

Eli Roth

Roth dismissed this argument as unimportant for stopping exploitation: “The idea that a fictional movie about a fictional tribe could somehow hurt indigenous people when gas companies are tearing these villages apart on a daily basis is simply absurd. These companies don’t need an excuse — they have one — the natural resources in the ground. They can window dress things however they like, but nobody will destroy a village because they didn’t like a character in a movie, they’ll do it because they want to get rich by draining what’s under the village. The fear that somehow a movie would give them ammunition to destroy a tribe all sounds like misdirected anger and frustration that the corporations are the ones controlling the fates of these uncontacted tribes.

American UltraAMERICAN ULTRA In this fast-paced action comedy, the small-town life of a seemingly hapless and unmotivated stoner[Jesse Eisenberg] with his live-in girlfriend, Phoebe [Kirsten Stewart], is suddenly turned upside down. Unbeknownst to him, Mike is actually a highly trained, lethal sleeper agent created by the CIA, which has just targeted him for termination. As some of the agency’s deadliest assets are unleashed upon his sleepy town, Mike’s sympathetic former handler, Lasseter [Connie Britton], activates his latent skills, turning the mild-mannered slacker into a superhuman killing machine. As Mike’s once-simple life becomes an adrenaline-fueled chase, no one is more surprised than he is to discover his uncanny ability to turn even an ordinary spoon into a weapon of mass destruction. With an obsessed agent [Topher Grace] hot on his heels, the newly reborn super-assassin summons his inner action-hero to try and save himself and the love of his life from complete destruction. The film is directed by Nima Nourizadeh [Project X, Cali] and written by Max Landis [Chronicle, Me Him Her].

perfect-guy-trailer-michael-ealyTHE PERFECT GUY Leah (Sanaa Lathan) is a successful lobbyist in a long-term relationship with Dave (Morris Chesnut). She decides it’s time to take the next step and get married and start a family. When Dave isn’t as sure that he’s ready for that, they split up. After Leah continually bumps into the charming Carter (Michael Ealy), they begin a relationship and she thinks she may have found the perfect guy. But, after a sexually-charged courtship, she sees a violent side of him and ends the relationship. In a jealous rage and fuelled by insane revenge, his heated obsession soon turns her idyllic life into a nightmare she cannot escape from.

 

hotel-transylvania-2-mov-jy-0469-68992134HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2  In this sequel to, “Hotel Transylvania”, the hotel is now open to human guests. Mavis and Johnny have a baby boy named Dennis whose lack of any vampire abilities worries his grandfather Count Dracula. When they leave for a visit to Johnny’s parents, Dracula calls upon friends Frank, Murray, Wayne, Griffin and Blobbie to assist him in putting Dennis through a ‘monster-in-training’ boot camp. However, when Dracula’s father, Vlad, arrives at the hotel for an impromptu family get-together, Hotel Transylvania is in for a collision of supernatural old-school and modern day cool.

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PREMATURE  Rob is facing the biggest day of his life yet. He needs to nail his college interview ensuring entrance to his parents’ alma mater, keep his wits about him when life-long crush Angela – nicknamed ‘After School Special’ – finally seems to show interest, and deal with his best friends as realisation dawns that their high school days are ending. As the pressure builds, something strange happens: He finds himself reliving the day’s events over and over again. Is he stuck in a dream? Experiencing déjà vu? Or is Rob having a psychotic break?

‘’This is my chance to kind of exploit myself!’’

Ryan Phillippe has been acting professionally for over twenty years, and he can now add writer and director to his impressive resume with the thrilling Catch Hell that is available on DVD in South Africa from February 5.

CATCHHELL-master675

The film follows washed up Hollywood actor Reagan Pearce (Phillippe) who is kidnapped by thugs in Shreveport, Louisiana while on location making a movie. Trapped in a swamp hut, his kidnappers (Russ Russo and Stephen Louis Grush) torture and blackmail him, hijacking his twitter account and threatening to upload compromising material. Accused of sleeping with the wife of one of his kidnappers, Pearce must now face his own demons in order to escape his captors and regain his reputation.

40-year-old Phillippe began his career with roles in such films as Crimson Tide, White Squall, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and 54, but it was his performance in Cruel Intentions that made him a household name.

He went on to appear in a string of critically acclaimed films like Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers, and the Academy Award-winning Crash, as well as the box office hit The Lincoln Lawyer, and the cult classic MacGruber.

But now Phillippe makes his directorial debut with the new horror thriller Catch Hell, which he also stars in, co-wrote, and produced, and is released on DVD in South Africa on February 5.

How did you come up with the story for Catch Hell?

I was shooting in Louisiana on a small film called Straight A’s with Anna Paquin. When you go on location you talk to coordinators on the ground but you never see them face-to-face. A lot of times celebrities live with all of these cameras outside their house, security systems, and gates. But on location, you get a call saying hop in this van and you blindly do it. So all of those things that you do to protect yourself, you just let fall by the waste side and just hop into this vehicle with strangers. I was being taken out for a horseback lesson for the movie, and we were driving 40 minutes from my hotel into the woods. I thought, what if they are not who they said they were? The possibility of that in an actor’s experience just grabbed me. I thought this could be a movie! I just kept it feeling like something that could happen. One of the benefits about using myself in that regard instead of someone like Brad Bitt or George Clooney is that it would not be a full on media firestorm, the way it would be if Brad Pitt went missing. That guy who is potentially me, so I could keep it more contained and it could be a smaller story even though it was bigger idea. So I had that original idea and I started thinking about the movie Misery. I started thinking that it has been 20 plus years since that movie was made. We were shooting in Louisiana at that time, so I thought about Deliverance and how that part of the world has so much character. Those were the ingredients.

Why was this the right film for you to make your directorial debut?

This is a film that I thought I could simply sell in one line. Which was: an actor kidnapped by a guy whose wife he had an affair with him. So I felt like it was something that would only cost a modest amount of money, which is why I thought I could make it my first film. It was an idea I thought was easily sellable because it fell within the parameters of a genre movie. I was already using myself as the lead so that accounted for some financing. It also allowed for liberties where I could blend reality and fantasy. I could borrow from myself and make fun of myself. I could use my career and substitute titles for other movies, then reference them in a way. If you don’t know my movies I think it still works, and if you do know my films then it is kind of fun. Ultimately what I wanted to do was make a short story and have it portrayed as a modern Misery. I also wanted to tie it to things that have happened in the press over the last few years, be it the nude photo leaks or the situation Mel Gibson went through where you can see how words attributed to a person can be their undoing. It was kind of like using something that is relatively simple, and then complicating it with this notion of it being the blend of a reality movie. Sort of like a hybrid of a genre film and a reality show. That was experimental about it I guess. If I had my choice, I would have cast Ryan Gosling. I would have not been in front of the camera. I would have just made the movie, but that was never going to happen. So I decided to do double duty and exploit myself, which is another meta-element of the film because the companies we work for exploit all actors in some fashion, and the projects they are involved with. So this is my chance to kind of exploit myself.

Catch HellWas it difficult for you to direct yourself in the torture sequences?

There was a fair amount of shooting from the hip and trusting those around me. Joe Gossett, who I co-wrote the movie with, was on set all the time. A lot of times I would not even watch playback. I would go based on how I felt about the scene as an actor. We did not have the time to sit there and play. I could not get in and out of the chains over and over again. That would just eat up my production day. I learned this very much from Clint Eastwood in particular because his sets, even when they are big budgets, they operate very efficiently and he does not sit at the monitor and let everybody gather around for playback. He keeps it moving. There are a thousand things I would do differently now, but this is how I had to make this movie. I just kind of had to go for it.

As an actor you’ve worked with some of the greatest directors of all-time including Robert Altman, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, and as you just mentioned, Clint Eastwood. Were you able to draw on your experiences working with them to help you direct this film?

Yes, a hundred percent. Altman and Eastwood in particular because of the lack yelling on their sets. Everyone feels like they are part of the process. Everyone feels validated. I knew that when I made my first movie, it was important to give the crew and the actors a great experience. As much as we were going to have to run and gun because of our constraints, we were going to enjoy it. We were going to have fun, and we would be laughing. We would finish the days relatively painlessly because people come in with enthusiasm. I took all of those production aspects into account before we even started rolling the camera. I was determined because you never know how something is going to turn out, even when you have the amount of control that I did with this film. I was determined that when I look back on making this film as a director, it would be with fondness. I wanted anybody who was there to feel the same way. I am very proud of the fact that that is the case. I had so many people from the crew tell me this was their favorite job they have ever worked on. I think some of that translates into the movie. As dark and as weird as it is, there is a sense of humor. It does not take itself too seriously. There are hints of camp here and there. It is meant to be fun, even the creepy parts. That is why it ends the way it does with this sort of tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement. It is supposed to be a laugh. It is supposed to be a weird little short story. There also was a choice to kind of expose myself and put myself out there. I liked that.

What did you learn from making Catch Hell that will help you the next time you direct a movie?

The amount that I learned I could write a book about. What I know is most important to me and most exciting to me going forward is that I do not want to star in the next one. I want to be able to have the objectivity and the time to focus solely on the filmmaking. This was a unique film in that way because in order for people to sign off on me as a first-time director, I was limited within certain parameters. The next one that I am going to direct, I will not be starring in and it will not be a genre movie. This was very specific to this idea and to getting the first one done. Showing people that I could come in on time, under budget with their money and that I could tell a story. You have got to start somewhere. I think the scariest and most exciting thing about Catch Hell is people are seeing me do something for the first time if they see this movie. I would not want people to go back and watch my first job as an actor. I think I did a little bit better with my first job as a director. I am kind of nervous about it. I do not know what people’s reactions will be. I think I am very proud of the performances in it. I think Stephen Louis Grush who plays Junior is really incredible and stays with you after the movie. He’s an actor who has never had a lead role in a movie before. There is a lot that I feel like I have to be proud of, even knowing there are a thousand things I would do differently.

You filmed in Shreveport last year. Was Catch Hell what you were worried might happen to you?

To some degree! As an actor you go to location, and you’ve only spoken to people on the phone. You’ve never seen anybody face to face. So I was in Shreveport, and I needed to take horseback riding lessons for the movie. These two guys pick me up at my hotel and drive me about 40 minutes away. I knew I was safe, but as we’re driving into these woods, the plausibility of the whole scenario struck me. At home in LA, you might have video cameras and gates, and some people have guards. But you go on location, and when a van pulls up, you just blindly hop in.

catch-hell-image-ryan-phillippe-stephen-louis-grush-600x400Were those real alligators you got up close and personal with?

We did! Yeah, we had alligators on set—those are not CG. We didn’t have the money for that [laughs]. We did it in 19 days, for under $2 million. There was a little bit of a guerrilla, “let’s go for it and see what happens” mentality.

Reagon Pearce, your character in Catch Hell, has the same publicist as you do in real life.

And my manager, David Schiffer, plays himself too. In no real disguised manner, I’m basically playing myself. Another thread to this movie was the attempt to do something like a reality-genre movie hybrid. I used myself, my career, and there are definitely references made to movies I’ve done under different titles. I just thought that was kind of fun. If I had had a choice I would’ve written this movie around Ryan Gosling and used his movies. But I wasn’t going to get anybody like that [laughs].

holmesMR. HOLMES  “One shouldn’t leave this life without a sense of completion,” declares 93-year-old Sherlock Holmes in the absolutely superb Mr.Holmes, a new twist on the world’s most famous detective that is definitely one of the top films of the year. Adapted with verve and vivacity from Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, this tale of a man in search of his memory gloriously re-unites Ian McKellen with director Bill Condon after their collaboration on the Academy Award-winning Gods and Monsters. McKellen is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors of our time, delivering an endearing and heartfelt performance as Mr. Holmes, perfectly capturing the story of a man who embraces his solitude and firmly believes that fiction is nonsense and that fact is logical. Mr Holmes is set in 1947, following the long-retired Sherlock Holmes living in a Sussex with his housekeeper and rising detective son. Holmes is haunted by a 30-year old case which remains unsolved but with a memory that isn’t what it once was, he can only remember fragments of the case: a confrontation with an angry husband, and a secret bond with his beautiful but unstable wife.

black-sea2BLACK SEA The gripping deep-sea thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last moment. Nothing beats setting a story in the claustrophobic confines of a submarine, especially if it’s loaded with testosterone ready to explode! It’s one of those marvellous mystery thrillers where you plummet into the darkness of human despair, where flawed characters are pitted against each other and there’s a relentless killer with a taste for blood. If you’re claustrophobic beware, there are moments in Black Sea that you will stop breathing and be swallowed by the suspense. It is also a great human drama with rich characters brought to life by an extraordinary cast. Jude Law is in top form as a working-class ex-Navy man who pulls together a misfit crew to brave the deep and go after a sunken treasure in a German U-boat full of WWII sitting on a bed in the Georgian depths of the Black Sea. It vividly explodes with emotional action under the skilful direction of director Kevin Macdonald, who gave us the Oscar-winning One Day in September, The Last King of Scotland and Touching the Void.

BoychoirBOYCHOIR  A moving drama which tells the story of a troubled young orphan, called Stet, who ends up at a Boy Choir school after the death of his mother. Out of his element, he soon finds himself in a battle of wills against his demanding Choir master, played by Dustin Hoffman. His new teacher recognises his unique talent and pushes him to discover his heart and soul through music. This delightful movie also Kathy Bates and Josh Lucas.

 

 

LopezJENNIFER LOPEZ: DANCE AGAIN This documentary offers rare insight into the world of Jennifer Lopez, one of the world’s most well-known entertainers. This documentary combines high-energy performances with a candid look at the demands of balancing her personal and professional life over a defining six-month period. Featuring behind-the-scenes moments capturing the challenges of her first world tour with her two young children, parents and closest friends in tow. Lopez kicked off her tour in South America, and completed the tour in Puerto Rico, the same venue where she held her first concert 11 years earlier.

selflessSELF/ LESS An extremely wealthy man, dying from cancer, undergoes an experimental   medical procedure which transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man. Not all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin and the organisation that will kill to protect its cause. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley.

 

amyAMY A documentary telling the incredible story of six-time Grammy-winner Amy Winehouse – in her own words. With extensive unseen archive footage, this moving film shines a light on the once-in-a-generation talent. Amy Winehouse instantly captured the world’s attention, and was a pure jazz artist in the most authentic sense and a talent who wrote and sang from the heart, using her musical gifts to analyse her own problems. This biopic’s combination of the raw honesty and incredible talent is unmissable!

ricki_flash_2-xlargeRICKY AND THE FLASH Three-time Academy Award® winner Meryl Streep goes electric and takes on a whole new persona in this movie about a hard-rocking singer/guitarist called Ricki. This uplifting comedy- drama sees Streep in the starring role as a guitar heroine who gave up her family in her pursuit of rock-and-roll stardom. Upon hearing of a crisis in her daughter’s life, she returns home to make amends. Streep starts opposite her real-life daughter Mamie Gummer, and Kevin Kline.

lilaLILA AND EVE A  female vigilante thriller that’s skilfully elevated by the performances of leads Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez. After the senseless murder of her son (Aml Ameen), a grief-stricken mother (Davis) joins forces with another woman (Lopez) for vigilante justice.

New releases: December 2015

man-uncle-movie-review

MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E Take a trip back to the 1960s with The Man from U.N.C.L.E., a stylish take on the hugely popular 60s television series.In Sherlock Holmes (and its sequel) Guy Ritchie brought a fresh perspective to the relationship between legendary sleuth Holmes and his colleague Watson, and now takes the buddy genre to another entertaining level with the exploits of CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin.Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s at the height of the Cold War, Solo and Kuryakin are forced to put aside long-standing hostilities and team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organisation that is bent on destabilising the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology.What makes The Man from U.N.C.L.E. work extremely well is the chemistry between Henry Cavill as Solo, the suave-and-savvy American, and Armie Hammer the moody and volatile Russian. The film is a clever exploration of how the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.) was formed. “What I remember most about the series was its tone,” Ritchie reflects. “And when the opportunity arose for me to make the movie, that’s what inspired me. The idea of The Man from UNCLE just rang a bell for me. I had an intuitive response to it.” “The reason we were interested in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. initially was because we felt that we occupied a space that no one else was occupying. It felt like what we saw as the golden era of the thriller spy genre, if you will, but with retrospect, we could weed out the chaff and keep the weight in from our perspective. So it feels like it’s a revisionist diversion – what we like to say in a positive sense – of the amalgamation of the early genre. We felt we had a unique voice in that.” Read more

TerminatorTERMINATOR GENISYS Thirty years after a new cinematic icon named Terminator changed the future of sci-fi films, it’s time to reset the future with Terminator Genisys. Producer David Ellison makes it clear that it is “not a remake, it’s not a reboot, it’s not a sequel – it’s really a reimagining based on the Cameron source material. Viewers don’t have to be familiar with any of the previous films at all – this is definitely a standalone film. But, that being said, for the fans who have seen the first couple of films, there are some great Easter eggs in there. Exploiting the inherent nature of time travel, we go off on a divergent timeline to take these characters that audiences and I grew up with in a completely new direction”. In Terminator Genisys John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future. An unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline and Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, including a new T-800 terminator, the Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission. “This is the largest scale Terminator movie that’s ever been made,” Ellison concludes. “There are bigger action sequences in Genisys than any prior Terminator film. You’re going to see the fully rendered future war, which nobody has ever been able to do yet, and you’re going to see new Terminators that will hopefully have exactly the same impact as when you saw the T-1000 back in 1991. We have set the bar incredibly high, and we’re going for it.” Read more

max-r6-v0112-20150309-16-jd-g-r709-2k-535528-tifMAX In this heartwarming family adventure from writer/director Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans) a precision-trained military dog, Max serves on the frontlines in Afghanistan alongside his handler, U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott.  But when things go terribly wrong on maneuvers, Kyle is mortally wounded and Max, traumatized by the loss of his best friend, is unable to remain in service. Sent stateside, the only human he seems willing to connect with is Kyle’s teenage brother, Justin, so Max is saved when he is adopted by Kyle’s family. But Justin has issues of his own, including living up to his father’s expectations, and he isn’t interested in taking responsibility for his brother’s troubled dog.  However, Max may be Justin’s only chance to discover what really happened to his brother that day on the front, and with the help of Carmen, a tough-talking young teen who has a way with dogs, Justin begins to appreciate his canine companion.Justin’s growing trust in Max helps the four-legged veteran revert back to his heroic self, and as the pair race to unravel the mystery, they find more excitement—and danger—than they bargained for.  But they each might also find an unlikely new best friend…in each other. “Max” stars Josh Wiggins (Hellion) as Justin Wincott, Lauren Graham (TV’s Parenthood) as his mom, Pamela, and Oscar nominee Thomas Haden Church (Sideways) as his dad, Ray.Yakin directed the film from a screenplay he wrote with Sheldon Lettich (“Rambo III,” “Double Impact”).  Karen Rosenfelt (“Marley & Me,” the “Twilight” series) and Ken Blancato (“The Book Thief”) produced the film, with Ben Ormand and Yakin serving as executive producers.

vacation0025VACATION Vacation is a riotous comedy where anything can happen and mostly everything and even more does, taking spending quality time with your family to the extreme.For fans who remember the classic National Lampoon Vacation comedies that first hit the screen over three decades ago, giving audiences lasting memories of the disasters that can befall a family on a cross-country road trip, this new trip introduces us to the next generation of Griswolds, a dysfunctional American family that is disaster in action.If you enjoy comedy that is wild and totally outrageous, where wacky gets new meaning, Vacation is laugh-out-loud silliness that will entertain as much as it will offend and shock. Comedy is definitely in the eye of the beholder and if you find a family leisurely swimming around in human faeces hysterical, a small tractor smashing through a cow side-splitting, or Chris Hemsworth (Thor) prancing around in his underpants sporting an above average erection, then Vacation will most definitely tickle your funny bone.It’s not sophisticated or intelligent humour, but tells it like it is without holding back.In this outing Ed Helms (from The Hangover films) and Christina Applegate (the Anchorman films), takes the family on the road for another ill-fated adventure. Following in his father’s footsteps and hoping for some much-needed family bonding, a grown-up Rusty Griswold surprises his wife, and their two sons with a cross-country trip back to America’s “favourite family fun park,” Walley World.  Anything that could possibly go wrong to turn vacation heaven into absolute hell does.Horrible Bosses scribes Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley wrote Vacation, which also marks their feature film directorial debut. Both are die-hard fans of the film franchise, particularly the one that launched it.“We love ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’; it’s legendary,” Goldstein attests. “We wanted our new take on ‘Vacation’ to work for people who know and love the original, but also for those who may not be familiar with it.” Daley agrees. “It was important for the new movie to be able to stand on its own while still paying respects to its classic predecessor.” Read more

mission-impossible-rogue-nation-motorcycle-explosion_1920.0-e1433808025568MISSION IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION Fasten your seatbelts for the five-star Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the explosive fifth instalment in the constantly accelerating action-thriller series that is unquestionably the best action film of the year.It delivers what it promises, and much, much more: daredevil action sequences, action-packed chase sequences, deadly adversaries, ticking time bombs and explosive thrills. It offers the ultimate in entertainment and succeeds on all levels, showcasing the art of filmmaking. It’s a film you have to see to believe fully. Yes, it’s an ultra-spectacular experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat. You will be exhausted after watching the film; it’s a film you experience and totally draws you into the hard core physical action and involves you with its rewarding emotional pay-off.Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt, facing his most blisteringly impossible mission yet, confronting The Syndicate, an impenetrable, exquisitely trained group of renegade spies who have left behind their countries for an agenda all their own – an agenda intent on destabilising the very foundations of civilisation.This time out, Cruise’s iconic character, Ethan Hunt, finds himself in non-stop peril – physical, mental, and emotional – from the film’s literally high-flying opening moments through one relentless situation after another.Hunt’s situation is precarious on every level. The IMF is on the outs, the CIA doesn’t trust him, and now he’s discovered a rogue agency with the spy power to bring down any nation it targets – and they want him to join their crusade of destruction or they want him dead.Reteaming with Cruise as Hunt’s fellow agents are Jeremy Renner as William Brandt; Simon Pegg as whiz-kid Benji; and Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell, with Swedish Rebecca Ferguson (Hercules) as the mysterious Ilsa Faust; Sean Harris (Prometheus) as Solomon Lane and Alec Baldwin as CIA Director Alan Hunley.What makes this fifth journey into the world of Mission Impossible work extremely well is director Christopher McQuarrie, whose interpretation of his screenplay amplifies the vision he had for the film. Read more

5 to 75 TO 7 Brian (Anton Yelchin), a talented young writer, meets the beautiful, intriguing Arielle (Bérénice Marlohe) over a cigarette outside the Manhattan St. Regis. She’s older than he, married, French, and the mother of two. “You can stop that sentence anywhere along the way,” Brian’s father tells him, “and have reason enough not to be in the relationship.” But neither party can resist the other, and, against his better judgment — he was raised right — they begin a cinq-a-sept affair. Before long, Brian has broken every rule he ever had for himself. And he’s never been happier. Amid the comedy of the clash of cultures, world views, personal ethics and dietary preferences, peppered by the surprising reactions of those around them, Brian and Arielle fall more and more deeply in love. But, while the hours of 5 to 7 each day may suit Arielle perfectly, Brian begins to hunger for more. Soon, they must face the most important decision of their lives. We don’t choose love, it chooses us. The question is how hard we’re willing to fight for it when there are a thousand reasons to let go. In 5 to 7, the remarkable answer is equal parts romance, laughter and tears.

December 2015 releases

While-Were-Young_-Baumbach-Noah_2015-FlickMinuteWHILE WE’RE YOUNG Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts play Josh and Cornelia Srebnick, a married middle-aged couple of creatives in New York. Unable to have their own family, they decided that they are fine with this – that is until they meet Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried), a free-spirited young couple, who are spontaneous and untethered, ready to drop everything in pursuit of their next passion – whatever it may be for that day! For Josh, who is painstakingly working on the umpteenth edit of his latest documentary, it’s clear that something is still missing and it’s as if a door has opened back to his youth – or a youth he wishes he once had.

 StretchSTRETCH A hard-luck limo driver struggles to go straight and pay off a debt to his bookie. He takes on a job with a crazed passenger, whose sought-after ledger implicates some seriously dangerous criminals. Starring Patrick Wilson and Ed Helms.

 

 

woman-in-gold-mirren-ryan-xlargeWOMAN IN GOLD Woman in Gold is based on the true story of Maria Altman, an Austrian Jew, who sought to regain a world famous painting of her aunt plundered by the Nazis during World War II. She did so not just to regain what was rightfully hers, but also to obtain some measure of justice for the death, destruction, and massive art theft perpetrated by the Nazis. This powerful movie stars Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren. WIN DVD

CHRISTMASTHE CHRISTMAS SWITCH When Christmas ‘magic’ switches the bodies of a career-oriented single father and his 11 year-old son, they are forced to see the world through each other’s eyes, the pair find themselves growing closer as they scramble to figure out the secret of the magic that caused their predicament in time for Christmas!

 

 

 

 

PUPSPUPS UNITED The heart-warming Pups United stars Rob Schneider. When the movie kicks off, the Children’s World Cup of Soccer is in full swing, with teams from all over the world bringing a dog as their mascot. Ryan is a benchwarmer for the US children’s team whose duties revolve around team mascot Rex, the loveable Blue Heeler Border Collie who can secretly talk – but only with other dogs. Despite making new friends, Rex soon finds that this World Cup Event won’t be the vacation he hoped for when he uncovers a secret evil plot that threatens the tournament and now he must unite all the dogs to save the players and a stadium full of fans!

 

 

November 2015 releases

pro2Die Pro is a superb local film that tells the story of a young surfer, Tiaan Nothnagel who has to come to terms with the accidental death of his best friend, Dirkie Lawrence just before their last year at school. After Dirkie’s death, Tiaan swears off surfing as he cannot stand to be reminded of everything they once shared. Dirkie’s twin sister arrives in town on a mission: to be selected to go on Wave-Seekers, a fictional World Surf Tour and something that Tiaan and Dirkie dreamt of doing. In order to succeed, she needs Tiaan’s help, and by implication, she needs him to get back on his surfboard. Win a Die Pro DVD

 


RIOT CLUB

The Riot Club is an intense thriller centred around an elitist gentleman’s club, created for the benefit of Oxford University’s wealthiest students. New student Miles joins Oxford, eager to throw himself into University life – he finds himself drawn to Lauren, an attractive and spirited working class student. Lauren is soon vying for Miles’ attention with Hugo, an older member of the Riot Club who sees him as Club material. Much to Mile’s dismay, the Riot Club is more than meets the eye and in a world where there are no limits, he finds his own tested.


5 flightsIn Richard Loncarine’s absolutely delightful 5 Flights Up, Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton play a retired married couple who have been living in a run-down apartment in a sketchy part of Brooklyn for forty years and are still love each other deeply.  With their neighborhood now very hip and their apartment worth a small fortune, they let Ruth’s niece Lily (Cynthia Nixon), a real estate agent, list their property to see what the market might bear. On the eve of their open house, the Brooklyn Bridge is rumored to be under a terrorist attack, sending the media into a frenzy and people’s attitudes about living in New York, and their beloved dog, is suddenly having trouble walking. They decide to go apartment hunting in Manhattan, where they miraculously come across an ideal place they might actually be able to afford. As the world around them seems to mirror their own chaos and confusion, they realize the same bond of love that has kept them together all these years will allow them to see their way through this crazy weekend as well.


Life of CrimeThe stylized dark caper comedy Life of Crime is based on Elmore Leonard’s novel and stars Jennifer Aniston as the wife of a corrupt real estate developer (Tom Robbins) who is kidnapped by two common criminals (Yasiin Bey and John Hawkes), who intend to extort him with inside information about his crooked business and off-shore accounts. But the husband decides he’d actually rather not pay the ransom to get back his wife, setting off an unbelievable sequence of double crosses and plot twists that could only come from the mind of Elmore Leonard.

 

 


After the ballThe charming After the Ball is a retail fairy tale set in the world of fashion. Kate’s dream is to design for couturier houses. Although she is a bright new talent, Kate can’t get a job. No one trusts the daughter of Lee Kassell, a retail guru who markets clothes “inspired” by the very designers Kate wants to work for. Who wants a spy among the sequins and stilettos? Reluctantly, Kate joins the family business where she must navigate around her duplicitous stepmother and two wicked stepsisters, but with help from a prince of a guy in the shoe department, a god-brotherly gay pal in the design office, her godmother’s vintage clothes, and a shocking switch of identities, Kate exposes the evil trio, saves her father’s company, and proves that everyone can wear a fabulous dress.


Bark Rangerin Bark Ranger two kids and a trusty dog, Ranger, stumble across a treasure map whilst playing in an abandoned ranger station. They set off on the adventure of a lifetime in search of a forgotten gold mine, but things take a turn for the worst when they come across a pair of clumsy crooks hiding out from the police.

Mountain manMountain Men is a family comedy that follows two estranged brothers, Toph and Cooper, as they journey to a remote family cabin in the mountains. Buried resentments and bruised egos come to light when they destroy their car and burn down the cabin, leaving them stranded in the Rocky Mountain winter. With their survival at stake, they are tested to their limits and must learn to work together to get back to civilization.

 


Song_OneThe superb Song One was written and directed by Kate Barker-Froyland and follows Franny Ellis (Anne Hathaway), an anthropology student who returns to New York City after her estranged brother, Henry (Ben Rosenfield), a musician, entered a coma after being hit by a car. To revive Henry and repair their relationship, Franny uses writings from Henry’s journal to travel among New York City music clubs, where she takes notes on the phrases and music she observes. She fills Henry’s sterile hospital room with familiar sounds and scents. Eventually, Franny meets Henry’s favorite musician, James Forrester (Johnny Flynn), at his concert, and convinces him to play for Henry. Franny and James explore New York City through Henry’s experiences, develop a romantic relationship.

 


SouthpawSouthpaw is a hardcore sports drama directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Kurt Sutter. Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a boxer who lives in New York City with his wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) and their daughter Leila (Oona Laurence). During a match in which he defends his World Light Heavyweight title, Billy sustains an eye injury and is convinced by Maureen to retire while he’s at the top. At a charity event for the orphanage where he and his wife both grew up, Billy is taunted by an up-and-coming boxer, Miguel “Magic” Escobar, leading to tragedy. The bonus features include interviews with director Antoine Fuqua, Rachel Mc Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Kurt Sutter.

 

 


GuestThe thrilling The Guest was directed and edited by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett. It features a brilliant performance by Dan Stevens as David, the ideal house guest. Both friendly and charming, the young soldier arrives on the doorstep of the Peterson family, appearing to be a friend of their deceased son who died in action. They welcome David into their home and lives, but when a series of mysterious deaths start in their town, their teenage daughter Anna wonders if David is responsible. As Anna’s suspicions intensify, an investigation escalates into a full-blown manhunt – will Anna be able to keep her family safe, or is it all too late?

 

 


Everly

Everly is a gritty action thriller film directed by Joe Lynch and written by Yale Hannon based on a story by Lynch and Hannon. The film stars Salma Hayek as the title character as a tough heroine; naked and beaten, she has to pull together her last shred of dignity as her attackers, a half dozen Yakuza thugs, laugh and party just outside her door.  The movie centres on a night in Everly’s apartment. She faces down hitmen sent by her ex- a mob boss, while holed up in her home.

 

 

 


PressureIn the terrifying Pressure a group of deep sea divers are trapped in a small pod on the sea bed, after diving down to the bottom of the Indian Ocean in a diving bell to repair a gas pipeline. It’s a grim but lucrative job and they are under immense pressure from the ocean’s weight and, naturally, their own various emotional states. As they face their deepest fears, hold your breath, control your fear and experience where terror runs deep!  Engel (Huston) is haggard and haunted by his past; Mitchell (Matthew Goode) is a thoughtful, Bible-reading guy; Hurst (Alan McKenna) is burnt out from the job and Jones (Joe Cole) is a cocky youngster whose girlfriend has just had a baby. Disaster strikes and this quartet face terrifying choices in a confined space.

The violence of excess

The world of a group of rich-and-spoilt undergraduates in The Riot Club is perversely painted in money and they don’t give a damn.

RIOT CLUB

The explosive drama of The Riot Club is an emotional journey into the world of corrupted minds where perverse violence rules their morality.

Based on Laura Wade’s hit play, the film tells the story of an exclusive Oxford University undergraduate dining society.

At the beginning of a new term new, candidates are selected to join the group and when Miles (Max Irons) joins them his world is turned inside out as their insane egocentricity runs wild and they rebel against convention.

In the tradition of A Clockwork Orange, The Riot Club explores the excess of violence in an idyllic world, where malevolent evil corrupts sensible human nature and turns ordinary young men into monstrosities. It takes you into the heart of posh English upper-class society and, ultimately, reveals the dark soul of its lonely worshippers.

The Riot Club is not a film about violence, but a poignant coming-of-age story, showing how easily innocence and first love can be corrupted and violated.  Read more

gallowsThe Gallows is the scariest film in years

With the tag line ‘Every school has its spirit’ the concept is brilliant, showing what happens when four high school friends are trapped inside a school’s auditorium where a student died 10 years before in a freak accident during Beatrice High’s production of the play The Gallows. The  concept is brilliant, showing what happens when four high school friends are trapped inside a school’s auditorium where a student died 10 years before in a freak accident during Beatrice High’s production of the play The Gallows. Revenge has never been sweeter and more frightening, particularly with the film shot in found-footage style. The Gallows was written, directed and produced by Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff and shot entirely outside of the Hollywood system, and found its way to the big screen thanks to the filmmakers use of a much smaller one-the computer-and their own ingenuity. The bonus features include a very entertaining making of doccie as well as deleted scenes and a fun gag reel.  Read more / Visit the website Special Feature: How to make a hit Independent Film

From left to right: Christopher Plummer (Joseph Cutter, left), Will Cutter (Tye Sheridan, center) and Raymond Cutter (John Travolta, right) - Photo Credit: Lionsgate

THE FORGER – 2015 FILM STILL – From left to right: Christopher Plummer (Joseph Cutter, left), Will Cutter (Tye Sheridan, center) and Raymond Cutter (John Travolta, right) – Photo Credit: Lionsgate

A family of crooks

A suspenseful and moving thriller, The Forger switches seamlessly from bracing violence and criminal hijinks to scenes of painstaking familial reparations.

It is also a showcase for the singular talents of John Travolta, who turns in an affecting performance as a man who has spent his life applying his artistic gifts in all the wrong ways.

Learning that his teenage son Will (Tye Sheridan) has been diagnosed with cancer, Ray Cutter (John Travolta) manages to get out of prison nine months ahead of schedule to rejoin the household where Ray’s spry, ornery dad, Joseph (Christopher Plummer), has been caring for Will in Ray’s absence.

The hitch is that, while Ray wants to go straight, the shady character who made Ray’s early release possible expects him to pull off a heist as payment.

The job involves snatching Monet’s Woman with Parasol from the museum where it’s on display and replacing it with a replica so perfect that no one will notice. An experienced thief and a world-class art forger, Ray is the only man for the job, and in any case he has no choice. But can he perform this high-stakes robbery while also trying to fulfill his dying son’s wishes?

With a dynamite supporting cast that includes Abigail Spencer as the undercover agent tracking Ray’s every move, Anson Mount as the local drug kingpin who puts the pressure on Ray, Marcus Thomas as Ray’s best friend and cohort, Travis Aaron Wade as the local cop who assists the investigation, and Jennifer Ehle as Ray’s ex-wife and Will’s estranged mother, The Forger boasts both compelling characters and inventive set pieces.

At the core of the film are the father-son relationships across the three generations, and the chemistry between Travolta and Sheridan makes for heart-rending scenes. Ray cannot forestall the tragedy soon to visit, but he can work magic with brushes, brains, and fists to ensure that what time the Cutter family has left together is spent making a dream come true.

It is directed by Emmy and BAFTA award-winning director Philip Martin, whose credits since include the last Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren, piloting the BBC’s international hit Wallander with Kenneth Branagh, the BAFTA award-winning political drama MO with Julie Walters for Channel 4, Working Title’s production of Sebastian Faulks’ WWI epic Birdsong, and the acclaimed crowd-sourced documentary feature Japan In A Day for Scott Free Films.

The screenwriter is Richard D’Ovidio, who has been a working screenwriter in Hollywood for the last fifteen years. He has written screenplays for all the major studios and worked with such directors and producers as Paul Verhoeven, Tony Scott, Andrzej Bartkowiak, Joel Silver, Mark Gordon and Sam Raimi.  His also wrote the screenplays for The Call, Exit Wounds and Thirteen Ghosts.

 

 

Academy Award winner Hilary Swank (Conviction, Million Dollar Baby) and rapidly rising star Emmy Rossum (Shameless) intertwine in You're Not You, a surprisingly funny, defiantly unsentimental and starkly moving portrait of a high-stakes friendship between two women - one literally in need of a voice, the other discovering the full power of hers.

Academy Award winner Hilary Swank (Conviction, Million Dollar Baby) and rapidly rising star Emmy Rossum (Shameless) intertwine in You’re Not You, a surprisingly funny, defiantly unsentimental and starkly moving portrait of a high-stakes friendship between two women – one literally in need of a voice, the other discovering the full power of hers.

A story of how, even in the presence of loss, people will discover power, strength and joy.

The story of an anarchic, frenzied young woman who, on a whim, takes on the very serious job of caretaking for a remarkable musician with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) could easily have fallen into predictable melodrama.  But instead, Michelle Wildgen’s 2006 novel You’re Not You became a critical surprise and was celebrated as candidly funny and revealing about topics ranging from sex to cooking lessons to the stirring intimacy of a friendship built on a mix of frank need and unfolding trust.

It was successfully adapted into a film by George C. Wolfe from a screenplay by Shana Feste (Country Strong) and Jordan Roberts (March of the Penguins), and is now available on DVD.

Michelle Wildgen

Michelle Wildgen

Wildgen’s debut novel You’re Not You, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and one of People Magazine’s Top Ten Books of 2006; she is also the author of the novels But Not For Long and the forthcoming The Back of the House.  Her work has appeared in O Magazine, The New York Times, Best Food Writing, Best New American Voices, and various anthologies and literary journals. She is an executive editor at the literary journal Tin House.

When producer Alison Greenspan of Di Novi films read the book, it struck close to home.

Her father and an aunt both had ALS – the progressive motor neuron disease often called Lou Gehrig’s Disease after the baseball player who made his battle with it public – and she was drawn to how Wildgen addressed it head-on in a story that was also fresh and human and about an unlikely partnership that takes two women to places they did not foresee coming.

“At the time, my father was suffering from ALS, and my sister and I both felt we should read the book, mainly out of curiosity,” recalls Greenspan.  “What happened was that rare thing that happens for producers sometimes:  the story just stuck with me – and I couldn’t let it go.”

She continues:  “I liked that it was so realistic about ALS, and reflected the dignity and pride of people living with ALS, but also I was drawn to it as a really entertaining story about two women who save each other. ”

Greenspan shared the book with partner Denise Di Novi and immediately the two began talking about who might take on the role of Kate – the highly cultivated and ferociously musician who finds herself in the unimaginable position of suddenly being vulnerable and needing lots of help.

For Di Novi, there was only one actress who came to mind:  Hilary Swank, known for attacking roles with extreme commitment and depth, and for playing a roster of challenging women – from a female boxer to Amelia Earhart – too complex to be easily summarized.

When Swank responded to the book and committed not only to the role but came aboard as a producer, the project began moving swiftly ahead.

“My producing partner Molly Smith and I read the book and instantly fell in love,” Swank recalls.  “It was a no-brainer for us to sign up.   It’s a journey of two people living in completely polar opposite worlds who find out they have much more in common than they think – and then help each other to become fully realized in the middle of the most unlikely circumstances.”

Smith recalls that it was the thread of comedy, and of the powerful links we can have to strangers, running through the book that made if feel so alive.  “There is a lot of humor in this piece, which is, at its core, is a beautiful story of friendship,” she observes.  “Kate and Bec enter each other’s very different lives, create a sort of chaos and then find a truly deep and enduring connection.”

That same tone came through in the script.  “The script doesn’t take the expected journey,” says Smith.  “The dialogue is irreverent and we had two amazing screenwriters – Shana Feste and Jordan Roberts – who were able to especially capture Bec’s voice.”

Jordan Roberts

Jordan Roberts

Jordan Roberts wrote and directed Around The Bend, and re-wrote, and re-conceived for English-speaking audiences, a lush romantic drama from France, March Of The Penguins, that went on to win an Oscar for Best Documentary. In addition to doing writing work on over forty feature films, he wrote, directed and produced 2012’s Frankie Go Boom, and Big Hero Six for Disney.

Shana Feste is the writer/director of Country Strong and The Greatest, and is the screenwriter for the forthcoming new Universal incarnation of Endless Love.

Shana Feste

Shana Feste

As the producers developed the screenplay, they also began the quest for a director who could bring the story’s distinctive blend of sensitivity, honesty and irreverence to the screen.

They found that in George C. Wolfe, renown for his work as a playwright (“Colored Museum,” “Spunk,” “Jelly’s Last Jam”) and as the director of such lauded Broadway productions as “Angels In America: Millennium Approaches” and “Bring In Da Noise/Bring In Da Funk.”  His films include HBO’s award-winning adaptation of Lackawanna Blues and the romantic drama Nights in Rodanthe starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, which Di Novi and Greenspan produced.

George C. Wolfe

George C. Wolfe

“We gave George the script, he loved it and then he doggedly pursued it. He just really connected with it,” recalls Greenspan, “and you could sense his passion.  We knew he could deliver the caliber of performances needed and transcend the pitfalls to make this a movie about people in the midst of exciting changes, to give it electricity and humor.”

Wolfe was drawn to the comic contrasts between Kate and Bec’s lives before they collide:  Kate with her refined perfectionism, Bec with her tornado-like constant motion.

“The two of them brought to mind that Katherine Hepburn line about Fred and Ginger – ‘she gave him sex, he gave her class’ — and I was intrigued by how Kate is an overly focused human being, while Bec is an overly chaotic human being. Bec brings that chaos into Kate’s life, which helps to liberate her, and Kate brings her focus into Bec’s life, which helps to ground her. So that was the thing that I think I responded to foremost:  these two women who end up forming an incredibly symbiotic relationship and how they get there.”

The getting there takes both women through moments of absurdity, triumph and of bracing mortality, but Wolfe always saw You’re Not You as reflecting back some of the lightness, humor and exhilaration that comes through even in life’s darkest times.

He summarizes:  “I think it’s a story of how, even in the presence of loss, people will discover power, strength and joy.”

You’re Not You Now On DVD

Academy Award winner Hilary Swank (Conviction, Million Dollar Baby) and rapidly rising star Emmy Rossum (Shameless) intertwine in You’re Not You, a surprisingly funny, defiantly unsentimental and starkly moving portrait of a high-stakes friendship between two women – one literally in need of a voice, the other discovering the full power of hers.

Kate (Swank) is a suave, married, eminently successful classical pianist just diagnosed with ALS (also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease).  Bec (Rossum) is a brash college student and would-be rock singer who can barely keep her wildly chaotic and messy affairs, romantic and otherwise, together.  Yet, when Bec takes a last-ditch job assisting Kate, just as Kate’s marriage to Evan (Josh Duhamel) hits the skids, both women come to rely on what becomes an unconventional, sometimes confrontational and fiercely honest bond.  Aimless as she is, Bec is determined to become an intimate shadow to Kate – accompanying her and translating for her through the most bewildering and awkwardly comic circumstances. The result is a camaraderie stripped down to the barest essentials of daily sustenance and late-night confessions.

But as sensual, meticulous, willful Kate begins to rub off on whirlwind, spontaneous, free-spirited Bec – and vice versa – both women find themselves facing down regrets, exploring new territory and subtly expanding their ideas of who they want to be.

Two-time Tony Award winner and theatre legend George C. Wolfe directs this powerful portrait of a transformational friendship. “This is a story about two people confronting the truth in themselves,” comments Wolfe.  “Sometimes in life when you come up against a non-negotiable obstacle, whatever it might be, that obstacle becomes a chance for you to become another version of yourself.   That’s what I found so fascinating about You’re Not You.”

In addition to exploring a friendship that blooms under fire, Wolfe sees the film as exploring those hidden, contrary parts of our identities that don’t always get the chance to reveal themselves.

‘The title, You’re Not You, comes from something Kate says to Bec, but in many respects, it’s about each of the characters. Kate isn’t really Kate. Bec isn’t really Bec.  Evan isn’t really Evan.  Each of the characters is stuck playing a version of themselves — until they begin to see that there is a more complicated, more evolved and deeper version of who they can be inside themselves. In the movie’s journey, they each become more of who they are.”

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The Latest DVD Releases

a-most-violent-year-stills-hd-movie-wallpapersA MOST VIOLENT YEAR is a searing crime drama set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically the most dangerous year in the city’s history. From acclaimed writer/director J.C. Chandor, and starring Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), this gripping story plays out within a maze of rampant political and industry corruption plaguing the streets of a city in decay. J.C. Chandor’s third feature examines one immigrant’s determined climb up a morally crooked ladder, where simmering rivalries and unprovoked attacks threaten his business, family, and–above all–his own unwavering belief in the righteousness of his path. With A Most Violent Year, Chandor journeys in a bold new direction, toward the place where best intentions yield to raw instinct, and where we are most vulnerable to compromise what we know to be right. Chandor brings us once again to thresholds of danger and moral murkiness through the story of Abel Morales, an immigrant reaching for the American Dream in a city fraught with violence, corruption and decay.  The film follows three days in the life of Abel Morales (Isaac), a Latin American immigrant who, together with his Brooklyn-bred wife Anna (Chastain), is building a small heating-oil enterprise purchased from Anna’s gangster father. Vowing to run the business legitimately, he discovers that the ladder to success is a crooked one. “Building a business from the ground up is probably what we do best in this country,” says Chandor. “Creatively it’s one of the most fascinating elements of who we are as Americans. But there is also a huge potential for failure.”

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THE VOICES A totally wicked psychological horror comedy with Ryan Reynolds as a seemingly ordinary man, who lives in a normal apartment the type you would expect from a young bachelor with his talking dog Bosco, and his cat, Mr. Whiskers.Yet something seems off. As the new guy at work, Jerry is asked to help plan the company picnic, and he meets Fiona (Gemma Arterton), an attractive English girl from accounting.  Although Fiona is all Jerry can think about, there’s also an accountant who has her eyes on him (Anna Kendrick). But beware, it definitely is not for the faint-hearted and will delight those looking for outrageous viewing that goes to the extreme in being different, and off-the-wall.  If you looking for something different, this is it. It was directed by Marjane Satrapi and written by Michael R. Perry, and received a limited release in 2014, but now available to those who enjoy independent films with a dark edge.

Lost RiverLOST RIVER You will never forget this consummate masterwork from Ryan Gosling that weaves elements of fantasy noir and suspense into a haunting, modern fairy tale.Written and directed by Gosling, this dark and brooding drama is set against the surreal dreamscape of the vanishing city of Lost River. As an actor, Gosling has garnered critical acclaim for his choice of diverse film roles (Place beyond the Pines, Drive, The Notebook) and with Lost River he continues to create distinct characters inhabiting a multitude of worlds for his debut as a feature film writer and director. In the virtually abandoned city of Lost River, Billy (Christina Hendricks), a single mother of two, is lead into a macabre underworld in her quest to save her childhood home and hold her family together. Her teenage son, Bones, discovers a mysterious road that leads into a reservoir, where a once thriving city now lays submerged and forgotten by time. The mystery of this underwater town triggers Bones’ curiosity and sets into motion an unexpected journey that will test his limits and the limits of those he loves. Read more

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DANNY COLLINS Al Pacino astounds as an ageing rock star who receives a life-changing letter and decides to find out what his life could have been like. Filled with pathos, humour and heartfelt passion, this inspiring film from writer-director Dan Fogelman shows how important it is to embrace a second chance in life.  Read review

THE DUFF A fun rom-com with Mae Whitman as a content high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body refers to her as ‘The Duff’ (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends. With her universe turned upside down, she enlists a slick but charming jock (Robbie Amell), to help set her apart from the pack and erase her label forever.  In doing so, she hopes to land her crush Toby (Nick Eversman), and find the confidence to overthrow the school’s ruthless label maker Madison (Bella Thorne) by reminding everyone that no matter what people look or act like, we are all someone’s DUFF…and that’s totally fine…

For more rom-com fun, there’s The Rewrite, with Hugh Grant as a washed-up screenwriter who begins teaching at a state university and Marisa Tomei as a single mom with whom the screenwriter finds romance. The film is directed by Marc Lawrence based on a screenplay he wrote.

Two releases that were not released on the big screen locally, are the fun Little Loopers, where a down and out former golf pro tries to turn his life around after he’s forced to coach a rag tag group of young golfers, and in Loitering With Intent two actors want to jump start their careers and end up making a big shot producer think that they have a hot script that everyone wants to get their hands on; they then drive to upstate New York and hole up ina family member’s country home where they spend 10 days to write the said script.