Let’s Go To The Movies

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South African Filmmaking      Upcoming Film Releases      Reviews         At The Box Office

This year’s Oscar Winners   Films Released in January 2017  / February 2017

Top 20 Films of 2016   Top South African Films Of 2016      Top Films of 2015


 Reviews

JagveldIf you ignore the massive plot-holes and hugely questionable morality, Jagveld is a well shot, atmospheric and occasionally exhilarating revenge thriller, albeit one which you’ve seen many times before. It’s no better or worse than the majority of its Hollywood counterparts and if nothing else, the marketing team deserve a huge pat on the back for getting targeted South African film promotion right.

 

Miss Sloane 1If you are looking for a first-rate political thriller with bite that is savvy and shrewd, Miss Sloane will seduce your senses and twist your perception.Miss Sloane is one of those rare films that cunningly manipulates its audience just as a master lobbyist can, and when a vicious twist is ultimately revealed, we fully understand how politics work, and awaken to realise that the art of politics is the art of manipulating, where you cannot believe anything or trust anybody

 

NocturnalWriter-director Tom Ford spins his magic in the provocative mind bender Nocturnal Animals, a captivating narrative of a story-within-a story where two different worlds, and disparate lives collide head-on, where nothing seems to be what it is, and everything becomes twisted.

 

 

Jackie 2Natalie Portman never attempts to mimic or impersonate the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, but embodies the character physically and emotionally, with fervent passion and complete understanding; the emotional truth of her Oscar-worthy performance is heart-breaking in Jackie, to such an extent that you want to reach out and hold her in your arms, comforting her desperate outcry.

 

BILLYIn a world obsessed with hero worship, where we adulate glory and eminence, and forget about the person behind the idol, Ang Lee gives us a refreshing satirical view of what it takes to be trapped between being a hero and a person with Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

 

 


Showing from March 24

The tranquility of a popular holiday resort for families is disrupted by cultural differences in the local comedy Kampterrein: Die Movie;  a mission of discovery turns to one of primal fear a team of scientists find a rapidly evolving life form on Mars in the sci-f- thriller Life;  a recluse is forced to face the flawed recollections of his younger self in The Sense Of An Ending; an inexperienced rookie and hardened pro are teamed together in the reboot of CHiPs;  five ordinary teenagers discover they are the only ones who can save the planet in Saban’s Power Rangers; and a young African-American confronts his white girlfriend’s family in Get Out.

KAMPTERREIN: DIE MOVIE

When the Fouchés, an Afrikaans family, arrive at the ATKV Buffelspoort resort for the holidays, only to find that their regular caravan spot has been taken over by the Khumalos. Much hilarity ensues as the two families engage in madcap tit-for-tat exchanges and shenanigans. Buffelspoort manager Oom Gert and his dopey assistant are doing everything they can to prepare the resort for a surprise visit by an inspector from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa who will determine whether to award the venue an additional star, or not …Questions start to arise about the interest in a beauty salon that offers far more than manis and pedis … There’s an old lady on holiday with her dog which she struggles to hide as no pets are allowed …  a handyman who can’t fix a thing … and a couple of local celebrities who think they can get away with not being recognised – all set against the backdrop of the beautiful and peaceful natural environment of the resort. The tranquillity is most profoundly disturbed by the ongoing clashes between the Fouchés and the Khumalos. Will they be able to set aside their cultural differences and actually enjoy their escape from the rigours of city life? Read an interview with writer-producer Morne Lane

LIFE

A terrifying sci-fi thriller about a team of scientists aboard the International Space Station whose mission of discovery turns to one of primal fear when they find a rapidly evolving life form that could have caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth. As the crew begins to conduct research, their methods end up having unintended consequences and the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected.  Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya.  Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House).  Written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (Zombieland, Deadpool)

THE SENSE OF AN ENDING 

Tony Webster (Jim Broadbent) leads a reclusive and quiet existence until long buried secrets from his past force him to face the flawed recollections of his younger self, the truth about his first love (Charlotte Rampling) and the devastating consequences of decisions made a lifetime ago. Adapted for the screen by playwright Nick Payne (Constellations) and helmed by acclaimed director Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox).

CHiPs 

Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello (Michael Peña) have just joined the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in Los Angeles but for very different reasons.  Baker is a beaten up pro motorbiker trying to put his life and marriage back together.  Poncherello is a cocky undercover Federal agent investigating a multi-million dollar heist that may be an inside job—inside the CHP. The inexperienced rookie and hardened pro are teamed together, but clash more than click, so kick-starting a partnership is easier said than done.  But with Baker’s bike skills combined with Ponch’s street savvy it might just work…if they don’t drive each other crazy along the way. Directed by Dax Shepard.

SABAN’S POWER RANGERS 

Five ordinary teens must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove — and the world — is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers.Directed by Dean Israelite (Project Almanac), starring Dacre
Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, featuring Bill Hader, with Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks. The screenplay is by John Gatins (Kong: Skull Island, Real Steel). Story is by Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold) and Michele Mulroney & Kieran Mulroney.

GET OUT

A speculative thriller.  When a young African-American man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate, he becomes ensnared in a more sinister real reason for the invitation. Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, Sicario) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams, Girls), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy (Catherine Keener, Captain Phillips) and Dean (Bradley Whitford, The Cabin in the Woods).At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined. Equal parts gripping thriller and provocative commentary, it was written and directed by Jordan Peele (Key and Peele).

New Releases

BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK The film is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn), who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, has been hailed as a hero and brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle. Through flashbacks, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day football game, the film reveals what really happened to the squad – contrasting the realities of the Iraq conflict with America’s celebration back home. Read more about the filmTrailerReview

THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM  In this psychological thriller from the director of Eagle Eye and Disturbia, Dana (Kate Beckinsale), her husband David and their 5-year-old son Lucas start a new life after moving from the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn, N.Y., to a stately old manor in the quiet countryside. After settling in, Dana starts to experience terrifying visions and dreams that she cannot explain. The mystery grows when she stumbles upon a secret room in the attic. After finding the key and unlocking the door, Dana discovers the dark history of the family that lived there in the 19th century. Read more about the filmTrailer

THE HOLLARS John Hollar, a struggling NYC artist is forced to navigate the small middle-American town he left behind when news of his mother’s illness brings him home. Back in the house he grew up in, John is immediately swept up in the problems of his dysfunctional family, high school rival, and an over-eager ex-girlfriend as he faces impending fatherhood with his girlfriend in New York. From a script by Jim Strouse that is at turns hilarious and heartbreaking, John Krasinski’s second feature is a poignant look at the bonds of family and friendship.Read more about the filmTrailer

JACKIE Natalie Portman delivers’s a commanding performance in this searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Billy Crudup is equally brilliant at the journalist tasked to interview her days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well.  With Peter Skarsgard as Kennedy. Directed By Pablo Larraín from a screenplay by Noah Oppenheim.  Read review   / Trailer Feature: Writing the screenplay for Jackie 

JAGVELD Emma le Roux is on her way home to the family farm in the Great Karoo. Pretty, soft little Emma, the pacifist primary school teacher. She has made this trip numerous times without incident. But not today. Today her path will cross with Bosman and Baz and Jay. And Boela and AJ and Piet. Bosman is the mastermind of a drug syndicate and a psychopath; he is savage and violent. Baz and Jay are his henchmen – murderers, monsters. AJ and Boela, spoiled brats looking for validation, are on board to make a quick buck in the criminal underworld. And then there’s Piet, the weakling, who is willing to do just about anything for his cousin Bosman. Emma witnesses the murder of a policeman at their hands. And they see her seeing them. Now they’re hunting her down like an animal … she’s easy prey, after all – it’ll all be over soon.The problem is, Emma is the daughter of Jacques le Roux, who taught her everything he knows. And Jacques le Roux was a Recce.Nothing about this hunt is going according to plan; everything is falling apart, and fast. At first they were driven by hate and revenge. Suddenly, it’s survival. The script was written by best-selling author, Deon Meyer and directed by Byron Davis. Read more about the film / Read review   / Watch the trailer

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 In this next chapter following the 2014 hit, legendary hit man John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. After unleashing mayhem on the criminals who killed his dog, retired super assassin John Wick retrieves his beloved 1969 Mustang from the Russian mobsters who stole it, only to be pursued in a spectacular high-speed car chase through crowded New York City streets. Returning home, John’s plans to resume a quiet civilian life are cut short when Italian gangster Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) shows up on his doorstep with a gold “marker” compelling him to repay past favors and is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers. Read more about the filmWatch the trailer

KALUSHI The Story of Solomon Mahlangu is based on the true story of a nineteen year old hawker from Mamelodi township selling veggies to help support his family, avoiding the rioting at school, and train-surfing with his friends, he somehow becomes a political icon and through this film we get to see him transform from an average hawker to a human rights legend. Trailer / Feature: “This is not “another apartheid movie”

KEEPING UP WITH THE KANDASAMY’S From the producers of Hard to Get and Happiness is a Four Letter Word, comes the two-sided, family-engaged-comedy affair,  directed by Durban filmmaker Jayan Moodley (White Gold) Moodley described the film as a “love letter to Chatsworth”. It stars Jailoshini Naidoo (Eastern Mosaic, Lotus FM) and Maeshni Naicker (Broken Promises) as the matriarchal rivals of neighbouring families, whose young adult children become romantically involved, and despite their best efforts to keep them apart, they are forced to acknowledge that in the end “love will always prevail.”  Shanti Naidoo (Naicker) is a typical Type-A personality. Always on the move, going out of her way to please people, and overcompensating for her perceived inadequacies by continually cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Her life would be just fine, except that her neighbour Jennifer Kandasamy (Naidoo), always seems to hold the upper hand. Feature: A new South African comedy / Trailer

KONG:  SKULL ISLAND  The producers of Godzilla re imagine the origins of one the most powerful monster myths of all in this compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer). It tells the story of a diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers (Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson) uniting to explore a mythical uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful.  Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature.  As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong. In 2017, all hail the King. Read more about the filmTrailer

LOGAN Twenty years after the future events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, a now-older Logan is past his prime. His healing factor is still functioning but at a substantially lesser degree, allowing his face and body to be scarred from past injuries and battles. The X-Men have long since vanished, and the remaining mutants are being hunted by Nathaniel Essex and his Reavers, lead by Donald Pierce. Charles Xavier has survived in the care and company of Logan and Caliban, while slowly being affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Now, Logan and Xavier must protect a young girl named Laura, as she is being hunted by the Reavers. Trailer Feature: The defining chapter in the cinematic saga of The Wolverine

MISS SLOANE  In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is the most sought-after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. Known equally for her cunning and her track record of success, she has always done whatever is required to win. But when she takes on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds that winning may come at too high a price. When asked to help oppose a bill that imposes regulations on firearms, she instead joins a scrappy boutique firm that represents the backers of the law. Her defiant stance and determination to win now makes her the target of powerful new enemies who threaten her career and the people she cares about. Read more about the film /  Read review  / Watch the trailer

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS A haunting and mind bending romantic thriller of shocking intimacy and gripping tension that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty, and revenge and redemption. Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star as a divorced couple discovering dark truths about each other and themselves. Boldly exploring the psychological and emotional sea changes of men and women living – or trying to live –their own truths, Nocturnal Animals is the second film from writer/director Tom Ford, following the acclaimed and award-winning A Single Man (2009). Review / Trailer / Feature: A mind-bending cautionary tale

ROCK DOG When a radio falls from the sky into the hands of a wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff, he leaves home to fulfill his dream of becoming a musician,setting into motion a series of completely unexpected events. Directed by Ash Brannon, featuring the voices of J.K. Simmons, Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Mae Whitman, Sam Elliott. Read more about the filmWatch trailer

SAINT JOAN The acclaimed production of the George Bernard Shaw classic play filmed live at London’s Donmar Warehouse is the next National Theatre Live broadcast to be screened only at Ster-Kinekor’s Nouveau cinemas from Saturday 18 March for limited screenings.Directed by The Donmar Warehouse artistic director Josie Rourke (Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Coriolanus) and starring Gemma Arterton (Quantam of Solace, Nell Gwynn, Made in Dagenham) in the lead role, this production puts a modern twist on this one-hundred-year old play that follows the life, times and eventual trial of Joan of Arc – a young country girl who declares a bloody mission to drive the English from France. Read more

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY The third of three iconic ballets with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to be screened in cinema from the Bolshoi Ballet stage in Moscow, which releases on Saturday, 11 March for limited screenings.With choreography by Yuri Grigorovich, the ballet stars the Bolshoi’s prima ballerina Olga Smirnova in the title role as Princess Aurora, with Semyon Chudin danding the role of Prince Désiré). Also dancing in the production are Alexei Loparevich as the Evil Fairy Carabosse, Yulia Stepanova as the Lilac Fairy, Vitaly Biktimirov in the role of Catalabutte, Artemy Belyakov as Bluebird and Anastasia Denisova as Princess Florine. The principal dancers are accompanied by the company’s highly accomplished soloists and corps de ballet dancers. TrailerRead more

THE TRIBE A young professor consumed by alcoholism is saved from self-destruction by a former school mate and begins a journey to save his house, his marriage and his life. Smanga (Charlie Vundla) is a celebrated young professor at a prominent South African university, whose life quickly unravels when his wife, Laura, leaves him. He spirals into an alcohol, marijuana and sex induced tailspin that places the status of both his career and house in jeopardy. Smanga’s path of self-destruction is interrupted when he meets an old school mate, Jon, (Louis Roux) who is a failed motivational speaker. Taking pity on him, Smanga invites Jon back to his place and a friendship quickly develops. Through their emotionally honest communication Smanga begins the process of healing himself. When Smanga’s wife abruptly returns after being battered by another man things become complicated by an unexpected pregnancy. As the tensions in the house rise, a newly clean Smanga faces a complex decision that will define the lives of his tribe. Produced, written, directed and starring Charlie Vundla. Read more about the film /  Watch the trailer