Stroomop is a film about self-discovery, forgiveness, healing and acceptance.

Stroomop follows the lives of five very unique, very diverse women who are all trying to keep their heads above water on this river we call life, but who are actually busy drowning under the weight of the definition of being perfect … Perfect mother, perfect woman, perfect career, perfect weight, perfect hair … (Yes, this list can become very very long!) Women who are being tossed about in the biggest waves that sometimes thunder over all of us in life, or who have simply been swept away in an unending  stream of worldly expectations and who have completely lost their own identity.

The bonus features on the DVD explores the journey of writer-director Ivan Botha, a look into the characters and how the film was shot.

The film is in Afrikaans with English subtitles and highly recommended to anyone looking for a film with bite, showing how the fragile humanity of broken lives are healed through friendship.

Read an interview with writer-director Ivan Botha

If you want to add this superb local film to your collection, tell us who wrote the screenplay and send your answer and contact details with Stroomop in the subject line to us before 30 November.  Enter competition here

 

QUIET1In the modern horror thriller A Quiet Place, a family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threaten their survival.  It is definitely one of the scariest films of the year that delivers what it promises with the brilliant tag line:  If they hear you, they hunt you. What makes it truly frightening is that it deals mostly with what we cannot see, and the danger that lurks in the shadows becomes more scary than anything you can imagine. John Krasinski’s imaginative direction allows the crackling screenplay by screenwriting duo Bryan Woods & Scott Beck (Nightlight) to hit home especially hard. Being afraid is something we can all relate to, and the horror that the film evokes is one that echoes our primal fear of being exposed to things we cannot control and ultimately reveals our vulnerable humanity. With top notch performances, particularly Krasinky and Emily Blunt, this is a film that will haunt you long after watching the film. The DVD release bonus features John Krasinki taking us behind the scenes of how the film was made.  Read more about how the film was crafted.  Note: Make sure to also watch the brilliant Don’t Breathe and Lights Out

WINCHESTER 2If you are looking for a stylish supernatural mind-bender, Winchester is an alluring journey into the madness that befalls those who dare to enter the most haunted house in the world that is situated on an isolated stretch of land 50 miles outside of San Francisco. In the hands of Australian horror maestros Peter and Michael Spierig (Jigsaw, Predestination), the ordinary soon dissolves into a nightmarish hell. Built by Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren), heiress to the Winchester fortune, it is a house that knows no end. Constructed in an incessant twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week mania for decades, it stands seven stories tall and contains hundreds of rooms. To the outsider it looks like a monstrous monument to a disturbed woman’s madness. But Sarah is not building for herself, for her niece (Sarah Snook) or for the troubled Doctor Eric Price (Jason Clarke) whom she has summoned to the house. She is building a prison, an asylum for hundreds of vengeful ghosts, and the most terrifying among them have a score to settle with the Winchesters… Go behind the scenes of Winchester.

it-teaser-posterThe enigmatically short title of IT refers to the story’s central villain, an ancient shapeshifter that takes the form of its victims’ deepest fears and comes out of hibernation every 27 years to feed on the most vulnerable residents of Derry, Maine: the children. For as long as their town has existed, Derry has been the entity’s hunting ground, emerging from the sewers every 27 years to feed on the terrors of its chosen prey: Derry’s children.  Banding together over one horrifying and exhilarating summer, the Losers form a close bond to help them overcome their own fears and stop a new killing cycle that began on a rainy day, with a small boy chasing a paper boat as it swept down a storm drain…and into the hands of Pennywise the Clown. Go behind the scenes of IT

 

ChristopherRobinpic1-600x367Goodbye Christopher Robin is the inspirational story of how a father bonded with his young son and created the much-adored Winnie-the-Pooh books.The film is based on Ann Thwaite’s 1990 biography A. A. Milne: The Man Behind Winnie-the-Pooh, which was re-released in 2017 as Goodbye Christopher Robin: A. A. Milne and the Making of Winnie-the-Pooh. The newer version contains a preface by the movie’s screenwriter, Frank Cottrell-Boyce (The Railway Man),  who also wrote the screenplay for the film directed by Simon Curtis.. If there’s one reason to add this DVD to your collection, it’s for the first rate bonus features that include a journey into the making of the film, the cast talking about their characters, the story, and an insightful audio commentary by director Richard Curtis and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce. Read more about the film

Goodbye Christopher Robin gives a rare glimpse into the relationship between beloved children’s author A. A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin (Will TIlston), whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie-the-Pooh. Domhnall Gleeson (About Time, Brooklyn) stars as Alan Alexander Milne, a successful playwright and humourist who was traumatised after serving as an officer with the British army during the First World War and carried the horrors of the battlefield into peace time but, like so many men of that generation, rarely spoke of it. Like many families of the time, A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his wife Daphne (Margot Robbie) had a live-in nanny, Olive (Kelly Macdonald) who looked after their eight year-old son, Christopher. Along with his mother Daphne, and his nanny Olive, Christopher Robin and his family are swept up in the international success of the books; the enchanting tales bringing hope and comfort to England after the First World War. But with the eyes of the world on Christopher Robin, what will the cost be to the family?

Peter Rabbit (James Corden) in Columbia Pictures' PETER RABBIT.In the absolutely enchanting Peter Rabbit, , Peter’s war with Old Mr. McGregor, keeper of the vegetable garden, takes a turn when the old man kicks the bucket (a victory Peter is all too happy to claim for himself).  But when his great-nephew, Mr. Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson), inherits the place, Peter realizes that the battle for control of the vegetable garden – and the heart of their next-door neighbor, Bea (Rose Byrne) – has only just begun.  To help, Peter is enlisting his family and friends – sisters Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, cousin Benjamin Bunny, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, and other characters author and illustrator Beatrix Potter created in her original tales. And because Peter Rabbit is so beloved, especially throughout the British Commonwealth, Gluck was able to attract an all-star cast to bring these famous characters to life, including Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daisy Ridley as the triplets, Grammy winner Sia as Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, and David Wenham as Johnny Town-Mouse.In addition, the live-action cast did double duty behind the microphone, as Domhnall Gleeson plays the frog Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Rose Byrne voiced Jemima Puddle-Duck, and Sam Neill – on camera as Old Mr. McGregor – gives voice to Tommy Brock, the badger. The superb bonus features include a fun shake-your-cotton-tail dance along and a peek into how the film was made.  Read more about the film

TONYABased on the unbelievable but true events, I, Tonya is a darkly comedic tale of American figure skater, Tonya Harding, and one of the most sensational scandals in sports history. Though Harding was the first American woman to complete a triple axel in competition, her legacy was forever defined by her association with an infamous, illconceived, and even more poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan. Read an interview with producer and screenwriter Steven Rogers and director Craig Gillespie

SleightFor filmmaker J.D. Dillard, Sleight came out of a desire to look at the seemingly-different worlds of magic and crime and develop an original premise which would weave the two together in a unique genre-bending film. Dillard made Sleight for $250 000, and he shot it in 16 days, and during the first 5 weeks of its release, the film spun its own magic at the box office and raked in $3,930,990.

A young street magician is left to care for his little sister after their parents passing and turns to questionable activities to keep a roof over their heads. When he gets in too deep, his sister is kidnapped and he is forced to use his magic and brilliant mind to save her.

For director and co-writer Dillard, creating the character of Bo – and landing that character somewhere between the familiar and the fantastic – was a priority. “In so many stories, we’ve seen the young black kid who needs to resort to drug dealing. While it may seem overused, we wanted to hit this trope with a sense of empathy. Bo has everything going for him. He’s a brilliant student, a talented magician, and a role model to his little sister. When he loses his parents, a harsh reality sets in – maintaining a decent life for his sister is going to require personal sacrifice. I think Jacob struggles with something we all have – how do we best take care of the people around us while still not losing track of who we are and what we’re passionate about?”  Read more about the film

ACRIMONY 2Love and fury. Few marriages in history have survived without at least some simmering hostilities and irritating offenses. What happens when a long-suffering wife’s love turns acrimonious? This is the mesmerizing portrait that writer-director Tyler Perry and actress Taraji P. Henson create with Acrimony’s Melinda, a smart, dynamic, loving woman who has always devoted herself to what she believes is right … but is overtaken by a primal need for payback when she feels she has been wronged.

In Acrimony, a faithful wife (Taraji P. Henson) tired of standing by her devious husband (Lyriq Bent) is enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed.When Melinda (Henson) first met Robert (Bent), she was skeptical of his charming nature but couldn’t deny how attracted she was to him. Once they fell in love, Melinda molded herself into everything he wanted her to be. She sacrificed for him, worked to support his grandiose dreams, and put up with him for better or for worse. Then one day she realized that after all she had done, another woman was reaping the lavish rewards.
That’s when Melinda lost it. And now she cannot let it go. She’s been used, disrespected and unpardonably deceived. Or has she?  Read more about the film

STARTED 4In Just Getting Started, Duke Diver (Morgan Freeman) is the freewheeling manager of the luxury Palm Springs resort, the Villa Capri. Diver may have a mysterious past, but he’s a pro at making sure that life for the high spirited residents is one big, non-stop party. But the status quo is challenged when ex-military charmer Leo (Tommy Lee Jones) checks in, triggering a competition between Duke and Leo for the top spot of Alpha male, as well as for the affections of the newly-arrived Suzie (Rene Russo). When Duke’s past suddenly catches up with him, the rivals put aside their differences and the two men reluctantly team up to stop whoever is trying to kill Duke, and also save the Villa Capri. Read more about the film

my-blind-brotherMy Blind Brother is a wickedly funny movie about terrible people. The awkwardness will make you wince, but it also hits on something true about the lengths we go to in the name of being nice. Bill (Nick Kroll)has always lived in the shadow of his overachieving brother Robbie (Adam Scott) , an arrogant athlete and local celebrity who happens to be blind. After years of thanklessly helping Robbie achieve one goal after another, Bill finally catches a break when he finds a connection with the charming Rose (Jenny Slate ), who is dealing with her own crisis. But when Rose starts dating Robbie, Bill must decide if he can finally put his own happiness over his brother’s and compete for the ultimate prize.

If you are looking for some chills, there are 4 new releases that will have you on the edge of your seat

STRANGERS3An ordinary, gripe-filled family excursion soon becomes their worst nightmare come to life when three eerily disguised assailants emerge from the darkness to indiscriminately terrorize unsuspecting, innocent individuals going about their business in The Strangers: Prey at Night.Similar to the original film, the central characters in The Strangers: Prey at Night are more than a plot device for blood and gore.  “The original film, The Strangers, differentiated itself from the typical home invasion movie by building a relationship between the characters which made it more effective when the frightening intruders arrive to terrorize them,” says producer James Harris.  “With this film, we, again, wanted the audience to care about the characters upfront because if they are not invested in the characters, then they don’t care if these characters die, and that’s an important element to heightening the suspense and experiencing the fear.” Read more / Watch trailer

insideIn the shocking Inside, young mother-to-be Sarah is trying to rebuild her broken life: recently widowed in a shattering car crash that left her partially deaf, with her baby’s birth uncomfortably long overdue and alone, unpacking in unfamiliar surroundings having just moved home. She can only just stay afloat. As night descends on her deserted suburban street, there’s an unexpected arrival at the doorstep: Sarah receives a most unwelcome visitor. Alone and carrying her baby, Sarah faces a calculating, cold-hearted and predatory woman–an adversary who will stop at nothing to snatch her unborn child. Trapped and disorientated, barely able to hear the evil that stalks her, Sarah must unleash all her reserves of strength to protect her baby and survive the night. Never underestimate a mother’s protective fury! Terriffic performances by Rachel Nichols as Sarah, and Laura Harring as her brutal nemesis, with great direction by Miguel Angel Vivas delivers great suspense and drama.  Watch the trailer

INSIDIOUS 3The chilling  supernatural thriller Insidious: The Last Key welcomes back franchise standout Lin Shaye as Dr. Elise Rainier, the brilliant parapsychologist faces her most fearsome and personal haunting yet: in her own family home. Rainier—a brilliant psychic, clairvoyant and demonologist—has spent her life guiding innocents back into the light…and thwarting creatures that have opened unholy doors into eternal darkness. As a child who could communicate with the dead, she accidentally unleashed something unspeakable into our world. Insidious: The Last Key takes us with Elise back to her girlhood home. But when the ghastliest haunted house Elise has ever entered proves to be the one where she was raised, Elise must face her greatest fears and destroy the immortal Key Face—the demon she set free so many years before. Vanquish him on his terrain, and she will free trapped souls for good. Fail, and the house she barely escaped as a child will claim her soul for eternity. The superb bonus features include an alternate ending, 8 chilling deleted scenes, a doccie on “Going Further Into Becoming Elise”, and we get to explore the new demon and unlock the key!   Read more about the film / Trailer

Extortion is tense action/adventure film about a family on vacation whose father finds himself in a desperate race against the clock to save his wife and son from a dangerous fisherman.

Extortion-DI-1Kevin Riley (Eion Bailey) is a successful doctor with a wife Julie (Bethany Joy Lenz) and a six-year-old son (Mauricio Alemañy), taking a much-needed trip together to the Caribbean. Kevin is looking to give them the best time of their lives, dropping cash about to get the best rooms and service he can. When he tries to rent a jetski from the hotel, he’s told they’re out, and is directed to a nearby dock where locals offer motorboats for daily fees. He pays under the table and takes his family out to sea, but when the boat breaks down at an isolated abandoned island, they suffer days with no sign of help until a fisherman (Barkhad Abdi) arrives and offers to take them back, but for a substantial fee, putting Kevin in a race to save his family against a man holding all the cards.Extortion is a well-made and often gripping story that is about struggle and redemption, and filled with moments that seem impossible for our hero to overcome, its themes worn on its sleeve but with surprisingly effective results. After a slow start, once this heats up, it’s a chaotic ride well worth taking. The bonus features include a behind the scenes doccie. 

SHAPE 1From the inspired mindscape of master storyteller and visionary Guillermo del Toro – who gave us Pan’s Labyrinth, Cronos, and The Devil’s Backbone – comes another astounding and mind-blowing cinematic experience: The Shape Of Water. Del Toro casts an other-worldly spell with The Shape Of Water, merging the pathos and thrills of the classic monster movie tradition with shadowy film noir, then stirring in the heat of a love story like no other to explore the fantasies we all flirt with, the mysteries we can’t control and the monstrosities we must confront. This other-worldly fairy tale is set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962 where a lonely lab assistant (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation in the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, until the day her life changes forever when she discovers a secret classified experiment. The bonus features includes an intriguing ‘A Fairy Tale For Troubled Times’ featurette.  Read more about the film

DARKEST 2Gary Oldman and Award-winning director Joe Wright brings us Darkest Hour, a thrilling account inspired by the true story of Winston Churchill’s first weeks in office during the early days of the Second World War. Academy Award nominee Anthony McCarten’s original screenplay takes a revelatory look at the man behind the icon. A witty and brilliant statesman, Churchill is a stalwart member of Parliament but at age 65 is an unlikely candidate for Prime Minister; however the situation in Europe is desperate.  With Allied nations continuing to fall against Nazi troops, and with the entire British army stranded in France, Churchill is named to the position with urgency on May 10th, 1940. As the threat of invasion of the UK by Hitler’s forces looms and 300,000 British soldiers cornered in Dunkirk, Churchill finds his own party plotting against him and King George VI (Emmy Award winner Ben Mendelsohn) skeptical that his new Prime Minister can rise to the challenge.  He is confronted with the ultimate choice: negotiate a peace treaty with Nazi Germany and save the British people at a terrible cost or fight on against incredible odds. With the support of his wife of 31 years, Clemmie (Academy Award nominee Kristin Scott Thomas), Churchill looks to the British people to inspire him to stand firm and fight for his nation’s ideals, liberty, and freedom. Putting his power with words to the ultimate test, with the help of his tireless secretary (Lily James), Winston must write and deliver speeches that will rally a nation. As Winston withstands his own darkest hour, he attempts to change the course of world history forever. The bonus features include a doccie that takes is Into The Darkest Hour, as well as a look at Gary Oldman’s transformation into ‘Becoming Churchill’. Read more about the film

DISASTER 1With The Disaster Artist, director James Franco (As I Lay Dying, Child of God) transforms the tragicomic true-story of aspiring filmmaker and infamous Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau—an artist whose passion was as sincere as his methods were questionable—into a celebration of friendship, artistic expression, and dreams pursued against insurmountable odds. Based on Greg Sestero’s best-selling tell-all about the making of Tommy’s cult-classic “disasterpiece” The Room (The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made), The Disaster Artist is a hilarious and welcome reminder that there is more than one way to become a legend—and no limit to what you can achieve when you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing.  The screenplay was written by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber ((500) Days of SummerThe Fault in Our Stars) based on the book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell. It is directed, produced by James Franco, who delivers a superb performnce as Wiseau—opposite his younger brother Dave playing Sestero—Franco provides a rollicking take on the American Dream, with two unlikely friends chasing after creative glory in ways that are both unexpected and winning. The bonus features includes a fascinating look into how the film was made. Read more about the film

COMMUTERThe Commuter centres on Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson) as a middle manager at a faceless insurance company, who lives with his wife and son in Westchester in New York State. Like so many hard-working family men, he is facing financial breaking point, trying to make ends meet on a pay-cheque that is stretched to the rafters. His son is about to go to college and his wife doesn’t know how the family is living beyond its means.Then one day, his situation suddenly gets so much worse: he goes to work and gets fired. That, however, is not the only thing that‘s going to spoil his evening. On the commute home at the end of the day, the passenger sitting opposite him introduces herself as Joanna and puts a proposition before him: find a passenger on board the train who doesn’t belong, in return for a handsome reward. An easy deal, you’d think. But not if you’re an ex-cop who has a strong moral sense of right and wrong. Michael eventually agrees to find the “suspect” amongst the sea of passengers, using his wit and skill to uncover their identity, but soon comes to realise that he is at the centre of a deadly conspiracy that will end in the murder of everyone on the train and he is the only person who can stop it. As he weighs up who among the regular commuters on the train he can trust, he is forced into a nail-biting chase to thwart the conspiracy, entrap the killers and bring the train and its passengers to safety. Read more about the film

Game NightIn the raucous dark comedy Game Night, Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams star as Max and Annie, whose weekly couples game night gets kicked up a notch when Max’s charismatic brother, Brooks (Chandler), arranges a murder mystery party, complete with fake thugs and faux federal agents. So when Brooks gets kidnapped, it’s all part of the game–right? But as the six uber-competitive gamers set out to solve the case and win, they begin to discover that neither this game–nor Brooks–are what they seem to be. Over the course of one chaotic night, the friends find themselves increasingly in over their heads as each twist leads to another unexpected turn. With no rules, no points, and no idea who all the players are, this could turn out to be the most fun they’ve ever had… or game over.

 

 

 

ghost_story_3Writer-director David Lowery’s mindblowing Independent film A Ghost Story is only released on DVD in South Africa and is a must for anyone looking for a film that provokes the imagination and challenges the intellect. It features outstanding performances from Casey Aflleck and Rooney Mara as a passionate young couple who is seperated by a shocking loss, and discover an eternal connection proving that true love and soulamates are infitely eternal. The visually arresting (and hauntint) story concerns the passage of time via a couple and their house when Affleck’s character dies, and he appears in his old home as a ghost in a thick bed sheet with vacant eyes. He observes his wife’s depression from his demise, various new occupants, and glimpses both the future and the past of his surroundings. A Ghost Story is two sides of a coin. On one, it’s a sparse experience, with very little dialogue and numerous long takes that enhance the stillness and solitude of this afterlife. On the other side, it’s quite expansive, viewing Affleck’s lived experience in the house as but a mere speck of dust in time; time is cruel and reinforces our near irrelevance. The bonus includes an insightful audio commentary by David Lowery and his creative team, as well as a superb documentary on how the film was made, with interviews by the cast and crew.  Read an interview with writer-director David Lowery  

REBEL MASTERThe world of legendary writer J. D. Salinger is brought vividly to life in Rebel In The Rye, a revealing look at the experiences that shaped one of the most renowned, controversial, and enigmatic authors of our time. Set amidst the colorful backdrop of mid-20th century New York City, Rebel in the Rye follows a young Salinger (Nicholas Hoult) as he struggles to find his voice, pursues a love affair with famed socialite Oona O’Neill (Zoey Deutch), and fights on the frontlines of World War II. It’s these experiences that will inform the creation of his masterpiece, The Catcher in the Rye, bringing him overnight fame (and notoriety) and leading him to withdraw from the public eye for the rest of his life. This is definately for those interested in films that take us into the mindscape of writers who shaped the thoughts of many with their writing – also make sure to watch Genius, a masterful journey into the mindscape of an impassioned writer and how the creative process impacts on the reality of the world and people surrounding the writer. This stirring drama deals with 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. Jude Law is superb as the crazed Wolfe. Read more about Rebel In The Rye / Watch the trailer

MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS 2The Man Who Invented Christmas tells of the magical journey that led to the creation of Ebenezer Scrooge,  Tiny Tim and other classic characters from A Christmas Carol, showing how Charles Dickens mixed real life inspirations with his vivid imagination to conjure up unforgettable characters and a timeless tale, forever changing the holiday season into the celebration we know today. Based on Les Standiford’s 2008 book, The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits, the movie brings the imagination of one of the world’s best-loved authors to vivid reality as he creates the masterpiece that has shaped modern-day Christmas celebrations for more than 150 years, directed by Bharat Nalluri (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day) from a screenplay by Susan Coyne (Mozart in the Jungle, Slings and Arrows).  Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

FerdinandThe absolutely charming animated gem Ferdinand centers on the adventures of a peace-loving bull (voiced by John Cena), who is adopted by a loving farmer and daughter. However, his idyllic life changes after he’s mistaken for a vicious beast and is taken away to the last place on earth he wants to be, a bull training camp. But Ferdinand is determined to get back home. Along the way, the kind-hearted bull makes many friends and changes the lives of those he meets. But there still one great obstacle he’ll have to overcome… in the film’s thrilling climactic scene, Ferdinand has to face the matador El Primero in a packed arena, but he valiantly stays true to his peaceful nature, and inspires all those around him. There are tons of bonus features on the the characters and the film. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

MURDERPublished in 1934, Agatha Christie’s novel, Murder on the Orient Express is considered one of the most ingenious stories ever devised.  More than 80 years after its publishing, Christie’s novel remains beloved by new generations of readers. Kenneth Branagh’s stunning retelling of the beloved mystery with its acclaimed ensemble and breathtaking visuals invites audiences to take the most suspenseful train ride of their lives.In the most timeless of whodunits, Murder On The Orient Express follows renowned detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh) as he attempts to solve what would become one of the most infamous crimes in history. After a shocking murder of a wealthy businessman on the lavish European train barreling its way west in the dead of winter, private detective Poirot must use every tool of his trade to uncover which of the train’s eclectic passengers is the killer, before he or she strikes again. The excellent bonus features include a fantastic documentary on Agatha Christie, as well as an insightful making-of documentary. Read more about the filmWatch the Trailer

BATTLE OF SEXESHusband-and-wife directorial team Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, who gave us Little Miss Sunshine, explore a moment when social change was embodied by two complex people in Battle Of The Sexes, the spectacular single tennis match between rising 29 year-old women’s star Billie Jean King and former men’s champ Bobby Riggs. As 90 million viewers worldwide sat at the edges of their couches, the confrontation between Bobby and Billie Jean was fated to be as surreal as it was world-shattering. By the time it was game, set and match, something new had emerged: an era of sports no longer separated from politics and social change, but part of making it.Dayton and Faris brought together Oscar winner Emma Stone, in a physically and emotionally demanding role unlike any she’s yet tackled, with Oscar nominee Steve Carell at his most complicated as self-made media celebrity Bobby Riggs. The bonus features include an insightful documentary on Billie Jean King.  Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

SUBURBICON 3Suburbicon is a picture-perfect 1950s suburb where the best and worst of humanity is reflected through the deeds of ordinary people.  But when a home break-in turns deadly, a family must turn to blackmail, revenge, and betrayal in order to survive. It is directed by Academy Award winner George Clooney (Good Night and Good Luck) and written by Academy Award winners Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country For Old Men), and Clooney & Academy Award winner Grant Heslov (Argo). Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

 

 

 

 

 

the-exception-filmThe Exception is a spy thriller and love story that mines a forgotten pocket of 20th century history to create a gripping and passionate drama,  based on the compelling novel “The Kaiser’s Last Kiss” by Alan Judd. It marks British theatre director David Leveaux’s remarkable directorial debut, from a crackling screenplay adaptation by Simon Burke (Persuasion), transporting us to the relative peace of the exiled German Kaiser Wilhelm II’s post-Imperial court in Holland in 1940 as the Nazis invade Belgium and the Netherlands. A German officer (Jai Courtney) is sent to Holland to determine if the British Secret Service has infiltrated the home of Kaiser Wilhelm II (Christopher Plummer) during the onset of World War II, but starts a lethally dangerous affair with a young Jewish Dutch woman (Lily James) with consequences neither they nor the Kaiser could have foreseen. Read more about the film / Trailer

Man with iron heartThe Man With The Iron Heart, based on the novel HHhH, written by Laurent Binet, which won the Goncourt prize for a first novel in 2012 and was met with unanimous enthusiasm in the 25 countries in which it was translated, was directed by French director, writer and producer Cédric Jimenez (The Connection) and adapted by Jimenez’ partner Audrey Diwan and playwright/ screenwriter David Farr. Reinhard Heydrich’s (Jason Clarke) meteoric rise to become one of the Nazi regime’s top brass was as furious and unrelenting as the horrors he inflicted on the people of Europe in the years leading up to and during the Second World War. Introduced to the Nazi ideology by his wife, Lina (Rosamund Pike), a high aristocrat who accompanied him throughout his rise to power, Heydrich was the principal architect of the “Final Solution” and an unstoppable force. However, a small group of Czech Resistance fighters, trained by Britain and directed by the Czechoslovakian government-in-exile, sought to stop the unstoppable. In an audacious act, the paratroopers,led by Jan Kubiš (Jack O’connell) and Jozef Gabčík (Jack Reynor), attacked Heydrich’s caravan as it travelled the streets of Prague, causing fatal injuries. Reinhard Heydrich became the highest-ranking Nazi officer ever to be killed during World War II. Read more about the film / Trailer

WONDER WHEEL MASTERLike so many of Woody Allen’s films, Wonder Wheel is a delightfully charming story that involves love and betrayal, telling the story of four characters whose lives intertwine amid the hustle and bustle of the picturesque Coney Island amusement park in the 1950s. Ginny (Kate Winslet), is a melancholy, emotionally volatile former actress now working as a waitress in a clam house; Humpty (Jim Belushi) is Ginny’s rough-hewn carousel operator husband; Mickey (Justin Timberlake) is a handsome young lifeguard who dreams of becoming a playwright; and Carolina (Juno Temple) is Humpty’s long-estranged daughter, who is now hiding out from gangsters at her father’s apartment. Read more about the film / Trailer

BRADWriter-director Mike White’s bittersweet comedy, Brad’s Status is an intelligent and poignant exploration of the human condition. A trip to Boston with his college-bound son triggers a crisis of confidence for Brad Sloan (terrific performance from Ben Stiller) as he reassesses his own life choices in a bittersweet comedy. Showing his prodigy son Troy (Austin Abrams) around Boston, where Brad went to university, it’s not quite what he imagined during his college glory days. He can’t help comparing his life with those of his four best college friends: a Hollywood bigshot (White), a hedge-fund founder (Luke Wilson), a tech entrepreneur (Jemaine Clement), and a political pundit and bestselling author (Michael Sheen). As he imagines their wealthy, glamorous lives, he wonders if cozy
middle-class domesticity is the best he will ever achieve. But when circumstances force him to reconnect with his former friends, Brad begins to question whether he has really failed or if, in some essential ways, their lives are more flawed than they appear. Read more about the film / Trailer

BEATRIZBeatriz at Dinner ,is the latest provocative film from director by Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl, Chuck & Buck) from a script by Mike White (Brad’s Status, The Good Girl, Enlightened). Beatriz (Salma Hayek), a self-effacing and spiritual immigrant from Mexico, has spent her adult life caring for the sick while neglecting herself. When her car breaks down and she is stranded at a client’s luxurious Newport Beach home overnight, her well-meaning employer Kathy (Connie Britton) insists she join them for a dinner party that evening. At an intimate and sumptuous celebration of her husband’s latest business venture, Beatriz is introduced to Doug Strutt (John Lithgow), a ruthless billionaire real-estate developer. She listens uncomfortably while Doug brags about his aggressive business tactics, but when he boasts about shooting a rhino in Africa, she can no longer hold her tongue. As opposing worldviews collide over a dinner table, Beatriz’s pent up outrage spills out in a way that surprises even herself. Read more about the film / Trailer

MEGAN MENUMegan Leavey is an incredible human drama from a female Marine’s perspective. Twenty-year old Megan Leavey (Kate Mara), aimless and unhappy, leaves her home and mother Jackie (Edie Falco) in upstate New York in 2003 to join the Marines. After completing boot camp, Megan attends military police school at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. While cleaning up kennels for the K9 unit as punishment for a night of misbehavior, Megan becomes fascinated with the “working dogs” trained to sniff out explosives in war zones. She joins the K9 division and is assigned to take on an unruly German shepherd named Rex. Mentored by the gruff Sergeant Gunny Martin (Common), Megan gradually gains Rex’s trust and forges a bond of uncommon depth. Megan and Rex are deployed to Iraq, where she learns the ropes from fellow dog handler Matt Morales (Ramón Rodríguez). Putting her life at risk as one of the first women to operate in an active combat zone in Fallujah and Ramadi, Leavey completes more than 100 missions with Rex, who sniffs out a massive cache of weapons hidden in a terrorist’s home and detects numerous roadside bombs. During their second deployment in 2006, enemy forces outside Ramadi detonate a remote-controlled land mine that injures Megan and Rex in battle. To tell you more will spoil the film.  Read more about the film / Trailer

 

WIND 3The chilling thriller Wind River marks directorial debut of the Oscar-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water). The film follows a wildlife tracker (Jeremy Renner) and an FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) hunting down a killer in the snowy mountains of western Wyoming. The former has stumbled across the frozen body of a teenage girl from the nearby Native American reservation; the latter has arrived from Las Vegas to spearhead the homicide investigation. For him, the death opens up some painful past wounds. For her, the immersion in a culturally unfamiliar world, one with its unspoken rules and deeply embedded culture clashes is extremely disorienting.  Read an interview with Taylor Sheridan / Trailer 

MOLLY2Molly’s Game, based on the true story of a young, charismatic Olympic-hopeful skier and ‘Poker Princess’ who was arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons, marks the directorial debut of renowned playwright and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), a young, charismatic Olympic-hopeful skier who was forced to abandon athletics after a devastating injury. With law school on hold, Molly takes a summer job that introduces her to a new endeavor requiring similar discipline and drive: running the world’s most exclusive high-stakes underground poker game. The deep pockets of Hollywood royalty, sports stars and business titans give her a decade of glitzy, glamourous success, but Molly attracts the wrong kind of attention when she inadvertently engages members of the Russian mob at her table. Her streak comes to a grinding halt when she’s arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Facing criminal charges, her only ally is her reluctant defense lawyer (Idris Elba), who discovers that there’s much more to Molly Bloom than the salacious tabloid stories reveal. Read more about the film / Trailer

JumanjiIn Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle four teenagers – Spencer, Bethany, Fridge and Martha – who seemingly could not be more different are mysteriously thrust into the game’s jungle setting, in the bodies of their avatars, played by Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan. Very quickly, they realize that they will need to figure out how to work together in order to survive.  In their new personas, they are each uniquely qualified to do specific tasks – but all of them (well, most of them) are also uniquely hindered by weaknesses that will slow their progress. What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji – Jumanji plays you.  They’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, or they’ll be stuck in Jumanji forever… It is directed by Jake Kasdan from a screenplay by Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers and Scott Rosenberg & Jeff Pinkner.  The screen story is by Chris McKenna, based on the book Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg. The bonus features include a fun gag reel, you can meet the heroic cast, explore the attack of the Rhinos, take a journey through the jungle and take a closer look at how the film was made.  Go behind the scenes / Trailer

Amityville-The-Awakening-hWhen some footage dating back to 1976 is discovered, the case of the haunted house in Amityville is reopened in Amityville: The Awakening.  An ambitious woman who is working as a television news intern seizes the opportunity to advance her career and is soon leading a team of journalists, clergymen, and paranormal researchers into the house, but she may have unwittingly opened a door to the unreal that she will never be able to close. This supernatural horror was written and directed by Franck Khalfoun, and stars Jennifer Jason Leigh. Watch the trailer

KIDNAPA typical afternoon in the park turns into a nightmare for single mother Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) when kidnappers snatch her young son Frankie in Kidnap. With no cellphone and no time to wait for police, Dyson jumps into her car to follow the vehicle that holds Frankie. As the pursuit turns into a frantic, high-speed chase, Karla must risk everything and push herself to the limit to save her beloved child. It was directed by Luis Prieto and written by Knate Lee Watch Trailer 

 

 

 

 

 

FREE FIREBold, breathless and wickedly fun, Free Fire is an electrifying action comedy about an arms deal that goes spectacularly and explosively wrong. Acclaimed filmmaker Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High Rise) propels the audience head-on into quite possibly the most epic shootout ever seen on film as he crafts a spectacular parody — and biting critique — of the insanity of gun violence. Everyone’s got a gun, and absolutely no one is in control. Set in a colorful yet gritty 1970s Boston, Free Fire opens with Justine (Oscar (R) winner Brie Larson), a mysterious American businesswoman, and her wise-cracking associate Ord (Armie Hammer) arranging a black-market weapons deal in a deserted warehouse between IRA arms buyer Chris (Cillian Murphy) and shifty South African gun runner Vernon (Sharlto Copley). What starts as a polite if uneasy exchange soon goes south when tensions escalate and shots are fired, quickly leading to a full-on Battle Royale where it’s every man (and woman) for themselves. Packed with witty one-liners, flamboyant characters and remarkable feats of cinematic gunplay, Free Fire is a full-throttle action extravaganza that keeps things fresh and fun with Wheatley’s alternately buoyant and savage sense of humor. Swinging from the madcap to the macabre and back again, the film is an exhilarating experience that will leave you quite literally blown away.

SNIPERIn Sniper: Ultimate Kill a Colombian drug kingpin secretly pays for the services of a sniper capable of killing the enemies of anyone who hires him. The DEA, alarmed by the kingpin’s threat to the country, sends an agent and a Marine sniper to Colombia. Their mission: Kill the sniper and bring the kingpin back to the US to be tried for his crimes. But not everything goes to plan, as the DEA discover plenty of surprises in their way, in this exciting thriller. This action film is directed by Claudio Fäh and starring Chad Michael Collins, Billy Zane, and Tom Berenger. The film is the seventh installment of the Sniper film series and a sequel to Sniper: Ghost Shooter (2016).

STARHow do you tell one of the most famous stories ever recorded and bring it to the screen in a fresh, new way?  This was the challenge facing the filmmakers behind The Star, Affirm Films and Sony Pictures Animation’sfamily film about the events leading up to the very first Christmas. “It’s the Nativity story from the point of view of the animals, and in this film, we follow Bo, who is the donkey that carries Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem,” explains director Timothy Reckart. The story is by Simon Moore and Carlos Kotkin; and the screenplay is by Carlos Kotkin. Read more about the film

In The Star a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day Bo finds the courage to break free and ends up befriending newlyweds Joseph and Mary. Mary’s kindness soon sets Bo on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a loveable sheep who has lost her flock, and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become unlikely heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.

FLATLINERSThe original Flatliners hit the big screen in 1990.  An extremely stylized and unsettling film, it immediately struck a nerve with audiences.  Now, more than 25 years later, Flatliners returns to the screen in a contemporary reimagining from a screenplay by Ben Ripley and a story by Peter Filardi, and directed by Niels Arden Oplev.  “Flatliners is a journey into the unknown – the last unknown, you could say,” says director Niels Arden Oplev, best known for his work as the director of the Swedish film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattooand the pilot of the acclaimed series “Mr. Robot.” “It’s an outrageous subject, to travel beyond death and have your friends try to bring you back, to explore what’s on the other side.”  Read more about the film

In Flatliners, five medical students, obsessed by the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring and dangerous experiment: by stopping their hearts for short periods of time, each triggers a near-death experience – giving them a firsthand account of the afterlife.  But as their experiments become increasingly perilous, they are each confronted by the sins of their pasts, brought on by the paranormal consequences of trespassing to the other side

SAINTSAll Saints is based on the inspiring true story of salesman-turned-pastor Michael Spurlock (John Corbett), the tiny church he was ordered to shut down, and a group of refugees from Southeast Asia. Together, they risked everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all. After trading in his corporate sales career to become a pastor, Michael’s first assignment is All Saints, a quaint country church with a dozen members. It comes with a catch: he has to close the church doors for good and sell the prime piece of land on which it sits. While developers eagerly eye the property and the congregation mourns the inevitable, Michael and his family look forward to moving on to an established church where they can put down roots. But when the church hesitantly begins welcoming Karen (kuh-REN) refugees from Burma— former farmers striving for a fresh start in America—Michael feels called to an improbable new mission. Toiling alongside the Karen people, the congregation attempts to turn their fertile land into a working farm to pay the church’s bills and feed its newest people. Jeopardizing his family’s future by ignoring his superiors, Michael must choose between completing what he was assigned to do—close the church and sell the property—or listening to a still, small voice challenging the people of All Saints to risk it all and provide much-needed hope to their new community. Read more about the film

PADDINGTONPaddinton 2 finds Paddington happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s hundredth birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief… Helmed by twice BAFTA nominated director Paul King, it is based on the best-selling and internationally adored series of children’s stories by British author Michael Bond, which have sold more than 35 million copies worldwide, been translated into over 40 languages and captured the imagination of children and adults around the globe.

NUT JOBIn Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, Surly Squirrel (Will Arnett) and the gang are back. We are once again in Oakton where the evil mayor has decided to bulldoze Liberty Park and build a dangerous amusement park in its place. Surly and his ragtag group of animal friends band together to save their home, defeat the mayor, and take back the park. It also features the voice talent of Katherine Heigl (The Nut Job), Jackie Chan (Kung Fu Panda 3), Peter Stormare (Penguins of Madagascar), Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man), Isabela Moner (Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life), and Maya Rudolph (The Angry Birds Movie).

WASGOEDIn the dark comedy Vuil Wasgoed Wim and Kevin have been dreaming of their own coffee shop for years, but while they wait for their dream to come true, they temporarily work in a laundromat. The problem is ‘temporarily’ has become seven years and the highlight of their existence is still borrowing their clients’ clothes to gate-crash parties at night. The system works well. Kevin is even close to kissing the love of his life, until a crooked jewel merchant is betrayed, his finger is chopped off and the finger ends up in a jacket pocket at the laundromat. Against their will, Wim and Kevin are dragged into the dangerous criminal world.   Morné du Toit directs from a screenplay by Bennie Fourie.

JOURNEYThe Journey is the gripping account of how two men from opposite sides of the political spectrum came together to change the course of history. In 2006, amid the decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland, representatives from the two warring factions meet for negotiations. In one corner is Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner, Harry Potter), the deeply conservative British loyalist; in the other is Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney, Hell on Wheels, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), a former Irish Republican Army leader who has devoted his life to the cause of Irish reunification. Over the course of an impromptu, detour-filled car ride through the Scottish countryside, each begins to see the other less as an enemy, and more as an individual – a breakthrough that promises to at last bring peace to the troubled region. Driven by two virtuoso central performances and co-starring John Hurt, Freddie Highmore and Toby Stephens, it is a relevant reminder of how simple humanity can overcome political division.

marshallStarring Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, Sterling K. Brown, and James Cromwell. Director Reginald Hudlin’s Marshall, is based on an early trial in the career of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. It follows the young lawyer (Chadwick Boseman) to conservative Connecticut to defend a black chauffeur (Sterling K. Brown) charged with sexual assault and attempted murder of his white socialite employer (Kate Hudson). Muzzled by a segregationist court, Marshall partners with a courageous young Jewish lawyer, Samuel Friedman (Josh Gad). Together they mount the defense in an environment of racism and Anti-Semitism. The high profile case and the partnership with Friedman served as a template for Marshall’s creation of the NAACP legal defense fund.

 

 

mother__01_DO-NOT-USE-TILL-AUG.-22If there is one film that will blow your mind and alter your perceptions on humanity,  it’s Darren Aronofsky’s profoundly disturbing and sometimes shocking Mother! 

Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) and Him (Javier Bardem) live in a seemingly idyllic existence in a secluded paradise. But the couple’s relationship is tested when man (Ed Harris) and woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) arrive at their home uninvited. Answering that knock disrupts their tranquil existence and as more and more guests arrive, mother is forced to revisit everything she knows about love, devotion and sacrifice.

The DVD bonus features include and insightful journey into how the film was conceptualised and realised, as well as a feature on the make-up.  Read more about Mother!  / Read review

mountain1The gripping romance The Mountain Between Us With is a sweeping tale of love and survival.  Novelist Charles Martin fashioned a suspenseful, affecting tale that examines how two strangers with distinctive personalities compromise and adapt to one another under extreme duress. That story—the unfolding tale of how two compelling protagonists make their way across a brutal landscape toward salvation, and ultimately, love—spoke to Oscar-nominated producer Peter Chernin (Hidden Figures) and is now brought to life by director Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now, Omar) from a screenplay adaptation by Chris Weitz (About a Boy) and J. Mills Goodloe (The Age of Adaline).

After an incoming storm forces the cancellation of her flight to New York, talented photojournalist Alex Martin finds herself stuck in Idaho the night before her wedding. Scrambling to make it home in time, she hits upon a longshot idea and charters a plane to Denver in the hopes of catching the red-eye to New York that same night. Another stranded passenger, Ben Bass, a skilled British neurosurgeon due back on the East Coast to perform a critical, life-saving operation, tunes out his own misgivings about the plan and joins her.

As Alex and Ben fly ahead of inclement weather in a small Piper two-seater, their pilot suffers a massive stroke, and the small craft crashes in the deep snows of the Uinta Mountains in northeastern Utah. Trapped in the remote region with little hope of rescue, the two weary travelers embark on a terrifying and transformative pilgrimage across the unforgiving reaches of the vast, rugged terrain, fighting against the elements, animals and time. Under the most extreme circumstances imaginable, they gradually learn to trust one another, and a powerful connection grows between them—one that will reshape the course of their lives.    Read more about the film

the-wilde-weddingIn The Wilde Wedding, now-retired film star Eve Wilde (Glenn Close) prepares for her wedding to husband number four, renowned English writer Harold Alcott (Patrick Stewart) after a whirlwind courtship. At her upstate New York home–in the presence of both Wilde’s first husband, celebrated stage actor Laurence Darling (John Malkovich), and their collective families (Minnie Driver, Jack Davenport, Yael Stone, Peter Facinelli, Noah Emmerich, Grace Van Patten)–the long summer weekend offers the opportunity for everyone to get to know each other a bit more intimately. As sexual sparks begin to fly, there are unforeseen consequences abound.

Only the Brave, based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, is the heroic story of a local firefighting crew that becomes one of the most elite firefighting teams in the nation. As most of run from danger, they run toward it – risking everything to save a town from a historic wildfire.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski (TRON Legacy) the screenplay was written by Ken Nolan and Eric Warren Singer, based on the GQ article “No Exit” by Sean Flynn.

“In an age of superheroes, Only the Brave is a film about real heroes,” says director Joseph Kosinski. “It explores notions of brotherhood, sacrifice, redemption, all set in the world of wildfire – something I haven’t seen in the cinema before. It’s a story that needs to be told and a world that should be seen on a big screen.”  Read more about the film

 

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Sci-Fi

Three decades after Ridley Scott’s cult sensation Blade Runner changed the face of cinema, the much-anticipated follow-up Blade Runner 2049 challenges our notions of who we are…and where we are headed. Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. His discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who’s been missing for 30 years. With Ridley Scott as Executive Producer on Blade Runner 2049, this new incarnation based on characters from the Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is scripted by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, with visionary director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) at the helm. Fancher co-wrote the screenplay of the 1982 Blade Runner with David Wobb Peoples, while a television and film writer and producer Green co-wrote the screenplay for Scott’s Alien Covenant. Bonus Features:  Director Denis Villeneuve introduces pre-shot anime stories that dramatises some events that occurred after the first Blade Runner, and before Blade Runner 2049 begins: Los Angeles, 2022 – when angry masses  identify and kill Replicants, the Blackout of 2022, 2030 – Nexus Down, and 2048 – Nowhere to Run. The doccie Blade Runner 101 explores The Replicant Evolution, Blade Runners, The Rise of Wallace Corp, Welcome to 2049, the fantasy app Jois, and Withing the Skies looks at the Spinners, Pilotfish and Barracudas.   Read more about Blade Runner 2049: The much-anticipated follow-up to the acclaimed cult film Blade Runner

Dark TowerIn Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, the ambitious and expansive story from one of the world’s most celebrated authors, the last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.It’s an epic that has inspired millions of readers – not least of which was a young boy in Denmark whose imagination was sparked by the events in Mid-World. Now grown, director Nikolaj Arcel brings The Dark Tower to life on film in all its majestic glory, from a screenplay adaptation by Akiva Goldsman & Jeff Pinkner and Anders Thomas Jensen & Nikolaj Arcel; . Bonus Features: A look at The Gunslinger in Action and The Man In Black / Read more about how the Dark Tower became a film / Watch the trailer

Gritty Crime Thriller

shotIn director/screenwriter Ric Roman Waugh’s (Snitch) gritty crime thriller Shot Caller, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) plays Jacob Harlon, a successful Pasadena financier married to Kate (Lake Bell), with the perfect life and family. All of that disappears one night behind the wheel when a drunk-driving accident results in the accidental death of Jacob’s best friend Tom (Max Greenfield). Charged with vehicular manslaughter, Jacob is sentenced to prison, where he’s surrounded by cutthroat criminals. A fish out of water, he is forced to do the unimaginable to survive within the prison gang hierarchy where one wrong move can be your last. He adopts the persona of “Money” and rises up within the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, his moral center eroding in the process. Upon release, Money hits the treacherous streets of Los Angeles as a changed man and enters a deadly chess game with no-nonsense parole agent Kutcher (Omari Hardwick) and LA County gang-unit sheriff Sanchez (Benjamin Bratt), as his gang forces him to arrange an illegal arms deal if he wants to keep his family safe from gangster vengeance. Go behind the scenes of this film that gives us a very authentic picture of what prison culture is like / Watch the trailer

Romance

TULIP 5The sumptuous and thrilling period romance Tulip Fever is set in 17th Century Amsterdam where an orphaned girl (Alicia Vikander) is forcibly married to a rich and powerful merchant (Christoph Waltz) – an unhappy “arrangement” that saves her from poverty. After her husband commissions a portrait, she begins a passionate affair with the painter (Dane DeHaan), a struggling young artist. Seeking to escape the merchant’s ever-reaching grasp, the lovers risk everything and enter the frenzied tulip bulb market, with the hope that the right bulb will make a fortune and buy their freedom. The film was directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), from a screenplay by Sir Tom Stoppard (Anna Karrenina, Shakespeare in Love, Empire Of The Sun). It’s a fantastic love story .. and at the heart of it, it’s a metaphor about love, lust and passion. Read more about the film’s 20-year-journey from page to screen / Watch the trailer

the-big-sick-trailerIn The Big Sick Kumail Nanjiani is a Pakistani comic who meets an American graduate student named Emily at one of his stand-up shows. As their relationship blossoms, he soon becomes worried about what his traditional Muslim parents will think of her. When Emily suddenly comes down with an illness that leaves her in a coma, Kumail finds himself developing a bond with her deeply concerned mother and father. Directed by Michael Showalter and written by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, the film is loosely based on the real-life romance between Nanjiani and Gordon. Watch the trailer

Family

HolidayJoy6In Holiday Joy Joy Hockstatter has been trying to help her dad, Bob, hold the family together after her mom’s death a few years ago. Although only 15, she’s become a kind of surrogate mother to her brothers. Every day she looks across the street to the perfect house and family – the Wellmans. After a freak accident (which involves some suspicious cards), Joy wakes up as one of the Wellmans, with a new mother, father and older sister! Her new life seems to have changed for the better, only now Bob and her brothers have taken a turn for the worse and the only one who recognizes Joy from her previous life is her old dog, Levi.” Starring  Bailee Madison, French Stewart, Luke Bilyk, Scott Thompson. Watch the trailer

04-mermaidtaleA Mermaid’s Tale is an enchanting modern fairy tale, the story of Ryan, a 12-year-old girl forced to move with Matt, her father, to the dying fishing town where he was born, and to live with Art, her crusty mean old grandfather. As she tries to fit in and make new friends she discovers a secret cove, home to a playful pod of dolphins and Coral, a mysterious girl. As they become fast friends, Ryan learns that Coral is a mermaid and uncovers a secret that will help the girls both save the town in a touching, mythic story of friendship and redemption. With Jerry O’Connell, Barry Bostwick, Caitlin Carmichael, Nancy Stafford. Watch the trailer

Drama

100 Streets is a British independent drama directed by Jim O’Hanlon, telling three different stories covering infidelity, adoption and a drug dealer turned actor are intertwined as characters meet in the streets of London. Within a square-mile section of London, the trajectories of characters from different social strata crisscross, circle one another and intersect in 100 Streets, an ensemble drama that puts a soapy spin on a familiar template. Though there’s clearly a compassionate impulse behind Leon F. Butler’s class-conscious screenplay, it rapidly devolves into melodrama. The bonus feature takes a look at how this independent film was produced.  Watch the trailer

 

 

 

09-all-we-had.w710.h473In the mother-daughter drama All We Had, Thirteen-year-old Ruthie Carmichael and her mother (Katy Holmes) , Rita teeter on the edge of poverty, despite Rita working multiple jobs. When their landlord kicks them out, Rita uses her looks to instantly reel in a boyfriend, who takes them in. Before long, Ruthie convinces her mother to leave and they head East in search of a better life. When money runs out and their car breaks down, they find themselves stranded in a small town called Fat River where their luck finally takes a turn. Rita lands a steady job waitressing at the local diner. With enough money to pay their bills, they rent a house and Fat River becomes the first place they call home. Watch the trailer.

Certain Women drops us into a handful of intersecting lives across Montana. A lawyer (Laura Dern) tries to defuse a hostage situation and calm her disgruntled client (Jared Harris), who feels slighted by a workers’ compensation settlement. A married couple (Michelle Williams and James Le Gros) breaks ground on a new home but exposes marital fissures when they try to persuade an elderly man to sell his stockpile of sandstone. A ranch hand (Lily Gladstone) forms an attachment to a young lawyer (Kristen Stewart), who inadvertently finds herself teaching a twice-weekly adult education class, four hours from her home. Delicacy, intelligence, compassion and control are what writer-director Kelly Reichardt brings to her muted but utterly involving new film. Watch the trailer

 

 

In the thriller Drone, Sean Bean (Game Of Thrones) plays a high-level private drone contractor who spends his workdays flying covert missions then returns to a family life of suburban mediocrity. Not even Neil’s wife or his son know about his secret life. But Neil’s juggling act of husband, father and armchair warrior comes to a crashing halt when a whistle-blowing site exposes him to a deadly threat. Believing Neil is responsible for the deaths of his wife and child, an enigmatic Pakistani businessman tracks him down. Watch trailer

 

 

 

South African

WHALE_MOVIEZola Maseko’s The Whale Caller, is a fascinating story based on Zakes Mda’s bestselling novel.  It is an enchanting, romantic comedy of sorts, told through lyrical and magical storytelling. The film is set against the backdrop of the stunningly beautiful Hermanus, on the West Coast of South Africa. The story follows The Whale Caller (Sello Maake ka-Ncube), a man who has long turned his back on humanity.  It’s a heart -warming tale about his journey from misanthropic alienation to human connection, driven by a unique love triangle between him and Saluni (Amrain Ismail-Essop), the wispy sexy town drunk who harbours ideas of grandeur, and Sharisha, a southern right whale. Read more about the film /  Watch the trailer

Finders KeepersIn the action-comedy Finders Keepers a strip joint janitor (Dalin Oliver) and a club patron (Neels Van Jaarsveld) strike up an unlikely friendship as they evade gangsters and Russian mobsters, and try to secure the release of a kidnapped stripper, by trading her for a lucky fish they had stolen. The film was conceptualized by director Maynard Kraak back in 2012 when he set up West Five Films, but it was not until early 2014 that he brought his very good friend Strini Pillai,  onboard to write the screenplay – Pillai, who now resides in Australia, is an award winning film, television and stage actor who has branched out into writing and stand-up comedy. Finders Keepers is the pilot film project of the Emerging Black Film Maker initiative / Watch the trailer

Action – adventure

kill-em-all-van-damme-3

Jean Claude Van Damme

After a massive shootout, a mysterious stranger (Jean Claude Van Damme) arrives at a local hospital on the brink of death in Kill ‘Em All  . Then, a foreign gang brazenly comes to the hospital to hunt him down. His nurse, the sole surviving witness to the follow-up shootout, must face an FBI interrogation that unlocks a plot of international intrigue and revenge. With enough twists and turns, Kill ’em All will keep you guessing until the final bullet is fired! Watch the trailer

In S.W.A.T Under Siege a SWAT compound comes under fire from an international terrorist who relentlessly and violently pursues a mystery man who was apprehended by Seattle SWAT after a raid went horribly wrong.  Sam Jaeger plays Travis Hall, a Seattle SWAT officer whose team comes under fire from a team of terrorists who seek to take custody of a mysterious suspect named Scorpion (Michael Jai White). The cast included Adrianne Palicki and Matthew Marsden.  It was directed by Tony Giglio from a screenplay by Jonas Barnes and Keith Domingue. Watch The Trailer

First Kill 2In First Kill, a big shot Wall Street broker Will (Bruce Willis) tries to reconnect with his son Danny (Hayden Christensen)and takes his family on a hunting trip to the cabin where he grew up. The trip takes a deadly turn when they go hunting and stumble upon several robbers and witness the murder of one of the criminals. After becoming entangled in a bank heist gone bad, which results in the kidnapping of Danny  Will is forced to help the kidnappers evade the police chief and recover the stolen loot in exchange for his son’s life. The film was directed by Steven C. Miller and written by Nick Gordon.  Watch the trailer

Animation

emoji posterHuman beings have never been more connected.  With the smartphone, we are never out of touch from each other – and constantly in touch with people around the world.  And with a simple invention, we are now able to communicate with people who are separated from us by language, borders, oceans…Now, Sony Pictures Animation takes you into the secret world inside your phone for a rollicking adventure in The Emoji Movie.  Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene (T.J. Miller), an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Anna Faris). Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever. The film is directed by by Tony Leondis from a screenplay by Tony Leondis & Eric Siegel and Mike White.  Story by Tony Leondis & Eric Siegel. Bonus Features: There are tons of super features that explores the magic and wonder of Emojis / Read more about how The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone / Watch the trailer

Comedy

Last WordIn The Last Word Harriet Lauler (Shirley MacLaine), a once-successful businesswoman, works with young local writer Anne Sherman (Amanda Seyfried) to pen her life story. When the initial result doesn’t meet Lauler’s high expectations, she sets out to reshape the way she’ll be remembered, dragging Anne along as an unwilling accomplice. As their journey unfolds, the two women develop a strong bond which not only alters Harriet’s legacy but also Anne’s future. Watch the trailer

 

 

tyler-perrys-boo-a-madea-hallowee-poster1-759x477Tyler 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. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

Thrills and Chills

VOICE OF STONEVoice Of Stone tells the haunting and suspenseful story of Verena (Emilia Clarke) is a determined young nurse hired to help a mute young heir (Edward Dring) within an isolated castle in Tuscany. The more she observes the boy, the more Verena becomes convinced he has fallen under the spell of a powerful and otherworldly persona trapped in the villa’s stone walls, one that seems to be rapidly entwining with her own. It is poetic and subtle, a slow-burn, perhaps too slow at points, that culminates in a difficult, yet compelling ending.  It was directed by Eric D. Howell and written by Andrew Shaw, based on the novel of the same name by Silvio Raffo.  Watch the trailer

 

edgeofwinterheaderIn the thrilling Edge Of Winter a recently divorced and laid off from his job, Elliot Baker (Joel Kinnaman) is desperate to spend more time bonding with his sons, Bradley (Tom Holland) and Caleb (Percy Hynes White). What starts as family day trip to teach his boys how to shoot turns into a nightmare when they become stranded. As they retreat to a desolate cabin, Elliot’s mounting fear of losing custody pushes him to the edge. The brothers quickly realize that the man responsible for keeping them safe has now become their biggest threat.  Watch the trailer

 

the-crucifixion-660x330Evil demons return in The Crucifixion. When a priest is jailed for the murder of a nun on whom he was performing an exorcism, an investigative journalist strives to determine whether he, in fact, murdered a mentally ill person, or if he lost the battle with a demonic presence.The film follows the misadventures of a young journalist played by Sophie Cookson who, after losing her mother to a battle with cancer a few years prior, takes it upon herself to figure out just what the hell happened after a priest and a gaggle of nuns is arrested for the murder of a young woman during the course of an exorcism gone wrong. Watch the trailer

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Here’s some great titles to add to your collection

Dunkirk-poster-2349857-600x875Visionary storyteller and storymaker Christopher Nolan has taken audiences from the streets of Gotham City, to the infinite world of dreams, to the farthest reaches of space. Now, for the first time, the innovative director/writer/producer has turned his camera to a real-life event, one that has resonated with him throughout his life: the miracle of Dunkirk. The film opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces.  Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea, they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.The story unfolds on land, sea and air.  RAF Spitfires engage the enemy in the skies above the Channel, trying to protect the defenseless men below.  Meanwhile, hundreds of small boats manned by both military and civilians are mounting a desperate rescue effort, risking their lives in a race against time to save even a fraction of their army. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

WIZARDRobert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer shine in The Wizard of Lies, a TV movie that reveals how Bernie Madoff, the con man behind the biggest financial fraud in US history, destroyed not only the lives of his victims but also his own family. Bernie Madoff is the Wall Street fraudster who master-minded the most heinous swindle of our generation, until it all unravelled during the market crash of 2008. This is the true story, behind the headlines, of Madoff’s deceptions, lies and betrayals. De Niro slips into the skin of the con man who raked in an estimated US$65 billion (Dh239 billion) from investors during his elaborate Ponzi scheme, a fraud he sustained for decades while keeping his wife, Ruth (Pfeiffer), and their sons, Mark and Andrew, in the dark about his crimes.The film is based upon The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust, a 2011 book by The New York Times investigative reporter Diana B Henriques.“Bernie Madoff’s greed brought down and destroyed his entire family,” says executive producer and Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson, whose credits include Hollywood hits such as Diner (1982), Rain Man (1988) and Wag the Dog (1997).  Bonus Features: In depth interviews with Robert de Niro and Michelle Pfeifer, plus director Barry Levinson and author Diana B Henriques./ Watch the trailer

Victoria posterVictoria & Abdul tells the extraordinary true story of the amazing and unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria  and a young clerk, Abdul Karim, who becomes her teacher, her spiritual advisor, and her devoted friend. The story of their friendship, deliberately hidden for a century, is now told for moviegoers, with Academy Award winner Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love) reuniting with Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Frears (The Queen), and returns to the role of Queen Victoria. The screenplay is by Academy Award nominee Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), based on journalist Shrabani Basu’s book Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant. Bonus Features: Insightful doccies on Judi Dench and Ali Fazal, as well as the look of Victoria and Abdul / Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

 

The SnowmanThe Snowman, the seventh book in Jo Nesbø’s best-selling Harry Hole series, has enthralled global audiences since it was first published in 2007 and now makes it debut on the Big Screen under direction of Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), from a screenplay adaptation by Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Debt) and Hossein Amini (The Wings of the Dove, Drive) and Søren Sveistrup (Forbrydelsen, TV’s The Killing).The frigid landscape as his hunting ground, a sociopath who calls himself “The Snowman Killer” has targeted the one person for whom he wants to show off his methodical, unthinkable skills: the lead investigator of an elite crime squad.  With cunningly simplistic baits such as “Mr. Policeman, I gave you all the clues…” he begs to have a worthy opponent to play his sick game.For Detective Harry Hole ( Michael Fassbender), the murder of a young woman on the first snow of the winter feels like anything but a routine homicide case in his district.  From the start of the investigation, The Snowman has personally targeted him with taunts—ones that continue to accompany each new vicious murder.Fearing an elusive serial killer long-thought dead may be active again, the detective enlists brilliant recruit Katrine Bratt (Rebeccas Ferguson), to help him connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new ones.  Succeed, and they will lure out the psychopath that’s been watching them from the shadows for who knows how long.  Fail, and an unthinkable evil will strike once again during the very next snowfall. Bonus Features: A look at the cast and characters, Creating Jo Nesbø’s world, The Snowman Killer, Norwegian Landscape and Stunt files on The Sinking Lake/ Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

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2.22In 2.22 New York City air traffic controller Dylan Branson (Michiel Huisman) is the embodiment of a guy at the top of his game, until one day at 2:22pm, a blinding flash of light paralyzes him for a few crucial seconds as two passenger planes barely avoid a mid-air collision. Suspended from his job, Dylan begins to notice the increasingly ominous repetition of sounds and events in his life that happen at exactly the same time every day. An underlying pattern builds, mysteriously drawing him into Grand Central Station every day 2:22pm. As he’s drawn into a complex relationship with a beautiful woman who works in an art gallery, Sarah (Teresa Palmer), disturbingly complicated by her ex-boyfriend Jonas (Sam Reid), Dylan must break the power of the past, and take control of time itself. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

Viceroy PosterAs a writer-director, Gurinder Chadha has repeatedly translated her personal experience as a Punjabi-British woman into uplifting, crowd-pleasing movies, from her ground-breaking 1993 debut Bhaji On The Beach to her box-office smash Bend It Like Beckham, and now brings us the epic historical drama Viceroy’s Housethe astonishing true story of the final months of British rule in India. New nations are rarely born in peace… India, 1947: Lord Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville) is dispatched, along with his wife Edwina (Gillian Anderson), to New Delhi to oversee the country’s transition from British rule to independence. Taking his place in the resplendent mansion known as the Viceroy’s House, Mountbatten arrives hopeful for a peaceful transference of power. But ending centuries of colonial rule in a country divided by deep religious and cultural differences proves no easy undertaking, setting off a seismic struggle that threatens to tear India apart. With sumptuous period detail, director Gurinder Chadha brings to life a pivotal historical moment that re-shaped the world. Bonus Feature: A great behind the scenes doccie on how the film was made, featuring interviews with the director and cast / Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

KingsmenBased upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men First Class), Kingsmen: The Golden Circle tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius. When Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is an unemployed school dropout living a dead-end existence in his mother’s flat. After he is arrested for joyriding, Eggsy uses the medal to secure his release from jail, and finds himself rescued by Harry Hart (Colin Firth), an impeccably suave spy who owes Eggsy’s father his life.  Dismayed to learn of the path Eggsy has taken, yet impressed by his better qualities, Harry offers Eggsy the opportunity to turn his life around by trying out for a position with Harry’s employers: Kingsman, a top-secret independent intelligence organization. The screenplay is by Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn, based on the comic book “The Secret Service,” by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Bonus Features: A sensational look at Black Cab Chaos – anatomy of a killer and the Kingsman Archives / Watch the trailer

BEGUILEDThe Beguiled is an atmospheric thriller from acclaimed writer/director Sofia Coppola. The story unfolds during the Civil War, at a Southern girls’ boarding school. Its sheltered young women take in an injured enemy soldier. As they provide refuge and tend to his wounds, the house is taken over with sexual tension and dangerous rivalries, and taboos are broken in an unexpected turn of events. Based on the novel of the same name by Thomas P. Cullinan, it stars Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning. Bonus Features:  Two behind the scenes doccies that explores A Shift In Perspective and A Southern Style / Watch the trailer

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Glass CastleChronicling the adventures of an eccentric, resilient and tight-knit family, The Glass Castle is a remarkable story of unconditional love. Oscar winner Brie Larson brings Jeannette Walls’s best-selling memoir to life as a young woman who, influenced by the joyfully wild nature of her deeply dysfunctional father (Woody Harrelson), found the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

war-for-the-planet-of-the-apes-2880x1800-2017-hd-7554War For The Planet Of The Apes unleashes  rapidly evolving simians into a world boiling over with divisions and rage as the ape vs. human battle for control of the world careens towards the ultimate winner-takes-all decision. Breathless action, big ideas and potent storytelling combine as it pushes the series into new realms of legend-building as it explores the values that forge a civilization. In a flurry of mythic filmmaking, we witness the pivotal moment that determines the fate of human civilization forever –and are immersed in the ape leader Caesar’s emotional quest to lead his young society to a new home, even as a war between his belief in family and honor versus the lure of a vengeful reckoning churns within his soul. As peace between species has collapsed — and a renegade band of human soldiers led by an imperious Colonel makes a final, all-out attack — Caesar is hit with an unimaginable personal loss and a dark line inside his psyche is crossed.  Now, he is wrestling with merciless impulses and roiling doubts about his own ability to inspire the apes towards freedom. But if the apes are to survive the coming conflict, Caesar must lead.  In a time when empathy and compassion have nearly vanished both in the world and his heart, Caesar searches for the grit, sense of fellowship and striving vision to lead the apes towards a future of hope. The stunning bonus features include an audio commentary by writer-director Matt Reeves, a doccie on Caesar, and the Concept Art Gallery. Read more about the film / Trailer

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Action

babydriver-xlarge_trans_NvBQzQNjv4Bqeo_i_u9APj8RuoebjoAHt0k9u7HhRJvuo-ZLenGRumAWith its mixture of mph and music, the newest explosion of genre-crossing excitement from writer-director Edgar Wright, Baby Driver is an action thriller unlike any other. Full of reversals, rewinds, fast forwards and heart-stopping skips, and inspired by the types of crime-and-chase movies that have thrilled moviegoers since Steve McQueen in a revved-up Mustang changed car pursuits forever, Baby Driver is a game-changing, lane-changing, hard-charging blast only Wright could have dreamed up. Baby (Ansel Elgort), an innocent-looking getaway driver who gets hardened criminals from point A to point B, with daredevil flair and a personal soundtrack running through his head. That’s because he’s got his escape route plotted to the beat of specific tunes that go from his well-curated iPod straight to his ears, and which translate into expertly timed hairpin turns, gear shifts and evasive maneuvers that leave his passengers on the ride of their lives. Baby works for Doc (Kevin Spacey), a kingpin on a lucky streak of brash daytime bank heists, thanks in part to his faith in Baby’s auto acumen. Doc’s go-to professionals include former Wall Street type turned outlaw Buddy (Jon Hamm), Buddy’s young, lawless and scandalous partner in crime Darling (Eiza Gonzalez), and the impulsive, gun-slinging Bats (Jamie Foxx), whose suspicions about Baby – from his attitude to his aptitude – begin to create a dangerous rift in an until-then smooth-running operation. Read more about the film / Buy DVD

ATOMIC BLONDE Oscar winner Charlize Theron explodes into summer in this sexy action-thriller that follows MI6’s most elite spy through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors. The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission.  Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James MacAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies. A blistering blend of sleek action, gritty sexuality and dazzling style, Atomic Blonde is directed by David Leitch (co-director, John Wick; director of upcoming Deadpool 2), who has imagined a world as brutal and deadly as it is real.  The film is based on the Oni Press graphic novel series “The Coldest City” written by Antony Johnston and illustrated by Sam Hart. Read more about film / Buy DVD

Logan LuckyIn the turbocharged heist comedy Logan Lucky from Academy Award®-winning director Steven Soderbergh, West Virginia family man Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) leads his one-armed brother Clyde (Adam Driver) and hairdresser sister Mellie (Riley Keough) in an elaborate scheme to rob North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway.To help them break into the track’s underground cash-handling system, Jimmy recruits volatile demolition expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig). Further complicating the already risky plan, a scheduling mix-up forces the thieves to execute the job during the Coca-Cola 600, the track’s most popular NASCAR event of the year. As they attempt to pull off the ambitious robbery, the down-on-their-luck Logans face a final hurdle when a relentless FBI agent (Hilary Swank) begins investigating the case. Read more about the film / Buy the DVD

New South African Films

Krotoa poster”Identity, a sense of belonging and reconciliation are strong, universal themes in this powerful tale,” says producer-director Roberta Durant of Krotoa,  the poignant story of a feisty, bright, young eleven-year old girl, who is removed from her close-knit Khoi tribe to serve Jan van Riebeeck  at her uncle’s trading partner. Krotoa is brought into the first Fort, established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652. There she grows into a visionary young woman, who assimilates the Dutch language and culture so well that she rises to become an influential interpreter for van Riebeeck (Armand Aucamp ), who became the first Governor of the Cape Colony. Krotoa (Crystal Donna Roberts – ) ends up being rejected by her own Khoi people and destroyed by the Dutch, when she tries to find the middle way between the two cultures. Read more about the film / Buy the DVD

 

VaselinetjieAcclaimed journalist and writer, Anoeschka von Meck’s Vaselinetjie is a story about defining the meaning and origin of one’s identity and race within the turmoil of post Apartheid South Africa, and brought to life the Big Screen by director Corné Van Rooyen, (Hollywood in my Huis, Sy Klink Soos Lente ) who wrote the screenplay with René van Rooyen (Mooirivier).The story follows the growing-up years of Helena Bosman, a white girl living with her coloured grandparents. The coloured children at school brutally tease her, accusing her of being a fake and mock her because she looks different from them. When Vaselinetjie is 11 years old, and the bullying becomes increasingly aggressive, the welfare’s help is called in and she is sent to an orphanage outside of Johannesburg – a place where “Mandela’s reject children” must live and survive.It’s a strange, hard, dangerous world of drop-out children and bad-tempered matrons; a world where children smoke leftover cigarette butts, fight each other with their fists and constantly run away. It’s a world where no one cares about anyone else, where you learn not to give a damn and no one gives a damn about you. Vaselinetjie soon forgets the values her grandparents taught her so she, for the first time, can fit in with her peers. It’s only when a much older Vaselinetjie falls in love with Texan Kirby, a rebellious orphanage boy, that she addresses her biggest challenge and fear: the truth about where she comes from. Vaselinetjie is a film about the search for identity and the long road of growing up to discover who one really is. Read more about the film / Buy DVD

Van der Merwe 2In every country there is a person who is the butt of all jokes. In Ireland it is Paddy, in Israel it is Hymie, in South Africa, that person is Van der Merwe – this is his story. Set on the Van der Merwe farmstead, the story centres on Van’s daughter Marike who returns home from a gap year in England with her new fiancé George, a British boy who is studying to become a doctor. This creates all sorts of problems and challenges for Van as he tries to come to terms with the fact that his daughter is marrying an Englishman. Van’s father is strongly against this union of ‘Brit and Boer’ and implores Van to put an end to it. Van finds himself in a precarious situation with a difficult choice: risk the wrath of his father by condoning the wedding – or obey his father, whose approval he so desperately wants, and risk losing his daughter forever. When the family of the English fiancé arrives on the farm, the fireworks really begin as the clash of cultures results in a number of side-splitting ..It was written and directed by Bruce Lawley and stars Rob Van Vuuren.  Buy DVD

Animation

Son of BigfootIn the animated Son Of Bigfoot a teenage outsider Adam sets out on an epic and daring quest to uncover the mystery behind his long-lost dad, only to find out that he is none other than the legendary Bigfoot! He has been hiding deep in the forest for years to protect himself and his family from HairCo., a giant corporation eager to run scientific experiments with his special DNA. As father and son start making up for lost time after the boy’s initial disbelief, Adam soon discovers that he too is gifted with superpowers beyond his imagination. But little do they know, HairCo. is on their tail as Adam’s traces have led them to Bigfoot! Read more about the film / Buy on DVD

Comedy

Home AgainReese Witherspoon stars in Home Again. Recently separated from her husband, Alice Kinney decides to start over by moving back to Los Angeles with her two daughters. While celebrating her 40th birthday, Alice meets Harry, George and Teddy, three young filmmakers who need a place to live. Complications soon arise when she agrees to let the men stay in her guesthouse temporarily. As Alice develops a budding romance with Harry, her newfound happiness comes crashing down when her ex shows up with a suitcase in his hand. Read more about the film / Buy DVD

Horror

armed-response-master768In Armed Response a team of special forces soldiers approach the designer of a high-tech military compound to investigate the disappearance of another team guarding the facility. The compound, known professionally as a Temple, is an artificial intelligence powered facility designed for interrogating high level prisoners. Upon entering the Temple, the soldiers quickly find the earlier team horrifically slaughtered but no evidence as to who is responsible. Almost immediately, the crew begins to experience strange and horrific supernatural phenomena as they attempt to uncover who killed the previous team. Soon enough, they find a lone survivor, a dangerous terrorist who may hold the key to who killed the soldiers. But as the story goes on, we’ll learn that there’s more to it than we’ve been told and a dark secret the soldiers share may hold the key to surviving The Temple. Read more about the film / Buy DVD

A military experiment to harness unlimited energy goes horribly awry in Kill Switch, leaving a pilot with no choice but to fight through an imploding world to save his family and the planet itself. The pilot (Dan Stevens) travels to a parallel universe to repair an interdimensional imbalance created by an unstable new energy source.. However, he soon realizes that his mission is much more complex than he was led to believe. Read more about the film / Buy DVD

Abel Vang and Burlee Vang (The Vang Brothers) wrote, produced and directed Bedevilled, dealing with five friends who are terrorised by a supernatural entity after downloading a mysterious app,. Read more about the film / Buy DVD

 

 

The Perfect Xmas Gift!

their-finest-hourIf you are looking for a heartbreaking drama/ romance, Their Finest is an absolute must! The year is 1940, London. With the nation bowed down by war, the British ministry turns to propaganda films to boost morale at home. Realizing their films could use “a woman’s touch,” the ministry hires Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) as a scriptwriter in charge of writing the female dialogue. Although her artist husband looks down on her job, Catrin’s natural flair quickly gets her noticed by cynical, witty lead scriptwriter Buckley (Sam Claflin). Catrin and Buckley set out to make an epic feature film based on the Dunkirk rescue starring the gloriously vain, former matinee idol Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy). As bombs are dropping all around them, Catrin, Buckley and their colorful cast and crew work furiously to make a film that will warm the hearts of the nation It carries an age restriction of 13. Watch Trailer

SpidermanA young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, enters the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the sensational Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Embraced all over the world, Spider-Man is the most popular comic book character in history and the crown jewel of Marvel comics.  Now, he comes home in a film with a fresh, fun tone and new take, produced by Marvel Studios, that brings the Peter Parker of the comic books to the screen alongside MCU heroes for the first time. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.  His moment has arrived as he is challenged to become the hero he is meant to be.

churchillDiscerning viewers will delight in Churchill, a captivating drama featuring excellent performances by Brian Cox as British Prime Minister Winston Chruchill and Miranda Richardson as his devoted wife. The story takes place during the days leading up to infamous Allied D-Day landings in Normandy, France in June, 1944.  Tensions mount for the beleaguered Churchill and fearful of repeating his deadly mistakes from World War I in the Battle of Gallipoli, exhausted by years of war, plagued by depression and obsessed with his historical destiny, Churchill is reluctant to embark on the large-scale campaign, one that the entire war effort hinges upon. Clashing with his Allied political opponents U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower (John Slattery) and British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery (Julian Wadham), the troubled Churchill receives support and devotion from his wife, the brilliant and unflappable Clementine Churchill, whose strength and shrewdness  halts Winston’s physical, mental spiritual collapse and inspires him on to greatness. Age Restriction 10 – 12 PGD.  Watch the trailer

PROMISEEmpires fall, love survives in The Promise. When Michael (Oscar Isaac), a brilliant medical student, meets Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between Michael and Ana’s boyfriend Chris (Christian Bale), a famous American photojournalist dedicated to exposing political truth. As the Ottoman Empire crumbles into war-torn chaos, their conflicting passions must be deferred while they join forces to get their people to safety and survive themselves. The Promise is directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Terry George.It has an age restriction of 16 PV. Watch trailer

LOST CITYThe True-life drama  The Lost City Of Z is set at the dawn of the 20th century, British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam)  journeys into the Amazon, where he discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment, which views indigenous populations as savages, the determined Fawcett, supported by his devoted wife, son, and aide-de-camp, returns to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case.It has an age restriction of 13V. Watch trailer

20tth CNTURYThe thought-provoking and challenging 20th Century Women is set during the summer of 1979, with Annette Bening in top form as a headstrong Santa Barbara single mom and boardinghouse landlord who decides the best way she can parent her teenage son (Lucas Jade Zumann) is to enlist her young tenants – a quirky punk photographer (Greta Gerwig), a mellow handyman (Billy Crudup) and her son’s shrewd best friend (Elle Fanning) – to serve as role models in a changing world. There is an age restriction of 13 ATLS. Watch trailer

WHOLE TRUTHIn the crime /courtroom drama The Whole Truth Keanu Reeves plays a defense attorney who takes on a personal case when he swears to his widowed friend, Loretta Lassiter (Renée Zellweger), that he will keep her son Mike (Gabriel Basso) out of prison. Charged with murdering his father, Mike initially confesses to the crime. But as the trial proceeds, chilling evidence about the kind of man that Boone Lassiter (Jim Belushi) really was comes to light. While Ramsay uses the evidence to get his client acquitted, his new colleague Janelle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) tries to dig deeper – and begins to realize that the whole truth is something she alone can uncover. It carries an age restriction of 16 LSV. Watch trailer

FAMILY MANIn the moving A Family Man Gerard Butler delivers a great performance as a hard-driven headhunter who works at a cutthroat firm. When his boss pits him against the equally driven Lynn Vogel, Dane gears up for the professional battle of his life. When his young son is then given a harrowing diagnosis, Dane is suddenly pulled between achieving his professional dream and spending time with the family that needs him now more than ever. It has an age restriction of 13L. Watch trailer

 

CIRCLEIn the thrilling The Circle Mae Holland (Emma Watson) seizes the opportunity of a lifetime when she lands a job with the world’s most powerful technology and social media company. Encouraged by the company’s founder (Tom Hanks), Mae joins a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics and personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment, and every decision she makes soon starts to affect the lives and futures of her friends, family and that of humanity. Age restriction 7-9 PGL. Watch trailer

ARMYIn the wacky Army of One Gary Faulkner (Nicolas Cage), an ex-con, unemployed handyman, and modern day Don Quixote receives a vision from God telling him to capture Osama bin Laden. Armed with only a single sword purchased from a home-shopping network, Gary travels to Pakistan to complete his mission. While on his quest, Gary encounters old friends back home in Colorado, new friends he makes in Pakistan, the enemies he makes at the CIA — and even God and Osama themselves. Watch trailer

Rough NightIn the raunchy adult comedy Rough Night, five friends from college – played by Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoë Kravitz – reunite when they rent a beach house in Miami for a wild bachelorette weekend that goes completely off the rails.  Just when all hope is lost, they realize there’s more to the story than they could’ve ever imagined. “This movie might seem to be about friends who find themselves in a not-so-average bachelorette party through a series of very over-the-top events, but the movie is really about friendship,” says Scarlett Johansson, who expresses her comedy chops in Rough Night.  “We often can take for granted the people that know us the best… This movie is a sort of cautionary tale about taking that for granted – and also it’s a celebration of that kind of deep friendship.  Underneath this wild, R-rated comedy is a movie with a very warm heart about friendship.” The film is age restricted 16 LSD. The bonus features include a scandalous sing-along, a featurette on the cast. Watch trailer

The Latest DVD Releases.

DVD Of The Month: Martin Scorsese’s Masterful Silence

SILENCE

(L-R) Andrew Garfield as Father Sebastião Rodrigues and Liam Neeson as Father Ferreira

Silence is a labour of consummate passion that tells the story of two 17th century Portuguese missionaries who undertake a perilous journey to Japan to search for their missing mentor in Japan at a time when feudal lords and ruling Samurai were determined to eradicate Christianity in their midst; Christians were persecuted and tortured, forced to apostatize, that is, renounce their faith or face a prolonged and agonizing death. Based on Shusaku Endo’s 1966 award-winning novel, it faithfully examines the spiritual and religious question of God’s silence in the face of human suffering, with a brilliant screenplay by Scorsese and Jay Cocks. Andrew Garfield delivers one of most powerful performances of his career as Father Rodrigues and will break your heart with his impassioned journey into the soul of a man whose belief is tested to the extreme. Equally brilliant is Adam Driver as Rodrigues’s fellow priest, and Liam Neeson adds authority as the all-important Father Ferreria.

Silence is a must-see and eye-opening odyssey into humanity that has never been more relevant than today, where people still contemplate faith and doubt, weakness, and the human condition.It is impossible to fully understand or explain the solitude of our souls, those moments when we take a journey into the essence of ourselves.With Silence, Scorsese poignantly shows that it is those silent, meditative moments that shape our humanity and respective destinies, and how important it is to respect and revere the differences that cause conflict and torment. It’s a film like Silence that showcases the transformative power of film, as well as the magical allure of the art of filmmaking at its best, and the craft of storytelling at its most powerful. Silence is most definitely a rewarding and meaningful cinematic experience, and equally important for those who feel lost in their lives and need to be reminded of how fragile the human condition is when darkness descends. Read more about Silence

Win A DVD Of The Sensational Local Film Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie

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With Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie,  writer-director Christiaan Olwagen delivers a refreshing film that is as radical as the Voëlvry music movement that rebelled against the autocratic dictates of the apartheid government and changed the hearts of a generation of South Africans who wanted to break free from oppressive separatism.

In the film a group of friends gather to celebrate the life and music of Johannes Kerkorrel, the lead singer of the Gereformeerde Blues Band, shortly after his suicide.

Bonus Features: Behind the scenes interviews with the cast and crew / Read the review

If you want to win a DVD of this must-have South African film, tell us in what year the Read more about the filmfilm takes place and send your answer and contact details to us before 15 October, 2017.  Enter Competition here

 

the-founder-movie-2016-trailer-michael-keatonThe Founder is a drama that tells the true story of how Ray Kroc, a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California.  Impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food at their San Bernardino hamburger stand and the crowds of patrons it attracted, Kroc immediately saw franchise potential and maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire.  And thus McDonald’s was born. The Founder is directed by John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks, The Blind Side), based on an original screenplay by Robert Siegel (The Wrestler). Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

GOLD

Gold, inspired by actual events, is the epic tale of one man’s American dream and everything he’ll do to keep it from falling apart. Matthew McConaughey stars as Kenny Wells, who embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of America, so he sells his last possessions and drops off the edge of earth, heading to Indonesia where he teams up with this mythic geologist, the “river walker,” Mike Acosta, played by Edgar Ramirez – they battle nature, the NYC financial establishment, conspiracies inside of conspiracies, but most of all they test their faith in themselves. The screenplay for Gold was written by Patrick Massett and John Zinman (Friday Night Lights), who also serve as producers, and directed by Academy Award winner Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Traffic)  Read more about the film / Trailer

sense of an endingThe Sense Of An Ending is a fascinating exploration of the sort of story we tell ourselves about our past.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 and the devastating consequences of decisions made a lifetime ago. “The Sense of an Ending is just one of those books I’ve always carried with me. Maybe I’m an old soul, but it just really speaks to me,” ‘says director Ritesh Batra, who was just one of a legion of fans enamored with Julian Barnes’s beautiful and beguiling novel, and brought it to life on film from a screenplay adaptation by playwright Nick Payne (Constellations) . Read more about the film / Trailer

Bleed for thisBleed for This is a 2016 American biographical sports film written and directed by Ben Younger and based on the life of former world champion boxer Vinny Pazienza, now known as Vinny Paz. Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza (Miles Teller), a local Providence boxer, shoots to stardom after winning two world title fights. After a near-fatal car accident leaves him with a broken neck, he is told he may never walk again. Against all odds and doctor’s orders, renowned trainer Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart) agrees to help Vinny return to the ring just a year after the accident for what could be the last fight of his life. Based on a true story.  Watch the trailer

Every family has secrets but the Green family is different – its secrets run deep. When Max (Anton Yelchin) goes missing, his mother (Catherine Keener) and three sisters (Riley Keough, Kaitlyn Dever and Annie Starke) learn that a dark past haunts more than one of the Green siblings.We Don’t Belong Here, previously entitled The Greens Are Gone, is an American drama film written and directed by Peer Pedersen. The film stars Catherine Keener, Kaitlyn Dever, Anton Yelchin (in his final film role), Riley Keough, Annie Starke, Cary Elwes and Maya Rudolph. Watch the trailer

Heartbeats 2Dance lovers will delight in Heartbeats. When a bubbly American hip hop dancer goes to India with her family for a wedding, she is impressed by a new dance style and falls in love with the man who introduced her to it. The film centers on a feisty Los Angeles hip-hop dancer Kelli (Krystal Ellsworth), who travels to India with her family for a wedding and falls in love a” both with a new style of dance, and with a determined young man (Amitash Pradhan) who introduces it to her. Trailer

 

The-Marine-5-movieThe Marine 5: Battleground is a 2017 American action film. It is the fifth installment of The Marine franchise and sees Mike “The Miz” Mizanin reprise his role from The Marine 3: Homefront and The Marine 4: Moving Target. While working as an EMT back stateside Jake Carter after responding to a distress call, finds himself caught up protecting a person of interest from a biker gang ruthlessly hunting them down. Trailer

SWANAfter mysterious visitors arrive in the Kingdom, Princess Alise, Lucas and their friends go undercover on a secret spy adventure to see if they can be trusted in the fun animated film The Swan Princess: Royalty Undercover.  They will need all of their superior detective skills as well as some super cool gadgets to solve the royal mystery and save the Kingdom. Trailer

 

 

The art and craft of filmmaking and storytelling at its ultimate best!

The story and characters audiences know and love come home to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic Beauty and the Beast, a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told that is available on DVD, Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and iTunes Store South Africa.

Beauty and The Beast on Blu-Ray is an absolute must for any collector!  You will fall in love with Disney’s magic and musicals all over again as the insightful featurettes take you on a captivating journey into the art and craft of filmmaking and storytelling at its ultimate best!   Read more about the live-action film

Scroll down for details on the Blu Ray features 

Emma Watson stars as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio's animated classic directed by Bill Condon.

Emma Watson stars as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon.

Beauty and the Beast is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within.

The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Directed by Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated film, “Beauty and the Beast,” the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos and produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman, p.g.a. and Todd Lieberman, p.g.a. with Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher and Don Hahn serving as executive producers. Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the animated film, provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice.

Bonus Features on Blu Ray 

  • Enchanted Table Read – Join the cast for the movie’s elaborately staged table read, complete with singing and dancing to live music, set pieces and more.
  • A Beauty of a Tale – Explore the process of transforming a beloved animated film into a new live-action classic.
  • The Women Behind Beauty and the Beast – Emma Watson introduces several of the talented women in all aspects of production who helped bring this enchanted tale to life.
  • From Song to Screen: Making the Musical Sequences – See what goes into making some of the best-known moments from Beauty and the Beast
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Extended Song: “Days in the Sun” – Learn more about Beast’s childhood in an alternate version of this beautiful song, introduced by director Bill Condon.
  • “Beauty and the Beast” Music Video – Award-winning artists Ariana Grande and John Legend perform a moving version of this iconic song.
  • Making the Music Video – Go on set to capture the magic as it happens in Ariana Grande and John Legend’s “Beauty and the Beast” music video. “Beauty and the Beast”
  • Disney Song Selection – Jump directly to all your favorite songs and sing along with the movie.

 

 

 

Add these titles to your Home Entertainment.

LIFEIf there’s one film you have to add to your collection, it’s the absolutely terrifying Life! It turns sci-fi inside out and offers some truly heart-stopping tension. Astronauts (Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds) aboard the International Space Station are on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As members of the crew conduct their research, the rapidly evolving life-form proves far more intelligent and terrifying than anyone could have imagined.The excellent bonus features include some exciting behind the scenes featurettes that showcases the art of filmmaking.  Read more about the film 

BILLYIn Ang Lee’s superb Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, nineteen-year-old private Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn), along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing Iraq battle and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour. Through flashbacks, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day football game, what really happened to the squad is revealed, contrasting the realities of the war with America’s perceptions. Based on the novel by Ben Fountain. The first rate bonus features include the journey of filmmaker Ang Lee during the filming of of this groundbreaking film; how the cast was assembled, recreating the spectacular halftime show, the intense training and bonding experience of the combat soldiers, and deleted scenes.  Read more about the film 

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John Krasinski and Sharlto Copley

In the wacky comedy The Hollars aspiring artist John Hollar (John Krasinkski) returns to his middle America hometown on the eve of his mother’s (Margo Martindale)  brain surgery. Joined by his girlfriend, eight months pregnant (Anna Kendrick) with their first child, John is forced to navigate the crazy world he left behind as his dysfunctional family, high school pals, and over-eager ex flood back into his life ahead of his mother’s operation. If there’s one reason to see this film it is for South African actor Sharlto Copley as Hollar’s crazy brother.  The bonus features include audio commentary with John Krasinski and Margo Martindale,  featurettes on the making of the film as well as a Q and A at the LA Film Festival with the cast. Watch the trailer

chronically-metropolitan-9-2In the charming romantic comedy Chronically Metropolitan first-time novelist Fenton Dillane (Sholoh Fernandez) returns to New York City unannounced, ready to reclaim his lost love, Jessie (Ashley Benson),  who, unbeknownst to him, is engaged to be married. When Fenton enlists his headstrong sister, Layla (Mary-Louise Parker), and his drug-dealing best friend (Chris Noth) to help him win her back, his actions set in motion a chain of events that affect the lives of everyone around him for better and for worse. Watch the trailer

Supernatural Thrills

IncarnateIncarnate is a terrifying new take on films dealing with demonic possession.  A scientist with the ability to enter the subconscious minds of the possessed must save a young boy from the grips of a demon with powers never seen before, while facing the horrors of his past. It all begins when a single mother witnesses terrifying symptoms of demonic possession in her 11-year-old son (David Mazouz), a Vatican representative calls on wheelchair-bound scientist Dr. Seth Ember (Aaron Eckhart) to rid him of the evil spirit. Driven by a personal agenda rooted in his own tragic past, Ember enters the boy’s unconscious mind where he confronts a demon as ferocious as it is ingenious. It was directed by Brad Peyton who gave us the disaster film San Andreas. Watch the trailer

VisionsVisions offer a thrilling explorations of the supernatural. Leaving her hectic city lifestyle behind, young mother-to-be Eveleigh (Isla Fisher), joins her husband David (Anson Mount), at their beautiful new vineyard home only to be plagued by terrifying noises and visions of a sinister hooded figure. No one else hears or sees these hallucinations, not even David, who grows increasingly worried about his wife’s well-being. Desperate to prove her sanity, Eveleigh hunts down locals who reveal the haunted history of the vineyard in which she now resides. But when the pieces come together, the answer is far different – and more dangerous to her and her baby – than she ever imagined…Watch The Trailer

What’s New On The DVD Front

Logan – the defining chapter in the cinematic saga of The Wolverine

From visionary writer-director James Mangold comes the defining chapter in the cinematic saga of one of the greatest comic book heroes ever created. Logan sees Hugh Jackman reprise his iconic role as The Wolverine for one, final time in a raw, powerfully dramatic standalone story of sacrifice and redemption.

If there’s one reason to add this DVD to your collection, it’s for the absolutely insightful and intelligent audio commentary by writer-director James Mangold, taking us into the world and journey of writing and making the film. A must for aspirant screenwriters and filmmakers!

Logan

There’s no question that the movie absolutely will speak to those longtime fans of Wolverine, those who have followed Jackman’s portrayal over the last 17 years. In fact, it was critical for Jackman, as he said farewell to his extensive X-Man past, to put everything on the screen for this, his last mutant adventure. “There was a moment that I came to terms with the fact that this was my last one,” Jackman says. “I love this character, and he’s been amazing to me. I’d be lying if I said that I would have been okay if I didn’t feel everything was left on the table. And I mean everything. Every day, every scene was a kind of battle to get the best out of that character, to get the best out of me.”

Logan stars Hugh Jackman in the title role, alongside Patrick Stewart (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Stephen Merchant, Richard E. Grant and newcomer Dafne Keen. The film is directed by James Mangold (Walk the LineThe Wolverine); from a screenplay by Mangold and co-scripter Scott Frank (A Walk Among the TombstonesThe Wolverine) and Michael Green (Alien: Covenant).

It’s 2029. Mutants are gone—or very nearly so. An isolated, despondent Logan is drinking his days away in a hideout on a remote stretch of the Mexican border, picking up petty cash as a driver for hire. His companions in exile are the outcast Caliban and an ailing Professor X, whose singular mind is plagued by worsening seizures. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy abruptly end when a mysterious woman appears with an urgent request—that Logan shepherd an extraordinary young girl to safety. Soon, the claws come out as Logan must face off against dark forces and a villain from his own past on a live-or-die mission, one that will set the time-worn warrior on a path toward fulfilling his destiny.

Go behind the scenes of Logan

Competition – Win a Jagveld DVD!

JAGVELDThe Afrikaans revenge-thriller Jagveld stars Leandie du Randt Bosch as a rough-and-tough farm girl Emma le Roux who is on her way home to the family farm in the Great Karoo when her car breaks down. Her path will crosses with Bosman and Baz and Jay. And Boela and AJ and Piet. Bosman (Neels Van Jaarsveld) is the mastermind of a drug syndicate and a psychopath; he is savage and violent.

If you want to add Jagveld to your collection of local films, tell us who wrote the film and send your answer with your contact details and ‘Jagveld’ in the subject line to us before August 15, 2017.  Enter competition here

 

Hidden Figures – NASA’s Wonder Women

Hidden Figures uncovers the incredible, untold yet true story of a brilliant group of Wonder Women who changed the foundations of the country for the better — by aiming for the stars.  The film recounts the vital history of an elite team of black female mathematicians at NASA who helped win the all-out space race against America’s rivals in the Soviet Union and, at the same time, sent the quest for equal rights and opportunity rocketing forwards.

hidden-figures

At last, the story of a visionary trio of women who crossed gender, race and professional lines on their way to pioneering cosmic travel comes to the screen starring Taraji P. Henson (Empire, Benjamin Button, Hustle And Flow), Octavia Spencer (Allegiant, Fruitvale Station, The Help), singer Janelle Monáe making her motion picture debut and Kevin Costner (Black Or White, Field Of Dreams, Dancing With Wolves).

Everyone knows about the Apollo missions.  We can all immediately list the bold male astronauts who took those first giant steps for humankind in space:  John Glenn, Alan Shepard and Neil Armstrong.  Yet, remarkably, Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson’s are names not taught in school or even known to most people — even though their daring, smarts and powerful roles as NASA’s ingenious “human computers” were indispensable to advances that allowed for human space flight.

Director Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) brings the women’s rise to the top ranks of aerospace in the thrilling early days of NASA to life via a fast-moving, humor-filled, inspiring entertainment that illuminates both the gutsy quest for Earth’s first, seemingly impossible orbital flight and also the powerful things that can result when women unite.

The bonus features include a fascinating featurette on the life of Katherine Johnson and honoring her achievements, a wonderful audio commentary by director Theodre Melfi and Taraj P. Henson,  and filming in Georgia. Go Behind the scenes of Hidden Figures

M. Night Shyamalan’s Split delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind

Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for Split,  being hailed as “Shyamalan’s most terrifying film to date, ” and “a masterful blend of Hitchcock and horror.”

split

Shyamalan felt there were only a handful of actors who could play the demanding role of a man with 23 personalities in Split. It was paramount for the writer/director that Kevin’s personalities not be viewed as caricatures but as fleshed out personas that audiences would embrace with sympathy. To that end, Shyamalan sought out James McAvoy—a dynamic actor who handles blockbuster roles and small, intimate parts with equal aplomb—to play the lead character’s many roles. Shyamalan saw James McAvoy as absolutely up for the challenge. “This is the most complex character I’ve ever written. I was thinking, ‘Does he understand what I’m asking him to do in this piece?’ And he did; I’ve never worked with an actor so fearless.”

Though Kevin (James Mcavoy, X-Men series, Wanted) has evidenced 23 personalities—each with unique physical attributes—to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Tony Award winner Betty Buckley, The Happening, TV’s Oz), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others.

Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

The bonus features include a featurette on writer-director Shyamalan and how he constructs a film, a look at how James Mcavoy transformed into the different characters and deleted scenes with commentary by Shyamalan. Go behind the scenes of Split

A Dog’s Purpose Takes Us Into The Soul Of A Loving Canine

Based on author W. Bruce Cameron’s beloved best-selling novel, A Dog’s Purpose shares the heartwarming and surprising story of one devoted dog who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love.

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Given Hallström’s track record of inventive filmmaking, and having already directed an Amblin Entertainment (then DreamWorks) film, The 100-Foot Journey, it was a unanimous decision that the filmic version of this story could not be in better hands. The director claims it is no accident he was attracted to the material: “I made two movies about dogs previously—My Life as a Dog and Haichi—so this is my third dog story. If you have an interest in outsiders and emotions that seems irrational to humans, you can certainly relate to a dog’s feelings and a dog’s life.”

Over the course of five decades, a single voice—that of an indefatigable dog—takes us along a riveting and uplifting path that speaks to the heart of anyone who has ever loved an animal.  Although he is reincarnated in the bodies of multiple canines through the years, it is his unbreakable bond with a kindred spirit named Ethan that carries and inspires one dog throughout his journey to find a true purpose for his boy.

“I made two movies about dogs previously—My Life as a Dog and Haichi—so this is my third dog story,” says director Lasse Hallström, who claims it is no accident he was attracted to the material: . ”If you have an interest in outsiders and emotions that seems irrational to humans, you can certainly relate to a dog’s feelings and a dog’s life.”

A Dog’s Purpose is adapted for the screen by Cameron & Cathryn Michon (Muffin Top: A Love Story) and Audrey Wells (Shall We Dance) and Maya Forbes (Infinitely Polar Bear) & Wally Wolodarsky (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days).

Go behind the scenes of A Dog’s Purpose

 

 

Add These Titles To Your Collection

Jackie is a portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Kennedy.

JackieThe poignant and captivating Jackie takes audiences on a personal journey into one of the most extraordinary events of American history – and also into a deeply stirring drama that illuminates in fascinating new ways the woman, the times and the ways we cope with and tell the stories of the most intensely public of tragedies. Chilean director Pablo Larraín draws an Oscar worthy performance from Natalie Portman, For Natalie Portman, who committed herself fully and fearlessly as to find the part of Jackie that still resonates with us now. “I think every individual will have their own experience of who Jackie is,” she concludes. “But the one thing I truly hope is that you see someone who is not just an icon but a very human, complex woman who found her own way through a situation few of us could imagine.” The film takes us behind closed doors in Jackie’s private, tightly-contained world. Suddenly alone, save for her family, confidante and priest, the First Lady faced a remarkable series of challenges as a wife, a mother and a reluctant part of the political machine: consoling her young children, planning her husband’s funeral, preparing for the next President to rapidly move into the White House and most remarkably, fighting to maintain control over how history would forever define her husband’s legacy.

Jackie Kennedy led a multi-faceted life of power and influence, but when it came to writing about her, screenwriter and journalist Noah Oppenheim came to feel there was one story that spoke to her psyche in the most compelling way – the very brief but remarkably consequential days that the First Lady spent nearly alone in the White House following her husband’s death. Read more about the film

Proudly South African filmmaking

REBELLIE 2In Chris Barnard’s poignant drama Die Rebellie Van Lafras Verwey Tobie Cronje takes on the title role of a man who has worked as a clerk in the Civil Service in Pretoria for thirty years. By day he sorts files and whiles away the mundane hours writing grandiose propaganda speeches and drilling imaginary platoons in the washroom, but unbeknownst to his colleagues he is also a clandestine parcel courier for a secret organization that recruited his services to complete their covert mission. The bonus features include a behind the scenes featurette.  Watch The Trailer

RIVERIn the captivating Beyond The River two men from vastly different walks of life have one thing in common: to win gold. But there are a few things in their way. One has a marriage on the verge of collapse. The other is on the run from the law, and his so-called life. Through a series of unexpected events, the two men find themselves attempting the three-day Dusi Canoe Marathon as a doubles pair. But there are a few things they must overcome, not least of which are the completely different worlds they come from. They realise that the dream they both desperately desire requires them to work together, both in the boat and beyond the river. Inspired by the true story of Siseko Ntondini and Piers Cruickshanks, who together won gold in the 2014 Dusi, Beyond the River delivers a nail-biting adventure story about the triumph of the human spirit. Directed by Craig Freimond and written by Freimond and Robbie Thorpe. Freimond: “The film is quite different. I can’t think of too many films like it. It’s got a feel-good side to it,but it has also got a lot of depth. People who’ve seen it have responded to the story, the film itself, the actors, the landscapes. People will enjoy this movie.” The bonus features include a documentary on the real story and an interview with writer-director Craig Freimond.  Watch The Trailer

Action Packed Entertainment

InterrogationIn the thrilling Interrogation the FBI receives a threat that endangers the entire city, an interrogator (Adam Copeland) and an I.T. specialist (C.J Perry) are plunged into a series of mind games with a criminal mastermind, desperately racing against time to uncover the villain’s true agenda as they fight to protect thousands of lives. Copeland and Perry deliver a knockout blow in this electrifying thriller that crackles with edge-of-your-seat suspense. It is directed by Stephen Reynolds from a screenplay by Adam Rodin and Michael Finch. Watch the trailer

sleepless3In Sleepless undercover Las Vegas police officer Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx) finds himself caught in a high-stakes web of corrupt cops, internal affairs and murderous gangsters. When a failed heist leads to the kidnapping of his teenage son (Octavius J. Johnson), Downs must race against time during a wild and restless night to save him and bring the criminals to justice. It has an age restriction of 16.   Watch The Trailer. 

 

Cross WarsArmed with a powerful ancient Cross amulet, Callan (Brian Austin Green) and his team of weapons experts battle local thugs and heinous criminals in Cross Wars. When a ruthless villain named Muerte (Danny Trejo) threatens to kill Callan’s crew, he and his team join forces with an all-girl crime-fighting squad led by Riley – who has an ancient amulet of her own! But Muerte is not working alone. He has resurrected the evil immortal Gunnar (Vinnie Jones) who has a plan more sinister than anyone can imagine. Can Callan prevent the looming apocalypse and save humanity? It’s enough to make a superhero all stressed out! It has an age restriction of 10 – 12 PGV. This action fantasy was written by Patrick Durham, John Sachar, and Tanner Wiley. Watch The Trailer

Drama

TicketIn the intriguing drama The Ticket, directed by Ido Fluk and written by Ido Fluk and Sharon Mashihi, a blind man (Dan Stevens) inexplicably regains his vision and becomes possessed by a drive to make a better life for himself. However, his new improvements — a nicer home, a higher paying job, tailored suits, luxury car — leave little room for the people who were part of his old, simpler life. As his relationships buckle under the strain of his snowballing ambition, it becomes uncertain if James can ever return from darkness. Watch the trailer

Family Viewing

AppleIn Apple Of My Eye A tragic accident causes a young equestrian (Avery Arendes) to lose her sight and her ability to connect with anyone or anything. Feeling hopeless and dejected, Bailey’s loving parents seek out various options to help her adjust, including enrolling her in a program for seeing-eye dogs, but she is unable to connect to anyone or anything. That is, until Charles (Burt Reynolds) the head trainer of South eastern Guide Dogs, trains Apple, a miniature horse, to be her companion and surrogate eyes. The bonus features include some bloopers and deleted scenes, as well as a Doggywood featurette. Watch the trailer

smurfsSmurfs: The Lost Village is a fun-filled animated, all-new take on the Smurfs. Best friends Smurfette (Demi Lovato), Brainy (Danny Pudi), Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) and Hefty (Joe Manganiello) use a special map that guides them through the Forbidden Forest, an enchanted wonderland that’s filled with magical creatures. Their adventure leads them on a course to discover the biggest secret in Smurf history as they race against time and the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) to find a mysterious village. There are many bonus features, including how to draw a Smurf, a village dance along, and filmmakers commentary.  Watch the trailer

Comedy

meet-the-blacksThe zany comedy horror film Meet The Blacks is directed by Deon Taylor, written by Taylor and Nicole DeMasi, and is a parody of the 2013 film The Purge. When some unexpected money comes his way, Carl Black (Mike Epps) moves his family from cold and windy Chicago to bright and sunny Beverly Hills, Calif. As the Blacks settle into their beautiful new home, they start to notice some strange behavior in the neighborhood. Nighttime is approaching, and President El Bama (George Lopez) announces that the annual purge is about to begin. Carl and his loved ones must now endure a 12-hour period of lawlessness before they can enjoy life once again. The bonus features include a making of featurette, outtakes and Hit The Gas Music Video. There is a 16 age restriction.  Watch the trailer

 

Add These New Titles To Your Collection!

the-zookeepers-wifeThe absolutely superb The Zookeeper’s Wife is set in Poland 1939, the homeland of Antonina (portrayed by Ms. Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh, of The Broken Circle Breakdown). Devoted to each other, the couple thrive as personal and professional partners; the Warsaw Zoo flourishes under Jan’s stewardship and Antonina’s care. With reserves of energy, Antonina rises every day to tend to both her family and their menagerie, as the gates to the majestic zoo open in welcome……until the entrance is slammed shut and the zoo is crippled in an attack as the entire country is invaded by the Germans. Stunned, the couple is forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Golden Globe Award nominee Daniel Brühl of Captain America: Civil War). Heck envisions a new, selective breeding program for the zoo.Antonina and Jan fight back on their own terms, and covertly begin working with the Resistance – realizing that their zoo’s abandoned animal cages and underground tunnels, originally designed to safeguard animal life, can now secretly safeguard human life. As the couple puts into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, Antonina places herself and even her children at great risk. Read more about The Zookeeper’s Wife / Watch the trailer

COMPETITION: Win a DVD of the exciting new South African films Tess and Kalushi: The Solomon Mhlanga Story

Fifty shades 2Fifty Shades Darker, the second chapter based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon invites audiences to slip into something a shade darker.The story continues as a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Anastasia Steele back into his life…and she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle them, determined to destroy any hopes for a future together. This dramatic thriller is directed by James Foley (FearHouse of Cards) and once again produced by Michael De Luca (Captain Phillips, The Social Network), Dana Brunetti (Captain Phillips, The Social Network) and Marcus Viscidi (We’re the MillersHow to Be Single), alongside E L James, the creator of the blockbuster series.  The screenplay is by E L James’ husband, Niall Leonard, based on the novel by James. The bonus features include deleted scenes, a ‘Tease to Fifty Shades Freed’ doccie, writing the screenplay, and a ‘Dark Reunion”. Read more about the film / Watch The Trailer

M79 Jessica Chastain stars in EuropaCorp's "Miss. Sloane". Photo Credit: Kerry Hayes © 2016 EuropaCorp Ð France 2 Cinema

Miss Sloane is a taut and twisting tale of a Washington powerbroker obsessed with victory. 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. A cutthroat lobbyist on the verge of personal and professional burnout pushes legal and ethical boundaries to ensure the passage of a controversial law in Miss Sloane, a riveting political thriller from Academy Award®-nominated director John Madden. Pulling back the curtain on the secretive and powerful lobbying industry, Miss Sloane reveals how Capitol Hill games are played — and win!  Read more about Miss Sloane

the-wolves-at-the-door-2016-1The nail biting Wolves at the Door is loosely based on the Manson family murders.Four friends gather at an elegant home during the Summer of Love, 1969. Unbeknownst to them, deadly visitors are waiting outside.What begins as a simple farewell party turns to a night of primal terror as the intruders stalk and torment the four, who struggle for their lives against what appears to be a senseless attack. It was directed by renowned cinematographer John R. Leonetti from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman (Annabelle).

The-Great-Wall-Movie-SceneDirected by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red LanternHeroHouse of Flying Daggers), the action-fantasy The Great Wall marks his first English-language production and the largest film ever shot entirely in China.In The Great Wall, Damon stars as William Garin, a battle-scarred mercenary and master archer taken captive by a secret army of elite warriors known as The Nameless Order.  In a vast military outpost called the Fortress City, they fight to protect humanity from supernatural forces upon one of the greatest defensive structures ever built: The Great Wall.  On his journey, Garin is joined by Pedro Pascal (Netflix’s Narcos, HBO’s Game of Thrones) as his sword-wielding sidekick, Pero Tovar, a tough, wise-cracking Spaniard who has become a brother-in-arms to William; and Willem Dafoe (PlatoonShadow of the VampireThe Grand Budapest Hotel) as Ballard, a shadowy prisoner inside the fortress who plans his escape from his longtime captors while hoping to pilfer their greatest weapon during his getaway. The bonus features include deleted and extended scenes. Read more about The Great Wall / Watch the trailer

 

 

Add some great new titles to your collection!

keeping-up-with-the-kandasamys-2Jayan Moodley ‘s absolutely delightful comedy Keeping Up With The Kandasamys  opens a window into the lifestyle and subculture of modern-day Indian South Africans; their aspirations, dreams, challenges and the things that make them laugh and love. Set in Chatsworth, it stars Jailoshni Naidoo and Maeshni Naicker as the matriarchal rivals of neighbouring families, whose young adult children become romantically involved despite their best efforts to keep them apart, with hilarious results, they are forced to acknowledge that in the end “love will always prevail.”  The bonus features include a feature on ‘The Making of a Chatsworth Dream”.

kandasamyShanti Naidoo (played by Maeshni Naicker) is a typical Type-A personality. Always on the move, going out of her way to please people, and overcompensating for her own perceived inadequacies by constantly cooking up a storm in her kitchen. Her life would be just fine, except that her neighbour Jennifer Kandasamy (Jailoshni Naidoo), always seems to have the upper hand. When Jennifer realizes her daughter Jodi (Mishqah Parthiephal) is in love with Shanti’s son Prinesh (Madhushan Singh), she is determined to break them up.

But in order to do that she will have to enlist her rival’s help. Together the two women scheme and plot, recruit prospective partners and generally interfere with their kids wherever they can.  Sound familiar? Just how far will one go to serve one’s own selfish needs? And will they learn that in the end, it really is just happiness that matters.

WIN A KEEPING UP WITH THE KANADASAMYS DVD

If you want to add this charming film to your collection of local films, tell us who wrote the screenplay and send your answer and contact details with Kandasamys in the subject line to us before 15 July.  Enter competition here

Other New Titles

Trainspotting

If you are looking for a film with tons of attitude, T2 Trainspotting offers load of it! Twenty-one years after the release of his breakthrough hit, director Danny Boyle returns to Scotland and reunites with his old friends Sick Boy, Spud, and Begbie.

First there was an opportunity……then there was a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place he can ever call home. They are waiting for him: Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Other old friends are waiting too: sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance.  Watch the trailer

There is an age restriction of 18DL

The superb bonus features include a Conversation With Danny Boyle and the Cast, deleted scenes and an interesting audio commentary by Boyle and John Hodge.

MonsterIn The fantasy horror The Monster divorced mother and her headstrong daughter must make an emergency late-night road trip to see the girl’s father. As they drive through deserted country roads on a stormy night, they suddenly have a startling collision that leaves them shaken but not seriously hurt. Their car, however, is dead, and as they try in vain to get help, they come to realize they are not alone — a terrifying evil is lurking in the woods, intent on never letting them leave.  Watch the trailer

The Monster has an age restriction of 13 DHLV

CollideIn the action packed Collide Casey Stein (Nicholas Hoult) agrees to hijack a shipment of cocaine for his old boss (Ben Kingsley) in return for money to pay for his girlfriend Juliette’s (Felicity Jones) transplant.

Unfortunately, those drugs belong to Hagen Kahl (Anthony Hopkins), Germany’s most powerful kingpin. Kahl seeks revenge by kidnapping Juliette and sending his goons after Stein. Casey must now race against time in a desperate attempt to save the woman he loves. It has an age restriction of 16V.  Watch the trailer

John WickKeanu Reeves returns for more action in John Wick: Chapter 2 when retired super-assassin John Wick’s plans to resume a quiet civilian life are cut short when Italian gangster Santino D’Antonio shows up on his doorstep with a gold marker, compelling him to repay past favors.

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.

Flying to Rome, John checks in at Il Continentale headquarters, arms himself to the teeth and penetrates heavy Camorra security to surprise Gianna in her bedroom. Leaving dozens of dead thugs in his wake, John flees Rome with trained Camorra killers Cassian (Common) and Ares (Ruby Rose) in hot pursuit. Back in New York, John discovers that Santino has burned his home to the ground. Seeking help from the mysterious Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) and his shadow army, John employs Brazilian jiujitsu, Glocks and even pencils as he wreaks vengeance against those who’ve wronged him. Amid the carnage, John finds the strength he needs to defy the assassin’s code — but can he preserve his own humanity?

For director Chad Stahelski, John Wick: Chapter 2 represented an opportunity to delve deeper into Wick’s universe visually as well as geographically. He recruited Guillermo del Toro collaborator Dan Laustsen (Crimson Peak) to serve as director of photography. “We went with a widescreen look and used anamorphic lenses because we wanted to push the limits of how much we could fill the frames. The production design and cinematography really bring John Wick’s world forward.”

 Watch the trailer

 

Exciting new titles for young and old!

a-united-kingdom-rosamund-pike-and-david-oyelowoWriter-director Amma Asante’s profound A United Kingdom tells the moving story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana and how his loving but controversial marriage to a British white woman, Ruth Williams, put his kingdom into political and diplomatic turmoil. In 1947, Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana, met Ruth Williams, a London office worker. The attraction was immediate: she was captivated by his vision for a better world, he was struck by her willingness to embrace it. Both felt liberated by the social upheaval that followed the war – Seretse sensed the opportunity for change as the Empire weakened, Ruth saw the possibility for a “bigger life” as women pushed for independence and equality. They were a perfect match, yet their proposed marriage was challenged not only by their families but by the British and South African governments.  The latter had recently introduced the policy of apartheid and found the notion of a biracial a-united-kingdom-moviecouple ruling a neighbouring country intolerable.  South Africa threatened the British: either thwart the couple or be denied access to South African uranium (vital for the British nuclear program) and gold (vital to replenish reserves following the war) and face the risk of South Africa invading Botswana. Despite the terrible pressures they faced, Seretse and Ruth never wavered – they fought for their love every step of the way, and in so doing changed their nation and inspired the world. The bonus features include an insightful making of documentary, Filming in Botswana, The Legacy of Seretse and Ruth, and the London Film Festival premiere featurette. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-main-castFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose seven beloved Harry Potter books were adapted into the top-grossing film franchise of all time.  Her script was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by her character Newt Scamander. There are growing dangers in the wizarding world of 1926 New York.  Something mysterious is leaving a path of destruction in the streets, threatening to expose the wizarding community to the No-Majs (American for Muggles), including the Second Salemers, a fanatical 2-jk-rowling-fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-1faction bent on eradicating them.  And the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, after wreaking havoc in Europe, has slipped away…and is now nowhere to be found. Unaware of the rising tensions, Newt Scamander arrives in the city nearing the end of a global excursion to research and rescue magical creatures, some of which are safeguarded in the magical hidden dimensions of his deceptively nondescript leather case.  But potential disaster strikes when unsuspecting No-Maj Jacob Kowalski inadvertently lets some of Newt’s beasts loose in a city already on edge. The bonus features include two fantastic featurettes, Meet the Fantastic Beasts and The Magizoologist.  Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

jonathan-2The uproarious local comedy Jonathan deals with a dreamer and wannabe stand-up comedian who embarks on a roller coaster journey of self-discovery. Jonathan, in his late 20’s, still lives with parents. After another failed open mic performance he gets drunk and crashes his father’s dream car on the way home. This is the last straw for his loving but fed up parents and his father kicks him out of the house. Sitting at a restaurant not knowing where to go, he watches car guards in the parking lot and decides that he will become a car guard just to stay afloat until the next big stand-up comedy completion that he firmly believes he can win. After a very hostile reception by the other car cards, the eldest car guard decides to take Johnathan under his wing and teaches him the finer art of being a car guard and more important he teaches Jonathan about life and how to survive as an outcast. Jonathan also falls in love with a girl way out of his league. Life takes a massive turn when Jonathan and his mentor’s LOTTO- ticket wins the lottery. Jonathan however manages to lose all the money in a matter of days. This put Johnathan on a journey to try and redeem himself. Will he be able to apply the lessons learned to make peace with his family, earn the forgiveness of his mentor and win the heart of the most beautiful girl he ever met? Read interview with writer-director Sallas de Jager / Watch the trailer

SingFor the kiddies and those who are young of heart, the delightful  Sing is set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, and stars Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times.  Buster is an eternal—some might even say delusional—optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it.  Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition. Five lead contestants emerge: Mike (Seth MacFarlane), a mouse who croons as smoothly as he cons; Meena (Tori Kelly), a timid teenage elephant with an enormous case of stage fright; Rosita (Reese sing-dubladores-09-11-2016Witherspoon), an overtaxed mother run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets; Johnny (Taron Egerton), a young gangster gorilla looking to break free of his family’s felonies; and Ash (Scarlett Johansson), a punk-rock porcupine struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo. Each arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life.  And as Buster coaches each of his contestants closer and closer to the grand finale, he starts to learn that maybe the theater isn’t the only thing that is in need of saving. The fantastic bonus features include 3 new mini movies, and featurettes on how the film was made, the music video Faith, The Sing Network and The Best of Gunter. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

assassins-2Assassin’s Creed is a worlds-spanning tale of one man who finds himself at the center of an ancient battle between two powerful sects—only by harnessing the memories of his ancestor, which are contained within his own DNA, can he end the conflict and claim his own redemption. Based on the blockbuster video game series from Ubisoft, the film is directed by Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel (Snowtown, Macbeth) from a screenplay Michael Lesslie and Adam Cooper & Bill Collage. Marked by tragedy at an early age, Cal Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is a convict assassins-creed-fassbender1280jpg-c8e5d5_1280wfacing capital punishment when he gains an unexpected second chance at life thanks to the mysterious workings of Abstergo Industries. Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks the genetic memories contained in his DNA, Cal is sent back across the centuries to 15th Century Spain. There, he lives out the experiences of his distant relative, Aguilar de Nerha, a member of a secret society known as the Assassins who fight to protect free will from the power-hungry the Templar Order. Transformed by the past, Cal begins to gain the knowledge and physical skills necessary to topple the oppressive Templar organization in present day. Bonus Features: A 5-part documentary, Take The Pledge, taking you behind the scenes of the film; The Legacy of Assassin’s Creed and Becoming an Assassin.  Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

STORKSThe action-packed, animated adventure Storks takes audiences on a road trip like no other, as a super-focused stork with big ambitions, and a sunny 18-year-old orphaned girl with some wild ideas, rush to make one very special delivery. Braving danger and unforeseen setbacks, not to mention completely opposite points of view on almost everything, this unlikely pair of couriers makes the transformative journey of their lives, in an original story that celebrates friendship and family, amidst laughter and poignant moments of discovery. The bonus features include a featurette on Stork Mountain and the Master: A LEGO Ninjago short music video.  Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

shut-in02Shut In is a heart-pounding thriller starring Naomi Watts as a widowed child psychologist who lives an isolated existence in rural New England. When a young boy Mary (Watts) is treating goes missing, and is presumed dead, she becomes convinced that his ghost is haunting her and her bedridden son. Director Farren Blackburn says he was intrigued with what he saw as the cinematic potential afforded by the script’s economical storyline and confined setting. “When I first read Shut In, I was excited by the fact that it was a genre movie that could be very beautiful and shot with great artistry,” he says. “I’m a big fan of those pared-down ’70s American movies that had a European aesthetic. Plus, Shut In has a protagonist you really care about and who has an interesting journey, so for me it was a no-brainer.” Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

jackreacher2Since 1997, readers have been riveted by the exploits of Jack Reacher, who first appeared in the pages of author Lee Child’s “Killing Floor” and continued on in a series now spanning twenty novels. Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns to the big screen with his particular brand of justice in the highly anticipated, action-packed sequel Jack Reacher:  Never Go Back. The film follows Reacher as he races to uncover the truth about active duty soldiers, once under his command, who are being killed. Years after resigning command of an elite military police unit, the nomadic, righter-of-wrongs Reacher is drawn back into the life he left behind when his friend and successor, Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) is framed for espionage. Reacher will stop at nothing to prove her innocence and to expose the real perpetrators behind the killings of his former soldiers. Bonus Features: No Quarter Given:  The rooftop battle, and Reacher Returns. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

robinson1Robinson Crusoe is a wonderful fun-filled adventure for the little ones. From the over-exuberant parrot Mak to the snack-obsessed tapir Rosie, from the pernickety echidna Epi to the acrobatic pangolin Pango, from the ditzy goat Scrubby to the commonsensical kingfisher Kiki and the always-cool chameleon Carmello, things are larger-than-life on a tropical isle that is pure wild animal paradise. Then Robinson Crusoe, a marooned human, arrives in the midst of a furious storm, and their lives are forever changed by this bewildering new “creature.” No matter their differences, castaway human and quirky animals embark on a hilarious new adventure, building the island’s first tree-house and surviving together. But when two conniving members of the animal kingdom — the savage cats Mal & May – pounce into a battle for control of the island, Crusoe and his animal posse must uncover the true power of friendship against all odds (even savage cats).  Watch the trailer

Great new titles to add to your collection!

manchester-by-the-sea-casey-affleck-lucas-hedges-promoIn writer-director Kenneth Lonergan’s heartbreaking Manchester By The Sea an uncle is obliged to return home to care for his nephew after his brother dies. Unknowing he is to be the guardian and struggles with the decision. Throughout the movie he recounts past memories that caused him to leave Manchester and distance himself from his past. Casey Affleck is sensational in his Oscar-winning performance as a man whose path to redemption is one you will remember long after watching this gentle and quiet human drama.  Read an interview with writer-director Kenneth Lonergan / Watch the trailer

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In the equally powerful drama Denial, An American professor finds herself the defendant in a high-profile British libel trial that would impact the way the history of the Holocaust is told in Denial, a taut courtroom drama based on one of the most significant international legal cases in recent memory. It recounts Deborah E. Lipstadt’s (Oscar winner Rachel Weisz) legal battle for historical truth against David Irving (Timothy Spall), who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. In the English legal system, in cases of libel, the burden of proof is on the defendant, therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team led by Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson), to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred. This provocative story about one woman’s relentless efforts to establish justice and remind the world about the tragedies of the Holocaust, offers a gripping, inspirational real-life account based on Deborah E. Lipstadt’s book Denial: Holocaust History on Trial, and adapted for the big screen by esteemed playwright David Hare. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

hoener-3In the local comedy Hoener Met Die Rooi Skoene, Kaptein Hendrik Greyling (Louw Venter), who is known amongst his colleagues as the ‘Iron Rooster’, is always in control. When he falls in cold water during the execution of his tasks, he gets the flu. In his feverish condition, he is appointed as the investigating officer of a very abnormal murder scene, where the body disappears without a trace… and quickly finds himself in the midst of the chaos and confusion of more than one murder. The bonus features include a behind the scenes doccie and Jak de Priester’s music video. Watch the trailer

passengersPassengers is an exciting action-thriller about two strangers who are on a 120-year journey to another planet when their hibernation pods wake them 90 years too early. Jennifer Lawrence (Aurora) and Chris Pratt (Jim) star in an exciting action-thriller about two strangers who are on a 120-year journey to another planet when their hibernation pods wake them 90 years too early.  Jim and Aurora  (Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt) are forced to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction as the ship teeters on the brink of collapse, jeopardizing the lives of the passengers on the greatest mass migration in human history.  The bonus features include a visit to the set with Chris Pratt, Casting The Passengers, Creating The Avalon,  Outtakes from the set,  and Book your passage: Learn more about the Homestead company.  Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

equityIn the drama Equity Naomi Bishop is an investment banker determined to overcome a previous stain to her professional reputation, which is a challenge in the male dominated financial sector she works in. As Naomi in that spirit makes her move managing a burgeoning new tech IPO, she has to endure not only the condescension of her colleagues, but also her imperious client even as troubling new developments cloud the venture’s future. Against that, the probing of a college friend turned Federal investment law prosecutor and the conniving of her double-dealing boyfriend seem to be manageable complications, until a betrayal by a trusted colleague threatens to ruin everything. The bonus features include a Q & A with Anna Gunn, Meera Menon, Alysia Reiner, Sarah Megan Thomas and Samuel Roukin at the LA Film Festival;  The Making of Equity, and  ‘’Girl Gang: The Equity of Empowerment’’. Watch the trailer

resident-evil-1Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead in Resident Evil 6: The Final Chapter. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse. Bonus Features: Explore The Hive, The Bad Ass Trinity and the Women of Resident Evil. Watch the trailer

 

Add these great new titles to your collection

LION 1Lion, the incredible true story of Indian-born Australian Saroo Brierley and his unwavering determination to find his lost family and finally return to his first home is now realised in all its splendour on DVD. Adapted from the non-fiction book “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley, it tells the heartbreaking story of a five-year-old Indian boy who, after a wrong train takes him thousands of miles away from home and family, survives many challenges before being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only the scantest of clues, he learns of a new technology called Google Earth, and sets out to find his lost family “You couldn’t make Saroo’s story up, it’s so extraordinary,” says director Garth Davis. “‘It has all of the stuff of great cinema – it has adventure and peril, it traverses continents, it travels across time. And his journey is deeply, deeply emotional.  What also makes it incredibly cinematic is that the story is so ultimately satisfying.  After years of being without his biological family and years of searching he actually, amazingly, like a needle in a haystack, found his way home.” Trailer /  Read more about the film

arrival-teaser-fbpicWhen mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team are brought together to investigate in Arrival, a provocative science fiction thriller from acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners).The elite team is lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) – are brought together to investigate.  As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.“I’ve dreamed of doing science fiction since I was ten years old,” explains director Denis Villeneuve, who fell deeply in love with the short story ArrivaL is based upon, Ted Chiang’s ‘Story of Your Life.’ “It’s a genre that I feel has a lot of power and the tools to explore our reality in a very dynamic way.”  The bonus features include some insightful doccies on ”Únderstanding Arrival” and the amazing sound design. Trailer Read more about the film

BallerinaBallerina (also know as “Leap!”) is an unabashed wish-fulfilment fantasy that sweetly checks off every conceivable follow-your-heart cliché, this elegantly animated French-Canadian production isn’t inventing any new narrative choreography with its slender tale of Félicie, a plucky, impoverished Brittany orphan who heads to Paris to realize her ambition of joining the ballet. In Paris, 1884, an orphaned girl arrives in Paris from Brittany. Felicie Milliner is 11 and has no money but one big, passionate dream: to become a dancer. With nothing left to lose, Felicie takes a big risk: she “borrows” a spoiled brat’s identity and enters the Opera Ballet School. But how long can she be someone else? Mentored by the tough and mysterious cleaner, Odette, Felicie learns that talent is not enough — it takes hard work to be better than her ruthless. Trailer / Read more about the film

infernoFollowing up on the worldwide successes of The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels & Demons (2009) is Inferno, the third highly anticipated adaptation in Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series of novels. The film re-teams director Ron Howard with Tom Hanks, who returns in one of his signature roles playing the quick-thinking and resourceful Langdon, with a screenplay by David Koepp. Inferno finds the famous symbologist (again played by Tom Hanks) on a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself.  When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories.  Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman from unleashing a global virus that would wipe out half of the world’s population.Hanks explains the enduring attraction of the franchise.  “There is something Dan Brown has figured out – everybody likes a good puzzle, especially one you can actually figure out the clues to one at a time and solve,” he says.  “These movies give that to the audience – it is almost an interactive film, and it has been like that since The Da Vinci Code.”  There are some exciting bonus features that include a look at Ron Howard’s ‘Director’s Journal’, a look into the characters, Visions of Hell and deleted scenes. Trailer /  Read more about the film

fallenThe much anticipated feature film adaptation of Lauren Kate’s worldwide bestselling young adult novel, Fallen comes to DVD with a cast of exciting young stars and directed by award-winning Australian director Scott Hicks. Fallen is seen through the eyes of Lucinda ‘Luce’ Price (Addison Timlin), a strong-willed seventeen-year-old living a seemingly ordinary life until she is accused of a crime she didn’t commit.  Sent off to the imposing Sword & Cross reform school, Luce finds herself being courted by two young men to whom she feels oddly connected (Jeremy Itvine and Harrison Gilbertson).  Isolated and haunted by strange visions, Luce begins to unravel the secrets of her past and discovers the two men are fallen angels, competing for her love for centuries.  Luce must choose where her feelings lie, pitting Heaven against Hell in an epic battle over true love. Trailer /  Read more about the film

MAGGIEMaggie’s Plan is terrifically funny and enjoyable – a metropolitan comedy in the former high style of Woody Allen, directed with elegance and dash by Miller and co-scripted by her with publisher-turned-screenwriter Karen Rinaldi. Greta Gerwig stars in her idiot savant Annie Hall mode as Maggie, a New York art dealer who is trying to become a single mom using sperm donated by an old school contemporary who is now making a fortune marketing pickles. Her plan is to get pregnant within four months, but then she has an encounter with handsome, distrait John (Ethan Hawke), a lecturer in “ficto-critical anthropology”, who is unhappily married to scary intellectual Georgette (Julianne Moore), who has “tenure at Columbia” – the kind of phrase that doesn’t appear much in screenplays these days. Soon, Maggie has a different plan in mind.  Watch the trailer

 

 

Some Great New Titles To Add To Your DVD Collection

Unforgettable Hell And High Water

Hell Or High Waterin Hell Or High Water Texas brothers–Toby (Chris Pine), and Tanner (Ben Foster), come together after years divided to rob branches of the bank threatening to foreclose on their family land. For them, the hold-ups are just part of a last-ditch scheme to take back a future that seemed to have been stolen from under them. Justice seems to be theirs, until they find themselves on the radar of Texas Ranger, Marcus (Jeff Bridges) looking for one last grand pursuit on the eve of his retirement, and his half-Comanche partner, Alberto (Gil Birmingham). As the brothers plot a final bank heist to complete their scheme, and with the Rangers on their heels, a showdown looms at the crossroads where the values of the Old and New West murderously collide. Go behind the scenes of this not to be missed film

We review Don’t Breathe, our DVD of the month

dont-breathe-2016During a time where housebreaking has become an everyday occurrence, the superb Don’t Breathe is guaranteed to curb crime and stop criminals dead in their tracks. In this shocking and enthralling thriller, writer-director Fede Alvarez goes for the jugular with an unapologetically brutal and twisted horror-thriller that pits a trio of thieves against an unexpectedly dangerous adversary. Read review

 

alone-in-berlinThe profoundly moving Alone In Berlin is directed by acclaimed actor turned filmmaker Vincent Perez (La Reine Margot),  who adapted revered German novelist Hans Fallada’s international bestseller Every Man Dies Alone / Alone In Berlin for the big screen with Achim von Borries (Good Bye Lenin!). Two-time Academy Award-winner Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks), three-time Golden Globe-nominee and Emmy Award winner (Into The Storm) Brendan Gleeson (The Guard), and Golden Globe-nominee Daniel Brühl (Rush) star in Alone In Berlin, a powerfully moving, true-life drama-thriller set in Second World War Berlin. Berlin alone_in_berlin-554986535-large1940. The city is paralyzed by fear. Otto and Anna Quangel are a working class couple living in a shabby apartment block trying, like everyone else, to stay out of trouble under Nazi rule. But when their only child is killed fighting at the front, their loss drives them to an extraordinary act of resistance. They start to drop anonymous postcards all over the city attacking Hitler and his regime. If caught, it means certain execution. Soon their campaign comes to the attention of the Gestapo inspector Escherich and a murderous game of cat-and-mouse begins. But the game serves only to strengthen Otto and Anna’s sense of purpose and a renewed love for each other. Slowly their drab lives and marriage are transformed as they unite in their quiet but profound rebellion… Watch the trailer / Go behind the scenes

Max SteelIn the action-packed Max Steele 16-year old Max (Ben Winchell) has just moved to a new town–and is desperately trying to fit in–when he discovers his body can generate the universe’s most powerful energy. Unbeknownst to Max, a slightly rebellious and hilarious techno-organic extraterrestrial named Steel has been keeping an eye on him, hungry for his super-human energy. When they finally meet, they discover that together they form Max Steel, a superhero possessing powerful strength beyond anything in our world. These two unlikely friends soon find themselves hunted by sinister forces who want to control Max’s powers, as well as an unstoppable enemy from another galaxy. Watch the trailer / Go behind the scenes

ManhattanBased on Colin Harrison’s acclaimed novel Manhattan Nocturne (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year), Manhattan Nocturne tells the story of Porter Wren (Adrien Brody), a New York City tabloid writer with an appetite for scandal. On the beat he sells murder, tragedy and anything that passes for the truth. At home he is a model family man, devoted to his loving wife (Jennifer Beals). But when a seductive stranger (Yvonne Strahovski) asks him to dig into the unsolved murder of her filmmaker husband Simon (Campbell Scott), he can’t resist. In this modern version of a classic film noir, we follow Porter as he is drawn into a very nasty case of sexual obsession and blackmail – one that threatens his job, his marriage, and his life. Watch the trailer

underworld-awakening-kate-beckinsale-werewolfThe fifth installment in the hugely successful series, Underworld: Blood Wars celebrates a return to the brooding aesthetic introduced in the original 2002 hit Underworld, directed by Anna Foerster (Outlander, Criminal Minds) from a screenplay by Cory Goodman (The Last Witch Hunter, Priest), story by Kyle Ward and Goodman, based on characters created by Kevin Grevioux and Len Wiseman & Danny McBride. Vampire Death Dealer Selene (Kate Beckinsale) fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that has betrayed her. Aided by her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must end the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice. Go behind the scenes / Trailer

23-indignationBased on Philip Roth’s late novel, Indignation takes place in 1951, as Marcus Messner (Logan Lerman), a brilliant working class Jewish boy from Newark, New Jersey, travels on scholarship to a small, conservative college in Ohio, thus exempting him from being drafted into the Korean War. But once there, Marcus’s growing infatuation with his beautiful classmate Olivia Hutton (Sarah Gadon), and his clashes with the college’s imposing Dean, Hawes Caudwell (Tracy Letts), put his and his family’s best laid plans to the ultimate test. Go behind the scenes / Watch the trailer

surfsup2-wwesurfersIn the fun animated comedy Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania an adventurous penguin convinces The Hang 5, a notorious big wave riding crew, to accompany him to a surfing location known as The Trenches, where the biggest waves in the world can be found. Watch the trailer

center-stage-first-look-photos-lifetime-movieTo solve its financial problems in the romantic dance-drama Center Stage: On Pointe, the American Ballet Academy (ABA), headed by Jonathan Reeves (Peter Gallagher), seeks to expand its repertoire from ballet to add the more popular contemporary dance. Tommy (Kenny Wormald), Charlie (Sascha Radetsky) and Cooper (Ethan Stiefel) start a competitive camp to recruit new dancers for ABA.Bella Parker (Nicole Muñoz), has always been in the shadow of her sister Kate (Rachele Brooke Smith), a famous ballet dancer. She changes her last name to avoid comparisons, and to her surprise, she is chosen for the camp. Bella has trouble fitting in, and instructor Lorenza (Sarah-Jane Redmond), a ballet snob, is brutally critical of Bella’s dancing. When she is partnered with quiet Damon (Barton Cowperthwite), however, she gains confidence, as the two open up to each other.Rumors surface about one of the dancers, Allegra (Maude Green), and the dancers take sides. Bella strives to remain focused as the day of final audition arrives. When Allegra loses her partner, Bella generously lends her Damon; but in a surprise twist, Bella joins the two on stage, and all three are accepted to ABA. Watch the trailer

DesiertoMexican Screenwriter Jonas Cuarón,  who made his major feature film writing debut in 2013 with the Academy Award-winning Gravity, now makes his feature film directorial debut with Desierto, the terrifying story of a group of people trying to cross the border from Mexico into the United States who encounter a man who has taken border patrol duties into his own racist hands. In Desierto, Moises (Gael García Bernal) is traveling by foot with a group of undocumented workers across a desolate strip of the border between Mexico and the United States, seeking a new life in the North.  They are discovered by a lone American vigilante, Sam (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and a frantic chase begins.  Set against the stunningly brutal landscape, Moises and Sam engage in a lethal match of wits, each desperate to survive and escape the desert that threatens to consume them. Watch the trailer / Go behind the scenes

Jou RomeoJou Romeo is ’n romantiese tienerkomedie wat by Hoërskool Monument in Krugersdorp afspeel. Yvette en Tyler droom al van graad agt af om Shakespeare se ‘Romeo en Juliet’ in hulle matriekjaar op die planke te bring. Die hoof, Meneer Kirby Potgieter, het egter ander planne – deur die kuns- en kultuurbegroting te sny, kan hy die krieket-klubhuis opgradeer en gevolglik die skool se T20-kriekettoernooi ’n nuwe baadjie gee. In ’n poging om te verseker dat die produksie steeds plaasvind, vra Yvette en Tyler die gewildste ou in die skool – Marko Marais – om die rol van Romeo te vertolk. Maar die cool kinders frons wanneer Marko sy krieketkolf vir ’n paar sykouse verruil… Nietemin slaag Yvette en Tyler se plan en hul vertoning is uitverkoop. Marko bevind homself in ’n tweestryd as hy besef Yvette is meer as net ’n drama nerd terwyl Yvette Marko ook anders begin sien as sy besef die sogenaamde jock is meer as net spiere en ’n mooi glimlag. Mildred, die skool se blogger en VJ, sorg dat die leerders op hoogte gehou word van Marko en Yvette se skynbare romanse… ’n Leuen dreig egter om hul te vervreem en om die opvoering te kelder. Terwyl Marko op die krieketveld moet uithaal en wys om sy droom te bewaarheid en sy reputasie te behou, vra Yvette haarself af of Marko werklik haar Romeo kan wees. Lokprent / Webtuiste

 

 

 

 

Refreshing and invigorating viewing for those who are brave enough to take the plunge.

Reviewed by Daniel Dercksen (24/03/17)

During a time where housebreaking has become an everyday occurrence, the superb Don’t Breathe is guaranteed to curb crime and stop criminals dead in their tracks.

In this shocking and enthralling thriller, writer-director Fede Alvarez goes for the jugular with an unapologetically brutal and twisted horror-thriller that pits a trio of thieves against an unexpectedly dangerous adversary.

dont-breathe

It’s the second feature film from Alvarez, who raised hell with Evil Dead, now showing what happened when a trio of friends breaks into the house of a blind recluse confident of an easy score only to find themselves in a terrifying life-or-death struggle.

It’s not an exploitative rip-off or B-grade seen-it-all-before, but cleverly shows how a seemingly harmless crime can erupt into a nightmarish hell where death is the only outcome.

When the film opens with a young woman being dragged by her hair down the middle of a suburban street during the quiet, early hours of the morning, you know you are in for an out-of-this-world experience that offers something unique: a scary film that is truly frightening.

It’s a masterful cat-and-mouse chase in the tradition of the classic Wait Until Dark, between a relentless hunter and ensnared prey , where the tables turn and constantly spirals into bloody mayhem.

The hunted in Don’t Breathe are three ordinary young people who make the mistake of breaking into the house of a supposedly harmless victim, an action they soon regret and one they cannot escape from as the blind man becomes a conniving killer who cunning bravado leaves no mercy.

Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto as the three perpetrators and Stephen Lang as the old man deserve medals for their outstanding performances; there are moments in the film where the fear is so real, that its heightened realism causes tension you can cut with a knife.

Don’t be surprised if you stop breathing during the film. The good news is that it only gets more frightening, a cold fear that grabs hold of you and never lets go, until the very last moment that will hit you like a ton of bricks, and even then, you won’t be able to escape its rapturous wrath.

During a time where the horror genre is drowned in an onslaught of sequels and nothing original, Don’t Breathe offers refreshing and invigorating viewing for those who are brave enough to take the plunge.

Believe the title, and be assured that Don’t Breathe promises what it delivers, and takes your expectations to extreme measures.

It’s a shocking film with cruel intentions that is not malicious, but it will upset sensitive viewers, so be warned.

The good news is that the film is now available on DVD and Home Entertainment has never been more suitable for a film than this, offering the added pleasure of a delightful audio commentary by the writer-director Fede Alvarez and co-writer Rodo Sayagues, as well as actor Stephen Lang; there’s also some insightful doccies on how the film was made.

Read more about the film

Great new titles to add to your collection

Captivating Girl On The Train

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Once this spellbinding thriller grabs hold you it never let’s go, drawing you deeper into a mystery shrouded in a web of deceit and lies, corrupting innocent lives. In the tradition of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, this film allows us to experience the narrative from different points of view, constantly shifting gears from what we think we know, to total disbelief, and then ultimate enlightenment.  Emily Blunt is outstanding in the title role as a commuter captivated by the lives of people who lives in the houses the train passes,  catching daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of her train. One day, Watson witnesses something shocking unfold in the backyard of the strangers’ home. Rachel tells the authorities what she thinks she saw after learning that Megan is now missing and feared dead. Unable to trust her own memory, the troubled woman begins her own investigation, while police suspect that Rachel may have crossed a dangerous line.  Award-winning and internationally produced screenwriter and playwright Erin Cressida Wilson (who won the Independent Spirit Award for her first screenplay Secretary in 2003), wrote the screenplay, based on Paula Hawkins’ best-selling novel, with Tate Taylor (The Help, Get on Up) in the director’s chair. If you are looking for first rate entertainment that’s intelligent and savvy, look no further. Rating: 5/5  Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

Totally Awesome Life Of Pets

secretlife_sb_ogFor their fifth fully animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures bring us the absolutely hilarious and heartwarming comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. For one bustling Manhattan apartment building, the real day starts after the folks on two legs leave for work and school.  That’s when the pets of every stripe, fur and feather begin their own nine-to-five routine: hanging out with each other, trading humiliating stories about their owners, auditioning adorable looks to get better snacks and watching Animal Planet like it is reality TV. The building’s top dog, Max (C.K.), a quick-witted Terrier rescue who’s convinced he sits at the center of owner Katie’s (Kemper) universe, finds his pampered life turned upside down when she brings home Duke (Stonestreet), a sloppy, massive mess of a mongrel with zero interpersonal skills.  When this reluctant canine duo finds themselves out on the mean streets of New York, they have to set aside their differences and unite against a fluffy, yet cunning, bunny named Snowball (Hart), who’s building an army of pets who’ve been abandoned by their owners and are out to turn the tables on humanity…all this and making it home before Katie returns at dinnertime. Entertainment at its best.  The bonus features include themaking of the film. Rating: 5/5  Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

Fantastical Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-childrenRich with fantastical and immersive imagery, memorable characters, epic battles, and unique time travel manipulations, this film offer perfect entertainment for the whole family, brought to life by visionary storymaker Tim Burton, in the grand style of his films Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When his beloved grandfather leaves Jake clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds a magical place known as Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers – and their terrifying enemies. Ultimately, Jake discovers that only his own special peculiarity can save his new friends. Based on the novel “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children,” written by Ransom Riggs. Rating: 4/5 Read more about the film /  Watch the trailer

Bridget Jones’s Baby

Bridget Jones New BabyThe much-anticipated third installment of the Bridget Jones franchise is here!  Based on creator Helen Fielding’s heroine, the world’s favourite singleton is unexpectedly expecting.

After breaking up with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), Bridget Jones’s (Renée Zellweger) “happily ever after” hasn’t quite gone according to plan.  Fortysomething and single again, she decides to focus on her job as top news producer and surround herself with old friends and new.  For once, Bridget has everything completely under control.  What could possibly go wrong? Then Bridget’s fortune takes a turn and she meets a dashing American named Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey), the suitor who is everything Mr Darcy is not.  In an unlikely twist she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch: Bridget’s uncertain if the baby’s father is her longtime love…or the newfound one from just across the pond. The bonus features include an alternate ending and the making of the film.  Rating: 3/5  Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

 

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

cafe-society

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.

Enter Competition Here

 

Local Is Indeed Very ‘Lekker’

sy-klink-soos-lente-1

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 iden