Fanie Fourie’s Lobola (2013)

Tuesday, 22. April 2014

Fanie Fourie’s Lobola
Director: Henk Pretorius
Writer: Henk Pretorius, Janine Eser
Based on: Nape’a Motana‘s novel
Cast: Eduan van Jaarsveldt, Zethu Dhlomo, Jerry Mofokeng, Marga van Rooy, Motlatsi Mafatshe
[I got a screener of this film.]

When Fanie (Eduan van Jaarsveldt) is dared to ask out Dinky (Zethu Dhlomo), things don’t look very promising at first. But then Dinky agrees to come to Fanie’s brother’s wedding – if Fanie has dinner with her and her father to try and get him to stop setting her up. But what starts as a practical arrangement ends up being genuine care. Even if things aren’t made easier by Fanie being Africaans and Dinky Zulu.

Fanie Fourie’s Lobola (a lobola is a traditional dowry procedure in South Africa) is one of the sweetest films I’ve recently seen. It’s cute and romantic and funny. It touches on the racial issues in an intelligent way but doesn’t let them take over. I loved it.


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Romeo and Juliet

Monday, 7. April 2014

Romeo and Juliet is the newest dance production by Rasta ThomasBad Boys of Dance Company, based on William Shakespeare‘s play. It was choreographed by Adrienne Canterna and stars James Boyd, Daniela Filippone, Drew Burgess, Robbie Nicholson, Noah Goldsmith, Nicholas Cunningham, Grace Buckley and Jace Zeimantz.

Plot (short version):
The Montagues and the Capulets are feuding. But when Romeo Montague (James Boyd) falls in love with Juliet Capulet (Daniela Filippone) things could work out for the better. Unfortunately, they don’t and it all goes to hell.

To see Romeo and Juliet this way was pretty awesome. Canterna put together a wonderful, touching and above all entertaining show.


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300: Rise of an Empire (2014)

Sunday, 6. April 2014

300: Rise of an Empire
Director: Noam Murro
Writer: Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad
Based on: Frank Miller‘s comic Xerxes
Sequel to: 300
Cast: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, Callan Mulvey, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro, Jack O’Connell

Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his army have defeated King Leonidas and his army, and now they’re heading for the rest of Greece. War hero Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) seeks an alliance with Sparta and its Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) and leads the defensive forces and has to face Xerxes’ sister and commander of the navy, Artemisia (Eva Green).

300: Rise of an Empire is a problematic mess that can’t be taken seriously. Unfortunately we had too little alcohol with us in the cinema. Nevertheless there was some enjoyment to be had.


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Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Saturday, 5. April 2014

Saving Mr. Banks
Director: John Lee Hancock
Writer: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith
Cast: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley, Colin FarrellRuth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Jason Schwartzman, Kathy Baker, Rachel Griffiths

Despite her trepidations about it, P. L. Travers (Emma Thompson) agrees to work on a screen version of her Mary Poppins novel for Walt Disney (Tom Hanks). She just really needs the money. But Mary Poppins is more to her than just a fictional character and she wants to make certain that Disney does justice to that. So she flies to L.A. to try and ensure that, while at the same time working through her own family history.

There are many things to enjoy about Saving Mr. Banks and some things that I didn’t enjoy very much. But it’s certainly a film that I liked watching.


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The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Friday, 4. April 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson
Based on: Stefan Zweig‘s writing (very loosely)
Cast: Ralph FiennesTony Revolori, F. Murray AbrahamJude Law, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Karl Markovics, Bob Balaban

Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) is not just a concierge, he is probably the best concierge there ever was and he has his fans. One of them is his newly acquired protégé Zero (Tony Revolori), another a frequent guest at the Grand Budapest Hotel, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton). When she is f0und dead, though, suspicion falls on Gustave and he has to try and clear his name and to claim his inheritance, all with Zero in tow.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is probably the best film Anderson made since The Life Aquatic, if not his best film so far, period. It is crazy, enjoyable, funny, aesthetic and weird and has an awe-inspiring cast. Wonderful.


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August: Osage County (2013)

Thursday, 3. April 2014

August: Osage County
Director: John Wells
Writer: Tracy Letts
Based on: his play
Cast: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregorMargo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Misty Upham

When their father (Sam Shepard) dies, Barbara (Julia Roberts), Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) and Karen (Juliette Lewis) all gather home with their mother Violet (Meryl Streep). Everyone comes with their baggage: Barbara and her husband Bill (Ewan McGregor) are separated but haven’t told their family and their daughter Jean (Abigail Breslin) doesn’t deal very well. Ivy has a secret lover. Karen brings home her newest fiancé (Dermot Mulroney). And Violet, a mean-spirited pill-addict, likes to stir things up.

August: Osage County isn’t always easy to watch but it is always well-acted and engaging. Toward the end I thought that it got a little much but altogether it was a really good film.


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Dial H Vol. 2: Exchange (China Miévielle, Alberto Ponticelli, Dan Green)

Monday, 10. March 2014

Dial H Vol. 2: Exchange collects issues 7-15 of the DC 52 reboot of Dial H for Hero, plus the series’ epilogue (Justice League 23.3: Dial E). It was written by China Miéville and drawn by Alberto Ponticelli and Dan Green. [Here's my review of the first Volume.]

Nelson and Roxie are traveling around the world to try and figure out everything about the H-Dial they share and to maybe find a second one, so they don’t have to share anymore. As they are trying to uncover new things, they are hunted by Centipede, a Canadian spy who has his own powers and his own agenda.

It really is a pity that this series was cancelled already. It had so much promise. And I really enjoyed the second volume, despite a slightly bumpy second half.


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