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New Releases at Ster-Kinekor Cavendish this Week! (23/01/15)

Ster-Kinekor Cavendish

Ster-Kinekor, Cavendish Square is one of the best cinemas in Africa, delivering a world-class digital film experience so that you get to watch GREAT moments at their GREATEST. Here's a selection of what's hot-and-happening at this state-of-the-art cinema complex at Cavendish Square in Cape Town. Visit the SPL!NG Facebook fan page to stand a chance of winning double movie tickets!



Alan Turing's life was full of secrets, which made the brilliant mathematician perfectly poised to dismantle Hitler's Engima Code in World War II. The Imitation Game covers his top secret involvement with MI-6 and reveals much detail that was hidden for 50 years. Benedict Cumberbatch brings this biographical drama to life with an Oscar-nominated performance.

Why you need to see it: Excellent performances, accurate production values and a powerful, yet intimate true story bring The Imitation Game into clear retrospective.



In The Pyramid, a team of U.S. archaeologists discover an ancient pyramid buried in the Egyptian desert. Despite warnings they enter and disappear deep inside its twisting, pitch-black tunnels. However, as they explore and become lost inside its dark catacombs, they soon come to realize that they're not only trapped they're being hunted.

Why you need to see it: This one will appeal to those, who enjoy dangerous and claustrophobic exploration horror thrillers like The Descent.

Movie Review: Birdman

Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a comeback for Michael Keaton, an ambitious masterpiece from Alejandro González Iñárritu and another cinematic breakthrough for Emmanuel Lubezki. While these comments hold some weight, Birdman also happens to be one of the most overrated films of the year.

Michael Keaton has always had that quirky, manic, unpredictable and crazy charm to him. Yet, he's never had the screen time, the art house clout or the self-referential smarts to turn in an award-winning Michael Keaton performance... until now. Much like Mickey Rourke's The WrestlerBirdman is a mirror for Keaton's story... portraying a has-been actor, who battles his former glory and attempts to recover his life in the build-up to his Broadway play's opening night.

Keaton played Batman in 1989 and Iñárritu plays on this back story in creating Birdman. While Keaton's role of essentially playing himself is wildly entertaining, it's the tip of a pyramid of excellent supporting performances from an all-star cast. Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan and Andrea Riseborough make up a strong ensemble and help to further establish the back stage realism.

While a terrific cast and equally impressive performances, the real attraction of Birdman is the seamless cinematography from Gravity's Emmanuel Lubezki. We're given a simulated one shot film, shifting from one scene to the next like a roving unhinged camera eye. The effect is slightly eerie as we move in a continuous state of reality through claustrophobic backstage drama, but after some time - we adapt to the stream of consciousness and start to appreciate the visual artistry.

Birdman 2014

"I'm Birdman?"

This is Alejandro González Iñárritu's most ambitious undertaking after 21 GramsBiutiful and Babel, for which he also received a nomination for direction. The director's fearless take on Birdman can be applauded for breaking new ground with cinematography and commanding such a strong cast to multiple Oscar nominations for Keaton, Norton and Stone. We marvel at the style and performance, but something's missing.

When you strip away the accomplishments of the cast, cinematography and direction, you find a lot of navel-gazing, a manic script and a bevy of unlikable characters. The script's ability to muddy the waters with sign-of-our-times philosophy and inane dialogue disguises the dark heart of Birdman. While the performances hold our attention, the characters are narcissistic, self-serving and hedonistic - forcing us to sift through the muck to find scraps of humanity.

Birdman is like a comedy version of Black Swan. We're entranced by the performances, the fantasy realism and dark deluge of emotions, but the journey is so tragic and dark that we lose sight of the flickering flame of truth. Birdman flits about without lingering long enough to amount to anything substantial. We catch a feather here and another there, but it's a full flight chase, never fully connecting on an emotional or intellectual level.

This is a sharp film thanks to seemingly effortless cinematography, terrific performances and sure-footed direction, but it lacks real substance and alienates itself with its "squirrelly" characters and flurry of digital versus traditional dissonance. We want to find true meaning in the story, we want to identify with the characters... but it keeps us frustrated, clawing at the ground in vain, scratching for that grain of truth that never arrives.

The bottom line: Manic

Top Ten Movies with... Henk Pretorius

Henk Pretorius is a South African director, writer and producer, who is on the cusp of international acclaim. The Dark Matter Studios founder wanted a place in the film industry and has been striving to make a space for himself, ever since completing his AFDA film school degree. Pretorius describes himself as an "underdog" and a “passionate observer of humanity”.

His breakthrough came with Bakgat!, a popular Afrikaans comedy, which went on to become a trilogy. He moved from Bakgat! to direct Fanie Fourie's Lobola, a heartfelt, funny and distinctly South African romantic comedy, which was well-received by critics and audiences alike.

His latest film, a comedy romance drama called Leading Lady, has generated even more international appeal, once again proving Pretorius has what it takes to go all the way.

While South Africa is already enamored with Pretorius and his "children", we can't wait to see what he and his production company has lined up next. For now, we'll have to be satisfied with getting his Top Ten Movies interview...

"I get goosebumps just thinking of the film...
[on The Shawshank Redemption]

I can't watch movies without...

- My analytical brain switched off. I sometimes wish I could just switch off and enjoy the show, but it's like I am watching a lecture of film-making. Sometimes the lecture is about something that you should aspire to make and sometimes, something you should aspire to never make!

Which famous people share your birthday?

- I had to Google that one and frankly I don’t think any of those people are really famous. I might add that my birthday is two days after Christmas…

What is the first film you remember watching?

- Dirty Dancing and It. Both films I was not allowed to watch. One gave me nightmares and the other one inspired a brief mullet and blow-dried hair. As I said, I was too young to watch these films!

What's the worst movie you've ever seen?

-There are loads of really awful movies, but the one that really takes the cake was a short film I acted in. I can't remember the name, but I was suppose to be killed by a floating CGI knife. The budget died, before the knife could be added, so the film died with my character…

Which movies have made you tearful?

- Every movie that thematically deals with the underdog winning something or figuring something out and is recognised for that, makes me tearful. Even if the film is bad, my eyes will water up at the exact moment when our hero gets his or her recognition. It's obviously something in my psyche, wanting recognition and seeing myself as an underdog, oh how dreadful.

Who is the most famous movie star you've ever met?

- I have never met a really famous movie star, except in the wax museum. I don't really aspire to meet one either. I mean, actors are great and sometimes very brave people, but the star-system is only a marketing strategy that producers in the USA use to sell more movie tickets.

What's your favourite movie line?

- "Get busy living or get busy dying." The line comes from The Shawshank Redemption and I am a massive fan of the movie and the theme of this movie. I get goosebumps just thinking of the film. It pretty much sums up life for me: you are either busy dying or you are living…

Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?

- If they make a biopic of my life, they have really run out of stories. If I am that famous, or rather wealthy, at the time, I would like to play the lead character myself. When I have enough money, I will freeze my brain like Walt Disney and miraculously come back to life and play myself. My inner “self indulgent detector” is going: ENOUGH ALREADY!

If you could produce a movie, what would it be about?

- How our species should stop taking our planet for granted and start controlling our numbers.

Finally, your top ten movies of all-time...

- Shawshank Redemption ...because it sums up life for me.

- Braveheart ...because I am a cliche and “FREEEEEDOM!”.

- Dead Poet's Society ...stand on your desk and shout: “YELP!” and Robin Williams's sad eyes, because he knows, the wiser you get, the more jaded you become…

- A Beautiful Mind ...we are all looking for our original idea, for better or worse, until death do me part.

- American Beauty ...hate the mundane, but what else is there? The beauty of wrinkles on my grandmother's hands. Solid film.

- Good Will Hunting ...again, Robin Williams’s eyes and for the idea that it doesn't matter where you come from, it's where you are going.

- Wedding Crashers ...when in doubt, be forever young and dumb! “M-a-a-a, I need the meatloaf!”

- District 9 ... so proud of Neill Blomkamp. Although I have never met him, I think the world of this film.

- Batman Returns ...I can't stop watching this film. “Do you know where I got my scars?” In the film business…

- Avatar ...I am a massive James Cameron fan. To me, he is The King of Hollywood.

Top Ten Movies with... is a people series on SPL!NG, featuring a host of celebrities ranging from up-and-coming to established personalities from all industries including, but not limited to: Internet, Radio, TV, Film, Music, Art and Entrepreneurs. It's a chance to discover who they are, find out where they're at and to get a fun inside look at their taste in movies.

New Releases at Ster-Kinekor Cavendish this Week! (16/01/15)

Ster-Kinekor Cavendish

Ster-Kinekor, Cavendish Square is one of the best cinemas in Africa, delivering a world-class digital film experience so that you get to watch GREAT moments at their GREATEST. Here's a selection of what's hot-and-happening at this state-of-the-art cinema complex at Cavendish Square in Cape Town. Visit the SPL!NG Facebook fan page to stand a chance of winning double movie tickets!



Louis Zamperini's life story was bound to become a film. The Olympian's real-life survival adventure has been beautifully recreated by director Angelina Jolie and screenwriters, Ethan and Joel Coen in the adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's book, Unbroken. The film stars newcomer, Jack O'Connell, who delivers a sincere and triumphant performance.

Why you need to see it: Louis Zamperini's story is truly inspiring and this film captures his sheer determination and courage as he triumphs over adversity.



Taken 3 sees ex-covert operative Bryan Mills on the run from the CIA, FBI and police after his ex-wife is brutally murdered. Framed for murder and filled with rage, Mills uses his special set of skills to keep one step ahead of the law and find the real murderer. Liam Neeson reprises his iconic role, supported by Forest Whittaker, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace.

Why you need to see it: The plot echoes Harrison Ford in The Fugitive, except our man-on-the-run isn't a doctor, he's a trained killer.

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