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Belle [ Hits:1289 ]
Review: Some period piece dramas are stiff and stuffy while others bring considerable weight to a genre that has become synonymous with lavish costumes, historical settings and sweet nothings. Belle is a film that brings the romance and beauty of Pride & Prejudice together with the drama and heft of Amazing Grace. Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Touch) is perfect for the lead in Belle, and was attached to the project for several years. Her father, a black South African doctor, and her mother, a white British nurs...

Ben-Hur [ Hits:851 ]
Review: The Ben-Hur of 1959 starring Charlton Heston is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. A remake of a silent movie, the production took six months to film and six months of postproduction to complete at a cost of just under $15 million. Massive sets, thousands of costumes and long days, it was a colossal undertaking, inspired by The Ten Commandments. Originally, Marlon Brando was set to star but the iconic role eventually found its way to Charlton Heston with the film generatin...

Bernie [ Hits:1717 ]
Review: Jack Black is an irrepressible jack-in-the-box and pent up ball of energy ready to explode. At least, that's how most of his characters come across - making him funny, outrageous and supremely entertaining. When he does tone his performance down in something more sedate, we notice. Bernie is one of those films, reconnecting Jack Black with School of Rock director, Richard Linklater, to tune into his sweeter side in a remarkable true story. Bernie Tiede, a small town mortician, was a very popula...

Between Friends [ Hits:1561 ]
Review: Between Friends is a character-driven reunion romance comedy drama in the style The Big Chill and The Best Man Holiday. This is something new for South Africa, delving into the secrets of a group of friends, who get-together at a game lodge 7 years after university. Zuko Nodada brings his experience from directing TV series like Intersexions, Mtshika-shika and Bay of Plenty to his first feature film. The trailer for Between Friends, makes it seem superficial and melodramatic. While it certainly...

Beyond the River [ Hits:686 ]
Review: South Africa needs Beyond the River, an uplifting sports drama based on a true story. At this point in time, our country's politics is still divided along racial lines, or rather that's what some parties would have you believe. We've come a long way since our rainbow nation was inaugurated in 1994 under the guidance of Nelson Mandela, whose levelheaded leadership navigated us through what could have been a much more radical transition. While some of the injustice around the old South Africa stil...

Big Significant Things [ Hits:13116 ]
Review: Big Significant Things feels like the sort of movie Alexander Payne could have directed in his early days. The comedy drama has a similar tone to About Schmidt, covering the cross-country adventures of a young man, who lies to his girlfriend in order to spend some time on the open road alone. It's one of those wanderlust tales that captures the restless spirit of a stallion about to be tethered. Craig is at a cross roads in his life, possibly unsure of his real feelings towards his girlfriend, ...

Birdman [ Hits:1070 ]
Review: 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...

Black Mass [ Hits:1112 ]
Review: Black Mass is the true crime story of James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger Jr., a notorious American criminal, who haunted the world's most wanted list for years. The violent South Bostonian crime boss, and brother to a state senator, became an FBI informant to crack down on the Mafia family, whose operations were getting in the way. We're supplanted in the years he "collaborated" with the FBI. The brutal character has been brought to life by an almost unrecognisable Johnny Depp, whose sterling career ...

Black Swan [ Hits:3825 ]
Review: Little so-called “Caucasian” girls generally tend to get involved in one of two extra-curricular activities… ballet or horse-riding. It’s a tradition, a rite of passage that soccer moms feel compelled to offer their little princesses. The reasons vary: they’ll look cute in a tutu, the riding lessons are cheaper than a pony, “I never got a chance to play Barbie” or perhaps mom just wants to fulfill her little brat’s every whim. Whatever the motivator, it’s a chance for every gir...

Blackfish [ Hits:8552 ]
Review: The Cove sent tremors around the world, exposing the barbaric hunting of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. The film-makers brought the shocking seasonal slaughter into full view, shining a spotlight on Japan and the International Whaling Commission's lax policies around whaling and so-called "research". The Cove's courageous and tenacious film and surrounding activism not only won more than 25 film awards, it helped effect change on a global scale. The Cove touched on some delicate matters, suggesting ...

Blair Witch [ Hits:833 ]
Review: Blair Witch is comparable with Evil Dead 2 in as much as it's delivering what the first one did, with less novelty and more finesse. The original The Blair Witch Project was one of the first found footage horror films to emerge and while the hype exceeded delivery, managed to carve out a new genre of cinema, signalling a cross-over between high-end and commercially available video recording. While the low budget horror was something of a shaky-cam pioneer, it received favourable reviews, tippin...

Blended [ Hits:1526 ]
Review: There's a place for throwaway feel good entertainment... the kind that balances precariously between the waste paper basket and a slam dunk. Adam Sandler and South Africa's very own Leon Schuster have built their careers around this lightweight sort of entertainment. We're momentarily exposed to something that elicits a smile, a laugh, wonderment, warmth or even a tear. These base human moments justify the product and help smooth over a myriad of inadequacies. We reserve the "it is what it is" ...

Blood Diamond [ 2006 ] [ Hits:3646 ]
Review: Blood Diamond is an intense, thrilling, blood-drenched action drama about diamond smuggling in Africa. The story rests on the capable shoulders of Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou, who were both nominated for Oscars for their performances. At the helm is Edward Zwick, another big name in Oscar history, who lays claim to other pearls such as Glory, Legends of the Fall, Shakespeare in Love, Traffic and The Last Samurai. Danny Archer is a Zimbabwean, ex-mercenary diamond smuggler. He overhears ...

Blood Ties [ Hits:1273 ]
Review: Blood Ties is a remake of Rivals, a French crime drama with a strange French connection between the original and remake. The link is Blood Ties writer-director, Guillaume Canet, who actually starred in the 2008 original. He's returned to bring the tale of two brothers, on either side of the law, to life as they face off over organized crime in Brooklyn, New York during the 1970s. It's not a simple versus story as Chris (Owen) tries to get his life back in order, struggling to deal with the syst...

Born to Win [ Hits:1080 ]
Review: Born to Win comes to us from writer-director Frans Cronjé, who brought us Faith Like Potatoes and Hansie. If you've seen any of his films you'll have a good idea of what to expect from his latest faith-based coming-of-age drama. Each of Cronjé's films deal with real-life Job characters, who face great personal challenges and adversity only to rise above their circumstances. It's a story that Cronjé identifies with and one that he manages to tell with great heart again and again in his inspir...

Boxboarders! [ 2006 ] [ Hits:2341 ]
Review: Boxboarders! is a movie that models itself on extreme sports from ESPN and the X-Games. The tongue-in-cheek approach from writer-director Rob Hedden is hilarious, and his lead stars, Austin Basis and James Immekus are the crazy glue that makes this whole movie stick. This is a sports movie with loads of comedy that will appeal to the young at heart. Watch as two slackers accidentally invent a new sport called… Boxboarding! Imagine what Wayne’s World’s Wayne and Garth must’ve been like be...

Boy A [ 2007 ] [ Hits:2654 ]
Review: Boy A is a film by John Crowley (Intermission), starring Andrew Garfield and Peter Mullan. The title refers to the court practice of giving adolescent defendants anonymity. Boy A is based on the novel by Jonathan Trigell, who maintains that Boy A is fiction. However, many believe that there are too many similarities between Boy A and the murder of James Bulger by two 10-year-old boys. In their case, the defendants were referred to as Child A (Venables) and Child B (Thompson), so it would seem th...

Boyhood [ Hits:1388 ]
Review: Writer-director Richard Linklater has built his film career on ambitious, semi-experimental cinema. He wrote and directed the critically-acclaimed Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight series, turning a chance meeting on a train in Europe into a lifelong conversation between two star-crossed lovers. He brought us the ultimate freewheeling movie, Dazed and Confused, bringing free-ranging conversations and a large ensemble to create a film all about mood and feeling. He tamed Jack Blac...

Brave [ Hits:3389 ]
Review: Whatever Dreamworks can do, Pixar can do better. It’s been a game of ping-pong for these major animation studios, who seem to be constantly trying to out-animate each other. In their latest battle, Brave vs. How to Train Your Dragon, it seems that Dreamworks may have just clinched it from Pixar, whose work has been slightly less than perfect of late. Brave tells the story of Princess Merida, a reluctant young woman whose ancient custom would have her give up her independence without a say in ...

Bridesmaids [ Hits:4038 ]
Review: FACT: Every little girl that's ever wanted a Barbie also wanted a dream wedding. The whole concept of dressing something up is a rite of passage... it's Mommy saying you're old enough to dress yourself up princess. How else do you substitute a dummy, than by plugging a Barbie doll in there instead? Growing up can be tough on a little girl... especially when all the differences kick in. "But I don't want to shave my legs... but he's got more ice-cream than me... I don't want to be the flower girl...

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