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Dvbee: Have You Heard The Buzz?

dvbeeI walked into the Pick 'n Pay Express convenience store at the BP garage in Tokai, Cape Town to pick up some milk. You know... the one that's just off the M3 Tokai off-ramp... come on, the one just before Blue Route Mall!? Anyway, I picked up a 2-litre low fat milk and headed to the cashiers. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something... something big, something gleaming with the letters d-v-b-e-e on it. I had to look. It was like an ATM with a bee on it, about 2 metres tall with an interactive touch screen, a membership card slot and one of those thingies to swipe your credit card. Honey on-tap? No - this wasn't a David Lynch movie, this was real life so I edged closer...

A vending machine, that stocks DVDs... I was blown away! I wanted to knock to see if there was someone hiding inside the machine, dispensing DVD rentals at will, but then remembered the "too-good-to-be-true" moments from Leon Schuster and Jamie Uys candid camera sketches and realised that I was probably being monitored by Pick 'n Pay security. The screen said 'Touch Me' or 'Touch Screen to Begin', I forget... but I did. Suddenly I was presented with several options... whoa, I could Rent DVDs, Return DVDs and Buy DVDs. I pressed 'Rent DVDs'. Another screen flipped up to reveal a wide selection of new release DVD titles with their DVD cover images. I felt like I was Tom Cruise in Minority Report.

Thoughts started rushing through my head like the precogs... What happens if my DVD gets stuck like a packet of chips from one of those nightmare corkscrew dispenser vending machines? Will I have to shake dvbee DVD vending machinethe machine to make it drop down? I threw caution to the wind and used my left hand to guide my trembling right hand to press The Boat That Rocked DVD cover, half expecting the machine to lift-off or swallow me. It didn't! It just added my selection to what it calls a <open air quotes>Basket<close air quotes> and asked if I'd like to rent more DVDs. I gulped and pressed 'Yes'. Star Trek XI? In the basket. Mamma Mia... too risky, I felt a curious onlooker's eyes on my back, so I switched to The Wrestler instead. In the basket AGAIN, I felt like Michael Jordan!

Now for the moment of blinding truth... would it accept my credit card? It did! What, no SMS transaction notification? Then the penny dropped, not in the machine, but in my head! It charges you when you return the DVDs - and that's how it knows how long you've rented them for! Cool - R20 for a 24 hour DVD rental (pretty standard) or R11 for a 6 hour DVD rental (good to know). The brief moment of clarity clouded over again. How was this "vending machine" going to make the DVDs magically appear in my hands? Well... I took a step back as I heard the whirring robot come to life. Foooweeep... as its robotic arm reached inside itself to find The Boat That Rocked... sliding it out in a cool jet black carry case. Foooweep... foooweep... and suddenly I had all three!

It was like paying for 1 hour's parking with a R100 note or Christmas even... I had three brilliant movies in my hands without having to have any mugshots taken, part with my personal details or decipher whether I should pick the covers off the shelf or bring some grubby rental token to the counter! Plus I didn't have any spotty over-the-counter movie buff to judge my selection... I could have just as easily rented Tinkerbell without having to pretend I have kids... head held high. I guess that's why they call it dv-bee... I was on a buzz! The dvbee machine had made my day (or night... it was 10:30pm) and I knew that I could return them just before 10:30pm the following night, giving me plenty of time to sleep in... BRILLIANT!

I looked up to the heavens, 2-litre milk in one hand, DVDs in the other, waiting for a pale green alien light to beam me up... and realised I was still indoors. "Heavens"... thankfully, I noticed the 3 DVDs per day, R100 per month subscription... my jawPS3 dropped and I quickly SMSed "I want to subscribe" to 072 264 1939 so I could be ready for Round 2. Without even realising it, by subscribing before February 14th, I had inadvertently put myself in a beeline to win a PS3 console, free subscription from 3 months to a year and Jungle Beat movies just in time for Valentine's Day on 14 February, 2010. What!? They've also got machines in Noordhoek, Camps Bay and Stellenbosch Friendly Stores? "Somebody pinch me".


Had I walked past security without paying for the milk? Was my car being taken for a joy ride? No. I was on the couch and the irritating noise was my wake-up alarm on my cellphone. Was it 11am already? Had it all been a dream? The magical dvbee DVD vending machine, the DVDs... the feeling of euphoria? I reached across the couch and blindly searched for the remote, knocking the bowl of stale microwave popcorn to the ground. The TV came to life and as I opened my crusty eyes, Mickey Rourke stared back at me from the screen... dressed as a wrestler? It had all been TRUE! I thought about throwing an air punch to celebrate, but then decided I'd save it for later... when I did it all again!

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Trevor Noah: Daywalker Revisited DVD

Trevor Noah is The DaywalkerTrevor Noah is The Daywalker. Now before you start searching Dictionary.com or browsing through your Anne Rice, Robert Pattinson or True Blood memory archives, you should know that it's his nickname, derived amongst his childhood friends. Trevor's father is Swiss, his mother is Xhosa... and it was just safer (and easier) for Trevor to be classified as 'Albino' living with his mother in Soweto during the Apartheid era. His other Albino friends called him 'DW' for Daywalker, because to their amazement the kid could withstand harsh UV rays without burning up.

Trevor Noah has led an interesting life, straddled between cultures, races and eras in the Rainbow Nation... he's been able to view the changes in South Africa with what you could probably call the inside joke. Naturally, this led him to become a comedian... after all, how can you blame any homegrown talent from seeing the funnier side of life with the wealth of material in day-to-day South Africa.

Trevor's stand-up comedy is similar to Robin Williams, whose solid understanding of the media circus surrounding political and social conditions forge their comedy. Noah is also blessed with the gift of the gab and is able to tune into the voices of Jacob Zuma, Julius Malema, Helen Zille, Nelson Mandela and other racial stereotypes at will without causing offence. The clean-cut comedian has great a on-stage presence and isn't afraid to get physical... while spouting his political, social and biographical brand of comedy. The invisible direction in his Daywalker DVD, filmed at the Lyric Theatre leaves Trevor to entertain without relying on gimmicky shots or props.

The material has the audience in stitches and while some of his humour is quite suggestive, he keeps it PG. His performance is excellent, he holds one's attention for the full duration of his performance and he never misses a beat. The only criticism is that his ambitious (bordering controversial) Madiba sketch, probably should find its way somewhere in the middle of his routine to leave the audience on a slightly more positive note. All in all, it's a hilarious first encounter with a promising young South African comedian, who will no doubt be filling the house for many years to come... The Daywalker: Revisited is the re-released version of The Daywalker, which features nearly 2 hours of footage with roughly 50 minutes of brand new comedy material.

Trevor Noah - The Daywalker 2.0 Revisited - Buy Now  


Trailer Showdown: Iron Man vs. Iron Man 2


Iron Man 2 Movie Poster

Spider-Man, The Hulk, Superman, The Fantastic Four... please step out of the way, Mr. Iron Man coming through! Let's face it... Iron Man kicked ass! Even though the Iron Man comic book superhero may not be the first freak of nature or self-made superhero you think of when someone shouts "Wow, he just saved that lady from that horrible fire-salivating monster", but the chrome dome certainly blew our minds when Robert Downey Jr. dominated the role as Tony Stark/Iron Man.

Everyone was flabbergasted when they heard that Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. were headlining the blockbuster as director and star. Then they were left even more flabbergasted when they saw just how well their grease worked on Iron Man... beautifully! Now they're back for the much-anticipated sequel and follow-up to the critically acclaimed Iron Man... in fighting form to save the world... again! Surely these superheroes could simply pick a day of the week to be on duty?

Iron Man 2 is on the cards for 2010... HURRAY! However, it's got a lot to live up to after a metal-crunching start to the franchise and the director and actor's latest exploits with mixed reviews for Couple's Retreat and Sherlock Holmes. Either way, it's going to be a CGI meltdown and anything with Robert Downey Jr. seems to have the Midas touch these days, so do yourself a favour. For now, we'll just have to be content with watching the latest Iron Man 2 trailer take on the Iron Man trailer!


Spling's Take on Iron Man



Sherlock Holmes Movie Review: Not So "Elementary, Dear Watson"

Sherlock Holmes Movie Poster

What comes to mind when you hear the name Sherlock Holmes? The character has been around since the late 1800s when Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle conjured up a man, who could draw big conclusions from small details. A London-based detective, whose sharp intellect and keen eye could keep him in-the-know, without having to rely on any explosive MacGyver or trigger-happy Rambo skills.

Well, wipe the slate clean, because the enigmatic Robert Downey Jr. has come to town with the wrong hat and without a magnifying glass. It's like James Bond meets Harry Potter, taking a well-respected old school British character and updating the entertainment appeal for a 2000s audience. Downey Jr. defied all prerelease speculation when he took on the role of Tony Stark in Iron Man and now the man thinks he's invincible.

The cunning Detective Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr.) and his indomitable partner, Watson (Law) lock horns with Lord Blackwood, an evil nemesis and master of the dark arts, who poses a threat to all of London after he comes back from beyond the grave to seize power. It's the sort of plot you'd expect from Inspector Gadget, but hey... The Hound of the Baskervilles has been done already and you're barking up the wrong tree if you're expecting anything other than a whiff of intellect in a ...continued.

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