Stephen "Spling" Aspeling will be hosting a special screening of NOW YOU SEE ME, directed by Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk) and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Mélanie Laurent, Woody Harrelson, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. The Ster-KinekorMovie Buffs screening will take place at 7:30pm for 8pm on Thursday 1 August at Cavendish Square, Cape Town. FB Event Page | Book Tickets | Movie Review
NEWSFLASH: International multi-award winning sleight of hand artist and psychological illusionist, Stuart Lightbody, will be performing as part of the Movie Buffs event.
About the film
NOW YOU SEE ME is a vivid, flashy and entertaining heist movie that pits the bright lights of Vegas in Ocean's Eleven against the stylish, mind games of Inception. Backed by a stellar cast and delivered with a twinkle in the eye, this magical hot pursuit thriller gives us reason to fall in love with the illusion of cinema all over again. Twists, surprises, laughs and thrills are all just part of the fun in this lively and exciting escapade.
About the event
The special NOW YOU SEE ME screening will be held at Ster-Kinekor's Cavendish Square cineplex. As your host, Spling will introduce the preview and Stuart Lightbody's performance at 8pm, after which NOW YOU SEE ME will be screened and followed by a discussion for those wanting to explore the film further. Normal ticket prices and discounts apply and several movie goers will go home with prizes.
About the host
Stephen "Spling" Aspeling has been a film fanatic since he first watched the psychedelic elephant dance in Dumbo in the early '80s and a movie critic since 2007. More About Spling
Paul Andrew Williams is a film maker, whose understanding of the medium ranges from coming-of-age dramas to zombie horrors. The director's talents were first celebrated when his debut feature crime thriller, London to Brighton, garnered a slew of UK film awards. A couple of bloodcurdling horrors into his career, Williams decided to dial it back with a life-affirming, heartwarming and touching coming-of-age drama in Song for Marion, also known as Unfinished Song. The "renaissance" demonstrated his range, gave him an opportunity to work with a screen legend in Vanessa Redgrave and has laid the foundation for bigger things. We caught up with the man for a quick Q&A...
Which directors stood out to you growing up?
I have always admired James Cameron. Mainly because of his work ethic and his commitment to what he's doing. He's also someone who has managed to make good and solid commercial movies all of his career. What he has achieved as an overall film maker is nothing short of miraculous. After him, it was mainly individual films rather than specifics. Some of Luc Besson, Romero's Dead trilogy, Scorsese and Gary Oldman's directed Nil By Mouth.
What acting wisdom have you carried over to your role as a writer-director?
Just to always let the actors know you value them. Everyone wants to do their best job and sometimes people just need to know that it's okay to fail and that if it's not working, then we'll keep going until it does.
Do you consider yourself to be a writer/director or a director/writer?
Director/writer always. Writing is good and at times I love it but there's nothing like working on the floor with crew and actors.
Who would you trust to direct your films, why?
I would always just have to let the script go. With The Children, I just had to give Tom Shankland freedom to do what he wanted with the script.
How important was your breakthrough film, London to Brighton, in establishing your career?
It established my career. It was the least pressure I've ever had as a film maker.
Which aspect of the entire film-making production do you enjoy most?
Working with actors and shooting.
How involved are you when it comes to cutting your films?
Very. I am there every day.
What inspired you to make such a big shift in genre direction with Unfinished Song?
I just see the shift as being in an industry where films of all genres get made. I like watching multiple genres and like writing the same.
It was renamed Song for Marion, just how important is a movie title?
I guess it's important. It's the first information an audience get.
You’ve directed the likes of Terrence Stamp, Gemma Arterton and Vanessa Redgrave. Which actors have intimidated you most as a director?
As for being intimated. Never show fear!
Do you write screenplays with actors in mind?
Sometimes, it's natural but it can get you caught up in a mess when it comes to casting the film.
Are there any actors on your directing wish list?
I like working with actors. Anyone who is open and has no pretence of status.
Are there any works you would you love to adapt to film?
I'm gutted about World War Z. Its a great book. have yet to see the film. Desperate to do a zombie film.
The Place Beyond the Pines is a sprawling crime epic about family, fatherhood, fate and justice. Director, Derek Cianfrance, landed excellent co-lead performances from Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine and this echoes in the haunting The Place Beyond the Pines. While not as melancholic and more ambitious, this generational crime thriller has the earmarks of an American classic.
At the centre of the The Place Beyond the Pines is the photograph of a young family, as a motorcycle stunt biker (Gosling), trying to rekindle a relationship with his 1-year-old son and ex-girlfriend, collides with an ambitious and determined rookie cop (Cooper) on a self-made mission.
Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper headline a solid cast. Gosling's Luke is a blend of his suave street smarts in Drive and his working class swagger in Blue Valentine. The tattooed metal head stunt biker is a real piece of work, one whose graduation into fatherhood inspires him to be the dad he never had. On the other side of the spectrum is Bradley Cooper's Avery, a by-the-book copper who's determined to make his way up the ranks of the legal system without treading on his father's coattails.
They're supported by Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta and Ben Mendelsohn. The casting of Mendes echoes her role opposite Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider, and she's convincing as the woman struggling to make a head versus heart decision. Rose Byrne's relatively short yet sharp appearance helps frame Avery's fragile family history. Then, Ray Liotta is perfectly cast as a jilted cop, while Ben Mendolsohn delivers a Gary Oldman calibre performance as an outside catalyst.
The film attempts a story cross fade that does feel somewhat disjointed, but this bold interruption is refreshing and serves as an incisive set up, reboot and second chapter. The Place Beyond the Pines does have a few shake ups, but these moments all seem to know their place in the gradual coming together of this 15 year crime saga.
Derek Cianfrance's bold film has tremendous range, casting light on intimate eye-to-eye family moments and touching on much broader humanistic themes from a bird's eye view. This is enhanced by the cinematography, by observing an unbiased and naturalistic beauty and swathing the film in sullen majesty. By reaching for the over-arching vision, Cianfrance manages to capture rich, powerful moments that make the somewhat disjointed journey all the more worthwhile.
The Place Beyond the Pines is a broad film, one that manages to reinvent itself and deftly shift its weight without flinching. The nearly two-and-a-half hour run time is warranted and gives the film an epic quality, allowing the generational story the time and space to seep into our minds. We're invested, fascinated and moved by the co-lead performances that have a similar weight and intensity to American History X. While it may not appeal to everyone, it's haunting splendor will linger on.
The Internship is a comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Yet, it seems more like a feature length advert for Google. From the marketing for the film to the finished product, we're exposed to the Google brand, workplace and ethos again... and again... and again.
The story is set at Google HQ, where Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson's characters are enrolled in an internship programme. Starting as an interesting social commentary on traditional pursuits and the digital age, the film devolves into a formulaic and full-blown advert as each candidate immerses themselves in the Google culture and competes in a spectrum of Google-related tasks.
Vaughn and Wilson are having an absolute ball and this fun spirit drives a rather lack-lustre comedy script that crackles with the odd laugh. They deliver performances that play to their charms without straying too far from "the usual", while Rose Byrne fills in as the high school "hottie", Aasif Mandvi as the watchful "principal" and Max Minghella as the schoolyard "bully".
The Internship makes an interesting tour of the Google facilities and we get a chance to familiarise ourselves with the ethos, but you can't help but feel a documentary would have been a better match. It probably would have been more acceptable if The Internship had been much funnier as a comedy and the product placement had been toned down.
Having Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as our unofficial tour guide technophobes certainly spices things up a bit in a Role Models style comedy, but without the Google interest, it'd simply be a Never Been Kissed knock-off. It's mindless feel good entertainment at best and you could do a lot worse, but it has to go down as a misfire.
You can admire the producers, and Vince Vaughn, for trying to turn product placement financing into a structural film concept. However noble their intentions, The Internship loses its dramatic integrity in the process as we essentially pay for a somewhat entertaining advert.