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Top Ten Movies with... Christia Visser


Christia Visser is a young South African actress, who is turning heads with an equal dose of girl-next-door charm and enigmatic screen presence. She played a small part in the inspirational drama, The Perfect Wave, in 2014 and has already racked up a star-making lead performance in the quirky high school "romcom" Hollywood in my Huis with other lead roles in upcoming thrillers, Girl from Nowhere and Last Ones Out, and a noteworthy supporting performance in the sprawling Afrikaans mystery drama, Ballade vir 'n Enkeling.

Visser was born to perform, having grown up wanting to act, sing, dance and write since she was a little girl. She finished her advanced studies at Act Cape Town in 2012 and went on to perform in plays such as Cardenio, Vers Kabaret, Sonde met die biere, Offer and Land van Skedels. Having undergone rigorous training with some of the country's best and most experienced film talents, she's poised for the big time with the ability to cut across any genre.

This is only the beginning for the young South African starlet, whose diligence, passion and talent is paying off. Winning over South African audiences and critics alike, it seems like only a matter of time before she starts performing on an international stage. She says what she does "It's more than a job, it's who I am.", which made us curious to find out more about her in this Top Ten Movies interview...

"I'm always the first one to tear up while watching a film."

I can't watch movies without...

- Popcorn. Cinema popcorn just tastes different somehow, throw some Whispers in the mix and we have a winner! Although generally I just love to eat!

Which famous people share your birthday?

- Here's something I never knew, Dr. Seuss shares my birthday! That's quite something. Also, Pitch Perfect's Rebel Wilson, she's really fun... current James Bond, Daniel Craig... some people think he's hot... Jon Bon Jovi, for the music... and Jennifer Jones. (2 March)

What is the first film you remember watching?

- The Lion King, so many many times! My parents took me and my sister to the cinema three times to see it before they bought us the DVD and I still love it!

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

- The Hottie and the Nottie wins hands down. Paris Hilton at her... worst? This film was just all kinds of bad.

Which movies have made you tearful?

- Oh, I'm always the first one to tear up while watching a film, my list is long, but just to mention a few: A Walk to Remember, Seven Pounds, P.S. I Love You, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, 12 Years A Slave, The Fault in our Stars and Tinkerbell: The Legend of the Neverbeast... yes, that is correct, Tinkerbell.

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

- I've had the privilege of working alongside local stars such as: Nicole Holm, Jana Cilliers, Rolanda Marais, Louw Venter, Nicola Hanekom, Lee-Ann van Rooi and Sean Cameron Micheal... but the most famous internationally goes to... Scott Eastwood, he starred in The Longest Ride and a film called The Perfect Wave, in which I played a small yet crucial part.

What's your favourite movie line?

I have a favourite line in almost every movie, here are a few...

- "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." ~ Dirty Dancing
- "This family is a f**king Picasso painting." ~ The Judge
- "Fear doesn't shut you down, it wakes you up, I've seen it." ~ Divergent
- "It's called a Lance, hello!" ~ A Knight's Tale
- "I sing you to me." ~ Australia

And of course...

- "The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return." ~ Moulin Rouge

Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?

- Shailene Woodley. I feel like she's got the "kaalvoet meisiekind" and red carpet mix just right... and so much talent!?!

Christia Visser in Last Ones Out - Top Ten Movies

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

- Oh wow, I have no idea, there are just so many stories to tell. I do think it would have to be something real, something that will make audiences think and feel.

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

Warning: My top ten might not be what you expect. I would love to mention some of the world cinema masterpieces, but that would be a lie... I'm no movie buff. I just like films... all kinds of films. I honestly need a top 100, but here we go...

- Dirty Dancing ...I always wanted to be like Baby, and I love to dance.

- Seven Pounds ...Will Smith is so brilliant at doing less. This plot is so carefully executed, you can't help but feel for the characters.

- Country Strong ...I love country music and this film depicts this insane industry and the entertainment ups-and-downs so well.

- The Perks of Being A Wallflower ...a coming-of-age film, touching the deepest parts of the teenage mind.

- The Fault in our Stars ...the most heartfelt teen romance ever.

- Australia ...this film is all kinds of right. Send Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman into the Outback and throw in a little aboriginal boy called Nala... the possibilities are endless.

- Silver Linings Playbook ...because a little bit of crazy goes a long way, this is twisted and I love it!

- G.I. Jane ...what better film to show the strength of a woman, Demi Moore, I salute you.

- How to Train Your Dragon ...my cat is Toothless and it's so beautifully animated... like most people... I absolutely love animation! 

- Moulin Rouge ...it's filled with great music, performances, visuals, script and is brilliantly executed. This film epitomizes beauty.

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.


 
Movie Review: Hitman - Agent 47


Hitman: Agent 47 is a video game adaptation from up-and-coming director, Aleksander Bach. While explosive and visually stimulating, this action thriller starts with great promise and then becomes increasingly dull as we try to connect with stilted performances and insubstantial characters.

The first Hitman movie starred Timothy Olyphant and while only serviceable is still better than Hitman: Agent 47. The latest installment incorporates more elements from the video game in terms of stealth, disguise and swift kills. It also turns our cold-blooded killer into an Agent Smith meets Terminator style anti-hero, which is quite a smart and refreshing approach.

Rupert Friend is an interesting choice to play Agent 47 and while he may not be perfect for the role, it works. Initially, he's observed from a distance, keeping the character aloof and enigmatic - much like the video game. His co-star, Hannah Ware, is beautiful but for all intents and purposes could have been wearing a mask. She has the looks, but is inaccessible and robotic, something that hinders us from truly embracing the story. Zachary Quinto is a welcome addition to the ensemble, but casting the current Spock when you're in desperate need of a life-like human just douses the flames.

Hitman: Agent 47

"...I played A LOT of Duck Hunt as a child."

Hitman: Agent 47 looks the part with its stylish visuals, explosive action set pieces and handsome cast, but it's just too bulletproof. The characters are icy, invincible and dead-eyed to the point that they may as well have used the video game artistry. The dopamine levels are low, despite various attempts to spice things up with creative and unintentionally funny kills. Hitman: Agent 47 soon becomes a series of routine challenges on "easy" as the bad guys line up to be skewered.

Even the CGI seems to be stretched thin at points, blurring the line between a video game, which actually seemed more realistic and the suspended reality of a live-action Hitman. Video game adaptations have their issues and many were hoping this one would have overcome many of the flaws of the original Hitman, however it seems like more of a money-spinner with Audi showcasing almost as many cars as Mercedes-Benz did in A Good Day to Die Hard.

Without any substance: a connection to the characters, a serious challenge to overcome or an engaging story to lean back on, Hitman: Agent 47 is all about the eye candy. While Hannah Ware and her leading men are good-looking and the visuals are slick, this thin veil doesn't hold our attention long and it gradually becomes an exercise in patience, which is further hampered by the film-makers attempts to subvert some poor casting decisions.

The bottom line: Dull

 
Talking Movies with Spling - Mr. Holmes, Impunity and Beyond the Reach


Spling reviews Mr. Holmes, Impunity and Beyond the Reach as broadcast on Talking Movies, Fine Music Radio. Catch Talking Movies on Fridays at 8:20am and Saturdays at 8:15am every week on Fine Music Radio.

 
Movie Review: Schuks! Pay Back the Money!


South Africa's most famous prankster is at it again in Schuks! Pay Back the Money! While the cheap movie trailer lowers expectations, the actual film isn't quite as bad... making a reasonable flipside to Schuks! Your Country Needs You. While we thought comedian, Rob Van Vuuren, was being groomed to become "son of Schuster", giving longtime companion Alfred "Shorty" Ntombela, a run for his money - neither return for Schuks! Pay Back the Money! Instead Schuster is essentially flying solo, playing off Desmond Dube as the dubious Sports Minister, who cuts a deal with Schuks after he loses the actual Currie Cup.

Schuster is commissioned to film a documentary showing South Africa in a positive light instead of paying a R1 million fine. While the word "documentary" is used quite loosely and the thumbsuck fine for losing the holy grail of SA sport is more of a bribe when you consider Schuster's box office history, it all fits in the cartoonish world of Schuks. As usual, the over-the-top story concept and characters are just there to connect the candid camera sketches, but its so painfully lame and void of genuine laughs - you wonder why Schuks didn't rely on animation, or just introduce each sketch as himself.

Schuster's realised his strength is in candid comedy, returning once again to the very thing that launched his film career. In many ways, each of his films represents a slice-of-life and time capsule for the state of the nation in its most transitional phases. While criticised for "blackface" and lauded for opening weekend takings, Schuster's films have never really discriminated when it comes to laughs, making every South African susceptible to a bit of Schuks! mischief.

"Gansbaai, now famous for shark diving and bottle store brawling..."

While he looks somewhat melancholic in the painful live-action cartoon reality he and his candid camera comedy are embedded in, he's more than up to the challenge of playing a host of characters including: official, judge, TV anchor, tycoon, producer, chef and parking attendant. The prosthetic make up is almost as convincing as Schuster's unflappable performance and protects his face and identity. He's instantly recognisable after decades of pranking South Africans and who can blame him for wanting to keep his jaw intact from the odd klap? It does feel like he's hit the camera in the ceiling and perhaps it's time Schuster took on a dramatic role to mix things up a bit.

Schuks! Pay Back the Money! pokes fun at South Africa as service delivery gripes are targeted: bottle store restrictions, portaloo toilets, Eskom "starter packs" and a court appointment for Robbie Wessels line the thematic comedy. Although, it's not all about government woes with some hilarious gags involving recording studios and a Chinese bigwig. Schuster's never shyed away from provoking his marks to fight-or-flight, but has moved to prodding entire communities and stadiums in his latest films. You sense an overall frustration with authority from South Africans, whose responses are often just as audacious as Schuster's larger-than-life characters.

Just like the Step Up series, you wouldn't go and watch a Schuks! movie for the acting or story. The main attraction is laughing (not dancing) and in a very serious South Africa, belly laughs are worth sitting through a few dumb and puerile story transitions. Schuks! Pay Back the Money! features some edgy and funny candid camera comedy and some rather irritating interludes, which makes it a mixed bag... one that you'll probably enjoy if you liked Schuks! Your Country Needs You.

The bottom line: Lopsided


 
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