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Necktie Youth [ Hits:1503 ]
Review: Necktie Youth is a black-and-white drama with a documentary feel that attempts to capture the Zeitgeist of South African youth culture. We're thrown into an experimental haze of young, affluent and disillusioned South Africans, whose journeys intersect with the deeply affecting live-stream suicide of a local Jo'burg girl. The born-frees find themselves in a transitional post-Apartheid South Africa, full of pain, injustice and the frustration of hollow political promises. Their identities are ad...

The End of the Tour [ Hits:1267 ]
Review: Rolling Stone magazine is a pop culture institution, which has sculpted the landscape of American media since its inception in 1967. Through the ages, from Hunter S. Thompson's political reporting to becoming a cultural loudspeaker for youth-orientated lifestyle, getting the Annie Leibovitz treatment and gracing the cover with an interview story has been the stamp for hitting the big time. While Rolling Stone has done many cover interviews with rock, movie and TV stars, very few have focused on...

Die Pro [ Hits:1430 ]
Review: South Africa is home to many prime surf spots including: Long Beach, Dungeons, Dunes, Cape St. Francis, Eland's Bay, Jeffrey's Bay, Nahoon Reef, Wild Coast, Muizenberg and South Africa's surfing capital, Durban. It's birthed a growing number of surfing movies including: Otelo Burning, Blue Crush 2, The Perfect Wave, Ocean Driven and now Die Pro. While South Africa is a world-class surfing destination, it's also becoming a world-class film-making destination, making the marriage of surfing and f...

Thina Sobabili: The Two of Us [ Hits:1370 ]
Review: Thina Sobabili translated as The Two of Us is a brave, gut-wrenching and realistic drama about the exploits of a brother and sister in the Alexandra township of Johannesburg, South Africa. We're introduced to Thulani and his sister Zanele, who become the focus of this shoestring budget production, which was self-funded and shot in the space of a week. While Thina Sobabili achieves the almost impossible thanks to some clever "Nollywood" techniques and grueling man hours, this drama hasn't lost i...

Treurgrond [ Hits:1451 ]
Review: Treurgrond is a South African film about farm murders, directed by Darryl Roodt and starring controversial pop star and actor, Steve Hofmeyr. According to the film's website, the most frequently asked questions address its political agenda, entertainment value for non-extremists and whether it features racial discrimination. While it answers these questions as you'd expect, it's interesting in and of itself that these would be potential concerns for a movie goer. The film is fictional, centring...

Fifty Shades of Grey [ Hits:1758 ]
Review: Fifty Shades of Grey is the film adaptation of the bestselling erotic novel of the same name by E.L. James. The novel's wildfire popularity, despite mixed reviews, created a readership and audience in wait. Now that the eagerly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey has arrived, ironically over Valentine's weekend, we're forced to make sense of this provocative and subversive female fantasy about the rigours of a modern sadomasochistic relationship. The idea for the novel originally spawned as erotic...

Birdman [ Hits:1633 ]
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...

The Judge [ Hits:1407 ]
Review: Robert Downey Jr. thinks he's a god. His Twitter bio states "You know who I am." and based on his runaway Hollywood success since he starred as Tony Stark in Iron Man, many would probably agree with his egotistical musings. Well, Iron Man has been cleared for landing... gracing us with his unequivocal presence in The Judge. The character echoes his role in Ally McBeal, playing a big shot lawyer. Armed an equally big mouth, he returns to his childhood home where many unresolved issues lurk and h...

The Great Beauty [ Hits:1476 ]
Review: The Great Beauty or La grande belezza is a film laced with paradoxes to the point of becoming a paradox in itself. We're presented with the beautiful city of Rome, in its historical significance and splendor. Director Paolo Sorrentino (This Must Be the Place) has given us a luscious and eye-popping depiction of this glorious city with dazzling colours and epic cinematography, one that is disconnected and sorely lacking in entertainment value. He breathes life into the culture, from an energetic...

If I Stay [ Hits:1907 ]
Review: If I Stay is a drama and adaptation of Gayle Forman's novel about Mia, a young cellist, and her life, love and family experiences before a car accident puts her in a coma. The plot line for this drama is quite cliched and you can imagine the film tripping into tearjerker territory, however a fantasy twist enabling Mia to wander the Overlook Hospital (a tip of the hat to The Shining) like a ghost, gives If I Stay an ethereal quality. The film stars Chloe Grace Moretz, an actress whose exquisite ...

Calvary [ Hits:1760 ]
Review: Calvary is an immense Irish drama about the church, mortality and revenge. As you'd imagine from the movie title and such a severe line-up of themes, it's a dark, heavy and soulful film led by a tremendous performance from Brendan Gleeson that embodies these sombre qualities. This isn't the first time Brendan Gleeson and fellow writer-director John Michael McDonagh have worked together. The two seem destined to become a famous duo after working to acclaim in The Guard, in which Gleeson played a...

Boyhood [ Hits:3541 ]
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...

Born to Win [ Hits:1600 ]
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...

Wish I Was Here [ Hits:1748 ]
Review: Zach Braff shot to fame as the star of the medical comedy, Scrubs and subsequently directed and starred in the critically acclaimed, Garden State. Ironically, the ten year gap between Garden State and his follow-up Wish I Was Here also happens to be the time period his Garden State character was estranged from his family. While a long-awaited follow-up, both films share a number of themes coming from the standpoint of the lead played by Zach Braff. He's essentially playing a more dysfunctional...

Belle [ Hits:1891 ]
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...

Locke [ Hits:1868 ]
Review: When we reach a fork in the road of life, the path we choose often leads to a known set of consequences. Once we've knowingly taken the wrong path, getting back on the right path can be tough going as Ivan Locke discovers in the tense drama, Locke. The devoted family man and successful construction manager decides to go against the grain on the eve of a critical building development. By trying to be everything his father wasn't, he fights his way into the night on a long freeway journey to fix ...

The Fault in Our Stars [ Hits:1702 ]
Review: The Fault in our Stars is based on the young adult novel and New York Times bestseller by John Green. The story follows Hazel, a sixteen year old cancer patient, whose parents force her to attend a support group where she meets and falls in love with Gus, an amputee and former basketball player. Hazel's smart, well-read and witty. While permanently harnessed to an oxygen tank, she's trying to live life like her days are numbered, humouring her parents by attending a support group. While not ent...

The Railway Man [ Hits:1683 ]
Review: The Railway Man is a drama based on the life of Eric Lomax, a former British Army Officer, who was tortured as a prisoner-of-war at a Japanese labour camp during World War II. Lomax's award-winning novel, The Railway Man, has been adapted into a film that shifts between his time as a prisoner working on the railway and his later life when he discovered that the man responsible for much of his torment was still alive. The true story of Eric Lomax is inspiring, moving and incredibly powerful, ech...

All Is Lost [ Hits:2127 ]
Review: All Is Lost arrives in a year dominated by thrilling survival dramas, Captain Phillips and Gravity. While it hasn't made the same splash as its contemporaries, it's a film that deserves your full attention. You could describe it as Life of Pi without the tiger, Castaway without the island or Gravity at sea... however you relay the basics, one thing holds fast, J.C. Chandor's minimalist action-adventure survival drama is a true original. The up-and-coming director demonstrated his script-writing...

Dallas Buyers Club [ Hits:1911 ]
Review: Matthew McConaughey is proving again and again that he's a serious actor. Once regarded as a "pretty boy" lead in romantic comedies, the actor has won Best Actor at the 2014 Academy Awards on the strength of a brilliant and determined lead performance in Dallas Buyers Club. Dallas Buyers Club is a biopic drama based on the life of Ron Woodroof, a hedonistic rodeo cowboy and electrician, whose hard-living eventually catches up with him when he tests positive for HIV. In 1985, the virus and onset...

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