PROUD MARY – …More like ‘Sorry Mary’

The month of lowered standards continues with the Taraji P. Henson-led quasi-Blaxploitation action thriller, ‘Proud Mary’, directed by Babak Najafi. My most important takeaway from; the classic eponymous Tina Turner hit from 1970 (originally performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969) does not play as the most alluring soundtrack for a shootout. But that’s the least… Read More PROUD MARY – …More like ‘Sorry Mary’

THE SHAPE OF WATER – Del Toro’s sputtering machine of empathy is worth cherishing

A sour trace of disappointment lingered after seeing Guillermo del Toro’s latest film, ‘The Shape of Water’. After months of consuming short bursts of adulation, leading to me constructing my own fanciful masterpiece in my head, a possible spiritual sequel to del Toro’s own ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’, the slow realisation that ‘The Shape of Water’ was… Read More THE SHAPE OF WATER – Del Toro’s sputtering machine of empathy is worth cherishing

THE COMMUTER – Death, taxes and passable action in January

‘Murder on the Orient Express’ meets ‘Non-Stop’, with a dash of ‘Taken’. To be honest, you could describe ‘The Commuter’ as a remix of every action flick Liam Neeson has starred in. His performances in these films seem to be on the same wavelength; broken, grizzled veteran given an opportunity for valour and redemption. In… Read More THE COMMUTER – Death, taxes and passable action in January

BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 – Brutal, unrelenting exploitation fun

‘Brawl in Cell Block 99’ is one of the best action films of this decade. It’s certainly one of the most memorable. While standouts like ‘John Wick’, ‘The Raid’ and the most recent ‘The Villainess’ bring to the table the grandly choreographed fight sequences and adrenaline-infused balletic gun battles to the table, making your average… Read More BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 – Brutal, unrelenting exploitation fun

BRIGHT – The bastard descendant of Lord of the Rings emerges

‘Bright’ feels original and fleetingly ambitious with its meshing of fantastical elements and hard-knock policing to envision Los Angeles some 2000 years after the battle of Helms Deep. But it’s a bit of a wreck. You realize the film is fighting a losing battle when it starts with a bland montage likening Orcs to African… Read More BRIGHT – The bastard descendant of Lord of the Rings emerges

THIS LAND – A documentary affirming the value of land for South Africans

A review I contributed to Dandano late in 2017… The 2017 documentary, This Land, directed by Miki Redelinghuys narrows in on the people of Makhasaneni in KwaZulu-Natal and their struggle to overcome governmental neglect, a corrupt traditional hierarchy and the threat of corporate interests. During apartheid, the family and forbearers of the indigenes we spend time… Read More THIS LAND – A documentary affirming the value of land for South Africans

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI – A powerhouse performance fuels this film about grief and righteous anger

Grief begets anger in Martin McDonagh’s ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. Anger goes on to begat empathy and introspection in what, quite surprisingly, is this Irish director’s most heartfelt film, despite its rough and sardonic packaging. As one of my main takeaways, I realised it was time for me to start work on my shrine… Read More THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI – A powerhouse performance fuels this film about grief and righteous anger

Aronofsky damns the day God made man in MOTHER!

And on the sixth day, God made his one mistake – He created man. This is according to the brilliant Darren Aronofsky, whose ‘mother!’ turns out to be the most fascinating exploration of God’s relationship with man. The catch here is, this relationship is scrutinized with some scorn and disdain through the lens of mother… Read More Aronofsky damns the day God made man in MOTHER!

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI: – Part epic blockbuster, part character study telling us it’s okay to move on

Is the idea the balance the burden humanity must bear? At its philosophical best, this is one of the questions ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ poses, venturing into territory the canon has explored. This is one of the beats that makes the central conflict of the Star Wars universe an infinitely compelling experience and provided… Read More STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI: – Part epic blockbuster, part character study telling us it’s okay to move on

HYENAS – Mambety’s prescient portrait of faux morals in a decaying society

Hyenas (Hyènes) is the story of a wealthy woman’s return to her penurious hometown after decades away. The idea of her homecoming is a vignette Africa is well aware of. Her riches are enticing and her people are swelling with optimism. But reprieve is to come at a high price for this community. She offers… Read More HYENAS – Mambety’s prescient portrait of faux morals in a decaying society