Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence Day: Resurgence only increases in destruction and repetition

It’s not like Independence Day is really that much of a classic. Mostly for the fact that it hasn’t aged that well. It has Michael Bay-like levels of senseless spectacle, overstated American patriotism, an overly romantic view of characters and plotlines, … Continue reading Independence Day: Resurgence only increases in destruction and repetition

Springbok Nude Girls

This movie is NOT porn: Springbok Nude Girls

Before Fokofpolisiekar and The Parlotones, the breakthrough, height-of-alternative rock band from South Africa was Springbok Nude Girls. I don’t know if they were really “a band who captured the imagination of a generation” [the film’s tagline], but they were definitely big, important, and defining in the history of South African music. The film is a production by Thinking Owl Films in association with Sony Music Entertainment Africa. It’s unclear exactly where the money for the movie came from, which means we don’t know how biased or objective the film really is. Is it a true documentary, or more of a propoganda publicity piece that helps promote the band’s latest shows? Continue reading “This movie is NOT porn: Springbok Nude Girls”

Floris Groenewald
Floris sometimes writes things when he’s not watching movies or playing video games or editing videos or folk-rock singing/songwriting.
Finding Dory

Crafting the sequel to a classic: Finding Dory review

“The thing about sequels” is a bad way to start a review. Cause you’ve most likely already read a review that starts like that. And you’re not reading this review to listen to someone compare two movies, or draw similarities between all second installments. You’re not reading this review to hear someone’s boring old opinion on the state of the film industry. You most likely just want to know whether Finding Dory is a good movie, or at least worth the time and effort it’ll require to see it in cinema. Continue reading “Crafting the sequel to a classic: Finding Dory review”

Floris Groenewald
Floris sometimes writes things when he’s not watching movies or playing video games or editing videos or folk-rock singing/songwriting.
Surrounded by orcs, Commander Anduin Lothar (TRAVIS FIMMEL) knows that the battle is far from over in Warcraft. From Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures comes Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment’s global phenomenon. Credit: Legendary Pictures, Universal Pictures and ILM

Warcraft movie review – an incredible, engaging video game movie

It’s pretty much impossible to make a good movie based on a video game, right? It might also be hard to follow up a successful start in film directing like Moon and Source Code with a hugely popular established property. Here’s the newest example of beating the odds: The Duncan Jones-directed Warcraft. Continue reading “Warcraft movie review – an incredible, engaging video game movie”

Floris Groenewald
Floris sometimes writes things when he’s not watching movies or playing video games or editing videos or folk-rock singing/songwriting.
X-Men Apocalypse Poster-No-Text

X-men Apocalypse: The end of the world for the X-men?

So the sixth (or eight, or ninth, depending on how you count) X-men film comes around, and we all know how this goes, right? Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and his gang of mutant superheroes the X-men have to fight some scheme to kill all mutants, mostly manifested in a physical confrontation against Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and his “Brotherhood” of bad guys. Somewhere in between Jennifer Lawrence‘s Mystique also pops up.

Except it looks like this time director Bryan Singer has something different in mind. I guess he watched some different movies in the interim, for inspiration. X-men: Apocalypse feels much more like a disaster movie – a Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich-style world-scale drama which kicks off in Ancient Egypt, introducing the first mutant – Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) discovers and inadvertently awakens the incredibly powerful mutant when, as an indirect result of the time-travel meddling in Days of Future Past, she investigates cults that believe in mutant gods. Continue reading “X-men Apocalypse: The end of the world for the X-men?”

Floris Groenewald
Floris sometimes writes things when he’s not watching movies or playing video games or editing videos or folk-rock singing/songwriting.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice packs punches – but lacks heart?

What can I say about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that hasn’t been said by the ten jillion trailers and lacerating critical reviews? Very little. But my will to rant has always been strong.

Warning: I spoiler in my sleep so watch out. Continue reading “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice packs punches – but lacks heart?”

Jared Viljoen
Jared is a cantankerous designer looking for love in all the wrong places and living vicariously through television. Sometimes he makes things.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

It’s a bit like going back home and seeing your kooky family again after several years. Except your family isn’t nearly as interesting as the highest grossing romantic comedy of all timeAnd your family didn’t get a sequel after 14 years. There’s the seldom-discussed spin-off TV sitcom, My Big Fat Greek Life, but just like your black sheep step-sister Joanne, it didn’t really accomplish much in the end. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 isn’t bigger, better, fatter, or more Greek than the original 2002 sleeper hit, but it isn’t simply more of the same either. Continue reading “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”

Floris Groenewald
Floris sometimes writes things when he’s not watching movies or playing video games or editing videos or folk-rock singing/songwriting.
ANOMALISA

Anomalisa: Investigating the human condition

If you’re really good at showing the honest, tangible fragility of human beings in the films that you write or direct, why would you make a stop-motion movie with puppets? Not only that, but the puppet characters in Charlie Kaufman‘s Anomalisa are obviously puppets. The seams on the puppets’ interchangeable faces are clearly visible, and some artifacts of the animation process aren’t concealed. Maybe it’s due to the fact that all the characters in protagonist Michael Stone’s (David Thewlis) life look and sound the same (portrayed by Tom Noonan). Just like in Kaufman’s directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York, where Caden Cotard shows a lot of symptoms of Cotard’s syndrome, Stone experiences the Fregoli delusion – the belief that different people are all the same person. Continue reading “Anomalisa: Investigating the human condition”

Floris Groenewald
Floris sometimes writes things when he’s not watching movies or playing video games or editing videos or folk-rock singing/songwriting.
Die Ontwaking

Die Ontwaking speel kat-en-muis met ou bekende idees

Die Ontwaking is ‘n sielkundige misdaadriller, gegrond op Chris Karsten se roman Abel se Ontwaking (die eerste boek in ‘n trilogie). Dit gaan oor Ella Nesser (vertolk deur Juanita de Villiers), ‘n jong en relatief onervare speurder wat op die spoor is van die “Nagsluiper” – ‘n reeksmoordenaar. Terselfdetyd leer ons ook Abel Lotz (Gys de Villiers) ken. Bedags is hy ‘n ongemaklike, eienaardige  eienaar van ‘n klein galery en kenner van Afrika-maskers en Kuns. Na-uurs sluip hy in die nag. Continue reading “Die Ontwaking speel kat-en-muis met ou bekende idees”

Floris Groenewald
Floris sometimes writes things when he’s not watching movies or playing video games or editing videos or folk-rock singing/songwriting.

Deadpool: A superhero movie with a twist, with another twist

You’ve very probably seen Deadpool described as a “superhero movie with a twist”. It has the Marvel logo at the start, it features a guy in a colourful suit, and there’s an extra scene after the credits. But on the other hand, (just like the comic book) it’s more self-referential and meta than any other superhero movie you’ve seen. It has a lot of humour, and a lot of violence. From the first images of the opening credit sequence to the post-credit bonus scene, it pokes fun at itself and the superhero film genre in general. It was an unconventional situation: The movie was stuck in development hell for 11 years, and finally got greenlit when test footage leaked, and the fans on the internet went nuts. Its marketing campaign was a clever extension of the character’s sense of humour. Its opening weekend was an unexpected box office record breaker. It’ll probably inspire other R-rated superhero movies. Or out-of-the-box marketing campaigns. Or a ton of Ryan Reynolds movies. Continue reading “Deadpool: A superhero movie with a twist, with another twist”

Floris Groenewald
Floris sometimes writes things when he’s not watching movies or playing video games or editing videos or folk-rock singing/songwriting.