Showing posts from June, 2011

Hitting SA cinemas this weekend

Of course the biggest new release of the week is superhero comic adaptationGreen Lantern - screening in both 2D and 3D. The film has been out since Wednesday, and you can read my blog post on that here. For the record, Green Lantern is a disappointing 26% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. Apparently the film is well acted but otherwise over-stuffed, messy and dumb. Trailer Tuesday profile here.

For those of you not in the mood for Ryan Reynolds' CGI-clad abs (what the hell is wrong with you?!), you can get your cinema kicks with the following new movies:

Ek Joke Net: The undemanding South African public adore candid camera/prank movies, and the dual-language Ek Joke Net is the latest local addition to this genre - from a band of young up-and-coming comedic talents. I'm not one for this kind of movie but I have to admit that the trailer squeezed a few laughs out of me. Small praise but this one looks a bit edgier than the typical juvenile Leon Schuster fare.


Girl gamers: Easy to be out and proud?

It's been a while coming but I finally have a new column up on Lazygamer, South Africa's most popular gaming website. Check out the piece here.

Oh, and if you're interested, you can always read my previous Lazygamer contributions:

Girl Gamers UnmaskedGirl Gamers: Casual vs. HardcoreCouples Gaming: Getting StartedBeware the DecepticonsGaming's 10 Hottest Male Characters

Happy Green Lantern Wednesday

The Brightest Day has arrived. DC Comics live-action adaptation Green Lantern opens today (instead of this Friday, weirdly) in cinemas across South Africa.

Ryan Reynolds stars as cocky test pilot Hal Jordan, who is chosen to join the thousands-strong Green Lantern Corps - essentially an intergalactic police force of alien beings that enforces peace and protects the universe through the use of superpowered rings. Is Jordan truly worthy to become the first human Green Lantern? Does he have the willpower to stand up to the dual threats of Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) and Parallax, the Corps' most dangerous foe? This $200 million origin tale answers these very questions.

Well, unfortunately for fans, Green Lantern is pretty much the Sex & The City 2 of recent superhero flicks. Having released last Friday in North America and many other regions, the film is currently sitting with a dire 25% Fresh rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. Green Lantern has been called disj…

Trailer Tuesday: Bridesmaids

My sister is getting married this Saturday, and I'm a bridesmaid, so it's kind of appropriate that this week sees the South African debut of R-rated comedy Bridesmaids. Produced by The 40-Year-Old-Virgin and Knocked Up's Judd Apatow, Bridesmaids has been touted as the female equivalent of The Hangover, except with considerably more heart and likeable, identifiable characters.

Written by and starring Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids centres on Annie (Wiig), who is struggling with disappointment in her professional and personal life. However, she hides her problems when her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged. Accepting the responsibility-heavy position of Maid of Honour, Annie discovers herself part of a mismatched group of bridemaids, including crass, aggressive Megan (Melissa McCarthy), saccharine Becca (Ellie Kemper), rich, dissatisfied Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey) and ultra-glamorous Helen (Rose Byrne). Cue increasingly out of control bridal shenanigans during the le…

Movie review Monday: Source Code

It’s worth noting up front that sci-fi action thriller Source Code has suffered from a serious case of overhype. The film is enjoyable, intelligent and surprisingly moving at some points, but it’s not an instant genre classic. Source Code feels too slight for that as it frequently, and disappointingly, refuses to explore many of the intriguing plot paths that it jogs past.

Source Code has been called a science fiction Groundhog Day. The similarities between the two films are certainly there, with Source Code’s main character, air force pilot Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) forced to relive the same period of time over and over again as part of the top secret Source Code experiment. In reality, Source Code feels more akin to Déjà Vu, in that, like the 2006 Denzel Washington film, our hero must revisit a past time period (here the 8 minutes leading up to a devastating train bombing) in order to catch the terrorist responsible.

It’s a fantastic premise and there’s a lot that works in Sour…

Movies out this weekend: penguins, caves & Groundhog Day on a train

Seeing as tomorrow - Thursday - is a public holiday in South Africa, the weekend's new movie releases are opening a day earlier than usual. From tomorrow you can catch the following high profile flicks in local cinemas:

Mr Popper's Penguins: Clearly, and VERY unfortunately, Jim Carrey has signed the same contract that saw The Rock and Eddie Murphy forced to appear in brain dead, derivative family comedies. Because in this very loose adaptation of the beloved children's book (I'd never heard of it!), Carrey stars as a workaholic divorced dad who rediscovers his playful side, and readjusts his life priorities, when he inherits several out of control penguins.

The film looked horrible in the trailer, but, alas, I can't confirm whether these preview impressions are accurate. At the time of writing this blog post, early online reviews for the film were suspiciously absent. The film's Rotten Tomatoes page is currently still empty of critics' quotes. Still, I feel…

Trailer Tuesday: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

For anyone who couldn't handle the thought of watching a movie adaptation of Stieg Larsson's international bestseller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in a its original language (Swedish), well, you'll shortly be able to experience an English language film version.

Releasing on 21 December in the United States - and in much of the rest of the world by mid January 2012 - is this American take on the socially conscious crime novel. Directed by David Fincher, the man responsible for dark, critically acclaimed movies such as Se7en, Fight Club and The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo stars Daniel Craig as disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who is hired by frail industrialist Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to solve the decades-old mystery surrounding the disappearance of his niece. Helping Blomkvist contend with the other members of the highly secretive Vanger family is Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a reclusive goth hacker with big secrets - and some even…

Movie review Monday: Kung Fu Panda 2 (3D)

As far as sequels go, Kung Fu Panda 2 definitely fits into the Satisfying category. It doesn’t quite have the charm of the original, but instead fills this void with a surprising amount of dark intensity. Think Season 3 of animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender for a more accurate sense of the tone. Very young children certainly won’t be traumatised by Kung Fu Panda 2, but as far as this year’s CGI-animated releases go, DreamWork’s latest is not quite as blunted and cutesy an entertainment option as Rio (my review here).

The plot for Kung Fu Panda 2 isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Dark hearted, dissatisfied peacock Lord Shen (voiced by Gary Oldman), having discovered the violent potential of gun powder, is cast out by his parents and returns years later to Gongmeng City with a secret weapon that will make him the undisputed ruler of China, and the simultaneous killer of Kung Fu. It’s up to tubby panda Po (Jack Black) - the unlikely Dragon Warrior - and other martial arts mas…

Movies releasing today: kickass critters, farewell free will & possessed brats

June is shaping up as a great month at South African cinemas, with at least one high profile, highly anticipated film opening every Friday. Today, local cinemagoers have 3 to choose from:

1) Kung Fu Panda 2: Po (voiced by Jack Black) and the Furious Five (Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu and David Cross) return in this animated martial arts adventure, that follows on from the smash hit original. This time our tubby hero has to defeat Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) who is out to destroy kung fu tradition with powerful artillery. The film is screening in 2D and 3D.

Having released 2 weeks ago in the US, Kung Fu Panda 2 is a very strong 82% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. Apparently, much like its predecessor, the film sidesteps DreamWorks Animation's traditional leanings towards pop culture satire and manic energy to instead deliver a strongly emotive story with stunning visuals. The 3D here is actually used to full effect. And while the film's story is …

X-Men: First Class film review

Slick, smart and mostly satisfying, X-Men: First Class is a strong return to form for the superhero franchise that kicked off the comic adaptation boom of the last decade… and then slipped into disappointment territory with the release of X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Well, X-Men 1 and 2 helmer Bryan Singer is back as producer for First Class, and Kick-Ass’s Matthew Vaughn is in the director’s chair, and together these 2 men have crafted an engaging prequel that manages to feels natural and comfortable despite cramming in multiple characters, events and explanations.

Set in 1962, First Class examines the emergence of the first generation of superpowered mutants, who have found their evolution accelerated by the emergence of nuclear power. While some, like telepathic professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy providing a decidedly "groovier," more relatable version of the character) are happy to work with the US government, and optimistic that cooperation wil…

Superhero movies: No break for Hawkman

I must say I got a laugh out of the above clip, which examines the issue of superhero films, and some of the more silly and/or audience unfriendly characters - like the 71 year old Hawkman - who have yet to get their shot at cinematic glory.

Oh, for the record, Warner Bros is now apparently investigating the option of adapting Hawkman (who I admittedly know very little about) for the big screen.

Of course, he's probably still cooler than Aquaman...

Girlz 'N' Games Webcomic #88: GLaD(OS) She's Not My Mother-In-Law

What's this? A Girlz 'N' GamesPortal 2 comic? And within a few months of the game's release? Amazing.

Seriously, I think that Portal's villainous computer system GLaDOS has probably the finest dialogue of any video game character. Ever. Sure, in the sequel she gets some competition in the laughter department from idiot AI Wheatley, but nobody touches GLaDOS in terms of delicious sarcasm and passive aggression. "Oh, good. My slow clap processor made it into this thing."

Of course, while GLaDOS's lines play a large part in making the Portal games so entertaining and flavoursome, you can't help wondering if such super-bitchery would be as amusing if you had to deal with it on a regular basis in real life.

Portal Potato shirt above, available here.


As usual, if you like my latest Girlz 'N' Games comic, please forward it on to your like-minded friends. You can also show your support by "liking" the Girlz 'N' Gam…

Movies releasing today: Morally ambiguous mutants and morally ambiguous lawyers

If you're not in the mood for drama - teen drama (38% Fresh), family drama (73% Fresh) or Afrikaans romantic drama - then your high profile choices this weekend in South Africa are as follows:

X-Men - First Class: This fifth X-Men comic-to-film adaptation is a prequel that plunges the viewer, and the beloved Marvel characters, back in history. Set during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, First Class examines the "coming out" of the first generation of mutants, and exactly how the close relationship of Professor X/Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) soured. Multiple popular characters appear in the film, including Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne), Emma Frost / White Queen (January Jones), Havok (Lucas Till) and Azazel (Jason Flemyng), just to name a few.

With a current Rotten Tomatoes rating of 98% Fresh, X-Men: First Class looks to be shaping up as Marvel's best ever adaptation; i…

May blog post recap


Midweek movie review: Priest 3D

Sometimes a B-grade movie surprises you. It’s undeniably flawed but it still entertains, and is a lot more satisfying than many massive, hyper-marketed movies from major studios. Priest is the latest example of this phenomenon – a guilty, cheesy pleasure to be filed alongside The Warrior’s Way.

Very, very loosely based – to the point of unrecognisability – on the Korean comic of the same name, Priest begins with a stylish, visceral animated sequence to introduce the alternate reality that is the film’s setting. For centuries, mankind and monstrous, feral vampires have been at war. Having already decimated the world, the two groups are on the brink of destroying each other when humanity finally gains the upper hand – through the recruitment and training of priests: supernaturally gifted men and women who can actually go toe-to-toe in combat with the super fast, super strong blood drinkers.

Years later, the few remaining priests are pariahs still fiercely loyal to the Church that runs the…