Does it still hold? I actually think it deserves an 8
What I Liked: This was a really unexpectedly great film. The film is classy and very sassy and a tounge-in-the-cheek look at spy films. Colin Firth is especially in fine form. He can certainly consider more such roles!
What I didn’t like: That last scene where Buggsy goes and does the dirty with the Queen or something felt misplaced in the film.
Does it still hold? I think I would rate this a 7/10 if I watched it again.
What I liked: Marvel has the ability to go really big and really grand. They are a powerhouse right now and it is obvious in anything they release in the market right now. I know everyone isn’t such a big fan of this film, because it has a number of valid issues, but I really did have a good time when I saw it in cinema.
What I didn’t like: It is excessively long. And the brave South-African cops are all lies.
What I liked: It is a well acted movie on A.I. and really worked out well. It is weird and Oscar Isaac shines. The ever delightful Domnhall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander are great in their respective roles.
Hello everyone! Today is the 2nd of July, a.k.a. the EXACT MIDDLE OF THE YEAR. In exactly 183 days we will be partying in 2016. It also means that we only have another 183 days left where things can go totally wrong for us. Not bad, eh?!
To celebrate this joyous occasion, I have compiled a list of things that I’ve done in this year that seems noteworthy… or not. It at least proves the amount of time I spend on movies, books and series! Enjoy!!
2015 Movies watched so far:
The movie year didn’t start off so well for me. I mean, I watched Seventh Son. I gave it a 6/10, and I still think that is a very fair assessment. It is really not great and it could have been much more with the cast they had available.
The next was Best of Me, a movie adaption from Nicholas Sparks. It was unoriginal and cheesy, typical Sparks. I gave it a 6/10 as well, and counted my losses, and looked with hope to the next movie.
The next movie is still one of my favorites of the year, Ballade vir ‘n enkeling. It is a South-African film and I thought it would be okay at best. It was so well done. I was and am so proud of the quality they produced here and super chuffed that it is a local film, that I got to see it in cinema and that one of the lead actors, Armand Aucamp, was nice enough to read the post, comment on it and favorite it on Twitter #hellyeah #famousness. I gave it a well-deserved 8/10.
I went to see Disney’s latest live adaption, Cinderella, in cinema. It wasn’t close to the entertainment that Maleficent brought us last year. The story was exactly as it has been since Cinderella the animation was released a million years ago, the characters were perfectly cast (but was that even necessary?). I think that if Disney wants to keep on doing these and make them a success they need to make it unique or at least change perspectives of the film. I gave it a 6.5/10, because it was quite enchanting even though it wasn’t excellent.
I chose watching Kingsman: A Secret Service, instead of Fifty Shades in Cinema, and let me tell you, it was an excellent decision. The movie is
Avengers: Age of Ultron has easily been my most anticipated movie of 2015. I am a massive fan of the first Avengers, and think Marvel excelled there. This time around everything was bigger – the villain, the explosions, the fights, the character development. It worked really well although I don’t see the point of the love story. But anyway. It was good, and I rated it an 8/10
Fifty Shades of Grey.LOLS. I know so many people who were really looking forward to this. I wasn’t, and even refused to go watch it in cinema because that would mean helping it edge closer to the billion dollar mark at the cinema (which it didn’t, and I’m very sure it is because I stood my ground!). It is bad. Like really, really bad. The source material is nothing to work from, because it is sex, sex and more sex and then more sex on top of that. You can’t put all that sexy time into a movie in the graphic detail the readers seems to have wanted into a film and show it to large audiences. The acting was awful – the best was Dakota Johnson, and she’s not any Meryl Streep if you know what I mean. The chemistry lacked, the lines were painfully cheesy and the sexy time wasn’t sexy. Just go read my review and see what I said haha. I gave it a 6/10, received some flak for it, but I stand firm – it wasn’t THAT bad and Johnson worked really hard at this.
Pitch Perfect 2 was my most apprehensive venture into cinema yet this year. I hated the first one (disclaimer: I need to watch it again because I was hanging when I saw the first one and it might not be that bad). The second one was really a lot of fun and had elements of girl power, and you all know I cheer madly when that happens. I love Fat Amy, she’s hilar, and I think the execution of the movie was really well done. I gave it an 8/10 again.
I just watched Jurassic World and thought it was great fun and a very good sequel. I don’t really know if I support more movies coming into this franchise, but after the massive box office hit I am sure they won’t let this in peace. Chris Pratt the adventurer is also a lovely thing to behold 😉
I’ve read an astonishingly small amount of new books this year, instead rereading all my favorite ones. The best book I’ve read for the first time this year is definitely Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I campaigned to everyone I knew to read that book and still do – it is such a cute book man.
I recently read the first four books in the Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot. It is not such an amazing achievement though, as the books are never more than a 150 pages long each. They are really fun though, and excellent entertainment when your brain needs some easy fun.
The Liar by Nora Roberts proved to be a very nice read. The quality of her last couple of books hasn’t been excellent, so naturally I was relieved when this book had some entertainment value.
The Brightest Star in the Sky has been the oddest book I’ve ever read from Marian Keyes, and she is well known for her odd books. The book is way too long and often a bit drawn out, but I had a good time.
I am currently busy reading Atonement by Ian McEwan. I’ve been interested in this book after seeing the heart wrenching movie, and although I am only a few pages in I find that the book is really well written.
Further on I would like to get to The Woman who Stole my Life (Marian Keyes), Looking for Alaska (John Green), Indelible (Karin Slaughter) and Ruby Circle (Richelle Mead).
The Dawn of Downton Abbey
Have you guessed I would talk about this series on here? Because I’ve reviewed Seasons 1, 2 and 3 already, and guess what? Season four is scheduled for scheduled for tomorrow 😀 :D. I blew through all the seasons of this. It is simply impossible to stop watching something so well done. It is very likely my favorite series of all time. Season three made me rather angry – some deaths were SO uncalled for. Season four was good but not up to the standards of the previous three and season five was as good as the first three. Have I mentioned that I can’t wait for the sixth season?
Game of Thrones
Meh. I hoped season five would be like the glorious first two seasons. But we can’t always have what we want, right? I reviewed the first four episodes and still need to get to the rest, but really, I am so disinterested in Westeros at the moment. The story is badly developed at the moment and I think they are incapable of dealing with the expanding territories at the moment.
I spent a lot of time running through this series this year. It is the best throwback EVER. I still need to finish Season 7, but as we know it is not the best ever. There are increasing talks to get a movie out, but we will still see, won’t we?
I am currently busy with Pretty Little Liars Season 5. It is okay, but I think I’ve seen so many other series that are really good at this point that I am slightly bored with this right now. It makes for senseless viewing, which isn’t a bad thing at all. I would like to get into Vikings – I saw the first few minutes of the first episode and it hasn’t gripped me yet. Daredevil and Agent Carter are the two Marvel series I am looking forward at watching as well. YAY for Superheroes!!
Plot: As a prolific South African writer disappears, a journalist is motivated by ambition to uncover the writer’s secretive history. (IMDb)
I have this huge thing about supporting Afrikaans movies (to be fair, all South-African movies). I think we do have some talent in this country and it needs to be developed and encouraged, so I am usually quite keen to give a South-African production a try.
That said, South-African movies and especially Afrikaans movies are quite bad. It suffers from shaky story lines to horrid acting to dodgy directing and it is usually a magnificent cheese fest.
So, imagine my surprise when I went into the cinema on Friday night and watched Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling (the title translates into something similar to Song for the lonely one) and it turned into one of the best things I’ve yet seen in 2015.
Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling was originally a TV drama in the 80’s. I’ve heard that it is an excellent retake on the old story. The story focuses on the disappearance of successful author Jacques Rynhard (Armand Aucamp). Carina Human (Donna-Lee Roberts) is a journalist at tabloid newspaper Montage and is ordered by her sleazy boss Gavin (Zak Hendrikz) to find all the dirty on Rynhard’s life. The more Carina searches, the less she seems to find: No-one that knows Jacques has any issue with him – he is a loved and respected man, the darling of the country and his own community. Desperate for information and the chance to get a post at a respectable newspaper, Carina finally hits paydirt. But when she starts comprehending the events that happened in Jacques life, the question becomes whether she wants to tell the public her information and if she can use it to find out what happened to Rynhard.
I was really impressed with the directing. Quentin Krog did a phenomenal job with his cast and the story. He spins drama and intrigue tightly together, and if you don’t know the original story you would never even begin to think what is actually going to happen. The directing also seems modern and fresh, and I loved how the scenes smoothly flowed into each other.
I’ve seen Armand Aucamp only in one other movie, Knysna, a movie that is quite the cause of the impression that all Afrikaans movies are horrifically bad. Aucamp did a fantastic job as the adult Rynhard – he kept the character’s personality traits from Edwin Van Der Walt’s junior version of Rynhard – that there is good in everybody and that you will find it eventually. Aucamp did a very good job and could turn on the intensity when needed. His character is less intense than the adult Jan-Paul (Jacques Bessenger). Also, Aucamp is absolutely gorgeous.
Then there is Jacques Bessenger. He always plays either the bad guy or the guy with ulterior motives, and I expect it from him when he appears in a show or movie. He did not disappoint, and his acting was the best I’ve ever seen (and his usual standard is a good one). I’ll go as far as to say that Bessenger is slightly better as Jan-Paul than Aucamp is as Rynhard – Jan-Paul’s desperation and worry for his best friend is evident from the start, and Bessenger’s performance is raw and brilliant.
Rolanda Marais and Christia Visser impressed me very much as the older and younger Lena. Lena’s first introduction onto screen had me thinking “yep, that girl is buckets full of trouble” and I was not wrong. Christia Visser is beautiful and charming as the teenage Lena, her artistic nature shining through in all her actions. Rolanda Marais does a haunting job as older Lena, a woman at the end of her optimism who has no clue how to fix everything that is crazy in her life.
The support cast contributed to the excellence of the film – Helene Lombard had such a strong impact with her portrayal of Jacques’ mom. I think the eeriest performance was by Zak Hendrikz. He was so creepy I will definitely walk wide circles around him if I find him on the street. Gosh I still have the chills.
Also, a 10/10 for Cindy Swanepoel as Mysi Moolman. She had me laughing non-stop and the things she said is nothing short of brilliant. Her inappropriate comments and behavior had me take notes!
I don’t really have faith in Donna-Lee Roberts. Her acting has always been questionable, especially in her long running stint in local TV soapie, 7de Laan. The extent of the success of the film can particularly be noted in her performance – her usual unconvincing acting was much better in here.
Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling had a haunting soundtrack that added impact to the story being told. It really carried the story through from beginning to end, and Die Heuwels Fantasties’ version of the original soundtrack was amazing.
The story itself is very solid. It is a trip down memory lane back to school days and those easy, amazing friendships that just happened. It is a stark reminder of the brutal punishment boys were subjected to back in old South-Africa. It provides insight into the changes that has happened in South-Africa and how people evolved. It is also a study of human nature and the impact childhood has on a person. As for the plot twists – I usually spot them quicker than I can spot plastic surgery on a Kardashian and MANY of the plot twists in here sneaked by me. I caught the big one literally seconds before it happened and had me gaping at the screen and having people in the cinema look at me like I was a bit psycho.
Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling is a shining achievement in South-Africa’s cinematic universe. The movie carries English subtitles that are well translated, which is a major plus if you don’t speak Afrikaans. The best description I’ve heard about this movie is this: “this movie stays by you, and when you think you’ve finally gotten over what you saw, it hits you all over again”. If that is not a recommendation for a movie, I don’t know what is.
The movie is being released in Australia and New-Zealand (a large number of South-African ex-pats live in those countries) so if you are there and in the mood for a really good foreign film, I suggest you try this!
PS: Lastly, SORRY for the pic heavy post! I just absolutely loved this film and is so proud that it is South-African!
PPS: Can anyone please tell me if they see the similarity between Ryan Reynolds and Edwin Van der Walt?!