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The Race-ist Movie Review: Up on Bricks

The Race-ist... a title joke and car mod subculture is extended into a "feel good" feature film trailing in the dust of The Fast & The Furious, Days of Thunder and yes, even Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby - complete with action, comedy and drama. After watching The Race-ist it's easy to see the connection: movies are just like vehicle modifications, if they're cheap and not fitted properly - they tend to fail miserably. As Proudly South African as I am, I wouldn't be able to recommend The Race-ist with a straight face. I really wanted to like The Race-ist... but it just took too long to get better.

The Race-ist follows the zero-to-hero saga of Lukas (Palm), who's always dreamed of becoming a "Race-ist". When his day finally arrives... he starts on the road to victory, banding with Oom Nel (Roberts) and a bunch of okes, who've come up with a fuel to revolutionise the sport forever, but will his estanged father (Pienaar) stuff things up for him again?    

It's great to see a South African film, which doesn't centre on "Apart-hate" and violent crime for a change. The Race-ist has plenty of misplaced passion behind it and in a weird way, it kind of epitomizes street and track racing. I mean it's all image... the flashy cars, gorgeous girls and determined racing. If your car's the fastest, you get the girls and the chequered flag. Although, that's a hollow victory and if a film fails to engage you from a humanistic standpoint, then it's as good as paging through the latest issue of Speed & Sound, who are ...continued.

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Celeb ID #17: Guess Who?

 

John Cusack

 

The first person to identify this warped celebrity at SPL!NG on Facebook wins a DVD!
Trivia: Die-hard Irish-American Chicago Cubs fan, The Clash fan and unlikely hero.

Unmodified original image will be posted on right once this Celeb ID game is over.

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The Last Station Movie Review: Ripe with Drama

The Last Station Movie Poster

The Last Station is a period piece drama aligning itself with the last days of Leo Tolstoy. Writer-director, Michael Hoffman, repeats history with another biographical history drama after Restoration, which also managed to catch the attention of the Academy. However, The Last Station was acknowledged for its performances rather than its art direction and costumes, which are simply beautiful, rather than lavish. The Last Station initially primed Oscar veterans Anthony Hopkins and Meryl Streep to take the roles of Leo and Sofya, however it was Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren, who eventually settled into the roles, doing enough to warrant Oscar nominations.

The Last Station is told from the perspective of Valentin, played by James McAvoy. He joins the Tolstoyan commune as something of a student, eager to meet Tolstoy and glean as much as he can from the grand master of Russian ideology and literature. Valentin is the audience's inside man, who becomes something of an in-betweener... caught between the wishes of Leo, Sofya and Chertkov. Tolstoy is a ripe old age and the ownership of his works are in question. Will he bequeath his life works to his family or the state? Sofya's take on Ophelia and Leo's distant Hamlet create a frenzy of emotions as Tolstoy is whisked away to wait on his final...continued.

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The Hurt Locker Movie Review: War is a Drug

The Hurt Locker Movie Poster

Well there you go… The Hurt Locker is the Best Picture for 2009, it now ranks amongst such classics as Schindler’s ListBraveheartDances with WolvesForrest GumpPlatoon and more recently, The DepartedNo Country for Old Men and Slumdog Millionaire. It’ll be remembered as the film that beat the box office’s “#1 movie of all time” and denied James Cameron’s heart from going on…

After slaying the Goliath that is Avatar, sticking it to James ‘Titanic’ Cameron and completely overriding the seriousness of the Na’vi genocide, you’d probably think The Hurt Locker is pretty good, right? Well, the short answer is ‘yes it is, but keep it in your pants’. The Hurt Locker is probably the best reviewed film of 2009 and that’s what counts when it comes to most awards seasons.

Kathryn Bigelow’s war thriller seeks to put you right in the middle of the latest Iraq conflict much like Oliver Stone did with Platoon. Being in the thick of things means no political assessment or primed villains… it’s just taking it as it comes, whether you’re in the desert or the jungle. The story follows a trio of soldiers as they are put through a tour of duty with the sole purpose of disarming bombs, under Staff Sergeant William James.

The Hurt Locker is filmed with handheld cameras, which gives that documentary reality feel to the...continued.

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