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Trailer Showdown: Invictus vs. Goodbye Bafana

 


Invictus is the inspiring true story of how newly elected South African President, Nelson Mandela teamed up with Springbok captain, Francois Pienaar to unite South Africa through sport. Mandela realised that it would take a miracle to unify the country, which still remained largely divided both economically and socially. The underdog Springbok team, under the leadership of Francois Pienaar was the very catalyst he needed in order to begin the unification of his beloved country.

Clint Eastwood's Invictus is an adaptation of John Carlin's biography, Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made A Nation. The biographical sports drama conveys the Zeitgeist of South Africa in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup and the importance sport played in giving the rainbow nation a true South African identity.

Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman headline Invictus, a film that is already getting plenty of Oscar buzz before it's release in South Africa on 11 December, 2009. What will South Africans think? What will Nelson Mandela think of Invictus? Freeman was born to play the icon as much as Benicio Del Toro was the right man to play Che Guevara. Invictus is going to be emotional... a nostalgic trip down memory lane for South Africans and a wonderful example for the rest of the world.

Let's not forget Goodbye Bafana, another inspiring South African biography, based on the memoirs of Nelson Mandela's prison guard on Robben Island, James Gregory. Goodbye Bafana is directed by Bille August and stars Joseph Fiennes as Gregory and Dennis Haysbert as Mandela and makes a worthy adversary in this week's Trailer Showdown between Invictus and Goodbye Bafana.


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2012 Movie Review: Don't Panic!?!

2012 movie poster"When they tell you not to panic... that's when you run.", says Jackson Curtis, published author of 'Farewell Atlantis', played by John Cusack (Con Air). Undisputed "Master of Disaster", Roland Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow) brings us 2012, a doomsday, apocalypse, cataclysm, "it's the end of the world as we know it", catastrophe of a film in every sense of the word.

Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, volcanoes, fire-balls... 2012 is meant to be the film to end all disaster films. Cusack is 2012's star alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor (Tsunami), who are supported by an ensemble including: Oliver Platt as a greasy Yes Man, Danny Glover as President, Woody Harrelson as a nut job, Thandie Newton as the first daughter and Amanda Peet as... herself.

It's a monster of a film... spanning the globe with non-stop doomsday action for 158 minutes! Emmerich has never been afraid to bend science and history to his will and 2012 is no different. It's based on the theory that the Mayan Meso-American civilization's calendar predicts the end of the world on 21 December, 2012 ...continued.

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Fan Friday: Che Guevara & The Motorcycle Diaries

Che Guevera Poster

Che: Part One and Che: Part Two are showing in cinemas in South Africa over the next month or two. They are Steven Soderbergh's (Ocean's Eleven, The Good German) interpretations of Argentinian-born Cuban revolutionary, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara's memoirs, Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War. The man's iconic image dons anything from Rage Against The Machine t-shirts to wall clocks and has embodied the youthful fervor associated with rebellion since he first started making waves in Cuba.

Cigar, beret, long hair, attitude... the man had it all! In Soderbergh's translation to the big screen, everything is revolutionary... from Benicio Del Toro's born-to-play-Che performance to the guerilla style camera work and narrative sequence. Soderbergh has shot Che: Part One and Part Two so that it doesn't bow to Hollywood. It's not anti-Hollywood, but Soderbergh is trying to weave a deservedly foreign feel into this film.

By accepting Hollywood conventions, he's denying the very essence of our Cuban hero protagonist, who is portrayed as a hybrid between Robin Hood and Jesus Christ. It's a distinct film that won't appeal to everyone, given its anti-Hollywood angle, but still makes for interesting viewing as we recap the memoirs of one of history's biggest pop culture ironies.

Walter Salles directed The Motorcycle Diaries, a winning coming-of-age adventure and road movie, which sought to connect with a young Che Guevara played by Gael Garcia Bernal. The Motorcycle Diaries also happens to be this week's Fan Friday prize as part of a Triple DVD Box Set, which also includes Millions, a charming British film by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) and Dear Frankie, a Scottish drama with Gerard Butler.

A World Cinema Triple Box Set (The Motorcycle Diaries, Dear Frankie, Millions) is up for grabs for Fan Friday on the SPL!NG page on Facebook. If you want to stand a chance to win this or other fantastic giveaways like this every week, join up... here.

 
Trailer Showdown: Surrogates vs. Real Surrogate


Surrogate

Surrogates stars Bruce Willis in his umpteenth Sci-Fi after such classics as The Fifth Element, Twelve Monkeys and... okay, Armageddon. As you can see, I use the terms Sci-Fi, classic and umpteenth quite loosely, but it's easy to see that while Willis has only starred in a few Sci-Fi films, they've all been entertaining and memorable.

This time he's playing Tom Greer, a guy playing himself, playing himself... Surrogates is based on the graphic novel Vicarious, which portrays a future where people are able to live life comfortably through their robot counterparts, which means longevity... even if you manage to wrap your robot around a bus. Just imagine a perfect blend of Minority Report, The Matrix and I, Robot with Bruce Willis in the mix.

Jonathan Mostow directs Surrogates... the name may ring a bell, he directed Breakdown and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which was basically T2 with a new skin. Surrogates has a slick, stylish feel reminiscent of Minority Report and will make you think twice about sending "the monkey", in this case a robot to do "the organ grinder's", in this case the human's work. Read it again... it's really not as sinister as it sounds.

So what about the plight of the real surrogate, the mother that has to spend 9 months harbouring someone else's child, only to be harvested? What's in it for her, and if you choose to employ a surrogate, how can you be sure she won't run away with your child, kidnap them when they're past all the growing pains or come back to stalk you and your family. You need a professional Surrogate... just like Dolores Santangeli.

This week's Trailer Showdown is between the official Surrogates HD trailer and the Professional Mother Surrogate for hire, Ms. Dolores Santangeli. Personally, I'd rather let Bruce Willis carry my baby on the set of Die Hard 5.

 

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