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Matrix comes to VIDI

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VIDI, the South African on-demand entertainment service, has announced that the Matrix trilogy will join its lineup of movies-on-demand from June 11.

The Matrix remains one of the top-ten all time science fiction movies among critics and cinema-goers.  Keanu Reeves stars as a computer hacker who learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.  Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss also star.  All three actors reprise their roles in the two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

Says Taryn Uhlmann, VIDI’s GM Marketing, “Even if you have seen all three movies before, a Matrix binge-watch is one of the best ways to spend six hours!”

From June 1, all three movies in The Mummy trilogy will also be available for viewing.  This includes The Mummy, The Mummy Returns and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.  In the original film, Brendan Fraser stars as an American serving in the French Foreign Legion who, while on an archaeological dig in Egypt accidentally awakens a Mummy.  The film also stars Rachel Weisz and South African Arnold Vosloo in the title role.  All three go on to reprise their roles in the sequel while Fraser teams up with Jet Li for the third instalment.

Other movies that will be added to VIDI’s library in June include:

• Speed Racer – from the Wachowski brothers who brought you the aforementioned Matrix movies, comes this action-packed film starring Emile Hirsch as a young driver, who aspires to be champion of the racing world with the help of his family and his high-tech Mach 5 automobile. Susan Sarandon co-stars. (from June 11)

• Fracture – a tense, gripping film about an attorney who, intent on climbing the career ladder toward success, finds an unlikely opponent in a manipulative criminal he is trying to prosecute. An all star cast including Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, Rosamund Pike and South Africa’s Embeth Davidtz.  Not to be missed! (from June 27)

• For the kids there is Jim Carrey in Dr Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas as well as the fantasy adventure Peter Pan, in which the Darling family children receive a visit from Peter Pan, who takes them to Never Never Land where an ongoing war with the evil Pirate Captain Hook is taking place. (Both films from June 1)

VIDI’s made-for-television offerings starting in June include:

Considered by many to be the best ever television comedy series, season one of Fawlty Towers, starts on VIDI on June 15.  Monty Python’s John Cleese stars as hotel owner Basil Fawlty whose incompetence, short fuse, and arrogance form a combination that ensures accidents and trouble are never far away. Prunella Scales plays his long-suffering wife and Andrew Sachs as the dim-witted waiter Manuel.

Alias – in this brilliant action adventure series, Jennifer Garner stars as Sydney Bristow, a young, athletic, college graduate who was recruited her freshman year as a secret agent for SD-6, a top-secret branch of the CIA. After a few years – after Sydney confides her lifestyle to her boyfriend, the evil head of SD-6 – Arvin Sloan has him killed. Sydney learns that SD-6 is part of a rogue international agency called the Alliance of 12, out to rule the world. So she becomes a double agent, working with the real CIA to bring down SD-6 with the assistance of her handler and her estranged father who also happens to be a double agent. Along the way, Sydney fights various rival agents, rival terrorist groups, and traitors all the while keeping her cloak-and-dagger lifestyle a secret from her friends. This series is from JJ Abrams (Lost, the Star Trek movie reboots, Mission Impossible movies and producer of the new Star Wars movie).  It also features a fresh Bradley Cooper who plays Sydney’s murdered boyfriend.

Here’s a little known fact.  When the makers of Doctor Who started working on a new series, they were stumped when it came to a title for the show.  So they played around with the letters from Doctor Who and came up with the anagram Torchwood.  John Barrowman, currently starring in the hit TV series Arrow, plays Captain Jack Harkness, a former Time Agent and con man from the 51st century who travels to early 21st century Cardiff, Wales. There, he becomes a member of a renegade criminal investigation group which battles hostile extraterrestrials and supernatural threats. (Season 1 from June 24)

Finally, also launching on VIDI in June are seasons three of Downton Abbey, In Plain Sight and Call the Midwife as well as season two of Whitechapel

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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Arts and Entertainment

Avengers’ all-time accolade

This past weekend Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War became the second highest grossing film of all time at the South African Box Office.

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This means that Marvel Studios now holds the number 2 and number 1 film of all time positions at the local Box Office, following Black Panther’s unprecedented record-shattering run since it’s 16 February 2018 release.

In South Africa, audiences continued to assemble in cinemas to witness the cinematic journey ten years in the making, earning Avengers: Infinity War a current total box office tally of just under R73 million with over 874 000 attendances.

Black Panther’s historic box office journey ended in June and now boasts a final box office total just shy of R107.5 million and over 1.43 million attendances, making it the biggest film of all time at the South African box office and the first to cross the R100m mark. This record builds on Black Panther’s list of achievements on the African continent and is the biggest grossing film of all time not only in South Africa, but also East and West Africa. Black Panther is now available to enjoy on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as to digitally rent or buy from retailers and providers across the continent.

Elsewhere in Africa, Avengers: Infinity War has also raked in a total of Kes 66.9m in East Africa, making it the 2nd highest grossing film of all time behind Black Panther. Similarly, in West Africa, the film hit N450m at the box office, making it the 2nd highest grossing international film of all time, also behind Black Panther.

For Marvel Studios fans, the action and adventure continues as the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and The Wasp, hit cinemas this past weekend and created enough buzz to fly into the number one position at the South African Box Office.

“We are thrilled at the response that Marvel Studios’ titles have continued to receive from cinema-goers across the continent,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With Ant-Man and The Wasp in cinemas, and both Captain Marvel and the next Avengers film in 2019, we are eagerly anticipating the continuing expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to celebrating with fans.”

On the animated front and with its own super hero theme, Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2, continues to entertain families across the country and is already Disney’s second-highest grossing animated film of all time behind Finding Dory, after only 3 weeks in release.

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