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Movie of the Week

Nosipho Dumisa to direct Blood & Water: A South African Netflix Original

Netflix, the world’s leading internet streaming video service, has announced Blood & Water as its second original series from South Africa.

Click through to read more about the upcoming teen drama.

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Blood & Water will be a teen-led drama, which follows a local teen uncovering her family’s secret past and navigating the complicated world of a South African high school. The series will feature an up-and-coming talented South African cast, and will be filmed later this year.

The series will be directed by the award winning South African female director, Nosipho Dumisa. Dumisa has already made her mark globally, with Nommer 37, which earned her the Cheval Noir jury prize for Best Director at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Quebec. She has also been nominated for best picture, among other, in this year’s  SAFTA awards. The Nommer 37 production team will also be onboard, with Daryne Joshua and Travis Taute writing and co-directing with Nosipho, Bradley Joshua and Benjamin Overmeyer as producers and Simon Beesley as lead editor.

Nosipho said: “Gambit Films and I are so excited to be working with Netflix on this explosive young adult drama, with not only a cool look at strong female leads but also a powerful mystery at its core. As a director who loves genre, this series combines the best of so many and isn’t shy to delve into the real issues of youth culture, whilst jam-packing it with twists that will keep viewers guessing.”

Kelly Luegenbiehl, VP of International Originals – Europe, Turkey and Africa, at Netflix, said: “We are delighted to be investing further in African content and to partner with Nosipho and the team at Gambit Films to bring our second original series from South Africa to Netflix.  Great stories are universal, so we expect this gripping teen drama, with its view on contemporary high school life, to appeal to young adults from South Africa, as well as the rest of the world. Following on the heels of Queen SonoBlood & Water is the next step in our further investment in original African content and we’re excited to explore more projects across the region.”

The series is due to start production in 2019 and is expected to launch globally in 190 countries in 2020. 

Movie of the Week

Men in Black: International

The Men in Black have to protect the universe from intergalactic villains, but their biggest worry is not what’s on Earth, but who’s operating within the organisation.

Click here to watch the trailer and read more about the film.

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The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe.  In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest, most global threat to date: a mole inside the Men in Black organisation.

It might take one a while to get used to the way Columbia Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, and Tencent Pictures handle the portrayal of the Men In Black but, after a while, it’s very apparent that this film is more of a spin-off than a continuation of the iconic Men in Black trilogy. The film takes a step in the right direction, by being inclusive of women, starring several strong female roles within the agency. The plot line is very standard, and the Men In Black facade of men dressed in black falls apart towards the end. This highlights a disconnect between the comic books, the previous trilogy, and this film, and it feels as if this edition took a very hard fork in the representation of Men in Black.

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson make a great team in the film as Men in Black partners, and the dynamic between them and their loyal alien team sidekick, voiced by Kumail Nanjiani, is one of the best aspects of the film.

Men in Black comic book fans, don’t get your hopes up by the look of the poster. Some cameos were promised in the poster of the film, but aren’t delivered for long enough (or at all) in the film. In particular, Frank the Pug barely has a walk-on role or, rather, a brief sit-down role. 

Bottom line: The film is family friendly and will make its money with younger audiences, but it’s not necessarily for hardcore Men in Black fans. The cool aliens going about ultra-normal daily activities remains a highlight. – Bryan Turner

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Movie of the Week

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

The latest X-Men instalment, Dark Phoenix, is the story of one of the X-Men’s most beloved characters, Jean Grey, as she evolves into the iconic Dark Phoenix.

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During a life-threatening rescue mission in space, Jean is hit by a cosmic force that transforms her into one of the most powerful mutants of all.  Wrestling with an increasingly unstable power as well as her own personal demons, Jean spirals out of control, tearing the X-Men family apart and threatening to destroy the very fabric of our planet.  The film is the most intense and emotional X-Men movie ever made. It is the culmination of 20 years of X-Men movies, as the family of mutants that we’ve come to know must face their most devastating enemy yet – one of their own.

The film stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, and Jessica Chastain.

The film will be in cinemas from Friday, 7 June 2019.

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