When I first stepped into the Mount Nelson Hotel I felt like Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion (or as it is more famously known on stage and screen: My Fair Lady) – the entire places oozes Edwardian elegance. Famous for its morning and afternoon teas, I had heard and read about it so much that I decided it was high time I try it. I was glad to go with a close friend from the theatre, who would appreciate the look and feel of the place and the era it evoked. I felt like Professor Higgins as I sank into an incredibly comfortable, wing-backed armchair and was tempted to call for my slippers.
Tucked on the corner of Kloof Nek and Burnside Road in Tamboerskloof, The Power and the Glory is not easy to spot. An eclectic mix of a coffee shop and bistro, it also turns into a bar from 17:00 onwards selling a wide range of drinks with names such as Black Mist, Bone Crusher and Dante’s Inferno.
Today may be Friday the 13th, but I am not going to tell you about Jason Voorhees and the bad luck he brings, but rather about Jason Lilley and his awesome bakery on Bree. Last night I was craving pizza, so I trawled the net for the perfect spot where I could indulge myself.
With the renewed surge of interest in vampire films, Daylight Fades tries to elbow its way into the canon, but is fully undeserving to any claim of belonging. Simply enough: a wimpy young man, Johnny, falls for Elizabeth, a confident and vibrant young woman and although they start a relationship she rebuffs his love a few months down the line. Distraught at her rejection, Johnny takes a drive with his best friend and weeps and whines about his plight, when suddenly they are ploughed down by a truck. As Johnny teeters on the brink of death Elizabeth suddenly realises she loves him and declares she will never leave his side, whereupon a dark stranger mysteriously appears and turns her boyfriend into a vampire so that they can be together forever.
The title is a dead give-away that this is a schlock horror with a plot that contains mores holes than any of its massacred victims. In the 90s, the success of Scream was followed by an onslaught of similar attempts, most of which failed. This is yet another slasher film that harks back to that time and is one of the worst instances of young people buying the farm. It plays on every single stereotype: the dark, creepy woods; an eerie warning early in the film and the isolated cottage in the woods. Needless to say, the characters break every single horror-movie rule, such as disobeying the policeman’s orders not to walk in the woods after dark and opening a door when alone in the house and yelling “Is anyone there?”
Saving Private Ryan set the precedent for opening war films with a stirring score and big action set-pieces, but Ages of Heroes cannot justifiably call itself a war film. It merely uses the war as an excuse for action and in order to give the story and characters some kind of emotional background. This is transparently evident by the fact that the story is so silly and paint-by-numbers that it could have been placed in any historical context. It claims to be based on the true story of a top secret regiment, 30 Commando, sent to the cold climes of Norway during World War II in order to uncover German intelligence that will help them win the war. If this is truly based on fact, then they do the war and its soldiers even less justice with the weak dialogue and inconsistent characters. The British and the Germans are mere binary opposites of each other, providing no depth to the characters or truth to the past – merely painting a shallow, fairytale view of the good guy and the bad guy.
This is not the type of film one would normally expect to find Harvey Keitel in and his character is out of tune with what he usually does. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but the character has an air of sentimentality that is unusual for him to portray. The film tries to adhere to this sentimental feeling, while also attempting to be offbeat and darkly humorous and it just misses the mark on all three counts.
The Cape Town Good Food and Wine Show is nothing more than an orgy of advertising and a culmination of Western consumerism. There is nothing new on offer and nothing you haven’t seen before. There is certainly nothing that can be deemed as “food appreciation” – the only appreciation I had was for the hot chefs and waiters.
Steve McQueen is still “The King of Cool”, but now he’s also black and British. This is a director I will definitely be keeping my eye on. His work in Shame, as well as his debut Hunger, is powerful and intense. He has also gifted us with the presence of Michael Fassbender by uncovering this remarkable talent to us (no dirty pun intended). As excited as I was to see his lauded performance, and as impressed as I was, I was just as amazed by Carey Mulligan.
Joss Whedon was certainly the right man for the job when it came to finding a director for The Avengers. The result of his handiwork is one of sheer entertainment. His delightful tongue-in-cheek wit and well-placed one-liners that he gleaned to perfection on Buffy in the late 90s is perfectly suited to the tone of the film and works excellently.