Chappie (2015)

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South African director Neill Blomkamp’s 2009 film District 9 was an unexpected delight. Ostensibly a sci-fi about prawn-like aliens who have been accepted into the Johannesburg population, it is instead an endearing and sobering look at the plight of refugees. Chappie is his third feature film, after Elysium in 2013, and I was expecting the same wry observation of white South Africa. Instead I got a story that seemed to replicate District 9‘s edgy style but without the same substance. Continue reading

Arrival (2016)

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I loved this film (thanks for the recommendation Kari). Sci-fi is not my favourite genre but this was directed by French-Canadian Dennis Villeneuve, who also made the superlative Incendies, so it is not your average US film. Stunningly beautiful, atmospheric, complex and emotional, it won’t be for everyone but I was clutched tight in its grasp and now, hours and days later, it still hasn’t let go. Continue reading