Anything with Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes should be gold. It’s the law.
On Dolemite is My Name, the actors managed to cultivate an authentic display of chemistry that delivered a critically lauded project, reminding the world of the many reasons they are rare gems. In the process, they also gave us richly layered expressions of the black experience with the complexity and nuance we often don’t get for black characters on the big screen.
Unfortunately, that magic didn’t follow them to this film.
On paper, it should have been easy to leverage the critical success of ‘Coming To America‘, since this is the long-delayed sibling to 1988 box office hit. And after the success of Black Panther, the potentialities of reviving this story landing to much fanfare, even in spite of its essential flaws, might have enticed its makers.
The difference between fictional African utopias and apparent dysopias of Wakanda and Zamunda, however, lies in how the African self is imagined in the western mind. Zamunda came first and executed effectively, even joyously, what it had intended.
But 33 years is a long time. A lot has changed, and the very same elements that made the original film such a success now make the Amazon Prime release feel like a cringeworthy attempt plunged by its own devices.
Coming 2 America is not the gold we hoped it would be. Not even the excitement of seeing Nomzamo Mbatha’s name in the opening credits, nor her stellar appearance, was enough to bring any lasting joy about the film. A few sexist and transphobic jokes later, it became evident that some classics are better left untouched.
The ironic moment comes when Semmi says, in amazement, “much has changed in Queens”. Damn gentrification!
This moment is quite comical mainly because it makes the film lack any kind of self-awareness. How about how much has changed in the world? The film’s reliance on outdated tropes of Africa and its people proves that Zamunda is better left in the past.
At best, the movie feels like a sad caricature. At worst, unjustified to exist.
Thuso Mbedu to Star Side-By-Side Viola Davis
Thuso Mbedu Scores Another Big Role Alongside Viola Davis
If it seems like we are have a big crush on Thuso Mbedu, which we do, it wouldn’t be the only ground to shine the spotlight on the actress. As luck
and sheer talent would have it, she’s just landed another big role alongside American actress and producer, Viola Davis.
Mbedu let the cat out of the bag in an Instagram Live Video session where she detailed the first time meeting the multi-award winning actress. Captioned as an hour-long catching up session, she revealed tidbits about life in Hollywood, kicking things off with an update on the Underground Railroad press run.
The conversation was very insightful, none more appetising than when the star shared details on how she got the chance to work with the Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actress in the duo’s upcoming film The Woman King.
“I found out about the project in 2019, right.” she explained. “And I went to meet Viola Davis and her husband’s production company JuVee Productions. And they had just told me about this project,” said Thuso.
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Viola and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions gave a glowing endorsement of the Mzansi actress, saying they were “mesmerised by Thuso”. As it was reported on Deadline, they thought she was perfect for the project.
“The depth and complexity of emotional life, her authentic beauty, and regalness is potent. We were mesmerised by Thuso Mbedu. We wanted Woman King / Nawi to be the vehicle to introduce her on the big screen,” they said.
It seems that part of production for the movie will also be filmed in South Ah. Thuso shared that “it’s set in the 1800s in Africa and it’s based on real life events of women warriors”.
There is no doubt that the red carpet treatment awaits Thuso Mbedu when she returns home for all her exploits abroad.
Wendy Williams Biopic + Doccie Premiere in South Ah this Weekend
How you doin’?
Last month, popular American television talk show host Wendy Williams caused a frenzy in South Africa after claiming that April 10th was an official Wendy Williams holiday in the country. We understand it happened after a chat with local media personality Anele Mdoda.
But while such a holiday does not exist anywhere in our calendar, this Saturday does come with a special event on Lifetime, where Wendy’s biopic and documentary will be airing back to back at 19:20 and 20:50 respectively. We’re getting the popcorn all sorted for that one!
Both autobiographical projects distill the award winning broadcaster’s iconic career and her life journey, which includes intimate details of her life that ended up making her the hot topic. Wendy Williams: The Movie will be screening for the first time on Lifetime, DStv channel 131 tonight, with the documentary Wendy Williams: What A Mess’ coming on right after.
Williams co-executive produced the biopic, which covers her entire life. The movie reveals all the highs and lows through the years as she became the most talked about radio shock jock in the late 1990’s to mid 2000’s, when she became known as the undisputed Queen of radio in America. Wendy has cultivated the reputation of being the exclusive celebrity tea on her radio shows, before successfully leveraging that into her eponymous talk show, The Wendy Williams Show.
In recent years, however, Wendy found herself being the at the main topic on the blogs. Amongst other things, rumours of her now former husband cheating on her and settling with the mistress, who also got pregnant, were splashed all over the media.
The Lifetime feature provides a revealing look at Wendy’s journey, from her scrappy upstart days in urban radio to the success of her own syndicated talk show. In it, she explores the fast paced world behind mic and camera, which includes battle with drug addiction in the early years, dealing with infidelity with her husband, the heated climate that resulted from her shock jock career, and more. Ciera Payton takes on the lead role while Morocco Omari stars as Wendy’s ex-husband Kevin Hunter.
The doccie, on the other hand, is Wendy Williams talking about absolutely everything.
Wendy Williams: The Movie and Wendy Williams: What A Mess air on Lifetime, DStv channel 131 on Saturday, April 10th at 19:20 and 20:50 respectively.
Action Thriller ‘Mortal Kombat’ Lands in Cinemas Today
From New Line Cinema comes the explosive new cinematic adventure “Mortal Kombat,” inspired by the blockbuster video game franchise, which most recently enjoyed the most successful video game launch in its history, Mortal Kombat 11. The action adventure opens in South African cinemas on Friday, April 9th, 2021.
In “Mortal Kombat,” MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage—or why Outworld’s Emperor Shang Tsung has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt Cole down. Fearing for his family’s safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with.
Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana—the immense power from within his soul—in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all?
The diverse international cast reflects the global nature of the brand, with talent spanning the worlds of film, television and martial arts.