House of Lungula, pushed as Kenya’s first adult sex comedy in the same genre as the Hangover trilogy, comes down to its final run today (Thursday 27th, Nov 2013). Currently showing at Century Cinemax the Junction, the film boasts a good number of individuals plying their trade within the film and entertainment scene of Kenya and tries its hand at boldly pushing a subject matter that sells pretty well second only to Safaricom Bamba 50 top-up cards; sex!
Plot: “Harrison, overworked and underpaid is looking for money for bride price. A ‘business’ opportunity presents itself when he gets the keys to the Company house. With the CEO away on holiday, he has access to a vacant fully furnished house. He decides to cash in… Easy money doesn’t always come cheap.” House of Lungula Facebook Page
Starring: Ian Mbugua, Lizz Njagah, Gerald Langiri, Sarah Hassan, Helena Waithera, Lenana Kariba, Gitau Ngogoyo, Nice Githinji, Diana Nekoye, Lydia Gitachu, Auma Njagah, Sheila Kwamboka and Alex Konstantaras.
Does the film succeed with its intended mission? Production elements aside, here’s our take as we try very hard not to give away spoilers…
The film starts off well, setting the pace and story in a light yet believable manner. The major characters in the film are introduced, each getting ample screen time. The different actors play their roles well, dialogue is simple and effective in building the story.
Smart witty lines, with expository based yet comical scenes thrown into the mix to carry the story along, the first half offering of the film is enjoyable, funny and intriguing. Heavy themes such as betrayal, trust are touched on and well balanced so that the impact is there, but not too much to dampen the desired comedic effect…
Gerald Langiri. The man’s figure in the promotional materials is smack right at the centre of all the other actors and actresses. That fact quite rightly also represents his role and impact in the film; he is the core of the film. Narratively, his character does act as the initiator and catalyst for the major plot point of the film, a fact that is further enhanced by his performance. Biased perhaps? We think not!
No work is perfect, with that said, House of Lungula does have its faults.
The final chapter of the film was a major stretch, unnecessarily on the plot and story and our suspension of belief. Fine this is a film, and a comedy at that, but did we really have to have the antics at the end stretch out that long? Gerald’s character was told what time exactly to be out of the house yet he went on to be at the house at the same time as the other couples (spoiler??). We could say that it was an oversight by the character, but was that shown to the audience?
The last act of the film feels like the story and believable flow of events as introduced and upheld in the first half was compromised just to achieve a desired effect/end. Not just by some stretched turn of events, but also the inclusion of one certain cop character.
Yes this is comedy and one can argue that not everything should be taken seriously (if it comes to that) but if you as a comedian deliver a line and the audience doesn’t laugh, should it be a matter of concern?
Reviewing this film on the basis that it is a film (whether local or not, we believe that shouldn’t be a crutch in any kind) made for the audience, we give it a 2.5/5 rating.
The film’s run has come to an end in cinema for the moment, we shall keep you posted on any further developments regarding another cinematic run or DVD release.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS & MONSTERS | Review
The latest addition to DC’s animated universe is another Justice League movie, but this time, not a single cape in sight! Justice League: Gods and Monsters is based in an alternate universe where Superman is the son of Zod who crashed on earth from a destroyed Kyrypton and was raised by Mexican immigrants, Batman a scientist mutated into a vampire and Wonder woman is from Apokolips. Totally an original story Directed by Sam Liu and Produced by none other than Bruce Tim, who has overseen numerous DC animated projects, with this version by far being the most diverse and furthest away from the Justice League we have known since…forever! There have been alternate universes and “what if” scenarios in the past, but this one takes the cake!
The story is centered on the Justice League and how the world around them responds to their presence. Some fear them, others worship them. They spend their time in the Justice Tower ready to answer to distressful circumstances and save the day. Sure, that about the JL hasn’t changed at all, only they use a zero tolerance approach to every situation. This is made clear at the beginning of the movie when they tear apart a terrorist cell and make quick work of them, with Superman pounding baddies to a pulp, Batman sucking the blood from their bodies dry, and Wonder Woman putting her sword to good use, blood paints the floor literally! The authorities detest this executioner style of justice and are ever plagued with the question, “Do the JL serve the world? Or themselves?” Their loyalty and intentions are put on the line when a sinister force begins to murder some of the world’s top scientist in a fashion resembling the Justice League’s tactics. Framed for these acts, will they take the righteous path and try to clear their name? or is this beneath them as they answer to no one…
Violent and bloody, this one is definitely not for the kids. This is a dark movie, very dark and a lot of disturbing imagery has been used! These guys don’t mess around! The usual Justice League would either put bad guys in jail or vanquish them to some dimensional world, but here they butcher them! I, on the other hand, appreciated this approach despite how far away it was from what we’ve come to expect from the JL trio. I’ve always wanted to see a merciless Superman who doesn’t hesitate to kill his enemies. The whole boy-scout shenanigans were growing old and this new perspective on the man of steel truly felt more efficient. The theme was very mature, edgy and lot of the violence goes down in an unsettling way, but it doesn’t feel as though it was forced into the movie so as to make it look more appealing to mature audiences, rather the violence fuels the story beautifully as it impacts the world of the characters.
The story is decent enough to keep you entertained all through, but what really stood out were the origins of the characters. While not done all in one go, each character’s back-story is revealed in the form of a flashback at different points through the movie. Superman’s was at the very beginning then Batman and Wonder woman’s came at their own time. These segments were rather long and often made me come close to forgetting the movies main plot, after every flashback I’d be like, “Oh yeah! What was happening again?”, but still they were thrilling and intriguing, especially Batman’s.
A few weeks before Gods and Monsters released, there were 3 shorts titled JL: Gods and Monsters Chronicles that introduced us to this radical change in the characters. Thanks to chronicles, I jumped into this movie knowing what to expect and it helped save the time of trying to relate to the characters when watching the movie for the first time. On top of everything story related; If there’s one thing that I rarely feel in these DC animations, it’s an emotional impact on me. Most times it’s just a matter of action to a kickass soundtrack and an acceptable storyline. Gods and Monsters rises above that and really tugs on your emotions at times.
The art was fantastic and very visual with color grading definitely suited to the nature of the story. Bruce Tim’s style was quite notable and great work was done, although in some scenes the art did seem inconsistent and not as solid all through the movie. Character design though is where I see a big split in opinion. Superman and Batman looked great to me, but I wasn’t too fond of Wonder Woman’s design. White is a subtle color, and using it on the character with the highest body count could have been some sort of an irony thing or just for laughs, but all in all I didn’t like her design. Music was pretty much the usual Superheroie tunes we hear now and then and sound effects were as great as any of these DC animated movies, they pretty much don’t fail there as far as their sound libraries go.
Having already covered how violent this movie is, the action is definitely within those boundaries. The action was great but not too memorable given how much it was lacking in choreography, but for a more story driven movie, that doesn’t drop its rating. Apart from Superman, the others possess some very new and interesting abilities and they are depicted well in the action scenes. The only thing different in Superman’s powers is that he uses them to the fullest and without holding back. Voice acting was great all around! Michael C. Hall as Batman was what won it for me, a cold and lifeless voice was quite fitting for the character, though he could have left that voice tone out of the flashback to portray a different Batman before his mutation.
Apart from the minor things like the inconsistent art and wonder woman’s design, the only major disappointment of the movie was the main Villain and how they didn’t justify their reason for their acts well enough to convince me. The stakes are high but the villain was just an utter disappointment. The other thing was the characters that retained their familiar personalities that we know well, Lex Luthor, Amanda Waller and Lois Lane. All make quite insignificant appearances! Sure Lex is involved in the story a bit more towards the end, but they felt more like cameos for all of them.
The overall concept of this movie is great! I mean, seeing that The Justice Tower is a penthouse where the heroes chill out and sip on some whiskey, that alone could have sold it for me, but this movie is more than that. It doesn’t sit back and dwell on “Look! Look how different I am, Superman kills!” No, none of that. It tells a compelling story that matters and could pass for anything canon. Despite being a dark tale, it’s shines a positive light of hope in that people with powers and a god-like stand in community still try to save the world. In fact, can this become a thing? I would watch another Justice League based in the same universe. Should this ever become a franchise, I’m in! Go, watch it!
ANT-MAN | Review
There are a lot of things that you could say go right in a movie, but isn’t it so much more fun to say what went wrong?
Now, the main thing that is wrong with this movie is that, for me, Paul Rudd can do no wrong, which has led me to watch a few of his unwise decisions, like I Love you, Man (which, ok, to be honest, wasn’t half bad). Point is, I will watch anything Paul Rudd touches. In fact, slightly poetically, I watched this movie on the weekend that was the anniversary of the first movie I ever saw him in: Clueless, the epitome of teen movies, one of my favourites to this day.
So I lied – that is not the main thing that is wrong with this movie. I just needed space to certify my undying love. What is really wrong with this movie is that it is just one of the many Marvel disappointments of the year.
Avengers 2 was atrocious. Let’s all admit it. Because of that, I wasn’t feeling particularly excited about anything Marvel is doing (I’ve learnt my lesson, and been heartbroken, now I am in the bitter phase, which involves aggressively looking forward to Suicide Squad). So I knew not to be too excited about this one.
Hank Pym discovers a chemical that will change the landscape of warfare as the world knows it. And he knows it – so he chooses to keep it hidden and become a hermit. But not everyone agrees with his plan, and when his protege replicates the chemical, his hand is forced to find someone who can protect the world the way he used to.
There is a nod to the Avengers in the movie which I have a problem with. Don’t read the comics and expect the film to stick to the story – you know the movie is for the money (which is why it is even more surprising that the marketing for this movie was so wack. It’s like they didn’t even care. There was no furore whatsoever in comparison) and so will sound almost nothing like the book.
The casting was fine. The villain was obvious. The romance was weak. The humour was good, and there were a couple of great supporting characters – but it isn’t the type of movie that Marvel should be making. Especially for a character like Ant Man. They very clearly needed to just put out a movie – any movie – so they did. An entertaining one though it was, it was only about a 6 ½ rating worth of entertainment.
The author blogs at akello.co.ke