Kaalgat Karel, Queenpins, The Night House and The Boss Baby: Family Business open in SA cinemas this long weekend.
The streaking local romcom Kaalgat Karel tells of Karel Venter ( Francois Jacobs), a thirty-year-old guy who loves the thrill and accompanying social media stardom of streaking during sports matches. He falls head-over-heels for the paramedic, Rita (Christa Visser), who saves him after a streak gone wrong, but there’s a problem; she’s a strait-laced single mom who has no interest in his streaking shenanigans.
It is directed by Meg Rickards, who co-wrote and produced the feature with husband Paul Egan.
Inspired by a true story, this outrageous comedy deals with a bored and frustrated suburban homemaker, Connie (Kristen Bell) and her best pal JoJo (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), a vlogger with dreams, who turn a hobby into a multi-million-dollar counterfeit coupon caper. After firing off a letter to the conglomerate behind a box of cereal gone stale, and receiving an apology along with dozens of freebies, the duo hatch an illegal coupon club scheme that scams millions from mega-corporations and delivers deals to legions of fellow coupon clippers
Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, a husband and wife, writing and directing team, discovered the real-life story that inspired their film Queenpins by searching the remote corners of the internet and landed on a coupon blog that talked about the coupon caper.
From the onset, Pullapilly and Gaudet wanted to imbue their coupon crime caper with humour and heart. They were also determined not to fall into the typical buddy comedy trope, where the two best friends have to fight with each other, have a falling out, and then come back together for their happy ending.
Gaudet explains: “Connie and JoJo are modern-day Robin Hoods, and their adventure is even more absurd because it’s about coupons, loss prevention officers, and badass postal inspectors.”
A descent into madness through the classic lens of a haunted house film.
Reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Beth (Rebecca Hall) is left alone in the lakeside home he built for her. She tries as best she can to keep it together – but then nightmares come. Disturbing visions of a presence in the house calling to her, beckoning her with a ghostly allure. Against the advice of her friends, she begins digging into her husband’s belongings, yearning for answers. What she finds are secrets both strange and disturbing – a mystery she’s determined to unravel.
“The Night House tackles themes of grief, depression, self-destruction, and the sacredness of relationships. Director David Bruckner says, “the film explores the many ways we affect one another in a relationship; how vulnerable we can be to each other’s demons and the facades we maintain.”
In The Boss Baby: Family Business, the Templeton brothers have become adults and have drifted away from each other. Tim is now a married stay-at-home dad. Ted is a hedge fund CEO. But a new boss baby with a cutting-edge approach and a can-do attitude is about to bring them together again … and inspire a new family business.
For director Tom McGrath, screenwriter Michael McCullers, and their extraordinary team at DreamWorks Animation, the film offered them a chance to revisit some of their favourite characters.
The director says he hopes families will be inspired by the positive message of the movie, while enjoying the physical comedy and the humour we have all come to expect from The Boss Baby universe. “We are hoping that people will be inspired to reach out to an estranged family member after they see the movie,” McGrath says. “Wouldn’t it be great to call your mom, dad, and siblings and forget about that stupid argument that created a rift between you? Especially, since the movie is set during the year-end holidays, I hope it resonates with its message of unity and celebration of the family.”
Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit www.writingstudio.co.za