Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor

Well, recently I’ve been seeing many more movies than I planned to, especially after taking into consideration the serious trepidation I have for and subsequent frustration I  experience after bad movies. However, I purposely left my house to see this movie. I knew the experience had serious ‘infuriating potential’ TM as the two things I knew about the movie beforehand were; the movie was directed by Tyler Perry(Never really liked his movies especially the maddening Madea series) and that it had received generally negative reviews from critics. What should have convinced me not to go was the fact that the movie was conspicuous by its absence from my younger brother’s list of movies to see in 2013(the same list I wrote about in my review of Fast Six)

tyler-perryMadea movies are just annoying  . . . and that’s a man  . . . for those who weren’t sure

I’m sure you’re already asking yourself why I still left my house, having budgeted for  fuel/transport and movie tickets. Some might class me as some form of masochist who bizarrely enjoys the frustration I get after these terrible experiences. While a few others will think I purposely set out to see a movie with the aforementioned ‘infuriating potential’ TM, in order to have something to rant about(more understandable but still bizarre). Well, you were all wrong. I did it for the most common cause of man’s gaffes/mistakes/downfall right from the beginning of time and the Garden of Eden. I did it for a lady (and yea, she’s not related to me, she’s a friend . . . a beautiful,lovely, fair friend). She really wanted to see the movie so I agreed. We got there with enough time to spare, got our snacks(economic downturn? Nah! not today) and proceeded to the cinema hall.

Okay, I guess I’ve fulfilled my normal quota of pre-review jabber, now unto the actual movie review. The movie was a very good one (and No!, It’s not because of the person I saw it with), a fact which continues to astound me. It wasn’t the edge-of-your-seat, exhilarating, blockbuster experience that Fast and Furious Six was but it was worth every kobo. The story is basically about a lady in her mid-20s and married to her childhood love meeting a young billionaire who was interested in investing in her field of expertise. This billionaire goes on to tempt and seduce her with words, gestures and his vast wealth, before eventually convincing her to leave her husband. However, through some nicely executed twists in the plot, it is discovered that the lady consoling the protagonist’s(the original lady’s) husband after the separation, was previously married to this billionaire and both she(this new lady) and the billionaire had HIV/AIDS. In a feat of chivalry, her husband attempts and succeeds in rescuing his wife from her HIV-ridden billionaire lover who had started physically abusing her. The experience is narrated by the protagonist (now significantly older) who has become a marriage counselor to an unrelated woman who had come to her for marriage advice.

originalTemptation in progress . . .

The plot is quite simple and easy to follow with little or no subplots. It’s not one for lovers of intrigue, action, special effects or adventure. Nevertheless, it still has the ability to provoke prolonged periods of thought especially for individuals in relationships and married couples. Students of human behaviour like myself would really appreciate the movie. The actors were praise-worthy as they were able to depict, with excellence, the range of emotions and thoughts couples go through especially during tough times. The speeches and conversations were also worthy of acclaim as they practically painted a real life picture of a situation that most couples face in different forms and to different degrees in their everyday lives. It basically reiterates the point Pascal made in this article on relationships.

The movie also excellently contrasts the lives of people from different backgrounds and different ends of life’s spectrum while also painting a vivid image of the ways different characters react to meeting people with lives varying vastly from that which they have got used to. For instance, the protagonist’s boss, a female professional matchmaker from Georgia(in the USA) begins speaking with a false French accent after spending just a week in Paris. Furthermore, the protagonist, a homely, Christian lady from a modest background was seduced completely by the billionaire’s fast life and savvy use of words and mind games.

Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counsellor 7 temptation2013Movie Scenes

Kim Kardashian was featured in the movie but played a minor role and to be fair, wasn’t the calamity I expected her to be(I guess this is worth mentioning . . . but I’m not sure why . . .) . Brandy also featured in a slightly more important role but acted her part with aplomb. The other characters also showed aptitude and were all very commendable. The movie did end on a slightly poignant note and didn’t really place enough blame on the husband for not putting in the work needed to keep the relationship going. However, that did little to detract from the general quality.

In conclusion, this movie is definitely one that will appeal more to the ladies. I wrote that with ‘a clean mind’ and it is in no way intended to sound like the deranged mutterings of ‘a chauvinistic pig’ (By the way, why is it always a ‘pig’? You never hear anyone calling someone ‘a chauvinistic goat or cow’, Why?). It’s not the best movie out there and I don’t think it was written with that intention, but it’s gone a long way toward redeeming Tyler Perry’s damaged reputation to me . So, I’ll say the movie probably doesn’t deserve all the negative reviews and conversely, is rather good. See it if you can, it’s definitely not a must see, but neither is it the terrible movie most reviewers have portrayed it as.

Final rating  – 7.25/10 – and that’s fair

By I.V Okata . . . Great Movies? Count me in . . .

Follow him on Twitter @IzutaDGaffer

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Fast and Furious Seven

For those of you who were able to read my review of Streets of Calabar,(diss as my hip hop friends so eruditely call it) you should at least know two things about me. First, I’m good looking (What? Haven’t you heard that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder?! Bad belle people). Okay, seriously, the two things are; I love a good experience at the cinema and I drive fast . . . real fast. The only meal this recipe of characteristics could possibly prepare is one that involves me excitedly seeing a movie about fast cars. Fast and Furious Six (or Fast Six or Furious Six as Wikipedia puts it) falls exactly into this category of movies.

Pardon my digression but I must state that having a movie enthusiast as a brother is a real plus when you hate having bad cinema experiences. Since the aforementioned nightmare, my brother has taken to Youtube and the internet as a whole to review trailers of yet-to-be released movies and as a result, has provided me with a sure fire list of movies which would definitely be worth my time and money. The boy doesn’t dull and since the Fast Five was a very good movie, I followed his recommendation to see its sequel-Fast Six. I wasn’t disappointed.

As badt a driver as I am, I still got to the Cinema five minutes after the movie had begun(thank you traffic). As a result, I got out my gun, headed to the technical room and attempted to ‘convince’ the guy there to restart the movie. He calmly told me that he had a family and that I should reconsider, so I held him hostage and ordered the manager down to the room. After a protracted standoff, they agreed to my conditions and gave me three buckets of pop corn too. . . Ok, back from my fantasy world . . . I rushed into the hall like a mad man running from a deranged Lion- madly. I’d normally sit at the back but there was no time, so I sat in front. Apparently, the movie hadn’t really gone that far, so I settled in hurriedly. No time or cash for popcorn (economic downturn tinz) or other assorted cinema snacks.

The movie was simply excellent. The movie began with the entire crew from Fast Five scattered across the World flexing the cash they got from their earlier heist in Rio when they received a call from Dominic Torretto(Vin Diesel). The call seemed serious enough to convince them all to abandon their current lives and reunite. It turned out that Letty(Michelle Rodriguez) from the fourth installment of the franchise was still alive and working for a high rolling criminal gang. Ok, that bracket thing is kinda weird  so from now on I’m calling them what I feel most comfortable with, Okay? Now, back to the review. In exchange for amnesty, the gang led by Vin Diesel and O’Conner agreed to work with The Rock and some female associate of his to bring down the aforementioned criminals who were planning to steal some high-tech military equipment. This equipment purportedly had the capability to crumble nations within hours (classic bad guy things). This in addition to Vin Diesel and O’Conner’s needs to find Letty motivated them to take on the challenge. For the purposes of this review, I’ll be calling the leader of the criminal gang-Boaze (get it? Actor and Boaze). The Boaze and his team were really bad ass and British too (not a very common combination, we’ve come to expect Eastern Europeans to play this role). No emotions, no family, very ruthless and with a simple code-precision.

fast_2563482bActor Vs Boaze, Diesel Vs Shaw

Without wishing to spoil the movie further for those yet to see it, I won’t go further to divulge the rest of the plot. However, I’ll analyze other parts of the movie. The fights were top notch, very realistic and properly executed. As has become the norm with this particular franchise, the soundtrack and camera were on point. The technology used by both teams(Actor’s and Boaze’s) was also as good as we’ve come to expect. There was an ample dose of humour in the movie mostly supplied by Tyrese and Ludacris with significant contributions from The Rock and some other minor character. This blend of humour with action made for very impressive viewing. And that brings me to the action; True edge-of-your-seat, adrenaline pumping action.  The speed of the operations, the improvisations and the primal energy on show by the actors was quite exhilarating.  The plot had excellent twists and turns and the proper development of sub plots had viewers clinging to their seats as the final fight was thrashed out in a moving airplane with cars basically flying alongside. As expected, the Boaze died along with the rest of his crew including The Rock’s female associate who was working for the Boaze(by the way, his movie name was Shaw) all the while. Vin Diesel’s crew escaped unscathed except for Giselle who was dating the Asian dude. She died trying to save the Asian’s life from one of the Boaze’s men.

Fast-1A mild scene in the movie

However, as is also customary in these movies, one should expect outrageous film tricks.  One particular scene sticks out as impossible even if it was tried a billion times. Vin Diesel driving a car at a minimum of 100km/hr jumped out as Letty was being tossed off an armored car (Yes, an actual armored car!!!). They were both on two different roads separated by a chasm in between. As per actor things, the guy was able to not only catch her mid air as she hurtled towards certain death, but to also readjust himself in flight to cushion the fall(abi fly) and land, back first on the windshield of a parked car all with minimal injuries.

As most of you have surely been wondering why on earth this article is called Fast and Furious Seven, I’ve decided to explain(being the ever gracious individual, *takes a bow as you guys applaud*). Well, it came to my attention that a part seven of this wonderful movie has been scheduled to be released next year. Most of you are still asking ‘so what?’ Well, for some reason, the movie producers felt in their infinite wisdom that despite the cracker we had just seen, there was still not enough motivation on our parts to rush to the cinemas the moment the seventh installment was released. So, in some sort of epilogue, during a street race in Tokyo, the Asian dude who was dating Giselle was hit unexpectedly by another car causing his car to tumble and explode. From the car which exerted the damage, emerged . . . yea, you guessed it . . . JASON STATHAM!!!!!  . . . of Transporter and Crank fame. As if the mere sight of him was not enough, he placed a call to Vin Diesel uttering the words “You don’t know me . . . but you’re about to . . .”.

main_image-43626High Voltage + Speed, can’t wait

So, as your friend, I’ll say No! Don’t watch Fast Six, wait till Fast Seven is out and dedicate four straight hours to possibly the greatest mind blowing action you’ve ever experienced with at least 2 hours of JASON STATHAM as the Boaze !!!!!!  (or Actor; one never knows the twists and turns to expect with these producers) I honestly can’t wait for the movie.

Final rating for Fast Six – 9/10 . . . and I’m a hard man to please.

By I.V Okata . . . Great Movies? Count me in!

Follow him on Twitter @IzutaDGaffer

Blast from the Past

The rain was about to start pouring, I could hear thunder rumbling somewhere in the sky, strong winds already huffing and puffing in a desperate effort to rip out the already loose roofing sheets of my house. There I was, chillaxing on my sofa, wondering if it was possible for this Saturday afternoon to get any more boring, almost immediately, as if in response to my thoughts, I heard a tone from my phone, “clum, cluum”, … Every Nigerian mobile phone user’s nightmare… the sound of your phone switching itself off… NEPAAA!

No phone! No electricity! Trapped in my house because of this blasted rain! ….Catastrophic Trilogy!

What would I do now? Then it hit me… Books! My trusted old books! I made a bee-line to my chest of awesome novels and immediately started hunting for the right one. While searching, I stumbled upon my collection of old Nigerian songs.

Later that evening, after the Power Holders finally restored power, I decided to play some of the old music videos just for the nostalgic high . . . I was treated to a rude shock. When we watch Nigerian music videos today, we see very crisp clear videos recorded by cameras that would make the human eye pull its hair out (if it had one) in jealousy. We also see amazing special effects, animations, cars I can only dream of (and have dreamt of), hot babes with bodies to die for, and creativity at its zenith. It wasn’t always like this… The disparity between these old videos and the present ones is shockingly enormous. I will now cite examples of these ancient crappy videos.

Tony Tetuila ft Plantashun boiz and Ruff, Rugged, and Raw – Omode Meta

This has to rank high up in anybody’s list of Nigeria’s worst videos ever! This video lacks everything a music video should have. There was absolutely no creativity, the picture quality was terrible, the full video was virtually shot in one room, and to crown it all, there was smoke everywhere I couldn’t see anything. This video is a disaster! The director of this video should be punished for subjecting people to such torture.

Tuface – Ole

Where do I start? What is the rationale behind those people just walking aimlessly around 2baba? How does that even relate to the song? If the song title had been ‘confused Nigerian Jaywalkers’, then maybe, just maybe, it wouldn’t have been mentioned in his article.

The Remedies – Shakomo

This is one very funny video! What was the director thinking? Three agile artistes in a choreography so embarrassing that even my 6-year-old nephew laughed when he saw it. This video can accurately be described as a mish-mash of random clips collated with zero creativity. Watch out for the scene where the remedies decided to model some ‘cool shades’, Stevie Wonder would really enjoy that scene if he sees it. …oops!

In the midst of these videos, one particular video stuck out like a sore thumb, it was really impressive and I believe it revolutionized the art of video shooting in the Nigerian music industry, that video is none other than… yeah, you guessed it… P-Square – Get Squared!

Watching Nigerian music videos of today and comparing them with these older videos, it’s amazing to see how far along the industry has come. With this in mind, I guess it’s safe to say, WE’RE HEADED STRAIGHT TO THE TOP!!!

By Chike ‘Loposki’ Ayogu… an Art Enthusiast

He’s on BBM, here’s his PIN : 29321860

The Exasperating Streets of Calabar

December 31st, 2012 was a terrible day for me. No, no one actually died except a little bit of me, inside. It was the first time in a few years that my entire family was at home at the same time. Two days before my nightmare, I had just returned from Eket where I was plagued with incessant Malaria. Every two weeks, for some bizarre reason I was struck down by Malaria and was losing weight . . . FAST! I was back home to relax, to get away from the responsibilities, worries and the dastardly Malaria which seemed to follow me ‘bumper-to-bumper’ at every turn in that lovely city. I never knew my stay would be marred by the crap I was going to experience.

Now I know I’ve got your attention, I have to tell you it was a movie; a terrible movie to round up a relatively excellent year. My younger sister had been clamoring for a trip to the cinema for a while to no avail. For whatever reason, I and my formerly obstinate brothers decided to indulge her, a decision we unanimously berate ourselves for to this day. We jumped into the ride and I drove our excited party to Genesis Cinemas. For some rationale I am still yet to decipher, we never checked their online schedule before leaving. We got there only to discover that we had already seen all the movies they were screening at the time. With alacrity, we jumped back into the Lamborghini and sped off . . . (Ah! Ah! See bad belle o!! Ok Ok, it wasn’t a Lamborghini but it was still a cool ride). We were off to Silverbird and then our hitherto, Solomon-esque wisdom returned and my junior bro decided to check their online schedule. With speed that would make a computer pull its eyes out in envy (yea, computers have eyes), we iterated the possible traffic and estimated with Swatch precision our ETA; 1600 Hours my brother announced, just in time for some movies. We quickly shortlisted two movies which would slot perfectly into our schedule – The Life of Pi and another one like that.

If James Bond was driving, we’d have got there by 1600. However, I was driving so we got there by 1545 Hours (I’m badt like that!). I’ve always been a firm believer in blindly following one’s instincts but needless to say, ever since that trip, I now always allow my second and third thoughts have their say. I saw two potential ‘cinema commenters’ (those ones who exclaim infernally during movies with annoying Ooos, Aaahs and Ehyaaas) heading for the Life of Pi hall and my ever cogent self dictated that the other movie; Streets of Calabar would be the best choice. My sister ignored us and went ahead to see Life of Pi; an experience she thoroughly enjoyed. The same cannot be said for the irksome rubbish I and my brothers were subjected to for the next hour and half.

The movie was supposed to tell the story of a young man who returned to Calabar from some European nation, met an old friend who convinced him to become a criminal, got caught by the authorities and eventually helped the local Police bring down a huge gangster so petrifying he was named ‘Mr the Don’ (yes; not ‘the Don’ or ‘Mr Don’ but “Mr the Don” What the hell?!!). Sounds like a nice story right? It was not.

The movie had way too many faults. The language was unnatural and forced. The Pidgin English on offer was embarrassingly out of touch with that used by everyday Nigerians. The majority of actors seemed to have no idea what convincing acting looked like and acted more robotically than a drone sent to Mars. The only bright light was the background speech of the protagonist. Mike, his friend, was quite amusing with his histrionics but shattered all his good work with his abysmal use of everyday English. The astonishingly off portrayal of the locals, the weird music, the poor plot execution and worst of all – the unnecessary and infuriating use of Chapter numbers and titles as the movie progressed led to an appalling spectacle.

Anybody including ones with walnut-sized brains could see that ‘Mr the Don’ was Rita Dominic from the beginning. Nevertheless and to compound my misfortune, the aforementioned annoying ‘cinema commenters’ who I desperately tried to avoid (they seem to be a standard component of any cinema hall in Nigeria) and who seem to actually have brains smaller than a walnut were still in awe when this tiresome revelation was eventually made. Mr the Don’s sidekick, a weird muscular white lady whose acting was similarly terrible turned out bizarrely to also be Mr the Don’s lesbian partner!! The cowboy getup, horrible props and unreasonable soundtrack which, by the way, was blatantly taken from a James Bond flick was totally out of place in the movie. Just picture a knocked out individual lying in an open boot of a Jeep being shot from very close range with a humongous automatic rifle . . .when the shooter had a much smaller gun with him. . . and that’s one of the better scenes in this dreadful movie.

As if the actual movie wasn’t bad enough already, the director went on to degrade the movie even further by turning it into a glorified though horrendous advertisement for the various tourist centres and activities available in the city of Calabar. I’m sure he must have been aiming for some form of ‘financial appreciation’ from the state government. Without mincing words, this movie had ZERO creativity.

I’ve honestly grown weary of criticizing this movie. Charles Aniagolu, the movie director ought to hang his head in shame. I fear that if this is still the level of most Nigerian movies, then we are light years behind some of our foreign contemporaries. Please, I urge you to see this movie as soon as you can and please stay away from nooses and rooftops of tall buildings afterward. I no wan hear say na my suggestion cause make person commit suicide.

PS: Funnily enough, during the course of the movie, someone in the technical room must have plugged his phone into the computer probably to charge it. A dialog box popped up exactly in the middle of the screen blocking most of the action. This was the best part of the experience for me.

By I.V Okata . . . I really love my Country

Follow him on Twitter @izutadgaffer