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#OnTheBigScreen: Little Italy, A Madea Family Funeral and The Lego Movie 2

Movies entering the South African box office this week include a multi-story rom-com; another tale from the life Tyler Perry's equally raucous and righteous matriarch Madea; and The Special and his friends return in the sequel to The Lego Movie.

Little Italy

This delicious rom-com features multiple love stories involving couples of different generations. But above all, it’s a story about coming home to what you love and who you love.

In 1999 best friends Sal and Vince pool their talents and secret family recipes to give Little Italy its most storied pizza. One day a terrible fight breaks out between the two. No one knows why. But Little Italy is never the same again and neither is its pizza. A wall now runs between the once fabled pizzeria. Pizza Napoli is now divided into Vince’s Pizza – The Best and Sal’s Pizza – It’s Better.

Present day. Nothing has changed. Former childhood pals Leo (Hayden Christensen) and Nikki (Emma Roberts) are attracted to each other as adults, but will their feuding parents' rival pizzerias put a chill on their sizzling romance? 

Read more here.

A Madea Family Funeral

Over the course of 10 movies, Tyler Perry’s equally raucous and righteous matriarch Madea has gone to jail, hid out in the witness protection programme, battled zombies, confronted the KKK, decked the halls and dealt with every conceivable size and stripe of disorderly and dysfunctional family member in her own outsized, inimitable style. But now, as tragedy strikes, Madea must plan a funeral and things are about to turn deadly funny. 

In Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral, Madea and family are called to bury their loved one, only to unbury a whole madcap tangle of personal secrets that threaten to unravel the family peace just when they all need to pull together. It’s all a fresh chance for Perry to stir together his trademark, high-energy mix of irreverent humour, riotous characters and uplifting themes of real-life family love, loyalty, conflict and forgiveness.

Because no matter what Madea’s family faces – even death itself – the only way through it is to laugh about it.  

The Lego Movie 2

Not long ago in a town called Bricksburg, a super-friendly, upbeat and endlessly optimistic guy named Emmet rose from an ordinary life to become The Special in the mega-hit animated adventure The Lego Movie. Overcoming his doubts and an apparent lack of any notable skills or experience, this Lego mini-figure in the bright orange vest bravely followed his destiny to become a Master Builder and – with the help of his friends – saved the city, won Lucy’s heart and helped make “Everything is Awesome” an irresistible dance-party singalong the world over.

Now, five years after that fateful day, Emmet still has a spring in his step, a smile on his bright, shiny face and 25 sugars pumping up his coffee every morning. But everything else has fallen to pieces. The surprise DUPLO invasion that threatened destruction just behind the first movie’s happy ending has reduced Bricksburg to a wasteland of rubble known to its battle-weary (but still quite witty) citizens as Apocalypseburg.

The battle to defeat the invaders and restore harmony to the Lego universe will take Emmet, Lucy, Batman and their friends to far away, unexplored worlds, including a galaxy filled with fantastic planets, strange characters and catchy new songs. It will test their courage, creativity and Master Building skills and reveal just how special they really are. 

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About Daniel Dercksen

As a freelance film and theatre journalist for more than 30 years, published playwright and creator of the independent training initiative The Writing Studio, Daniel Dercksen received the number one spot for most popular lifestyle contributor for 2012, 2014 and 2015, and 2nd spot in 2016 on