Three films enter the South African box office, this weekend: Reminiscence, Free Guy and Paw Patrol!.
Writer-director Lisa Joy explores the overriding theme of memory within a wholly created and genre-bending world.
Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman), a private investigator of the mind, navigates the darkly alluring world of the past by helping his clients access lost memories. Living on the fringes of the sunken Miami coast, his life is forever changed when he takes on a new client, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). A simple matter of lost and found becomes a dangerous obsession. As Bannister fights to find the truth about Mae's disappearance, he uncovers a violent conspiracy, and must ultimately answer the question: how far would you go to hold on to the ones you love?
Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is a bank teller at Free City Bank who lives a simple existence. He exudes positivity and cheerful optimism and is always up for a good cup of coffee. Like his best friend, Buddy (Lil Rel Howery), he has a zest for life but all that changes when Guy discovers he is actually a background player in the ultra-violent, open-world video game: Free City.
Distributed by Soonami Studios, which is run by the greedy mogul Antwan (Taika Waititi), Free City is a wildly popular game where chaos and devastation reign. Players live an unabashed existence within the game and level up by committing unprovoked acts of hostility and vandalism. Guy meets and is immediately smitten with the uber-sexy Molotovgirl (Jodie Comer), who helps him navigate the game and come to terms with the fact that the only life he has known is not real. Molotovgirl, whose name in the real world is Millie, has a bone to pick with Soonami, as she believes Antwan took the codes from a game she and her friend, Soonami programmer Keys (Joe Keery), sold the company.
As Guy begins to take on a more active role as a good person - an idealist in a cynical world where there are no limits - he becomes a champion for both the players and the other NPCs (non-playable characters) and the hero of his own story, one he is rewriting himself. Guy’s popularity continues to grow and Antwan, realising the serious threat he poses to the future of Free City and, more specifically, its sequel Free City: Carnage, deploys Keys and a Soonami coder named Mouser (Utkarsh Ambudkar) to permanently remove Guy from the game. Now it is up to Guy to be the guy who saves his world his way.
Directed by Shawn Levy from a screenplay by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn and a story by Lieberman.
In its first motion picture event, the animated Paw Patrol The Movie is on a roll! When their biggest rival, Humdinger, becomes mayor of nearby Adventure City and starts wreaking havoc, Ryder and everyone’s favourite heroic pups kick into high gear to face the challenge head-on. While one pup must face his past in the bustling metropolis, the team finds help from a new ally, the savvy dachshund Liberty. Armed with exciting new gadgets and gear, the Paw Patrol fights to save the citizens of Adventure City!
The film opens in familiar territory – the pups’ home base of Adventure Bay – but when the pups get a call for help. Newly elected Mayor Humdinger is already causing new problems. So, the pups have to jump into their all-new vehicles and spring into action to keep the city safe. Indeed, Humdinger’s name pretty much says it all. The self-involved, self-important, self-impressed and cat-loving official has a strict edict of surprise: No dogs allowed. But little does he know that the world’s greatest team of canine rescuers are on the way to stop his plans of turning Adventure City upside-down with corruption and crazy capers.
The series Paw Patrol debuted in 2013 on Nickelodeon, becoming an instant hit and thrilling youngsters around the country – and, ultimately, the globe. It now airs in 160 countries.
The film is directed by Cal Brunker, from a screenplay by Billy Frolick and Cal Brunker and Bob Barlen, and a story by Billy Frolick, based upon the television series created by Keith Chapman.
Competition: Calling all kids to brighten up their day with a colourful backpack, nifty cap and snazzy bangles in the Paw Patrol The Movie hamper. Enter competition here
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