Of Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart A review

Movie review

Netflix premiered Genevieve Nnaji’s movie Lionheart  as the first Nollywood Original flicks; in a whooping $3,8 million deal that saw Genevieve become the first Nollywood billionare.

Netflix presents Lionheart a film by Geneive NNaji

I have had this movie cued to my watch list since its premiere on the 4th of January and seeing I had extra data to burn, courtesy of the internet shutdown on social media, I decided why not now…….

African Movies particularly from Nigeria (Nollywood) had for a long time set a predictable precedent on the nature and theme of African movies, usually along the lines of witchcraft, dark arts, infidelity and characters in stereotypical roles; the medicine man with the weird eye make-up, the cohort of powerful associates practicing disturbing rituals in communion with even stranger deities for riches and more power, the evil mother-in-law, the back stabbing uncle and the know-it-all gateman……..

To be fair though the movies weren’t all like this but a lot of them followed this formula, when you find a winning formula you normally stick to it. After you watched a couple of them you would be sufficiently creeped out that if you were invited to Nigeria you would be kinda afraid of winding up either as a sacrifice for a ritualistic killing or converted into worshiping some Mami Wata or under water dwelling spirit.

Lionheart is a delightful afternoon breeze on a hot afternoon’s day, it’s a breakthrough movie exploring the subtler themes; family and tradition, patriarchy and gender empowerment and even ethnic relations mixed together in an easy moving plot, set in the corporate world and a conversational script with non-over-the-top comedy yet quite funny. That’s how I will summarise it without giving away spoilers in case you are considering watching it…..

“Lionheart” is an inspiring drama about family values, succession, and most importantly, female empowerment. It highlights the various challenges faced by women, particularly in male-dominated industries.

Genevieve Nnaji

Nkem Oweh (of the Osoufia role fame) is in it this time plays quite a surprisingly grounded character Godswill but none the less still ends up being one of the memorables.

Godswill Nkem Oweh Lionheart
"Keep talking" Nkem Oweh Lionheart

Pete Edochie is cast in his usual boss role, owning it and dropping gems.

I've come to realise that most men invest all their time in matters of transient value, at the expense of what they should cherish, what they should value like love, life, family.
Lionheart movie quote

I’ve come to realise that most men invest all their time in matters of transient value, at the expense of what they should cherish, what they should value like love, life, family.

Lionheart
The biggest legacy... I would leave for posterity... is you
lionheart movie quote

The biggest legacy… I would leave for posterity… is you

Lionheart
You are the pendulum of my life. If you stop swinging, then I am done

Lionheart movie quote

You are the pendulum of my life. If you stop swinging, then I am done

lionheart

Geneviève Nnaji, what can I say without sounding  like I am totally fan boying, because I have been a fan since forever. During an interview with WomenandHollywood.com she had this to say on why she choose to be a filmmaker:

I’ve always had a hunger for visual storytelling. There is so much material out there that is still untold — countless real-life stories from within and outside Africa, and today, we have the chance to tell it ourselves. My hope is that Africans will have adequate representation globally, and be given a seat at the table in big studio productions as we continue to grow and improve from within the continent.


I also believe that my generation of women need to continue to work at paving a path better than the one that exists today for the future generation of women in film

Genevieve Nnaji

I loved the movie however there’s this thing about being writer, director, executive producer and star of your own production, the whole movie becomes about the main character and the other characters wind up sidelined……

There were subplots that felt undeveloped or rushed through, if not sacrificed for the movie to stay in the 1hour 30 minutes viewing time, then in favour of the main story and plot which is what stops it from getting a perfect rating from me, unless its got a sequel.

Oh there’s a cameo appearance from one half of the Peter and Paul duo PSquare; Peter Okoye and the scene opens with him playing a piano intro of their track Omoge Mi one of my faves

Omoge mi Peter Okoye as Arinze in Lionheart

Final Verdict

Watch it, I have watched it three times, found it to be a much needed diversion from the current events, if you have watched or would watch it lemme know, and also do share if you are a fan of Nollywood movies.

~B

PS Turns out I was wrong they saved the gatemen for the cutscene after the credits just before it fades to black

the know it all gateman lionheart endscene

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Of Black Panther: A review of sorts

I finally watched Black Panther I get what all the noise was about

Yey

This isn’t exactly a review as such:

Wakanda could be Africa’s story had Africa not been colonised and allowed to flourish …agreed.

However if Wakanda existed the way it’s depicted in the movie then it would have been an inward-oriented country; that would have probably let the rest of Africa be colonized. I find it hard to imagine an empire which would not adhere to the uBuntu philosophy (uBuntu is Nguni-Bantu word for Humanity) I am because We Are

ubuntu

If Wakanda where truly an African country (Chadwick Boseman, who plays Black Panther is said to have told The New York Times that Wakanda is a fictional version of “the Mutapa empire of 15th-century Zimbabwe.”) Wakanda would have dealt with world outside its borders with more humanity, humanity towards others.

mutapa empire

The Mutapa Empire which spanned a significant portion of southern Africa might not have had vibranium but they had gold and vast amounts of it too which they traded freely, far and wide if not a bit too free and far which is how mining claims became colonial instruments one treaty at a time……..

Founders of the Mutapa Empire are descendants of those who built the Great Zimbabwe in the 11th century

great zimbabwe20180528170332
Great Zimbabwe from where the name Zimbabwe are the largest and most puzzling architecture South of the Sahara competing only with the Pyramids of Egypt.

“Among the gold mines of the inland plains between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers there is a fortress built of stones of marvelous size, and there appears to be no mortar joining them…. …. This edifice is almostsurrounded by hills, upon which are others resembling it in the fashioning of stone and the absenceof mortar, and one of them is atower ”

1531 Vicente Pegado, a Portuguese army captain

The architecture is so mind boggling that it’s not surprising history would not allow us to have achieved this by ourselves and would rather write about the Portuguese, Phoenicians or biblical characters yet it is a birthright from our ancestors how far would we have gone had we been left to flourish?

Back to Wakanda

So vibranium, all I know about it, is that it’s what Captain America’s shield is made from and the Black Panther’s suit and claws and that it absorbs kinetic energy but how does this explain how Wakanda managed to get so technologically advanced to be many years ahead of the rest of the world unless if the heart shaped herb not only grants you superhuman strength, speed and instincts but makes you smarter………

I kind of sympathized with Killmonger and thought they deserved having him come back and shake the cobwebs out of the cocooned lifestyle they built around themselves and even rooted for him a little bit.

What I loved most is how the women of Wakanda where their own people first, strong, proud and stood up for themselves; from Princess Shuri who would not let tradition limit hair, to the regal Nakia

A-great-queen

and lets not forget their most elite fighting force the Dora Milaje an all woman ensemble led by the formidable General Okoye

When what’s his name says “would you kill me my love’ and Okoye replies “for Wakanda without a question

black panther scene

But I did feel their “civil war” escalated on flimsy grounds and I think I might have disliked W’kabi more than the “villain” killmonger for taking so long to get to back his senses.

Can we also talk about the language of Wakanda though; what was that? I can’t be the only one made to cringe by them murdering the Xhosa language like that; what was with adding west/central African inflections to their speech and not just picking a west African language, maybe if the cast had been peppered with a more local talents then they might have spoken more naturally. I noticed a few faces from local TV soapies such as fondly known as Mamokhete from Rhythm city, Connie Chiume played the role of the Mining tribe elder

conie-chiume

Overally well what can I say the numbers speak for themselves it’s a record breaking blockbuster

Wakanda Forever

~B

What are your thoughts on The Black Panther?

Of Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Review

Kingsman Golden Circle

Its been close to 3 years since the last Kingsman movie (my review Of sorts for it is can be found here: Kingsman Secret Service)

Finally got round to watching the sequel; released 22 September 2017. (where have I been?)

The events in the movie are about a year after the prequel, but to be honest after a three year wait I had forgotten the characters or what t expect I simply remembered I found the previous movie hilarious so I decided hey lets watch it…..

Check out the movie trailer:

Movie trailers can be so misleading and this is one of those cases where the trailer makes you expect so much more, than what you actually get; click bait.

Kingsman: The Golden circle opens with an action sequence which comes with a taxi ride fight scene, with a man with a robotic arm, a three car guns blazing chase climaxing into a fiery smart missile explosive device  thingie… cooling of with a plunge into a sewer so as not miss an important birthday dinner date……

In a plot reminiscent of Johnny English meets Get Smart meets James Bond; the entire Kingsman operatives get eliminated leaving only two agents Eggsy (Galahad) and Merlin to run “The Doomsday Protocol“; which is basically getting help from their hitherto unknown American counterparts known as Statesman.

kingsman meet statesman

If you ask me they should have named the film Kingsman: Meet The Statesman. Whilst the Kingsman are into the tailoring business as cover with a penchant for code names from Knights of the Round Table; Merlin; Galahad; Lancelot; the Statesman went into the whiskey making business and code names are somewhat alcohol based Champagne but call him Champ, Ginger Ale; Whiskey and Agent Tequila.

A couple of comic scenes highlight the differences in demure between the bespoke tailored British agents and their whiskey quaffing American agents but overally its mostly that dry British humor.

Keeping up in the spirit of having a villain whose absurd plans make sense albeit in a weird way; the villain this time is Miss Poppy an underground drug cartel boss

who is poppy adams

Who is Poppy Adams?

Intelligent, ambitious, ruthless, lacks empathy, superficial charm.

All the elements of a great CEO.

Or a psychopath.

…. who would hold the whole world at ransom for drugs to be legalized

Poppy, would you

pass the sugar, please?

POPPY: “Okay. But it’s really bad for you. Eight times more addictive than cocaine. Five times more likely to cause death.

But it’s legal… so, you go ahead.

Knock yourself out……”

…….I want freedom.

I want fame.

Our profits were 250 billion dollars last year. I am the most successful businesswoman in the world, but nobody knows who I am.”

I am not sure if the movie supports drug culture or not it seems to toe the line between saying drugs are evil drug users are criminals and that some are victims of circumstances

What I loved most about the first Kingsman was its highly quotable quips. In The Golden Circle there are not that many quips and at a length of 2hours 21 minutes the scenes tend to drag on, to the next outlandish action with the signature disturbing violence which earns it an R rating. You can’t help feel like they mashed up two movies into one and skipped some vital aspects in the process…..

Just know that having something to lose… is what makes life worth living.

When you watch a movie you are supposed to suspend disbelief but they went a little overboard with the CGI in this one giving it an almost cartoonish feel; if I wanted to watch cartoon I’d pick an anime

Its got quite the star-studded cast; Halle Berry is in it whoop whoop, I rather love Halle but they really should have done more as with her character; we wanted more than this:

AGent ginger ale

and Elton John is in it too (as himself) I had to check the credits just to make sure it was him and if they kidnapped him like they kidnapped his character to appear in the movie

Should you watch it????? Yes at least once, especially if you have nothing else to watch it is good for a laugh or two, I rate it 4 triangles out of 7 squares good luck figuring that out.

If you watched it what are your thoughts?

~B

and they just had to redo this scene:

manners maketh man

ooooh and one of the my memorable characters dies NOOO but at the rate this movie franchise works I wouldnt be surprised to see them back from the dead in the next sequel………..

As one of our founding Kingsman once said…
this is not the end.
It is not even the beginning of the end.
But it is, perhaps,
the end of the beginning

kingsman