Welcome to What’s Hot On The Screen, a weekly round-up of some of the new and interesting releases in the world of online, film and television; based in South Africa.
Lovecraft Country – 1Magic/Showmax
Note: Lovecraft Country is an HBO show premiering on the network this Sunday night on the 16th of August 2020, with it premiering in South Africa a day later (17th) on 1Magic at 21:30 and on Showmax by the 8th of September 2020. The embargo on reviews and commentary on specific plot points only lifts once the episode has aired and as such I will be holding off on my full-breakdown until Sunday night.
With that said, Lovecraft Country is truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen on television before, and its pilot alone warrants viewing. The show, based on a novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, is a fantastical sci-fi/horror hybrid set within the Jim Crow era. It’s centred around Atticus Freeman, a black Korean war veteran played by Jonathan Majors, who sets out on a journey to find his missing father. He is joined on this trip by his uncle George, a publisher of an American travel guide that’s safe for black people played by Courtney B. Vance, and a childhood friend played by Jurnee Smollet. Together, they encounter a myriad of bizarre experiences and find themselves within the centre of a secret fraternity with powerful magical ties.
3% – Netflix
The fourth and final season of this dystopian Brazilian drama is available on Netflix. The series is set in an unspecified future where 20-year-old individuals of the impoverished “Inland” have the single opportunity to complete “The Process” and advance to the affluence of the distant “Offshore” society. While most of the unsuccessful candidates are simply eliminated, some fail to survive, leading to only 3% of the candidates succeeding.
Nigerian Prince – Netflix
Nigerian Prince is one of three new Nollywood acquisitions by Netflix, see Dere: An African Tale and Ojo’s in D House, and it appears the most interesting to me on paper. The title is a play on words surrounding the common e-mail scam, Nigerian Prince follows a naive Nigerian-American teenager who’s sent to his Nigerian family against his will. To get back to the States he decides to join forces with an internet scammer.
Project Power – Netflix
Jamie Foxx, Dominique Fishback and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in Netflix’s latest blockbuster original, Project Power. Project Power is a superhero-style epic that revolves around a drug dealer, police officer, and former soldier who team up to stop the distribution of a pill that gives the user superpowers for five minutes.
Beyond The River – Mzansi Magic this Sunday Night
Mzansi Magic has been on a very steady run of showing notable local films every Sunday night and this week is no exception as they set their sights on this sports bio-pic, Beyond The River. Starring Lemogang Tsipa and Grant Swanby, this biopic is inspired by the lives of Siseko Ntondini and Piers Cruickshanks and their journey to winning a gold medal at the 2014 Dusi Canoe Marathon.