The year is 1991, and Spud Milton's long walk to manhood is still creeping along at an unnervingly slow pace. Approaching the ripe old age of fifteen and still no signs of the much ... See full summary »
As Spud Milton continues his awkward stagger through adolescence, he learns one of life's most important lessons: When dealing with women and cretins, nothing is ever quite as it seems. "... See full summary »
Betrand believes he is knight, guarding a magical forest with the aid of his trusty goblin sidekick, Fretel. Cassie is an ordinary schoolgirl who dreams of being a pirate. When the two meet... See full summary »
It is the summer of 1988, and nerdy 12-year-old Nintendo addict Ivan "Spud" Spudofsky III decides he's been a victim of the neighborhood bullies for too long and reinvents himself as a video-game superhero.
It's South Africa 1990. Two major events are about to happen: The release of Nelson Mandela and, more importantly, it's Spud Milton's first year at an elite boys only private boarding school. John Milton is a boy from an ordinary background who wins a scholarship to a private school in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. Surrounded by boys with nicknames like Gecko, Rambo, Rain Man and Mad Dog, Spud has his hands full trying to adapt to his new home. Along the way Spud takes his first tentative steps along the path to manhood. (The path it seems could be a rather long road). Spud is an only child. He is cursed with parents from well beyond the lunatic fringe and a senile granny. His dad is a fervent anti-communist who is paranoid that the family domestic worker is running a shebeen from her room at the back of the family home. His mom is a free spirit and a teenager's worst nightmare, whether it's shopping for Spud's underwear in the local supermarket, or sneaking food into her handbag at ... Written by
The movie makers were not allowed to use the Michaelhouse school's actual uniform and had to design a brand new uniform for the movie. The badge on the school ties is in actual fact the family crest of director, Donovan Marsh. See more »
The volume control on the TV set is pushed all the way down but you can clearly hear the sound supposedly coming out of the TV set. See more »
I went in with very low expectations as I usually do for most south African films but with a revitalisation of the local film industry I thought let me do the right thing and give it a chance.
Well I'm glad I did, for two reasons, one the film was very well acted and all credit goes to "Spud" as well as the inimitable Mr Cleese, an unsung icon of the silver screen if every there was one, and two it's great to see something other than Schuster Slapstick or Afrikaans kitsch making money at the local is lekker box office.
So why the 6 out of 10. A few things spring to mind. The direction, with all due respect to Donavon Marsh, felt very pedestrian, nothing jumped out of the screen as feeling fresh or original. I realise the film was set in 1990 but did it have to feel like it was made in 1990.
The pace was off - it felt all over the place - sometimes it dragged and sometimes it was a great time at the movies. The editing of the film seemed very rushed, obvious and almost unfinished (which is unusual considering Megan Gill is probably our biggest editing export) (maybe that's just professional jealously talking ;) and lastly which for me was the greatest problem of all was the appalling musical score which really diluted so many of the films key dramatic moments.
Why Ed Jordan was used to create anything other than a cheesy early nineties advertising jingle is beyond me.
But look this may sound terribly negative but the film showed huge promise and with more time, tighter scissors and a vastly different score we could have had south Africa's answer to, dare I day it "Dead Poets Society Lite" But well done - very valiant effort with it heart in all the right places... :)
9 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?