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Nu Metro wins legal battle against Mr Video

February 2, 2010 Leave a comment

In late September 2009, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Nu Metro Filmed Entertainment (Pty) Ltd and a number of international film studios, dismissing an appeal brought by Mr Video and certain of its franchisees, in a landmark ruling on the rights of copyright holders in South Africa in DVD films.

The Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling was the outcome of interdict proceedings brought by Nu Metro and the various Hollywood studios against Mr Video, which commenced in May 2008.  Nu Metro had discovered that certain of the Mr Video franchisees were renting out Zone 1 DVDs of films in which Nu Metro is the exclusive licensee in South Africa, without Nu Metro’s, or the relevant studio’s, consent.

Zone 1 DVDs are distributed in the USA and Canada and were being sourced by various Mr Video outlets from retailers in these territories.   The disclaimer on these DVDs clearly states that the purchaser of these DVDs was not entitled to rent and/or distribute these DVDs outside of the territory.  Accordingly, the Zone 1 titles being made available by Mr Video outlets were not authorised for renting out to the public in South Africa.

In June 2008, the Cape High Court granted interdicts in favour of Universal Studios and Nu Metro and various studios in which Mr Video was restrained from hiring or renting, directly or indirectly, copies (other than legitimate Zone 2 copies obtained through authorised distributors) of films in which Nu Metro or any of the studios are the copyright or the exclusive licensee of the copyright in South Africa.

The Mr Video group appealed certain aspects of the Cape High Court order to the Supreme Court of Appeal.  The appeal was dismissed in its entirety. 

”Nu Metro is satisfied with the outcome and the absolute validation of Nu Metro as the exclusive licensee for the represented rights in SA” says Fay Amaral, Managing Director of Nu Metro.

 The Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling signifies a major victory for Nu Metro and the Hollywood studios, in terms of which Nu Metro’s rights as copyright holder have been confirmed by South Africa’s highest court. 

 Importantly, the judgment sends a strong message to other DVD rental outlets that contraventions of the copyright legislation will not be tolerated and the distributors’ rights will be enforced.

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Wolf Man – coming soon

February 1, 2010 1 comment

The Wolf Man, due to be released next week, is a remake of a film released in 1941 – credited as one of the most influential ‘werewolf’ films ever to be made. The film stars Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving and is directed by Joe Johnston (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Jumanji; Jurassic Park 3 and Hidalgo).

Set in the 1880’s the storyline is true to the original with Laurence Talbot (Benicio del Toro) returning home following the disappearance of his brother, only to find that something with brute strength and an insatiable appetite for blood is killing off the villagers one by one.  At the same time a suspicious Scotland Yard inspector named Aberline (Hugo Weaving) comes to investigate. As he pieces together the gory puzzle, he hears of an ancient curse that turns the afflicted into werewolves when the moon is full.

If he has any chance at ending the slaughter Talbot must destroy the vicious creature in the woods surrounding his home. But as he hunts for the nightmarish beast, his tortured past will uncover a primal side to himself.

Sounds awesome doesn’t it? And from the looks of the trailer (click here to view) it promises to be pretty epic – dark, depressing, scary… definitely one to take the girlfriend to.

Avatar – a 20 minute review

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

In December I wrote about a guy who made a 70 minute video review of Star Wars Episode 1 (if you didn’t read it click here). Well the author is back, but this time he is using Avatar as his canon fodder.

The Avatar review isn’t nearly as long (20 minutes vs 70 minutes) but he once again shows us why Avatar is, in fact, a ‘bad movie’ (feel free to disagree). That being said, he does praise some aspects of the movie. But in the end it all comes down to a film that is all about visual effects and making money. Click here for part 1 of the review. Click here for part 2.

Spiderman 4 – rebooting the franchise

January 22, 2010 Leave a comment

You might have seen Spiderman 4 headlines flying around, and wondered what they’re on about. Well basically the Spiderman world as we know it has come to an end. Sony initially began development of Spiderman 4 all the way back in 2007. Sam Raimi (the director of Spiderman 1, 2 and 3) was brought on board, and the original cast were all earmarked for the 4th instalment. At that point a fifth instalment was also on the cards. Now, after weeks of debate between Sony execs and Raimi the Spiderman franchise has been completely discontinued. Sources say that Raimi refused to direct Spiderman 4 due to the fact that he was doubtful that he could meet the films 2011 release date, whilst still delivering a film that was creatively progressive. I’ve also read that Raimi felt that Spiderman 4 needed to up the ante after he watched Avatar.

So where does that leave us? Well Sony have decided that they want to reboot the franchise, which essentially means starting something completely new. Raimi is out, but then so are Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and… well… the entire existing cast. It’s quite an interesting move, and one that has a host of fans and critics up in arms. The idea is that the ‘new’ Spiderman film will be released in 2012 and will focus a lot more on how Peter Parker develops his powers in highschool. The script for the film is being written by James Vanderbilt (think X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and is rumoured to star Jackson Rathbone (of Twilight fame) as the new Spiderman. The project will be directed by Marc Webb who recently directed 500 Days of Summer.

Pirates of the Caribbean 4

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

After entrenching itself as one of the most successful movie franchises of all time Pirates of the Caribbean is being resurrected for a fourth instalment. To be honest, after the last one, I’m not too sure what it’s going to be like. But I do love Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow… so I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt.

The forth installation of the film has been officially named On Stranger Tides and is said to be about Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) as they embark on a quest to find the fountain of youth. No surprises there given the ending of At World’s End. What might come as a surprise to many fans is that the characters of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann will not be returning for this edition. Both Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley agreed that their characters’ storylines ended at the end of the fourth film… which I tend to agree with.

The storyline seems to be heavily based on a novel by Tim Powers also called On Stranger Tides, written in 1987. The book follows the exploits of ‘Jack Shandy’ who travels to the new world to confront an uncle who has stolen his inheritance. His ship is waylaid by pirates, who force him to join their crew and the usual pirate festivities begin – drinking, fighting, drinking, sailing and drinking. Somehow the fountain of youth makes its way into the story, as does Blackbeard the legendary pirate. Quite how this all fits together I’m not sure. But the book has won some awards so the story must be okay.

Filming for On Stranger Tides will begin in Hawaii sometime toward the middle of this year (probably June) and the film has a tentative release date of May next year. At the helm of the project is Rob Marshall whose previous films include Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha and most recently – Nine which has been panned by most critics, but has still managed to garner a host of award nominations. It’s quite an interesting selection given his past work. Let’s hope he can pull off a big budget blockbuster.

I’ll keep you informed.

The Avengers – Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

January 19, 2010 1 comment

The Avengers… wasn’t that a downright awful movie with Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman? Well… yes it was. But that’s not what this article is about. This article is about The Avengers aka ‘The Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’. That’s right the team of superheroes whose job it is to rid the earth of villain scum – brought to you by none other than Marvel Comics.

So why am I, a humble movie fan, writing about The Avengers? Well I’ll tell you why – because they’re coming to a big screen near you. I’ll let you take a moment to yelp with joy. Moment over. On with the story.

The Avengers, as a comic story, came to life in 1963 in a Marvel Comic aptly titled The Avengers #1. The concept was the brain child of writer-editor Stan Lee and the artist Jack Kirby. The initial idea was that The Avengers would come together to fight foes that no single superhero could withstand, giving them their battle cry ‘Avengers Assemble!’. The team was originally made up of Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor, Iron Man and The Hulk, with Captain America added in issue #4.

Now the comic story is coming to life with a tentative release date set for May 2012 (that’s in the States of course). What makes this film all the more awesome is that the beginnings of The Avengers can be traced all the way back to…Iron Man, released in 2008. At the end Iron Man, Agent Coulson of the Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division reveals a handy acronym for his department S.H.I.E.L.D. Wait a minute… is that the S.H.I.E.L.D… the department that assembles the avengers. Why yes it is Pinky. To make things more awesome, after the credits of Iron Man we are treated to a scene where Tony Stark meets Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) who is the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. He announces that Stark is not “the only superhero in the world”. Hmmm, the plot thickens (if you didn’t see this interchange click here – apologies for the poor quality).

Also in Iron Man we catch a glimpse of Captain America’s shield on Tony’s work bench. Only the most brilliant amongst us picked that up (including the guy whose blog I read to find out about it). Check out the scene here (again poor quality).

The next twist of events took place in The Incredible Hulk (the good one with Edward Norton, not the average one with Eric Bana). In this film you may have noticed the scene where Tony Stark ‘bumps’ into the general in a pub. “That’s strange” you may have thought. But it’s not strange, it’s awesome. In the interchange Stark mentions that a team is being put together (see the clip here). I wonder what team that might be?

So now things are hotting up. Thor is currently in production, and Captain America’s The First Avenger is planned for release in 2011. No doubt each one will include its own homage to the bigger picture. Which means that by the time 2012 rolls around the stage will be set for something epic.

In the meantime we’ll keep you posted on new developments.