2020 scared a lot of us but we were able to hold strong and overcome our fear. We found our rhythm again and started moving at our own pace. That’s how it was for me, I had to entertain myself during the compulsory stay at home order by the government dues to the spread of coronavirus.
One of the ways I stayed calm, relaxed and entertained was watching movie almost every day. Call me a movie junkie and you won’t be far from the news, I love the make-believe world and staying indoors for close to 6 months just watching films was like a blessing in disguise. I had a routine back then, wake up, have my bath, do some work (working remotely was fun, God bless whoever came up with that idea) and at about 3 I get settled to watch my first movie of the day. Just me and my laptop.
I took my time to go through my old collections and built up steadily to recent films. It was truly an experience, had to drag my cousins too and we all had a swell time. Here are my favourites of the films I watched during the lockdown, that is the ones that really got me teary, pumped up and all lovey-dovey. I’m sure you’ve seen some of them, let me know in the comments.
December is here again and that means the holidays are upon us. As much as we’d love to revel in the spirit of the season, it doesn’t seem like there’s so much to celebrate considering how 2020 dealt the world a heavy and unexpected blow. That being said, the cinema industry (and other industries) was brought to its knees by Covid-19, to which a global lockdown was initiated. This forced many cinemas and businesses to close shop for months; safety first above all first.
December has always been a buzz of movie activities, from Christmas and Romcoms blockbusters to anticipating new hit releases, but 2020 is a bit different and the reason is not farfetched. Like the fight against the dreaded coronavirus, we don’t have to give up on our marathon binge-movie tradition. Let’s do things a little differently this time, having a mix of the old and the new to create a lasting December movie experience. Don’t expect the usual Christmas-themed movies, that’s boring jor. Here are some of the films to watch this holiday season.
1) Home Alone: A classic and a must-watch every Christmas time, yes the tradition can not be broken, the Home Alone franchise has brought so much happiness to many all over the world. With a special bias for Home Alone 1 and 2, Macaulay Culkin as a kid actor just has a way of making you love Christmas more and more.
2) Greenland: It might look like Gerard Butler always gets to save the day in near-impossible situations, considering his role in the Fallen series, but you can’t deny the fact that he’s really good at it. Go watch Butler as he navigates his way through a meteor shower while trying to get his family to safety all in one piece.
3) Ukwa: If there was a time Nkem Owoh gave his best performance, Ukwa would take the prize. This Nollywood comedy classic is sure to get you rolling on the floor with laughter and tears in your eyes. Patience Ozokwor too is not left out in this hilarious blockbuster.
4) Wonder Woman 1984 (release date, Dec 28): One of the most anticipated films of 2020. The release date has been pushed back several times that you’d think the movie is cursed or something. (It’s going to be a great film, have you seen the trailer?) Finally, we get to feast our eyes and souls to the magic Gal Gadot brings to the character called Diana- Wonder Woman.
5) Nneka the Pretty Serpent (Release date is Dec 18): After a successful remake of Living in Bondage and Rattlesnake, Play Network Studios has shown that it’s working hard at giving life to old Nollywood classics by announcing the release date for Nneka the Pretty Serpent. If you’ve seen the original, then the remake should prick your curiosity. The movie features comedian Bovi, reality star Beverly Osu and Ndidi Obi who play the lead character.
The partnership between Netflix and EbonyLife Productions seems to yield a lot of fruits. Òlòtūré, a Netflix original in collaboration with Mo Abudu’s media house is currently receiving massive reviews all over the world, and positive ones at that.
Òlòtūré was released on the streaming platform on the 2nd of October and within a space of twenty-four hours, climbed to the number one position in Nigeria and a few other countries. This showed the impact the film has on not just Nigerians but on a global audience. On Monday, the 5th of October, Òlòtūré clinched a spot on Netflix global top 10 movies, meaning that the film was streamed in over 80 countries.
Surprisingly, on Sunday, 4th of October, Òlòtūré was on top-10 status in fifteen countries including France, Switzerland, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
The film has an impressive cast that featured a blend of the old and new Nollywood, and it reflected in the quality of acting. The story is one of significance, breaking social and ethnic barriers as it speaks to a wider audience because it portrayed the challenges faced by African women being exploited and peddled as sex workers. The impact of Òlòtūré is incredibly impressive, within the first few days of its release, social media was agog with encouraging remarks and reviews, its a film that touches the heart.
EbonyLife Founder and Executive producer of the movie, Mo Abudu, said Òlòtūré was not made for commercial reasons. “We made Òlòtūré highlight an issue that affects African women but we had no idea of the impact it would have around the world. Clearly, the themes resonate with a global audience and people identify with the plight of exploited women everywhere. I hope this reaction inspires Nigerian filmmakers to tell more stories that depict our society’s challenges, even as we highlight our successes.”
Òlòtūré tells the story of a young Nigerian journalist who went undercover to expose the ugly underworld of human trafficking. In her quest to uncover those behind the shady business, she finds herself on a cliff, about to fall with no rescue in sight.
The film stars Sharon Ooja, Omoni Oboli, Beverly Osu, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Omowunmi Dada, Omawunmi Megbele, Segun Arinze, Wofai Fada, Sambasa Nzeribe, Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju, Pearl Okorie, David Jones David, Ikechukwu Onanaku and Bukola Oladipupo. It was directed by Kenneth Gyang.
Honourary mention: Beverly Osu gave a sterling performance in Òlòtūré. Through her appearance, she didn’t utter a single word, but her facial expression and body language were on point so much so that we understood every action she took. Now that’s acting.
So the Big Brother Naija season 5 is done and dusted, but the lockdown edition will go down as one of the most dramatic. Housemates thrilled us with extra doses of hyperactive drama scenes as well as hilarious moments.
It’s said by fans that a few of the housemates didn’t reveal their true selves, rather, they acted a script the whole 10 weeks. Whether that’s possible, we’ll leave that to you; but let’s take a look at some of the housemates that might just have a career in Nollywood for real.
1) Ozo: This handsome guy has all the traits of a lover boy that will clearly give the likes of Alex Ekubo and Kenneth Okoli a run for the money in Nollywood. He’s suave and charming ways come off as something that will get the ladies weak in the knees and not forgetting his love lines. (We all can attest to this, at least Nengi can)
2) Nengi: Nengi seems like she’ll do great in the make-believe industry. Her sweet and girl next door demeanor is something movie enthusiasts find attractive. It doesn’t also hurt that she’s beautiful and would be a perfect love interest in a rom-com.
3) Laycon: He has this underdog feel to him, someone that nobody believes in but eventually rises up as a result of being molded by each challenge faces to become the most celebrated individual in a film. Laycon can also look like someone that will pull off a gangster boss role perfectly. With the likes of Reminisce as Makanaki in King of Boys, Laycon should be able to play that kind of role without breaking a sweat. And yes, there’s something about his eyes, just something.
4) Erica: This is a no brainer, she’s been in a few low key flicks before partaking in BBN. Erica has a likable streak to her, it helps that she’s also gorgeous. She’s that girl you’d love to take home to mama and Introduce as ‘our wife’. Indeed, she also can pull off a nasty and spoilt brat with emotional and daddy issues roles. It’s certain we’ll see more of her in Nollywood, no doubt.
5) Neo: Okay, you know how a group of friends hang out a lot and there’s that one friend that’s the life of the party? Yep, that’s Neo. The energy he radiates is contagious, he should be able to pull off a comic role as well, based on his Warri connect that is. Neo’s physique as well as a plus, maybe, just maybe another Chidi Mokeme (or even better) is in the making.
6) Brighto: Brighto’s listening ear and ever ready pills of advice earned him the nickname Lord Baelish, from the epic fantasy series, Game of Thrones. Taking on a dual personality role should be a breeze for him. Nollywood ought to welcome Brighto with open arms and he most likely won’t disappoint.
7) Tolanibaj: One of the few housemates who’s not afraid to say what’s on her mind without mincing words. Tolanibaj would definitely fit into the no-nonsense girl roles similar to that of Tonto Dike and probably a Mercy Johnson. For those that don’t know, Tolanibaj has a YouTube channel where she shares her life journey and the latest happenings. Producers should not rule her out, she might just be the next creative asset in the industry.
These are exciting times in Nollywood, we are witnessing a new wave of iconic movies. Reviving old classics and turning them into blockbuster movies. This new trend is being championed by Charles Okpaleke. Charles secured the rights to Living in Bondage and gave us a breathtaking sequel of the 1992 classic which was directed by Ramsey Nouah- the movie made over N140 million at the box office.
Following the success of 2019’s Living in Bondage- Breaking Free, five years after acquiring the rights, Charles Opkaleke’s Play Network have yet again secured the rights to create the sequel of yet another Nollywood classic- Rattle Snake. Slated to hit the cinemas in November of 2020, Rattle Snake- The Armadas will be a reality. Teaming up with director Ramsey Nouah again on this one, it’s anticipated that the movie will be another box office bombshell when it is released.
Charles announced the remake of the movie via his Instagram handle in March, and lovers of the film, (especially those born in the 90s) have been talking about it and excitedly awaiting the release date. Rattle Snake follows the life of a young boy who turned to a life of crime after a series of sad events, read the previous post about the story here.
The poster for the movie was recently released and it got a lot of fans hyped, especially with the line up of cast. Though roles haven’t been announced yet, social media is already abuzz on who’s playing who in the film. Rattle Snake- The Armadas has an impressive cast made up of faces in new Nollywood, from the regulars such as Osas Ighodaro, Efe Iwera, Stan Nze, to emerging talents like Emeka Nwagbaraocha, Tobi Bakre and more.
This trend is indeed set to revolutionize Nollywood, combining the old yet powerful themed stories with modern-day film production gadgets. It’s clear that the duo of Charles Opkaleke and Ramsey Nouah is all out to make magic and serve it hot; they have also acquired the rights to other classics- Glamour Girls and Nneka the Pretty Serpent which are already in the works for a remake. Though the release dates have not been announced yet, a lot of people have shared their expectations online. What will the storyline be, will the plot live up to the old one, are the action scenes going to be explosive and thrilling enough, what about locations, will there explore new places? These and more are the questions on everybody’s minds. The fillers circulating the industry is that Charles and Ramsey didn’t disappoint in Living in Bondage- Breaking Free, it’s almost certain, they won’t disappoint with Rattle Snake- The Armad
If you’ve not seen the movie Rattle Snake then you need to start searching for it now. Rattle Snake was perhaps the first action movie in the Nigerian Movie Industry when Nollywood was still at its infancy stage. Till date, it is considered one of the best movies in Nollywood, and it gathered a lot of following at the time it was released.
The movie was released in 1995 (yes, that long ago) and it was Nollywood’s first attempt at an action flick. Though the picture quality might not be gold, it was the best at the time. The story and acting made up for all other technical glitches. Rattle Snake it is said was a film inspired by true events, this, late film icon, Amaka Igwe turned into a super movie that captivated the whole country at the time.
The story follows the life of a young boy, Ahanna who after the death of his father and no one to cater for his family, was lured into a life of crime, specializing in armed robbery. He was abandoned by his mother who later married his uncle (his father’s brother).
Ahanna was torn between keeping his promise to Ann, his girlfriend to turn a new leaf and stay away from crime, or accept his best friend’s request of one last robbery. He was eventually betrayed by his best friend and that saw him coming back from the “dead” (at a point everyone thought he was dead) to exact revenge on those that wronged him.
Rattle Snake was an emotional rollercoaster, a suspense-filled thriller and action-packed film all wrapped in one gift bag. It was a huge success at the time, every movie lover accepted the film, probably because of its relatability and superb acting by the cast as well, not to mention the amazing directing by late Amaka Igwe.
Some of the cast includes- Francis Duru, Nkem Owoh, Ernest Obi, Anne Njemanze, Bob Manuel, Ejike Methuselah, Ebele Uzochukwu, Uche Odoputa, Okey Igwe, Julius Agwu, Tony One Week and a host of other. Many of the cast went on to become great Nollywood celebrities and are still active in the industry to date.
There’s exciting news for all the 90s kids who saw this amazing film, a sequel is in the works. Yes, it’s coming out soon. Stay glued to this space, more gist on that will be revealed very soon. Meanwhile, let’s go back in time, what’s your favourite scene in the movie?
The global coronavirus pandemic took the world by storm and to avoid the spread of the dreaded virus, several nations had no choice than to order lockdown of cities and in some cases, the whole country. Nigeria was not spared.
The lockdown presented an opportunity for families to bond and rekindle lost love as well. We’re witnessing an upsurge in entertainment activities at home by individuals and loved ones together, all in a bid to weather the storm of Covid-19 while keeping safe. One of such entertainment activities was an increase in viewership of series, cable television and online Video on Demand that platforms have recorded immense ratings on their top television series.
It’s quite interesting for me though, as someone that doesn’t really care much for Nigerian drama series, this lockdown has got me loving a few. From 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm weekdays, I and my family are always glued to the TV set, excitedly taking in the various amazing series and talking about them afterwards. This has brought us closer, I’m indeed grateful. Hehehe. I’m also sure you guys are experiencing similar as well. So here are the drama series that’s keeping us entertained this period.
1) My Flatmates
2) The Johnsons
4) My Siblings and I
1) Money Heist kept a lot of us completely in awe. I bet many of you didn’t think a Spanish series would hold you spellbound the way “Casa De Papel” has done. This crime series is simply and utterly awesome, from season one you’re thrown into this world of suspense and mindblowing action. If you’ve not checked it out, you’re definitely missing out.
2) So a friend of mine suggested this series to me, she said it was going to blow me away and it sure did. YOU is another Netflix original and if you’re a fan of Intelligent yet suspense-driven thrillers, then this is for you. Go check it out and thank me later.
This is how most of us are getting through the lockdown and staying entertained even as we stand together in the fight against Covid-19. Why don’t you share your top lockdown drama series in the comments, let’s see what you’ve been watching? Remember, keep sa
If you’re a fan of WWF/WWE then get in here. I can’t claim to be a fan though, but WWF was real entertainment for me while growing up. Back in the days, the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Andrew the Giant, Brave Heart, Shawn Michaels and the likes made wrestling fun and exciting to watch.
Well, that’s me, this article is not about that. It’s about the new crop (well not so new though) of wrestlers who believe it or not, after conquering the ring, are doing the same in the movie space.
There are quite a few World Wrestling Entertainment wrestlers who have made a switch to the movies or have managed to handle both but not all have been successful. Here’s a shortlist of those I consider successful A-list WWE wrestlers turned actors in no particular order.
1) Dwane Johnson (The Rock): This dude right here has almost done it all, the American-Canadian is one of the most successful entertainers. A retired professional wrestler, The Rock was once a professional football player before he ventured into the WWE. He’s a renowned actor, producer and businessman. Well known for his roles in movies such as Hercules, The Scorpion King, Tooth Fairy, Sky Scrapper, Moana, Jumanji, Fast and Furious franchise, Hobbs and Shaw among many others. The Rock retired from WWF of which he was very active in for eight years. He has since made a name for himself as a great actor in Hollywood.
2) David Michael Bautista Jr. (Dave Bautista): Another favorite both on the ring and on-screen, Bautista is a delight to watch. The heavily built 51-year-old retired as a professional wrestler on April 8, 2019. Before then he was juggling between being in the ring and managing a successful career as an actor. One of the few on this list who is a mixed martial artist and a bodybuilder (Arnold Schwarzenegger the 2nd). Bautista has quite an array of interesting movie features where he displayed his acting prowess as well as martial arts skills. He’s been in movies such as Spectre (A James Bond Flick), Guardians of the Galaxy, Riddick, The Man with the Iron Fist, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, My Spy and other movies.
3) John Felix Anthony Cena Jr (John Cena): Okay, if you want to date his daughter better think twice. John Cena is that guy that threatens you with just one look. Hehehehe. You just have to love John, this American 43-year-old is a professional wrestler, Television presenter, actor and rapper. Yes, you read right, John Cena is a rapper. He’s the only one on the list still with the WWE on a part-time contract. John has starred in a couple of movies, they include; Trainwreck, The Marine, Bumblebee and Ferdinand.
There is, my top wrestlers turned actors. Do you agree with the list, drop a line or two in the comments, let’s talk.
Hello guys, been a while you heard from me right? Yeah, I know, hopefully, it won’t be the last. Hehehe. We are in interesting times and a lot of us are trying to cope and get by as best we can.
It’s no news that the world is experiencing a global pandemic, COVID-19 took us by storm and there’s a lot of discourse going on about how it all started and why. But that’s gist for another day. I want to talk about the Funke Akindele house party issue.
Kindly bear in mind that whatever I say here is my opinion and I have a right to it as indeed everyone that has come on social media to air theirs as well. First of all, I’ll like to state that there’s nothing wrong in hosting a family party at this time of social distancing if it’s within your immediate family and everyone is in perfectly healthy.
Funke hosted a birthday party for her husband JJC Skillz and they invited a few family friends to celebrate with them. Fine! It was a very lively one from the video posted by JJC. The issue here is that he posted the video (which I think was not very smart of him), and that got everyone talking. We are supposed to be observing social distancing to help curb the spread of the dreaded coronavirus and here someone is blatantly flouting the directive by the Lagos State Government that’s meant to keep us safe, and worse, he’s brazenly flaunting it for all to see. That’s just dumb if you ask me. I bet there are a lot of people that are not observing the stay at home order or practicing social distancing in many parts of the country every day but you don’t see them uploading videos of it on social media deliberately. Doesn’t make it right though.
Another thing that angered many was the video put out by JJC after the backlash by Nigerians, he acted unbothered about the utter lack of respect for the directive and endangering not only himself and his family but others that were present at the soiree. It would’ve been better if he’d have kept quiet and allow his wife to do the talking, it seems she’s better at it. I must commend Funke and her PR team for the video she released immediately to explain in detail what really transpired.
Funke’s explanation made so much sense that it’ll be plain wicked for anyone to still want to crucify her, and she gave reasons why we saw Naira Marley and some other people in attendance. She was calm, apologetic and full of remorse. Now that’s what we needed, everyone who has seen the video admitted she did wrong but they also commended her for setting the record straight.
I heard some people saying she shouldn’t have been arrested by the police since she had tendered an apology. The truth is, in the eyes of the law, ignorance is not an excuse. The authorities did exactly what it should do without recourse to Funke and JJC’s social status and that’s how systems work. She should be made to face the law for breaking it despite being remorseful, it will now be left to the court to temper justice with mercy. And in this case, they (Funke and JJC) were sentenced to 14 days of community service and also fined N100, 000. The sentence was passed on Monday, 6th of April at the Samuel Ilori Courthouse of the Magistrate Court in Ogba. This will serve as a deterrent to others as well as show that no one is above the law.
What about others that were at the party, they too will face the law and the appropriate punishment meted out. That’s just the way it should be.
Celebrities should act as role models that they are, they should be at the forefront encouraging their followers to stay safe and follow the rules so the spread of COVID-19 will be contained. Funke didn’t practice what she preached. Being a Dettol Ambassador and with the current campaign spearheaded by her for all to practice safe hygiene in these times, she should’ve known better. But alas, she suffered a lapse in judgment and she’s paying for it. Let’s not forget one thing, despite the celebrity status, despite the affluence, she and her husband are only humans and every human must be held accountable for their actions.
When it comes to award ceremonies, the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards does justice. The glitz, glam, fashion statements and luxury accessories are top-notch and our celebrities go all out to look the part at every event. This year’s edition is no different as A-listers and B-listers brought their A-game, the red carpet was blazing hot with filmmakers displaying their style and class.
The battle for who will be crowned the best-dressed male and female celebrities was indeed a fierce one. It seemed this year everyone had one agenda, and that is to win that title and maybe rub it on Ebuka’s face. Hehehe. Yes, organizers of the awards were wise enough to take Ebuka who by the way did an amazing job as one of the red carpet hosts, off the contenders for the coveted title. At least this made a lot of people sleep well, knowing Ebu will not disgrace them with his always superbly designs.
After much peppering at the red carpet, Mercy Eke and Mike Edwards of the BBN fame came out tops to be crowned best dressed male and female respectively. They came to slay and slay they did.
Lights, camera, action! And the red carpet came alive, while some celebrities wowed us with their ensemble, others just left us asking how on earth did they leave their houses looking like that? Urgh! We have a few best-dressed favourites that did great. For the ladies, Adesuwa Etomi-Wellington, Toke Makinwa, Sharon Ooja, Sophie Alakija and Dakore Akande made quite an impression. Ayoola Ayolola, Tubaba, Denola Grey, Banky W, Akin Faminu and of course Ebuka Obi-Uchendu all brought the sauce to the party.
This is the kind of pressure some people just can’t handle, many can’t deal. Adekunle Gold can testify, for him, it’s too much stress for a one-night event. He shared on Twitter that he’ll wear what he likes, anybody that doesn’t approve should go ahead and have a headache as he doesn’t care. Who was your best dressed at the 7th edition of the AMVCA?