Friday, December 24, 2010

Movie Review: I sing of a well.

Title: I sing of a well
Starring: John Agyeman, Akofa Asiedu, Godwin Kotey, Kofi Mends, Doris Sakitey, Prince David Osei, Luckie Lawson
Director: Leila Djansi
Executive producers: Akofa Asiedu, Leila Djansi, Ross Lamanna, Ambrose Augustt
Story: Leila Djansi
Year of production: 2010
Country: Ghana
Language: English/Ewe
Genre: Historical Drama

Prologue: There was a lot of drama before, during and after the making of this movie. You can read about some of it here and here, or you can just google Akofa and Leila and get an eyeful. They really did not get along during the making of this movie. Given that background, I was expecting something really horrible. But honestly, I liked the story. I really did. I hyped it here last year if there is any interest in going back to look at that.

What is the story about? Soraya is engaged to Dume a common hunter in the village. They want to get married, but the bride price set by her uncles (her father is dead) is way too high, so he continues to work to raise the money. In the meantime, Soraya catches the eye of the crown prince and he demands her hand in marriage. How does this work out for Soraya, Dume and the kingdom itself?

Click here to continue on to trailer and review

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Movie Review: A private Storm

Title: A private storm
Starring: Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Ramsey Nouah, John Dumelo, Ngozi Ezeonu, Ufuoma Ejebonor
Producer: Vivian Ejike
Story: Vivian Ejike
Executive producer: O Atoki
Directors: Ikechukwu Onyeka, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen
Year of production: 2010
Country: Nigeria.
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Prologue:  This is Vivian Ejike's third movie. The first one,  "When the heart lies" was pretty bad. However,  I was very impressed by Silent Scandals, her second movie. For this movie, there is only one thing I want to say:

AaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaHHHH! That is what I am talking about. Yeah!! Nigerian movies are stepping up BIG time and Vivian is right in the midst of the revolution. What? What!!! I know I am gushing like a schoolgirl, but I cannot help my self. I loved it. Loooooooved it. LOVED IT!! Please do not watch this on youtube, get your own original copy. At the moment, all the online stores have it, so get a copy u hear me? It does not cost that much and you will get excellent entertainment during this holiday season.

Click to continue to Trailer and review

Nollywood art exhibition on CNN

So, it appears that CNN has this fascination with Nollywood. The industry is now on their radar and it appears there is a new story every 5 minutes. However, I am not sure that I am feeling this exhibition at all. It all seems so artsy without much substance that I can relate to. I am an avid Nollywood fan and I do not really know what Ms. Saro Wiwa is going on about. Who are these people? And there is more to Nollywood than the aspirational English movies. We have the yoruba movies as well as the traditional village based movies. Talking about plastic and aspirational!! Suffice to say I am not really excited about view of the industry. But here it is anyways:

Full story here


Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Hype: Tango with me


Hi peeps!
I have decided to be a little more selective about the movies I hype nowadays, but this one, I could not resist! What a gorgeous, gorgeous trailer! Very attractive!! The story line appears to be really similar to Perfect picture, (another movie I need to review soon), but hopefully there are plot differences. Its a star studded movie, featuring the lovely Genevieve Nnaji, newcomer Benjamin Joseph (hawt!!), Joke Silva, Bimbo Manuel, Bimbo Akintola and Ahmed Yerima. It was produced and directed by Mahmood Ali-Balogun, while the screenplay was written by Femi Kayode.
Click for Trailer and more.....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Hype: The Child

The delectable Wole Ojo won the fourth AMBO competition and so he gets to star in their latest movie - The Child. Apparently its a Benin based  epic starring  Joke Silva, Bukky Ajayi, Alex Osifo and as always directed by the fabulous Izu Ojukwu. 

 The Story:
Directed by Izu Ojukwu, ‘The Child’ revolves around a Benin town’s expectation of a ‘child’ promised the community by the gods. The advent of the child will see to the end of the town’s problems which include drought and recurrent war defeats, especially against the strong army of Ijogun.

Two children, at least as far as we can tell, are born on the said night; one is by the widowed queen Ifueko, played by Joke Silva, whose uncle the Iyase (Alex Usifo) is the regent. Another woman gives birth to a son. The rains return, wars are won and a basket mysteriously retains water after the boys are born. As long as the basket holds water, the community knows their special one is still alive. As both boys grow up, so does the competition between them as both are intent to prove their ‘childship,’ despite the fact that all have accepted the crown prince Nosa (or Omo as his mother calls him) as the special one (Edaeke).
Read more:

Cindy's Notes

Title : Cindy's Notes

Starring: Bhaira Mcwizu (ambo 3 winner),  Nonso Diobi, Clems Ohameze, kasimu Yero, Jennifer Ayomo

Story: Amaka Ezeala

Screenplay: Felix Odion

Producer: Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO)

Director:  Izu Ojukwu

Year: 2008

Country: Nigeria

Genre: Inspirational drama

Language: English

As anybody who reads this blog knows, I am a big fan of Izu Ojukwu - Amstel Malta collaboration. I have previously reviewed the first two movies in the partnership, namely Sitanda and White Waters.  For those unfamiliar with the Amstel Malta movie franchise, here is a quick overview - The amstel malta company sponsors a reality show every year to find new talent for the Nigerian movie industry. The winner gets to star in a movie directed by the tremendous Izu Ojukwu. Azizat Sadiq won the first edition and starred in the aforementioned  Sitanda, while O.C Ukeje won the second edition and was the star of white Waters. The third edition was won by  Bhaira Mcwizu and she is consequently the leading lady in Cindy's Notes. By Nigerian standards, Cindy's Notes is a tremendous movie!

Read more

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Genevieve Nnaji : Connecting the world on CNN (video and transcript)

Nigeria's foremost Nollywood Superstar, Genevieve Nnaji was recently interviewed on connect the world on CNN.  She was extremely well spoken, looking beautiful and classy. Wonderful representative of Nollywood! Excellent job! She was in London for the premier of Bursting out, and CNN took the opportunity to interview her. 


The Hype: Bursting out

Hi peeps!
This movie was just recently premiered in London, and you can read some unbiased reports of that event here. After reading that, I am hyping this, though with some trepidation because the cinema goers did not appear to be that impressed with it. Nevertheless, it is a star studded affair - produced by Emem Isong, directed by Daniel Ademinokan and Desmond Elliot; and starring a list of who is who in Nollywood including Desmond Elliot, Genevieve Nnaji, Nse Ikpe Etim, Omoni Oboli, Susan Peters, Majid Michel and recent Big Brother Africa winner Uti Nwachukwu. With all those names, it better live up to the hype!

Synopsis and trailer when you continue.......

Monday, November 22, 2010

Short film: Grass between my lips

There was a whole period a couple of years ago when female genital mutilation was a hot topic so we had some attention in the media on the topic. Movies like Lost Maiden were made , a very good movie actually. Check it out if you have not. Around that time, this short film by Ghanaian filmaker Leila Djansi was released. While I had heard of Leila for reasons I will not go into here, I had never seen her work. Let me just say that I was blown away. She is making longer movies now, which I will definitely be talking about on this blog for sure - assuming she keeps up with this standard of filmmaking.

Just a little bit about the short:
Cast: Angela Sarfo Ababio, Ernest Adjey Doateng, Abi Adatsi, Nathaniel Banini and Emanual Armah.

Producer: Leila Djansi

You can check out the synopsis of the film on the website here. Apparently you can buy a dvd there too. Great stuff!
Alright, check out the movie itself:

Grass between My lips from filmmaker on Vimeo.

Excellent filmmaking no? Leila is also made "I sing of a well", which I hyped here but have not seen. I hope to see and review it before the end of the year.

I know that I will be featuring a lot of Leila's work here. I can smell high standards all over her output. Enjoy the short film.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Hype: Black Gold

Apart from the fabulous Letters to a Stranger, I have not been too excited about movies produced or directed by any of the Amata brothers. Okay let me be specific - I hunted down Amazing Grace after all the hype, and one year later, I still have not gotten through it!! But it seems like they have been busy of late, so hopefully their story telling has improved.

I am hyping this because it tells a different story from the normal "marry love" Nollywood story, and the trailer is promising. I have my reservations about the storyline as it appears on the trailer, but I will hold my tongue until I can see it. The movie is entitled Black Gold, and actually stars some Hollywood heavyweights, including Billy Zane (Titanic), Hakeem Kae Kazim (Hotel Rwanda) as well as Sarah Wayne Callies(Prison break). Note that this is a different movie from Liquid Black Gold, a slightly above average movie starring Sam Dede on a very similar theme that was released in 2009 or late 2008 (its hard to tell, the jackets of Nigerian movies do not have dates for some reason!).

What is it about?

From award winning director, Jeta Amata, comes Black Gold, a powerful story of greed, murder and corruption in the murky waters of the volatile oil rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Black Gold is an epic film about environmental justice and the fight over the control of the scarce oil resources that the world runs on. The line between good and evil is blurred as corrupt government officials, greedy oil companies and violent rebels go on a war path over oil spills and degradation of the land caused by oil exploration. Starring Billy Zane, Mbong Amata, Hakeem Kae Kazim and Sarah Wayne Callies. Produced by Jeta Amata, Wilson Ebiye, Dede Mabiaku and Hakeem Kae Kazim. Original score and trailer by Joel Goffin.

Trailer below:

You can find a half finished website with some pics but no working links here. I hope there is a better website soon. I will update this link if I find one.

Looking forward to it.


Okay, now I am back to stay

I have not written much on this blog of recent for many reasons, mostly personal. Also as important, however is the fact that the quality of movies this year has been absolutely, unbelievably, atrociously bad. Incredible!! I have had no incentive to waste precious time or money on any of the crappy products that Nollywood has been churning out. While the crappy movies have been going straight to dvd, some of the better movies have been going to cinema. Majority of my postings in the foreseeable future will be focused on these better movies. I will also be going back to identify movies from the past that have not been covered here.

So folks, we will cover the past, and mostly the future, but not much of the present. Its too depressing!!

But I'm back y'all!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Movie Review: Baba JayeJaye

Title: Baba JayeJaye

Starring: Funke Akindele, Babatunde Omidina, Femi Adebayo, Kayode Odumosu, Ranti Adebayo, Iyabo Odukanmi.

Producer: Babatunde Omidina

Screenplay: Babatunde Omidina, Monsuru Obadina, Kehinde Adeyemi, Gabade Oguntoyosi, Yomi King

Story: Babatunde Omidina

Director: Monsuru Obadina

Year of production: 2009

Country: Nigeria.

Genre: Comedy

Language: Yoruba (with subtitles)

Preamble: I have been out of the loop with Yoruba movies for quite a while, and honestly, I have not heard good things about the genre. I had tried to come back by watching the much hyped Jenifa, hated it and thus continued my hiatus. I am glad I came back because honestly, this was pretty good!


Summary: Baba Suwe (called Asumo by his mother) is a stereotypical Lagos Landlord with wife (Iyabo Odukanmi) and kids in Lagos. He meets Kikelomo (played by Funke Akindele) at an eatery and loses his mind, kicks out his wife and starts to spend money on her in a profligate manner. Kike is so expensive; he ends up neglecting his kids and his aged mother who depend on him financially. Baba Suwe and Kike’s relationship is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Baba Suwe is a bush, illiterate, uneducated man with no table manners, while Funke is the more sophisticated, worldly wise Lagos babe, playing him like a fiddle!! Hilarious!! You could call this the Nigerian version of a midlife (or perhaps end of life) crisis movie. How does it work out for Baba Suwe and his May-December romance?

Positives: First of all it is in only one part which is great, considering Nigerian movies nowadays have so many parts, they could be considered soap operas. It’s unfortunate that Yoruba movies do not get enough credit, because some of them are pretty good. Also, the subtitling was adequate. Could have been better in parts, but even if you don’t speak Yoruba, I am pretty sure that you can follow it quite well. In terms of content, Baba Suwe and Funke Akindele are nothing short of hilarious for the most part. The restaurant kissing scene just left me in stitches! And the landlord and tenant scene, where Funke speaks English and the landlord does not understand a word of it, Oh my word!! The rest of the cast was very good as well – the mother, the scorned wife, the tenants, the extended family. Mostly perfect casting. I also loved the fact that the settings were not over sanitized, as in many of the English language movies, creating an overly sophisticated, but very atypical setting. It was all very conventional, normal and very relatable. You could just see this whole scene playing out in inner city Lagos, with Baba Suwe as your crazy landlord, fighting with his feisty wife. Technically, it was not perfect, picture could have been better, but it was pretty adequate. I could only get it on vcd, so that may have affected the picture quality. The metamorphosis of Baba Suwe from an agbada (native attire) wearing old man to a jeans sagging with underwear showing, earrings sporting, tennis rocking, scarf and leather glove displaying dude just to keep up with his young lady love was just classic! Good heavens! I also liked the display of culture in the engagement scene. That scene was actually pretty representative of the real thing. Some effort was made in putting this one together – good job!

Negatives: However, it was not quite perfect. First there was the issue of progression : first we saw, Kikelomo was totally disgusted by the old man. And next thing, they were all over each other. Also, and I guess this is begging for a separate article, the violence in Nigerian movies is very bad. Even for comedy purposes, the fact that the lesson teacher (Kayode Odumosu) felt comfortable bringing out a belt to attack Baba Suwe for being a bad student was unfortunate. It was not funny and is actually an indictment of our violence prone culture. In addition, several scenes could have done with some editing, for instance, the birthday scene, which was waay too long. And most disappointing for me, towards the end they screwed it up with a juju (medicine man) scene. I was so happy that this one was juju free, but alas, towards the end, they had to have one. But I suppose it is realistic. A lot of people do believe in and rely on that, as we all know. Although I guess one positive lesson we had from the scene in this particular movie is that it does not work and only makes you look ridiculous.I suppose that was a good way to do it if it had to be done at all. However, I still don’t like it. I would love our movies to elevate our mode of thinking. Finally, towards the end, the movie started to drag, although I think it was all wrapped up very nicely.

Lesson/Worldview: In the west, when a man gets to be middle-aged and feels that he is getting old, he may get a sports car, or divorce his wife and find a young hot blond in order to feel better about himself. More often than not though, the young ladies who hang out with men old enough to be their fathers are usually gold diggers. Nothing good ever comes out of kicking out the woman who stuck with you through hard times and bore you your children. It never, ever ends well, as Baba Suwe found out at great cost. In the African context though, the movie also all too clearly reflects the relative powerlessness of too many women in our society – the fact that the old man could just throw his wife and kids out with no consequence says a lot about gender rights and how much still has to be done to protect women in such situations.

Rating: 7/10. It was really funny in many parts. I highly recommend it.

Availability: I was really excited to find that there is a place where you can get Yoruba movies in America finally. They are all on vcd and I suspect, they are all genuine. I am 90percent certain that their movies are the real thing and not pirated copies. If I learn otherwise I will come correct myself. You can check them out here.


Monday, May 17, 2010

The hype: Nollywood hustlers

As I mentioned in my last entry, the movies this year have been soooo bad that I have no incentive to review them. Its horrible. My reviews, when they return, will be of the older movies. Nothing good has come out of Nollywood this year, and it seems that with the exception of Shirley's movies, everything Ghana produces now seems to be soft porn! Na wah!

Luckily though, it appears that we have some decent movies to look forward to - one can only hope that they live up to the promise.

Today, we start with the satire/comedy Nollywood hustlers.
Uche Jombo ex mathematician (impressive huh?) executive produced this one, while Emem Isong produced it. Here is the synopsis of the movie:

"Elvis (Charles Inojie) and Lucky (Bishop) are two no-good-out-of-work hustlers who want to shoot a film. They enlist the help of Prince Adolphus Akabogwu (Ejike Asiegbu) to sponsor it and the pepper soup joint assistant Scholarstica (Uche Jombo) to feature. But how do they get the A-List actors, Monalisa Chinda and Ramsey Nouah (acting as themselves) to act without paying their exorbitant fee? They then come up with a brilliant plan that leads to severe consequences for the pair. 'Nollywood Hustler' is a satire on the film making process in Nigerian film industry that will leave you laughing from start to finish. Produced by Emem Isong and written by Bola Aduwo & Uduak Isong Oguamanam, it has Uche Jombo as the Executive Producer and features several stars in cameo appearances." Source

Interesting plot no? That is what I thought too, until I discovered that it is some kind of copy of the the Hollywood movie Bowfinger. Hmmmmmm! For the record, there is nothing wrong with remaking a movie if you acknowledge that it is a remake. So nollywood, take note!

Anyways, here is the trailer:

I will admit that it does look funny, so I am looking forward to it. There are some pics from the movie here and premiere pics here and here.

The movie is apparently making the theater rounds in Naija. Hopefully its available on dvd soon.


Friday, April 30, 2010

Sorry! and AMAA on CNN

Hello people!

A thousand apologies. I have not lived up to the promise I made in starting this blog. I am so sorry, life just got busy. Also, movies this year so far have been awful. I have a whole bunch of movies to watch and review, but I have no time, and yes, no motivation. The few I have seen are not reviewable. Its been so far, so bad!! **Sigh**

But there are quite a few movies coming up that I am excited about, so I guess my return will be all about the hype feature for now and perhaps reviews of some of the older movies. For some reason, Nollywood is back in the doldrums. Hopefully things improve!

Anyways, I was doing my news rounds this morning, and saw this feature on CNN. It's a feature on the recently held African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). The gist is that AMAA had a lot of issues this year (as always) from organization, to sponsorship, to the fact that most stars did not show up
. Also weird was the fact that three people won best actress for the movie Perfect Picture. Yeah, strange huh?

But it does seem that the rest of the world has begun to recognize the AMAAs as Africa's oscars. That means that they need to get their acts together ASAP. Hopefully they will. Kunle Afolayan's Figurine, already hyped here, stole the show at the awards. Enjoy the feature, and I will be back!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Movie Review: Deepest of Dreams

Title: Deepest of Dreams

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Majid Michel, Tonto Dike Geredine Ekeocha, Prince Eke

Producer: Azuka Odgngkwe

Director: Tchidi Chikere

Story/screenplay: Tchidi Chikere

Year of production: 2009

Genre: Drama

Language: English

Country: Nigeria.

Preamble: Tchidi is a very inconsistent writer and director. Sometimes he slams it out of the park and sometimes, he screws things up. Let me by saying that in my opinion, this was a slam dunk, a grand slam, a home run! What I wonder though, is why he had to give such a good movie such a ridiculous name. Who names these things? I almost did not watch it. And yet, what a good movie it turned out to be!

Story: Catherine (Omotola Jalade Ekehinde) is a young girl who lives with her mother (Geredine Ekeocha) and her sister Debbie (Tonto Dike). Problem is, Catherine has been badly disfigured in a car accident that killed her father and left her with facial scars and a bad limp. Now she considers herself ugly and suffers from very low self esteem. Her situation is not helped by her beautiful sister Debbie who misses no opportunity to put her down. Into this dysfunctional setting walks the very handsome and rich Omar (Majid Michel) who for some inexplicable reason seems to be very attracted to the ugly duckling Catherine, much to Debbie’s chagrin. How does it work out for the three of them?

Trailer (although this trailer is pretty bad - a cut and join job if you ask me. Makes no sense!!)

Positives: Omotola is one of Africa’s top actresses for a reason – she can act. SHE CAN ACT! Dang!! I loved her in this movie – loved her. Her vulnerability, her self loathing - there were times she almost moved me to tears. She was clearly the star of this flick. I cannot lie – she pulled it off big time. I have never been a big fan of Tonto Dike’s but with performances like this, she is starting to win me over. She was excellent as the beautiful spoilt brat of a sister with clear feelings of entitlement. And Majid – sauve, handsome, compassionate and yet, conflicted – veeeery nice! I loved the casting of this movie. Honestly, I have no complaints about any single cast member. Even the doctor (Prince Okah), I think did really well. Most delightful!
I loved the story. While it was kinda cheesy, it was also very sweet, and yet not totally predictable. I did not really expect some of the events that took place, so I really liked that. I loved the fact that Tchidi was able to take a very simple story, requiring such few cast members, and yet make something so engaging out of it. Good job.

Negatives: First, Omotola’s make up. Yeah it made her look funny, but why was the supposed burn green? Abi was it just my eyes? It was green!! They needed to do a better job with the burn victim story and associated make up. Haba!! Secondly, Tchidi needs a better camera. Yes, the pink spot is gone, but his camera is definitely not the same standard as the one Vivian Ejike used in Silent Scandals. That was a pretty film visually. In this one, the picture quality not as crisp. Tchidi, you need a new camera!!
Thirdly, while I have heard frequent complaints about Tchidi singing in all his movies, I have not really seen his stuff of recent. Well, in this one, we were subjected to the dude singing some really corny tune, while basically telling the story of the movie. Too cheap to pay someone to write and sing a decent sound track? Na wah o.
And then, as I earlier mentioned, there is the stupid name of this movie. Eventually, I figured out why they gave it that name, but its still stupid – honestly. If you take the time to make such a good movie, then take the time to name it properly!

There were also some scenes that were too long - of Catherine walking all over the place for instance - normal Naija movie problems.

In general though – darned good movie. Very nice. I highly recommend it.

Themes and Worldview: This is what I loved most about this movie – its realistic depiction of the role of physical attractiveness in getting people through even the more mundane activities in life. There is a powerful scene where Omotola’s character weeps as she wonders why nobody sees past her ugliness and sees the person inside, why noone believes that any good thing can happen to her. “I am a good person; I am still here” she wept. It was touching, and it hit me on a visceral level, because we are all guilty of this: judging people by what we see – beauty and race being the most obvious characteristics. The film so artfully captured the pain suffered by people who are rejected for attributes they have no control over. Very touching. And even beyond art, the themes in this movie have some powerful real world applications: For instance, study after study have shown that better looking people get better jobs, and are likely to be treated better in general

As one character in the movie said “Yes, beauty is only skin deep, but no one told me how deep that skin is.” In other words, we are all potentially very shallow people, ignoring the person inside because of the outer packaging. Even in the bible, GOD had to teach the same lesson to one of his prophets saying “man looks at the outward appearance, but GOD looks at the heart”.

Great story, powerful lesson, much food for thought.

Rating: 8/10.

More reviews available here and here.

Availability: Big three.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Hype: IJE

So everybody has been talking about this movie for a while now, but I decided to wait on the trailer before hyping it. The buzz is really positive. I am so excited about all the good things that are suddenly happening in Nigerian cinema. This appears to be another movie that is once again going to take the industry to the next level. It is the filmmaking debut of Chineze Anyaene who directed and co-produced it with Paula Moreno. The movie has already been screened for some Hollywood high-flyers late last year, and there have been a few private screenings as well. The few available reviews have been effusive - Omotola and Genevieve were said to have knocked it out of the park!! I just cannot wait to see this one.

IJE tells a tale of Chioma, a child growing up in the Nigerian countryside, who warned her restless sister, Anya, about the trappings of the American Dream. Now ten years later, Anya is accused of killing three men in a Hollywood Hills mansion—one of them her record producer-husband. Chioma travels from Nigeria to Los Angeles, and with the help of a young, unproven attorney, discovers that the dark secret her sister wants to keep hidden might be the only thing that can win her freedom." It stars Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde. It will be released in March 2010...


Just even look at the production quality of that trailer!! And check out the music - she used Asa!! Honestly, I am so excited!!

You can learn more about the movie here and also keep up with new developments on this thread. There is also a website, but it is still undeveloped. Will update this post if any action turns up on that site.

Alright folks, the movie is supposed to hit theatres sometime in March. And then I guess DVD later in the year? Looking forward to it. As usual, we will review when we see it.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Movie Review: Silent Scandals.

Title: Silent Scandal

Starring: Genevieve Nnaji, Majid Michel, Uche Jumbo, Ebele Okaro, Chelsea Eze

Producer(s): Vivian Ejike

Screen play: Vivian Ejike

Director: TK Falope

Year of production: 2009

Country: Nigeria.

Genre: Drama/Romance

Language: English

Preamble: I watched this movie fully expecting to hate it. See I had seen Vivian Ejike’s “When the heart lies” her first movie I think, and I was totally, completely shocked by how bad it was. So I was not expecting anything good from her. In fact, although I had been aware of it for months before it come out, I refused to hype it because I was very skeptical of anything good coming out from her stable.
I have to very happily eat humble pie. She has exceeded my expectations quite honestly. I am happily surprised! This movie has its faults, but it is a million times better than when the Heart lies. A marked improvement on her first effort I must say. Very good job.

Trailer: (I must note that the trailer strongly undersells the movie!)

Summary: Genevieve Nnaji is Jessica, an uptight, though very successful single mother. Her daughter Ella (played by Chelsea Eze) is driving her crazy. The girl is totally out of control and Jessica does not know what to do. Eventually, when Ella is arrested for theft, Jessica surmises that she cannot cope with her daughter, and she banishes her to live with her father and his wife in England. Around the time that Ella leaves, Jessica’s driver also quits, and so Ella is forced to hire the very handsome Naeto (Majid Michel) who used to date Ella (unknown to her) and desperately needs a job because he is facing tough financial times at home. When Jessica has political ambitions, she makes Naeto an offer he cannot refuse, and it leads to serious consequences for them all.

Review :
Positives: I was actually very, very, very surprised by how much I liked this. Although, I have to start by saying that this was a convoluted rip off of Tyler Perry’s “Daddy’s little girls”. The night club scene, the drunken bedroom scene , the mouthy chauffeur, those scenes were copied almost verbatim from that movie. We have to acknowledge the abuse of intellectual property inherent in some scenes in this movie. However, after that, the movie moves on to the love triangle plot, which was interesting and I hope original, so it was not a total copy.

The acting from the main acts was very impressive. Genevieve! Genny! I love that girl, honestly. She can play the cold chick in her sleep meeen. The first time Naeto walks into her office, she gave him a look – it was perfect. And Majid, dude is just sexy jo, abi what can we say? Ebele Okaro played the overly permissive grandmother so beautifully. And Chelsea (who played Ella) was a revelation. She was not perfect, but she was good. She was really good as the spoilt brat, turned good supermodel. And Ms. Uche Jombo – the crazy over enthusiastic best friend, larger than life, yet ever loyal! I salute!! She was just perfect for the role. I also enjoyed the way the story flowed – particularly in part 1 – gripped my attention almost from the beginning. And the modeling and party scenes were so tastefully done. Ms. Ejike went above and beyond in putting together the crowd scenes. I was impressed. Bravo – good job!!

Negatives:Much as I applaud Ms. Ejike for all the hard work she put into this movie, it was obvious that she went cheap for some of the extras and waka pass actors. For instance, the dude who played Jessica’s cheating boyfriend was just bad. No other way to describe it – baaaad. When they said I love you to each other, I rolled my eyes. No chemistry what so ever. None, nada, zip. And Genny was magnificent in every scene, while the dude was just – cold toast!! Not as bad, but still underwhelming was Naeto’s best friend – played by Paul Frank. He has improved since Guilty pleasures actually, but he still has some ways to go. I wasn’t impressed with him either.

There were also some important scenes where you could not hear what was being said because the background music was too loud. Why we are having those kinds of problems in 2009 is beyond me.

I had two major substantive issues with this movies : unresolved plots and that totally unsatisfactory ending. First the plots – why bring up Alhaji if you won’t tell us what happened to him? How did Majid’s character resolve his relationship with his parents? What happened to his father in the midst of the illness? There were quite a few unresolved subplots and cheap plot creations to get to a desired end – having the driver quit so that she could hire Majid for instance. And how come Jessica, as a proud mother, did not have a single picture of Ella in the house? NOT ONE?

But nothing they did during the movie was as outrageous as the ending of that movie. Nothing. Made absolutely no sense. Unless they are planning a part 3. I was like – worraheck was that?

Bottomline: Despite all the faults and the copying, I still liked it. A pretty good movie by Naija standards

Worldview: Life is complicated; things are not always black and white, plenty of shades of gray. And love can find you in the most unexpected of times and places. Always be ready to recognize it. You need somebody in your life who believes in you and will stand by you no matter what you have done. And never settle when it comes to love. When eventually you find what you really want, things can get messy!

Rating: 8/10

More reviews: here and here

Availability: Its available here and here

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Movie Review: Love My Way

Title: Love my way

Starring: Jim Iyke, Genevieve Nnaji, Tonto Dike, Kalu Ikeagwu.

Producer(s): Anthony Nwatu

Director: Ikechukwu Onyeka

Year of production: 2008

Country: Nigeria.

Genre: Drama/Romance

Language: English

Summary: Genevieve Nnaji is Keyla, Tekena (Jim Iyke)’s fiancĂ©. She has just lost her her mother, and her grief appears to have pushed her off the deep end as she buries herself in smoking, drinking and partying. She is also not in the least bit domesticated. She refuses to cook and clean house, and refuses all entreaties by Tekena to get her to face her grief and get help. Tekena loves her, but really struggles with who she is, and they both wonder separately if they should marry each other or not. Tekena’s best friends are Doctor Richard (Kalu Ikeagwu) and coworker Oge (Tonto Dike), who coincidentally has a huge crush on him(Tekena). Keyla decides to travel to Abuja and take some time off to go clear her head and make some decisions (against Tekena’s wishes). Tekena, as he suffers with missing her and worrying about her, flirts with the idea of an affair with his best friend Oge. They are interrupted with the news that Keyla has been in an accident. Keyla has no memory of her life before the accident, and in particular, no memory of Tekena. She also appears to be a totally changed women – domesticated, sweet, caring, in total contrast to the old Keyla. Tekena finds himself falling in love with this sweeter version of his woman. What is really going on with Keyla? Will this love last? And how does Oge deal with Tekena’s newfound devotion to Keyla?


Positives: It’s a sweet love story, if rather predictable. Once Nollywood discovered the technology to put a person on the same scene twice, aka the twin genre – they have felt the need to beat it to death. You couple that with the way they have overused the amnesia story, and this story is not new, at all! However, some of them are better than others, and this I think, is one of the better ones. You always think of Jim Iyke as this rough neck bad boy, with his brash, rude, loud and obnoxious ways, both on and off screen. To my surprise though, he was really sweet in this one. He is tender and sensitive - every woman’s dream- and he pulled it off really competently. Genevieve played two roles in this movie – the bad girl, and the sweet girl, and she was believable in both roles, which have become her bread and butter in Nollywood. Kalu played the doctor and the best friend, and fourth member of the complicated love quadrangle. As usual, he was very eloquent, and somewhat nerdy and yet so sexy. You gotta love him!! And Tonto, she was really beautiful in this one. Played the role of friend and rejected lover very nicely. Like I said, sweet love story.

Negatives: Keyla has no physical injuries, yet she is in a coma, and she conveniently wakes up with Amnesia? And then, she passes out and conveniently remembers everything? Grrrrr!! Nollywood has yet to figure out this illness and hospital thing without bungling it. Obviously no research was done as usual.
As for Tonto Dike – “innit”? “Deja voir”? Worraheck is all that? If you cannot speak a different language, don’t try. Some of the supporting actors were also not up to the level of the main actors. For instance, Oge’s friend and confidant, you could see her struggling to hide her laughter. And the Doyin guy – obviously they just picked some waka pass guy. Lowered the quality of the production in my opinion.

And the whole idea that Nigerian men just jump on a woman and wham, bam, wham bam!! That was Jim Iyke with Oge – 5 seconds flat and he is on top of her, unbuckling his belt. And the same with Keyla – 2 minutes flat and he is on top of her! Ever hear the word foreplay? And yet they had Oge crying to her friend, mourning about how fantastic and unforgettable the experience was! I was like, na wah o!!

And the names : Keyla and Keyline? When will Nigerian movies start really rocking Nigerian names ehn?
The explanation for the whole mixup at the end was kinda trite, not really imaginative. The dreams and sleep talking – another cheap plot cop out. And the way everything just happened to get resolved at Richard’s hospital – cheap, cheesy, easy!!

The problem is the need to wrap everything up in a bright red bow, with a nice, complete emotionally satisfying ending. The ending was cute, generous, sweet, but cheap. But it’s just a movie I suppose, a guilty pleasure, not meant to capture any of life’s ambiguities. Although when you really think about the way it ended, it kinda makes you go ewwww!!

Lessons/worldview/philosophy: Everything happens for a reason and could perhaps work out of good – even horrible things like accidents. And for the hopeless romantics out there, true love will always find you. The lesson we learn from Oge’s relationship? If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with!!

Rating: 7/10

More reviews : here and here

Availability: Big three.

About Me

This website is devoted to fans of African movies who want to know which ones are worth watching. We only review above average movies on this site. The purpose is to give props to the actors, producers and directors who have squeezed water out of rocks and created decent entertainment against all odds. If you want to review a movie for us, please email We would be happy to feature all good african film, regardless of age, or origin. Thanks for stopping by