Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lions of 76 - Highly Anticipated Upcoming Movie by Izu Ojukwu


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Lions of 76 is an upcoming movie produced and directed by Izu Ojukwu
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Izu Ojukwu is one of the most able and dedicated film directors presently working in Nigeria. In 2007, he won the AMAA award for Best Director, for his movie Sitanda. He has handled the Amstel Malta Box Office movies, some of which are White Waters,Cindy’s Note, The Child, and Alero’s Symphony. Some of his other movies are La Viva, Across The Niger, and Distance BetweenNneda, White Waters, The Child, Sitanda, etc).
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if you have not seen any of Izu movies search and you may find it. His directed movies are not your average overnight made movies bombarding the Nollywood movie market, so sometimes his kind of movies are hard to come by. His movies are classics you want to keep on your video library and not lend to anyone (like i will say "Buy your own).
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Lions of 76 is about the 1976 coup and assassination of one time Nigerian military ruler General Murtala Mohammed era. This cinematic historical account got the full backing of the Nigerian Military as the script went through a seven month long approval period before filming started.  The movie stars Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, Chidi Mokeme, Daniel K Daniel, Ibinabo Fiberesima etc . I like all these actors and i hope they get more global recognition from this movie for the creative work and that this open more doors for them than ever because i can imagine this is your most challenging role yet - the hours on set were very daunting i heard. 
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The movie also introduces newcomers like Zimbabwe actress Memry Savanhu and Adonai Owiriwa. I know Memry already was featured in RAA series Catqwalk which am yet to see - so I still haven't see her acting yet but i look forward to this . 
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Watch Trailer:
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If you read this blog you will know that i am die hard fan of Producer Izu Ojukwu (and yall know am picky as hell so to say i LOOOOOOOVE his work - i truly mean it). 
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Why do i love his work so much? - cos he is one of the very few great director/producer we have in Africa (Nollywood to be precise) who always give us a great end product/film. He is one of our very best Movie Directors and everything he touches (movie wise) is a sure winner. Many people don't pay attention to directors but why i do because I feel a good director brings out the best in an actor - just like Denzel Washington as a freshman director brought out the best in Derek Luke directing him in the movie "Antoine Fisher". That was Dereks first movie ever and if you were not told you will never know cos he did a heckuva job playing that role of Antoine, under the direction of Denzel
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 There are quite a few experienced directors in our industry (especially our industry LOL), who are much more comfortable “directing with the camera” than they are working intimately with actor’s performances. It takes a great director like Martin Scorsese to bring the best of of Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo did not direct himself to get to where he is. Like i said in my past post HERE, sometimes it is the directors job to bring the best out of the actor and if the actor is already good (eg Genny, Majid, Bimbo, Rita, Ramsey etc ) it becomes a bonus and even better.
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Many directors tend to rely on casting actors and then leave them to their own devices when it comes to performance and then we see the movie is full of kinetic camera movement and frantically paced editing, and this becomes a problems because during the moments when true human emotion needs to be expressed, the film often falls flat because the great performance just isn't there - cos "Mr money miss road was unable to direct well" lol.  
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The truly great directors excel at directing actors and directing the camera. Izu is very good at this - it shows in his finished products, and this is why i make so much noise about him.  He doesn't just direct any movie, and as a fan its a lil frustrating waiting for a whole year to see but 1 movie, but i'd rather wait for a producer / director to take his time and give me a great movie, than some idiot churning out a movie every fortnite. 
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We need more of the likes of Izu in our industry. Great directors/producers who respect the art and always take their time to do their creative work. They don't rush through things, and these are the kind of people I respect cos i know they are not going to waste my time.
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Although Izu is known for directing, he also produced this movie "Lions of 76" and this is why it is so special in my mind. I know the story behind how he tried and persevered hard to get funding for this movie, and finally he did, and that is why i support him 100% - He never gave up. Like me, I hear Izu is a perfectionist and tried very hard (kept the crew/cast on location for the longest time in Ibadan barracks for 70 days, cos he did not want to leave any stone un-turned until the movie wrapped up and every detail was right) , so i have no doubt this movie is  going to turn out great and will soar with lots of awards - fingers cross international film festival nods from the likes of PanAfrican or Sundance.
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I am so proud when our very own tell our own stories, and not leave it to Hollywood to tell it like they did King of Scotland or Blood Diamond. I am very excited to see this movie. I always say instead of dwelling is the ever so tired and expired story like of Royalty, Babes this, Chief That, Campus Chick this and that, there are thousands of untold stories in Africa we could be focusing on - we have such rich history the world is waiting to see in film . The historical stories alone are plentiful and unending So I salute Izu for taking up this story.  Maybe next will be a film telling part of the story of the Biafran War (i say part cos i know that story can not be told in one film).
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I am particularly happy for new comer Daniel k Daniel (starred in Ladies Men) because i advised him that "Dont get so lured by the thousands/millions of naira and follow the trends of your peers by acting in just any movie. Tis best to do a few quality movies in a year than fill your resume up with 50 quantity rubbish movies. Yes the 50 quantity movies may make you popular, but the question is "popular for what" exactly? movie titled "Lagos Boys? lol.  What you do is You work with one great director who is able to get the best out of you, you shine, and bam! the door start opening". Yes it may be easier said than done and sometimes you get financially strapped and tempted to say yes to whatever comes your way, just to get the bills paid, and i totally understand, but just dont go overboard saying yes to any nilly willy script.
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Lets support this movie when it comes out. I dont have a release date yet, but i know its in 2013.

Friday, November 16, 2012

MY ADVICE TO MERCY JOHNSON 2013


My Message to Mercy Johnson
Mercy I know you are here in the "A" (my neck of the woods) getting ready to birth (I wish you safe delivery to that bundle of joy), but before this year (2012) end i want to give you word of advice, because i truly love your acting (as i always have since you first appeared in "The Maid" many many years ago).
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Mercy Johnson for the love of God - you are now very experienced in this industry, upgrade your self from all these mediocre and rubbish scripts and say "yes" to some quality scripts like Genevieve and Omotola are doing. Even some other good actresses who entered the industry "after you" such as Nse Ikpe Etim, Omoni Oboli etc are playing in better scripts - worth international recognition. 
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No denying you are one of the very few "great actresses" we have and I so yearn for you to soar high, but How long will you keep saying yes to just any top dick & harry who presents you a script even when the story-line, the production and the direction are completely crap. I mean take this movie - Wave of Glory which i just finished watching - it was absolutely crap and waste of my precious time and lawd knows i hate to waste my time watching movies which are not classics. I love quality and "Classic" movies where i can proudly put in my video library and watch again and again - a movie worth my money.
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I just don't understand why till this day, you confidently are able to accept such roles.  I mean how many times are you going to play in such tired ass roles: Example "A role playing a prostitute (aka "runs) - alhaji this, chief that"; "Playing in Royalty Theme movies" (this nollywood theme movies is so played out like a "A" track); "A role playing campus babe", i mean all these predictable movie roles/scripts. 
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Read this thread i wrote on my description of CRAP MOVIES - click here.  
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I mean I even love love love you in comedic roles, but i still want to see you in more challenging and better / quality movies in 2013 and beyond. I personally feel you have more great talent in you, one we have not seen yet, yet no producer/director has tapped into that yet cos they do not know how? LOL
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Please leave those type of mediocre and unchallenged roles to these up and comers who will do anything to get a camera shot and brand themselves "actresses". These newbies in the industry are still "struggling" to climb up, ,have an excuse to play in such roles, cos "either or" they are not that good anyway, and still wet behind the ears, and they have to pay their bills somehow. However with with you Mercy, I would imagine, that by now and with the longevity you have had, playing in hundreds of roles, that by now you are in a good financial space to say "yes" to just 3 "QUALITY" movies per year, than say yes to 10 CRAP movies in a year. 
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Some of us audience after 12 years or so watching African movies, now demand quality scripted movies. I simply like to tell it like it is, so if the movie is simply average and not that good, I refuse to get blinded by the facts or sugar coat it just cos i admire ur beauty.  
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After 20yrs plus since African movies begun, we are now extremely tired of all these mediocre movies they keep pumping in the market every 72 hrs, and for such great actresses such as your self, we ask that if these producers are not willing to improve, that you please make some decisions and improve on your choice on whom you work with (producer/director/scripts).
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Yes! you are most definitely a great & versatile actress and i will never take it away from you (you remain in my top 5 actors), but you being that great an actress acting in that crap  nonsensical "no head/no tail" type scripted movie doesn't make you shine and you can only hold up but so much if everybody else in the movie is just blah and not that great. 
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Yes i know, that our very few best in Africa movie industry (as i have said on this blog many a times) - hit a glass ceiling, whereby their talents have increased yet our local producers/directors cannot challenge them enough (eg Genevieve, Majid, you etc). That is where you are now. You have hit a glass ceiling with these mediocre producers/script writers and directors, so you need to find good management to sort something way better for you. You need to sort out for a role and movie, that is worthy of an international film festival nomination/win. These local champion movies have run their course.
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Children are a blessing, and I am happy for you that you are getting ready to deliver. May this baby help you to take time off as a new mom as you nurse, but also to really ponder on where you want to take your career as we enter 2013 and beyond.  

Start making good decisions when it comes to your choice of scripts (choose quality not quantity). Sort out for better scripts/roles (whether it in nollywood or outside nollywood); Choose to work with nothing but the best and reputable producers/directors/scriptwriter with impressive CV/Resume; Sort out some great endorsement deals; Get some new management to revamp your brand and also create a spanky new website (although the ideal website address for you is now taken on my some gossiping blog)  etc etc. 
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I know it is easier said than done, but you are already on your way and  Above all pray that God will favour you to get great roles.
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I want to see you working with the likes of Izu Ojukwu and some of the other few top/notch best in Africa who respect and appreciate giving the audience great quality level movies. 
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At this stage you are way overdue to being highly selective with your choice of roles you accept to play in. Dont let this millions of naira by these "yeryer local champion money miss road producers" make you mess up your CV/Resume - you are way too good to waste your talent like that. They are thinking of "quantity" and how to make 100 crap movies per year and get return on investment even if the movie is not worth watching twice. 
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You should be thinking of nothing but "QUALITY" movies from here on. You have earned your keep. Get it together.  
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I just Tell It Like It Is and I want the best for you so please in 2013, let this be part of your new year resolution and do better and choose better scripts. Also I know apart from getting ready to deliver you also recently shot a movie here in the "A" (welcome to A town down). Good luck and wish you well.
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rest In Peace Pete Eneh

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Pete Eneh after a long ailment, (to which his one leg was amputed just a couple of weeks ago) has passed on today and I am very sad.
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Uncle Pete, was a veteran actor of Nollywood (well known to many of us who have been watching african movies for at least 10-12yrs). He was a "GREAT" actor - one whom i so dearly admired, loved and respected so much because he reminded me of my dad plus i loved his acting. I just loved his humility, grace and all the wisdom he spoke even if it was just a character in a movie. Like Geraldine Ekeocha whom i misss so much already i will miss Pete Eneh a lot - and my sincere condolence and prayers go out to his family, friends and loved ones.
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In my language i say " Pete Eneh, Demerifa Due" as in Pete Eneh, May You Rest in Perfect Peace.
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Pete Eneh is gone, Sam Loco is Gone, Geraldine Ekeocha is gone - enough already. All my veteran favourites are just leaving us. This is not fair oh.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

OCT/NOV 2012 MOVIE RATINGS (Crap Alert)

October/November 2012  (See Previous ratings here .)
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Title: Wave of Glory
Starring: Mercy Johnson, Ini Edo, etc
Producer: whatshisface
Ratings: 3/10 (not worth your dime)
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More to come - until 2012 ends. 
Same ole ish, what else is new?  (Rolls eyes) 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Journey To Self (One of my Highly Anticipated Upcoming Movie)

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Upcoming Movie titled "JOURNEY TO SELF" starring singer-actress Ashionye Michelle Raccah, who also co-produced the movie, and it also features Nse Ikpe-Etim, Carol King, Kalu Ikeagwu, Femi Brainard, Femi Jacobs, Chris Attoh, Katherine Obiang Edoho, Tosin Sido.
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I must say this is one of my most highly anticipated movie for 2013 as well as "Weekend Getaway" - Yall know i love quality movies with a great story line, production, direction and articulate eloquent cast who are not going to waste my time. If this movie is coupled with great production and direction, I know this movie will be a sure winner. I cant wait to see it. I predict this movie is not a time waster. Great Cast (no razz). 
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Many Women producers in African Movie industry are doing very well. Making me think of writing a script or producing someday God willing. Good women producers inspire me. I look forward to watch this movie.
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Watch Trailer:
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Please bear with me, i willl update with story line later.

Thanks

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