Category Archives: Entertainment

A Night in Tinsel-Town: Olympus has Fallen Premiere, South Africa.

(Photo Courtesy: Sarah Garrun, Channel 24)

Dear Readers,

I had the absolute honour of attending the premiere of ‘Olympus has Fallen’ in Johannesburg last night.(8 April)

The chain of events that got me there is most intriguing as I did not have plans to set foot near the premiere until two hours before the event, never mind not having tickets.


On Sunday evening after hearing about the Johannesburg Olympus has Fallen premiere and got myself into an absolute excited panic, I just had to go! I looked everywhere for tickets but to no avail. I began to feel so disappointed that I was going to miss out on such an incredible opportunity: My two favourite actors, Aaron Eckhart and Gerard Butler were here and there was no way for me to meet them. First thing Monday morning I called Ster-Kinekor and Nu-Metro and both said their events for the two A-Lister’s was sold out. I was quite miserable and kept consoling myself with the fact that there would be other opportunities in the future.

About three hours before the event, I had been informed that there would be a low-key Red Carpet event for fans at the Black-Tie affair on that Monday evening. It had not been overtly advertised as Tuesday night’s event was a planned for fans. In an absolute huff, I decided I was going to go, even to just catch a glimpse of  the boys would be worth it. I took my notepad and pen for autographs and headed out the door unsure of what to expect. Nothing would prepare me for what was to come. By 4pm

At the event

At 5:30 I went to find a comfy spot at the front of the red carpet area so that I would hopefully be guaranteed a set spot to see them. Although the event had not been advertised too much, I was worried hundreds of fans would arrive and swamp the area. While standing there, I met three other die-hard fans and together we began chatting and became acquainted with each other.

I explained that I’d been a huge fan of Aaron Eckhart’s ever since I’d seen him in the film ‘Possession’ with Gwyneth Paltrow at age eleven. (You can all figure out how old I am now!) As I grew older, I felt as if his movie career was growing with me. I sincerely enjoyed his method of acting, whether it be as an action hero in ‘The Core’ or ‘Battle Los Angeles’, a romantic in ‘No Reservation‘ and ‘Love Happens‘, a grieving parent in Rabbit Hole or Harvey Dent in ‘The Dark Knight’, his films were an integral part of my growing up. The same can be said for Gerard Butler. As a teenager, I was quite smitten with the man’s good looks and charm. His musical talents shone brightly in The Phantom of The Opera which was the first film of his that truly caught my eye. I’d seen him in ‘Tomb Raider’ and had enjoyed his performance in ‘Timeline’ but it was ‘Phantom…’ that I’d loved the most. I cried like a baby when his character Gerry died in P.S. I love you and laughed hard during his comedies, ‘The Ugly Truth’ and ‘The Bounty Hunter’. His action films such as Law Abiding Citizen and Gamer always kept me on the edge of my seat. So meet these incredible actors would definitely be a big tick on my Bucket List.

By this time it was 6:15pm, guests were arriving and things were getting busy. Out of the blue, a very formal looking man from Nigeria introduced himself to us. He explained that he had three extra tickets as his guests were unable to join him and asked if we would like to come instead. I explained that I had no money to pay him for the tickets and his response was “Well dear, it’s your lucky day, you can have the tickets for free. There would be no point in wasting them.”

I cautiously agreed to take them, nervous as South Africa is not the safest place in the world and I had heard some strange stories about taking “free gifts.” However the man truly seemed legit and I thanked him deeply, received my armband and ticket and was in absolute shock. I was actually going to a Premiere, a real movie premiere with lots of celebrities, while wearing dark Denim and a black collared shirt (hardly black-tie in my books). Moreover I realized that I had a real chance to meet my acting heroes. I was beyond excited!

7:15pm came along and I heard that the boys had finally arrived, most guests went upstairs but I decided to wait for the guys downstairs and greet them on the Red Carpet. I looked down as I moved down the escalator and spotted the boys coming down, kindly meeting and greeting all the fans. I made my way to a nice spot on the edge of the carpet and waited excitedly. The first to come down was Aaron. My heart literally skipped a beat, he was meeting fans, talking and just being himself. Finally he came to me, large smile and had hand out. He was the sweetest person, he is literally one of the nicest guys in the world. We chatted and I had some photo’s, got a few hugs and a kiss on my cheek. (Yes!!! Dream come true!) He asked my name and I told him ‘Ilanit.” He asked about it as he had never heard of it before and I told him I was Jewish and he said “Oh wow, it’s hebrew?” He then proceeded to tell me that it’s the most beautiful name he has ever heard and that if he ever has a daughter he’s going to name her after me. (I nearly fainted at that point.) I thanked him and told him how honoured I am and he then replied that “the honour is all mine sweetheart” proceeding to put his arm around me. (Ahhhh!!)

He then signed an autograph for me; I’d told him I loved his portrayal of Harvey Dent and low and behold he drew a “Two-Face” picture for me that also spelled out “ya” – proceeding to write my name and draw a large heart next to the “Two-Face” figure with his signature underneath. (Ilanit, Love ya, Aaron Eckhart) He said that we’d chat later and made his way upstairs.

Then came Gerrard, a tall, rugged and well-built figure. His scottish accent and an unruly smile on the tip of his lips. He came over and I said, “Gerry! Gerry!” in my best attempt at a Scottish accent, he laughed and said “Nice try darling!” We spoke briefly and I told him that his Twitter posts always make me laugh, he asked if I’d seen the new one of his “Crazy busy, no time to shave” and his “kid weights.” I had seen both and told him that’s exactly why they’re hilarious. We then had a picture, my camera started acting out and in a very humorous way Gerry went on a mild swearing trip. We then had picture together with all my friends and Gerry on his own phone. It was very exciting! He is most certainly a BFG – (Big Friendly Giant) of the most gentlest kind.

Finally we all went up, I shouted for him to “Say something in Scottish Gerry…!” while having photo’s in the press area, his response was a pout and he then pulled a most hilarious face at me. In-between photo’s he said to me in his most heavy Scottish accent, “How ’bout NO Lass.” We both just laughed (Freek-out, I shared a moment with Gerry Butler!) and after his walk on the press carpet we had a “Blue-Steel” photo together.

Then, the boys then went off for the pre-film screening interview with Anele. I got a big wave and an “I know you!” as Aaron Eckhart made his way towards the stage. Anele’s interview was fantastic. She asked many a few questions that received answers which had the crowd in stitches of laughter. The best two parts of the interview – when Gerry did his famous line from 300, “This is Spaaarrttaaa!” and when Anele asked Aaron what his best part of South Africa is and he responded “The Smell!” meaning that “Africa has the most invigorating and unique smell. It’s just this precious smell. The minute you get off the plane and you open the door you know that you’re in Africa.”



The Film: Olympus has Fallen

The interview ended and we all went toward our delegated Cinema’s. I went in and there were complementary popcorn’s and drinks for all patrons. I was excited to have a snack seeing as in all the hype I hadn’t eaten a thing since 1:00pm. I looked forward to the movie, in the trailer it looked absolutely thrilling. I wasn’t disappointed. Throughout the entire film I was literally on the edge of my seat, Aaron played a very brave and very noble U.S. President and Gerry a very strong willed, big muscled “knight in shining armour” (figuratively) It was a clever and most plausible plot line (albeit ‘mildly’ violent – but that was to be expected) that had a fair few pithy lines that had the audience chuckling here and there. It was filed with action and even a tiny drop of romance. I must say, I was most impressed. I also found it quite ironic that the movie was due out now during a time when there are issues and instabilities taking place in the Korean region and the movie itself (SPOILER ALERT!) deals with the attack of N. Korean’s on the the White-house after US intervention in the region. The movie was filmed months before the current issues erupted and Gerard Butler himself said that “it just shows how life can imitate art.”

Rating: 8/10

Thank You’s:

Overall, I had a most wondrous experience along with many of South Africa’s top celebrities. A few who I had the honour of meeting after the film. It was a fantastic evening that was just pure, clean fun. A huge thank you must go out to ALL those involved in putting this event together especially to Ettiene and the entire Crystal Brook Distribution team for bringing Aaron and Gerard out – without you this would not have been possible. A massive well done to Ster-Kinekor and The Zone at Rosebank for brilliant organization and for getting together such a stunning event overall!

Thank you again to my amazing Nigerian friend who sponsored my ticket and allowing me to enjoy this amazing event.

Olympus has Fallen will be out in cinemas nationwide on 12 April 2013.

The Magic of the Opera

I had a lovely evening with my sister and a few friend last night. We went off to see the Phantom of the Opera at Montecasino. It was absolutely phenomenal!

My first real exposure to this wonderful production was when I was in Grade 5. A small theatre company came to perform this in a simple manner for my Primary School. I fell in love with it immediately. I remember insisting that my mother rent me the 1925 silent version and 1986 Movie versions of the Production from the Local Video store. I was absolutely enchanted and went through quite an “obsessed” phase.

I had to have the “Christine” doll, posters, stickers, you name it – I had it. As I got older the obsession faded but my love for the music and storyline was always there. It came in phases!

In 2004, my “obsession” was renewed, the Brand New Film Version (directed by Joel Schumacher) was released. Starring the GORGEOUS Gerard Butler and Beautiful Emmy Rossum. Once again, I was enthralled with Andrew Lloyd Webbers Musical.

So of course when the Production came to the Johannesburg Theatre (a few years later) I went to go see it too!

Yet, of all the versions I have come across, (without giving too much away), nothing can beat last nights performance. The acting, vocal talent and special effects take this Musical to new heights, from the rise of the Chandelier in the Overture scene to the underground Boat scene, you felt as if you were right there, watching this events unfold before your very eyes. Andre Schwartz, star of the Cape Town Performance played the part of Erik, the Phantom. As always, he did an absolutely astounding job. (Although Jonathan Roxmouth was missed!) The vibrant costumes and flawless orchestra make this a production an absolute MUST-SEE. Whether you’re a fan or not, it will truly inspire you.

The Production is Running at Montecasino until May 20th.

Thomas Newman – Musical Mistero

There is something mysteriously beautiful about Score Pieces of Music. They add an emotional air to a scene within a movie. It just may be that the music you are hearing in that specific scene reminds you of a moment in you life, it recalls a painful, happy or sad memory. Thus, you have a deeply emotional connection to the scene.


It may be that you understand how that person feels within that situation. It can also be the idea that one hopes that a part of ones life will either play out in that specific way or perhaps NOT play out in that way at all.

Maybe it’s just that; we base the way in which we hope situations will turn out too much on scenes within a movie or television show. The way we fall in love, the Happily Ever After or that ending we don’t hope for – the dramatic music and the overly-dramatic ending…. Think about it, just for a second, what movie scene relates perfectly to the way something in your life has turned out. Have you based what should or could happen in life on the rest of the movie or TV show?

We all have, even I sometimes imagine that I will meet my “Prince Charming” spontaneously, that he’ll rescue me from a treacherous dragon or perhaps that we may meet when I drop my coffee or a bunch of books on the ground in the middle of a bustling New York Street or even the idea of that dramatic fight before I marry just to get proof of how much ‘he’ actually loves me (like in the scene of the Blender in Father of the Bride with Steve Martin) yet knowingly and undoubtedly, we will make-up and live happily ever after with that beautiful love song or that breathtaking score music “playing” in the background…To dramatic?

Although there are no lyrics to it, score music is something that is truly unbelievable. It brings real feelings forward, touches a chord and even allows us to perhaps see things in a brilliant or different way. It can even change your mood – without that score music in the background, would you really shed a tear during the saddest scene in a movie?

For example: listening to a hopeful piece such as Thomas Newman’s “Pay it Forward” theme, may give you strength and hope. It can even turn your mood around…well it does for me anyway!

Of all the composers that create score music, the one that touches a part of me most, is definitely Thomas Newman and his *insert appropriate adjective here* pieces. My favourite piece is a toss up between “The Letter That Never Came” from the Lemony Snickets’ Film, A Series of Unfortunate Events and of course that of Road to Perdition. (An excellent film I might add with a great cast – Tom Hanks is flawless as usual).

There is something ultimately perfect about the way he composes his music, the instruments he uses and even more so his technique and control.

In my opinion, the use of score music is specifically aimed at provoking a psychological reaction. With the perfect score music; a movie can make a strong imprint and impact on the audience. It is this genre of music that actually connects everybody, all over the world. It makes us one, provoking similar feelings or idea’s within each and every one of us.

No lyrics, yet overtly powerful.

As the say – less is more…

Jason Isaacs and the Car Crash of Secrets…

NBC’s new show “Awake” is definitely a rare find. As they say, a show like this is “rarer than rubies.”

I discovered it while watching an episode of the David Letterman Show (I think…) and there was a preview. I must say I was intrigued.

I watched the Pilot Episode and for the first time since the legendary ABC show, “Lost”, ended I found myself feeling the exact same way… All I wanted was more! Obsession much?

Yes, I got to watch the next four episodes and yes, all I still want is more.

Jason Isaacs, as usual, puts on a brilliant show and flawless American accent. He’s one actor (among a few) that until now, has been completely under-rated despite the fact that he really can act. It’s about time he gains the respect he deserves.

Now….I’m holding on tight for Episode six and until then…


The questions which plague me are: Which reality is real? Could Michael be Schizophrenic OR is it something deeper –  Could there something supernatural behind all this? and What was all this curiosity over the “Little Guy” at the end of episode 2? What does Captain Harper (Laura Innes) know that we don’t… (Suggestions are welcome!)

All I can tell you, is that the excitement or moreover the anticipation is growing and until all this mystery behind the fateful car accident is solved, this show isn’t losing this girl as a fan.

P.S. Here’s to hoping they don’t “can” this show, just like they did “Eli Stone” – viva la Season 2!