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Les Mis is a movie based on a play. Which is based on a book. Which is based on some stuff that probably happened.

 – Matt van Onselen –

Here are some of 2013’s most anticipated movies: Les Miserables, Iron Man 3, The Great Gatsby, Man of Steel and The Lone Ranger. Amongst these you will find a sequel, an adaptation from theatre to film, a film based on a book, a “relaunched” film franchise and a film inspired by a television show.

Now, I’m all for a trip to the movies to catch up with the familiar, but it does seem that remakes, sequels and re-imaginations are all Hollywood can produce these days. Are filmmakers beginning to run out of ideas?

The answer is no. It’s not the filmmakers who are lacking in imagination – it’s us!

Humans are suckers for the familiar. I know I am; that’s why I’ll probably go watch Die Hard 5: A Good Day to Die Hard – merely just to hear a reference to the meaningless catch phrase “Yipikaye, mother*cker”. That’s why I’ll go watch Superman 6: Man of Steel – because I want to see how the new Superman copes with tucking his underpants in for a change.

We want what we know – storylines, heroes, villains and dialogue. This explains the relief and joy expressed at James Bond 23: Skyfall, where the writers finally ditched any attempt to be original and reverted back to predictable one-liners and shoving all the old characters back into the franchise.

But all of this reminds me of the old man who has ordered the same ham and cheese sandwich every lunchtime for 40 years. Our insatiable appetite for what we already know robs us of opportunities to try something new. Isn’t that enough motivation to change?

Thanks to

Thanks to these guys

The demand for the familiar has gone to ridiculous lengths. This year, two anticipated movies are Top Gun and Jurassic Park – and they’re not even remakes! They’re old movies shown now in 3D, which, in case you haven’t experienced 3D, basically just means watching the movie with sunglasses on.

Then there was the Spiderman franchise, which seemed to be relaunched before the third movie was even off circuit. This is a new pressure placed on filmmakers – you better do a good job, or in one year’s time we’re going to show you how it’s really done.

It’s a shame, but it seems that most original films are now labeled as “art” films and appear on the Cinema Nouveau circuit. That means that “mainstream” audiences are only willing to deal with what they know. This in turns implies that we are a species that is only really happy when we order the ham and cheese sandwich every day.

Don’t get me wrong – I love ham and cheese. But let’s not become consumed by ham and cheese, making sequels involving ham and cheese, or “relaunching” ham and cheese for the new generation. From time to time, let’s look at the rest of the menu.

It’s cold. Here are some tips for surviving the South African winter.



1.    Keep a glass of water by your bedside.

When you wake up, your bedroom will be cold and you won’t want to leave the comfort of your warm bed. This problem is easily solved by throwing a glass of water onto the spot where you’re lying. Then you will want to get up more because of the water.

Alternatively you could throw water onto whoever’s sleeping next to you. Then they will have to get up, which doesn’t really help you, but if you whinge a little they will make you coffee because they are up and you are not.

2.    Wear big boots.

Sometimes the cold makes your car unwilling to start. This is because all cars originally come from Russia and the cold makes them homesick.

If this happens, you should wear your big boots, and get out of the car to kick it very hard. You can kick it several times depending on how inconvenienced you are.

NOTE: There is, at the time of publication, no law to kicking your own car. But don’t kick other people’s cars as some people take issue with such behaviour.

3.    Fingerless gloves.

Fingerless gloves, although entirely pointless, can give other people the illusion that you are warmer than them. Once you have someone believing this, they are probably ready to be exploited because they respect your perceived warmth and desire it for themselves.

4.    Take up smoking.

When it’s very cold at night you will be able to blow out mist with the mere use of your mouth and lungs. A nice game to play is to smoke a real cigarette every now and then, and get people guessing if you’re smoking or just breathing. If they guess correctly then you can use your big boots to kick them in the shins, and then you can take their money and buy a heater.

5.    Go to work earlier.

We don’t have daylight savings in this country, but don’t let that stop you. Get to work as the sun is rising to make the most of your day. If the premises are locked, break into the building and smash things up inside to teach other people to make the most of their days too.

6.    Be ethically responsible.
In winter your body will crave more and more carbohydrates, and you will be tempted to eat bread all day, every day.

Bread is made from yeast, which is a living entity that feels pain when it is put into an oven and burnt alive for the sake of sandwiches. If you don’t want to spend your winter eating more and more murdered living entities like some caveman, then do not buy bread, or at least buy bread that gave its yeast a happy life before it was murdered in a giant oven.

7.    Cuddle up.

If you have a partner (or multiple partners, like the State president) and you suffer from a cold body that just never warms up, then cuddle with someone (they should give consent) and suck all their warmth from them until you are warm and they are cold. If you’re lucky, this might force them to get up and then you can get them to make coffee.

8.    Have a swim.

It sounds silly, but actually having a swim is the best remedy for those who suffer from dry skin in the terribly dry winter. This is because WATER is the opposite of DRYNESS; for example there is no water in the desert, and deserts are very dry because of this fact, which has been proven scientifically.

9.    Make your living space more compact.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to embrace the cold by pretending that you are living in Europe. This entails moving your furniture and possessions very close to one another, buying a smaller bed, and then sitting on the bed with your head in your hands as you contemplate the impending collapse of the Euro.

10.    Print pictures of you having a good time in the sun.

Psychologically, some people get very down in the winter because they are losers. If you are one of these losers you should put pictures of yourself hanging out in the sunshine and buy a very strong torch that you shine into your brain through your eyes. This will create a little world of summer in your own house! What could be more uplifting than that? Literally nothing.

We landed the SKA project! Check it out thanks to LitNet!