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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

TOP MOVIES THAT ROCKED NOLLYWOOD IN 2012


Phone Swap
No doubt, 2012 was a marvelous year for cinema, offering an endless stream of excellent major studio releases from action, drama, comedy or romance. The industry saw a great mix of movies throughout 2012.
And when it came time to assemble our list of the year's best, the decision-making process hinged on a few simple questions. Which movies have stuck around in our minds the longest? Which ones will we frequently revisit? And, most importantly, which films excelled the most in their respective genres?
In this report, BOLA AKINBOADE-BELLO presents to you the top movies that rocked in 2012

PHONE SWAP
'Phone Swap' is a romantic comedy produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan starring Wale Ojo, Nse Ikpe Etim, Chika Okpala (Zebrudaya), Tina Mba, Joke Silva. The movie is between Akin (an arrogant businessman) and Mary (a warm hearted fashion designer); who exchanged lives after accidentally bumping into each other at the airport and mistakenly swapping their phones – which coincidentally happened to be identical. Completely unaware of the phone swap, this leads to destination mix up after receiving each other's travel destination text. As a result of the phone swap, they agree to facilitate each other's mission armed with the information/data on each other's phone.
But it’s not as easy as they both think as new obstacles and complications rise at every turn as they both struggle to adapt to their alien environment and situation.
Mary has to walk in Akin shoes and represent him in a company meeting while Akin has to represent Mary in her family meeting. This they do with hilarious results.

SHATTERED
Shattered produced by Carol Nguta and directed by Gilbert Lukalia of Kenya is one of the most highly anticipated film releases of the year,  a first of its kind collaboration between the Kenyan and Nigerian film industries.Shattered tells the story of a woman whose traumatic childhood in a seemingly ideal middle class family becomes a precursor to a life of turmoil, depression, and self destructive behavior.
Inspired by several true life stories, Shattered is a harrowing watch as the plot follows the struggle of Keziah Njema (Rita Dominic) to overcome her demons and downward spiral caused by years of abuse.
Other cast members include Melvin Alusa, Ainea Ojiambo, Mumbi Maina, Robert Burale.

LAST FLIGHT TO ABUJA
After the major success of his movie Mirror Boy in 2011, award winning director Obi Emelonye released yet another stellar suspense filled movie Last Flight to Abuja starring some of the biggest names in the movie world including Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Jide Kosoko, Ali Nuhu, Jim Iyke and Anthony Monjaro .Based on true events. A set of everyday Nigerian traveler’s board the last Flamingo Airways flight scheduled to fly from Lagos to Abuja on a fateful Friday night in 2006. The plane cruises at 30,000 feet, tranquil and on schedule. But like a bolt out of the blue, through a mixture of human error, technical failure and sheer bad luck, the plane rapidly develops major difficulties that send it teetering on the brink of disaster. As the pilots fight with the controls of the stricken plane, a series of flashbacks unravel the twists, turns and leaps of fate that put each passenger on the fateful flight. Young lovers, an elderly couple, a corporate party, a sportsman on the threshold of greatness; all the passengers are caught up in the nightmare scenario and sense the final moments of their lives approach

 THE MEETING
For the cinema audience, it has been sweet romance since the movie hit the cinemas in style, large number of them have been showering accolades on the cast and crew of the popular movie.
Cinema audiences across Nigeria have continued to applaud the captivating story line and stellar cast of ‘The Meeting’, a new movie from the stable of the Audrey Silva Company (TASC), which is currently showing in cinemas across Nigerian cities.
Directed by Mildred Okwo and co-produced by Mildred and Rita Dominic, the romantic comedy, which also stars Rita Dominic and Jide Kosoko, addresses an array of contemporary issues that resonate with audiences, ranging from love through African time, to tackling officials and manoeuvring red tape.
The movie has been described by movie buffs in superlative terms such as “spectacular”, “thoroughly entertaining”, “hilarious” and “a movie that weaves a love story with serious expose on bribery, but reveals both sides to the story at the same pace”.


STREETS OF CALABAR
Streets of Calabar is a comedy thriller written and produced by former CNN and BBC reporter, Charles Aniagolu. Streets of Calabar, which Charles also wrote and produced, is his first outing as a feature film director (though he has a masters degree in film production). But what a phenomenal debut! Charles's eye for a shot and ear for dialogue, drawn from many years in front of and behind the camera, along with his writing skills, ability to create fully fleshed characters and considerable post-production experience, are credited with giving the movie its strikingly original backdrop, darkly comic riff and tense, rollicking action-gangster-thriller portrait, which arguably have helped place Streets of Calabar at the pinnacle of the Nollywood movement. The movie features Rita Dominic,Wale Ojo, the renowned Keppy Ekpenyong and UK based actors Anthony Ofoegbu and Maynard Eziashi.
The story centers around Chuks Oti, mixed-race 419 (advance fee fraud) scammer and illegal immigrant recently deported back to his home country Nigeria from London. Once there he manages to wangle his way out of a possible jail term and ends up in the holiday resort city, Calabar, living with his loyal, much younger British girlfriend Margaret, who insisted on travelling with him to Nigeria.
Chuks takes on menial jobs to make ends meet, but life is difficult .When he runs into his old 419 mate, Mike, a Nigerian pleasure seeker who is full of wild energy and loves to take risks, the two down-on-their-luck friends, with no jobs and no prospects, soon find themselves back in the criminal world

HEROES AND ZEROES
Top Ghollywood actress, Nadia Buari teamed up with veteran Nollywood stars like Olu Jacobs, Bimbo Manuel, Tina Mba, Nobert Young, Akin Lewis and other in making sure that  'Heroes and Zeroes' is a blockbuster movie in Nollywood. Heroes and Zeroes centers on a true story. It tells the story of the destructive pursuance of Tonia (Nadia Buari) by Amos Fele (Bimbo Manuel). Amos Fele was a wealthy celebrity director in the Nigerian film industry.
Now, he lives in a ramshackle flat, doing occasional low-paying TV commercials for nameless products. He’s a daily comic relief on the local soccer practice pitch: because though he’s already 45 years old, he nurses a new, insane dream of making it into the dollar-soaked world of international soccer!
His joyless marriage to Tinuke (Tina Mba), a junior bank worker, is crumbling fast, especially after the death of their only child. A boost to his sagging spirit comes when a big-budget French-Nigerian film project appoints him as director. Suddenly, the press begins to (re)celebrate him. Top actors and producers begin to call him up. To his wife’s distress, Fele also quickly re-establishes his wane reputation as a first-class womanizer.
Fele becomes obsessed with Tonia, a ravishing beauty and lead actress of the Nigerian-French film project. Ignoring the warnings of his best friend, Nnamdi (Norbert Young), a psychology professor, Fele pursues his obsession with Tonia to its tragic conclusion.
Cast and crew worked on the movie in partnership with entertainment powerhouse, Koga Entertainment as they put up sterling performances in the flick. At the technical end, Niji Akanni did not fail to add his midas touch in directing the movie which was also written by him.

HOODRUSH
Hoodrush is a musical thriller starring some of the best and emerging young talents in the industry, O.C Ukeje, Gabriel Afolayan, Chelsea Eze, Ijeoma Agu, Lilian Byoma and host of others. The movie was directed by Dimeji Ajibola, a new comer in feature film who has done quite a number of production works for multinationals, media houses and has a number of short films to his credit. Hoodrush is produced by Flipsyde Studios where Dimeji is the CEO. Dimeji Ajibola adopted an unusual genre in telling the story about love, passion, lofty dreams religiously stalked by ‘shattered pro’, daring ruthlessness… faced in Pursuit of Happiness. The lip synched songs which tow the Bollywood path, unveils song after song, which triggers off cinematic restlessness, except you’re a fan or patience happens to be one of your virtues. It is child’s play when compared to Bollywood’s renowned customary musical lifestyle powered on the big screen, but it still finds a sense of identity in the maze of untapped genres in Nollywood.
Two vocally talented brothers Shez (O.C.Ukeje) and Tavia (Gabriel Afolayan) dangle at the bottom of the social ladder. They dream of breaking into stardom having entered into series of talent hunt shows. The mega star dream is once more shattered following a scammed audition of a talent hunt show. Tied down with the chains of penury, despair and misery, Shez clutches at the straw of freedom Alhaja Kadisha- AK1 (Bimbo Akintola) offers him. This unwholesome relationship is financially rewarding and he dives into the pool of greed and selfishness, scheming to have his record label, but there’s a price he has to pay.

AWAKENING
Awakening produced by Theresa Ananenu and directed by James Omokwe features Bryan Okwara, Femi Brainard, OC Ukeje, Kehinde Bankole. When the contents of a box for centuries is opened, a series of events begins to unfold. Nicholas, a young advertising agent suddenly begins to have dreams that eventually become premonitions of his death. In a bid to unravel the mystery he meets an ambitious journalist who thirst for adventure leads them on a path to an unimaginable past and their futures are inextricably changed forever when they uncover the truth about a curse and the existence of an immortal tube

DAMAGE
‘Damage’ is a thriller which stars Kalu Ikeagwu and other talented actors. It tells the story of a married couple who love each other but fight violently almost on a daily basis, which on the long run affects their marriage and children.It’s a collection of three distinct but interwoven stories. Aimed at advocacy for social issues, each story addresses important problems affecting individuals, families and societies at large. The movie features Uche Jombo, Kalu Egbui Ikeagwu, Tonto Dikeh, and several other interesting casts. The movie is produced by star actress Uche Jombo.

I’LL TAKE MY CHANCES
‘I’ll Take My Chances’ is a dance themed movie that is centered on love and the challenges faced in its pursuit by its two principal characters. The movie jointly produced by Ini Edo and Emem Isong features Brian Okwarra, Jide Kosoko, late Sam Loco Efe and Ini Edo herself among others.
I’ll Take My Chances centers on a medley of drama, dance, love and suspense, which is intended for people who are very passionate about dance and movies but not like the type often portrayed in most Bollywood films, but this time, it’s more Nigerian in perspective and philosophy.
Directed by Desmond Elliot, a prolific actor, I’ll Take My Chances is a real departure from the frequently seen story lines in the movie industry as the content, style and philosophy behind it distinguishes it from most of the scripts daily churned out by directors and producers alike.

DR BELLO
If ever there was a star-studded movie it would be the film written, produced and directed by American based Nigerian filmmaker, Tony Abulu, titled: Doctor Bello. In fact, it has been described as one of the most anticipated movies of 2012.The mix of American and Nigerian movie stars that took part in the film shot on location in the United States of America and Nigeria, also gives the choice audience of Nollywood stakeholders and lovers of the Nigerian film industry reason to jeer.
The story is about a Cancer specialist, Dr. Michael Durant (Isaiah Washington) who is troubled emotionally, due to the traumatic loss of his 10-year-old daughter from the said ailment. He immerses himself in his work in the hospital, away from his wife (Vivica J. Fox) who blames him for their child’s death and eventually leaves him.
Dr. Durant forms a bond with a sick seven-year-old boy Sam (Evan Brinkman), the son of a rich Jewish-American couple, who are major contributors to the hospital’s cancer research fund and are desperate for good news about Sam.
Unfortunately, Sam’s health deteriorates drastically and soon, he slips into a coma, with only a few days to live. Dr. Durant becomes desperate, willing to risk anything to save the child’s life. A Nigerian nurse (Ebbe Bassey) convinces him to seek the help of Dr. Tayo Bello (Jimmy Jean-Louis), an uncertified Nigerian doctor, known in the Brooklyn-African underground as a miracle worker.
 Dr. Bello, an introvert with a controversial past, secretly visits the child at night and administers a strange African potion replete with incantations and by the next morning, miraculously, the child begins to recover, the cancer speeding into remission.The hospital’s medical board immediately orders an investigation and soon the secret is revealed and Dr. Durant is suspended. Dr. Bello is arrested and charged with medical malpractice. Durant soon falls into depression after his wife leaves him.Meanwhile, Bello has fallen critically ill in jail and can only be saved by the ingestion of the same potion that can only be found in the mysterious Garden of Life, nestled on the peak of Idanre hills in Ondo State of Nigeria. It is the story of Durant’s quest to Nigeria for a cure for cancer where he finds much more than he bargained for.
Doctor Bello is an interesting story no doubt and all the actors give a good account of themselves leaving no doubt that they are true professionals

A WISH
A Wish is a must watch hilarious comedy movie. Produced and directed by award winning director Elvis Chucks and features Funke Akindele, Patience Ozokwor, Helen Paul, Bishop Ime Umoh.
The story centers around a single mother who is a petty trader with no opportunity of education, having ONE WISH, to see her child go to school and explore the opportunities she never had but faith struck, she had to struggle to achieve her dreams against all odds. Finding out she has a few years to live after being diagnosed of cancer.

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