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The Jakes are Missing

South Africa 2015
produced by
Bianca Isaac, Basil Ford (executive), Kagisho Bapela (executive) for Figjam Entertainment
starring Mampho Brescia, Pope Jerrod, Mpho Sebeng, Jody Abrahams, Craig Palm, Sokhulu Mthiyane, Heidi Mollentze, Nicole Bailey, Celeste Nutili, Dirk Stoltz, Zakeeya Patel, Nomzamo Mbatha, Abigail Kubeka, Darlington Michaels, Suraya Santos, Ashish Gangapersad, Annie Malan, Richard van der Westhuizen, Sphamandla Walter Dhludhlu, Rebecca Curry, Yonda Thomas, Joy Monareng, Joey Henson, David Dukas, Xabiso Mandini, Ayanda Linda Makayi, Monré Aucamp, Charmaine Weir-Smith, Grace Bapela, Sipho Bennet Zungu
written by Bianca Isaac, music by Tim Hendricks

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Janice (Mampho Brescia) and Donald (Pope Jerrod) are successful professionals, they live in the nicest of houses, have more money than they might ever need - and their marriage is pretty much on the brink. They've grown cold towards one another over the years, and now the only thing that's keeping them together is their son Simon (Mpho Sebeng) - and they're doing a lousy job at being great parents to him, among other things by trying to force him to study and live a joyless life like them rather than see him follow his dream to become a musician. So he has to sneak out of the house to play gigs - and on one such occasion he witnesses a murder. But that's not enough, the killers, members of a ring of smugglers run by Malone (David Dukas) find out who he is and suspect him to have gotten away with part of their loot (he didn't) - and now they want to track him down. Fortunately, the police has been on the trail of the smugglers for years, but can't make an arrest without evidence - so they swiftly relocate the Jakes to somewhere in the country, where the very urban family has at first trouble to adjust. Janice feels herself not cut out to be a housewife, Donald feels overwhelmed by the attention the local single ladies heap onto him while he, as a successful landscaper, has troubles convincing the town keeper (Dirk Stoltz) of his plans to revamp the town, and young Simon is quick to lose his heart to the reverend's (Darlington Michaels) daughter (Nomzamo Mbatha) - but eventually, country life grows onto all three of them, and Janice and Donald even rediscover their long thought lost love for one another. Then though Malone's number two (Jody Abrahams) finds out where the Jakes are hiding out and takes his men to dish out their punishment - and all during the annual town's fair, too ...


Now I have to admit, even if the actual finale of this movie is originally executed, the third act as a whole is a bit too concerned with just setting things right for everybody (who deserves it) and hammer its formulaic message of a "simpler life" home a bit too eagerly, even for a romantic comedy. But that said, the way to third act is actually riddled with good ideas, poignant and universal satire, strong eccentric characters, all revolving around an interesting build-up that does take its chances, all of which is only supported by a slick directorial effort and solid performances by all involved. So even if the destination is a bit too predictable, it's at least a nice ride, even if you're not into romantic comedies one bit.

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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD