Shanty Town: When Is (New) Nollywood Finally Going To Get This Writing Thing Right?

Nollywood has always reached for the stars, and now, more than ever before, it truly has the chance to get there as all the tools to make it possible are finally at its disposal. Since the turn of the 2010s, we’ve watched the industry release movies and TV shows that have pushed the boundaries of what we once thought obtainable from a made-in-Nigeria production. It hasn’t exactly been a smooth journey; like most things in life, but Nollywood post-2010, has experienced its fair share of ups and downs with some productions being much better than others. Yet, no one can deny the level of growth the industry has experienced all leading up to the debut of Shanty Town, which is officially the first Nollywood production to be released in 2023.

Like most of its predecessors since the arrival of international streaming services into the Nigerian movie industry, the road to Shanty Town’s debut on Netflix was met with fanfare and hype. Talks from its creators and stars about it being the next big thing we didn’t see coming littered every blog and magazine that cared to carry the news. Personally, I’ve learned to not be fazed by this kind of statement as they’re exactly what they set out to be – marketing promos to drive interest in the movie, which is simply a part of the filmmaking process.

Shanty Town | Official poster | Netflix

The official synopsis for Shanty Town reads:

A group of courtesans (another word for prostitutes) who want to break free from the control of an infamous kingpin soon realize that doing so will be more difficult than they imagined because of political corruption and blood ties.

The Good

Straight to the point, shall we?

Did I like Shanty Town? Yes, I did like parts of it. I really enjoyed watching Chidi Mokeme find his way into my heart again. I was lost in his mesmerizing portrayal of Scar, a “generic” Lagos tout, and it reminded me of some of the things I really love about him and his generation of actors (Chidi is 50 years old, by the way). As is a by-product of such a captivating performance, just like we saw when Sola Sobowale debuted the character of Alhaja Eniola Salami in 2018’s King Of Boys, Mokeme’s Scar has, once again, resurrected the unending argument over who reigns supreme between Old Nollywood vs. New Nollywood. While I think the answer here isn’t simple and is best left to individual choice, there’s no denying Chidi Mokeme is the highest-ranking performer in Shanty Town, arguably the best part of it. This isn’t to take away from the commendable performances most of the other cast members put into their roles as the acting performances were one of the strongest things Shanty Town had going for it – but there’s just no denying Chidi Mokeme as Scar stole the show. 

Chidi Mokeme as Scar | Shanty Town | Netflix

Other things I like about Shanty Town are its amazing visuals, cinematography, smart capturing angles, particularly in the opening scene at Shangisha, sound quality, and overall production feel. With how much better and somewhat consistent big-budget Nollywood productions have been getting with the technical side of things, it’s getting incredibly easier to gloss over them, forgetting so soon how not-so-good-looking movies used to be not too long ago. That’s real growth. Then there’s the use of the Ibibio language between Ini Edo and Nse Ikpe Etim’s characters (Amanda/Inem and Enewan). My gosh! I never knew the language was this beautiful, and I’m glad it’s getting the attention it looks long deserved for. In fact, I hope to see major Nollywood productions highlight more indigenous Nigerian languages, especially away from the three main ones everyone seems to be conversant with to some degree. 

The Bad

Now to the things I didn’t really like about the show. They’re a lot, so, to simplify things, I’ve decided to list them out in bullet points rather than in thick blocks of prose. That should make them easier to follow.

  • Shanty Town should’ve been a movie
Mercy Eke as Jackie | Shanty Town | Netflix

I don’t know this for certain, but my professional guess is that Shanty Town was a movie turned miniseries at the last minute. We see evidence of what it once was in the pacing of its episodes’ and the way the writing struggles to come together in most scenes. A lot of what should’ve been left on the cutting floor made it into the final cut and what we get is a 6-episode series that feels painstakingly long and laborious to watch. Episode 3 is the worst culprit of this (alleged) creative decision. The introduction of Shaffy Bello’s character, Mama, could’ve done with a more compact, straight-to-the-point take than the drowsy exposition we got between the character and Scar, which takes about half the entire episode’s runtime.

  • Suspension of belief taken too far

Going down this list, you’d see that most of the issues I had with Shanty Town can be traced to creative decisions and licenses taken by its writing team led by Xavier Ighorodje. In trying to do something nice, Shanty Town does too much with the too little it has going for it, and what it requires to get through is a very deep suspension of belief at almost every turn. When you think you’ve seen the worst of it, you’re once again called upon to suspend your belief of what is obtainable in this reality a little more – cue in the scene where Shalewa plays Jackie’s voice note that was inexplicably sent to her.

  • A lot of scenes fail to ask the WHY question

One important rule in screenwriting is that every scene included in the final project must serve a purpose. If a scene must remain in a movie or TV series, it must be building up to something or answering a question already posed by a previous scene – the WHY question. Why does this scene exist and what does it add to the overall story? Why does Inem pick up the phone to inquire about sensitive information on life and death from Enewan when she could either wait for her to return or go after her? What is the consequence of making such a silly move? The WHY question is important and the failure to ask and thoughtfully answer it on the drawing table during the early process of storyboarding is why some scenes and character motivation just don’t add up when watching the released version.

  • Poetic idiosyncrasy: Of the character or the writers?

As a writer myself, I understand the appeal of poetry. It makes things beautiful and more colourful, especially when infused into a grand-looking production like this one. You have expert orators like Shaffy Bello and RMD and you simply want to maximize what you already know is a talent they possess. But that can also be a trap, like in this case. 

Shaffy Bello as Mama | Shanty Town | Netflix

I couldn’t help but notice the indiscriminate use of poetic-sounding lines by multiple characters in the series to the point that it becomes glaring that this isn’t a trait unique to any particular character but, perhaps, the writers projecting themselves and their interests upon the characters they’ve been tasked to create. While this isn’t a bad thing in its entirety, it sort of alludes to a roughened version of the law of demand and supply – if everyone has it, it isn’t special any longer. If all the characters are lords of speaking in a poetic manner, almost no one is memorable for it.

  • Lack of relevant backstory and significant build-up to moments of great payoff

Even with its 6-episode count, Shanty Town does an underwhelming job successfully juggling between its decent number of characters and giving some of them backstories to make them feel richer in the mind of the audience. I opine knowing why Femi Fernandez (Peter Okoye) is considerably much less ambitious than his father, or how Scar got his name and the scar on his face, or what Mama’s real beef with Chief Fernandez (RMD) really is would all have made the series appear stronger. 

The Ugly

The writing really sucked as the show progressed, almost quickly unveiling its struggle with an obvious case of an identity crisis.

Like Peter Okoye’s struggle with fully embodying his character (Femi Fernandez), Shanty Town, too, struggled with knowing the main story it was trying to tell.

Are we watching a political thriller mostly between Dame and Chief Fernandez’s claim to the seat of power in Lagos? Or is it a story of vengeance as portrayed by Ini Edo’s Amanda (or is it Inem)? Or is this an exposé on the harsh realities of living in a slum? Or (surprise!) is this a supernatural thriller, because I still can’t wrap my head around that deus ex machina RMD pulled off during the shootout in e06?

Scar | Netflix

I understand it could, technically, be all of this, but while Shanty Town dangles all these exciting moving parts before its audience, it clearly struggles with the way it makes them all come together. What it does is have most of these listed arcs and more fight for dominance, some without any real setup, making it really difficult to know the main message the show is trying to pass across. By the time the show ended, I was, more or less, exhausted, from having to keep up with the many shenanigans of the inhabitants of Shanty Town.

Luckily for it, as my people would say, na small thing e take escape complete disaster.

Some funny moments

RMD as Chief Fernandez | Shanty Town | Netflix
  • Ini Edo’s Inem channeling her inner Black Widow to defeat that henchwoman during the final battle in e06.
  • Chief Fernandez’s political rally speech in e06. 😂
  • Chief Fernandez’s character was a Tinubu spoof. Down to the cap. I laughed out loud when it finally clicked. 😂

Somewhat pointless

Sola Sobowale as Mummy T | Shanty Town | Netflix
  • Mama (Shaffy Bello’s character) reveals she wanted to fuck one or more of Fela’s Kalakuta queens during her character exposition in e03. Issokay!
  • Ini Edo’s character revealing that she is a twin is poorly handled, full of cliches, and lacked the emotional payoff the filmmakers were going for.
  • Mummy T’s character. Sorry, Sola Sobowale, but that character did nothing for me. Take her out of the series completely, and I think we’d still be good.
  • That final scene with Toyin Abraham at the ritual site. Was that a cliffhanger? I’m not exactly sure what to make of it.

Consensus

Shanty Town had no business being a miniseries. That’s its greatest crime. A 2hr movie with the same set of shot materials would’ve given us something more cohesive and truly memorable. An important lesson Nigerian filmmakers tend to forget these days is that the destination is only as important as the journey that took us there. Filmgoers, like myself, go in for the experience of the journey; throw in a satisfying ending and that’s an even bigger win.


Rinzy’s Rating: D

Welcome to Rinzy Reviews Films

It’s been a few years since I became engrossed in the art of film-watching, and a little more for story-writing. It’s also approximately a year since I nursed the idea of having a platform where I pen my many film (movies and TV) theories and discuss film ideas with a public as enthusiastic about the art as myself. So, here we are – Rinzy Reviews Films: A dream made a reality.

Though not the best attempt, I strongly believe it’s a step in the ‘write’ direction. I believe, greatly, in planting a vision and nursing it into a mission. And, I know we’ll have great times here making memories we’ll treasure for many years to come.

My name is Rinzy Talius Dike, your chief-servant and I say Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

– Rinzy, 2016.

Edit:

It’s amazing how time flies! Thank you for sticking with Rinzy Reviews Films over the last four years now.  😍

The conversation doesn’t stop here;

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– Rinzy, 2020.

Is Netflix’s ‘Far From Home’ Worth Your Time?

In a year that can best be described as eventful for the still-growing union between Netflix and Nigerian creatives, Far From Home comes to wrap things up in an exciting, juvenile style. If Chief Daddy 2: Going For Broke remains infamous for bringing dirt upon a new year with its January 1 debut, Far From Home, which tells the story of Ishaya Bello, an aspiring artist who lands himself in grave danger while pursuing his dream, can be said to be the streaming service’s attempt to wipe that stain out of our collective memories. The big question here is, were they successful?

Ishaya Bello (Mike Afolarin) is a hustler and can best be described as a fish out of water. He hustles his way into the prestigious Wilmer Academy in the hopes of winning the advertised ₦6 million scholarship grant to aid his plan to travel overseas for an art fellowship; he hustles his way around earning Ijoba (Bucci Franklin) and Rambo’s (Bolanle Ninalowo) sympathies when he assures the latter he can help make him more money at his new, boujee school. He’s got a mouth and he uses it, and this relentless drive to constantly make lemonades out of the lemons life has given him is one layer that makes the character very relatable and interesting to watch. But where Ishaya easily shines as a multifaceted, flawed person, not all the other characters get the same treatment from the screenwriters; in fact, some characters with interesting potential like the ever-brooding yet somewhat sensitive Denrele (Raymond Umenze) stay mostly unwrapped beyond the surface interpretation they’re given, while others like Olumide Owuro’s Atlas who get explored lack the much-needed depth to make them better. Hold your pitchforks for a second… I haven’t said this lapse makes the series a bad one. On the contrary, one marveling thing about Far From Home is that even with the lack of many complex characters, the show still comes across as interesting to watch and talk about.

Teen dramas have always been popular in the entertainment industry and it’s exciting to see Netflix replicate its success with the genre in a show that is tailored to the Nigerian audience’s taste yet exquisite enough for international audiences to binge along, too. Far From Home has a relatable story about a young man who’s willing to do anything to achieve his dreams of becoming a successful artiste, is rich in cinematography, and bears some standout performance in a sea of decent acting (special shoutout to Gbubemi Ejeye and Moshood Fattah for their impressive performance as Adufe and Michael, respectively). Truly, it has all the makings of an international success, one I’m sure its makers hope is enough to thrust it into conversations where the likes of Blood & Water, Elite, and Gossip Girl are mentioned. 

To answer the initial question posited in the first paragraph, I think the answer is yes, Far From Home really is enjoyable and is a good way for Netflix to wrap up another year in Nollywood. The series tells the story of the haves and the haves not, and, like some of the better shows to tackle this subject matter, it feels believable within the scope its universe defines. The general public seems to agree as well as the show has been enjoying a lot of goodwill, far more than many other 2022 Netflix Originals did, since it debuted on the streaming service. It remains to be seen how far this goodwill takes it into the future; we’ll just wait and see how that plays out.  Addendum: Far From Home really excels in its use of music. For a show that has a lot of things going well for it, so far, its application of songs easily takes the icing on the cake for how fitting they are for the scenes they’re used in, like a round peg in a round hole. A special shout-out to my friend Keren-Happuch whose song, Amarom, got featured in the episode 5 scene where Atlas went begging for Carmen’s forgiveness.

Curtains draw: Far From Home is being promoted as Netflix Naija’s first YA/ teen drama series (rightly so) and is the perfect way to close out a year that’s seen mostly mixed reactions from the audience for the streamer’s local content. It’s not perfect (truly, no show ever is), but it is very enjoyable; the characters feel relatable, even the super-rich kids, which makes for good TV. 

Stream it!

My Rating: 3/5

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Takes Us Back To Times When MCU Movies Were Always A Hit – Spoiler-Free Review

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a more mature spin on the world of Wakanda since the last time we came visiting.

King T’Challa is dead and the people of Wakanda, like those of us in the real world, must navigate life without their beloved king, brother, and son. It’s heartbreaking watching these people grieve and be reminded of our own grief at the real-life tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman in 2022.

Although the bulk of the movie is steamed in elements of grief and loss, Wakanda Forever doesn’t forget that it’s a comic-book action movie, nor does it suffer for any of the aforementioned. The balancing of elements of its grief and action is superbly done, a reminder that the man at the helm of the movie, Director Ryan Coogler, understands the world and material he’s working with and fully embraces its peculiarities. He’s not afraid to tug at our hearts and play the game of heroism at the same time.

I had a thousand and one worries going into this movie, with most of them being centered around whether The decision to not recast T’Challa was one the movie would suffer for, and I’m glad those were allayed. Although I still don’t agree with that creative decision, it’s one I’ve come to respect having seen Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

The ending felt a bit anticlimactic for me. Granted it made sense following the journey Shuri’s been on the entire movie, which shows growth on the character’s part and how she indeed deserves the mantle of the Black Panther, but as a thirsty viewer eager for blood in equal measures, it kind of let me down. Thankfully, it’s something I can live with.

One thing I very much liked about this movie was how the Talokans felt like an actual threat throughout the movie. Namor is amazing, and unyielding in motivation. It was fun watching them drive his actions.

Okoye is badass as ever and has a lot more to do in this sequel, and I loved every bit of watching her do her thing. But aside from her, and perhaps Aneka (the latest Dora Milaje played by Michaela Coel), this elite group of female warriors don’t really get to shine as they did in the first movie.

Riri Williams’ (aka Ironheart) debut here was cool. We’re still a while away from me being blown away by the latest MCU character, but, thankfully, since her own solo Disney+ series is coming, I don’t think that’ll be long now.

Without risking dropping a major spoiler here, I’d like to applaud Ryan Coogler and the rest of the story team for a bold decision made at the Battle of Wakanda. I didn’t see it coming at all, and I thought the rest of the movie benefited greatly from the filmmakers decision to toe that line.

After a somewhat lackluster year for the MCU, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever takes us back to the times when Marvel Studios was always a hit. It ranks among the better entries in Marvel Phase-4, and is a good way to end it.

Go see Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at the cinemas.

Who Took Home An Emmy? All The Winners At The 2022 Emmys Listed

It was another night of celebrating TV excellence at the 2022 Emmy Awards last night. You’ve seen the list of nominees here months back, now let’s see who took home one of those coveted statues in a night that celebrated great talents and forged new history.

See the full winners list below:

Best Drama Series

Better Call Saul (AMC)
Euphoria (HBO)
Ozark (Netflix)
Severance (Apple TV+)
Squid Game (Netflix)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
WINNER: Succession (HBO)
Yellowjackets (Showtime)

Best Actress in a Drama Series

Jodie Comer (Killing Eve)
Laura Linney (Ozark)
Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets)
Sandra Oh (Killing Eve)
Reese Witherspoon (The Morning Show)
WINNER: Zendaya (Euphoria)

Best Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman (Ozark)
Brian Cox (Succession)
WINNER: Lee Jung-Jae (Squid Game)
Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
Adam Scott (Severance)
Jeremy Strong (Succession)

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Patricia Arquette (Severance)
WINNER: Julia Garner (Ozark)
Jung Ho-Yeon (Squid Game)
Christina Ricci (Yellowjackets)
Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul)
J. Smith-Cameron (Succession)
Sarah Snook (Succession)
Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria)

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Nicholas Braun (Succession)
Billy Crudup (The Morning Show)
Kieran Culkin (Succession)
Park Hae-Soo (Squid Game)
WINNER: Matthew Macfadyen (Succession)
John Turturro (Severance)
Christopher Walken (Severance)
Oh Yeong-Soo (Squid Game)

Best Comedy Series

Abbott Elementary (ABC)
Barry (HBO)
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Hacks (HBO Max)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Only Murders In The Building (Hulu)
WINNER: Ted Lasso (Apple)
What We Do In The Shadows (FX)

Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary)
Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant)
Elle Fanning (The Great)
Issa Rae (Insecure)
WINNER: Jean Smart (Hacks)

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Donald Glover (Atlanta)
Bill Hader (Barry)
Nicholas Hoult (The Great)
Steve Martin (Only Murders In The Building)
Martin Short (Only Murders In The Building)
WINNER: Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso)

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Hannah Einbinder (Hacks)
Janelle James (Abbott Elementary)
Kate Mckinnon (Saturday Night Live)
Sarah Niles (Ted Lasso)
WINNER: Sheryl Lee Ralph (Abbott Elementary)
Juno Temple (Ted Lasso)
Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso)

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Carrigan (Barry)
WINNER: Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso)
Toheeb Jimoh (Ted Lasso)
Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso)
Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Tyler James Williams (Abbott Elementary)
Henry Winkler (Barry)
Bowen Yang (Saturday Night Live)

Best Limited Or Anthology Series

Dopesick (Hulu)
The Dropout (Hulu)
Inventing Anna (Netflix)
Pam & Tommy (Hulu)
WINNER: The White Lotus (HBO)

Best Actress in a Limited Series, Movie or Anthology

Toni Collette (The Staircase)
Julia Garner (Inventing Anna)
Lily James (Pam & Tommy)
Sarah Paulson (Impeachment: American Crime Story)
Margaret Qualley (Maid)
WINNER: Amanda Seyfried (The Dropout)

Best Actor in a Limited Series, Movie or Anthology

Colin Firth (The Staircase)
Andrew Garfield (Under The Banner Of Heaven)
Oscar Isaac (Scenes From A Marriage)
WINNER: Michael Keaton (Dopesick)
Himesh Patel (Station Eleven)
Sebastian Stan (Pam & Tommy)

Best Supporting Actress In A Limited Or Anthology Series Or Movie

Connie Britton (The White Lotus)
WINNER: Jennifer Coolidge (The White Lotus)
Alexandra Daddario (The White Lotus)
Kaitlyn Dever (Dopesick)
Natasha Rothwell (The White Lotus)
Sydney Sweeney (The White Lotus)
Mare Winningham (Dopesick)

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

WINNER: Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus)
Jake Lacy (The White Lotus)
Will Poulter (Dopesick)
Seth Rogen (Pam & Tommy)
Peter Sarsgaard (Dopesick)
Michael Stuhlbarg (Dopesick)
Steve Zahn (The White Lotus)

Best Variety Talk Series

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
WINNER: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)
Late Night With Seth Meyers (NBC)
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Best Variety Sketch Series

A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO/HBO Max)
WINNER: Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Best Competition Program

The Amazing Race (CBS)
WINNER: Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls (Amazon Prime Video)
Nailed It! (Netflix)
Rupaul’s Drag Race (Vh1)
Top Chef (Bravo)
The Voice (NBC)

Best Directing for a Drama Series

Jason Bateman (Ozark)
Ben Stiller (Severance)
WINNER: Hwang Dong-Hyuk (Squid Game)
Mark Mylod (Succession)
Cathy Yan (Succession)
Lorene Scafaria (Succession)
Karyn Kusama (Yellowjackets)

Best Directing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

Danny Strong (Dopesick)
Francesca Gregorini (The Dropout)
Michael Showalter (The Dropout)
John Wells (Maid)
Hiro Murai (Station Eleven)
WINNER: Mike White (The White Lotus)

Best Directing for a Comedy Series

Hiro Murai (Atlanta)
Bill Hader (Barry)
Lucia Aniello (Hacks)
Mary Lou Belli (The Ms. Pat Show)
Jamie Babbit (Only Murders In The Building)
Cherien Dabis (Only Murders In The Building)
WINNER: MJ Delaney (Ted Lasso)

Best Writing for a Comedy Series

WINNER: Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary)
Duffy Boudreau (Barry)
Alec Berg, Bill Hader (Barry)
Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, Jen Statsky (Hacks)
Steve Martin, John Hoffman (Only Murders In The Building)
Jane Becker (Ted Lasso)
Sarah Naftalis (What We Do In The Shadows)
Stefani Robinson (What We Do In The Shadows)

Best Writing for a Drama Series

Thomas Schnauz (Better Call Saul)
Chris Mundy (Ozark)
Dan Erickson (Severance)
Hwang Dong-Hyuk (Squid Game)
WINNER: Jesse Armstrong (Succession)
Jonathan Lisco, Ashley Lyle, Bart Nickerson (Yellowjackets)
Ashley Lyle, Bart Nickerson (Yellowjackets)

Best Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

Danny Strong (Dopesick)
Elizabeth Meriwether (The Dropout)
Sarah Burgess (Impeachment: American Crime Story)
Molly Smith Metzler (Maid)
Patrick Somerville (Station Eleven)
WINNER: Mike White (The White Lotus)

Best Writing for a Variety Special

Ali Wong (Ali Wong: Don Wong)
Ian Berger, Devin Delliquanti, Jennifer Flanz, Jordan Klepper, Zhubin Parang, Scott Sherman (The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Presents: Jordan Klepper Fingers The Globe – Hungary For Democracy)
WINNER: Jerrod Carmichael (Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel)
Nicole Byer (Nicole Byer: Bbw (Big Beautiful Weirdo))
Norm MacDonald (Norm MacDonald: Nothing Special)


Did your fave make the cut? Tell us in the comments.

King Of Thieves: A Sensational Epic That Leaves You Wanting More

King of Thieves is sensational and, many times, revels in the drama it poses to be, and that’s its greatest source of strength and appeal.

In true fashion of what Yoruba epics typically are, King of Thieves isn’t pretending to be what it’s not, but what sets it apart from many of its peers is its keen attention to most production details and the upbeat pace it sticks to throughout its runtime. Because of these measures taken by the entire creative crew, what viewers get is a mostly self-aware movie that tries, convincingly, to not take its viewers for granted.

The air of mystery lingered at commendable levels and I found myself invested in getting to the root of the central mystery at the core of the story, and I was glad it all made sense in the end. I did wish I could’ve learned more about Agesinkole’s motivations in crumbs as the runtime unfolded, rather than the info dump we got in the last act. That’d have made for a much better story, in my opinion.

Thankfully, this setback didn’t rock the overall movie experience for me.

The acting was electrifying as can be expected from such an epic. The costumes and sets were good, too, and the VFX was decent. Let’s just say the producers put in a good amount of work into making this movie and they’ve got the high box office numbers and the feelings of memorabilia from fans to pat themselves on the back. I say “well done” to them.

Have you seen King Of Thieves (Agesinkole)? Tell me in the comments how you feel about it.

‘The Sandman’ Is A Labour Of Love To Fans Of The Comic Book, But…

Release date: August 5, 2022 (Netflix)

Starring: Tom Sturridge, Jenna Coleman, Gwendoline Christie, Boyd Holbrook, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Charles Dance, et al.


The Sandman is a gift of love to faithful fans of the Neil Gaiman comic book source material, but newcomers joining the Netflix series might struggle a bit with the lack of a nail-biting story.

Author Neil Gaiman is having the time of his life as The Sandman joins an increasing number of his creations that have come to life on the big screen. Count American God’s early success at Starz and Good Omen’s still-on run at Prime Video, and you’d better understand this.

As could be peeked from his other two shows, The Sandman, too, is visually stunning. Netflix spared no expense in bringing the fantastical worlds beyond The Waking World to life. Time spent traversing The Dreaming, Hell, and Desire’s Domain was spent in awe and gasps. Money well spent if you ask me.

Official poster

The acting doesn’t leave much to be desired, which isn’t something you see too often these days with fantasy shows, where the CGI typically does the heavy lifting. Although I should warn you not to expect any Emmy award-winning performance from the cast here, it is worthy to note that they all pull their own weights, with some notable standouts like Death (played by Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and Desire (played to chilling perfection by Mason Alexander Park). Tom Sturridge’s performance as the lead titular character, aka Morpheus, is also commendable; he manages to carry the weight of the show gracefully, but I must confess there were times I got really bored of watching his stiff jawline do that thing it does.

As controversial as my opening paragraph sounds, The Sandman fairs pretty well as a new show in the overcrowded TV scene – the fans love it and the critics do, too. My issue with the story is mostly how fast-paced and far-spread it felt. Although it did manage to come together nicely in the end, I found myself struggling to make the most sense of most of its arcs, which many times felt like fillers and homage to its comic book run, than expedient parts to lead us to a memorable finale. That was its weakest draw for me.

Thankfully, it wasn’t enough for me to dislike the show.

Have you seen The Sandman? What are your thoughts about it? Do share in the comments.


Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Ghost And The Tout Too: Another Easily Forgettable Pastime Movie

Release date: 10 September 2021 (Cinemas) and July 25, 2022 (Netflix)

Starring: Toyin Abraham, Mercy Johnson, Osas Ighodaro, Ini Edo, Deyemi Okanlawon, Lateef Adedimeji, Ali Nuhu, Iyabo Ojo, et al.


Ghost and the Tout Too is as good as one can expect from a Nigerian comedy of its caliber. 

It’s a sequel, but I think where the movie shines the most is in its ability to exist as its own thing, without burdening a new viewer with worries about seeing its predecessor.

For a movie with an outlandish premise as this -a woman sees and frolics with Ghosts- I thought there were some relatable, slapstick moments, which made it a tad more bearable. 

Official poster | The Ghost and the Tout Too

Unnecessary scenes abound, so are poorly inserted ads for its sponsors, as well as scenes that go on for too long. But all these can be considered staples of average Nollywood movies at this point in the industry’s history.

The writing is weak and the acting can best be described as average, but what were you expecting? 

Continuity and transitioning between scenes, too, leave much to be desired. 

While Ghost and the Tout Too may be regarded as a mega-movie by its producers and star-studded cast, it’s, at best, an easily forgettable pastime for the casual movie audience.


Rinzy’s Rating: 2/5

Screenplay by: Uyoyou Adia, Yusuf Carew, and Akay Ilozobhie

Directed by: Michael Akinrogunde

Witches And Mermaids Battle For A Prince’s Attention In The Hilarious ‘My Village People’

Release date: July 22, 2022 (Netflix release)

Starring: Bovi Ugboma, Charles Inojie, Ada Ameh, Rachel Oniga, Sophie Alakija, Nkem Owoh, Zubby Michael, Akah Nnani, Venita Akpofure, Amechi Muonagor, Theresa Edem, and Binta Ayo Mogaji, et al.


It’s a good time to be a fan of Nigerian movies. Not only are our movies becoming more ambitious, they’re also starting to give viewers better returns on entertainment value. The latest Nollywood movie to achieve this feat is My Village People, a movie written by and starring Bovi Ugboma, and directed by Niyi Akinmolayan.

My Village People tells the story of Prince, a selfish womanizer, who finds himself in bubbling hot water after his reckless lifestyle accidentally attracts the attention of both a Coven of Witches and a School of Mermaids who want a mixture of revenge and romance.

The movie might have its faults, but it is hilarious, adventurous, and gives good value for money. After a successful theatrical run in 2021, it debuted on Netflix to a wider audience.

I’ve seen a variety of opinions across social media, but the consensus appears to be that a lot of Nigerians positively f#ck with this movie. Thankfully.

It didn’t reinvent any wheels of film production, but I had a nice time watching it, and I want to believe that you will too, if you haven’t already seen it.

Also starring alongside Bovi in #MyVillagePeople is Charles Inojie, Ada Ameh, Rachel Oniga, Sophie Alakija, Nkem Owoh, Zubby Michael, Akah Nnani, Venita Akpofure, Amechi Muonagor, Theresa Edem, and Binta Ayo Mogaji, to mention but a few.

Check it out on Netflix.


Directed by: Niyi Akinmolayan

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Even With Underwhelming Villains, I Still Think ‘Ms. Marvel’ Is A Good Watch

Release date: June 8 – July 13, 2022 (Disney+)

Starring: Iman Vellani, Matt Lintz, Rish Shah, Aramis Knight, Zenobia Shruff, et al.


In many ways, Ms. Marvel feels like the breath of fresh air Marvel Studios intended for it to be. Yet, as the series progressed, pretty fast I might add, it couldn’t help but fall victim to some of the generic tropes that have plagued most of the other MCU Disney+ shows before it.

It definitely appeals to its target audience; so if you don’t like it, go figure out why.

With Ms. Marvel, Marvel Studios intended to show forth the Muslim Pakistani communities in a great light through Kamala’s eyes, and I think they did a great job with that.

Official poster

Even with underwhelming villains to go up against, I still think Ms. Marvel is a good watch. Iman Vellani, who plays the titular character, is charming to watch and easily fills the screen with exciting, infectious energy, and so do the rest of the cast. I look forward to seeing all the many great things they’ll do in the MCU, moving forward.

Ms. Marvel will return in The Marvels (2023). 😎

PS: The show is, more accurately put, a 6.5/10, but since I don’t use that kind of meter… 😄🌚


Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5.5

For the love of Film & TV