Have you read a Cinema Pointer movie review on Instagram? It is concise, cuttingly honest and somewhat fun. In a minute or less, you are armed with the knowledge to make better choices in your moviegoing life, because buying a movie ticket and the attendant popcorn and drink over a trash movie is, as put by Cinema Pointer, “throwing money away!”
Given we are still in Buhari’s Nigeria where the economy has plummeted, the cost of leisure and entertainment should be worth it. Cinema Pointer on Instagram, which is their flagship platform for audience reach and engagement, is a movie review content site that has washed up onto the shores of pop culture.
It has captivated me, since stumbling on the site two weeks ago. Nollywood and Hollywood movies are reviewed with a searing, caustic tone and reviews are timely posted during the movie’s cinema opening weekend. And they are no spoiler machine. On the Biodun Stephens romantic drama Seven and a Half Dates, which fabricated its made 10 million naira in three days box office recoup, Cinema Pointer goes in, “Absolutely not recommended for sophisticated people. “Seven and a Half Dates” is a sham reminiscent of Nollywood from the early 2,000s. Don’t waste a Kobo on it in cinema.”
And on Chike Nwoffiah’s A Rose for Freddy, “With actors that move like robots, a terrible lack of chemistry and zombie-like dialogue deliveries, this laughable excuse for a movie will literally drive you crazy, leaving you irritated and aghast at the sheer boldness of those who dared put this travesty on the silver-screen.”
Even the cast ensemble of Osas Ighodaro and Kiki Omeili couldn’t save A Rose for Freddy from turning out to be a mess. “Stupid!,” “Rubbish!” and “Garbage!” are the recurring adjectives you would find in a typical Cinema Pointer review, and although readers have cautioned them to be “mature” in their criticisms and balanced out the negatives with positives, there’s a dripping frustration about their review methodology that I find blisteringly resonating.
Sexy. Terrifying. Superb. Solid! _ One hell of a spectacular thriller, ‘Traffik’ delivers a deliriously heavy load of thrills and shocks. Even though it feels predictable and it probably is, it still succeeds in delivering its thrills in such a silky-swift manner, so that even though you saw them coming, when they finally arrive; they sucker punch you so hard, you will feel the sweetness in your gut as accumulated shivers dissipates from your body. _ It’s been too long a thriller thrilled us as much as ‘Traffik’ did. From its sexy beginnings to its fright-filled ending, it was so much fun seeing this. Truly a thriller’s thriller; served just right, ‘Traffik’ is a ride worth taking. This, is a movie! Has to be one of the most satisfying movies we’ve seen in cinema this year. We loved every single minute of it. Sweet! _ Totally recommended. _ Follow @CinemaPointer today, for movie reviews you can trust. _ #movies #reviews #moviereview #traffik #traffikmovie #traffik2018 #traffikmovie2018
As a film critic myself, I have reviewed a high volume of bad Nollywood movies and it has left me feeling drained, angry and hopeless about the future of Nollywood. Till date, my most brutal review has been 2017’s Alter Ego, a movie that was supposed to catapult Omotola Jalade Ekeinde back to industry supremacy but woefully failed. Perhaps the reason Cinema Pointer are this caustically blunt in reviews is because of the relentless churn of bad Nollywood movies. It’s just too much. An epidemic, a crisis, cinemas are complicit as gatekeepers whose vested interest is ultimately on box office turnovers.
“These movies cost money to make and you are not a good critic!” someone had commented on one of Cinema Pointer’s reviews. “In fact, I’m unfollowing you now!” Granted, Nollywood movies and their production costs do not exactly come cheap, but it’s still not an excuse to have a crappy finished product.
More to the point, money isn’t synonymous to great acting even with a mediocre script, as I have seen low-budget (Hollywood) movies with sterling acting performances. As it is, Cinema Pointer is what Nollywood needs to shape up, recalibrating in every aspect of filmmaking.