Latest & Greatest: Jan Edition

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Learn more about the latest releases in tech, literature, motoring and entertainment.
From brutally honest reads to Opel’s seven new car launches and a voice-activated microwave, here’s what’s dropping this month.

Streaming Series 

The Girl from St. Agnes (Showmax)

A popular student is found dead at the base of the old mill at St. Agnes, a prestigious Midlands all-girls school. Fearing a scandal, the school declares Lexi Summerveld’s death a tragic accident – but drama teacher Kate Ballard doesn’t believe it. The Girl from St. Agnes is Showmax’s first original drama series, and was filmed in the KZN Midlands and Johannesburg. It stars newcomer Jane de Wet alongside established stars like Nina Milner, Tyrone Keogh, Celeste Khumalo and Zakeeya Patel. The Girl from St. Agnes premieres on 31 January.


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Eschewing decades of wisdom that tells us positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life, blogger Mark Manson’s advice is: ‘F*ck positivity. Let’s be honest. Sh*t is f*cked and we have to live with it.' Manson gives readers a dose of raw, refreshing and honest truth with The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected society and spoiled a generation. Manson makes the argument that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to enjoy lemons as they are. He encourages readers to embrace their fears, faults and uncertainties, start confronting painful truths and begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity and forgiveness they seek.


Voice-Activated Cooking

Amazon has long promised Alexa-connected home automation, and the introduction of its ‘smart microwave’ is the first genuine step towards that goal. The AmazonBasics Microwave can be controlled with your voice, via Alexa. Say, ‘Alexa, cook potatoes’, or ‘Alexa, reheat rice’, and the microwave automatically cooks the dish for the right amount of time, using the correct power setting. The launch model comes with presets for reheating coffee, defrosting peas and cooking potatoes, rice and popcorn – with updates soon to add more dishes to its culinary repertoire.
+- R900,


Opel to launch 7 new models this year

Opel South Africa will be introducing seven new models in 2019, along with a slew of specification updates to its existing range. The much-anticipated three-door Opel Corsa GSi has been confirmed for April. It will be powered by a 1.4T/110 kW engine and features the agile OPC chassis and brake system set up at the Nürburgring. This year also marks Opel’s 120th birthday, which will be celebrated in South Africa with a stylish Opel Corsa 120Y Special Edition in March. Based on the Corsa Enjoy, the special edition will feature many extra styling and specification features.
The Astra gets an automatic 1.6T Sport model in March, featuring the Exterior OPC-Line Sport Pack and Interior OPC-Line Pack, while the balance of the Astra model range will gain improved specifications. SUV fans can rejoice in March and April when the Crossland X Enjoy 1.6 Diesel model joins the range, the Grandland X Enjoy 1.6T Automatic enjoys comprehensive specification updates and the Grandland X Enjoy Plus 1.6T Automatic gets an even bigger spec boost. A first for Opel in South Africa, the Opel Combo 1.6TD Panel Van launches the Opel Commercial range – available for pre-order from this month – and is set to be joined by the Vivaro in November.


Glass (18 January)

M Night Shyamalan brings together the narratives from two of his standout originals – 2000’s Unbreakable and 2016’s Split – in one explosive, all-new comic-book thriller: Glass. Security guard David Dunn (Bruce Willis) uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), a disturbed man known as ‘The Beast’, who has 24 personalities – while the spectre of Elijah ‘Mr Glass’ Price (Samuel L Jackson) looms large.



Matwetwe (25 January)

Matwetwe ('wizard') is a coming-of-age adventure that follows best friends and recent high-school graduates Lefa and Papi as they start to hustle to improve their lives. Over the course of an action-packed New Year’s Eve in Atteridgeville, the boys try to score a huge deal, dodge a kingpin gangster and his violent minions, and battle to save their own lives in a sometimes-serious, often-hilarious escapade. Matwetwe stars Sibusiso Khwinana and Tebatso Mashishi, is directed by Kagiso Lediga and is co-produced by Black Coffee.

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Resident Evil 2 (25 January)

Twenty-one years on, original cult classic game Resident Evil 2 gets a modern makeover – and it’s more terrifying than ever before. Rookie cop Leon Scott Kennedy and student Claire Redfield must fight for their lives in the virus-infected Raccoon City, pursued by rotting-flesh-covered zombies through a terrifyingly lifelike landscape. Third-person, over-shoulder camera work makes for some epic scares, and the re-imagined cut-scenes from the original are bone-chilling. Be prepared to be scared out of your wits, even if you know what’s coming!
+- R845,

Compiled by Trevor Crighton

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