Recommended Weekend Movies: Netflix SA and Showmax

It’s been a long, long week. Deadlines and only about 2 hours of TV time this week, so hopefully I can fit in some movies this weekend. Last weekend I had the American version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on my watch list but didn’t get time to watch it so it’s back on my list for the weekend. I watched the Swedish adaptations previously and was looking fo

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Showmax

This adaption of the first novel in the Stieg Larsson’s Millenium series stars Rooney Mara as a hacker, Lisbeth Salander and Daniel Craig as journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Blomkvist is asked by a rich businessman to investigate the disappearance of his niece Harriet. Salander, who’s already been hacking Blomkvist’s computer, secretly helps him uncover clues. Salander meanwhile has her own problem with a sadistic legal guardian.

The movie is directed by David Fincher and is 158 minutes long.


Stars Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in what I assume to be a typical Judd Apatow film. A raunchy romantic comedy is what I’m expecting.  Schumer plays Amy a magazine writer who loves to party and is who is sent to do an interview with a sports doctor named Aaron (Bill Hader).

The film is 125 minutes long and is directed by Judd Apatow.

American Hustle

Inspired by true events American Hustle is about two con artists played by Amy Adams and Christian Bale who is forced by an FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), to help with a sting operation involving corrupt politicians.

The movie is directed by David O. Russell and is 138 minutes long.

Recommended Weekend Movies: Showmax

So for this weekend, I’m recommending the Millenium trilogy – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest.  I streamed it from Showmax over the past two weekends and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Millenium series – which I’ve read – is by deceased Swedish writer Stieg Larsson and is about a hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist). The first film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has a mystery, a suspected murder. It introduces us to Lisbeth and her dark present and past. The other two were more of a political nature, also linked to Lisbeth’s past.

The films are filmed in Swedish with English subtitles and with Swedish actors.  I don’t normally watch movies with subtitles, however, these movies were action-packed, fast-paced and engaging. I was not in the least bothered with the subtitles.

Each movie is just over two hours long.

There’s also an American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander and Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist which I think I’ll catch over the weekend to compare. It’s also available on Showmax.

Netflix South Africa vs Showmax

For the past two years or so I’ve been streaming my TV series and movies via Apple TV first from Netflix and then later both Showmax and Netflix. My TV viewing has completely changed in that time. I’ve watched very little ‘normal’ TV in that time. Who in their right mind would use ‘normal’ TV with all those advertising breaks above streaming? Not me! That’s for sure. I tried to sign up for Amazon as well, but they wanted a credit card number and I didn’t want to give that information, so no Amazon for me. If Amazon accepts Paypal in the future, I will likely sign up there too. I love having access to as much TV as possible!

The difference between Netflix and Showmax

There are a few TV series and movies that are on both streaming services: like Suits, The Affair, Friends, etc. The difference is on Showmax you’ll find South African movies and series which of course is not available on Netflix. I haven’t yet watched any SA movies or series on Showmax. Showmax does have some exclusive streams to US TV shows. Showmax has Game of Thrones, which was a huge plus for me. GOT Season 7 was online almost immediately after the series ended in the US. Mr Robot season 3 was streaming on Showmax pretty much as the episodes concluded in the US.

Netflix has original programming like Stranger Things and Stranger Things 2, 13 Reasons Why, The Queen, Dynasty, etc. Unfortunately, some of their original programmes were sold to DSTV before Netflix arrived in South Africa, so House of Cards, for example, is far behind on Netflix. HOC season 4 arrived last year and HOC 5 hasn’t even arrived yet.

Which do I use most?

It’s hard to say. I go through phases of watching Netflix almost exclusively, but then a few weeks later I’m back with Showmax for a few series. Fortunately, I don’t have to choose at the moment. But if I had to, I’d probably choose Netflix. Mainly because some of their original programmes are amazing. It’s a close thing though.

Let me know if the comments below if you have a favourite or if traditional TV is still your thing.