Film & Stage Ratings (Aug 11-17)

A scene from the animated treat, The Son of Bigfoot.

CINEMA RATINGS
***** EXCELLENT  ****VERY GOOD  *** GOOD  **AVERAGE  * POOR

Film ratings are by Billy Suter or from Internet Movie Data Base.  Theatre ratings are by Billy Suter.
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Note:  Ster-Kinekor’s latest display ad for KwaZulu-Natal cinemas appears at end of this post.
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FILMS NEW ON  CIRCUIT  IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM AUGUST 11

THE SON OF BIGFOOT ***
Director: Jeremy Degruson, Ben Stassen
Cast: Cinda Adams, Bob Barlen, Cal Brunker

An animated film in which a teenage boy journeys to find his missing father only to discover that he’s actually Bigfoot.

BELOW HER MOUTH **
Director: April Mullen
Stars: Erika Linder, Natalie Krill, Sebastian Pigott

A drama in which an unexpected affair quickly escalates into a heart-stopping reality for two women whose passionate connection changes their lives forever

SNATCHED **
Director: Jonathan Levine
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Amy Schumer, Kim Caramele

When her boyfriend dumps her before their exotic holiday, a young woman persuades her ultra-cautious mother to travel with her to paradise, with unexpected results.

MY COUSIN RACHEL **
Director: Roger Michell
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Iain Glen

Based on the nvoel by Daphne Du Maurier, this is the tale of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his late cousin’s mysterious, beautiful wife, believing her responsible for his death. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.

THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD **
Director: Patrick Hughes
Stars
: Elodie Yung, Ryan Reynolds, Gary Oldman

The world’s top bodyguard gets a new client, a hitman who must testify at the International Court of Justice. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time.

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A scene from Dunkirk, about Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France, being surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

DUNKIRK ****
Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars:  Fionn Whitehead, Damien Bonnard, Mark Rylance

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

THE CIRCLE ***
Director: James Ponsoldt
Stars: Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega

A sci-fi thriller centred on a woman who lands a dream job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, only to uncover an agenda that will affect the lives of all of humanity.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES ***
Director: Matt Reeves
Stars: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn

After the human-like apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

THE MUMMY ***
Director: Alex Kurtsman
Stars: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, AnnabelleWallis

The tale of an ancient princess being awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING ***

Director: Jon Watts
Stars: Tom Holland Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jnr, Gwyneth Paltrow

Several months after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens, New York, while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego, Spider-Man, as a new threat, the Vulture, emerges.

VICEROY’S HOUSE ***
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Stars: Gillian Anderson, Michael Gambo, Hugh Bonneville

A drama in which the final Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, is tasked with overseeing the transition of British India to independence, but meets with conflict as different sides clash in the face of monumental change.

BRIMSTONE ***
Director: Martin Koolhoven
Stars: Guy Pearce, Dakota Fanning and Game of Thrones star Kit Harington

An epic thriller which experienced some early production hell (see feature story under ‘Cinema’ on this site). It is a suspenseful tale of guilt and retribution unfolding in the late 19th century in the American West, focusing on a new reverend who poses danger for a young woman and her family.

GIRLS TRIP ***
Director: Mlacom D Lee

Stars: Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith

A comedy about four lifelong friends whotravel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival. Sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there is enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.

BABY DRIVER ***
Director: Edgar Wright
Stars: ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm

An action-drama about a young getaway driver who, after being coerced into working for a crime boss, finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.

JAB HARRY MET DEJAL ***
Director: Imtiaz Ali
Stars
: Paras arora, Diljit Dosanjh, Samantha Elizondo

A romantic comedy centred on Harry and Sejal’s journey across Europe. A search for Sejal’s engagement ring makes Harry understand love and relationships better. Sejal experiences new found freedom, security and solace in Harry’s company.

MUBARAKAN **
Director: Anees Bazmee
Stars
: Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz

A comedy about Karan and Charan, identical twin brothers whose personalities are polar opposite, and who become involved in an arranged marriage switch.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS **

Director: David Soren
Stars: Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Thomas Middleditch

An animated comedy adventure in which two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS ***
Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen

Sci-fi adventure in which a dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

DESPICABLE ME 3 **
Directors: Eric Guillon, Kyle Balda

Stars: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker

This animated romp has Gru meeting his long-lost charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother Dru, who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist.

ROUGH NIGHT ***
Director: Lucia Aniello
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Kravitz, Kate McKinnon

A comedy in which a group of friends are horrified when the male stripper they hired for a wild bachelorette party in Miami winds up dead.

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST NIGHT **
Director: Michael Bay
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Laura Haddock, Gemma Cha

More noise and mayhem as humans and Transformers are war. Optimus Prime has gone. The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformerso n Earth.

BAYWATCH **
Director:
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Effron

Dwayne Johnson takes over the role made famous by David Hasselhoff in this remake of the TV series about beach lifeguards. It tells of a devoted lifeguard, Mitch Buchanan, who butts heads with a brash new recruit. However, together they uncover a criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.

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Renate Sturrman, Paul Slabolepszy and Charmaine Weir-Smith in Suddenly the Storm, a must-do this weekend in Durban.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS 

SUDDENLY THE STORM
(Playhouse Loft, Durban)

Presented as part of the Playhouse Company’s 14th SA Women’s Arts Festival, this is the highly acclaimed play by Paul Slabolepszy, also starring him alongside Charmaine Weir-Smith and Rebate Stuurman. It is directed by Bobby Heaney. The drama won Naledi Awards this year for best new SA script (Slabolepszy), best set design (Durban’s Greg King) and best lighting design (Wesley France). Described as “explosive, unexpected, satisfying and provocative”, the play is set in the far East Rand, in the home of an ageing former cop and his much younger wife. A storm approaches… while Namhla Gumede, born on June 16,1976, arrives, seeking answers to questions that have remained buried for 40 long years. What begins as a smouldering dark comedy turns suddenly into a rollercoaster ride of startling revelations, of rage and recrimination, before the storm finally breaks. Performances at the Playhouse Loft are at 7.30pm today (August 11) and 2pm and 7.30pm on Saturday (August 12). Tickets (R80) at Computicket. There is an age restriction of 18 (strong language). (BS)

HANDBAG – DON’T CLUTCH ME TOO TIGHT…
Playhouse Drama, Durban)

Choreographed by David Gouldie for the Playhouse Company’s 14th SA Women’s Arts Festival, this colourful new dance work features the Playhouse Dance Residency and Durban’s Flatfoot Dance Company. It is based on the real-life tales of women who live at The Association For The Aged (Tafta). Moments of joy, loss and remembrance are explored and celebrated with the dancers using these stories and emotions for the basis of this dance work. A first kiss, marriage, loss, forgiveness… Performances are at 9.30am and 7pm Friday (August 11) and 2pm on Saturday (August 12). Public performances cost R80. (BS)

LA BOHEME
(Playhouse Opera)

The Playhouse Company presents semi-staged excerpts of this renowned Puccini opera featuring the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and Clermont Choir, under the baton of director Marcus Desando. Featuring soloists Khayakazi Madlala, Phenye Modiane and Siphokazi Maphumulo, La Bohème is an opera in four acts. Nect and final performance at 3pm on Saturday (August 12). Tickets are priced from R100 to R150. Book at Computicket. (BS)

ELVIS AND ME: THE PRISCILLA STORY
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo)

Doug Weich, a popular Durban-based Elvis Presley tribute artist, backed by an eight-member band, performs at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (August 11 and 12) and 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday (August 13). Performances on August 18, 19 and 20 are also scheduled. The production will then be staged at the Pietermaritzburg branch of the Rhumbelow, at the Allan Wilson Shellhole, at 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday, September 10. The show, seen through Priscilla’s eyes, tells the story of the relationship between her and Elvis – from when they first met until the star died 40 years ago, on August 16, 1977. The band features Wade Wight on keyboards and backing vocals, Evan Cullum on piano and backing vocals, Glen Turrell on bass, Andy Turrell on drums, David Knott on lead guitar and Kirsty Madgin on sax. Claire Rowlett and Sandi  Da Cunha are on female vocals (representing Priscilla Presley).Tickets cost R150 each and booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.
NOTE: See my interview with Elvis tribute artist Doug Weich on this site – under MUSIC. (BS)

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