Film & Stage Ratings (Sept 8-14)

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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Channing Tatum and Riley Keough in Logan Lucky, directed by Steven Soderbergh.

FILMS NEW ON  CIRCUIT  IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM SEPTEMBER 8

DAVID GILMOUR: LIVE IN POMPEII ***
There will be one performance only in KwaZulu-Natal (at Gateway, Umhlanga) of this film – at 8pm on Wednesday, September 13. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour performed two spectacular shows at the legendary Pompeii Amphitheatre in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius last year, 45 years after he first played there for Adrian Maben’s film,  Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii. The concerts were the first rock performances and played to an audience in the ancient Roman amphitheatre, which was built in 90BC and entombed in ash when Vesuvius erupted in AD79.  David Gilmour is the only performer to play to an audience in the arena since the time of the gladiators, almost 2 000 years ago. The concert is a spectacular audio-visual experience, featuring the famous huge circular cyclorama screen as well as lasers, pyrotechnics and stellar performances from an all-star band.

THE EXCEPTION ***
Director: David Leveauz
Stars: Lily James, Jai Courtney, Christopher Plummer

A German soldier tries to determine if the Dutch resistance has planted a spy to infiltrate the home of Kaiser Wilhelm in Holland during the onset of World War II, but falls for a young Jewish Dutch woman during his investigation.

HOME AGAIN ***
Director: Hallie Meyers-Shyer
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Lake Bell, Nat Wolff

A romantic comedy in which life for a single mom in Los Angeles takes an unexpected turn when she allows three young guys to move in with her.

THE GLASS CASTLE ***
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Stars: Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts

A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of non-conformist nomads with a mother who is an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who stirs the children’s imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.

LOGAN LUCKY ***
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Channing Tatum,  Adam Driver, Daniel Craig

A film about two brothers attempting  to pull off a heist during a Nascar  race in North Carolina.

IT ***
Director: Andy Muschietti
Stars: Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Liberher, Finn Wolfhard.

Originally a 1990 TV mini-series, based on the book by master of themcabare Stephe Ling, this remake A group of bullied kids band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.

THE DARK TOWER **
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Stars: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey,  Tom Taylor

An action-fantasy in which the last gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

9/11 **
Director: Martin Guigui
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg, Gina Gershon

Showing at Durban’s Suncoast CineCentre and at Nu Metro Pavilion, this film is about  five people who find themselves trapped in a lift in the World Trade Centre’s North Tower during the  9/11 tragedy. They work together, never giving up hope, to try to escape before the unthinkable happens.

POSTER BOYS **
Director: Shreyas Talpade
Stars: Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Shreyas Talpade

A comedy in which three men find life changing when their photographs appear on advertisement for sterilisation.

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A scene from The Son of Bigfoot, featuring the voices of Cinda Adams, Bob Barlen and Cal Brunker.

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. Showing at Nu Metro Pavilion.

GIRLS TRIP ***
Director: Malcolm 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.

AMERICAN MADE ***
Director: Doug Liman
Stars: Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Domhnall Gleeson

The story of a pilot landing work for the CIA and as a drug-runner in the South during the 1980s.

ATOMIC BLONDE ***
Director: David Leitch
Stars: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman

A thriller about an undercover MI6 agent who is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.

THE BOUNCE BACK **
Director: Youssef Delara
Stars: Nadine Velazquez, Shemar Moore, Megan Stevenson.

A romantic comedy centred on a relationship guru and best-selling author who finds himself falling for the licensed therapist who questions his methods.

FUN MOM DINNER **
Director: Alethea Jones
Stars: Katie Aselton, Toni Collette,  Bridget Everett

A comedy in which four moms whose only common ground is their kids’ preschool class, decide to get together for a harmless “fun mom dinner”.

THOMAS AND FRIENDS: JOURNEY BEYOND SODOR **
Director: David Stoten
Stars: Mark Moraghan, Joseph May, John Hasler

An animated film in which we join Thomas the train and his friends in an adventure to the mainland that shows friendship is more important than being the favourite engine. Can Thomas and the new experimental engines save James and help bring him back to the Island of Sodor?

FIRST KILL **
Director: Steven C Miller
Stars: Bruce Willis,  Hayden Christensen, Ty Shelton

An action-thriller about a Wall Street broker who is forced to evade a police chief investigating a bank robbery as he attempts to recover the stolen money in exchange for his son’s life.

SUBHMANGAL SAVDHAAN **
Director: Mahesh Kothare
Stars: Makarand Anaspure, Vijay Chavah, Swati Chitnis

An Indian film about Yash and Supriya who want to get married soon.Yash is the son of Jayant and Komal from a rich business family living in modern culture.While Supriya is the daughter of a village head. She is raised by her father and her aunt Najuka after her mother’s death.

A GENTLEMAN **
Director: Krishna D K, Raj Nidimoru
Stars: Jacqueline Fernandez, Sunil Shetty, Sidharth Malhotra

A comedy-drama about a man called Gaurav, who  is on a mission to settle down. He is in the process of trying to charm Kavya into creating life with him and getting married. However, Kavya dreads the thought of taking the plunge.

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.

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.

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.

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.

ANNABELLE: CREATION **

Director: David F Sandberg
Stars: Anthony Laplagia, Samara Lee, Miranda Otto

A horror film set 12 years after the tragic death of their little girl, when a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home. They  soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

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Tah Dah! Dancers, representing the Mark Wilson Dance Studio, perform at Shall We Dance at the Playhouse. Picture by Val Adamson.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS 

SHALL WE DANCE 
(Playhouse Opera, Durban)

Neville Letard and Caryl Cusens mount the 25th showcase for Ballroom and Latin American dance, embellished with other dance styles. With Damon Beard as host, the show features close to 100 of KwaZulu-Natal’s most exciting dancers from the region’s top dance studios. With dancers from as young as eight, to family groups and top international, award-winning professionals, this year’s show is sure to dazzle, inspire and impress. Cusens and Letard co-ordinate featured styles of Ballroom and Latin; as well as ballet, belly-dance, tap,  Irish and modern. Review at the weekend. (BS)

GOTTA LOTTA SOUL
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)

This excellent party showband entertainment, Gotta Lotta Soul, with an on-form Marion Loudon and an excellent Percy Smith on lead vocals, is to run at 8pm on Friday and Saturday  Wednesday (September 8 and 9), followed by 2pm and 6.30pm performances on Sunday (September 10). This must-see party show also features Calli Thomson on keyboards, Andy Turrell on drums, Jason Kylen on guitar and Jill Murraybrown on bass. It is a fun celebration of American soul music. It salutes artists such as Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Ruth Brown, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and Wilson Pickett, to name some of the earlier golden oldies. There are also a couple of highlighted novelty artists like Ray Charles, Cab Calloway, the Blues Brothers and James Brown. Seating at Tina’s Hotel is at tables of six. A cash bar is available. Tickets cost R150 and booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636. NOTE: See my rave review of this delightful show under MUSIC at sosuterbill.com  (BS)

OUR WAY
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo)

The Gee Jays – comprising singers Gary McKenzie, Grant Bell and John Didlick – present Our Way at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (September 8 and 9) and 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday (September 10). Marking the trio’s32nd year together, the show features songs associated with Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, Engelbert Humperdinck, Frank Ifield, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Neil Diamond, Robbie Williams and Simon and Garfunkel, among others.Tickets cost R150 and booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636. NOTE: My interview with Grant Bell appears under MUSIC at sosuterbill.com (BS)

ELVIS AND ME – THE PRISCILLA STORY
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Allan Wilson Shellhole, Pietermaritzburg)

To be performed  at 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday, September 10, this show, already staged in Durban, tells the Elvis Presley story through Priscilla’s eyes – from the time she and the music hero first met until Elvis died on August 16, 1977. The show has Doug Weich, Claire Rowlett and Sandi Da Cunha on vocals. Wade Wight is on keyboards, Evan Cullum is on piano, Glen Turrell handles bass, Andy Turrell is no drums, David Knott is on lead guitar and Kirsty Madgin is a scene-stealer on sax. Tickets cost R150 and booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636. NOTE: My review of this show appears under MUSIC at sosuterbill.com. Also there is an interview with Doug Weich. (BS)

 

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