Film & Stage Ratings (Sept 15-21)

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:  The Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro  display ads for KwaZulu-Natal cinemas are at end of this post.
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Dylan O’Brien in American Assassin.

FILMS NEW ON  CIRCUIT  IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM SEPTEMBER 15

AMERICAN ASSASINS **
Director: Michael Cuesta
Stars: Dylan O’Brien, Michal Keaton, Sanaa Lathan

An action-thriller centred on counterterrorism agent Mitch Rapp.

ARMED RESPONSE*
Director: John Stockwell
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Anne Heche, Dav Annable

A horror-thriller centred on a team of highly trained operatives who find themselves trapped inside an isolated military compound after its AI is suddenly shut down. The crew then begins to experience strange and horrific things.

THE EMOJI MOVIE *
Director: Tony Leondis
Stars: TJ Miller, Anna Faris, James Corden

A poorly received animated film in which Gene, a multi-expressional emoji, sets out on a journey to become a normal emoji.

LUCKNOW CENTRAL **
Director: Ranjit Tiwari
Stars: Farhan Akhtar, Diana Penty, Ronit Roy

A movie set in a jail in Lucknow, focusing on a group of prisoners who form a music group.

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A scene from The Glass Castle, starring Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

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 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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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Dancers among the large cast of Shall We Dance at Durban’s Playhouse Opera.

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.My review appears under THEATRE on this site. (BS)

FOOTLOOSE
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Durban)

Daisy Spencer both co-choreographs and makes her directing debut with this revival of the fun youth musical about a new kid in a sleepy, conservative town who challenges the local preacher’s ban on dancing. Based on the hit 1984 film, the show was first seen in Durban in 2014 when it was staged by the Young Performers Project, a company of local youths that stages it again now. Some very good performances, most notably from leads Joshua Milne and Leah Mari, and a scene-stealing Rae du Plooy. A lively, colourful musical. Final weekend. My review appears under THEATRE on this site. (BS)

NOTE: LOTS OF GREAT SHOWS ARE TO BE SEEN THIS WEEKEND AT THE 25TH HILTON ARTS FESTIVAL AT HILTON COLLEGE. SEE YOU THERE!

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Below are this week’s adverts for KwaZulu-Natal from Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro


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