Film & Stage Ratings (Oct 13-19)

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, Nu Metro and Suncoast CineCentre display adverts for KwaZulu-Natal cinemas are at end of this post.
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Michael Fassbender in The Snowman.

FILMS NEW ON  CIRCUIT  IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM OCTOBER 13

THE SNOWMAN ***
Dirctor: Tomas Alfredson
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Chloe Sevigny

This horror-thriller is about a detective, Harry Hole, who investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH 2: TRUTH TO POWER ***
Director: Bonnie Cohen, Jon Shenk
Stars: Al Gore, Geroge W Bush, John Kerry

A documentary which, a decade after An Inconvenient Truth brought climate change into the heart of popular culture arrives to show just how close we are to a real energy revolution.

THE LAST WORD ***
Director: Mark Pellington
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, Lee Dixon

A comedy-drama about Harriet, a retired businesswoman, who tries to control everything around her. When she decides to write her own obituary, a young journalist takes up the task of finding out the truth, resulting in a life-altering friendship.

THE WHALE CALLER ***
Director: zola Maseko
Stars: Amrain Ismael-Essop, Sello Maake Ka-Ncube

Based on the Zakes Mda novel, this is the story of a man in South Africa named Whale Caller. He first appears to be sexually attracted to whales; especially a whale he named Sharisha. As the story progresses, he meets a woman named Saluni, who falls deeply in love with the Whale Caller. Throughout the story, the Whale Caller constantly has internal conflicts.

UNLOCKED ***
Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette

A drama centred on a CIA interrogator who  is lured into a ruse that puts London at risk of a biological attack.

SHOT CALLER ***
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Stars: Jon Bernthal, Lake Bell, Nikolaj Costerf-Waldau

A thriller about a newly released prison gangster is forced by the leaders of his gang to orchestrate a major crime with a brutal rival gang on the streets of Southern California.

SIEMBAMBA ***
Director: Darrell Roodt
Stars: Brandon Auret, Reine Swart, Deanre Reiners

Despite support from her mother, Ruby, Chloe struggles with the demand of being a new mom and goes into a dark depression. With a heightened urge to protect her son, she sees danger in every situation. Chloe starts to hear voices and humming of a childhood lullaby and sees flashes of a strange entity around her child. Convinced that the entity is real, Chloe does everything in her power to protect her son.

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A scene from the animated film, My Little Pony: The Movie. It features the voices of Emily Blunt and Kristin Chenoweth.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

VICTORIA AND ABDUL ****
Director: Stephe Frears
Stars: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Tim Piggott-Smith

A drama in which Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.

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.

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 BIG SICK ***
Director: Michael Showalter
Stars: Kumail Nanjiani. Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter

Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family’s expectations and his true feelings.

BLADE RUNNER 2049 ***
Director: Dennis Villeneuve
Stars: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas

A sci-fi spectacle in which a young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who has been missing for 30 years.

GOOD TIME ***
Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Stars: Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh

A thriller centred on a heist going awry, and a bank robber trying to free his brother from Rikers Island, all in one night.

MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE **
Director: Jayson Thiessen
Stars: Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber

A dark force threatens Ponyville, and the Mane 6 embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria. There they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship to save their home. An animated film.

WISH UPON **
Director: John R Leonetti
Stars: Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Ki Hong Lee

A teenage girl discovers a box that carries magic powers and a deadly price for using them.

KINGSMEN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE **
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Stars: Taron Egerton, Matthew Vaughn, Mark Strong

When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsmen’s  journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organisation in the US. These two elite secret organisations must band together to defeat a common enemy.

THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE **
Directors: Charlie Bean and Paul Fisher
Stars: Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, Fred Armisen

Shunned by everyone for being the son of an evil warlord, a teenager seeks to defeat him with the help of his fellow ninjas.

JUDWAA 2 **
Director: David Dhawan
Stars: Salman Jhan, Anupam Kher, Jacqueline Fernandez

A comedy-drama in which Prem and Raja are twin brothers who are separated at birth but are uniquely connected to each other via their reflexes. They reunite as adults and set out to take down the underground smuggling world.

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.

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

An action-thriller centred on counterterrorism agent Mitch Rapp.

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.

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.

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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Tim Plewman in the long-running stage comedy, Defending the Caveman. It’s at Durban’s Elizbaeth Sneddon Theatre.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

CAT SIMONI: FRANCOISE HARDY, OOH LA LA
 (Rhumbelow Theatre, Umbilo, Durban)

Durban singer-pianist Cat Simoni presents a salute to the music of French ’60s pop star Francoise Hardy. Cat is joined by her manager and director/devisor of most of her tribute shows, who performs songs by Jacques Brel. Expect songs such as Find Me a Boy, Only You Can Do It, Only Friends, Another Place and All Over the World. Performances are scheduled for 8pm on Friday and Saturday (October 13 and 14), and 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday (October 15). Tickets cost R150 each. Book by calling Roland at 082 499 8636. (BS).

BEHIND THE NOISE
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina;s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)

Singer-guitarist Barry Thomson, singer-guitarist Jason Andrew and vocalist Marion Loudon get back to the roots of what makes a great song, and give the melody and lyrics space to shine.  Performing some classic tunes, this team have enjoyed finding the essence of some truly classic songs with vocals and only acoustic instruments, singing and playing songs you had forgotten you knew. Their songlist includes favourites associated with George Ezra, Bonnie Raitt, Eurythmics, Alison Moyet, Mumford and Sons, Avicii, Pharrell Williams and Avril Lavigne, Maroon 5 and Katy Perry. Performances are at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (October 13 and 14)  and 2pm on Sunday (October 15). Tickets cost R150. To book contact Roland at 082 499 8636. (BS)

DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN
Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Durban

Tim Plewman is back for the umpteenth time with his solo comedy show, the original of which was penned by Rob Becker. Plewman adapted the script for Southern Africa and went on to win the Vita Award for Best Actor in a Comedy for the show. Updated, upgraded and totally up-loadable to today’s world of tweets, selfies and six million Facebook friends, this production is still a fun, affectionate and insightful comedy that explains why men and women see the world so differently, and will have you looking at your partner with new eyes. Until October 14. (BS)

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Below are this week’s ads for KwaZulu-Natal from Ster-Kinekor, Nu Metro and Suncoast CineCentre.


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