Film & Stage Ratings (Oct 27-Nov 2)

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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Principal characters in Thor: Ragnarok, starring Chris Hemsworth,Tom Hiddleston and Cate Blanchett.

FILMS NEW ON  CIRCUIT  IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM OCTOBER 27

THE JOURNEY ***
Director: Nick Hamm
Stars: Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, John Hurt

An account of two men from opposite sides of the political spectrum who come together to change the course of history.  In 2006, amidst the ongoing, decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland, representatives from two warring factions meet for negotiations. In one corner is Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall), the deeply conservative British loyalist; in the other is Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney), former Irish Republican Army member.

JIGSAW ***
Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Stars: Matt Passmore, Tobin Bell, Callum Keith Rennie

Yet another sequel to the Saw horror hit from 2004, this film has bodies turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for 10 years.

THOR: RAGNAROK ***
Director: Taika Waititi
Stars: Chris Hemsworth,Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett

A big-budget fantasy spectacle in which the mighty Thor, now imprisoned, finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilisation.

MARSHALL ***
Director: Reginald Hudlin
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Kate Hudson, Josh Gad

A drama about a young Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.

VAYA **
Director: Akan Omotoso
Stars: Warren Masemola, Sihle Xaba, Harriet Manamela

A South African drama about three people boarding a train bound for Johannesburg. They are strangers, each on their own mission, with a simple task to complete… and in search of family to help them. But when they are betrayed by the very people whose protection they sought, they find themselves trapped in the city – invisible and alone.

THE JUNGLE BUNCH *
Director: David Alaux
Stars: Paul Borne, Phillipe Bozo, Pascal Casanova

An animated film in which Maurice may look like a penguin, but is a real tiger inside! Raised by a tigress, he’s the clumsiest kung-fu master ever. Along with his friends, The Jungle Bunch, he intends to maintain order and justice in the jungle, as his mother did before him. But Igor, an evil koala, wants to destroy the jungle once and for all, helped by his army of silly baboons.

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Idris Elba and Kate Winslet in The Mountain Between Us.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

VICTORIA AND ABDUL ****
Director: Stephen 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.

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.

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.

GEOSTORM ***
Director: Dean Devlin
Stars: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish

When the network of satellites designed to control the global climate start to attack Earth, it’s a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything and everyone.

HAPPY DEATH DAY***
Director: Christopher Landon
Stars: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine

A college student must relive the day of her murder over and over again, in a loop that will end only when she discovers her killer’s identity.

THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US ***
Director: Hany Anu-Assad
Stars: Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Beau Bridges

A drama in which two strangers, stranded after a tragic plane crash, must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote, snow-covered mountain. When they realise help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across the wilderness.

MERSAL ***
Director: Atlee Kumar
Stars: Samantha Ruth Prabhu. Joseph Vijay

A magician goes to India and finds his long-lost brother, who is a doctor in the US. He learns about his identity and decides to take revenge for those who killed his parents.

TYLER PERRY’S BOO 2! A MADEA HALLOWEEN **
Director: Tyler Perry
Stars: Tkler Perry, Patrice Lovely, Brock O’Hurn

A comedy in which matriarch Madea, Bam and Hattie venture to a haunted camp ground and the group must run for their lives when monsters, goblins and the boogeyman are unleashed.

SECRET SUPERSTAR **
Director: Advait Chandan
Stars: Zaira Wasim, Meher Wij, Raj Arjun

This Indian film revolves around the life of a child who aspires to be a singer.

GOLMAAL AGAIN **
Director: Rohit Shetty
Stars: Ajay Devon, Arshad Warsi, Tusshar Kapoor

The fourth installment of the Golmaal franchise.

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.

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.

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 the macabre, Stephen King, this remake is about a group of bullied kids who band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.

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.

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Popular Durban teen singer Marianthe Panas in Listen.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

IT TAKES TWO
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Umbilo, Durban)

Father and daughter vocal team, Danny and Danielle Fisher, present a show that looks at famous duets associated with acts as varied as Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Meatloaf, Celine Dion, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole and Elvis Presley. Scheduled for performances at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (October  27 and 28) and 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday (October 29). Tickets cost R150 for each of these three shows and booking is at Computicket or by phoning Roland at 082 499 8636. (BS)

A TRIBUTE TO JIM CROCE
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Allan Wilson Shellhole, Pietermaritzburg)

To be staged at 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday (October 29) this informal but captivating show has Rob Warren, the fine singer-guitarist with hot Durban band The Black Lapels, performing a casual, acoustic set with a little help from his father, Bruce. It’s well worth seeing. Tickets cost R150 for each of these three shows and booking is at Computicket or by phoning Roland at 082 499 8636. Note: my review of this show under ‘Music’. (BS).

LISTEN
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)

To be staged at 8pm on Saturday (October 28) and 2pm on Sunday (October 29), this show is  produced by Umhlanga’s Nick Wium. A popular draw at the recent Hilton Arts Festival, it is a collaboration between Wium, his Durban band Shizam, and 16-year-old musical theatre singing sensation, Marianthe Panas. Expect show tunes,  pop favourites and some surprises. Tickets cost R150 for each of these three shows and booking is at Computicket or by phoning Roland at 082 499 8636. (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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