Film & Stage Ratings (Nov 10-16)

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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A scene from Tulip Fever, directed by Justin Chadwick.

FILMS NEW ON  CIRCUIT  IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM NOVEMBER 10

TULIP FEVER **
Director: Justin Chadwick
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Jack O’Connell

An artist falls for a young married woman while he’s commissioned to paint her portrait during the Tulip mania of 17th century Amsterdam.

AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING **
Director: Franck Khalfoun
Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bella Thorne, McKenna Grace

A desperate single mother moves with her three children into the notorious, supposedly haunted, real-life Amityville house to try and use its dark powers to cure her comatose son. Things go horribly wrong.

ALL SAINTS **
Director: Steve Gomer
Stars: Carla Buono, John Corvett, Barry Corbin

When a group of Burmese refugees join the congregation, the pastor of a failing Anglican church attempts to aid them by planting crops and enlisting the help of the community.

SUBURBICON **
Director: George Clooney
Stars: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac

A drama in which a home invasion rattles a quiet family town.

MOTHER! *
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris

A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. Colleague Patrick Compton hated it, labelling it “not just a disaster, it may even be certifiable. A screechy, hysterical Freudian nightmare about an egocentric poet and his wife, it’s in every sense a horror show!”

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A scene from Only the Brave, starring James Brolin, Miles Teller and Jeff Bridges.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

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.

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.

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.

WIND RIVER ****
Director: Taylor Sheridan
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Kelsey Asbille, Julie Jones

A well-received drama about a veteran tracker with the Fish and Wildlife Service, who helps to investigate the murder of a young Native American woman. He uses the case as a means of seeking redemption for an earlier act of irresponsibility which ended in tragedy.

ONLY THE BRAVE ***
Director: Jopseph Kosinski
Stars: James Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges

Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire.

ITTEFAQ ***
Director: Abhay Chopra
Stars: Sidharth Maihotra, Sonakshi Sinha, Akshaye Khanna

A mystery thriller centred on a detective who seeks out the truth between two different stories of a crime scene.

HOTEL SALVATION ***
Director: Shubhashish Bhutiani
Stars: Adil Hussain, Lalit Behl, Geetanjali Kulkarni

A comedy-drama about a man who, faced with his father’s untimely and bizarre demand to die in the holy city of Varanasi, and attain salvation, is left with no choice but to embark on this journey.

FLATLINERS **
Director: Niels Ardem Oplev
Stars:Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrey

Five medical students, obsessed by what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring experiment: by stopping their hearts for short periods, each triggers a near-death experience. This gives them a firsthand account of the afterlife.

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.

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 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.

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James Smith and Roelof Colyn in A Handful of Keys, at Sibaya Casino.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT AND THE KAKTUS OF SEPARATE DEVELOPMENT
(Elizabeth Sneddon theatre, Durban)

Cacti, caucuses, koeksusters and wooden clogs. A piano and talk of poor diets, fake news, hashtags, The Great Trek, loo paper from Zimbabwe and Mandela’s plants. Derogatory remarks about British bread and butter pudding, and spotted dick. Then there are the nudges, winks, jabs or stabs at just about everyone from Donald Trump and Jacob Zuma to Thabo Mbeki, Pik Botha, Desmond Tutu, Jessie Duarte, Julius Malema… even Steve Hofmeyr. All this and lots more find place in the latest collage of comedy with clout and lots of prickles, written and performed by South Africa’s finest satirist, the legendary Pieter Dirk-Uys who, at 72, shows no signs of slowing down. The show is in Durban until November 19. Full review udner Theatre on this site. (BS)

A HANDFUL OF KEYS
(iZulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)

The fun, witty, varied and award-winning A Handful of Keys, originally devised and
performed 24 years ago by Ian von Memerty and Bryan Schimmel, now has another great line-up, some fresh costumes and new additions to a programme that remains a great treat –and a perfect showcase for the acting, piano and vocal skills of its stars. Rated as South Africa`s most successful musical revue ever, A Handful of Keys first drew rapturous applause in 1994, and more than 420 000 people have seen it since, in some 1 450 performances over the years. Roelof Colyn, who has performed in this hit show before, alongside Von Memerty, is now teamed with an exciting newcomer in tall, curly-topped, 19-year-old James Smith, who has a comfort on stage and chutzpah that belie his age. Remember his name. Until November 19. (BS)

A TRIBUTE TO CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Umbilo, Durban)

The popular The Black Lapels of Durban present their tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (November 10 and 11) and 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday  (November 12). Rob Warren, Garth Warren and Gareth Gale, together with guest guitarist  Rusty Red, offer a fun show featuring such hits as Someday Never Comes, Fortunate Son, Looking Out My Back Door, Down on the Corner, Up Around the Bend, Bad Moon Rising and others. Tickets cost R150 and booking is at Computicket outlets or by phoning Roland at 082 499 8636. (BS)

THOMSON AND TURRELL
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Kloof)

Durban guitarists Barry Thomson and Andy Turrell pool talents at 8pm Wednesday to Saturday (November 8 to 11) and also 2pm on Sunday (November 12). Enjoy an evening of whacky musical fun, featuring Barry on acoustic and electric guitar and Andy on a variety of instruments. Andy and Barry have been colleagues since 1999, and have played many shows together. Andy’s drumming and guitar talents will be showcased alongside Barry’s, and they will share funny stories about life and their times on the road.  Expect a variety of music genres from Cajun to Irish Folk and from Delta Blues to all-out rock ’n’ roll. This show features music from Joe Bonamassa, Keb Mo, Tom Petty, Sunny Landreth, Jackson Browne, John Hiatt and George Ezra, to name a few. Seating is at tables of six, and tickets cost R150. Book at Computicket or phone Roland at 082 499 8636. (BS)

IT TAKES TWO
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Allan Wilson Shellhole, Pietermaritzburg)

Father and daughter singers Danny and Danielle Fisher perfrom at 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday (November 12). The show features popular duets associated with Johnny Cash,  Kenny Rogers, Meatloaf  Elton John, Simon and Garfunkel, Joe Cocker and Nat King Cole, among others. 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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