Film & Stage Ratings (Jan 5-11)

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 Nu Metro and Suncoast CineCentre display adverts for KwaZulu-Natal cinemas are at end of this post. The Ster-Kinekor advert was not available earlier this week. It be added when it arrives.
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A scene from The Nut Job: Nutty By Nature.

FILMS NEW ON  CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM JANUARY 5

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE ***
Director: Jason Hall
Stars: Haley Bennet, Miles Teller, Joe Cole

A drama centred on a group of US soldiers who, returning from Iraq, struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they’ve left the battlefield.

FATHER FIGURE **
Director: Lawrence Sher
Stars: Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, Glenn Close

A comedy in which, upon learning that their mother has been lying to them for years about their allegedly deceased father, two fraternal twin brothers hit the road to try to find him.

THE NUT JOB: NUTTY BY NATURE **
Director: Cal Brunker
Stars: Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Bobby Cannavale

An animated film in which , following the events of the first film, Surly and his friends must stop Oakton City’s mayor from destroying their home to make way for a dysfunctional amusement park.

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Zac Efron and Zendaya in the Rewrite the Stars sequence from The Greatest Showman.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN ****
Director: Michael Gracey
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams

Inspired by the imagination of PT Barnum, this eagerly anticipated film is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

BEATRIZ AT DINNER ***
Director: Miguel Arteta
Stars: Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Connie Britton

A comedy-drama centred on a holistic medicine practitioner attends a wealthy client’s dinner party after her car breaks down.

COCO ****
Director: Lee Unkrich
Stars: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin  Bratt

Nominated for two Golden Globe Awards (best animated film and best song, Remember Me), this film tells of a 12-year-old boy, Miguel Rivera, who is accidentally transported to the land of the dead, where he seeks the help of his musician great-great-grandfather to return him to his family among the living.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI ****
Director: Rian Johnson
Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill

Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.

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.

JUSTICE LEAGUE ***
Director: Zack Snyder
Stars: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa

Fuelled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.

DADDY’S HOME 2 ***
Director: Sean Anders
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Mel Gibson

Having finally got used to each other’s existence, Brad and Dusty must now deal with their intrusive fathers during the holidays, in this comedy sequel.

WONDER ****
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Izabela Vidovic

Based on the New York Times bestseller, this drama tells the inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences, who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.

PADDINGTON BEAR 2 ***
Director: Paul King
Stars: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Hugh Bonneville

Paddington the bear, now happily settled with the Brown family and a popular member of the local community, picks up a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen.

PITCH PERFECT 3 ***
Director: Trish Sie
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow

Following their win at the world championship, the now-separated Bellas vocal team members reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour, but face a group who uses both instruments and voices.

FERDINAND***
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Stars: John Cena, Kate McKonnon, Bobby Cannavale

An animated romp in which Ferdinand, a bull with a big heart, is mistaken for a dangerous beast, is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure.

WONDER WHEEL ***
Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Jim Belushi, Juno Temple, Justin Timberlake

On Coney Island in the 1950s, a lifeguard tells the story of a middle-aged carousel operator and his beleaguered wife.

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE ***
Director: Jake Kasdan
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart

Four teenagers discover an old video game console and are literally drawn into the game’s jungle setting, becoming the adult avatars they choose.

TIGER ZINDA HAI **
Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Stars: Karrina Kaif, Salman Khan, Anupriya Goenka

A sequel to the record-breaking Ek Tha Tiger, this new film continues the story of two super-spies, Tiger and Zoya, eight years after their first adventures.

VELAIKKARAN **
Director: Mohan Raja
Stars: Aruldoss Yogi Babu, R J Balaji

A Tamil film in which a youngster from the slums fights to end food adulteration being commited by large food manufacturing companies.

RANGREZA **
Director: Amir Mohiuddin
Stars:  Ghana Ali, Bilal Ashraf, Urwa Hocane

The story of Reshmi, who belongs to a traditional Qawwal family and has been engaged since childhood to her cousin, Waseem. Conflict arises when Ali, a famous pop star, falls in love with Reshmi.

THE WEDDING PARTY 2**
Director: Thane Ecomomou
Stars: Michale adler, Deniz Akdeniz, Molly Burnett

A comedy in which a groomsman must navigate a slew of disasters to maintain order at his best friend’s wedding reception.

THE FOREIGNER **
Director: Martin Campbell
Stars: Katie Leung, Jackie Chan., Rufus Jones

A humble businessman with a buried past seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism. A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers’ identities.

BARBIE: DOLPHIN MAGIC **
Director: Conrad Helten
Stars: Erica Lindbeck, Shannon Chan-Kent, Kazumi Evans

Barbie and her sisters visit Ken at his summer internship where he works at a coral reef researching dolphins. While diving and exploring the reef, the sisters discover rare, rainbow-colored dolphins who only visit once a year. This amazing find encourages them to learn more about preserving the coral and all the sea life that lives there.

A BAD MOM’S CHRISTMAS **
Director: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Stars: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn

A comedy in which, as their own mothers drop in unexpectedly, three under-appreciated and ever-burdened moms, rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for mothers: Christmas.

OVERDRIVE **
Director: Antonio Negret
Stars: Scott Eastwood, Freddie Thorp, Ana de Armas

Two car thief brothers, who journey to the south of France for new opportunities, wind up in the cross hairs of the local crime boss.

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One of many magical moments from KickstArt’s panto, Sinbad the Sailor, which has final performances this weekend.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

SINBAD THE SAILOR
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Durban)

Steven Stead has written and directed another memorable pantomime with a strong cast headed by Lyle Buxton as Sinbad, Darren King as villain Long John Sliver and Bryan Hiles as a dilly dame. Lots of colour, excitement and visual surprises in a show, brilliantly designed (as usual) by Greg King, that is packed with song, dance, traditional panto elements, festive cheer and good fun. The finest show in town! Final weekend. (BS)

KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU
(Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)

Durban’s new theatre presents a tribute to great partnerships of rock and pop, devised and directed by Durban performer Andrew Webster. This is a lively and colourful  tribute show that is certain to delight anyone who has been missing the old Barnyard shows. The two female vocalists, in particular (Liesl Coppin and Jemma Shankland), are confident and versatile, while saxophonist Kirsty can der Linde – a local Barnyard regular who has a solo spot in the show with The Beatles’ Come Together – is also a constant eye-puller. Until January 28. To book call (031) 161 0000. (BS)

DRACULA
(Club Altitude, Silver Road, Morningside, Durban)

Durban’s 21st naughty panto has all you’d expect – ditzy dames, double entendres, jokes both corny and blue, sarcasm, send-ups, random song outbursts, and nudge-winks at politicians and Steve Hofmeyr, among others. Durban drag darling Anthony Stonier stars as the enigmatic count on a raised stage dominated by a penis-shaped archway. His co-stars include the amusing, scene-stealing, energetic, larger-than-life Jaziel Vaugh’hann, as saucy and flamboyant Juicy Lucy, chaperone to the dim-witted Mina, played by a bubbly Kerry-Lee McKibbin. The two find their lives changing by crossing paths with not only Dracula and the nerdy Jonathan, played by lanky and comical Mpilo Nzimande, but also two characters played by Thomie, for whom Dracula marks his 10th naughty panto appearance. Extended to January 20.  (BS)

Below are this week’s ads for KwaZulu-Natal from Nu Metro and Suncoast CineCentre. The Ster-Kinekor was not available this week.

 

 


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