Film & Stage Ratings (Feb 2-8)

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 standout moment from the Bolshoi Ballet film, Lady of the Camillias.

FILMS NEW ON  CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM FEBRUARY 2

INXEBA (THE WOUND) ****

Director: John Trengove
Stars:  Nakhane Tour, Bongale Mantsai

Finally on the commercial circuit after winning praise and awards at many festivals, this South African drama centres on Xolani, a lonely factory worker, who travels to the rural mountains with the men of his community to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best-kept secret, Xolani’s entire existence begins to unravel.

THE DARKEST HOUR ****
Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Gary Oldman, Kristen Scott-Thomas, Lily James

During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds. Gary Oldman, as Churchill, took the Golden Globe for his excellent performance and is also a nominee for the Best Actor Oscar.

LADY OF THE CAMILLIAS (BOLSHOI BALLET) ***
Choreographer: John Neumeier
Stars: Svetlana Zakharova

Alexandre Dumas’s novel comes to life on the Bolshoi stage, with prima Svetlana Zakharova as the ailing Marguerite, seeking love and redemption from her life as a courtesan. The Bolshoi brings choreographer John Neumeier’s work of rare beauty and tragic depth to new emotional heights, accompanied by Chopin’s romantic piano score. As he arrives in Paris for the first time, the young and naive Armand is utterly captivated after meeting the ravishing and most desirable courtesan, Marguerite Gautier. Their encounter gives birth to a passionate, yet doomed love…The film runs for three hours and five minutes and has a 15-minut interval. Screenings at Durban’s Gateway complex are at 7.45pm this Saturday and next Wednesday and Thursday, and at 2.30pm this Sunday.

DEN OF THIEVES ***
Director: Christian Gudegast
Stars: Gerard Butlr, Pablo Schreiber, O’Shea Jackson Jnr

A gritty crime saga which follows the lives of an elite unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the State’s most successful bank robbery crew, as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank.

6 BELOW **
Director: Scott Waugh
Stars: Josh Hartnett, Mira Sorvino, Sarah Dumont

An adrenaline-seeking snowboarder gets lost in a massive winter storm in the back country of the High Sierras, where he is pushed to the limits of human endurance and forced to battle his own personal demons as he fights for survival.

FIFTY SHADES FREED **
Director: James Foley
Stars: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Arielle Kebbel

Believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian and Ana share a life of luxury. However, as she steps into her new role as Mrs Grey, he relaxes into an unfamiliar stability… and new threats could jeopardise their happy ending before it even begins.

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A scene from the animated Monster Family.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

THE SHAPE OF WATER *****
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon

This Golden Globe-winning fantasy-drama takes place at a top-secret research facility in the 1950s, where a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity

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. Sentimental but delightful. A must-see!

THE POST ****
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks

A drama about a cover-up that spanned four US Presidents, and which pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government.

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

Winner of the Golden Globe Award for best animated film, this enchanting 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.

PADMAAVATI ***
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Stars: Deepika Padukone, Anupriya Goenka, Ranveer Singh

Set in medieval Rajasthan, this Indian drama sees Queen Padmavati married to a noble king. They live in a prosperous fortress with their subjects until an ambitious Sultan hears of Padmavati’s beauty and forms an obsessive love for the Queen of Mewar.

MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE **
Director: Wes Ball
Stars: Dylan O’Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario

A sci-fi fantasy in which young hero Thomas embarks on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease known as the Flare.

MONSTER FAMILY **
Director: Holger Tappe
Stars: Emily Watson, Jason Isaacs, Nick Frost

An animated film in which the Wishbone family are far from happy. In an attempt to reconnect as a family, Mum and Emma plan a fun night out. However, her plan backfires when an evil witch curses them, and they’re all turned into monsters.

PROUD MARY **
Director: Babak Najafi
Stars: Taraji P Henson, Billy Brown, Jahi Di’Allo Wonston

Mary, a hit woman working for an organised crime family in Boston, finds her life  completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes bad.

THE COMMUTER ***
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson

An action-drama about a businessman being caught up in a criminal conspiracy during his daily commute home.

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.

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.

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.

INSIDIOUS:THE LAST KEY ***
Director: Adam Robitel
Stars: Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Simpson

Parapsychologist Dr Elise Rainier faces her most fearsome and personal haunting yet – in her own family home.

MEGAN LEAVEY **
Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Stars: Kate Mara, Ramon Rodriguez, Tom Felton

A drama based on the true story of a young US Marine corporal whose unique discipline and bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq.

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.

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.

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.

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Comedian  “Jonathan vanaf die Oos-Rand” draws humour from happenings in everyday lives. Catch him at Sibaya Casino’s Rockwood Theatre.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

RADIO RAPS: LAAT EK JOU SO SE (Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino)

Comedian  “Jonathan vanaf die Oos-Rand” draws humour from happenings in everyday lives.  In this one-man show he points out that we never pay attention to these things because we are too focused on the daily news and bigger happenings.  It is not surprising that material initially posted by the online radio station Radio Raps, on YouTube, received more than 3 million views and landed this comic 80 000-plus followers on Facebook and Twitter. The final performance is at 8pm today (February 2). Tickets cost R160 each. To book call (031) 161 0000. (BS)

A BEAUTIFUL NOISE (opens Thursday, February 8)
(Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)

Durban singers Marion Loudon and Andrew Webster are among the cast of this new show, which also features guitarist John Ellis (of Tree63), Andy Turrell on pedal-steel and second guitar, Anita Roscoe on violin, Dylan van der Linde on drums, Llewelyn Chetty on bass and the only musician not from Durban, Lifa Arosi, on keyboards. A tribute to iconic country, folk and acoustic rock artists, A Beautiful Noise will run until April 1. Expect songs associated with Ed Sheeran, Adele, Jason Mraz, The Lumineers, Neil Diamond, The Eagles, Crosby Stills and Nash, Rodriguez, Dolly Parton,  Creedence Clearwater Revival, Mumford and  Sons, Shania Twain and others. To book call (031) 161 0000. (BS)

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


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