Film & Stage Ratings (Feb 16-22)

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:  Ster-Kinekor, Nu Metro and Suncoast CineCentre display adverts for KwaZulu-Natal cinemas appear at the end of this post.
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Zizi Strallen, Alex Young, Fred Haig and Adam Rhys Charles in Stephen Sondheim’s Follies.

FILMS NEW ON  CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM FEBRUARY 16

FOLLIES ****
Director: Dominic Cooke
Stars: Imelda Staunton, Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee

The three-hour film, presented without an interval, of the London National Theatre production of the classic, but seldom performed, musical by Stephen Sondheim. A cast of 37, plus a 21-member orchestra, perform to perfection in this imaginatively staged tale set in New York in 1971, when there is a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Songs include Broadway Baby, I’m Still Here and Losing My Mind. The show captures the glamour of the golden age of music halls and revues, with gorgeous showgirl costumes bedazzled with Swarovski crystals. Only four screenings are scheduled at Cinema Nouveau cinemas countrywide. Durban performances, at Ster-Kinekor at Gateway, Umhlanga, will be at 7.30pm on Saturday, 2.30pm on Sunday, and 7.30pm nxet Wednesday and Thursday. A must for fans of musicals!

BLACK PANTHER ***
Director: Ryan Coogler
Stars: Chadwick Biseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o

An action-adventure in which T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

I, TONYA ****
Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, Sebastian Stan

Biographical drama in which competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the US Figure Skating Championship – but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes.

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD ***
Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg

The story of the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother to convince his billionaire grandfather, Jean Paul Getty,  to pay the ransom.

RAAISELKIND **
Director: Andre Velts
Stars: Deon Lotz, Diaan Lawrenson, Anrich Herbst

A South African drama, in Afrikaans, about the intense emotional traumaa couple must endure in dealing with autism and how their lives are forever changed because of their child with autism and their child’s early death under mysterious circumstances.

AADHI ***
Director: Jeethu Joseph
Stars: Pranay Mohanlal, Sharafudheen, Meghanadhan

An Indian film in which Aadhi, an aspiring musician, travels to another state in the hope of making it big. While there, an unexpected event leaves him trapped, unable to return to his family and running for his life.

CHALO **
Director: Venjay Kudumula
Stars: Naga Shaurya,Rashmika Mandanna, Achyuth Kumar

This film revolves around a village called Tiruppuram which is divided in half by the Tamil and Telugu people. Neither of the groups cross and enter the other’s perimeter.

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Lily James as Elizabeth Layton and Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in director Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour. Picture:Jack English / Focus Features.

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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

THE DISASTER ARTIST ***
Director: James Franco
Stars: James Franco, Dave Franco, Ari Graynor

James Franco beat Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman to take the Golden Globe Award for his lead performance in this offbeat film about Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, who meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class. They form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.

PADMAN ***
Director: R Balki
Stars: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte, Sonam Kapoor

Upon realising the extent to which women are affected by their menstruation, a man sets out to create a sanitary pad machine and to provide inexpensive sanitary pads to the women of rural India. Biography on Tamil Nadu activist Arunachalam Muruganantham, whose mission was to provide sanitary napkin’s to poor women of rural area

JUST GETTING STARTED **
Director: Ron Shelton
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Morgan Freeman, Glenne Headly, Jane Seymour

A two-hander action comedy in the vein of Midnight Run (1988), about an ex-FBI agent (Tommy Lee Jones) and an ex-mob lawyer in the Witness Protection Program (Morgan Freeman) having to put aside their petty rivalry on the golf course to fend off a mob hit.

TAD THE LOST EXPLORER: SECRET OF KING MIDAS **
Director: David Alonso and Enrique Gayo
Stars: IKscar Barberan, Michelle Jenner

An animated movie centred on Tad Jones, the most awkward explorer, who must rescue his beloved Sara from a millionaire who is looking for King Midas’ necklace.

12 STRONG **
Director: Nicolai Fugisig
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peria

An action-drama telling the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11. Under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down for the Taliban.

AIYAARY **
Director: Neerag Pandey
Stars: Sidharth Malhotra, Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah

Two officers with patriotic hearts suddenly have a fallout. The mentor, Colonel Abhay Singh, has complete faith in the country’s system while protégé Major Jai Bakshi thinks differently due to a recent stint in surveillance.

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.

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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Ian and Vivienne von Memerty star in Synergy at Durban’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

SYNERGY
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre)

Ian and Vivienne von Memerty return with a new show highlighting their singing, dancing and humour. Performed to backing tracks with live keyboard accompaniment by Roelof Colyn, the show is a delight – slick, varied and a great salute to fine partnerships in music and musical theatre. Expect songs from the Gershwin brothers, The Jungle Book, Stephen Sondheim, Fiddler on the Roof, Chicago, Cabaret, Mary Poppins and The Beatles, among others. Until Sunday, February 18. (BS)

THE CHAIN – THE FLEETWOOD MAC STORY
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, 13 Beryldene Road, Kloof)

A revival of the hit tribute show by Durban band The Reals, featuring guest vocalist Samantha Landers as a replacement for Marion Loudon, who was in the original show but is now performing in the new sbow at the Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya Casino. Also starring in the Fleetwood Mac tribute are singer-guitarist Barry Thomson, keyboardisy Dawn slby, bassist Jason Andrew, drummer Masli Sewell and guest guitarist-singer Colin Peddie,. Performances are from Wednesday to Sunday from February 14 to 25. Call Roland at 082 499 8636 for bookings and more details.  (BS)

A BEAUTIFUL NOISE
(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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