***** EXCELLENT ****VERY GOOD *** GOOD **AVERAGE * POOR
Film ratings are by Billy Suter or from Internet Movie Data Base. Theatre ratings are by Billy Suter.
Note: Ster-Kinekor, Nu Metro and Suncoast CineCentre display adverts for KwaZulu-Natal cinemas appear at the end of this post.
FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM FEBRUARY 23
THREE BLLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI ****
Director: Martin McDonagh
Stars: Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson
A hard-hitting, superbly acted drama that is cleaning up at the awards ceremonies. Oscar-nominated, it tells of a no-nonsense mother who personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder when they fail to catch the culprit.
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME ****
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Stars: Arnie Hammer, Timothee Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg
In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father’s research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape. The movie features a screenplay by James Ivory.
LOVING VINCENT ****
Director: Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Weichman
Stars: Douglas Booth, Jerome Flynn, Robert Gulaczyk
In a story depicted in oil-painted animation, a young man comes to the last hometown of painter Vincent van Gogh to deliver the troubled artist’s final letter and ends up investigating his final days there. Nominated for an Oscar this year for Best Animated Feature.
LADY BIRD ***
Director: Great Gerwig
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Lairue Metcalf, Tracy Letts
Engaging and well-acted, but a somewhat overated film in which, in 2002, an artistically inclined 17-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California.
Stars: Sonya Yoncheva, Vittorio Grigolo
The film of the Met Opera’s staging of the Puccini classic with soprano Sonya Yoncheva in the title role of the fiery diva and Vittorio Grigolo as her passionate lover, Cavaradossi. The pair are “youthful, ardent, and innocent … their duets electric, their kisses hot and numerous” (Wall Street Journal). Puccini’s melodrama about a volatile diva, a sadistic police chief, and an idealistic artist has offended and thrilled audiences for more than a century. Screenings will be at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor sites (Rosebank Nouveau, Gateway) will be at 5pm on Saturday, 2.30pm Sunday and 11.30am on Tuesday.
GNOME ALONE ***
Director: Peter Lepeniotis
Stars: Becky G, Josh Peck, Tara Strong
When Chloe discovers her new home’s garden gnomes are not what they seem, she must decide between the pursuit of a desired high school life and taking up the fight against the Troggs. An animated movie.
24 HOURS TO LIVE **
Director: Brian Smrz
Stars: Paul anderrson, Ethan Hawke, Rutger Hauer
A drama in which an assassin seeks redemption after being given a second chance at life.
SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY **
Director: Luv Ranjan
Stars: Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha, Sunny Singh Nijjar
Titu is set to marry a perfect woman named Sweety. Titu’s best friend, Sonu, doubts Sweety’s character and tries to break the marriage while Sweety tries to do the opposite. It leads to war between ‘bromance’ and romance.
WELCOME TO NEW YORK **
Director: Chakri Toleti
Stars: Sonakshi Sinha, Diljit Dosanjh, Karan Johar
A comedy in which Hero (Diljit Dosanjh), a sloppy recovery agent, and Jeenal Patel (Sonakshi Sinha), a fashion designer, become part of a big Bollywood event in New York, where chaos ensues.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS
MARRIAGE FOR DUMMIES
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre)
Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert present their latest mesh of mirth, song and dance, with interesting insights in how to make a marriage last. Structured around the basic format of a Marriage Seminar, the show has Aaron and Lisa leading the audience through the many trials and tribulations that affect all marriages. In the guise of whacky characters, they identify most of the “problems” marriages face. Performances are at 7.30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, and 6pm on Sundays.(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 show at the Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya Casino. Also starring in the Fleetwood Mac tribute are singer-guitarist Barry Thomson, keyboardist Dawn Selby, bassist Jason Andrew, drummer Mali Sewell and guest guitarist-singer Colin Peddie. Performances are from Wednesday to Sunday until February 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.