Film & Stage Ratings (Apr 27-May 3)

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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A moment from Mozart’s opera, Cosi Fan Tutte.

 

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM APRIL 27

COSI FAN TUTTE ***
Director: Phelim McDermott
Stars: Christopher Maltman, Kelli O’Hara, Amanda Majeski,

The film of the opera co-production of the Metropolitan Opera and English National Opera. A winning cast comes together for Phelim McDermott’s clever vision of Mozart’s comedy about the sexes, set in a carnival-esque, funhouse environment inspired by 1950s Coney Island—complete with bearded ladies, fire eaters and a ferris wheel. Manipulating the action are the Don Alfonso of Christopher Maltman and the Despina of Tony Award-winner Kelli O’Hara, with Amanda Majeski, Serena Malfi, Ben Bliss, and Adam Plachetka as the pairs of young lovers who test each other’s faithfulness. Every possible impression of love—from the loftiest to the basest—is explored in this extraordinary opera. David Robertson conducts. Screenings at Cinema Nouveau cinemas are at 2.30pm on Saturdaa and Sunday, and 11,30am on Tuesday next week. The film’s running time is three hours and 20 minutes, with one interval.

WONDERLUS ***
Director: Johan Cronje
Stars: Beer Adriaanse, Martin-Lee Beukes, Mila Guy

 A South Africna film about a wedding that goes awry and the morning after, friends and foes need to piece together the puzzle of the night before. In search of answers, a groom needs to pursue the love of his life,  a bride has to untangle herself from the past, and a waitress tries to escape the present.
MAYA THE BEE – THE HONEY GAMES **
Director: Noel Cleary and Sergio Delfino
Stars: Coco Jack Gillies, Richard Roxburgh
When an overenthusiastic Maya accidentally embarrasses the Empress of Buzztropolis, she is forced to unite with a team of misfit bugs and compete in the Honey Games for a chance to save her hive. An animated adventure.
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A scene from Avengers: Infinity War.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

BLACK PANTHER ***
Director: Ryan CooglerStars: 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.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR ***

Director: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Stars: Karen Gillan, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland
Opening on Thursday, April 26, this film has The Avengers and their allies having to be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

TOMB RAIDER ***
Director: Roar Uthaug
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West. Walton Goggins

Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.

READY PLAYER ONE ***
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tye Sheridan, Olvia Cooke, BenMendelsohn

When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune.

PETER RABBIT ***
Director: Will Gluck
Stars: James Corden, Fayssal Bazzi, Domnhall Gleeson

Feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s classic tale of a rebellious rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer’s vegetable garden.

A QUIET PLACE ***
Director:  John Krasinski
Stars: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds

A thriller in which a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.

HERE COMES THE GRUMP ***
Director: Andres Couturier
Stars: Lily Collins, Toby Kebbell, Ian McShane

An animated film  in which balloon kingdoms, dopey police dragons and happy wizards are exactly how Terry remembered his grandmother’s whacky fairy tales. Except they are real and it’s definitely not as ‘cheerful’.

RAMPAGE ***
Director: Brad Peyton
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman

A grand adventure in which, when three different animals become infected with a dangerous pathogen, a primatologist and a geneticist team up to stop them from destroying Chicago.
MADAME ***

Director: Amanda Sthers
Stars: Toni Collette, Harvey Keitel,  Rossy de Palma

Adding a little spice to a waning marriage, Anne and Bob, a wealthy and well-connected American couple, move into a manor house in romantic Paris. While preparing a particularly luxurious dinner for sophisticated international friends, our hostess discovers there are 13 guests. Panic-stricken, Anne insists her loyal maid Maria disguise herself as a mysterious Spanish noble woman to even out the numbers. But a little too much wine, and some playful chat, lead Maria to accidentally endear herself to a dandy British art broker. Their budding romance will have Anne chasing her maid around Paris and finally plotting to destroy this most unexpected and joyous love affair.
MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE ***
Director: Peter Landesman
Stars: Liam Neeson, Diana Lane, Marton Csokas
The story of Mark Felt who,  under the name ‘Deep Throat’, helped journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the Watergate scandal in 1972.
EARLY MAN ***
Director: Nick Park
Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Redmayne, Maisie Williams
An animated film set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth. It tells the story of Dug, along with sidekick Hognob, as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy, Lord Nooth, and his Bronze Age City to save their home.
THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT ***
Director: Johannes Roberts
Stars: Christina Hendricksm Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson
A family of four staying at a secluded mobile home park for the night are stalked and then hunted by three masked psychopaths.
Three parents try to stop their daughters from losing their virginity on prom night.
BLOCKERS ***
Director: Kay Cannon
Stars: Kathryn Newton, Leslie Mann, Gideon Adlon
A comedy in which three parents try to stop their daughters from losing their virginity on prom night.
I FEEL PRETTY *
Director: Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein
Stars: Amy Schumer. Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski
A woman struggling with insecurity wakes from a fall believing she is the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet. Her new confidence empowers her to live fearlessly, but what happens when she realises her appearance never changed? Very poorly reviewed globally.

HAMPSTEAD **
Director:  Joel Hopkins
Stars: James Norton,.  Diane Keaton, Lesley Manville, Brendan Gleeson

An American widow finds unexpected love with a man living wild on Hampstead Heath, when they take on the developers who want to destroy his home.

MIDNIGHT SUN **
Director:  Scott Speer
Stars: Bella Thorne, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Rob Riggle

A 17-year-old girl suffers from a condition that prevents her from being out in the sunlight..
PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING **
Director: Steven S DeKnight
Stars: John Boyega, scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny

A sci-fi adventure centred on Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, who reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacer Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.

ACRIMONY **
Director: Brandon E Brooks
Stars:Suzi Lorraine, Adam C Edwards, Michal J Panichelli Jnr

Thirteen years ago, a young girl drowned due to adult neglect, in present day, this little girl’s memory will spark a plot of retribution that will leave each person involved quite unwell.e.

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Evan Roberts, Shylo Pereira and Samantha Landers in That’s Life… in Pietermaritzburg at 2pm on on Sunday.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Durban)

The year’s first production from Durban’s award-winning KickstArt theatre company has Steven Stead deftly directing an award-winning comedy about an amateur dramatics group for which anything that can do wrong, does, when they try to present a whodunnit. The ensemble cast includes Bryan Hiles, Michael Gritten, Daisy Spencer and Adam Dore. Excellent direction by Stead,  well acted, and people absolutely love it, but I personally find the play repetitive and increasingly corny. I also find it overstays its welcome. This is the final weekend. (BS)

THAT’S LIFE
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Allan Wilson shellhole, Pietermaritzburg)

Durban singers Samantha Landers (of The Voice SA), and Shylo Perreira pool talents, backed by pianist Evan Roberts, for this excellent musical entertainment, to be staged only at 2pm on Sunday after a good run at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof. The show offers a musical journey through the life of women, featuring classic hits such as George Michael’s Careless Whisper and Carole King’s You’ve Got a Friend, as well as songs from musicals such as Wicked and Funny Girl, and hits including I Kissed a Girl, Cheek to Cheek, That’s Life, This is a Man’s World and Oops, I Did it again!. Tickets cost R150 each. To book, phone Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636.

 

THAT ’80S SHOW
(The Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)

Andrew Webster has devised and directed this third party entertainment at Durban’s grand new supper theatre, which opened last November. Durban’s popular Barry and Calli Thomson are among a cast that pays tribute to ’80s hits by, among others, Tears For Fears, Def Leppard, Yazoo, Belinda Carlisle, Michael Jackson, Madonna, INXS, UB40, Pat Benatar,  Queen. Mango Groove and many others. I could have done with less narration and corny chit-chat but a good band with some great song choices. (BS)

 

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


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