Film & Stage Ratings (Jun 29-Jul 5)

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 scene from Book Club, starring (from left) Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda and Mary Steenburgen.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM JUNE 29

LOVE, SIMON ***
Director: Greg Berlanti
Stars: Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel

Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends, and all of his classmates: he is gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.

BOOK CLUB ***
Director: Bill Holderman
Stars: Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen

Four lifelong friends have their lives forever changed after reading 50 Shades of Grey in their monthly book club.

TAG ***
Director: Jeff Tomsic
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, Jake Johnson

A comedy about a small group of former classmates that organise an elaborate, annual game of tag that requires some to travel all over the country.

THE HURRICANE HEIST **
Director: Rob Cohen
Stars: Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten

An action-drama centred on thieves attempting a massive heist against the US Treasury as a Category 5 hurricane approaches one of its Mint facilities.

SANJU **
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Stars: Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Paresh Rawal

Sanju is a biopic of the controversial life of actor Sanjay Dutt: his film career, jail sentence and personal life.

DUCK DUCK GOOSE **
Director: Christopher Jenkins
Stars: Jim Gaffigan, Lance Lim, Zendaya

An animated film centgred on a bachelor goose that must form a bond with two lost ducklings as they journey south.

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Reese Witherspoon is Mrs. Whatsit and Storm Reid is Meg Murry in Disney’s A Wrinle in Time, Picture by Disney/Atsushi Nishijimaa.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

DEADPOOL 2 ****
Director: David Leitch
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin
Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (aka Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable.

HEREDITARY ****
Director: Ari Aster
Stars: Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Gariel Byrne

After the family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and begin to unravel dark secrets.

INCREDIBLES 2 ***
Director: Brad Bird
Stars: Craig T Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell

Bob Parr (alias Mr Incredible) is left to care for young Jack-Jack while Helen (alias Elastigirl) is out saving the world. A sequel to the 2004 animated success.

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM ***
Director: J A Bayona
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ted Levine

When the islan’’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR ***
Director: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Stars: Karen Gillan, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland
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.

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.

ISLE OF DOGS ***
Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Koyu Rankin

Set in Japan, this award-winning animated film  follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his lost dog.

ON CHESIL BEACH ***
Director: Dominic Cooke
Stars: Saoirse Roan, Emily Watson, Anne-Marie Duff

Based on Ian McEwan’s novel, this film is set in 1962 England. It is about a young couple who find their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure.

OCEAN’S 8 ***
Director: Gary Ross
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway

Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala.

BRAVEN **
Director: Lin Oeding
Stars: Jason Momoa, Garret Dillahunt, Jill Wagner

An action-drama centred on a logger who defends his family from a group of dangerous drug-runners.

THYS EN TRIX **
Director: Quentin Krog
Stars: Leandie du Randt Bosch, Bouwer Bosch, Brendon Daniels, Zak Hendrikz

Thys and Trix are siblings and eager yet helpless police officers. Their constant feud results in their expulsion after it causes yet another embarrassment for the police service. Detective Solomons is investigating the activities of a crime syndicate in an exclusive golf estate outside Mossel Bay. Due to their ‘vanilla’ looks, Thys and Trix are singled out for the first time as the most competent team to lead an investigation. However, the fact that they must pretend to be a married couple to make the investigation credible complicates the situation.

RACE 3 **
Director: Remo D’Souza (as Remo)
Stars: Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez

An action-thriller centred on a family that deals in borderline crime; ruthless and vindictive to the core.

BREAKING IN **
Director:  James McTeigue
Stars: Gabrielle Union, Billy  Burke, Richard Cabral
An action-drama in which a woman fights to protect her family during a home invasion.

VEERE DI WEDDING **
Director: Shashanka Ghosh
Stars: Nidhi Mehra, Mehul Suri

An Indian film in which Four girls are on their way to find true love. However, friendship this strong does have its consequences.

A WRINKLE IN TIME **
Director: Ava DuVernay
Stars: Storm Reid, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey
After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.

LIFE OF THE PARTY **
Director: Ben Falcone
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Debby Ryan, Gillian Jacobs
A comedy in which, after her husband abruptly asks for a divorce, a middle-aged mother returns to college to complete her degree.

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Mpiilo ‘Straw” Nzimande and Daisy Spencer in The BFG, now at Durban’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

THE BFG
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Durban)

Directed and designed by Greg King, this KickstArt production for the young of all ages is a scrumdillyumptious treat in which King creates a colourful world of fun, humour and surprises, as well as poignancy, as he imaginatively, and very cleverly, unfolds the tale of a little orphan in London, Sophie (Belinda Henwood). Sophie (Belinda Henwood) meets and befriends a nameless giant (Bryan Hiles) who plucks her from her orphanage bedroom window one night, takes her to his world and then leads her on a journey highlighting dreams, nightmares and a splash of British royalty. Featuring Lyle Buxton, Clare Mortimer, Daisy Spencer and Mpilo ‘Straw’ Nzimande, the show has costumes by Steven Stead, lighting design by Tina le Roux, sound design by Ross van Wyk and musical direction by Jason Bird. It runs until July 8 and performances are scheduled for Tuesday to Friday at 2:30pm, Saturday at 11am and 3pm, and Sunday at 2:30pm. Ticket prices range from R130 to R190 for adults, and R110 to R160 for pensioners and children under the age of 12. Booking is at Computicket. (BS)

SISTER ACT
(Playhouse Drama theatre, Durban)

The 20th touring production of a stage musical presented by pupils of Johannesburg’s Northcliff High School, under the direction of Nick Jourdan. Some lovely young voices and much potential among the cast of this lively, heartwarming and amusing musical, based on the 1992 film R110 each. Shows are at 7.30pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while there is a 2pm Saturday matinee and the last performance is at 3pm on Sunday. Pensioners get R110 tickets for R90 for performances from Thursday to Sunday. Booking is at Computicket outlets. (BS)

SWINGING SIXTIES
(RhumbelowTheatre, Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof)

Seasoned Irish singer and musician Dave Monks, alongside Durban singer Marion Loudon, salutes the hits of the 1960s. The Swinging Sixties is scheduled for performances at 8pm this Friday and Saturday (June 29 and 30) and also at 2pm on Sunday, July 1. Expect to hear classics associated with 20 different artists, including The Carpenters, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Beatles, Sonny and Cher, Nancy Sinatra, the Bee Gees, The Monkees and Cliff Richard. Tickets cost R150 and Roland Stansell (082 499 8636) is your contact for bookings. (BS)

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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