Film & Stage Rating (Aug 17-23)

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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Kate McKinnon (left) and Milla Kunis in the comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM AUGUST 17

ALPHA ***
Director: Albert Hughes
Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Natassia Malthe, Leonor Varela

An epic adventure set in the last Ice Age, this film tells a fascinating, visually stunning story that shines a light on the origins of man’s best friend.

VINCENT VAN GOGH: A NEW WAY OF SEEING ***
An Exhibition on Screen documentary about the famous artist. Screenings have been scheduled for Gateway in Umhlanga at 7.30pm on Saturday, 2.30pm on Sunday and 7.30pm next Wednesday and Thursday.

FAREWELL ELLA BELLA ***
Director: Lwazi Mvusi
Stars: Jay Anstey, Sello Maake Ka-Ncube, Lionel Newton

A South Africa film centred on a young wowan who , after her father’s death, reconnects with her nomadic godfather, a musician.

THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME **
Director: Susanna Fogel
Stars: Milla Kunis, Jason Theroux, Kate McKinnon

An action comedy in which Audrey and Morgan, best friends, unwittingly become entangled in an international conspiracy when one of the women discovers the boyfriend who dumped her was actually a spy.

DOWN A DARK HALL **
Director: Rodrigo Cortes
Stars: AnnaSophia Robb, Uma Thurman, Isabella Fuhrman

Kit Gordy, a new student at the exclusive Blackwood Boarding School, confronts the institution’s supernatural occurrences and dark powers of its headmistress.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: MONSTERS VACATION **
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Stars: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez

An animated film in which Count Dracula and company participate in a cruise for sea-loving monsters, unaware that their boat is being commandeered by the monster-hating Van Helsing family.

SATYAMEVA JAYATE **
Director: Milap Zaveri
Stars: John Abraham, Manoj Bajpayee, Aisha Sharma

DCP Shivansh has been tasked to catch Vir, the man behind police killings in a big city. Both are eventually against the same enemy but divided by a fine line, the law.

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Ewan McGregor as the title character in Christopher Robin.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP ***
Director: Peyton Reed
Stars: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena

As Scott Lang balances being both a superhero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.

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.

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.

SKYSCRAPER ***
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell

A father goes to great lengths to save his family from a burning skyscraper.

MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN ***
Director: Ol Parker
Stars: Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Julie Walters, Meryl Streep

Lots more songs from Abba link this frothy sequel to 2008’s Mamma Mia!. The new film looks at the past of Donna (Meryl Streep) and the future of her daughter, Sophie. Very contrived but with enough kitsch, sparkle and to keep one interested. Look out for Cher as a glam gran.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT ***
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Stars: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames

Another action-heavy spectacle in which Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong

HOTEL ARTEMIS ***
Director: Drew Pearce
Stars: Jodie Foster, Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista

A thriller set in riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles this film follows the Nurse, who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN ***
Director: Marc Foster
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael

A working-class family man, Christopher Robin, encounters his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh, who helps him to rediscover the joys of life.

THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY ***
Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Lily James, Matthew Goode, Glen Powell

The story of Juliet Ashton (Lily James) – a free-spirited, successful writer living in post-war London. Despite the success of her recent novel and support from her dear friend and publisher Sidney (Matthew Goode), she struggles to find inspiration for her writing after the harsh experiences of the war.

CHARMING ***
Director:  Ross Venokur
Stars:Demi Lovato, Sia, Wilmer Valderrama

An animated adventure centred on a three fairy tale princesses who find themselves engaged to the same guy, Prince Charming.

STROOMOP ***
Director:  Ivan Botha
Stars: Donnalee Roberts, Simone Nortmann

A South African film about five women tossed about by life’s rough waters and drowning in their own lives. Together they not only have to fight tears, fears and pain, but must also fight for survival in this river rafting adventure on the Orange River.

THE MEG **
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Stars: Jason Staham, Rain Wilson

After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.

SUPERFLY **
Director:  Director X
Stars: Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell

An action-thriller in which, with retirement on his mind, a successful young drug dealer sets up one last big job, while dealing with trigger-happy colleagues and the police.

FANNY KHAN **
Director: Atul Manjrekar
Stars: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anil Kapoor

AN Indian film in which Fanney Khan is a struggling singer who wants to make his daughter a big name in music world.

ADRIFT **
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin  Grace Palmer

A true story of survival, as a young couple’s chance encounter leads them first to love, and then on the adventure of a lifetime as they face one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history.

BROKEN PROMISES 4-EVER **
Director: Kumaran Naidoo
Stars: Kogie Naidoo, Rani Pillay, Maeshni Naiker

Another sequel to the hit South African comedy series, in which Reuben’s son, Mandoza, now gets into some courtship confusion, with his family getting the wrong end of the stick.

TEEN TITANS GO TO THE MOVIES **
Director: Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michall
Stars: Will Arnett, Eric Bauza, Kristen Bell

Animated film in which a villain’s maniacal plan for world domination sidetracks five teenage superheroes who dream of Hollywood stardom.

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Vocal trio The Gee Jays perform at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo this weekend.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

THE REALS WITH NEILL SOLOMON AND DAN CHIORBOLI
 (Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof)

An engaging collection of Solomon and Chiorboli songs, both old and new, with backup mostly from The Reals’ Barry Thomson, on guitar and occasional vocals, and Dawn Selby on keyboards and occasional vocals. Guest saxophonist and flautist Paul Seamn also features, along with The Reals’ drummer Mali Sewell and the band’s bassist, Jason Andrew. Also look forward to covers of Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, Moondance and Take Me to the River. The show runs at 8pm Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Tables seat six and tickets cost R150 each (R130 for pensioners). Book at Computicket or phone Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636. (BS)

DON’T TUNE ME, EK SE
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo, Durban)

Durban-based vocal trio The Bee Jays with their colourful mix of song and corny cracks, centred on memories and hits of the 1970s.  The show features old hits such as Pretty Belinda, Yellow River, Tie a Yellow Ribbon, Rhinestone Cowboy, Let Your Love Flow and Have You Ever Seen the Rain. It salutes acts as varied as Paul McCartney and Wings, The Village People, The Beatles, the Bee Gees, The Bellamy Brothers, Jim Croce, Neil Diamond, Alan Garrity, Charisma and even Jeremy Taylor. Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners) and booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636. (BS)

ANDRE THE HILARIOUS HYPNOTIST
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Durban)

Celebrating his 25th year in showbiz, Andre is back in town until August 19. With every person reacting differently to Andre’s suggestion, not even he knows what to expect when he steps up on stage. Andre does, however, promise not to disappoint and audiences can expect two hours of amusing hypnotic entertainment. (BS)

JUKEBOX HITS
(Rockwood theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)

Some of the most requested songs of all time feature in this new showband entertainment runninguntil September 2. Jukebox Hits has a 10-member cast headed by popular Durban singers Liesl Coppin and Percy Smith, as well as charming vocalist Kyle Matthews,. Also on vocals are Riyaan Cornelius and Janine Cupido, while Durban’s Calli Thomson is on keyboards, local lad Paul Cassells is on drums, Sheldon von Grimm is on guitar and Kelly Joubert is on bass. Popular Kirsty van der Linde, who is among the cast of Rock ’n’ Roll Nerds: Piano Greats at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof this weekend, will join the Jukebox Hits cast on July 19, taking over from Johan van der Molen. Jukebox Hits features classics such as Piano Man, What a Wonderful World, YMCA, Let’s Twist Again, Unchained Melody, New York, Don’t Stop Believing, Uptown Funk, End of the Road, Mony Mony, Black Velvet and That’s The Way I Like It, to name just a few. To book tickets for Jukebox Hits phone (031) 161 0000. Thursday night tickets cost R99, while Friday and Saturday night tickets cost R130 each. On Sundays, with adults at R130 a ticket, children under the age of 12 get in free and pensioners pay half price. (BS)

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


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