Film & Stage Ratings (Aug31-Sep6)

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 The Happytime Murders, starring Melissa McCarthy.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM AUGUST 31

ANDRE RIEU: MAASTRICHT **
Stars: Andre Rieu and his Orchestra

This 145-minute film showcases the King of the Waltz, André Rieu’s annual Maastricht concert, this year titledAmore – My Tribute to Love. The annual concert, that takes place in his hometown in the Netherlands, will screen for two days only – at 7.30pm on Saturday and 2.30pm on Sunday. The concert sees the renowned violinist pay tribute to his love for music, and his love for both his families; his wife and children, and his Johann Strauss Orchestra, with which he has performed for over 30 years. The concert is set against the backdrop of Maastricht’s medieval town square, and fans flock annually from all corners of the world to watch André perform with the 60-piece orchestra, as well as sopranos, tenors, and some special guests. South African audiences will be treated to special behind-scenes extras.

LOOKING FOR LOVE **
Director: Adze Ugah
Stars: Allen Booi, Lillian Dube, Tayo Fanira

A single, unaccomplished Zulu woman must find Mr Right in the pitiless concrete jungle that is Joburg before she turns 40. Desperate Buyi reluctantly allows her sexy, best friend to help find her a man from her exclusive ‘man market’’. Between questionable concoctions, a quirky magician with a cat obsession and a sex addict that can’t get enough of a big butt, Buyi quickly loses hope of finding Mr Right.

THE FIRST PURGE **
Director: Gerard McMurray
Stars: Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade

America’s third political party, the New Founding Fathers of America, comes to power and conducts an experiment: no laws for 12 hours on Staten Island. No one has to stay on the island, but $5,000 is given to anyone who does.

THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS **
Director: Brian Henson
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks, Maya Rudolph

When the puppet cast of a ’90s children’s TV show begin to get murdered one by one, a disgraced Los Angeles police detective-turned-private eye puppet takes on the case.

THE NUN **
Director: Corin Hardy
Stars: Bonnie Aarons, Taissa Farmiga, Jonny Coyne

A priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.

YAMLA PEGLA DEEWANA: PHIR SE **
Director: Navaniat Singh
Stars: Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol

Inheriting from the ancestors, the legacy of the Ayurveda panacea ‘Vajrakavach’, a famed and effective remedy for all ills,  brothers  Pooran and Kaala use the kavach with varied intentions. While good-hearted Pooran helps people, Kaala looks out for his interest in money.

STREE **
Director: Amar Kaushik
Stars: Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor, Pankai]j Tripathi

Set in the town of Chanderi, Stree is based on the urban legend of Nale Ba that went viral in Karnataka in the 1990s, and features Shraddha Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao in pivotal roles.

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A scene from the animated Charming.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

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

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.

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.

THE WIFE ***
Director: Bjorn Runge
Stars: Christian Slater, Glenn Close, Max Irons

A drama in which a wife questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm with her husband, where he is slated to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

THE EQUALIZER 2 ***
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders

A thriller in which Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed. However, how far will he go when that is someone he loves?

CRAZY RICH ASIANS ***
Director:  Jon M Chu
Stars: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh

This contemporary romantic comedy, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family.

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

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

A.X.L **
Director: Oliver Daly
Stars: Thomas Jane, Becky G, Alex Neustaedter

The story of A.X.L, a top-secret, robotic dog that develops a special friendship with a lad called Miles, and will go to any length to protect his new companion.

HAPPY PHIRR BAG JAYEGI  **
Director: Mudassar Aziz
Stars: Jimmy Sheirgill, Sonakshi Sinha, Diana Penty

A Bollywood comedy film produced by Anand L Rai and Krishika Lulla. The film is a sequel to the 2016 success, Happy Bhag Jayegi.

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.

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.

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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Marion Loudon (right) and The Reals perform Woodstock.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

20TH ANNUAL JOMBA CONTEMPORARY DANCE FESTIVAL
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Durban)

This year’s Jomba!, running until September 9, features dance companies and choreographers from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Spain, Switzerland, India ,America and Madagascar. They join Durban companies in a programme of innovative dance theatre work that promises to provoke, entertain, delight and challenge. The festival will also have a strong focus on ‘Durban Dances’ and offer unprecedented spaces for the evolution of eThekwini’s dance community. For the full festival programme and listing of workshops visit www.cca.ukzn.ac.za and click on the Jomba! page. All workshops and classes are offered free of charge (dancers over 16 only) but booking is essential. Most performances take place at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at 7.30pm (2.30pm on September 9) with the youth fringe at the Open Air Theatre, UKZN, at 2pm on September 2, and at the Durban Art Gallery at 6pm on September 7. Tickets at the Sneddon Theatre cost R80 (R60 for students, pensioners and block booking of 10 or more). Book at Computicket or at venue from one hour before the scheduled event. Durban Art Gallery and Open Air Theatre presentations are free events. (BS)

THE REALS: WOODSTOCK
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof)

Back again as part of The Reals’ mini festival of hit shows, this is a fine tribute to the music and memories of the Woodstock festival from the 1960s. Featuring vivacious guest singer Marion Loudon, along with Barry Thomson, Dawn Selby, Mali Sewell and Jason Andrew, the show presents a wide variety of classic hits. Performances are 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. My full review of the show under Music on this site. (BS)

DAVE MONKS: THE GREAT BRITISH PUB NIGHT
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo, Durban)

Set for 8pm on Friday and Saturday (August 31 and September 1) and 2pm on Sunday, September 2, this show by Irish singer-musician Dave Monks offers a variety of golden oldies –from war songs through to hits by Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, Cliff Richard, Roger Whittaker, Smokie, The Beatles and others. Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners) and booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636. By the way, are you aware that the Rhumbelow Theatre franchise has introduced a new ticket deal – R300 for two adults and two children. More about this and other ticket discounts by clicking here: https://wp.me/p8dL0W-3A5 (BSO

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


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