Film & Stage Rating (Sept 7-13)

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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Mark Wahlberg in Mile 22.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM SEPTEMBER 7

ELLEN ***
Director: Daryne Joshua
Stars: Jarrid Geduld, Jill Levenberg, Elton Landrew

Based on a true events, this film tells of the troubled relationship between a mother and her drug-addicted son – a relationship that will eventually drive her to the edge and lead to his murder.

MILE 22 **
Director: Peter Berg
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais

A thriller in which an elite American intelligence officer, aided by a top-secret tactical command unit, tries to smuggle a mysterious police officer with sensitive information out of the country.

BLACKKKLANDSMAN  ***
Director: Spike Lee
Stars: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier

Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer from Colorado, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan with the help of a white surrogate, who eventually becomes head of the local branch.

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Awkwafina, Nico Santos and Constance Wu in Crazy Rich Asians. Picture by Warner Bros.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Cats members of Rock ‘n’ Roll Nerds: The Piano Greats.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

JOSEPH CLARK: THE MUSIC OF QUEEN
(Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)

Joseph Clark and a band salute the music of British supergroup Queen. Performances are at 8pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Apart from classics such as We Will Rock You, Another One Bites The Dust, We Are The Champions, I Want To Break Free, Innuendo, Killer Queen, Fat Bottomed Girls, Bicycle Race and Bohemian Rhapsody, the show also features lesser-known Queen hits such as You Take My Breath Away, Is This The World We Created, Too Much Love Will Kill You, Mother Love and In My Defence. Tickets cost R180 each. To book phone (031) 161 0000 or mail sibaya@rockwoodtheatre.co.za  (BS)

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)

ROCK ’N’ ROLL NERDS: THE PIANO GREATS
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo, Durban)

Set for 8pm on Friday and Saturday (September 7and 8)  and 2pm on Sunday, September 9, this show includes among its cast three members of the ’80s tribute show that proved a success recently at Umhlanga’s Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya Casino – dreadlocked Durban drummer Dylan van der Linde, energetic and charming vocalist Ofentse Mokhuane and sassy saxophonist Kirsty van der Linde, who is married to Dylan. They are teamed now with another married Durban couple – Nicky Knott, daughter of the late singer-guitarist and show producer Stuart Mey, and her husband, guitarist Dave Knott. Rounding out the cast are jovial musical director Evan Cullum, who is as strong on vocals as he is on keyboards, and ubiquitous, multi-instrumentalist Andy Turrell, who here is on bass. Together they present a show which, if it came over as a tad under-rehearsed on opening night in Kloof some time ago, certainly kept the audience happy and whooping for more by the finale. 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 (BS)

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


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