Film & Stage Rating (Sept 28-Oct 4)

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 Smallfoot, a new animated film featuring the voice talents of James Corden, Channing Tatum and Zendaya.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM SEPTEMBER 28

SMALLFOOT ***
Director: Karey Kirkpatrick and Jason Reisig
Stars: James Corden, Channing Tatum, Zendaya

AN animated adventure that tells of a Yeti that is convinced that the elusive creatures known as “human” really do exist. It looks like it could be great fun.

A SIMPLE FAVOUR ***
Director: Paul Feig
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding

A comedy-drama centred on a woman who seeks to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of her best friend.

TABLE MANNERS **
Director: Leli Maki
Stars: Neels van Jaarsveld, Fiona Ramsay, Carmen Pretorius

A South African comedy in which housewife Megan’s idyllic life is thrown into turmoil when it emerges that her husband, Lloyd, faces a heavy prison sentence for tax evasion. Megan also finds herself implicated in the tax fraud and facing jail time. Down on her luck and with nothing to her name, she has to rediscover who she really is. With the help of her son and her best friend, Lindiwe, she finds solace and hope in her life-long love and affinity for cooking.

NIGHT SCHOOL **
Director: Michael D Lee
Stars: Kevin Hart

A about a group of troublemakers forced to attend night school in the hope that they will pass exams to finish high school.

VENOM **
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Stars: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson

When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego, Venom, to save his life.

SUI DHAAGA: MADE IN INDIA **
Director: Sharat Katariya
Stars: Anushka Sharma, Varun Dhawan, Raghuvir Yadav

A heart-warming story of pride and self-reliance, rooted in the heart of India.

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Emma Thompson as Fiona Maye in The Children Act.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

THE CHILDREN ACT ****
Director: Richard Eyre
Stars: Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Ben Chaplin

As her marriage crumbles, a judge must decide a case involving a teenage boy who is refusing a blood transfusion on religious principle.

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 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.

BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB  ***
Director:  James Cox
Stars: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Taron Egerton

A drama centred on a group of wealthy boys in Los Angeles who, during the early 1980s, establish a ‘get-rich-quick’ scam that turns deadly.

THE PREDATOR  ***
Director:  Shane Black
Stars: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacon Tremblay

When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal hunters’return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of for soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.

JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN ***
Director:  David Kerr
Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Emma Thompson

After a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all of the active undercover agents in Britain, bumbling spy Johnny English is forced to come out of retirement to find the mastermind hacker.

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

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS **
Director: Eli Roth
Stars: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro

A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world.

GOTTI **
Director: Kevin Connolly
Stars: John Travolta, Spencer Rocco Lofranco, Kelly Preston

The story of crime boss John Gotti and his son.

BATTI GUL METER CHALU  **
Director:  Shree Narayan Singh
Stars: Shaid Kapoo, Yasmi Gautum, Shraddha Kapoor

A movie centred on relationships and  escalating electric bills.

MANMARZIYAAN  **
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Stars: Abhishek Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, and Vicky Kaushal

An Indian film telling a love story set in Punjab.

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.

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 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.

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.

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Bryan Hiles, Darren King and Rowan Bartlett in Get Knotted.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

GODFREY JOHNSON: UNHINGED
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)

Cape pianist-singer Godfrey Johnson. who has staged shows to much acclaim for years and who in 2015 composed the music for the Pieter-Dirk Uys musical, Die Van Aardes van Grootoor, is staging the quirky Unhinged in Kloof at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, September 28 and 29, and 2pm on Sunday, September 30. This is a new cabaret filled with musical madness inspired by Mozart, Bach, Bowie, Beethoven, Brahms and Madonna. It is packed with hilarious characters, such as the very concerned citizen, Nugent Stein; the flawless and neurotic, Divina Munschka; and the urban warrior, Juniper Jade. Be prepared for the “middle-aged person’s guide to the orchestra” and a crazy duet performed by one. Godfrey will also give the audience a chance to choose some of their favourite songs from his extensive repertoire. Tickets for the show cost R150 each (R130 for pensioners and students with valid student cards). A Family Pack discount during the first week of shows is also available – R300 total for two adults and two children. (BS)

BOBBY VAN JAARSVELD
 (The Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casibo near Umhlnaga)

Popular Afrikaans singer and The Voice South Africa judge and mentor, Bobby van Jaarsveld, is to perform a single concert at 8pm on Friday, September 28, at The Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga. A ticket will cost you R150 and booming is by calling the theatre at 031 161 0000. Van Jaarsveld, who arrived on the music scene in 2006 with his first gold-selling album,Duisend Ure, will perform Afrikaans and English songs. (BS)

GET KNOTTED
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Durban)

A cheerful new cabaret by award-winning Durban performers Bryan Hiles, Darren King and Rowan Bartlett. Get Knotted is being staged at 9pm this Friday and Saturday (September 28 and 29) and at 2pm on Sunday (September 30). The show follows the versatile trio’s earlier, lighthearted Las Vegas tribute shows, Tie a Knot In It and Tie Another Knot In It. It is a web of pointless trivia and memorable  – everything from Presley to Parton, The Rat Pack to Robbie Williams, Sia to Streisand. Tickets for the show cost R150 each (R130 for pensioners and students with valid student cards). A Family Pack discount during the first week of shows is also available – R300 total for two adults and two children. One may take along one’s own meals or snacks to the venue, but no beverages as a pub is on the premises. Light meals and snacks may also be bought at the venue. Booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636. (BS)

A ROCKING WORLD TOUR
(Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)

Showcasing a vibrant parade of chart-topping hits from across the globe, A Rocking World Tour opens with a visit to Australasia, where the talented cast pays homage to the great bands and singers that rocked Down Under – from rockers AC/DC and Midnight Oil to the irresistible Kylie Minogue.  From there, they spin the globe and get caught up in an Asian adventure, with a colourful fusion of high-energy Bhangra and Bollywood hits. The next stop is the world’s party capital, Europe, where the singers and musicians pay tribute to Sweden’s Roxette and Abba, Norway’s A-Ha, France’s Gipsy Kings and Daft Punk, Italy’s Eiffel 65 and Germany’s Boney M, before jetting off to Britain to celebrate the rock of Led Zeppelin. The worldwide movement also features hits from Mexico, Jamaica, South America, the US and South Africa. The band consists of Barry Thomson of The Reals on lead guitar (to be replaced next week by former Tree63 guitarist John Ellis), Lloyd de Gier on bass, Dillan Kanny on drums and Shemuel Mahebeer on keyboards. The theatre opens at 6.30pm – meals are on sale at the venue – with the show commencing at 8pm Thursdays to Saturdays. Tickets cost only R99 each on Thursdays, and R130 each for other performances, but half price for pensioners at the 2pm Sunday matinee performances, when under-12s get in free. (BS)

GRANDPA GRUMP AND THE MAGICAL JUNKSHOP
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo Durban)

Scheduled to run at 11am daily from Monday to Friday, October 1 to 5, this play for children was written by award-winning Neil Coppen, and stars Pietermaritzburg’s Mpilo “Straw” Nzimande, star of a number of shows, including the popular naughty pantos, in Durban. The 55-minute play has Grandpa Grump on a quest to rescue the rag doll, Molly, a special surprise for his granddaughter on her sixth birthday. To do so, he must face challenges that lie waiting in his junkshop. Join him as he meets the terrifying Dustbin Monster and the nutty Cuckoo in the Cuckoo Clock, and takes a trip to the moon and back, as well as appease the Smelly Sock Snake before scaring away the enormous and frightening Broomstick Dragon. There will be a colouring-in competition for children after the show. Tickets cost R60 each and booking is at Computicket or by phoning Roland at 082 499 8636. Snacks and juices will be on sale. (BS)

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


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