Film & Stage Rating (Oct 12-18)

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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Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM OCTOBER  12

JULIE ****
Director: Carrie Cracknell
Stars: Vanessa Kirby, Eric Kofi Abrefa

National Theatre Live’s film of the updated new version of Strindberg’s classic play Miss Julie, set in modern London. Fresh from her Bafta win for playing Princess Margaret in The Crown, Vanessa Kirby stars as the wild and newly single, socialite Julie, who throws a midsummer party. In the kitchen, Jean and Kristen clean up as the celebration heaves above them. Crossing the threshold, Julie initiates a power game with Jean, which descends into a savage fight for survival. Fuelled by social division, Strindberg’s masterpiece remains shocking and fiercely relevant in this new adaptation by Polly Stenham. Carrie Cracknell (The Deep Blue Sea) directs a cast including Eric Kofi Abrefa (The Amen Corner). Screenings at Cinema Nouveau cinemas countrywide are scheduled for 7.30pm this Saturday, 2.30pm this Sunday and 7.30pm next Wednesday and Thursday,.

A STAR IS BORN ***
Director: Bradley Cooper
Stars: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper

The fourth big-screen version of the rags-to-riches story, this time with Bradley Cooper as the fading music star who watches as his prodigy rises. There is strong Oscar buzz for Lady Gaga.

HELL FEST **
Director: Gregory Plotkin
Stars: Bex Taylor-Klaus, Amy Dorsyth

A masked serial killer turns a horror-themed amusement park into his own personal playground, terrorizing a group of friends while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show.

BABY MAMAS  **
Director: Stephena Zwane
Stars: Pamela Nomvete, Salamina Mosese

A South African comedy-drama revolving around the daily lives and loves of four professional women who are all in different stages of their own real-life baby mama drama.

HELICOPTER EELA  **
Director: Pradeep Sarkar
Stars: Kajol, Riddhi Sen, T

An Indian film in which a wmoan called Eela joins her son’s college to complete her studies.

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Denzel Washington in The Equalizer 2.

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.

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.

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.

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.

THE FORGIVEN **
Director: Roland Joffe
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Eric Bana,  Jeff Gurn

After the end of apartheid in South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu meets with a brutal murderer seeking redemption.

THOMAS AND FRIENDS: BIG WORLD! BIG ADVENTURES! **
Director: David Stoten
Stars: Dona Adwerea, Peter Andre. Richie Campbell

Thomas the train leaves Sodor to fulfil his dream of seeing the world. This heroic quest takes Thomas across deserts, through jungles and over dangerous mountains as he travels across five continents seeing sights he has never seen before.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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A view of the stage at The Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya Casino.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

THE REALS: HOT AUGUST NIGHT
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Durban)

Popular Durban tribute band The Reals presents an excellent tribute to the music and memories of hit-maker Neil Diamond. Performances are at 8pm on Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday – and also at the same times next weekend. 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)

TRIBUTE TO BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
 (Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Durban)

Singer-guitarist Rob Warren of The Black Lapels and singer-guitarist Gary Nixon of The Kickstands unite for an acoustic salute to the music of Bruce Springstee,. Low on fuss and high on skill and enjoyment, this is a fine tribute to the great American singer-songwriter whosde cvklasics include Born in the USA, Dancing in the Dark, I’m on Fire, Born to Run, Human Touch and Streets of Philadelphia.  Only at this theatre at 7.30pm on Wednesday October 17 and 24.

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


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