Film & Stage Ratings (Nov 2-8)

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 Nutcracker and the Four Realms, new in cinemas this weekend.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM NOVEMBER 2

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS ***
Directors: Lasse Hallstrom and Joe Johnston
Stars: Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley.

A fantasy spectacle in which a young girl is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice.

AIDA ***
Conductor: Nicola Luisotti.
Stars: Anna Netrebko, Anita Rachvelishvili
Celebrated soprano Anna Netrebko takes centre stage in this high-definition film of the Met Opera’s stage production of Verdi’s popular opera – along with Anita Rachvelishvili as Amneris and Aleksandrs Antonenko as Radamès. The film runs for nearly four hours. Screenings at Cinema Nouveau cinemas countrywide are scheduled for 5pm this Saturday, 2.30pm on Sunday and 11.30am on Tuesday.

JULIET, NAKED ***
Director: Jesse Peretz
Stars: Chris O’Dowd, Rose Byrne, Kitty O’Beirne

The story of Annie (the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan) and her unlikely transatlantic romance with once-revered, now-faded, singer-songwriter, Tucker Crowe, who also happens to be the subject of Duncan’s musical obsession.

MAYFAIR ***
Director: Sara Blecher
Stars: Jack Devnarain, Rajesh Gopie, Kelly-Eve Koopman.

A new South African action-drama, scripted by Neil McCarthy. It tells the tale of  an estranged son who must break the rules to save his family (and their criminal empire) when his overbearing father falters.

SLENDER MAN **
Director: Sylvain White
Stars: Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair

In a small town in Massachusetts, a group of friends, fascinated by the internet lore of the Slender Man, attempt to prove that he doesn’t actually exist – until one of them mysteriously goes missing.

NOBODY’S FOOL **
Director: Tyler Perry
Stars: Tiffany Haddish, Courtney Henggeler, Missi Pyle

A woman is released from prison and reunites with her sister. She soon discovers that her sister is in an online relationship with a man who may not be what he seems.

ESCAPE PLAN 2: HADES ***
Director: Steven C Miller
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Dave Bautista

Years after he fought his way out of an inescapable prison, Ray Breslin has organised a new top-notch security force. But when one of his team members goes missing, Breslin must return to the hell he once escaped from.

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A scene from Papillon. now on circuit countrywide.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

PAPILLON ***
Director: Michael Noer
Stars: Rami Malek, Charlie Hunnam. Tommy Flanagan

Wrongfully convicted for murder, Henri Charriere forms an unlikely relationship with fellow inmate and quirky convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega, in an attempt to escape from the notorious penal colony on Devil’s Island.

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.

THE HATE U GIVE ***
Director: George Tillman jnr
Stars: Amandla Steinberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby

Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.

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.

FIRST MAN ***
Director: Damien Chazelle
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke

A look at the life of the astronaut Neil Armstrong and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

PEPPERMINT ***
Director:  Pierre Morel
Stars: Jennifer Garner, John Gallagher jnr, John Ortiz

A thriller about how, five years after her husband and daughter are killed in a senseless act of violence, a woman comes back from self-imposed exile to seek revenge against those responsible and the system that let them go free.

GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN **
Director: Ari Sandel
Stars: Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor

Two young friends find a magic book that brings a ventriloquist’s dummy to life.

THE LITTLE VAMPIRE 3D **
Director: Richard Claus and Karten Kiilerich
Stars: Rasmus Hardiker,. Amy Saville, Jim Carter

An animated adventure telling the story of Rudolph, a thirteen year old vampire, whose clan is threatened by a notorious vampire hunter. He meets Tony, a mortal of the same age, who is fascinated by old castles.

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.

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

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A scene from The Little Prince.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

PIETER-DIRK UYS – WHEN IN DOUBT,  SAY DARLING
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban)

After a sold-out season at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Studio and the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town, the newest Uys show has two seasons in KZN: at the Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg on November 6 and 7, and at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in Durban on November 1, 2, 3 and 4 and again on November 8, 9, 10 and 11. Sometimes politics repeats itself, not only taking history and turning it into farce, but taking farce and turning into the fake news which is now called entertainment. Uys is sorting out 40 years of distress, disguise and disgust: from apartheid to tripartite, from amandla to Nkandla –  and happily back to amandla. In the boxes are wigs, glasses, wagging fingers, toyi-toyis, red berets, trump cards of madness, icons and aikonas, from Bezuidenhouts, Raubenheimers and Ramaphosas to Altzheimers. See PW Botha impersonate Jacob Zuma! Witness Dr Piet Koornhof solve the Brexit stand-off! Celebrate the appearances of Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Nowell Fine and Evita Bezuidenhout! Booking is at Computicket for Durban and Webtickets for Pietermaritzburg. (BS)

THE LITTLE PRINCE
(Courtyard Theatre, DUT campus, Berea, Durban)

An adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic French fable, The Little Prince comes to Durban’s DUT Courtyard Theatre for a short run from November 1 to 3 as part of an extensive national tour honouring the story’s 75th anniversary. Presented by Alliance Francaise de Durban and directed by Clara Vaughan and Mwenya B. Kabwe, it is a a magical retelling of the story using an innovative and playful fusion of art forms – storytelling, music and circus – in multiple languages, creating a unique South African inspired production of this French masterpiece, for adults and children alike. Public performances are at 10am on Friday (for schools) and 7pm; and 10am and 7pm on Saturday.  Tickets are R80 for the public; R60 for Alliance Francaise de Durban members and pensioners; and R40 for students. (BS)

THE REALS AND GUESTS: POETRY IN MUSIC
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)

Presented at 8pm on Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday – both this and next weekend – this show is by popular Durban tribute band The Reals and guests: singer-guitarist  Colin Peddie and vocalist Samantha Solomon. Devised by Peddie, it showcases material that is more lyrically driven but without losing the punch accompanying popular music. Expect songs associated with the likes of The Eagles, Leonard Cohen, Indigo Girls, The Waterboys, Paul Simon, Mumford and Sons, and others. Tickets cost R150 each (R130 for pensioners and students with valid student cards). 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)

DAVE STARKE: LEONARD COHEN – A TRIBUTE
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo, Durban)

Eshowe-based singer-guitsrist Dave Starke offers an excellent tribute to the music and memories of Leonard Cohen, whose hits include Hallelujah and So Long Marianne. Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners and students) and can be booked at Computicket or by phoning 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)

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

 


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