***** EXCELLENT ****VERY GOOD *** GOOD **AVERAGE * POOR
Film ratings are by Billy Suter or from Internet Movie Data Base. Theatre ratings are by Billy Suter.
Note: Ster-Kinekor, Nu Metro and Suncoast CineCentre display adverts for KwaZulu-Natal cinemas appear at the end of this post.
FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM NOVEMBER 23
DON QUIXOTE (BOLSHOI BALLET) ****
Stars: Ekaterina Krysanova, Semyon Chudin
Scheduled for Cinema Nouveau cinemas at 7.45pm on Saturday, 2.30pm on Sunday and 7.45pm on Wednesday and Thursday, this is the film of the Bolshoi Ballet staging of the tale about a journey to find true love. Don Quixote of La Mancha, and his faithful servant Sancho Panza, set off to meet Don Quixote’s ideal woman, Dulcinea. Cervantes’s hero comes to life in this critically acclaimed staging of this intensifying performance. The panache and sparkling technique is evident as principal dancers Ekaterina Krysanova and Semyon Chudin lead the spectacular cast of toreadors, flamenco dancers, gypsies, and dryads in Bolshoi style. The film runs for five minutes short of three hours, counting a 15-minute interval.
THE KING AND I ****
Stars: Kelli O’Hara, Ken Watanabe.
Scheduled for Cinema Nouveau cinemas at 8pm on Thursday, November 29, this is the film of the Tony Award-winning London Palladium production of the popular musical about an unconventional schoolteacher who falls for the modernist King of Siam when she is hired to teach his many wives and children.
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY ***
Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Rami Maslek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee
A chronicle of the years leading up to British rock group Queen’s legendary appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985. (Screenings at selected cinemas and times this weekend only).
FRANK AND FEARLESS ***
Director: Gray Hofmeyr
Stars: Leon Schuster, Themba Ntuli, David Dennis
This latest South African romp has funnyman Schuster as an ageing reprobate who, with a rural boy, a large dog and an orphaned baby rhino sets out to stop rhino slaughter. Their quest takes them through hysterically funny situations as well as times of tragedy, and they end up an inspiration and a conscience to a world in need of heroes.
SHOCK AND AWE ***
Director: Joey Hartstone
Stars:Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson, James Marsden , Rob Reiner.
Based on a true story, this movie follows two determined reporters, Jonathan Landay (Harrelson) and Warren Stroebel (Marsden), their boss John Walcott (Reiner) and war correspondent Joe Galloway (Jones), who lift the lid on abuse of power at its highest level and expose the truth about what led us into the longest and costliest war in American history. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W Bush builds a case to invade Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power. While the rest of the Washington reporters take the President’s words at face value, Landay and Stroebel dig deeper.
HUNTER KILLER ***
Director: Donovan Marsh
Stars: Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Common
An untested American submarine captain teams with US Navy Seals to rescue the Russian president, who has been kidnapped by a rogue general.
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET ***
Director: Phil Johnston and Rich Moore
Stars: John C Reille, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot
An animated adventure in which, six years after the events of Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph and Vanellope, now friends, discover a wi-fi router in their arcade, leading them into a new adventure. (Screenings at selected cinemas and times this weekend only).
KAATRIN MOZHI **
Director: Radha Mohan
Stars: Jyothika, Vidhart, Lakshmi Manchu
An ambitious housewife (Jyothika) becomes a radio jockey for a late-night relationship advice show.
FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS
THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD ****
Director: Peter Jackson
A fascinating documentary about World War I with never-before-seen footage to commemorate the centennial of the end of the war. It has had a 10/10 review from respected Durban critic Patrick Compton.
THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD ***
Director: David Yates
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Dan Folgler, Johnny Depp
The second installment of the Fantastic Beasts series set in J K Rowling’s Wizarding World, featuring the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander.
Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki
A crime drama set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.
Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Clive Onwe, Afiya Bennett, Morgan Allen
In a world without anonymity or crime, a detective meets a woman who threatens their security.
SAMSON ET DELILAH ***
Director: Darko Tresnjak
Stars: Roberto Alagna, Elīna Garanča
Dazzling costumes and scenery, along with acclaimed performances by tenor Roberto Alagna and mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, led Vogue to describe this opera as “a feast for the eyes and ears”, while WQXR hailed the production as “epic, pagan and sexy …[with] spectacular visual elements”. Conducted by Sir Mark Elder and staged by Tony Award–winning director Darko Tresnjak, Samson et Delila revisits the biblical story of the two lovers, whose romance ends in betrayal. This is Camille Saint Saens’s most regularly performed opera. Screenings at Cinema Nouveau cinemas are at 6pm on Tuesday and 11.30am on Wednesday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS
HOT AUGUST NIGHT
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Allan Wilson Shellhole, Pietermaritzburg)
Durban band The Reals with a crowd-pleasing, brilliant salute to the music and memories of Neil Diamond. All the big hits are here. Presented at 8pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Tickets cost R150 each (R130 for pensioners and students with valid student cards). Booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636. (BS)
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo, Durban)
Singers Samantha Landers and Shylo Pereira, accompanied by pianist Evan Roberts, present an excellent selection of show tunes and pop songs with a loose theme of love lost and found. Presented at 8pm on Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. 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. Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners and students) and can be booked at Computicket or by phoning 082 499 8636. (BS)
NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL BIG BAND
(S43, 43 Station Drive, Stamford Hill, Durban)
The S43 venue, at 43 Station Drive in Durban, presents the KZN All Star Band’s Now That’s What I Call Big Band, at 8pm on Saturday, November 24. Admission is R100 a head and more details are available by calling (031) 3032747. (BS)
BEST OF DECADES
(Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)
Showcasing a vibrant parade of chart-topping hits from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and today, this showband entertainment features Durban talents Andrew Webster, Calli Thomson,Kirsty van der Linde and Dylan van der Linde, among others. 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.