Film & Stage Ratings (Jan 11-17)

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: Latest Ster-Kinekor, Nu Metro and Suncoast CineCentre display adverts for KwaZulu-Natal cinemas appear at the end of this post.
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Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal in Wildlife.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM JANUARY 11

LA TRAVIATA ***
Director: Michael Mayer
Stars: Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Flórez, Quinn Kelsey

A film of the Met Opera stage production of the grand Giuseppe Verdi opera, with Diana Damrau as Violetta Valéry and Juan Diego Flórez as Alfredo Germont . This new production of the timeless tragedy features a dazzling 18th-century setting that changes with the seasons. Screenings at Cinema Nouveau cinemas countrywide are schedule for 5pm on Saturday, 2.30pm on Sunday and 11.30am on Tuesday.

WILDLIFE ***
Director: Paul Dano
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould

A teenage boy must deal with his mother’s complicated response after his father temporarily abandons them to take a menial and dangerous job.

URI: THE SURGICAL STRIKES ***
Director: Aditya DHar
Stars: Vicky Kaushal, Kirti Kulhari, Yami Gautam

A drama based on true events of 2016, when the Indian Army avenged a deadly terrorist attack by carrying out a surgical strike.

VISWASAM ***
Director: Siva
Stars: Ajith Kumar, Navanthara

Viswasam delves into the world of Thooku Durai – a charismatic village chieftain who is beloved by his people and strikes fear in the heart of his enemies.

FINAL SCORE **
Director: Scott Mann
Stars: Dave Bautista, Pierce Brosnan, Ray Stevenson

After deadly terrorists abduct his niece at a soccer match, a former soldier with lethal fighting skills wages a one-man war to save her and prevent mass destruction.

PETTA **
Director: Karthik Subbaraj
Stars: Rajinkanth, Vijay Sethupathi

He works as a hostel warden, but there is more to Kaali than meets the eye… and things take an interesting turn when his path crosses with a group of dreaded gangsters.

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A scene from Twice Upon a Mattress: The Story of the Princess and the P, which has its final performances in Durban this weekend.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

MARY POPPINS RETURNS ****
Director: Rob Marshall
Stars: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw

Decades after her original visit, the magical nanny returns to help the Banks siblings and Michael’s children through a difficult time in their lives.

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. Wikipedia reports that the film is already the most profitable musical biographical film in history.

BEAUTIFUL BOY ***
Director: Felix van Groeningen
Stars: Steve Carell, Timothee Chalamet, Maura Tierney

Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years

BUMBLEBEE ***
Director: Travis Knight
Stars: Hailee Steinfeld, Dylan O’Brien, Megyn Price

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie, on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken.

AQUAMAN ***
Director: James Wan
Stars: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe

Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.

THE GRINCH ***
Director:
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Pharrell Williams, Angela Lansbury

Not as good as the film with Jim Carrey, but this animated version of the Dr Seuss classic about redemption and love remains great fun for all ages. The story of a mean, green, furry creature that loathes Chriitmas and tries to stop it… but things do not go to plan.

DUMPLIN’ ***
Director: Anne Fletcher
Stars: Danielle Macdonald, Jennifer Aniston

A comedy-drama in which Willowdean (nicknamed Dumplin’), the plus-size teenage daughter of a former beauty queen, signs up for her mom’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant. She does so as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow her footsteps, revolutionising the pageant and their small Texas town.

BLINDSPOTTING ***
Director: Carlos Lopez Estrada
Stars: Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs

This crime-drama is about a man who, while on probation, begins to re-evaluate his relationship with his volatile best friend.

INSTANT FAMILY ***
Director: Sean Anders
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner

A comedy-drama revolving around a couple that find themselves in over their heads when they foster three children.

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.

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE ***
Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey
Stars: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson

This animated film has Miles Morales becoming the Spider-Man of his reality and crossing paths with his counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat to all reality.

ROBIN HOOD  **
Director: Otto  Bathurst
Stars: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn

A war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown in a thrilling action-adventure packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography, and a timeless romance.

LUIS AND THE ALIENS **
Director: Christoph and Wolfgang Lauenstein
Stars: Callum Maloney, Dermot Magennis, Ian Coppinger

An animated comedy in which an 11-year-old boy befriends three aliens after they crash their spaceship into his house.

SIMMBA **
Director: Rohit Shetty
Stars: Sara Ali Khan, Raznveer Singh, Ajay Devgn

Simmba, a Corrupt Officer, enjoys all the perks of being an immoral and unethical police officer until a life-changing event forces him to choose the righteous path.

ZERO **
Director: Aanand L Rai
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif

The story revolves around Bauua Singh (Shah Rukh Khan), a vertically challenged man, who is full of charm and wit, with a pinch of arrogance. He is born to a wealthy family and raised in an environment of affluence.

CREED II **
Director: Steven Caple jnr
Stars: Michael B Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson

Under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa, light heavyweight contender Adonis Creed faces off against Viktor Drago, son of Ivan Drago.

SECOND ACT **
Director: Peter Segal
Stars: Vanessa Hudgens, Jennifer Lopez

A romantic comedy about a big-box store worker who reinvents her life and her life-story and shows Madison Avenue what street smarts can do.

KEDARNATH **
Director: Abhishek Kapoor
Stars: Sushant Singh Rajput, Sara ali Khan, Nitish Bharadwaj

A Hindu-Muslim love story, Kedarnath portrays how a Muslim pithoo saves a Hindu tourist from the Uttrakhand floods at the pilgrimage, and the love that eventually develops between them.

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 fun moment from Big Top Rock at the Barnyard Theatre at Durban’s Suncoast Casino.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

BIG TOP ROCK
(Barnyard Theatre, Suncoast Casino, Durban)

The first show at Durban’s new Barnyard Theatre on the beachfront promenade is a revival and tweaking of an earlier hit show from this supper theatre franchise – a collection of rock songs performed by a band, singers, aerial artists and gymnasts, in a circus theme. A fun show with some dazzling moments, it runs until February 24. Performances are at 7.30pm every Tuesday to Thursday, when tickets cost R165 (Tuesday tickets are two-for-one price). Performances on Fridays and Saturdays are at 8pm, when tickets cost R165 each. Sunday shows are at 2pm and tickets cost R130 each (pensioners pay half price and under-12s get in free, for telephonic bookings only). (BS)

TWICE UPON A MATTRESS – THE STORY OF THE PRINCESS AND THE P
(OnStage@Altitude, Silver Road, Stamford Hill, Durban)

Seasoned panto star Thomie Holtzhausen has written and directed, and stars as a king and queen, in Durban’s 22nd annual naughty panto, a frothy load of slapstick, song, satire and naughty fun, very loosely centred on the fairy tale. The cast includes an on-form Jaziel Vaugh’hann as assorted drag queens, Mpilo ‘Straw’ Nzimande as Prince Ample and exciting newcomer Philisiwe Ntintili as the princess and a fairy. The panto is staged from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and the final performance is on January 12. Tickets cost R150. Contact Thomie of It’sTaboo Production at 064 476 9533. Online bookings can be done via Quicket. (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.


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