Film & Stage Ratings (Jan 25-31)

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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FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM JANUARY 25

Oscar-nominated Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk.

DEGAS: PASSION FOR PERFECT (EXHIBITION ON SCREEN)***
Providing access to the world’s greatest art and artistic institutions, each film IN this Exhibition on Screen series offers a cinematic journey into the personal and creative lives of history’s best-loved artists. Degas: Passion for Perfection is an 85-minute film  that journeys from a superb exhibition at The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, whose extensive collection of Degas’ works is the most representative in Britain, to the streets of Paris. It tells the fascinating story of Degas’ obsessive pursuit for perfection through both experimentation with new techniques and lessons learnt from studying the past masters. Using written accounts by friends and commentators, and the narration of letters written by Degas himself, this film reveals a more complex truth behind one of the most influential French artists of the late 19th-century and serves as an exploration of the complex workings of Degas’ artistic mind. Single screening at Cinema Nouveau iat 7.30pm on Saturday (January 26).

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK ***
Director: Barry Jenkins
Stars: Kiki Layn, Stephan James, Regina King

A woman in Harlem embraces her pregnancy while she and her family struggle to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime. Nominated for three Oscars.

3 DAYS TO GO **
Director: Bianca Isaac
Stars: Lillete Dubey, Zakeeya Patel, Jailoshini Naidoo

A South African film about the story of adult siblings who, after the sudden death of their father, are forced to return to their childhood home.

DOMINEE TIENIE **
Director: Salmon de Jager
Stars: Izel Bezuidenhout,  Deon Lotz, Regardt van den Beregh

Reverend Tienie Benade is confronted by a cross road that will test his career, his marriage and his faith. A beautiful story about a man who needs to win back his confidence and to once again become the light he once was for everyone around him.

REPLICAS **
Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, Emily Alyn Lind

A scientist becomes obsessed with bringing back his family members who died in a traffic accident.

ON THE BASIS OF SEX **
Director: Mimi Leder
Stars: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux

The true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights, and the early cases of a historic career that lead to her nomination and confirmation as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.

MANIKARNIKA  **
Director: Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi, Kangana Ranaut
Stars: Kangana Ranaut, Danny Denzongpa

The story of Rani Lakshmibai, one of the leading figures of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and her resistance to the British Raj.

THACKERAY **
Director: Abhijit Panse
Stars: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Laxman Singh Rajout

Biographical account of Shiv Sena Supremo, Balasaheb Thackeray.

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Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek in The Old Man and The Gun.

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.

THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN  ***
Director: David Lowery
Stars: Robert Redford, Sssy Spacek, Casey Affleck

Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker and his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public.

THE MULE ***
Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Manny Montana

A 90-year-old horticulturist and Korean War veteran is caught transporting $3 million worth of cocaine through Illinois for a Mexican drug cartel.

WHY CHEAT INDIA ***
Director: Soumik Sen
Stars: Emrran Hashmi, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Ammar Taalwala

A con man decides to take advantage of an academic world where there are very few opportunities and too many aspirants, and only the smartest can survive. From rigging examinations to forging certificates, his schemes both exploit and expose the failings of an Indian education system fraught with problems.

GLASS ***
Director: M Night Shyamalan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, Sarah Paulson

A security guard uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has 24 personalities.

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.

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.

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.

THE SISTERS BROTHERS ***
Director: Jacques Audiard
Stars: John C Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal

In 1850s Oregon, a gold prospector is chased by the infamous duo of assassins, the Sisters brothers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

ANTHONY STONIER: SINATRA… QUITE FRANlLY
 (Rhumbelow Theatre, Umbilo, Durban)

Anthony Stonier.

Durban singer-actor Anthony Stonier pays tribute in song to Ol’ Blue Eyes, performing most of his great classics. Performances are at 8pm Friday and Saturday (January 25 and 26) and 2pm Sunday (January 27). Tickets cost R150 each (R130 for pensioners and students with valid student cards) and booking is via Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636. (BS)

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)

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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