***** 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: Latest 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 FEBRUARY 15
GREEN BOOK ****
Director: Peter Farrelly
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini
Nominated for five Oscars, this film tells of a working-class Italian-American bouncer who becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.
GULLY BOY ***
Director: Zoya Akhtar
Stars: Alai Bhatt, Ranveer Singh, Kalki Koechlin
This Indian film is a coming-of-age story based on the lives of street rappers in Mumbai.
ALITA; BATTLE ANGEL ***
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly
A sci-fi adventure in which a deactivated female cyborg is revived, but cannot remember anything of her past life, She then goes on a quest to find out who she is.
LIEWE LISA **
Director: Hendrik Cronje
Stars: Elani Dekker, Hendriuk Cronje, Stian Barn
A South African film centred on a man called Daniel who, when his mistakes are revealed, abandons the life set out for him and meets Tom. He is a simple fisherman who helps Daniel to achieve his true potential in life.
WHAT MEN WANT **
Director: Adam Shankman
Stars: Taraji P Henson, Kristen Ledlow, Josh Brener
A comedy in which a woman is boxed out by the male sports agents in her profession, but gains an unexpected edge over them when she develops the ability to hear men’s thoughts.
FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS
THE FAVOURITE ****
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Olivia Colman
Nominated for 10 Oscars, this film is set in early 18th century England, when a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
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.
Director: Adam McKay
Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell
The story of Dick Cheney, an unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider, who quietly wielded immense power as Vice President to George W Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today. Nominated for eight Oscars.
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? ****
Director: Marielle Heller
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E Grant, Dolly Wells
Nominated for three Oscars – for McCarthy, Grant and adapted screenplay, this drama centres on author Lee Israel falling out of step with current tastes and turning her art form to deception.
SEW THE WINTER TO MY SKIN ***
Director: Jahmil X T Qubeka
Stars:Kandyse McClure, Peter Kurth, David James
In a racially charged and violent 1950’s rural South Africa, a liberal journalist recounts the epic chase, edge-of-your-seat capture and intriguing trial of a flamboyant, black “Robin Hood”. His captivating reimagining, paints a portrait of a divisive outlaw – hunted by the Republic, elusive even to his loved ones, all whilst remaining a champion of the disenchanted.
THE PRODIGY ***
Director: Nicholas McCarthy
Stars:Taylor Schilling, Brittany Allen, Jackson Robert Scott
A mother concerned about her young son’s disturbing behavior thinks something supernatural may be affecting him.
THE GANDHI MURDER ***
Director: Karim Traidia and Pankaj Sehgal
Stars: Stephen Lang, Luke Pasqualino, Jospeh K Bevilacqua
This feature tells the story of three police officers in different parts of India, who, well aware that Mahatma Gandhi’s life is under threat, must make key decisions that would eventually either save the Mahatma, or the country.
THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE ***
Director: Diedrik van Rooijen
Stars: Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon,m\ Kirby Johnson
When a cop who is just out of rehab takes the graveyard shift in a city hospital morgue, she faces a series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: HIDDEN WORLD ***
Director: Dean DeBlois
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Kit Harington
In this animated sequel,Hiccup discovers Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury so he must seek “The Hidden World”, a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first.
Director: Kagiso Lediga
Stars: Anastasia Augustus, Lungile Cindi, Mbeko Cindi
A South African coming of age adventure following Lefa and Papi, best friends and recent high school graduates, on the hustle of their young lives. Over the course of one action-packed New Year’s Eve in the iconic township of Atteridgeville, the boys try to score a huge deal, dodge a kingpin gangster and his violent minions, get the girl and ultimately save their lives in this amusing and sometimes very serious escapade.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
HOLMES AND WATSON **
Director: Etan Cowhen
Stars: Will Ferrell, John C Reilly, Ralph Fiennes
A humorous take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic mysteries featuring Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.
THE UPSIDE **
Director: Neil Burger
Stars: Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman
A comedic look at the relationship between a wealthy man with quadriplegia and an unemployed man with a criminal record who’s hired to help him.
EK LADKI KO DEKHA TOH AISA LAGA **
Director: Shelly Chopra Dhar
Stars: Sonam Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla
Some love stories are not simple. Sweety’s is one such story. She has to contend with her over-enthusiastic family that wants to get her married, a young writer who is completely smitten by her, a secret that she harbours close to her heart and ultimately the truth that her true love might not find acceptance in her family and society.
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.
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.
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.
NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS
(Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)
Showcasing a selection of popular movie hits from the 1970s through to today, this is a slick and fun show from director and producer Andrew Webster, featuring costumes by his wife, Cindy Webster. The lively cast of nine is on good form and features strong vocals as a hat is tipped to films ranging from Fame and Footloose to Grease, The Greatest Showman, Ghostbusters, Mamma Mia, A Star is Born, Trolls, Aladdin, Frozen and Bohemian Rhapsody. 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. Until April 7. (BS)
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)
A salute to the timeless hits of Karen and Richard Carpenter, elegantly presented by Durban singers Shylo Pereira and Samantha Landers, with Evan Roberts on piano and vocals. Performances are at 8pm Wednesdays to Saturdays, and 2pm on Sundays, until February 24.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)
THE FOXY 4
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Umbilo, Durban)
Vocalists Marion Loudon, Leigh Meyer, Jemma Kate Badenhorst and Camilla Rogers present a variety of pop and dance hits, set to choreography. Needed a bit of polish when I first saw it in Kloof some while back, but the show is sure to have been tightened up by now. Performances are at 8pm Friday and Saturday (February 15 and 16) and 2pm on Sunday (February 17). 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)
Below are this week’s ads for KwaZulu-Natal from Ster-Kinekor, Nu Metro and Suncoast CineCentre.