***** 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 MARCH 1
FREE SOLO ****
Director: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Stars: Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell
This year’s winner of the Oscar for best documentary feature, this film follows Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite’s 1000m-high El Capitan wall. With no ropes or safety gear, he completed arguably the greatest feat in rock climbing history.
LITTLE ITALY **
Director: Donald Petrie
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Emma Roberts, Danny Aiello, Jane Seymour
The tale of a young couple having to navigate a blossoming romance, amidst a war between their families’ competing pizza restaurants.
LEGO MOVIE 2 – THE SECOND PART **
Director: Mik Mitchell
Stars: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett
It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: Lego Duplo invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild.
TYLER PERRY’S A MADEA FAMILY FUNERAL **
Director: Tyler Perry
Stars: Tyler Perry, Casi Davis, Patrice Lovely
Yet another film with Tyler Perry in drag as Madea. This time, a joyous family reunion becomes a nightmare as Madea and the crew travel to backwoods Georgia, where they find themselves unexpectedly planning a funeral that might unveil unsavory family secrets.
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.
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.
EIGHTH GRADE **
Director: Bo Burnham
Stars: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson
An introverted teenage girl (Golden Globe nominee Elsie Fisher) tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth grade year before leaving to start high school.
THE PRINCESS AND THE DRAGON **
Director: Marina Nefedova
Stars: Irina Kireeva, Konstantin Kozhevnikov, Ani Lorak
A Russian animated film about a princess who, on her seventh birthday, discovers a magical book that transports her to Wonderland – an enchanted place filled with dragons and fantastic creatures.
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS
CAT DOES SHANIA
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Umbilo, Durban)
Singer and musician Cat Simoni presents a salute to Shania Twain and other country icons in this cabaret devised and directed by Paul Spence. Performances are at 8pm Friday and Saturday (March 1 and 2) and 2pm on Sunday (March 3). 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)
(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)
AARON MCILROY: ADHD
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, UKZN campus, Durban)
Durban comedy favourite Aaron McIlroy, who has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), looks at the disorder via a collection of characters and varied song. Some have rated it as one of the best show McIlroy has ever done. I would not go anywhere near that far, but it is certainly entertaining. Until March 10. (BS)
AND THAT’S WHEN THE TROUBLE STARTED
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)
Durban vocal trio The Gee Jays – John Didlik, Gary McKenzie and Grant Bell – with their usual mix of corny cracks and music from yesteryear. Performances are at 8pm Friday and Saturday (March 1 and 2) and 2pm on Sunday (March 3). 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)
Below are this week’s ads for KwaZulu-Natal from Ster-Kinekor and Suncoast CineCentre. Technical gremlins at Nu Metro prevented them providing the Nu Metro display ad this week. Apologies,