Film & Stage Ratings (March 15-21)

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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Sian Brooke in I’m Not Running at Cinema Nouveau. Picture by Mark Douet.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM MARCH 15

I’M NOT RUNNING ****
Director: Neil Armfield
Stars: Sian Brooke, Joshua McGuire, Alex Hassell

The film of the explosive new play by David Hare at London’s National Theatre. Pauline Gibson has spent her life as a doctor, the inspiring leader of a local health campaign. When she crosses paths with her old boyfriend, a stalwart loyalist in Labour Party politics, she’s faced with an agonising decision. What’s involved in sacrificing your private life and your piece of mind for something more than a single issue? Does she dare? Screenings at Cinema Nouveau are at 7.30pm on Saturday, 2.30pm on Sunday and 7.30pm on Wednesday and Thursday next week.

MERE PYARE PRIME MINISTER ***
Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Stars: Rasika Agashe, Sonia Albizuri, Syna Anand

A story about four children living in a Mumbai slum in India. An eight-year old Kanhu writes a letter to the Prime Minister after a dramatic incident with his mother. The small boy has to achieve the impossible.

FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY ***
Director: Stephan Merchant
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Lena Headey, Vince Vaughn

A former wrestler and his family make a living performing at small venues around the country while his kids dream of joining World Wrestling Entertainment.

THE BOOKSHOP ***
Director: Isabel Coixet
Stars: Emily Mortimer,  Bill Nighy, Hunter Tremayne

A drama set in England un 1959. In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop.

WONDER PARK ***
Stars: Sofia Mali, Jennifer Garner, Ken Hudson Campbell

This animated adventure tells the story of a magnificent amusement park where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive.

COLD PURSUIT ***
Director: Hans Petter Moland
Stars: Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Michael Richardson

A grieving snow plough driver seeks out revenge against the drug dealers who killed his son. Based on the 2014 Norwegian film, In Order of Disappearance.

THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING ***
Director: Joe Cornish
Stars: Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Danise Gpugh, Dean Chaumoo

A band of kids embark on an epic quest to thwart a medieval menace.

DEEP END **
Director:  Eubulus Timothy
Stars: Greg Kriek, Suraya Santos, Carishma Basday

A South African film in which Sunitha aspires for what is not expected of her. She has to dig deep with a new resolve and confidence to overcome familiar cliches and introduce new lifestyle choices in a traditional community.

DESTROYER **
Director:  Karyn Kusama
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany

A police detective reconnects with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace.

ESCAPE ROOM **
Director:  Adam Robitel
Stars: Taylor Ruseel, Jay ellsi, Logan Miller

Six strangers find themselves in a maze of deadly mystery rooms, and must use their wits to survive.

WHITE BOY RICK ***
Director: Yann Demange
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Richie Merritt, Bel Powley

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Brie Larson as the title character in Captain Marvel.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

CAPTAIN MARVEL ***
Directors: Anna Broden and Ryan Fleck
Stars: Brie Larson, Samue L Jackson, Ben Mendellsohn

Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Richard Sheltonand band in Sinatra and Me at Sibaya Casino’s Rockwood Theatre,

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

SINATRA AND ME
(Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino)

Richard Shelton’s excellent salute to Frank Sinatra even has the man, in fine voice, looking like Old Blue Eyes. Here from London and Los Angeles seasons, the show features a crack band too. Only until Sunday.

THE HITS
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Umbilo, Durban)

Durban band The Black Lapels, with guest Rusty Red, present a collection of favourite songs from their recent tribute shows, among them songs associated with Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash and Paul Simon. There are also some original songs from the band. Performances are at 8pm Friday and Saturday (March 15 and 16) and 2pm on Sunday (March 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)

HOLLYWOOD HITS
(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)

ROCK GUITAR LEGENDS
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)

Durban band The Reals, with singer-guitarist Barry Thomson shining bright up front, present a low-fuss, high-impact showcase for their considerable talents in this salute to guitar heroes including Hank Marvin, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Stevie Ray Vaugh and Slash. Performances are at 8pm Friday and Saturdays , and 1.45pm on Sundays, until March 31. 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, Nu Metro and Suncoast Cinecentre.


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