Film & Stage Ratings (April 5-11)

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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A scene from Shazam!, starring Zachary Levi.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM APRIL 5

DIE SEEMEEU ***
Director: Christiaan Olwagen
Stars: Sandra Prinsloo, Marius Weyers, Deon Lotz

A contemporary Afrikaans adaptation (with English subtitles) of The Seagull, the classic play by Anton Chekhov, set in 1990s South Africa. A group of characters grapple wiuutgh inner fears, longings, doubts, regrets, recriminations and miseries, all of them of their own making.

GALVESTON ***
Director: Melanie Laurent
Stars: Ben Foster, Jeffrey Grover, Christopher Amitrano

A crime-drama centred on a dying hitman who, after escaping a set up, returns to his hometown of Galveston where he plans his revenge.

ROMEO AKBAR WALTER ***
Director: Robby Grewal
Stars: John Abraham, Mouni Roy, Boman Irani

A film based on the tale of Ravindra Kaushik, an ex RAW agent. His spy mind benefitted India in the 1971 war and many more secrets were revealed by him.

SHAZAM! **
Director: David Sandberg
Stars: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Djimon Hounsou

We all have a superhero inside of us –  it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In 14-year-old Billy Batson’s case, all he needs to do is shout out one word to transform into the adult superhero: Shazam.

LOVE LIVES HERE **
Director: Morman Moorake
Stars: Thando Thabethe, Lungile Radu, Zola Nombona

A South African film about a young woman’s quest for love, getting up caught up in the modern and traditional ideas for romance. The movie further explores different types of relationships and how we ultimately navigate love, sex and relationships.

LITTLE **
Director: Tina Gordon
Stars: Justin Hartley, Marsai Martin, Regina Hall

A comedy in which a woman is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear. (Pre-release screenings this week at selected cinemas).

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A scene from Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

LA FILLE DU REGIMENT ****
Stars: Pretty Zinda, Javie Camerena

Featuring South African soprano star Pretty Yende, and Javier Camerena, this fiolm of the Met Opera production is a frothy comedy mixing humour with a rush of buoyant melody and notorious vocal challenges. The story concerns a young orphan girl raised by an army regiment as their mascot. It begins at the moment of her first stirrings of love. Complications (and comedy) ensue when her true identity is discovered. The opera runs for two hours and 55 minutes. Final screenings are at Cinema Nouveau cinemas at 6pm on Tuesday and 11.30am on Thursday next week.

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.

HOTEL MUMBAI ***
Director: Anthony Maras
Stars: Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi

The true story of the Taj Hotel terrorist attack in Mumbai. Hotel staff risk their lives to keep everyone safe as people make unthinkable sacrifices to protect themselves and their families.

DUMBO ***
Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Colin Farrell, Danny Devito, Michael Keaton

The remake of Disney’s 1941 animation hit sees a young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, help save a struggling circus. However, when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

NOTEBOOK **
Director: Nitin Kakkar
Stars: Zaheer Iqbal, Panutan Bahl, Muazam Bhat

A former army officer, Kabir, becomes a teacher in Kashmir, in a school that is in a miserable condition. Things take a turn when Kabir finds a notebook, left behind by the previous year’s teacher, Firdaus (Pranutan Bahl).

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.

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.

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 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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A member of the cast of Black Orchid Burlesque, to be seen in Kloof this weekend.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

PUTTING ON THE GLITZ
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Durban)

Ian von Memerty and his dancer wife, Vivienne, present a mix of song, dance and humour, with Ian the standout with his versatility, easy audience rapport and talents on vocals, piano and as a dancer. The well-lit and brightly costumed production combines two shows the couple presented on cruise liners recently – one devoted to elegant, evergreen songs and musical numbers, the other to songs associated with South Africa. Performances are at 7.30pm until Saturday with a final performance at 3pm on Sunday. There is also a 3pm Saturday matinee. Book at Computicket. (BS)

ONE NIGHT IN PARIS
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Umbilo, Durban)

Johannesburg singer Tinya Koenderman presents a collection of songs associated with France in this show to be staged at 8pm Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. 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)

BLACK ORCHID BURLESQUE
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)

Formed in Cape Town in2007, this troupe presents a mix of playful strip tease, song, dance and humour, aimed at over-18s only. Final performances are at 8pm Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. 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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