Film/Stage Rating (Apr26-May2)

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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Image from the poster for the Met Opera’s Die Walkure.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM APRIL 26

AVENGERS: ENDGAME ***
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Stars: Brie Larson, Linda Cardellini, Scarlett Johannson

After the devastating events the 2018 Avengers film, the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’s actions and restore order to the universe.

AFTERMATH ***
Director: James Kent
Stars: Keira Knightley, Ned Wills, Pandora Colin

Post World War 2, a British colonel and his wife are assigned to live in Hamburg during the post-war reconstruction, but tensions arise with the German who previously owned the house.

THE LEAST OF THESE ***
Director: Aneesh Daniel
Stars: Sharman Joshi, Stephen Baldwin, Shari Rigby

As the social fabric of life in rural India disintegrates in the late 1990s, journalist Manav Banerjee (Joshi) moves with his pregnant wife to the State of Orissa in hope of a better life and the promise of a lucrative career. When speculation mounts that local Australian missionary Graham Staines (Baldwin) is illegally proselytising leprosy patients, Manav agrees to investigate undercover for the newspaper.

DIE WALKURE ***
Conductor:  Philippe Jordan
Stars: Christine Goerk, Stuart Skelton, Jamie Barton

Presented as part of The Met Live in HD film series, this five-hour-plus film of the stage production of Wagner’s opera revolves around the incestuous and adulterous love that sparks between twins Siegmund and Sieglinde. Infuriated by their transgression, Fricka (the goddess of marriage) demands that they be punished. Their father Wotan orders Brünnhilde to exact vengeance on behalf of Sieglinde’s jilted husband, with terrible consequences.

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A moment from Tim Burton’s new version of the Disney classic, Dumbo.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

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.

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.

KANDASAMYS: THE WEDDING ***
Director: Jayan Moodley
Stars: Miriam Bassa, Rushiul Juglall, Vashir Kemraj

The sequel to the Durban-set comedy, Keeping Up With the Kandsamys, sees the once-feuding Durban families putting up with further pressures and problems while planning a wedding.

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.

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.

HELLBOY ***
Director: Neil Marshall
Stars: David Harour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane

Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, this fantasy adventure centres on a creature called Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battling an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.

SAINT JUDY **
Director: Sean Hanish
Stars: Mochelle Monagahn, Leem Lubany, Common

A drama telling the true story of immigration attorney Judy Wood, and how she single-handedly changed the US law of asylum to save women’s lives.

PET SEMATARY **
Director: Kevin Kolsch, Dennis Widmyer
Stars: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow

Based on the Stephen King novel, this film remake tells of a doctor and his wife and two young children relocating from Boston to rural Maine. There they discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home.

LITTLE **
Director: Tina Gordon Chism
Stars: Reigna Hall, Issa Rae, Marsai Martin

A woman is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear.

THE QUEEN’S CORGI **
Director: Vincent Kesteloot, Ben Stassen
Stars: Jack Whitehall, Julie Walters, Tom Courtena

An animated film about  the adventures of Rex, the British monarch’s most beloved dog, which loses track of its mistress and stumbles across a clan with dogs of all kinds confronting and fighting each other. During his epic journey to return to the queen, Rex falls in love and discovers his true self.

KALANK **
Director:
Stars:

Set in 1945, in Pre-Independent India,  this film focuses on the elite, opulent and solemn world of the Chaudhry family, and the wild, mysterious and musical underbelly of the town called Hira Mandi. They clash when Roop Chaudhry encounters Zafar, a daredevil from Hira Mandi, unleashing deep-buried truths, secrets of betrayal and affairs that threaten to bring the both worlds crashing down.

A DOG’S WAY HOME **
Director: Charles Martin Smith
Stars: Ashley Judd, Jonah Hauer-King, Edward James Olmos

A female dog travels four hundred miles in search of her owner throughout a Colorado wilderness.

BREAKTHROUGH  **
Director: Roxann Dawson
Stars: Chrissy Metz, Topher Grace, Josh Lucas

When her 14-year-old son drowns in a lake, a faithful mother prays for him to come back from the brink of death and be healed.

RACETIME **
Director: Benoit Godbout and Jean-Francois Pouliot
Stars: Sonja Ball, Lucinda Davis, Tod Fennell

A Canadian animated film, originally in French, in which, during a spectacular sled race through a village, Frankie-Four-Eyes and his team, includig Sophie as the driver, take on the newcomers: the mysterious and conceited Zac and his athletic cousin.

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.

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.

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A scene from Super Bands, now at The Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

TIMES LIKE THESE
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)

Durban singer-guitarist Barry Thomsom, of The Reals band, goes acoustic and solo for this fine, low-fuss show highlighting songs familiar and not so familiar, a marriage of hits and music that feeds Barry’s soul. Expect songs by Eagles, Sonny and Brownie, Tears For Fears, Jack Johnson,  Fleetwood Mac and others. 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)

SUPER BANDS
(Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)

Running until June 2, this enjoyable showband entertainment salutes the music of great bands such as The Beatles, The Stones, Abba, The Jackson Five, Backstreet Boys, U2 and 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. Review on Sunday. (BS)

50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo, Durban)

Songs from Abba to Amy Winehouse, Tammy Wynette to Adele, Carpenters to Tracey Chapman, as well as popular songs from musicals, are on the songsheet of this. Directed by Peter Mitchell, it focuses on songs related to break-ups, breakdowns, heartbreaks and breakaways. It stars Pietermaritzburg singers Erin Fourie and Tanya Nicolson backed by musicians Helen Vermaak and Daniel Rossouw. Performances are at 8pm on Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday (April 26 to 28). It will also be staged at the same venue, at the same times, next weekend, May 3 to 5.  Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners and students with cards) and booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8646. (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)

PIANO MAN: THE BILLY JOEL SHOW
(iZulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)

It might have improved by now, but on opening night this eagerly awaited salute to Billy Joel was a disappointment, the Aussie star, Steven Michael, being in poor voice due to illness and leaving it until very late in the show to explain the reason for the poor vocals. Backed by six competent local musicians, Michael  presents a mediocre show with a tired, lazy concept – little more than a simple plonking of musicians on stage to plough through the hits. Final performances this weekend, Tickets cost a rather steep R250 each.

Below are this week’s ads for KwaZulu-Natal from Ster-Kinekor, Nu Metro and Suncoast Cinecentre.


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