Film & Stage Ratings (May 3-9)

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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Lily James, left, and Gillian Anderson in the stage version of All About Eve, to be shown at Cinema Nouveau cinemas.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM MAY 3

ALL ABOUT EVE ****
Director: Ivo van Hove
Stars:  Gillian Anderson, Lily James

This is performed in the Noël Coward theatre and is an adaptation of the classic film. The story revolves around aspiring actress Eve Harrington (Lily James of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again!). Tattered and forlorn, Eve shows up in the dressing room of Broadway mega-star Margo Channing (Gillian Anderson) and tells Margo and her friends a melancholy life story. Margo takes Eve under her wing, only to have Eve use her and connive against her. Screenings at Cinema Nouveau are at 7.30pm on Saturday, 2.30pm on Sunday and 7.30pm on Wednesday and Thursda.

MISS BALA ***
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Stars: Gina Rodriguez, Thomas Dekker, Vivian Chan

Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film.

EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE ***
Director: Joe Berlinger
Stars: Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Angeles Sarafyan

A courtroom frenzy ensues and sweeps 1970s America when a young single mother reluctantly tips the attention of a widespread manhunt toward her longtime boyfriend, Ted Bundy.

UGLY DOLLS ***
Director: Kelly Asbury
Stars: Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae

An animated adventure in which the free-spirited UglyDolls confront what it means to be different, struggle with a desire to be loved, and ultimately discover that who you truly are is what matters most.

SKEMERSON **
Director:  Phillip Rademeyer
Stars: Pietie Beyers, Anneke Weidemann, Elzia Cawood

A young man, battling a mental illness, decides to take his own life. Then he meets two strangers on a bridge. A South African drama.

THE CURSE OF LA LLORANA *
Director:  Terrence Williams
Stars: Joel Bryant, Regan Forston, Elizabeth Osbourn

A troubled family must unite to save their young niece from the sinister forces of La Llorona, an evil spirit that inhabits an abandoned house.

BLANK **
Director: Behzad Khambata
Stars: Sunny Deol, Karan Kapadia, Karanvir Sharma

A suicide bomber loses his memory and has a bomb attached to his heart. It is up to the police officers to prevent this bomb from taking innocent lives.

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A poster image for Die Walkure, an opera film now at Cinema Nouveau.

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.

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. Final Cinema Nouveau screenings at 6pm on Wednesday and 11.30am on Thursday.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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Members of the cast of The Wiz, at Durban’s St Henry’s Marist College in Glenwood.

NOW OwN STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

THE WIZ
(St Henry’s Marist College amphitheatre, Glenwood, Durban)

More than 100 pupils, from Grade 1 to 12, perform in this colourful interpretation of the award-winning 1970s musical, a reworking of The Wizard of Oz. Tickets cost R70. (BS)

TIMES LIKE THESE
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Northlands Club, Durban North)

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 performance at 8pm on Saturday. 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 (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)

RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT
(Barnyard Theatre, Suncoast Casino, Durban)

A showband entertainment saluting fiesty music, with singers, dancers and an on-stage band. 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. My review next week. (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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