Film & Stage Ratings (June 21-27)

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 the animated Toy Story 4, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Annie Potts and Tim Allen.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM JUNE 21

TOY STORY 4 ****
Director: Josh Cooley
Stars: Tom Haaks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts

When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.

CARMEN SUITE/PETRUSHKA ***

Two ballets by the Bolshoi Ballet, including Carmen, about a woman as passionate and free-spirited as ever as she finds herself caught in a love triangle. The passionate one-act ballet by Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso originally conceived for legendary Bolshoi prima ballerina Maya Plisetskaya will captivate audiences alongside Petrushka, a new creation for the Bolshoi by contemporary choreographer Edward Clug. Cinema Nouveau screenings are scheduled for 7.45pm on Saturday, 2.30pm on Sunday and 7.45pm on Wednesday and Thursday.

TOLKIEN ***
Director: Dome Karukoski
Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins, Colm Meaney

The formative years of the orphaned author J R R Tokien, as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school.

MA ***
Director: Tate Taylor
Stars: Octavia Spencer, Diana Silvers, Juliette Lewis

A lonely woman befriends a group of teenagers and decides to let them party at her house. However,  just when the kids think their luck couldn’t get any better, things start happening that make them question the intention of their host.

KINGS OF MULBERRY STREET ***
Director: Judy Naidoo
Stars: Aaqil Hoosen, Shaan Nathoo, Amith Sing

A South African film about two young Kwazulu-Natal boys who believe they can defeat the bullying local crime lord threatening their families, through their belief that one can be a Bollywood hero.

BOOKSMART ***
Director: Olivia Wilde
Stars: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams

On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realise they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.

ANNA ***
Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, Luke Evans

Beneath Anna Poliatova’s striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of the world’s most feared government assassins.

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Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

ROCKETMAN ****
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Stars: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Bryce Dallas Howard

An epic musical fantasy, blurring the lines of fantasty and reality, which tells the story of Elton John. Very stylishly done, with clever use of songs.

X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX ***
Director: Simon Kinberg
Stars: James Macavoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence

Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world.

MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL ***
Director: F Gary Gray
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson

The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organisation.

A DOG’S JOURNEY ***
Director: Gail Mancuso
Stars: Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid, Kathryn Prescott

A dog finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he meets.

THE WHITE CROW ***
Director: Ralph Fiennes
Stars: Oleg Ivenko, Ralph Fiennes, Louis Hofmann

Featuring a screenplay by David Hare, this drama tells the story of Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev’s defection to the West.

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR **
Director: Ry Russo-Young
Stars: Yara Shahidi, Anai Lee, Charles Melton

A hopeless romantic ambivalent about his future in medical school falls for a hard-luck young woman who doesn’t believe in love.

BHARAT **
Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Stars: Salma Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sunil Grover

At the cusp of India’s birth as an Independent nation, a family makes an arduous journey to freedom at a cost. A young boy Bharat, makes a promise to his Father that he will keep his family together no matter what

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.

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.

THE HUSTLE ***
Director:  Chris Addison
Stars: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Tim Blake Nelson

Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson star as female scam artists, one low-rent and the other high-class, who team up to take down the dirty, rotten men who have wronged them.

JOHN WICK CHAPTER 3: PARABELLUM  ***
Director: Chad Stahelski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane

Super-assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head,  he is the target of hit men and women everywhere.

ALADDIN ***
Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott

A live-action version and new interpretation of the hit 1992 Disney musical, with some new characters. It’s about a kind-hearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true.

LONG SHOT ***
Director:  Jonathan Levine
Stars: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogan, June Diane Raphael

A romantic comedy in which journalist Fred Flarsky reunites with his childhood crush, Charlotte Field, now one of the most influential women in the world. As she prepares to run for the Presidency, Charlotte hires Fred as her speechwriter and sparks fly.

GODZILLA: THE KING OF MONSTERS **
Director: Michael Dougherty
Stars: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown

The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.

POKEMON: DETECTIVE PICKACHU **
Director: Rob Letterman
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton

In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective.

BACKTRACE **
Director: Brian A Miller
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Baylee Curran, Colin Egglesfield

The lone surviving thief of a violent armoured car robbery is sprung from a high security facility and administered an experimental drug.

STUDENT OF THE YEAR 2 **
Director: Punit Malhotra
Stars: Tiger Shroff, Tara Sutaria, Ananya Panday

The biggest franchise of Bollywood returns in this tale of friendship, sportsmanship, love and companionship.

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Candice Kennedy, Ruan Geldenhuys and Evan Cullum in Megastars of Pop, at Sibaya Casino’s Rockwood Theatre,

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

CHARLOTTE’S WEB
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Durban)

KickstArt presents a colourful, chamring version of the popular E B White children’s story about the friendship between a pig and a spider. A delightful showcase for the design talents of Greg King, who also directs. The production  features a cast including Bryan Hiles, Lyle Buxton, Belinda Henwood, Cara Roberts , T-Bone Hlahlane and Mthokozisi Zulu.  Until July 21. (BS)

CELTIC ROCK
(Barnyard Theatre, Suncoast Casino, Durban)

A celebration of fine Irish sounds combining elements of rock, traditional Irish pub songs, as well as folk and pop. The cast includes Raymond Oberholzer, Kyle Matthews and Zoe Townsend on vocals, Kristo Zondagh on drums, Carolyn Thompson on keyboards, Barry Thomson on lead guitar, Nathan Machent on bass and David Kid on violin. 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)

BOBBERTLICIOUS
(Rhumbelow Theatre,  Cunnngham Road, Umbilo)

At 8pm today only (June 21), Durban theatre darling Lisa Bobbert revives her colourful solo show in which she meshes song, comedy and some of the popular characters she has created on stage over the years, many alongside her funnyman husband Aaron McIlroy. Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners and students with cards) and booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8646. (BS)

MEGASTARS OF POP
(Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)

A salute to the music of such stars as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elvis Presley, Pink and Tina Turner, the lineup of singers including  Candace Kennedy, Ruan Geldenhuys and Jae Green. The theatre opens at 6.30pm – meals are on sale at the venue – with the show commencing at 8pm Wednesdays 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. Under-12s now get in free for all performances. (BS)

THE HITS
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo, Durban)
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Paul Simon, The Eagles and Roy Orbison are among those whose classic songs feature in this fun show by Durban band The Black Lapels. Performances are at 8pm on Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners and students with cards) and booking is at Computicket or by calling 082 499 8646. (BS)

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


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