***** EXCELLENT ****VERY GOOD *** GOOD **AVERAGE * POOR
Film ratings are by Billy Suter or from Internet Movie Data Base. Theatre ratings are by Billy Suter.
Note: Latest Ster-Kinekor, Nu Metro and Suncoast CineCentre display adverts for KwaZulu-Natal cinemas appear at the end of this post.
FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM JULY 19
THE LION KING ***
Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: Donald Glover, Beyonce, Seth Rogen, John Kani
The photo-realistic remake of Disney’s 1994 animated musical hit about a lion cub’s life lessons as he journeys from infancy to adulthood.
Director: Guy Nattiv
Stars: Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Daniel Henshall
A destitute young man, raised by racist skinheads and notorious among white supremacists, turns his back on hatred and violence to transform his life, with the help of a black activist and the woman he loves.
FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS
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.
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.
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME ***
Director: Jon Watts
Stars: Zendaya, Angourie Rice, Tom Holland
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.
Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Sophia Di Martino
A struggling musician realises he’s the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.
Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Chloe Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe
A young woman befriends a lonely widow who is harbouring a dark and deadly agenda toward her.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 ***
Directors: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val
Stars: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford
An animated film that continues the story of Max and his pet friends, following their secret lives after their owners leave them for work or school each day.
Director: Michael Dowse
Stars: Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani, Mira Sorvino
A comedy-drama in which a detective recruits his Uber driver into an unexpected night of adventure
SUPER 30 **
Director: Vikas Bahl
Stars: Hrithik Roshan, Mrunal Thakur, Pankaj Tripathi
This Indian film is based on the life of Patna-based mathematician Anand Kumar, who runs the famed Super 30 programme for IIT aspirants in Patna.
CHILD’S PLAY **
Director: Lars Klevberg
Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Hamill, Brian Tyree Henry
A remake of the 1998 horror film in which a mother gives her 13-year-old son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature.
ANNABELLE COMES HOME **
Director: Gary Dauberman
Stars: Vera Farminga, Patrick Wilson, McKenna Grace
While babysitting the daughter of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a teenager and her friend unknowingly awaken an evil spirit trapped in a doll.
NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS
(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)
TRIBUTE TO BOB DYLAN
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo, Durban)
Bob Dylan has written some amazing songs in his time but for many, me included, he is a really awful vocalist and his songs are much better performed by others.To this end, young Tanner Wareham of Durban has a mellifluous voice that does justice to the hits and lesser-known moments from the Dylan repertoire. Tanner has other commendable talents, too – he is a fine lead and acoustic guitarist, also handles harmonica and loop machine, and is adept on keyboards. A classically trained and versatile musician with a beguiling voice, he is a former Kearsney College pupil and University of Stellenbosch student. He recently performed on the main stage at the Splashy Fen Music Festival and, in April, appeared as opening act for Watershed at their Ballito Beats concert. He offers a good show alongside Reece Cook on bass and guitar, and Kenyan George Ogollo on subtle drums and occasional bass. The show is running at 8pm Friday and Saturday and 2pm Sunday (this and next weekend). Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners and students with cards) and booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8646. (BS)
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Durban)
A tipsy and sarcastic mother making an increasingly embarrassing speech at her daughter’s wedding. A haughty, pretentious, long-haired arts critic dissecting the relevance of each line of Abba’s Waterloo. A seemingly sophisticated couple with a new slant on The Cellblock Tango from the musical Chicago. A forgetful diva performing Memory; an effeminate wedding planner with some surprises up his floral sleeves; and Durban Indian VJ , complete with American Indian headdress, on the topic of cultural insensitivity while performing snippets of songs by Eminem, UB40 and Elvis Presley. All these oddballs are just some among the kaleidoscope of crazy characters presented by the deliciously over-the-top husband and wife team of Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert in their latest, ever-unpredictable mish-mash of song, silliness, satire and slapstick. Bloopers, directed and choreographed by Durban’s Daisy Spencer, who has done a fine job, has the award-winning singer-actors performing to backing tracks for a two-act outpouring that clearly left an enthusiastic audience very happily entertained last night. Until July 28. (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, Madonna, Pink and Tina Turner, the lineup of singers including Candace Kennedy and Ruan Geldenhuys. 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)
DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)
A new show from seasoned Durban vocal trio The Gee Jays which has waved farewell to longtime member Gary McKenzie and signed on Durban darling Marion Loudon as a replacement, alongside original members John Didlick and Grant Bell Expect a fun mix of songs and corny humour. The show is running at 8pm Friday and Saturday and 2pm Sunday (this and next weekend). Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners and students with cards) and booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8646. (BS)
Below are this week’s ads for KwaZulu-Natal from Ster-Kinekor, Nu Metro and Suncoast Cinecentre.