Film & Stage Ratings (Aug 2-8)

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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Johnny Depp in Richard Says Goodbye.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM AUGUST 2

VAN GOGH AND JAPAN (EXHIBITION ON SCREEN) ***

In this 85-minute film highlighting the Van Gogh & Japan exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, it is evident that Japan had a profound influence on the artist and his work. After leaving Paris for the south of France, which in his mind was the closest to a kind of Japan as he could find, the productive, yet troubled years that followed must be seen in the context of Van Gogh bending Japanese influences as he wanted and defining himself as a modern artist with clear Asian precursors. The film travels to France, the Netherlands and Japan to explore the remarkable heritage that made him the artist we know of today. Screenings at Cinema Nouveau are at 7.30pm on Saturday, 2.30pm on Sunday and 7.30pm next Wednesday and Thursday)

FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS HOBBS AND SHAW ***
Director: David Leitch
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, David Statham, Idris Elba

Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.

KHANDAANI SHAFAKHANA ***
Director: Shilpi Dasgupta
Stars: Nadira Babbar, Badshah, Rajiv Gupta

A feisty girl from Punjab tries to continue her family traditions by opening a sex clinic to help and aware others in her hometown.

RICHARD SAYS GOODBYE ***
Director: Wayne Roberts
Stars: Johnny Depp, Rosemarie DeWitt, Odessa Young

Also known as The Professor, this film tells of a college professor lives his life with reckless abandon after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

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A scene from Kings of Mulberry Street.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

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.

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.

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.

YESTERDAY ***
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.

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.

THE CURRENT WAR ***
Director:  Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Katherine Waterston

The dramatic story of the cut-throat race between electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world.

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.

THE BEST OF ENEMIES ***
Director:  Robin Bissell
Stars: Taraji P Hensom, Sam Rockwell, Babou Ceesay

Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C P Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina ,over the issue of school integration.

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.

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.

MIDSOMMAR **
Director: Ari Aster
Stars: Florence Pugh, Jack Reyner, Vilhelm Blomgren

A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown’s fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

CRAWL **
Director: Aexandre Aja
Stars: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark

A young woman, while attempting to save her father during a Category 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped in a flooding house and must fight for her life against alligators.

STUBER **
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

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.

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Jonathan Roxmouth stars in Lenny, Steve Andrew and Me at Umbilo’s Rhumbelow Theatre.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

LENNY, STEVE, ANDREW AND ME
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo, Durban)

South Africa’s king of musical theatre, Jonathan Roxmouth, presents a salute to the songs of Leonard Bernstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim. Roxmouth, who only recently completed a global tour as the lead in Phantom of the Opera, and before that, as Billy Flynn in Chicago, will be accompanied by Drew Bakker. Featuring lighting by Tina le Roux, the show features classic show tunes done to perfection . Tickets cost R180 each. Performances at 8pm on Friday, 2pm and 8pm on Saturday, and 2pm on Sunday. Book at  Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8646. (BS)

 

SMASH HIT RADIO
(Barnyard Theatre, Suncoast Casino, Durban)

A music show for all listeners – from Louis Armstrong to Ed Sheeran, from Elton John to Lynyrd Skynyrd, UB40 to Bob Segar. The show also pays tribute to Toto, Donna Summer, Th Four Tops, Earth, Wind and Fire, Etta James, Glenn Miller, Cher and others. 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)

LAUREL CANYON
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Riad, Kloof)

Durban band The Reals reprise their hit show from December 2015, a salute to the musicians from the famous Califonian area of Laurel Canyon, a breeding ground for exemplary music of the 1960s. Tickets cost R150 each. Performances at 8pm on Friday, 8pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Book at  Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8646. (BS)

 

BENNY BUSHWHACKER: HUMAN NATURE
(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)

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

 

 


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