Film & Stage Ratings (Oct 4-10)

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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Joaquin Phoenix in Joker, also starring Robert De Niro. Picture from Warner Bros.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM OCTOBER 4

FLEABAG (NT LIVE) ****
Director: Vicky Jones
Stars: Phoebe Waller-Bridge

National Theatre Live presents this rip-roaring look at “some sort of woman living her sort of life”. Written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and directed by Vicky Jones, the one-woman show inspired the hit TV series that won six 2019 Emmy Awards, claiming top honours for outstanding writing, best comedy series, best directing and best lead actress. Filmed live in London’s West End, Fleabag centres on the woman of the title, who may appear emotionally unfiltered and oversexed, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With family and friendships under strain and a guinea pig café struggling to keep afloat, Fleabag suddenly finds herself with nothing to lose. The film of the play will be shown at Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau cinemas in Pretoria, Joburg and Cape Town and at Gateway Commercial in Umhlanga at 5pm on Saturday, 2.30pm on Sunday, noon next Wednesday and 2.30pm next Thursday.

LATE NIGHT ***
Director: Nisha Ganatra
Stars: Emma Thompson, John Lithgow, Mindy Kaling

A comedy-drama about a late-night talk show host who suspects that she may soon lose her long-running show.

JOKER ***
Director: Todd Phillips
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz

This gritty character study of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society, who goes on to become Joker, arch enemy of Superman, has been receiving very mixed reviews. It has been labelled everything from disappointing to very good.

WAR **
Director: Siddharth Anand
Stars: Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Vaani Kapoor

A thriller that follows an Indian soldier who is assigned to eliminate his former mentor, who had gone rogue.

BOTTOM OF THE 9TH **
Director: Raymond de Felitta
Stars: Sofia Vergara, Joe Manganiello, Denis O’Hare

After serving 17 years in prison for a violent mistake he made in his youth, a once-aspiring baseball player returns to his Bronx neighbourhood.

ROGER WATERS: US + THEM ***
Director: Sean Evans, Roger Waters
Stars: Roger Waters

A look at Roger Waters’ 2017-2018 concert tour. The film be shown at 2.30pm on Sunday at Imax at Gateway in Umhlanga.

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Brad Pitt in Ad Astra.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

DOWNTON ABBEY ***
Director: Michael Engley
Stars: Maggue Smith, Imelda Stanton, Hugh Bonneville

The spinoff film from the hit British TV series picks up two years after the series ended in 2015, with the noble Yorkshire family and their faithful servants anticipating a visit by King George and Queen Mary. Expect scandal, kleptomania, an assassination attempt, a homosexual dalliance, and some secrets. A film laden with charm and nostalgia. (BS)

AD ASTRA ***
Director: James Gray
Stars: Brad Pitt. Liv Ullman,

Astronaut Roy McBride undertakes a mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe.

LOSING LERATO ***
Director: Sanele Zulu
Stars: Kagiso Modupe, Tshimillo Modupe, Samlea Tyebooi

A South African film about a young man who takes matters into his own hands by kidnapping his daughter after life, the law and the woman he once loved, separate him from him.

ANGEL HAS FALLEN ***
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Stars: Gerard Butler, Piper Perabo, Morgan Freeman

Secret Service Agent Mike Banning is framed for the attempted assassination of the President and must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat.

GOOD BOYS ***
Director:  Gene Stupnitsky
Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L Williams, Brady Noon

Three 6th grade boys ditch school and embark on an epic journey while carrying accidentally stolen drugs, being hunted by teenage girls, and trying to make their way home in time for a long-awaited party.

OVERCOMER ***
Director: Alex Kendrick
Stars: Alex Kendrick, Shari Rigby, Aryn Wright-Thompson

A high-school basketball coach volunteers to coach a troubled teen in long-distance running.

IT: CHAPTER 2 ***
Director: Andy Muschietti
Stars: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader

Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying clown, Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.

HUSTLERS ***
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Stars: Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles

Inspired by the viral New York Magazine article, Hustlers follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.

PAVAROTTI ***
Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Spike Lee, Princess Diana, Stevie Wonder

A look at the life and work of opera legend. Luciano Pavarotti.

ABOMINABLE **
Director: Jill Culton and Todd Wilderman
Stars: Charlie Bennet, Albert Tsai

Animated adventure about a magical yeti that must return to his family.

TEEN SPIRIT **
Director: Max Minghella
Stars: Elle Fanning, Archie Madekwe

Violet is a shy teenager who dreams of escaping her small town and pursuing her passion to sing. With the help of an unlikely mentor, she enters a local singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition. Driven by a pop-fuelled soundtrack, Teen Spirit is a spin on the Cinderella story.

DREAM GIRL **
Director: Raaj Shaandilyaa
Stars: Ayushmann Khurrana, Nushrat Bharucha, Annu Kapoor

The story of a man’s search for the ultimate dream girl.

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2 **
Directors: Thurop vam Orman and John Rice
Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Leslie Jones

An animated film in which the flightless birds and scheming green pigs take their feud to the next level.

RAMBO: LAST BLOOD **
Director: Adrian Grunberg
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Yvette Monreal

He-man Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission. Ho hum.

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.

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.

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Durban comic Jem Atkins stars in I’m Famous.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

TARTY FLOWERS
(Rhumbelow theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)

This is a quirky treat laden with classic-comedy nostalgia – an unpretentious, giddy hodge-podge of a show. Tarty Flowers is a colourful collection of scenes and characters from the wonderful Fawlty Towers TV series”, performed with relish and verve, and lots of tongue in cheek, by Mark Mulder and Annie Robinson. Devised and directed by Paul Spence, who also devises many shows for ubiquitous local singer-pianist Cat Simoni, Tarty Flowers has Mulder and Robinson sometimes mingling among their supper theatre audience, chatting to them and passing comments about them as though they were in the diningroom of Fawlty Towers, the dysfunctional, fictional hotel in the seaside town of Torquay, on the “English Riviera”. Performances are at 8pm Friday and Saturfay and 2pm on Sunday. Tickets cost R150 each. To book, or for more details, phone Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636. (BS)

101 HITS
(Barnyard Theatre, Suncoast Casino, Durban)

More than 60 years of hit songs feature in this party show spotlighting10 singers, musicians and dancers. Watch how the cast perform 20 songs from 20 different artists in a six-minute medley and how they achieve their ultimate goal of performing 101 hit songs in one show! Running until October 20, the show has 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)

’80S TO NOW
(Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)

A salute to the music of such stars as Yazoo, Depeche Mode, Human League, Adele, Wham, Bob Marley, Bon Jovi,  Alanis Morrissette and many others. The show runs until November 10. 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. Under-12s now get in free for all performances. (BS)

JEM ATKINS: I’M NOT FAMOUS
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)

A new solo show featuring popular Durban standup comic Jem Atkins. Performances are at 8pm on Friday and Saturday and at 2pm on Sunday. Tickets cost R150. Book 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.

 


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