Film & Stage Ratings (Nov 1-7)

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 New York Met Opera’s sumptuous production of Puccini’s Turandot, at Cinema Nouveau cinemas countrywide this weekend.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM NOVEMBER 1

TURANDOT ****
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Christine Goerke, Yusif Eyvazov

The film of the New York Metropolitan Opera staging of the grand Puccini opera. Dramatic soprano Christine Goerke brings her fierce portrayal of the title princess to cinemas, with Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium. Tenor Yusif Eyvazov is the mysterious prince Calàf, alongside soprano Eleonora Buratto as Liù and bass-baritone James Morris as Timur. This live cinema transmission is part of the Met’s award-winning Live in HD series, bringing opera to cinemas in more than 70 countries worldwide. Screenings will be at selected Cinema Nouveau cinemas in South Africa (and at Ster-Kinekor’s Gateway complex in Umhlanga)  – at 5pm on Saturday, 2.30pm on Sunday and 11.30pm on Tuesday).

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE ***
Director: Tim Miller
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis

Sarah Connor and a hybrid cyborg human must protect a young girl from a newly modified liquid Terminator from the future.

FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS ***
Director: Chris Foggin
Stars: James Purefoy, Meadow Nobrega, David Jayman

Ten fisherman from Cornwall are signed by Universal Records and achieve a Top 10 hit with their debut album of Sea Shanties.

CITY OF LIES ***
Director: Brad Furman
Stars: Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker, Toby Huss

Russell Poole and Jack Jackson investigate the murders of rappers Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.

THE WEDDING YEAR **
Director: Robert Luketic
Stars: Darlene Vogel, Jenna Dewan, Anna Camp

A commitment-phobic 27-year-old’s relationship is put to the test when she and her new boyfriend go to seven weddings in the same year.

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Elle Fanning and Timothee Chalamet in Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

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

A gritty, dark character study of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society, who goes on to become Joker, arch enemy of Batman. It is more psychological thriller than cartoon caper, and while receiving mixed reviews gets my vote as one of the best films of this year.

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL ***
Director: Joachim Ronning
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Harris Dickinson

Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies and dark new forces at play

DOWNTON ABBEY ***
Director: Michael Engley
Stars: Maggie 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)

A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK ***
Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Elle Fanning, Timothee Chalamet, Selena Gomes

A young couple arrive in New York for a weekend where they are met with bad weather and a series of adventures and misadventures.

BIGIL **
Director: Atlee Kumar
Stars: Nayanthara, Joseph Vijay, Jackie Shroff

The tale of a football coach who struggles to fulfill the dream of his late friend and seeks revenge for the death of his best friend.

MADE IN CHINA **
Director: Julien Abraham
Stars: Frederic Chau, Medi Sadoun, Julie de Bona

François, a 30-year-old Asian, has not been with his family for 10 years after a violent dispute with his father, Meng. Since then, he has always tried to avoid questions about his origins. Until now.

SAAND KI AANKH ***
Director: Tushar Hiranandani
Stars: Taapsee Pannu, Bhumi Pednekar, Prakash Jha

Both over the age of 60, Chandro Tomar and Prakashi Tomar inspire other women in India when they demonstrate their expert sharpshooting skills.

HOUSEFULL 4 **
Director: Farhad Samji
Stars: Akshay Kumar, Pooja Hegde, Kriti Sanon

In 1419 Sitamgarh, three couples are parted away due to an evil conspiracy. Some 600 years later, in 2019 in London, the couples’s reincarnations meet again – but this time each of them is marrying the wrong person. How they come to realise this forms the crux of the story.

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.

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.

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.

ZULU WEDDING ***
Director: Lineo Sekeleoane
Stars: Nondumiso Tembe, Darrin Dewitt Henson,

Feisty choreographer Lungile will do a lot to avoid falling in love, and even more to avoid going home to South Africa, where she’s traditionally engaged to a king. However, when she meets her soulmate, Tex, she has to face her complicated past.

ADDAMS FAMILY 3D **
Director: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz

An animated version of Charles Addams’ series of cartoons about a peculiar, ghoulish family.

GEMINI MAN **
Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth W#nstead, Cive Owen

An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself.

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.

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

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

ESCAPE PLAN: THE EXTRACTORS *
Director: John Herzfeld
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Dave Bautista, 50 Cent

After security expert Ray Breslin is hired to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Hong Kong tech mogul from a formidable Latvian prison, Breslin’s girlfriend is also captured.

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Steven Stead and Clare Mortimer in KickstArt’s fine production of Noel Coward’s Private Lives, at Durban’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

PRIVATE LIVES
(Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, UKZN campus, Durban)

KickstArt presents award-winning actors Steven Stead and Clare Mortimer as leads in Noel Coward’s classic romantic comedy. Also featuring Jessica Sole, Belinda Henwood and Iain Robertson, the play runs until November 3. Co-directed by Steven Stead and Mervyn McMurtry, the play revolves around Amanda and Elyot, who were once married. Now they are divorced and starting life again with newer, younger, nicer spouses. They both decide to go to France for their honeymoons. To a lovely hotel in Nice. Unfortunately, they choose the same lovely hotel in Nice… in adjacent suites with a-joining balconies. The moon is full, the air is balmy and the sweet night air is full of music. What could possibly go wrong? Booking is at Computicket. (BS)

ROCK GUITAR LEGENDS
 (Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo)

Durban band The Reals pay tribute to great rock guitarists from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Mark Knopfler, Hank Marvin, Slash, Gary Moore, Jimi Hendrix,  – they are all there! Shows are at 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 2pm Sundays, from October 25 to November 3. Tickets cost R150. Book at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636. (BS)

LIVE IN VEGAS
(Barnyard Theatre, Suncoast Casino, Durban)

At this venue until mid-January, this fine sow is a tribute to superstars who have rocked Las Vegas over the past 60 years. Featuring a 10-member cast of singers, dancers and musicians, the show features tributes to Celine Dion, Cher, Jennifer Lopez, Shirley Bassey, Santana, Aerosmith and Def Leppard. Also featured are tributes to Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Lionel Richie, the Bee Gees and Michael Jackson, among others. Performances on Fridays and Saturdays are at 8pm. The cast includes standout vocalist Elizca Coetzer. Sunday shows are at 2pm (when 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)

HALLOWEEN FAMILY MAGIC SHOW
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)

This show sees award-winning mentalist and magician, Brendon Peel, with the world-record-holding bizarre performer, Li Lau, as they take you on a journey through the spookier side of magic and illusion. If it’s magic and mystery (with a twist of Halloween fun) that you like then you’re in luck, because this is the show for you. Tickets cost R150. Book at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636. (BS)

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


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