Film & Stage Ratings (Nov 15-21)

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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Detail from the poster for Marjaavaan.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM NOVEMBER 15

MASSENET’S MANON ****
Director: Laurent Pelly
Stars: Lisette Oropesa, Michael Fabiano

Massenet’s lush French opera masterpiece tells the story of an innocent country girl who becomes a celebrated courtesan and then destitute prisoner. It is one of the great tragic tales in literature and music. Lisette Oropesa stars as the irresistible title character, the tragic beauty who yearns for the finer things in life, in Laurent Pelly’s revealing production. Michael Fabiano is the besotted Chevalier des Grieux, whose desperate love for Manon proves their undoing. Maurizio Benini conducts Massenet’s sensual score. Running for four hours and 12 minutes, the opera has screenings at selected Cinema Nouveau theatres (and Gateway’s Ster-Kinekor complex in Umhlanga) at 5pm on Saturday, 2.30pm on Sunday and 11.30am on Tuesday.

MARJAAVAAN **
Director: Milap Zaveri
Stars: Riteish Deshmukh, Sidarth Mahlotra

Raghu and Zoya are enjoying their lives together until a gang leader with harmful intentions turns their world upside down.

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN ***
Director: Edward Norton
Stars: Edward Norton, Gugu Mbatha-Eaw, Bruce Willis

Also scripted by Edward Norton, this film is set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna.

COUNTDOWN **
Director: Justin Dec
Stars: Elizabeth Lail, Jordan Calloway

When a nurse downloads an app that claims to predict the moment a person will die, it tells her she only has three days to live. With the clock ticking and a figure haunting her, she must find a way to save her life before time runs out.

MANOU THE SWIFT **
Director: Christian Haas and Andrea Block
Stars: Kate Winslet, Willem Dafoe, Josh Keaton

The little swift Manou grows up believing he is a seagull. Learning to fly he finds out he never will be. Shocked, he runs away from home. He meets birds of his own species and finds out who he really is. When both seagulls and swifts face a dangerous threat, Manou becomes the hero of the day.

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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.

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.

LA CORSAIRE (BOLSHOI) ***
Director: Alexei Ratmansky
Stars: Ekaterina Krysanove, Igor Tsvirko

The film of the Bolshoi Ballet production uniting Bolshoi prima ballerina, the “mesmerising” Ekaterina Krysanove, and leading soloist Igor Tsvirko. They ignite Medora and Conrad’s passion with undeniable intensity. Le Corsaire remains a breathtaking production reworked by Alexei Ratmansky, who has created enough dancing for nearly the entire troupe, along with luxurious cinematic sets and a shipwreck, bringing the magic of this company to life. Screening at selected Cinema Nouveau cinemas (Gat4way Ster-Kinekor complex in Umhlanga) at 2pm on Sunday.

DOCTOR SLEEP ***
Director: Mike Flanagan
Stars: Rebecca Ferguson, Ewan McGregor, Jacob Tremblay

Years following the events of Stephen King’s The Shining, a now-adult Dan Torrance meets a young girl with similar powers as he tries to protect her from a cult known as The True Knot, which preys on children with powers to remain immortal.

WE BELONG TOGETHER **
Director: Chris Stokes
Stars: Draya Michele, Jessica Vanessa DeLeonoRoss Fleming

A thriller about a recovering alcoholic college professor who is trying to put his life back together. He meets a seductive new student and she offers him a sensual escape from reality… until he realises she may be insane.

BLACK AND BLUE **
Director: Deon Taylor
Stars: Naomie Harris, Frank Grillp, Mike Colter

A rookie New Orleans police officer is forced to balance her identity as a black woman after she witnesses two corrupt cops committing murder.

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.

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.

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.

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.

CHARLIE’S ANGELS *
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Stars: Hailee Steinfeld, Naomi Scorr, Kristen Stewart

When a young systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology, Charlie’s Angels are called into action, putting their lives on the line to protect us all. This remake of the 2000 film and earlier hit TV series has had poor reviews.

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Marion Loudon of Durban vocal trio, The Gee Jays,

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY
 (Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo)

The Gee Jays vocal trio – Marion Loudon, John Didlick and Grant Bell – present a mix of mirth and song associated with a variety of acts, including Justin Timberlake, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Roy Orbison, Cher, Phil Collins and Pharrell Williams. Shows are at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday. Tickets cost R150. Book at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636. (BS)

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

At this venue until mid-January, this impressive new show is a fine 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. Sunday shows are at 2pm (when pensioners pay half price and under-12s get in free, for telephonic bookings only. (BS)

HOLLYWOOD HITS
(Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)

A salute to the music of songs from the silver screen. This is a repeat of the party show staged at this venue earlier this year. 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)

TIMES LIKE THESE
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof)

Popular singer-guitarist Barry Thomson with a mix of songs. He reflects on past and present personal experiences. The show content is largely based on finding the light in the darkness, finding a peaceful happy place in the midst of our mad world. Songs have been carefully chosen to tell stories which everyone can relate to…… ‘sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug’. Also featured are stripped down acoustic versions of popular hit songs from The Reals tribute shows including Dire Straits, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, James Taylor, Rodriguez, The Eagles, Jethro Tull, John Mayer, Jackson Browne and Neil Diamond. Shows are at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday. 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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