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Reviews

Andrew Garfield in Silence.

It’s a film like Silence that showcases the transformative power of film, as well as the magical allure of the art of filmmaking at its best, and the craft of storytelling at its most powerful … In a nutshell, it’s hard to argue for Ghost in the Shell 2017 as an essential watch. It hits enough of its marks that it can’t be dismissed outright, but it’s definitely not a substitute for the original either … Writer-director Tom Ford spins his magic in the provocative mind bender Nocturnal Animals … 


New Releases – showing from 28 April

Two men from vastly different walks of life want to win gold attempting the three-day Dusi Canoe Marathon in the local film Beyond The River, three lifelong buddies plan to rob the very bank that absconded with their pension fund money in the comedy Going In Style; after suffering a family tragedy, a man spirals into a deep depression causing him to question his innermost beliefs and faces a crisis of faith in The Shack;  an undercover police officer is caught in a high stakes web of corrupt cops and the mob-controlled casino underground in Sleepless; the sports drama Bleed For This tells the incredible true story of one of boxing’s most charismatic and colourful champions, “The Pazmanian Devil”; and opera  lovers can watch South African-born soprano Elza van den Heever in the virtuosic role of Princess Elettra in Mozart’s operatic masterpiece Idomeneo

BEYOND THE RIVER

Two men from vastly different walks of life have one thing in common: to win gold. But there are a few things in their way. One has a marriage on the verge of collapse. The other is on the run from the law, and his so-called life. Then there’s the minor detail of them never before having competed as a team… Somewhere along the river of their lives, there’s a confluence that changes both of them – forever. Through a series of unexpected events, the two men find themselves attempting the three-day Dusi Canoe Marathon as a doubles pair. But there are a few things they must overcome, not least of which are the completely different worlds they come from. They realise that the dream they both desperately desire requires them to work together, both in the boat and beyond the river. Inspired by the true story of Siseko Ntondini and Piers Cruickshanks, who together won gold in the 2014 Dusi, Beyond the River delivers a nail-biting adventure story about the triumph of the human spirit. Starrring Lemogang Tsipa and Grant Swanby.  Directed by Craig Freimond and written by Freimond and Robbie Thorpe. Freimond: “The film is quite different. I can’t think of too many films like it. It’s got a feel-good side to it,but it has also got a lot of depth. People who’ve seen it have responded to the story, the film itself, the actors, the landscapes. People will enjoy this movie.”

IDOMENEO

Mozart’s first operatic masterpiece, Idomeneo, of love and vengeance following the Trojan War,  will be screened in Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor cinemas from Saturday, 29 April, for limited screenings.Elza van den Heever is joined by a stellar ensemble including Matthew Polenzani in the title role of the King of Crete, Idomeneo, with Nadine Sierra as Illia, Alice Coote as Idamante and Alan Opie as Arbace. This classic production from Jean–Pierre Ponnelle, which has its first Met revival in over a decade this season, is under the baton of the Metropolitan Opera’s famed Music Director Emeritus James Levine. He also conducted the first Met staging of this opera in 1982. Read more

BLEED FOR THIS

The incredible true story of one of the most inspiring and unlikely comebacks in sports history. Miles Teller stars as Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza, a local Providence boxer who shot to stardom after winning 2 world title fights. After a near-fatal car accident leaves Vinny with a severed spine, doctors tell him he may never walk again. With the help of renowned trainer Kevin Rooney, Vinny becomes a legend when he not only walks again, but miraculously returns to the ring to reclaim his title belt only a year after the accident.

Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, it  artfully blends action, humour and tragedy to portray one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sports, and is written and directed by Ben Younger (Boiler Room, Prime).

“The craziest thing is that what you see in the movie actually happened to me and I made it out alive,” says former boxer  Vinny Pazienza watching his life take shape as a film.  “I look back and go ‘What the hell was I thinking, working out with screws in my skull and a broken neck with the screws right on the cusp of touching the muscles that they shouldn’t be touching. The whole thing is a pretty wild.”

GOING IN STYLE 

Oscar winners Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby), Michael Caine (The Cider House Rules, Hannah and Her Sisters) and Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) team up as lifelong buddies Willie, Joe and Al, who decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty, in director Zach Braff’s comedy.  Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.  A remake based on the 1979 film of the same name.

This fun and fast-paced comedy with both heart and bite is directed by Zach Braff (Garden State, Wish I Was Here) from a screenplay by Oscar nominee Theodore Melfi (Hidden Figures, St. Vincent).

“I think audiences respond to people getting even,” offers screenwriter Theodore Melfi.  “We had to approach it in a comedic way because what they’re doing is a crime, but what’s been done to them is also a crime.  I have a big thing about justice and about people getting their due.  For me, these guys are clearly in the right. They’ve worked 40 years and their pension is stripped from them. And what happens to Joe with his mortgage is a perfect

THE SHACK

After suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips (Sam Worthington) spirals into a deep depression causing him to question his innermost beliefs. Facing a crisis of faith, he receives a mysterious letter from God urging him to an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Despite his doubts, Mack journeys to the shack and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa (Octavia Spencer). Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his understanding of his tragedy and change his life forever.

This film is based on the phenomenally successful novel The Shack, by author William P. Young, that debuted and stayed on the New York Times Bestsellers List at No.1 for over 70 weeks.

It is a profoundly inspirational story about the resiliency of the human spirit in amongst unimaginable loss, as a grieving father faces the hardest decision of his life — to forgive the unforgivable.

“The most exciting thing I’ve heard from people that have dug into this as a fi lm is that ‘it made me want to be a better person.’ This story gives people hope and I love that!” shares producer Brad Cummings.

Says Sam Worthington, “We all lose a relationship or a loved one. If you look at it in a very simple way, the fi lm offers a beautiful message that if you forgive the tragedy that hits your life, you can actually get through it. It may be extremely painful and take a long time, but forgiveness releases you, it sets you free.”

For Octavia Spencer, “I hope for people who find themselves in the same situation as Mack, who are at the precipice of redefining their lives or reaffirming their faith, that they will hopefully fi nd their path and that Mack’s resolution will be their own.”

 

SLEEPLESS

Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained, White House Down) plays an undercover Las Vegas police officer Vincent Downs, who is caught in a high stakes web of corrupt cops and the mob-controlled casino underground. When a heist goes wrong, a crew of homicidal gangsters kidnaps Downs’ teenage son. In one sleepless night he will have to rescue his son, evade an internal affairs investigation and bring the kidnappers to justice. Directed by Baran bo Odar, written by Andrea Berloff

Now Showing

A CONTEMPORARY EVENING This innovative production forms part of the current season of seven wonderful ballets from Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet company – one of the world’s great powerhouses of classical ballet – currently being screened at Ster-Kinekor’s Nouveau theatres.Don’t miss the encounter between some of the best dancers in the world and the masters of contemporary choreography in the form of ‘Hans Van Manen’s Frank Bridge Variations, Sol León and Paul Lightfoot’s Short Time Together and Alexei Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons. Read more  / Trailer

AMERICAN PASTORAL Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Phillip Roth novel, it follows an all American family across several decades, as their idyllic existence is shattered by social and political turmoil that will change the fabric of American culture forever. Ewan McGregor (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Beginners) makes his directorial debut and stars as Seymour “Swede” Levov, a once legendary high school athlete who is now a successful businessman married to Dawn, a former beauty queen. But turmoil brews beneath the polished veneer of Swede’s life. When his beloved daughter, Merry, disappears after being accused of committing a violent act, Swede dedicates himself to finding her and reuniting his family. What he discovers shakes him to the core, forcing him to look beneath the surface and confront the chaos that is shaping the modern world around him: no American family will ever be the same.  Trailer  / Feature: From Page To Screen: Adapting Pulitzer Prize-winning Philip Roth’s novel

ASTERIX AND OBELIX: MANSION OF THE GODS Arench-Belgian 3D computer-animated adventure family comedy film written and directed by Alexandre Astier. In order to wipe out the Gaulish village by any means necessary, Caesar plans to absorb the villagers into Roman culture by having an estate built next to the village to start a new Roman colony. It is based on the comic book Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods, which was the seventeenth book in the comic book series Asterix by Goscinny and Uderzo. Read more about the film /  Trailer

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast’s hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside.  Directed by Bill Condon and written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos. Feature: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast celebrates one of the most enduring and beloved tales ever told  / Win a Blu-Ray of the classic animated Beauty and the Beast  Watch the trailer

BOSS BABY  DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar invite you to meet a most unusual baby. The Boss Baby is a hilariously universal story about how a new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim.  With a sly, heart-filled message about the importance of family, DreamWorks‘ The Boss Baby is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy for all ages. Read more about the filmWatch the trailer

THE BYE BYE MAN From the producer of Oculus and The Strangers comes this chilling horror-thriller that exposes the evil behind the most unspeakable acts committed by man. When three college friends stumble upon the horrific origins of the Bye Bye Man, they discover that there is only one way to avoid his curse: don’t think it, don’t say it. But once the Bye Bye Man gets inside your head, he takes control. Is there a way to survive his possession? Inspired by actual events, it is about Elliot, Sasha and John, three friends on the cusp of what should be the most exciting time of their lives. But they soon encounter the Bye Bye Man, a supernatural force that terrorized unsuspecting victims decades earlier. As the Bye Bye Man preys on their minds and souls, he drags friends, family, and the community into his web of horror. Directed by Stacy Title (The Last Supper, Let the Devil Wear Black) from a screenplay by Jonathan Penner (Let the Devil Wear Black), based on the “The Bridge to Body Island” by Robert Damon Schneck. Read more about the filmWatch the trailer

FAST AND FURIOUS 8 From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, our elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world’s stage…and to bring home the man who made them a family. Now that Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon, Brian and Mia have retired from the game, and the rest of the crew has been exonerated, the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) ,seduces Dom back into a world of crime that he can’t seem to escape, the crew will face trials that will test them as never before. Directed by F. Gary Gray and written by Chris Morgan, it is the eighth installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise, with  Dwayne Johnson, Jason Stratham, Scott Eastwood, Kurt Russell, Jordana Brewster, Elsa Pataky, Helen Mirren, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michelle Rodriguez, Lucas Black, Kristofer Hivju, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris. Feature: The latest chapter in one of the most popular and enduring motion-picture serials of all time  / Watch the trailer

GALLOWS ROAD Bob Collins (Ernie Hudson) has it all: A loving wife, two children who adore him and a younger brother and business partner, Seth, (Marcus Mauldin). God is good to Bob and life is happy. Bob and Seth are just one day away from making their dream of opening an antique store come true. This is not just any antique store, but one previously owned by the sheriff’s brother, who has two wayward sons, Snake and Matty. Trouble begins.  An unthinkable crime draw these men together, changing their lives forever – turning one from the light while speeding the other towards darkness.Set in the rustic backdrop of rural Texas, Gallows Road explores how tragedy, heartbreak and the choices that we make impact our lives and those around us in unimaginable ways. As a family man withdraws from the world to overcome his agonizing loss, another man struggles with the unbearable guilt of his role in the crime. Who will choose love over hate, forgiveness over revenge? And who will rise to the light…or face the walk down Gallows Road? Read more about the film /  Watch trailer

GHOST IN THE SHELL In the near future, Major (Scarlett Johansson) is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people’s minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that she has been lied to:  her life was not saved, it was stolen. She will stop at nothing to recover her past, find out who did this to her and stop them before they do it to others. Based on the internationally acclaimed Japanese Kodansha Comics manga series “The Ghost in the Shell”  written and illustrated by Shirow Masamune. Screenplay by Jamie Moss and William Wheeler and Ehren Kruger. Directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman). Read more about the filmWatch the trailer

GOLD Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey), a prospector desperate for a lucky break, teams up with a similarly eager geologist (Edgar Ramirez) and sets off on an amazing journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. Getting the gold was hard but keeping it is even more difficult, sparking an adventure through the most powerful boardrooms of Wall Street. Directed by Academy Award winner Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Traffic) and produced by Teddy Schwarzman (The Imitation Game, All is Lost). Feature: From Page To Screen: Gold – an epic tale of one man’s American dream / Watch Trailer

HEDDA GABLER Tony Award-winning director Ivo van Hove (A View from the Bridge, The Crucible on Broadway) returns to NT Live cinema screens with a modern production of Ibsen’s masterpiece in a new version by Patrick Marber (Notes on a Scandal, Closer). In the play, new bride Hedda (Ruth Wilson) and her husband, Tesman (Kyle Soller), return from their honeymoon to find their relationship already in trouble. Trapped but determined, Hedda tries to control those around her, only to see her own world unravel. It stars Olivier and Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (Luther, The Affair, Jane Eyre) in the title role, and also features Prometheus’s Rafe Spall and Poldark’s Kyle Soller, with Nigerian-born actor Chukwudi Iwuji in the role of Lovborg. Read more

IN DUBIOUS BATTLE In California apple country, 900 migratory workers rise up against the landowners. The group takes on a life of its own, stronger than its individual members and more frightening. Led by the doomed Jim Nolan (Nat Wolff), the strike is founded on his tragic idealism and the philosophy to never submit or yield. Directed by and starring James Franco. Also starring Vincent D’Onofrio, Selena Gomez. Read more about the film / Trailer

THE LAST FACE  A director (Charlize Theron) of an international aid agency in Africa meets a relief aid doctor (Javier Bardem) amidst a political/social revolution, and together face tough choices surrounding humanitarianism and life through civil unrest. Set against the devastating backdrop of war-torn Liberia, Miguel and Wren must find a way to keep their relationship alive in extraordinarily difficult conditions battling their mutual passion for the value of life matched by the intensity of their diametrically opposed opinions on how best to solve the conflict that surrounds them. Directed by Two-time Academy Award® winner Sean Penn, The Last Face also stars Primetime Emmy® nominee Jared Harris, and celebrated French actors Jean Reno and Adele Exarchopoulos. Read more about the film /  Watch Trailer

DIE REBELLIE VAN LAFRAS VERWEY Lafras Verwey (Tobie Cronje) has worked as a clerk in the Civil Service in Pretoria for thirty years. By day he sorts files and whiles away the mundane hours writing grandiose propaganda speeches and drilling imaginary platoons in the washroom, but unbeknownst to his colleagues he is also a clandestine parcel courier for a secret organization that recruited his services to complete their covert mission. Directed by Simon Barnard who co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Barnard.Read more about the film/  Watch trailer

SILENCE Two 17th-century Portuguese missionaries, Father Sebastian Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), embark on a perilous journey to Japan to find their missing mentor (Liam Neeson). While there, the two men minister to the Christian villagers who worship in secret. If caught by feudal lords or ruling samurai, they must renounce their faith or face a prolonged and agonizing death. They face the ultimate test of faith at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden. Directed by  Martin Scorsese. The celebrated director’s 28-year journey to bring Shusaku Endo’s 1966 acclaimed novel to life. Feature: A 26-year-journey from page to screen for writer-director Martin Scorsese / Review /  Trailer

SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE Best friends Smurfette (Demi Lovato), Brainy (Danny Pudi), Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) and Hefty (Joe Manganiello) use a special map that guides them through the Forbidden Forest, an enchanted wonderland that’s filled with magical creatures. Their adventure leads them on a course to discover the biggest secret in Smurf history as they race against time and the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) to find a mysterious village. It is based on The Smurfs comic book series created by the Belgian comics artist Peyo and is a reboot film, unrelated to Sony’s previous live-action/animated films. Written by Stacey Harman and Pamela Ribon, and directed by Kelly Asbury. Read more about the film /  Watch the trailer

TABLE 19 Ex-maid of honour Eloise (Anna Kendrick) – having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text – decides to hold her head up high and attend her oldest friend’s wedding anyway. She finds herself seated at the ‘random’ table in the back of the ballroom with a disparate group of strangers, most of whom should have known to just send regrets (but not before sending something nice off the registry). As everyone’s secrets are revealed, Eloise learns a thing or two from the denizens of Table 19. Friendships – and even a little romance – can happen under the most unlikely circumstances. Directed by Jeffrey Blitz. Read more about the film /  Trailer

THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE  Two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain stars in the title role of Antonina Żabińska, a real-life working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during WWII. Niki Caro (Whale Rider, North Country) directs the movie from a screenplay by Angela Workman, adapted from Diane Ackerman’s nonfiction book of the same name which was based on Antonina’s diaries. Read more about the film Watch the trailer