60-SECOND FILM REVIEWS

NowShowing

New movies showing in Minneapolis

By Wendy Schadewald (Rating system: 4=Don’t miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)

“The Best of Enemies” (PG-13) (4) [Thematic material, racial epithets, some violence, and a suggestive reference.] — After a fire closes the African-American school in Durham, N.C., in 1971 and a NAACP leader (Babou Ceesay) holds a two-week summit to decide whether to integrate schools in this powerful, factually based, inspirational, well-acted, educational, star-studded (Nick Searcy, Wes Bentley, Bruce McGill, Caitlin Mehner, and John Gallagher Jr.), 133-minute film based on Osha Gray Davidson’s novel “The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South,” feisty, tenacious African-American civil rights and fair-housing activist Ann Atwater (Taraji P. Henson) with a teenage daughter (Nádej Kyla Bailey) and Klu Klux Klan leader and gas station owner C.P. Ellis (Sam Rockwell), who has a wife (Anne Heche) and three children (McKenzie Applegate, Brody Rose, and Carson Holmes), eventually and surprisingly find themselves developing a friendship while coming together on common ground on the issue of school integration.

“The Hummingbird Project” (R) (2.5) [Language throughout.] — An engaging, well-acted, quirky, witty, unevenly paced, 111-minute Kim Nguyen thriller in which a cigarette-smoking, wheeler-dealing hustler (Jesse Eisenberg) with stomach cancer and his computer whiz cousin (Alexander Skarsgård) determine that they can make millions to the chagrin of their former boss (Salma Hayek) by laying an underground fiber-optic cable between Kansas and the New York Stock Exchange servers in New Jersey and reducing the transaction speed by a millisecond in the world of high-frequency trading.

“Shazam!” (PG-13) (3) [Intense sequences of action, language, and suggestive material.] — After a 14-year-old, orphaned boy (Asher Angel), who lives with his new foster parents (Marta Milans and Cooper Andrews ) and five other kids (Grace Fulton, Jack Dylan Grazer, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, and Jovan Armand) in a group home in Philadelphia, learns that he can turn into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) with magical superpowers in this action-packed, family-oriented, entertaining, humorous, coming-of-age, star-studded (Djimon Hounsou, Meagan Good, John Glover, and Adam Brody), 3D, 132-minute fantasy film, finds himself battling an evil doctor (Mark Strong) and seven deadly sins who want his magical powers.

On DVD

“Amacord” (NR) (3.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — Frederico Fellini’s Oscar-winning, quirky, nonsensical, 123-minute, 1974 film about the eccentric characters living in a seaside village during the 1930s, including an Italian couple (Armando Brancia and Pupella Maggio) raising a horny teenager (Bruno Zanin), a weird prostitute (Josiane Tanzilli), a redhead vixen (Magali Noël), a mentally unhinged uncle (Ciccio Ingrassia), a voluptuous tobacco seller (Maria Antonietta Beluzzi), and two strange schoolteachers (Ferdinando Villella and Mauro Misul).

“Azur & Asmar: The Prince’s Quest” (PG) (4) [Thematic material, some mild action, and peril.] [Partially subtitled] [DVD only] — Stunningly exquisite, intricate animation dominates this vibrant, colorful, family-oriented, 99-minute, 2006 animated film about a blue-eyed traveler (voiceover by Steven Kyman) who crosses the ocean to find the kindhearted nanny (voiceover by Suzanna Nour) who raised him and to compete against his dark-eyed brother (voiceover by Nigel Pilkington) to find the beautiful imprisoned Djinn fairy (voiceover by Emma Tates) in order to marry her.

“Ciao Bella” (NR) (3) [Partially subtitled] [DVD only] — A touching, down-to-earth, semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age, 86-minute, 2007 film in which a virginal Iranian soccer player (Poyan Karimi), who lives with his parents (Mina Azarian and Ali-Riza Modjallal), in Sweden pretends to be from Italy in order to attract the attention of a beautiful redheaded student (Chanelle Lindell) living with her divorced father (Jimmy Lindström).

“The Girl from Monaco” (R) (3) [Some sexual content and language.] [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A delightful, unpredictable, 95-minute, 2007 romantic comedy in which a respected French lawyer (Fabrice Luchini) unexpectedly falls in love with a free-spirited, promiscuous weather girl (Louise Bourgoin) while defending an elderly socialite (Stéphane Audran) in Monaco who killed her lover after learning that he was sleeping with her son (Gilles Cohen) and then finds himself surprisingly depending on his faithful bodyguard (Roschdy Zem) when the affair gets out of control.

“I’m Gonna Explode” (NR) (2.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — When the rebellious teenage son (Juan Pablo de Santiago) of a congressman (Daniel Gimenez Cacho) and his wife runs away with a shy Mexican student (Maria Deschamps) and they hide in plain sight on the rooftop of his father’s villa in this quirky, coming-of-age, 106-minute, 2008 film, the escapade takes a tragic turn.

“Next Day Air” (R) (1.5) [Pervasive language, drug content, some violence, and brief sexuality.] [DVD only] — When a pot-smoking deliveryman (Donald Faison), who lives with his mother (Debbie Allen) and hangs out with his best bud (Mos Def) in Philadelphia, accidentally delivers a cocaine-filled package to two bumbling crooks (Woody Harris and Omari Hardwick) in this uneven, sporadically funny, 84-minute, 2009 comedy marred by foul language, a ruthless Mexican drug lord (Emilio Rivera) and his Puerto Rican flunky (Cisco Reyes) desperately try to find merchandise.

“Salt of This Sea” (NR) (3.5) [Partially subtitled] [DVD only] — Anger, frustration, and desperation escalate when a strong-willed Palestinian waitress (Suheir Hammad) from Brooklyn emigrates to Israel after the death of her Jewish father to retrieve monies from a long-closed bank account of her grandfather’s and to explore her family’s heritage and roots in this poignant, emotionally charged, captivating, political, 109-minute, 2008 film and she is befriended by a student (Saleh Bakri) and a filmmaker (Riyad Ideis) who accompany her on a painful, tumultuous, and dangerous personal journey.

“White Night Wedding” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — Eccentric characters (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Thröstur Leó Gunnarsson, Jóhann Sigurðarson, et al.) and picturesque Icelandic landscapes dominate this well-acted, unexpected, offbeat dark, 96-minute, 2008 comedy in which a guilt-ridden, widowed English professor (Hilmir Snær Guðnason) reminisces about his first wife (Margrét Vilhjálmsdóttir), who committed suicide, while preparing for his nuptials to a much-younger, former student (Laufey Elíasdóttir) despite opposition from her hotheaded, cantankerous mother (Ólafía Hrönn Jónsdóttir).

Film Critic Wendy Schadewald reviewed films in the Twin Cities since 1986, and has been a guest critic on KARE-11’s Showcase Minnesota, WCCO radio, and AMC-950 radio. She reviews more than 250 films annually and has been a film buff for as long as she can remember. To see more of her film reviews, log on to shortredheadreelreviews.com.

©1986 through 2019 by Wendy Schadewald.

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