60-SECOND FILM REVIEWS

New movies showing in Minneapolis

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

“Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” (NR) (3) [Plays May 17-Aug. 4 at the Science Museum of Minnesota’s William L. McKnight-3M Omnitheater to Kick Off the 50th Anniversary of the Historic Moon Landing.] — Todd Douglas Miller’s inspirational, educational, critically-acclaimed, thrilling, historical, 40-minute, 2019 IMAX documentary that chronicles brave Apollo 11 astronauts commander Neil Armstrong, lunar module pilot Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, and pilot Michael Collins as they lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July, 16, 1969, the remarkable landing of the Eagle and first steps on the Moon on July 20, 1969, their safe return to Earth, and post-mission activities and includes never-seen film footage and never-heard audio recordings.

“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (PG-13) (3.5) [Sequences of monster action violence and destruction, and some language.] —After a ruthless eco terrorist (Charles Dance) and his henchmen kidnap a scientist Vera Farmiga) and her teenage daughter (Millie Bobby Brown) at a research facility in China with the intent of restoring the balance to the world by unleashing seventeen gargantuan, ancient titans, including Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah, in this exciting, entertaining, action-packed, fast-paced, violent, star-studded (Bradley Whitford, David Strathairn, O’Shea Jackson Jr., CCH Pounder, Ziyi Zhang, Aisa Hinds, and Anthony Ramos), 3D, 132-minute sequel to the 2014 “Godzilla” highlighted by amazing special effects, her distraught, scientist ex-husband (Kyle Chandler) with the help of other scientists (Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Thomas Middleditch, et al) try to find them and with the help of the legendary Godzilla attempt to stop the titans from all over the world from decimating Earth

“The Souvenir” (R) (1.5) [Some sexuality, graphic nudity, drug material, and language.] — A lame, artsy, pointless, convoluted, semiautobiographical,119-minute film about the tumultuous relationship between an arrogant, manipulative, drug-addicted English dandy (Tom Burke) and a naive, fragile, London film student and would-be director (Honor Swinton Byrne), who has a loving, tolerant, upper-class mother (Tilda Swinton), in northern England in the 1980s that eventually ends on a sour note.

“The Sun Is Also a Star” (PG-13) (3) [Some suggestive content and language.] — While a beautiful, Jamacian, quantum physics student (Yara Shahidi) works with a pro bono lawyer (John Leguizamo) to try and prevent her family (Gbenga Akinnagbe, Miriam A. Hyman, and Jordan Williams) from being deported the next day in this entertaining, well-written, love-it-or-hate-it, romantic, 100-minute film based on Nicola Yoon’s novel, she tries to ignore the sparks that flew when she meets a handsome, poetic, would-be medical student (Charlie Melton), who is dealing with his own issues with his family (Jake Choi, Keong Sim, and Cathy Shim), after he saves her from a potential tragic accident in New York City.

On DVD

“The Deal” (R) (3.5) [Sexual content and language.] [DVD only] A well-written, witty, funny, 100-minute, 2008, satirical sendup of the Hollywood movie industry in which a suicidal, wheeler-dealer film producer (William H. Macy) steals a screenplay about the 19th century English statesman Benjamin Disraeli written by his nephew (Jason Ritter) and proceeds to artfully and cunningly maneuver everyone from an engaged studio rep (Meg Ryan), a fame-seeking rabbi (Elliott Gould), to a hotshot action film star (LL Cool J) to get the movie made at all cost.

“Last Cup: The Road to the World Series of Beer Pong” (NR) (3.5) [DVD only] — A fun-filled, wacky, high-energy, entertaining, 84-minute, 2008 documentary that explores the mechanics, antics, and strategies of the popular and competitive sport of beer pong by interviewing cofounders Billy Gaines and Duncan Carroll, who started the World Series of Beer Pong (WSOBP) in Mesquite, Nv., in January 2006; journalist Ben Westhoff; and enthusiastic competitors, including Nick Velissario, Antonio “Tone” Vassilatos, Reck “Iceman” Scott, Sean Foster, Jamie “The Champ” Clouser, Mike Filanowski, Mick Nesci, and Paul Puszkarezuk.

“Little Ashes” (R) (2) [Sexual content, language, and a brief disturbing image.] DVD only]— An artsy, slow-paced, 112-minute, 2008 film about the tumultuous and strained relationship that develops when ambitious surrealist painter Salvador Dali (Robert Pattinson), handsome poet/playwright Federico Garcia Lorca (Javier Beltrán), and budding filmmaker Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty) meet at the university in Madrid during a politically turbulent but exciting time in 1922.

“My Life in Ruins” (PG-13) (2.5) [Sexual content.] — A charming, heartwarming, predictable, romantic 95-minute, 2009, chick flick comedy filled with stunning scenery about an uptight Greek tour guide (Nia Vardalos) who finds her Greek mojo as she deals with an obnoxious, brown-nosing rival (Alistair McGowan) and copes with an eclectic group of tourists, including a widower (Richard Dreyfuss), an unhappy teenager (Sophie Stuckey) and her parents (Caroline Goodall and Ian Ogilvy), a divorcee (Maria Botto), and an overweight American (Jareb Dauplaise), while falling for the scruffy, handsome driver (Alexis Georgoulis).

“Summer Hours” (NR) (2) [Subtitled] DVD only]— After their well-respected, widowed, and weary 75-year-old French mother (Edith Scob) unexpectedly dies in this slow, realistic, low-key, 105-minute, 2008 film, her three grown children, including a successful designer (Juliette Binoche) in New York City, a professor/writer (Charles Berling) in Paris, and a hardworking businessman (Jérémie Renier) commuting between France and China, reminisce about their summers growing up at her picturesque country house and then must deal with selling the burdensome estate, which is filled with valuable, museum-quality antiques from their late uncle, including paintings, furniture, sculptures, and glasswork.

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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