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)

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (PG-13) (4) [Sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and suggestive content.] — While the golden sovereign queen (Elizabeth Debicki) searches for the guardians (Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and voiceovers by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel) after priceless batteries are stolen n this entertaining, hokey, fun-filled, action-packed, star-studded (Sylvester Stallone, Karen Gillian, Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff, Chris Sullivan, David Hasselhoff, Ving Rhames, and Michelle Yeoh), 3D, 137-minute film highlighted by a wonderful soundtrack, the star-lord tries to get to know his duplicitous, power-hungry, diety father (Kurt Russell) he never knew.

“King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword” (PG-13) (3) [Sequences of violence and action, some suggestive content, and brief strong language.] — After his parents (Eric Bana and Poppy Delevingne) are murdered by his power-hungry uncle (Jude Law) who partnered with an evil sorcerer (Rob Knighton) to usurp the throne in Guy Ritchie’s unusual, action-packed, violent, entertaining, 3D star-studded (Annabelle Wallis, Katie McGrath, David Beckham, Peter Guinness, and Hermione Corfield), 126-minute film dominated by terrific special effects, Arthur Pendragon (Charlie Hunnam) reluctantly returns to Camelot to seek his revenge and to unite his oppressed people with the help of Merlin’s legendary sword Excalibur, a sorceress (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), and resistance fighters (Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Geoff Bell, Neil Maskell, Tom Wu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Freddie Fox, et al.) anxious to dethrone the king.

“Snatched” (R) (3) [Crude sexual content, brief nudity, and language throughout.] — After a lazy thirty-something salesclerk (Amy Schumer) is unexpectedly fired from her job and then suddenly is dumped by her musician boyfriend (Randall Park) in this wacky, funny, risqué, entertaining, pratfall, star-dotted (Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack, Christopher Meloni, Colin Quinn, and Tim Choi), 91-minute comedy, she coerces her divorced, wary mother (Goldie Hawn) to leave her agoraphobic brother (Ike Barinholtz) at home and join her on a nonrefundable trip to Ecuador, but when she meets a hunky guy (Tom Bateman) at the hotel bar, they unfortunately end up dodging ruthless, drug-dealing locals (Andre Derizans, Damion Scandrick, and Óscar Jaenada) who have kidnapped them for a $100,000 ransom and then are forced to traipse through the Amazon jungle to get rescued in Bogotá, Colombia, per the instructions of a U.S. state department agent (Bashir Salahuddin).

“The Wall” (R) (3) [Language throughout and some war violence.] — An unsettling ending punctuates this intense, down-to-earth, well-acted, 81-minute psychological thriller based on Dwain Worrell’s “Black List” script about an injured American Army sniper (Aaron Taylor Johnson) who is trapped behind a dilapidated wall in 2007 by an Iraqi sniper after his partner (John Cena) lay wounded yard away from him.

 


On DVD

 

“Alien vs. Predator: Requiem” (R) (2) [Violence, gore, and language.] — Mankind is caught in the middle and unprepared citizens (Kristen Hager, David Paetkau, Kurt Max Runte, Liam James, et al.) begin dropping like flies in this violent, predictable, guts-splattered, action-packed, 94-minute, 2007 horror flick when two battling aliens (Tom Woodruff Jr. and Ian Whyte) land in Colorado and begin trying to kill each other while the sheriff (John Ortiz) tries to form a defense plan and others (Steven Paquale, Johnny Lewis, et al.) try to escape.

“Beyond the Gates” (R) (3) [Strong violence, disturbing images, and language.] [DVD only] — When Tutsis begin systematically butchering Hutus in Rwanda in 1994 in a mass genocide and a French army captain (Dominique Horwitz) is ordered to evacuate U.N. peacekeeping troops in this gut-wrenching, violent, factually based, 115-minute, 2005 film reminiscent of “Hotel Rwanda,” a Catholic priest (John Hurt) and an idealistic British teacher (Hugh Dancy) are faced with impossible choices.

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (PG-13) (3.5) [Nudity, sexual content, and some language.] [Subtitled.] — Unique camera angles, fuzzy frames, choppy dialogue, and painstakingly slow pacing reinforce this touching, heart-wrenching, factually based, quip-filled, and ultimately inspirational, 112-minute, 2007 story about courageous and stubborn French Elle magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric) who suffered a horrendous and terrifying cerebrovascular accident at 43 years old that affected his brainstem and made him a prisoner in his own body where he could literally move only his left eye, but he went on to write his memoir on which this film is based.

“Jimmy Carter Man from Plains” (PG) (3.5) [Some thematic elements and brief disturbing images.] — A fascinating, informative, and insightful Johnathan Demme, 125-minute, 2007 documentary that follows former President Jimmy Carter, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, as he travels to book signings and interviews in New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, and Phoenix to promote his controversial new book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” between Nov. 2006 and Jan. 2007.

“National Treasure: Book of Secrets” (PG) (3) [Some violence and action.] — When a disgruntled man (Ed Harris) defames his family’s good name by implicating his ancestors in the assassination of President Lincoln in this action-packed, family-friendly, witty, entertaining, adventure, 124-minute, 2007 film, a world-famous, globetrotting treasure hunter (Nicolas Cage) seeks the help of the president (Bruce Greenwood) and an FBI agent (Harvey Keitel) when he teams up with his scholarly divorced parents (Jon Voight and Helen Mirren), his former girlfriend (Diane Kruger), and his techno-savvy sidekick (Justin Bartha) to prove the existence of an ancient city of gold that will ultimately restore honor to his family.

“The Orphanage” (R) (2.5) [Some disturbing content.] [Subtitled.] — A Spanish doctor (Fernando Cayo) and his wife (Belén Rueda) turn the seemingly idyllic seaside orphanage where she grew up as an orphaned child into their home in this eerie, ghostly, 105-minute, 2007 Spanish thriller and soon end up searching with the help of a police psychologist (Mabel Ribera) and a medium (Geraldine Chaplin) for their adopted, HIV-positive, 7-year-old son (Roger Príncep), who has befriended a group of mischievous ghosts, when he suddenly disappears after the appearance of a mysterious elderly social worker (Montserrat Carulla).

“Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” (R) (3.5) [Sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use, and language.] — A hilarious, delightfully campy, satirical, cameo-dotted (Jack Black, Jewel Kilcher, Lyle Lovett, Jack White, Eddie Vedder, David Krumholtz, Frankie Muniz, et al.), 96-minute, 2007 parody of “Walk the Line” in which an Alabama teenager (John C. Reilly) leaves his parents (Raymond J. Barry and Margo Martindale) after accidentally cutting his brother (Connor Rayburn/Chip Hormess) in half and heads out with his girlfriend (Kristen Wiig) to seek fame and fortune as a smell-challenged, sink-trashing rock ‘n roll singer with the help of an amorous singing partner (Jenna Fischer).

“Youth Without Youth” (R) (2) [Some sexuality, nudity, and a brief disturbing image.] — Francis Ford Coppola blends mysticism, metaphysics, telekinesis, and telepathy in this visually interesting, but convoluted and nonsensical, 124-minute, 2007 film about an elderly Romanian linguist professor (Tim Roth) who becomes younger and gains superhuman abilities to the surprise of his doctor (Bruno Ganz) and garners the attention of the Nazis (Alexandra Pirici, André Hennicke, et al.) after he is struck by lightning in 1938 and years later falls in love with a Sanskrit-speaking woman (Alexandra Maria Lara) who turns into an Indian mystic after she was hit with a lightning bolt.

 

©1986 through 2017 by Wendy Schadewald. The preceding films were reviewed by Wendy Schadewald, who has been a Twin Cities film critic since 1986. To see more of her film reviews, log on to 60-Second Film Reviews.

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