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)

“Brigsby Bear” (PG-13) (3) [Thematic elements, brief sexuality, drug material, and teen partying.] — When detectives (Greg Kinnear and Beck Bennett) find the 25-year-old victim (Kyle Mooney) in an isolated desert compound after he was abducted by his kidnappers (Mark Hamill and Jane Adams) as a baby and finally returned home to his biological parents (Matt Walsh and Michaela Watkins) and teenage sister (Ryan Simpkins) in this offbeat, engaging, creative, star-dotted (Claire Danes and Andy Samberg), 97-minute comedy, the socially inept, awkward, imaginative survivor is obsessed with making and completing the movie with his new friends (Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Alexa Demie, et al.) that his captors had created for him about the adventures of Brigsby Bear.

“The Dark Tower” (PG-13) (2) [Thematic material, including sequences of gun violence, and action.] — A disappointing, loophole-filled, dark, star-dotted (Jackie Earle Haley, Dennis Haysbert, and José Zúñiga), 95-minute Stephen King thriller in which a troubled 11-year-old student (Tom Taylor), who lives with his worried, widowed mother (Katheryn Winnick) and mean stepfather in earthquake-plagued New York City, draws his terrifying, visionary nightmares and ends up traveling through a portal into the dangerous world of the dark tower at the center of the universe where a tenacious gunslinger (Idris Elba) keeps the tower from falling and preventing an evil sorcerer (Matthew McConaughey) from bringing endless darkness, demons, and monsters into the world.

“The Glass Castle” (PG-13) (4) [Mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, and some language and smoking.] — Terrific acting dominates this tense, engaging, factually based, 127-minute film based on Jeannette Walls’s bestselling memoir that focuses on a New York gossip columnist (Brie Larson/Ella Anderson/Chandler Head), who is engaged to a wealthy financial analyst (Max Greenfield), as she reminiscences about her chaotic, dysfunctional life growing up with her three siblings (Josh Caras/Charlie Shotwell/Iain Armitage, Sarah Snook/Sadie Sink/ Olivia Kate Rice, and Brigette Lundy-Paine/Shree Crooks/Eden Grace Redfield) and her neglectful, alcoholic father (Woody Harrelson) and eccentric, artistic mother (Naomi Watts) who dragged the family around the country from one dilapidated house after another while evading the cops and social workers.

 


On DVD

 

“African Adventure: Safari in the Okavango” (NR) (3) [DVD only] — Chuck Hargrove narrates this fascinating and educational, 3D, 40-minute, 2007, IMAX sequel to “Wild Safari: A South African Adventure” in which filmmaker Tim Liversedge, photographer June Liversedge, and zoologist Liesl Eichenberg get up close and personal with elephants, crocodiles, lions, pink backed pelicans, antelope, fishing owls, fish eagles, hippos, and wart hogs in the Okavango Delta in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, which begins to flood during midsummer, consists of more than 20,000 square miles of lagoons and islands, and is home to diverse wildlife, including more than 350 different species of birds.

“Buddha Collapses Out of Shame” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — When a tenacious, 6-year-old Afghan girl (Nikbakht Noruz) desperately tries to sell eggs so that she can buy school supplies and learn the alphabet in school like the taunting son (Abbas Aliyome) of her neighbor amidst the backdrop of war-ravaged, Buddha-empty cliffs in this moving, heartbreaking, 81-minute, 2007 Hana Makhmalbaf film, she finds herself a victim of strict, archaic religious rules and hurtful boys playing dangerous war games.

“Close to Home” (NR) (2.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A down-to-earth, gritty, 98-minute, 2005 film about a bombing that affects the lives and strained relationship of two 18-year-old Israeli soldiers (Neama Shendar and Smadar Sayar) who are assigned the monotonous job of roaming the streets and boarding buses to randomly check the official papers of Palestinian civilians.

“The Day of the Jackal” (PG) (4) [DVD only] — A taut, well-written, highly suspenseful, Oscar-nominated, 143-minute, 1973 thriller based on the Frederick Forsythe novel that follows a frustrated and perplexed French inspector (Tony Britton) and his associates who are always two steps behind in their search for a calculating, meticulous, and clever contract killer (Edward Fox) who is hired by politically subversive members (Jean Martin, Eric Porter, et al.) of the OAS group to assassinate President Charles De Gaulle (Adrien Cayla-Legrand) on Liberation Day.

“Doomsday” (R) (1.5) [Strong bloody violence, language, and some sexual content/nudity.] [DVD only] — When Scotland succumbs to the deadly “reaper” virus in 2007 and British officials discover unlucky, tattooed, cannibalistic survivors (Craig Conway, MyAnna Buring, et al.) in 2035 in this nonoriginal, fast-paced, action-packed, graphically violent, 115-minute, 2008 futuristic thriller laden with special effects and rip-offs from such films as “Mad Max” and “Escape from New York,” a cop (Bob Hoskins) sends in a ballsy, one-eyed major (Rhona Mitra) to lead an elite team (Adrian Lester, Nora-Jane Noone, Rick Warden, Sean Pertwee, Chris Robson, Darren Morfitt, et al.) into the quarantine zone to try and find a scientist (Malcolm McDowell) who may have found a cure to the lethal plague threatening London.

“Mutum” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A somber, earthy, moving, 95-minute, 2007 Sandra Kogut Brazilian film that focuses on an imaginative and sensitive 10-year-old boy (Thiago Da Silva Mariz) growing up with his impoverished family and grandmother (Paula Regina Sampaio Da Silva) on an isolated farm in western Brazil who must be deal with an abusive and angry father (João Miguel), the death of his brother (Wallison Felipe Leal Barroso), and ultimately leaving his mother (Izadora Cristiani Fernandes Silveira) to be schooled in the city.

“The Tin Drum” (R) (2.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — An off-the-wall, exceedingly quirky, Oscar-winning, 142-minute, 1979 allegorical German film in which a strange, obnoxious, and annoying brat (David Bennett) with a malevolent bent deliberately stunts his growth in an effort to protect himself from the harsh world and the eventual horrors of WWII that envelop him like the skirts of his grandmother (Berta Drews) and uses his piercing, shrill scream that will shatter glass and his compulsive, incessant pounding on a tin drum to control his spineless father (Mario Adorf), his adulterous mother (Angela Winkler) who is having an affair with his smitten uncle (Daniel Olbrychski), and all those who come in contact with him.

“The Witnesses” (NR) (3) [Subtitled.] [Nudity, sexuality, and mature themes.] [DVD only] — A captivating, gut-wrenching, retrospective, 112-minute, 2007 film that focuses on a passionate gay French campground chef (Johan Libéreau) who becomes mysteriously sick in the summer of 1984 at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and intertwines the lives of people, including an older love-struck physician (Michel Blanc), a bisexual Muslim vice squad detective (Sami Bouajila) who practices an open marriage with his novelist wife (Emmanuelle Béart), and his talented sister (Julie Depardieu) who is finding success as an opera singer, who witness his mental anguish and physical decline.

 

©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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