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)

“All the Money in the World” (R) (4) [Language, some violence, disturbing images, and brief drug content.] — When 16-year-old grandson John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) of cynical, egotistical, miserly oil tycoon J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) is kidnapped on July 10, 1973, in Rome in this intense, poignant, factually inspired, suspenseful, 132-minute Ridley Scott film dominated by superb acting and cinematography and based on John Pearson’s novel, his distraught mother (Michelle Williams), who had divorced her drunken husband (Andrew Buchan) with only child support payments, is helped by a former CIA agent (Mark Wahlberg) to find and negotiate her son’s release from the Calabrian kidnappers (Roman Duris, et al.) after her former father-in-law refuses to pay the $17-million ransom.

“Pitch Perfect 3” (PG-13) (2.5) [Crude and sexual content, language, and some action.] — When the now-graduated Bellas a cappella group (Anna Kendrick, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Chrissie Marie Fit, Kelley Jakie, and Shelley Anne Regner) heads to Spain, Italy, and France to perform for the servicemen during a USO tour in this wacky, funny, entertaining, pratfall, star-studded (Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins, D J Khaled, Matt Lanter, Alexis Merizalde Knapp, Guy Burnett, and Michael Rose), 93-minite comedy, they find themselves competing with other talented singers (Ruby Rose, Andy Allo, Venzella Joy Williams, and Hannah Fairlight) and then in danger after the estranged, desperate, broke, criminal father (John Lithgow) of one of the singers (Rebel Wilson) kidnaps the Bellas to coerce his daughter to go with him to the Cayman Islands so that he can get a hold of $181 million in an account set up by her mother for her years earlier.

The following Omnifest films play Jan. 5 through Mar. 1 at the Science Museum of Minnesota’s William L. McKnight-3M Omnitheater:

“Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees” (NR) (3.5) Jane Goodall and Marc Strange narrate this educational, 40-mintue, 2002 IMAX documentary that intersperses some early footage of her groundbreaking study of chimpanzees living in the Gombe National Park in Tanzania and the continuing effort of scientists to study primate socialization and to prevent the further shocking decrease in their numbers.

“Journey into Amazing Caves” (NR) (3) Breathtaking scenery highlights this 39-minute, 2001 MacGillivray Freeman IMAX documentary narrated by Liam Neeson in which spelunkers (that is, cave explorers) and scientists explore perilous, but wondrous caves in the Grand Canyon, the Mexican Yucatan peninsula, and Greenland to gather speleologic data and microorganism samples that survive in hostile environments (that is, extremeophiles) to enhance medical research.

“The Magic of Flight” (NR) (3) Tom Selleck narrates this interesting 1996 IMAX documentary that delves into the history and mechanics of flying from analyzing birds in flight and the historic flight of Wilbur and Orville Wright on September 17, 1903, to the awesome aerial maneuvers of acrobat pilots, such as Patty Wagstaff and Sean D. Tucker, and Navy pilots, including Ryan Scholl, Mark Provo, and Scott Anderson, who make up the Blue Angels stunt team.

“Rocky Mountain Express” (NR) (3) While the glistening Hudson steam locomotive 2816 journeys more than 3,000 miles across gorgeous mountain scenery in the Canadian Rockies in this educational, beautifully photographed, 46-minute IMAX 2011 documentary that consists of many fascinating archival photographs, narrator Michael Hanrahan discusses the history of the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway, which began construction in 1881 with more than 10,000 mostly Chinese workers who endured horrific hardships and perilous working conditions

“Wolves” (NR) (2) Robbie Robertson narrates this educational, but lackluster 40-minute, 1999 IMAX documentary that depicts the return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park after a 70-year absence, shows biologists studying the dynamics of wolf packs in their natural habitat, and portrays the predatory habits of wolves toward musk ox, bison, deer, and elk.


“Black August” (NR) (3) [DVD only] — An engaging, inspirational, factually based, 116-minute, 2007 film about Black Guerilla Family cofounder and activist George L. Jackson (Gary Dourdan) who worked with passionate, nervous, and tenacious editor David Dryer (Darren Bridgett) to publish his book “Soledad Brother” while behind bars at San Quentin Prison during the turbulent civil rights movement in the 1960s and with his lawyer (Elizabeth Nunziato) on a new trial after his involvement in the death of a prison guard.

“Fingersmith” (NR) (3.5) [DVD only] — Con games run rampant in this intriguing, twist-filled, 3-hour, 2005 BBC adaptation of Sarah Waters Booker’s novel in which a devious English thief (Imelda Stanton) and infant caregiver, who lives in the slums of London, and her two London associates (Rupert Evans and Sally Hawkins) plan an elaborate, clever scheme in 1862 to steal the £40,000 fortune of the sheltered, nightmare-plagued heiress (Elaine Cassidy) working to catalog the erotic collection of her book-crazed uncle (Charles Dance).

“Get Smart” (PG-13) (3.5) [Some rude humor, action violence, and language.] [DVD only] — When the identities of several agents (Dwayne Johnson, Bill Murray, Terry Crews, et al.) are compromised in this funny, well-paced, satirical, slapstick, 110-minute, 2008 comedy filled with sharp wit and one liners, the head of Control (Alan Arkin) pairs a seasoned agent (Anne Hathways) with a newly promoted, meticulous analyst (Steve Carrell) to find the sneaky Russians (Terence Stamp, Richard V. Licata, and Dimitri Diatchenko) involved in the Kaos organization, which is building nuclear weapons and planning an attack on the U.S. president (James Caan).

“The Happening” (R) (2) [Violent and disturbing images.] [DVD only] — Tension quickly builds and then falls flat in M. Night Shyamalan’s mysterious, disappointing, 91-minute, 2008 thriller in which a Philadelphia high school science teacher (Mark Wahlberg), his guilt-ridden wife (Zooey Deschanel), and the young daughter (Ashyln Sanchez) of a coworker (John Leguizamo) try to escape the city when people begin to commit suicide by the thousands from New York City to Boston.

“The Promotion” (NR) (3) [Language, including sexual references, and some drug use.] [DVD only] — When a Canadian supermarket employee (John C. Reilly) with a troubled past moves to Chicago with his Scottish wife (Lili Taylor) in this dark, heartwarming, enjoyable, down-to-earth, 86-minute, 2008 comedy, competition for a coveted job as a manager at a new store heats up for his hardworking rival (Sean William Scott) who dreams of a promotion from assistant manager and moving out of his thin-walled apartment and into a new home with his devoted wife (Jenna Fischer).

“The Secret Life of Words” (NR) (2.5) [DVD only] — After her boss suggests that she take a month-long vacation in this somber, but intriguing, 116-minute, 2005 film, a withdrawn, partially-deaf nurse (Sarah Polley), who had survived numerous rapes and torture during the war in Yugoslavia, heads to Ireland where she agrees to care for a burn victim (Tim Robbins) on an oil rig off the coast.

“Stuck” (R) (3) [Strong violence, disturbing content, sexuality/nudity, language, and drug use.] [DVD only] — A horrible day gets progressively worse for an unemployed project manager (Stephen Rae) in Providence in this unpredictable, factually inspired, 85-minite, 20007 black comedy when he becomes embedded in the windshield of a pill-popping nurse’s aide (Mena Suvari) after she accidently runs over him with her car on the way home from a nightclub and then she asks her two-timing, drug-dealing boyfriend (Russell Hornsby) to help her out of the predicament.

Film Critic Schadewald has been a guest critic on KARE-11’s Showcase Minnesota and WCCO radio, and she has written a film review for 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.

Aaron Shaffer About Aaron Shaffer
Follow Meteorologist Aaron Shaffer on Twitter. Aaron is a meteorologist who lives in Minneapolis, is on the Midtown Greenway Coalition's board of directors, and is the digital communications and social media associate for the nonprofit Avivo in Minneapolis. Deep down he's a weather geek and has a degree in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences from UW-Madison to prove it. He's spent time working at TV stations in Wyoming, South Dakota, and Iowa prior to arriving in Minneapolis to work for WeatherNation and now forecasting for MinnyApple. His favorite weather career moment came while storm chasing for his Iowa station (he went on 40+ storm chases during that time), when he saw a mile-wide EF-4 rated tornado.