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)

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” (PG-13) (3) [Some sci-fi action violence.] — Frenetic, action-packed, entertaining, fast-paced, humor-dotted, 3D, star-studded (Laurence Fishburne, Judy Greer, Michael Peña, Bobby Cannavale, T.I., David Dastmalchian, Stan Lee, and Goran Kostic), 118-minute sequel with amazing special effects in which a computer expert (Paul Rudd), who is raising his precocious 10-year-old daughter (Abby Ryder Fortson) in San Francisco, under house arrest teams up with two scientists (Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly) to find a woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) lost in the quantum world for 30 years while being doggedly pursued by an FBI agent (Randall Park), a blackmarket criminal (Walton Goggins), and a mysterious ghostly woman (Hannah John-Kamen) on the verge of losing her corporal body.

“Eating Animals” (NR) (4) — Natalie Portman narrates Christopher Quinn’s highly informative, eye-opening, disturbing, 94-minute, 2017 whistleblower documentary adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer’s critically acclaimed book and highlighted by terrific cinematography that explores the horrible abuse and treatment of animals, including cattle, pigs, and chickens, over the last forty years from Nebraska, North Carolina, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and California by retaliatory controlling corporations such as Perdue and Tyson Foods that often trade animal welfare for maximizing the old might dollar as many farmers are forced to move away from traditional farming to gigantic farming complexes to survive and consists of interviews with Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch owner Frank Reese, Waterkeeper Alliance members Larry Baldwin and Rick Dove, Perdue Farms contract farmer Craig Watts, Environmental Studies and Philosophy professor Dale Jamieson, Good Foods Institute Executive Director Bruce Friedrich, Niman Ranch Pork Co. founder Paul Willis, BN rancher and owner Bill Niman, New America Foundation member Chris Leonard, Veterinary Epidemiology professor Jim Keen, Government Accountability Project attorney Amanda Hitt, Compassion in World Farming USA Executive Director Leah Garces, Mercy for Animals Vice President of Investigation Lindsay Wolf, animal science professor Dr. Temple Grandin, Farm Sanctuary founder Gene Bauer, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine member Neal Barnard M.D., Center for Livable Future member Bob Martin, Roslin Institute Chair in  Animals Infectious Diseases Dr. Charles Kaiser, Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown, and Just founder Josh Tetrick.

“Hereditary” (R) (3.5) [Horror violence, disturbing images, language, drug use, and brief graphic nudity.] — After the loss of her mother and the sudden, tragic death of her 13-year-old daughter (Milly Shapiro) in this dark, somber, intense, disturbing, well-acted, 126-minute psychological thriller, a grieving miniaturist (Toni Collette) begins to unravel some dark secrets about her dysfunctional family when she meets a mysterious mother (Ann Dowd) who believes in spirits at a grief support group and then tries to convince her skeptical husband (Gabriel Byrne) and her distraught, guilt-ridden son (Alex Wolf) to join her in a séance.

“The Misandrists” (NR) (1.5) — When a German criminal (Til Schindler) is shot  in 1999 and hides out in the basement of a rural Catholic school that is a front for the Female Liberation Army in this highly disturbing, sexually graphic, violent, Bruce La Bruce’s 91-minute, 2017 sequel to his 2005 film “The Raspberry Reich” and is somewhat based on the 1971 film “The Beguiled,” he ends up surrounded by radical lesbian terrorists (Kita Updike, Viva Ruiz, Kembra Pfahler, Caprice Crawford, Grete Gehrke, Victoire Laly, Olivia Kundisch, and Lina Bembe) who are controlled and manipulated by a dangerous, delusional, handicapped “headmistress” (Susanne Sachße) who is bent on eradicating the male species.

“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” (R) (4) [Strong violence, bloody images, and language.] — After a bombing kills fifteen people in Kansas City and a risky mission sanctioned by the U. S. secretary of defense (Matthew Modine) to start a war between the drug cartels in an effort to stop human trafficking across the Mexican border into Texas by kidnapping the rebellious,16-year-old daughter (Isabela Moner) of a Mexican drug kingpin goes awry in Taylor Sheridan’s riveting, intense, suspenseful, action-packed, violent, well-paced, star-studded (Catherine Kenner, Shea Whigham, Jeffrey Donovan, and Graham Beckel), 122-minute sequel, ruthless undercover operatives (Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, and Bruno Bichir) ignore orders and try to salvage the mission by any means possible.

“Uncle Drew” (PG-13) (2.5) [Suggestive material, language, and brief nudity.] — After his team of disloyal basketball players decide to jump ship and go with his rival, egotistical coach (Nick Kroll) and his gold-digging girlfriend (Erica Ash) breaks up with him in this silly, funny, entertaining, family-friendly, star-dotted (Mike Epps, J. B, Smoove, and Tiffany Haddish), 103-minute comedy, a short-statured coach (Lil Rel Howery) with a chip on his shoulder gathers a new team of highly skilled septuagenarian basketball players (Kyrie Irving, Shaquille O’Neal, Nate Robinson, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, and Lisa Leslie) in order to enter the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem with a prize of $100,000.

“Whitney” (R) (4) [Language and drug content.] — An insightful, sobering, informative, 2-hour, Kevin Macdonald documentary that chronicles the tumultuous life and career of phenomenal, legendary, ghetto-raised singer Whitney Houston, who grew up in Newark, attended the Mount Saint Dominic Catholic Girls School, and died in 2012 at age 48, through concert clips, film footage, and photographs and interview snippets with friends (such as Aunt Bae, Rev. Deforest Saories, Keith Kelly, Laurie Bodami, and Robyn Crawford), relatives (such as mom Cissy Houston, daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, ex-husband Bobby Brown, brother Gary Garland-Houston, and sister-in-law Pat Houston), manager Steve Gittelman, musical director Ricky Minor, pianist Bette Sussman, bodyguards Alan Jacobs and Ray Watson, writer Cinque Henderson, songwriter Kenneth Edmonds, hairstylist Ellin Lavar, film agent Nicole David, actor Kevin Costner, personal assistant Mary Jones, keyboard artist Debra Martin Chase, publicist Lynne Volkman, and record producers Clive Davis, L. A. Reid, and Joey Arbagey.

 

On DVD

 

“An American Carol” (PG-13) (1.5) [Crude and irreverent content, and language and brief drug material.] [DVD only] A relatively boring, unfunny, irreverent, satirical, controversial, cameo-peppered (James Woods, Dennis Hopper, Leslie Nielsen, Trace Adkins, et al.), 83-minute, 2008 spoof that follows pessimistic, anti-American filmmaker Michael Malone (Kevin P. Farley), who campaigns to have the 4th of July holiday abolished, as he goes on an enlightening journey with the ghosts of three American heroes, including General George S. Patton (Kelsey Grammer) and President George Washington (Jon Voight), who show him the virtues of America.

“Beverly Hills Chihuahua” (PG) (3) [Some mild thematic elements.] [DVD only] When the unemployed niece (Piper Perabo) of a Hollywood cosmetics tycoon (Jamie Lee Curtis) takes her aunt’s beloved, spoiled, diamond-wearing pooch (voiceover by Drew Barrymore) to Mexico and the ruthless operator (José María Yazpik) of a dog fighting ring has his henchman kidnap the dog in this kid-friendly, entertaining, Walt Disney, 91-minute, 2008 comedy filled with star-studded voiceovers (such as Cheech Marin, Paul Rodriguez, Plácido Domingo, Loretta Devine, and Luis Guzmán), a handsome landscaper (Manolo Cardona) and his smitten Chihuahua (voiceover by George Lopez) join the search in Mexico City where a former police dog (voiceover by Andy Garcia) tries to protect the pampered pooch from a ferocious Doberman (voiceover by Edward James Olmos) and get her back home.

“Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist” (PG-13) (2.5) [Mature thematic material including teen drinking, sexuality, language, and crude behavior.] [DVD only]— While a lanky teenage musician (Michael Cera) in New Jersey hangs out with his gay band mates searching for a wildly popular, mysterious band called “Where’s Fluffy” and then finds himself attracted to the hip daughter (Kat Dennings) of a record producer who is trying to care for her drunk, gum-chewing friend (Ari Gaynor) in this wacky, teenager-geared, 90-minute, 2008 romantic comedy, his former, jealous, two-timing girlfriend (Alexis Dziena) spends the evening trying hook up with her ex-boyfriend.

“On the Downlow” (NR) (3) [DVD only] — After a gay Mexican motorcycle mechanic (Michael Cortez) in Chicago is initiated into a new gang in this gritty, critically acclaimed, award-winning, 84-minute, 2004 film, his lover (Tony Sancho) is faced with an impossible decision when a peer gang member (Donato Cruz) believes the mechanic is a member of a rival gang.

“Religulous” (R) (3.5) [Some language and sexual material.] [DVD only]— A hilariously irreverent, thought-provoking, controversial, and fascinating, 101-minute, 2008 documentary in which political humorist and author Bill Maher travels around the world candidly speaking with Christians, Jews, and Muslims about their faith and religious beliefs.

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 2018 by Wendy Schadewald.

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