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)

“Johnny English Strikes Again” (PG) (4) [Some action violence, rude humor, language, and brief nudity.] When Great Britain experiences a cyber attack that exposes MI7 agents identities and creates havoc with the Internet and transportation systems in this hilarious, pratfall, silly, entertaining, well-paced, action-packed, star-studded (Michael Gambon, Charles Dance, Jake Lacey, Edward Fox, Peter Singh, Matthew Beard, and Miranda Hennessy), 88-minute spoof reminiscent of the “Pink Panther” films and highlighted by gorgeous scenery, a bumbling, moronic geography teacher (Rowan Atkinson), whose more overt than covert, is reluctantly brought out of retirement by the prime minister (Emma Thompson) to rejoin MI7 in the hopes that he and his capable sidekick (Ben Miller), who is married to a submarine captain, can find and stop the dangerous, power-hungry cyber terrorist trying to take over the world wide web while dodging a mysterious agent (Olga Kurylenko).

 

“Matangi/Maya/M.I.A” (NR) (2.5) An insightful, frenetic, music-filled, unevenly paced, 96-minute, biographical political documentary that consists of personal video recordings, concert footage, photographs, and snippets from her songs (such as Bad Girl, Born Free, Sunshowers, and Galang Radial-Chic) to chronicle approximately 22 years in the life of critically acclaimed, candid British hip-hop singer/songwriter Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam, who moved from war-torn Sri Lanka with her family, as she rises to fame and her controversial efforts to bring to light the inhumane condition in Sri Lanka and its government’s genocide of her Tamil people.

 

“Mid90s” (R) (3) [Pervasive language, sexual content, drug and alcohol use, some violent behavior/disturbing images—all involving minors.] Foul language dominates this emotional, disturbing, realistic, down-to-earth, coming-of-age, 84-minute, Jonah Hill film in which a 13-year-old boy (Sunny Suljic), who yearns to fit in and lives with his neglectful mother (Katherine Waterston) and abusive, angry brother (Lucas Hedges), grows up fast in Los Angeles when he seeks a connection and friendship with four pot-smoking, drinking skateboarders (Na-kel Smith, Olan Prenatt, Gio Galicia, and Ryder McLaughlin) who take him under their wing.

 

“The Price of Everything” (NR) (3) A fascinating, insightful, arty, candid, eye-opening,115-minute documentary that focuses on the philosophy and creations of artists Larry Poons and Jeff Koons, explores the pretentious art world and the outrageous and astounding prices garnered for some artwork, and consists of interviews with artists (such as Marilyn Minter, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Gerhard and Sabine Mortiz Richter, and Paula De Luccia Poons), curator Paul Schimmel, art collectors (such as Stefan Edlis, Gael Nelson, Igna Rubenstein, and Holly Peterson), Art Runners Chairman Sergi Tiroche, auctioneer Simon de Pury, Phillips Auction House executives Ed Dolman and Robert Manley, Sotheby’s Auction House Chairman and vice president of contemporary art Amy Cappellazzo, art critic Jerry Saltz, art historians Alexander Nemerov and Barbara Rose, and art dealers, including Gavin Brown, Margaret Lee, Leo Castelli, Mary Boone, Jeffrey Deitch, and Dennis Yares.

 

 

On DVD

 

“The Babysitters” (R) (1.5) [Disturbing strong sexual content, language, and some drug use that involve teens.] [DVD only] — After a couple (John Leguizamo and Cynthia Nixon) hires a babysitter (Katherine Waterston) to care for their son and the teenager hooks up with the randy husband on the drive home in this risqué, predictable, 88-minute, 2007 film, the ambitious high school student seizes the opportunity to become a madam for several peers (Lauren Birkell, Haley Wegryn Gross, Louise Krouse, et al.) as a quick way to earn extra money for college.

 

“The King Maker” (R) (2) [Violence.] [DVD only] — Vibrant costumes and colorful sets dominate this lackluster, poorly acted, factually inspired, 92-minute, 2005 film in which a Portuguese mercenary (Gary Stretch) is freed by the beautiful daughter (Cindy Burbridge) of a duplicitous architect (John Rhys-Davies) after being sold into slavery upon arriving in Siam in 1547 and then finds himself trying to protect the king (Nirut Sirichanya) when his ambitious wife (Yoe Hassadeevichit) plots to assume the throne.

 

“Marley & Me” (PG) (3.5) [Thematic material, some suggestive content, and language.] [DVD only] — A heartwarming, touching, funny, down-to-earth, family-oriented, 115-minute, 2008 film about a newly married couple (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) who move to Florida on the advice of a friend (Eric Dane), take journalist jobs at rival local newspapers, and then find themselves with their hands full when they adopt a lovable, energetic, mischievous, golden lab puppy that is afraid of thunderstorms.

 

“The Reader” (R) (3) [Some scenes of sexuality and nudity.] [DVD only] — An engaging, tasteful, critically acclaimed, well-acted, 124-minute, 2008 film in which an emotionally withdrawn, divorced, successful lawyer (Ralph Fiennes) in Berlin reminisces about his steamy, summer-long love affair as a 15-year-old German student (David Kross) with a much-older, illiterate, beautiful trolley ticket taker (Kate Winslet) with a mysterious past who loved him to read to her such stories as “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Odyssey,” “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” and “The Lady with the Little Dog” in 1958.

 

“Three Dancing Slaves” (NR) (1) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — In this strange, disjointed, uninteresting, 90-minute, 2004 French film, three gay Algerian brothers (Nicolas Cazalé, Stéphane Rideau, and Thomas Dumerchaz) live out their sexual fantasies in a small French town while coping with the tragic loss of their mother.

 

“What We Do Is Secret” (R) (1.5) [Drug use, language, and brief sexuality.] [DVD only] — A biographical, for punk-lovers mock, 92-minute, 2007 documentary that begins in 1975 in Los Angeles as it chronicles the short, infamous career of Darby Crash (aka Jan Paul Beahm) (Shane West) as he forms his inner circle (Bijou Phillips, Rick Gonzalez, Ashton Holmes, et al.) and ultimately his influential punk rock band The Germs before succumbing to a drug overdose in 1980.

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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