by Wendy Schadewald
Special to Sun Thisweek and the Dakota County Tribune
Rating system: (4=Don’t miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)
For past reviews, click here.
“Aquamarine” (PG) (2.5) [Mild language and sensuality.] [DVD only] — In this saccharine romantic fantasy tale geared for young girls, two best friends (Emma Roberts and JoJo) in Florida befriend a cheeky, confident mermaid (Sara Paxton) and help her to try and find true love with a hunky lifeguard (Jake McDorman) with the hope that the mermaid will grant their genie-like wish to not be separated when one of them must move to Australia with their marine biologist mother (Claudia Karvan).
“The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club” (NR) (4) [DVD only] — This gut-wrenching, Oscar-nominated short documentary intersperses unforgettable war photographs, including a memorable and controversial 1993 photograph in which a vulture stalks a starving Sudanese girl, with insightful interviews with family, friends, and colleagues to reflect on the brilliant career of Pulitzer-Prize-winning photojournalist Kevin Carter in Johannesburg, who became increasingly haunted and depressed by the killing and the corpses while covering the horrific violence in the townships of South Africa and the suffering of its emaciated children, which eventually lead him to commit suicide in 1994.
“God Sleeps in Rwanda” (NR) (4) [Partially subtitled] [DVD only] — Rosario Dawson narrates this eye-opening, informative Oscar-nominated short documentary that tells not only the horrendous story of the ethnic cleansing and genocide in Rwanda in 1994 in which three-fourths of the Tutsi population was murdered, which shockingly resulted in Rwanda’s current population to be 70% female; 250,000 women were raped, which often lead to HIV or AIDS; and 350,000 children were left orphaned, but it shows the fortitude, courage, strength, and resiliency of five representative women as they rebuild their lives and their country by taking on new positions of responsibility to ensure a new future.
“Gopher Broke” (NR) (4) [DVD only] — When a frustrated, industrious, hungry gopher sabotages vegetable-laden trucks headed for market on a bumpy country road in this 4-minute, hilarious animated film and ends up competing for the mouth-watering produce with chickens, a squirrel, and ravens, his antics ultimately get him into trouble with a cow.
“Iron Man 3” (PG-13) (3.5) [Sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content.] — A fun-filled, witty, highly entertaining, action-packed, fast-paced, 3D, star-studded (Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Paul Bettany, Miguel Ferrer, Joan Rivers, Bill Maher, and Mark Ruffalo), 140-minute film highlighted by spectacular special effects in which anxiety-prone, philanthropic, scientist billionaire (Robert Downey Jr.) takes action when his seaside Malibu mansion is destroyed by a power-hungry, maniacal genetic engineer (Guy Pearce) and his cohorts (Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale, Stephanie Szostak, Ashley Hamilton, et al.) and the lives of the U.S. president (William Sadler) and his girlfriend (Gwyneth Paltrow) are threatened.
“Madea’s Family Reunion” (PG) (2.5) [Mature thematic material, domestic violence, sex, and drug references.] [DVD only] — While an outspoken, no-nonsense, grits-throwing grandmother (Tyler Perry) takes in a troubled foster child (Keke Palmer) in Atlanta in this entertaining, but preachy sequel to the “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” a single mom (Lisa Arrindell Anderson) with two kids tries to ignore the advances of a smitten bus driver (Boris Kodjoe) and her down beaten sister (Rochelle Aytes) tries to escape her selfish, controlling, trust-stealing mother (Lynn Whitfield) and an abusive fiancee (Blair Underwood).
“SEAL Team 6: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden” (NR) (3.5) [DVD only] — While tenacious, stubbornly determined CIA analysts (Kathleen Robertson, William Fichtner, Jenney Gabrielle, et al.) in the counter-terrorism unit meticulously track down the whereabouts of the Osama Bin Laden (Yon Kempton) in this riveting, well-acted, entertaining, factually based, 90-minute, 2012 film, a Naval lieutenant (Robert Knepper) and his SEAL team six members (Freddy Rodriguez, Cam Gigandet, Anson Mount, Alvin ‘Xbit’ Joiner, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Kenneth Miller, Tait Fletcher, et al.) rigorously train to storm the Pakistan compound to take down the infamous terrorist and his cohorts in May 2011.
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.