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.
“After Innocence” (NR) (3.5) [DVD only] — An eye-opening, heartbreaking documentary that follows eight men who are now trying to rebuild their lives and to make a difference for others after they were incarcerated for years in prison and later exonerated by DNA evidence that proved them innocent.
“Beavers” (NR) (3.5) [DVD only] — Earl Pennington narrates this highly-entertaining and informative 1988 IMAX documentary about two hard-working, eager beavers that drastically alter their environment by falling approximately 400 trees annually to build a dam in order to construct a lodge for their family.
“Chicken with Plums” (PG-13) (3.5) [Some drug content, violent images, sensuality, and smoking.] [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A dark, somber, Oscar-nominated, nonlinear, 91-minute, 2011 film in which a depressed, unhappy, talented violinist (Mathieu Amalric), who has two children (Mathis Bour and Enna Balland) in Tehran, contemplates suicide in 1958 after his bickering wife (Mariade Medeiros) breaks his cherished violin that he received from his music teacher, and he continues to long for a woman (Golshifteh Farahani) he could not marry.
“Cosmic Voyage” (NR) (2.5) [DVD only] — Morgan Freeman narrates this educational 1996 IMAX documentary inspired by the book “Cosmic View: The Universe in 40 Jumps” that uses stunning computer graphics to demonstrate the macrocosm of the expanding universe to the microcosm of an atom in a droplet of water.
“Find Me Guilty” (R) (2) [Strong language and some violence.] [DVD only] — The courtroom turns into a free-for-all circus in this tepid-paced, factually based story about the longest Mafia trial in U.S. history that occurred between 1987 and 1988 in which wisecracking mobster Jack DiNorscio (Vin Diesel) colorfully represented himself after turning down a deal to rat out the New Jersey Mafia don (Alex Rocco) and his henchman in order to shorten the 30-year prison term that he was already serving for racketeering.
“The Internship” (PG-13) (2) [Sexuality, some crude humor, partying, and language.] — When their unsympathetic boss (John Goodman) closes his shop in this intermittently funny, unevenly paced, 2-hour comedy, two desperate Phoenix watch salesmen (Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) join Google as interns in San Francisco where they try to understand the culture, to fit in with the other interns (Max Minghella, Dylan O’Brien, Tiya Sircar, Tobit Raphael, et al.) and employees (Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi, Josh Brener, Josh Gad, et al.), and ultimately to get hired full time.
“The Kings of Summer” (R) (3) [Language and some teen drinking.] — Terrific cinematography highlights this engaging, family-friendly, coming-of-age, 90-minute film in which a frustrated Ohio teenager (Nick Robinson), who lives with his clueless widowed father (Nick Offerman) and is in love with a flirtatious blonde (Erin Moriarty), coerces his equally frustrated best friend (Gabriel Basso), who lives with his wacky parents (Megan Mullally and Marc Evan Jackson), and a quirky tag-a-long friend (Moises Arias) to build a get-away clubhouse in the woods to escape their everyday lives for the summer.
“The Magic of Flight” (NR) (3) [DVD only] — 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 Sept. 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.
“Mystic India” (NR) (3.5) [DVD only] — Peter O’Toole narrates this colorful, educational, and awe-inspiring 2004 IMAX documentary about a wise-beyond-his-years 11-year old Indian boy (Latesh Patel) who dreams of becoming a Yogi and begins a 7-year, 8,000-mile spiritual journey on Jun. 29, 1792, when he leaves his family to travel across India, which is rich in traditions, dotted with strikingly beautiful temples and palaces, and diverse in its people, languages, artwork, and landscape.
“The Purge” (R) (2.5) [Strong disturbing violence and some language.] — After a frightened, injured African American (Edwin Hodge) takes refuge in the home of a wealthy security systems installer (Ethan Hawke) and his family (Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, and Adelaide Kane) in 2022 on the night of the annual government-sanctioned purge during which murder is condoned for 12 hours to relieve the pent up rage and aggression in this intriguing, intense, violent, 95-minute thriller, they find their lives threatened by a group of angry people (Rhys Wakefield, Arija Bareikis, Tom Yi, Chris Mulkey, Tisha French, et al.) outside their home desperate to get in.
“She’s the Man” (PG) (3) [Some sexual content.] [DVD only] — After a soccer player (Amanda Bynes) breaks up with her two-faced boyfriend (Robert Hoffman) and her all-girl team is cut from the high school athletic program in this charming, witty, and clever take on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” she impersonates her twin brother (James Kirk) in an attempt to compete on the all-boy team at a rival school and becomes smitten with her hunky roommate (Channing Tatum) who only has eyes for another teenage beauty (Laura Ramsey).
“Tsotsi” (R) (3.5) [Language and some strong violent content.] [Subtitled] [DVD only] — After living a violent, hand-to-mouth existence in the squalor of a Johannesburg shantytown in South Africa and a fight with his ghetto homeboys (Mothusi Magano, Zenzo Ngqobe, and Kenneth Nkosi) that leads to the impulsive shooting of a woman (Nambitha Mpumlwana) and stealing her BMW car with her infant son in the back seat in this bittersweet, heart-wrenching, Oscar-winning film, a bitter and fuel-raged gang leader (Presley Chweneyagae) suffers flashbacks from his horrific childhood and tries to turn his life around when he finds himself feeling compassion and caring for the helpless baby.
“Violet & Daisy” (NR) (3) — A hit of a lonely father (James Gandolfini) in a New York City apartment does not go as planned when two plucky teenage assassins (Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan), who dress up as nuns and painters, get their new assignment from a man (Danny Trejo) sleeping on a park bench in this wacky, oddball, cameo-dotted (John Ventimiglia, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, et al.), 88-minute, 2011 film.
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.