Rating system: (4=Don’t miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)
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“The Ant Bully” (PG) (3.5) [Some mild rude humor and action.] [DVD only] — After an industrious group of ants (voiceovers by Nicolas Cage, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Bruce Campbell, Ricardo Montalban, et al.) fear for their lives and shrink a bullied 10-year-old boy (voiceover Zach Tyler Eisen) who tries to destroy their colony out of frustration and boredom in this clever, creative, pun-filled, and entertaining animated film, the frightened boy learns about the ant community, becomes friends with the insects, and ends up saving the colony from a zealous exterminator (voiceover by Paul Giamatti).
“August: Osage County” (R) (4) [Language including sexual references, and drug material.] — Superb acting dominates this powerful, compelling, down-to-earth, star-studded (Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, Margo Martindale, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Abigail Breslin), 2-hour film that explores the severe dysfunctional family dynamics when three sisters (Julia Roberts, Julianne Nicholson, and Juliette Lewis) rally around their drug-addicted, cancer-stricken, curmudgeonly mother (Meryl Streep) in Oklahoma to deal with her disease and the sudden death of their father (Sam Shepard).
“Her” (R) (2) [Language, sexual content, and brief graphic nudity.] — A melancholy, depressing, repetitive, drawn-out, futuristic, albeit thought-provoking, star-dotted (Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, Rooney Mara, Portia Doubleday, and Chris Pratt), 2-hour film in which a divorced, lonely letter writer (Joaquin Phoenix) for an Internet company develops an unhealthy relationship with his computer’s operating system (voiceover by Scarlett Johansson).
“Lone Survivor” (R) (4) [Strong bloody war violence and pervasive language.] — A gripping, intense, violent, action-packed, fast-paced, factually based film in which four members (Marcus Luttrell [Mark Wahlberg], Danny Dietz [Emile Hirsch], Matt Axelson [Ben Foster], and Mike Murphy [Taylor Kitch]) of a Navy SEAL team take on a harrowing, dangerous “Operation Red Wings” mission in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005, to help their military unit take down a key Taliban leader Ahmed Shahd (Yousef Azami).
“Miami Vice” (R) (2.5) [Strong violence, language, and some sexual content.] [DVD only] — After a leak compromises the identities of several FBI agents and results in the death of another undercover agent (John Hawkes) and his family in this bullet-splattered action film based on the 1984 television series, two Miami detectives (Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx) go undercover to nab two ruthless South American drug lords (Luis Tosar and John Ortiz) and their henchmen (Li Gong, et al.).
“Wassup Rockers” (R) (1.5) [Pervasive language, some violence, sexual content, and teen drinking.] [DVD only] — A deafening and screeching soundtrack mars this occasionally charming film about seven Latino skateboarders (Jonathan Velasquez, Eddie Velasquez, Francisco Pedrasa, Milton Velasquez, Yunior Usualdo Panameno, Luis Rojas-Salgado, and Carlos Velasco) who have a night from hell when they leave their gun-infested, racially charged ghetto neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles and venture into Beverly Hills.
The following films play Jan. 9 – Feb. 28 as part of the Omnifest 2014 at the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Omnitheater:
“Blue Planet” (NR) (3) — James Buchli and Toni Myers narrate this engaging, educational 1990 IMAX film that presents a global view of the Earth as a dynamic system.
“Great White Shark” (NR) (3.5) — Bill Nighy narrates this educational, awe-inspiring, 40-minute documentary filled with terrific cinematography that showcases the boneless, great white sharks off of Mexico, South Africa, Los Angeles and New Zealand, which can grow to 2 tons and more than 20 feet in length, has multiple rows of razor-sharp teeth, can dive to 4,000 feet or more, and feed on fish, rays, seals, and sea lions.
“Ring of Fire” (NR) (3) — Robert Foxworth narrates this highly informative 1991 IMAX documentary about the ring of volcanoes that surround the Pacific Ocean.
“Stomp’s World Beat” (NR) (3) — An upbeat 2003 IMAX film that features music and dancers from all over the world, including the United States, England, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, Guinea, India, and Spain.
“To the Limit” (NR) (2) — An educational1989 IMAX documentary that explores the endurance of the human body during mountain climbing, skiing, and ballet.
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.