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 more reviews, click here.
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” (PG) (4) [Adventure action and some mild rude humor.] — When an evil, power-hungry Viking (voiceover by Djimon Hounsou) tries to control all of the dragons with a gargantuan alpha dragon in this action-packed, fast-paced, colorful, 3D, star-studded (voiceovers by Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and T.J. Miller), 95-minute animated film with gorgeous animation, the peacekeeping son (voiceover by Jay Baruchel) of the chief (voiceover by Gerard Butler), his estranged mother (voiceover by Cate Blanchett), his girlfriend (voiceover by American Ferrera), and other townsfolk ride their dragons to save the dragons and their city; maybe too violent for young children.
“Jersey Boys” (R) (3.5) [Language throughout.] — Memorable, nostalgic songs highlight this entertaining, factually based, well-acted, star-dotted (Steve Schirripa, Michael Patrick McGill, Billy Gardell, and Barry Livingston), 134-minute, Clint Eastwood biopic film based on the hit Broadway musical “Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons” that begins in New Jersey in 1951 and follows the slow rise to stardom of talented, falsetto singer Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young) and the Four Seasons (Vincent Piazza, Michael Lomenda, and Erich Bergen) while dealing with their tumultuous relationships, family challenges, a flamboyant record producer (Mike Doyle), and mobsters (Christopher Walken and Donnie Kehr).
“Obvious Child” (R) (2.5) [Language and sexual content.] — A quirky, down-to-earth, 83-minute, dark comedy in which a bitter Brooklyn standup comedian (Jenny Slate) on the rebound from a cheating boyfriend finds herself in an awkward dilemma when she meets a boy-next-door computer tech (Jake Lacy), who is a student of her divorced mother (Polly Draper), and seeks solace from her father (Richard Kind), her roommate (Gaby Hoffman), and friend (David Cross).
“Renaissance” (R) (3) [Some violent images, sexuality, nudity, and language.] [DVD only] — A visually captivating, technologically advanced, artistic, black-and-white, three-dimensional animated film about a French detective (voiceover by Daniel Craig) and an unscrupulous company bigwig (voiceover by Jonathan Pryce) who search for a kidnapped genetic scientist (voiceover by Romola Garai) whose genetic search in human longevity is highly coveted in 2054 Paris; primarily for technophile fans.
“The Rover” (R) (1.5) [Language and some bloody violence.] — Bullets fly and bodies drop in this gritty, pointless, violent, 102-minute film in which a tenacious Aussie drifter (Guy Pearce) pursues three men (Scoot McNairy, David Field, and Tawanda Manyimo) who stole his car in the Australian outback ten years after a global economic collapse while he ends up helping the wounded brother (Robert Pattinson) of one of the car thieves.
“Spanglish” (PG-13) (1.5) [Some sexual content and brief language.] [DVD only] — When a Mexican immigrant (Paz Vega) takes a job as a live-in housekeeper and nanny for a four-star chef (Adam Sandler) in this 2004 comedy, his insecure wife (Téa Leoni), and their two kids (Sarah Steele and Ian Hyland), the experience helps to reshape and define the life of her young daughter (Aimee Garcia) growing up in Los Angeles.
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.