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)
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“Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker” (PG) (3) [Sequences of action violence and some peril.] [DVD only] — After their top British spy (Ewan McGregor) is killed in this action-packed, entertaining film based on a series of books by Anthony Horowitz, top officers (Bill Nighy and Sophie Okonedo) at the MI-6 Bureau in London recruit and train his agile, revenge-driven, fourteen-year-old nephew (Alex Pettyfer), despite the objections of his perky American housekeeper (Alicia Silverstone), to go undercover as a computer whiz to gather intelligence data against a suspicious virtual-reality computer mogul (Mickey Rourke) and his minions (Miss Pyle, et al.) at his factory in Cornwall.
“Employee of the Month” (PG-13) (2) [Crude and sexual humor, and language.] [DVD only] — A silly, satirical comedy about a lazy, but likable box boy (Dane Cook) at a Super Club discount store who competes with an arrogant, sophomoric cashier (Dax Shepard) to be proclaimed employee of the month by impressing their bosses (Tim Bagley and Sean Whalen) and to win the affections of a big-eared blonde cashier (Jessica Simpson).
“Man of the Year” (PG-13) (3.5) [Drug-related material, brief violence, and language, including some crude sexual references.] [DVD only] — After an irreverent political talk show host (Robin Williams) runs on the independent ticket on a whim and becomes the president elect to the delight of his emphysema-afflicted manager (Christopher Walken) in this entertaining, witty Barry Levinson satire, the unscrupulous CEO (Rick Roberts) and a ruthless lawyer (Jeff Goldblum) of a computer voting system company try to prevent a software analyst (Laura Linney) from divulging that a computer glitch caused the wrong candidate to be elected president.
“Matador” (NC-17) (3) [Aberrant sexuality, including violence.] [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A compelling, erotic 1986 Pedro Almodóvar thriller about a disturbed Spaniard (Antonio Banderas) who rapes the girlfriend (Eva Cobo) of his bullfighting instructor (Nacho Martínez) and then ends up being represented by a serial-killing lawyer (Assumpta Serna) when he falsely confesses to four murders.
“Snowpiercer” (R) (3) [Violence, language, and drug content.] — After the world freezes over due to global warming in this gripping, depressing, dark, tension-filled, 126-minute, 2013 thriller, poor passengers (Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Octavia Spencer, Kang-ho Song, Ah-sung Ko, Ewen Bremner, Luke Pasqualino, et al.) who live in squalor aboard a train that holds the remaining people left on Earth stage a revolt in 2031 to take control from unscrupulous people (Ed Harris, Tilda Swinton, Vlad Ivanov, Alison Pill, Jim High, Peter Hallin, et al.) in charge of the train.
“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning” (R) (2) [Strong horror violence/gore, language, and some sexual content.] [DVD only] — After a maniacal, demented Texan (R. Lee Ermey) posing as a sheriff takes three friends (Taylor Handley, Diora Baird, and (Matthew Bomer) involved in a car accident home to his slaughterhouse in 1969 in this murderous, blood-soaked, gore fest prequel, the fourth brave and foolish friend (Jordana Brewster) tries to save them from the disfigured, chainsaw-wielding nephew (Andrew Bryniarski) and his cannibalistic family; only for horror fans.
“Think Like a Man Too” (PG-13) (3) [Crude sexual content, including references, partial nudity, language, and drug material.] — Nuptials for a bride (Regina Hall) and groom (Terrence Jenkins) does not go off as planned in this funny, entertaining, silly, star-studded (Jenifer Lewis, Adam Brody, Dennis Haysbert, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Cheryl Hines, Wendy Williams, Carl Weathers, and La La Anthony), 106-minute comedy when the best man (Kevin Hart), bridesmaids (Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good, Taraji P. Henson, et al.), and groomsmen (Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Gary Owen, Romany Malco, et al.), turn up in Las Vegas to celebrate before the big wedding day.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction” (PG-13) (3.5) [Sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language, and brief innuendo.] — When mankind is threatened by a money-hungry, former black ops CIA agent (Kelsey Grammer) and a creative, millionaire inventor (Stanley Tucci) who team up with a nasty transformer in this action-packed, fast-paced, entertaining, humor-sprinkled, stat-dotted (T. J, Miller, Titus Welliver, and Sophia Myles), 3D, 165-minute sequel with phenomenal special effects, a broke Texas robotics engineer (Mark Wahlberg), his teenage daughter (Nicola Peltz), and her smitten boyfriend (Jack Reynor) team up with the Autobot Optimus Prime (voiceover by Peter Cullen) and his friends (voiceovers by John Goodman, Ken Wanatabe, Robert Foxworth, John DiMaggio, Mark Ryan, and Reno Wilson) to save the world from a power-hungry Decepticon (voiceover by Frank Welker).
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.