Short Redhead Reel Reviews for the week of Feb. 10

by Wendy Schadewald
Special to Sun Thisweek-Dakota County Tribune

Rating system:  (4=Don’t miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)

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“The Comedian” (R) (2) [Crude sexual references and language throughout.] — A depressing, unfunny, crude, star-filled (Danny DeVito, Leslie Mann, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Keitel, Billy Crystal, Charles Grodin, Patti LuPone, Lois Smith, and Veronica Ferres), 119-minute comedy in which an aging, crass, foul-mouthed, has-been television sitcom star (Robert DeNiro) desperately tries to revive his career as a stand-up comic in New York City with any paying gig with the help of his longtime manager (Edie Falco).

 

“Margot at the Wedding” (R) (1) [Sexual content and language.] [DVD only] — Dysfunctional family dynamics escalate in this disjointed, quirky, and surprisingly boring film when a Manhattan screenwriter (Nicole Kidman) and her precocious son (Zane Pais) go to her childhood home to attend the intimate wedding of her estranged sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to an unemployed, overweight musician (Jack Black).

 

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” (R) (2) [Sequences of violence throughout.] — A gritty, violent, action-packed, fast-paced, futuristic, 3D, 106-minute sequel in which butt-kicking clone Alice (Milla Jovovich) is joined by rebel survivors (Ali Larter, Eoin Macken, Fraser James, Ruby Rose, et al.) with the help of the Red Queen (Ever Anderson) to infiltrate the Umbrella hive in Raccoon City run by an evil, power-hungry scientist (Jain Glen) and his henchman (Shawn Roberts) to obtain the antivirus that will neutralize the T-virus that turned humans in flesh-eating zombies.

 

“Southland Tales” (R) (.5) [Language, violence, sexual material, and some drug content.] [DVD only] — Justin Timberlake narrates this unintelligible, futuristic, cameo-peppered (Mandy Moore, Miranda Richardson, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Smith, Wallace Shawn, John Larroquette, Janeane Garofalo, et al.) film with inane dialogue about a former porn star (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who hosts a reality television show, an actor (Dwayne Johnson) with amnesia shooting a film, and a police officer (Seann William Scott) protecting the beach against the backdrop of political anarchy, dropping bombs, and WWIII.

 

“The Space Between Us” (PG-13) (2.5) [Brief sensuality and language.] — A touching, bittersweet, family-friendly, star-studded (Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino, BD Wong, Gil Birmingham, and Colin Egglesfield), 2-hour film highlighted by terrific cinematography in which a smart, 16-year-old teenager (Asa Butterfield), who lost his astronaut mother (Janet Montgomery) on the Red Planet during childbirth, takes a seven-month journey from East Texas, Mars, to Earth to search both for the orphaned student (Britt Robertson) with whom he is smitten and his father.

 

“Terror’s Advocate” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — An insightful and controversial documentary that uses interviews and archival photos, film footage, and news clippings to delve into the infamous life of arrogant and charismatic French lawyer Jacques Vergès who has defended notorious criminals from Djamila Bouhired who planted bombs during the Algerian war, the WWII Nazi the “Butcher of Lyon” Klaus Barbie, and Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy to terrorists, including Anis Naccach, Magdalena Kopp, and Carlos the Jackal.

 

Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.