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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“Adrift in Manhattan” (R) (2.5) [Sexual content, some nudity and language.] [DVD only] — While a shy, amateur photographer (Victor Rasuk) living with his mean-spirited mother (Marlene Forte) begins to snap pictures of a grieving optometrist (Heather Graham) separated from her English teacher husband (William Baldwin) after the tragic loss of their 2-year-old son in this somber, poignant film about strangers who cross paths in the New York City subway, an elderly painter (Dominic Chianese) reaches out to a Puerto Rican coworker (Elizabeth Peña) as he tries to cope with the loss of his eyesight due to macular degeneration.
“Alien: Covenant” (R) (2) [Sci-fi violence, bloody images, language, and some sexuality/nudity.] — When the Covenant crew (Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, Demián Bichi, Carmen Ejogo, Callie Hernandez, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, et al.), including a humanoid robot (Michael Fassbender), aboard a spaceship carrying 2,000 colonists bound for a new home on a distant planet intercepts a radio transmission from an unlikely source in this lackluster, predictable, violent, 122-minute Ridley Scott sci-fi thriller filled with striking special effects and numerous plot holes, the captain (Billy Crudup) makes the unfortunate decision to investigate the new world with dire consequences.
“Canvas” (PG-13) (3) [Mature thematic elements.] [DVD only] — As tension and medical bills skyrocket after his schizophrenic wife (Marcia Gay Harden) is admitted to a psych ward this gritty, engrossing film, a frazzled Miami construction worker (Joe Pantoliano) tries to rebuild his shaky, neglectful relationship with his anxious, troubled, and creative 10-year-old son (Devon Gearhart) while building a sailboat in his driveway.
“Chuck” (R) (3) [Language throughout, drug use, sexuality/nudity, and some bloody images.] — An engaging, well-acted, down-to-earth, factually inspired, star-studded (Naomi Watts, Ron Perlman, Jim Gaffigan, and Michael Rappaport), 101-minute biographical film that chronicles the tumultuous life and career of womanizing, egotistical, poem-writing, New Jersey heavyweight boxer Charles “Chuck” Wepner (Liev Schreiber) whose claim to fame was sparring for fifteen rounds on March 23, 1975, with Mohammed Ali in Cleveland and Sylvester Stallone (Morgan Spector) basing his Oscar-winning film ”Rocky” on his career, but then his life takes a nosedive when his fed-up wife (Elizabeth Moss) files for divorce, he becomes estranged from his daughter (Sadie Sink), and eventually spends 26 months in prison when he is busted for cocaine possession,
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” (PG) (2) [Some rude humor.] — After an Indianapolis couple (Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott) decides to take a road trip with no cell phones or the Internet with their three children (Jason Drucker, Charlie Wright, and Dylan Walters) to visit grandma on her 90th birthday in this silly, pratfall, family-friendly, intermittently funny, 90-minute comedy, mayhem ensues when they win a piglet at a county fair, a disgruntled bearded vacationer (Chris Coppola) seeks revenge, they are sidetracked to a videogame expo, and the van experiences one problem after another.
“Everything, Everything” (PG-13) (2.5) [Thematic elements and brief sensuality.] — A touching, down-to-earth, family-friendly, romantic, predictable, 96-minute film based on Nicola Yoon’s bestselling 2015 novel and reminiscent of “Bubble Boy” and “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble “ about an artistic, bright, bibliophile 18-year-old student (Amandla Stenberg) who suffers from a combined immunodeficiency disorder (SCID) and is cared for by an understanding nurse (Ana de la Reguera) worries her widowed physician mother (Anika Noni Rose) when she risks life to leave Massachusetts and go on an exciting, but reckless adventure with the hunky, nurturing next door neighbor (Nick Robinson).
“Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert 3D” (G) (2.5) [DVD only] — This young-girl-geared, 74-minute, three-dimensional Walt Disney concert film in St. Louis stars Miley Cyrus performing such songs as “Start All Over,” “Nobody’s Perfect,” “One in a Million,” “We Got the Party,” “Rock Star,” “I Miss You,” “Life Is What You Make It,” and “The Best of Both Worlds” and includes behind-the-scenes footage of rehearsals and guest appearances by the Jonas Brothers.
“In Bruges” (R) (3.5) [Strong bloody violence, pervasive language, and some drug use.] [DVD only] — A surprising, suspenseful, well-written, delightfully quirky dark comedy about a seasoned Irish hitman (Brendan Gleeson) and his guilt-ridden protégé (Colin Farrell) allegedly vacationing in the medieval city in Bruges, Belgium, while waiting for a call from their sharp-tongued boss (Ralph Fiennes) in London and their next assignment.
“Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent” (R) (3.5) [Language.] — Scrumptious food highlights this captivating, educational, 102-minute documentary that chronicles the extraordinary life and career of legendary, controversial, innovative, charismatic, influential culinary genius Jeremiah Tower, who started his career at Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley in 1972 and went on to build his world-famous Stars Restaurant in San Francisco in 1985, through archival photographs and film clips and interview snippets with Roots of American Festival director Stephen Torres, TV personalities (such as Martha Stewart, Anthony Bourdain, and Ken Friedman), former “Town and Country” food and wine critic James Villas, chefs and restaurateurs (such as Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, Jonathan Waxman, and Steve Ellis), former “Gourmet” magazine editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl, former “New York Times” food writer Regina Schrambling, friend Gregg Lowery, niece Alexandra Tower Ewers, food writer and journalist Andrew Friedman, restaurant consultant Clark Wolf, former Stars general manager Tony Angotti, former Stars chefs Mark Franz and Jean-Pierre Moullé, former Stars jazz pianist Mike Greensill, former Stars patron Jerry Matters, Tavern on the Green owner Jim Caiola, former Stars bartender Seamus Coyle, reservations manager Samantha Talbott, nephew Peter Tower, and Harvard college friends John Sanger, Michael Palmer, and Cathy Simon.
“The Lovers” (R) (3) [Sexuality and language.] — While a longtime married land surveyor (Tracy Letts) in California and his businesswoman wife (Debra Winger) find a renewed spark for each other despite his secret affair with an uptight ballet dancer/instructor (Melora Walters) and hers with a handsome writer (Aiden Gillen) in this quirky, engaging, well-acted, unpredictable, 94-minute comedy, conflicts arise when they both promise their partners that they will tell their spouse of the affair after their estranged son (Tyler Ross) comes home from college for a visit with his girlfriend (Jessica Sula).
“Risk” (NR) (3) [Available on iTunes] — An eye-opening, informative, inspirational, controversial, 94-minute, 2016 documentary in which filmmaker Laura Poitras spends five years examining the life of WikiLeaks publisher and founder Julian Assange who has been living at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for five years after Ecuador granted him political asylum with the help of his lawyers Jennifer Robinson and Renata Avila in an effort to prevent his extradition to Sweden to answer sexual misconduct allegations and thereby preventing a possible extradition to the U.S. for leaking thousands of confidential government files with the help of WikiLeaks editors Sarah Harrison and Joseph Farrell and hacking experts, including Jacob Applebaum.
“The Rules of the Game” (NR) (2) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — When a triad leader (Alex Fong) and a Hong Kong mechanic (Louis Koo) fall in love with a beautiful nightclub employee (Kristy Yang) in this action-packed, 1999 Chinese film, jealously and revenge lead to a tragic ending.
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.