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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“4 Months, 3 Weeks, & 2 Days” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A compassionate and savvy Romanian college student (Anamaria Marinca) thinks more seriously about her own life and her relationship with her boyfriend (Alex Potocean) in this dark, taut, realistic, award-winning film when she helps her reserved, 4-month-pregnant roommate (Laura Vasiliu) hire a creepy, manipulative, self-serving abortionist (Vlad Ivanov) to perform an illegal abortion during the late 1980s.
“Buster’s Mal Heart” (NR) (3) — When a disillusioned hotel concierge (Rami Malek) with a wife (Kate Lyn Sheil) and 2-year-old daughter has a psychotic break after meeting a pessimistic homeless man (DJ Qualls) obsessed with conspiracy theories in this quirky, unusual, imaginative, dark, 96-minute thriller, he finds himself hallucinating, breaking into empty vacation homes, and trying to keep one step ahead of the authorities (Toby Huss, Bruce Bundy, et al.) in Montana.
“The Eye” (PG-13) (2) [Violence/terror and disturbing content.] [DVD only] — When a concert violinist (Jessica Alba) begins to see terrifying and disturbing images after a cornea transplant in this inferior and uninspired remake of the 2002 Hong Kong thriller, her concerned sister (Parker Posey) and a compassionate doctor (Alessandro Nivola) try to help her discover the events surrounding the death of the donor.
“Fool’s Gold” (PG-13) (2.5) [Action violence, some sexual material, brief nudity, and language.] [DVD only] — An entertaining, action-packed, family-friendly romantic comedy in which a hunky, opportunistic, slacker treasure hunter (Matthew McConaughey) teams up with his Ukrainian sidekick (Ewen Bremmer), his disillusioned ex-wife (Kate Hudson), and a savvy British multimillionaire (Donald Sutherland) and his ditzy, tabloid-magnet daughter (Alexis Dziena) to best rivals (Ray Winstone, Kevin Hart, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, et al.) also searching for hidden 18th-century Spanish gold and silver in the blue waters of the Caribbean.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” (PG-13) (3) [Sequences of adventure violence, and some suggestive content.] — While a long-dead, revenge-fueled Spanish captain (Javier Bardem) with his ghostly crew searches for his drunken nemesis (Johnny Depp) after escaping from the Devil’s Triangle in this humor-filled, action-packed, entertaining, well-paced, star-dotted (Geoffrey Rush, Keira Knightley, Stephen Graham, David Wenham, and Golshifteh Farahani), 3D, 129-minute film highlighted by striking special effects, the tenacious seafaring son (Brenton Thwaites) searches for the Trident of Poseidon with the help of a beautiful, cheeky astronomer (Kaya Scodelario) to break the curse that keeps his father (Orlando Bloom) buried beneath the sea on the Flying Dutchman ship.
“Rambo” (R) (2) [Strong graphic bloody violence, sexual assaults, grisly images, and language.] [DVD only] — Exploding bombs and bodies dominate this blood-splattered, action-packed, violent film in which a disillusioned Vietnam veteran (Sylvester Stallone), who wrangles snakes in Thailand, is hired by a Colorado pastor (Ken Howard) to take five mercenaries (Graham McTavish, Reynaldos Gallegos, et al.) into rain-soaked, war-ravaged Burma after a sadistic Burmese major (Maung Maung Khin) and his ruthless, butchering soldiers capture a group of Christian human rights missionaries (Julie Benz, Paul Schulze, Cameron Pearson, Thomas Peterson, Tony Skarberg, and James Wearing Smith) delivering medicine and medical care.
“Raining Stones” (R) (3.5) [Some strong language.] [DVD only] — A gripping, unsettling 1993 British film about an immensely proud, devout, unemployed Catholic Englishman (Bruce Jones) who turns to his compassionate priest (Tom Hickey) after he disappoints his wife (Julie Brown) by hanging around with his petty thief best friend (Ricky Tomlinson) and not finding work and then ends up in over his head when he borrows money from an unforgiving loan shark to buy a communion outfit for his young daughter (Gemma Phoenix).
“Strange Wilderness” (R) (0) [Nonstop language, drug use, and crude sexual humor.] [DVD only] — When a disgusted television executive decides to cancel his amateurish, shoddy, and embarrassing nature show in this inane, crude, groan-inducing, cameo-filled (Ernest Borgnine, Joe Don Baker, et al.) comedy, a dimwitted television host (Steve Zahn) and his moronic team (Jonah Hill, Justin Long, Ashley Schott, Kevin Heffernan, Peter Dante, et al.) head to Ecuador and hire a tracker (Robert Patrick) to find the legendary Bigfoot before his rival (Harry Hamlin) does in an attempt to boost ratings and to his revive show.
“U2 3D” (G) (4) [DVD only] — An engaging, entertaining, exceptionally choreographed and photographed, three-dimensional IMAX concert film in which U2 (Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, Jr.) performs a wide array of songs, including “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “New Year’s Day,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “Miss Sarajevo,” “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “With or Without You,” “Fly,” “Beautiful Day,” “Vertigo,” “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own,” “Love and Peace or Else,” “Yahweh,” and “One,” that span their 20+ year history; a must see for U2 fans and music lovers.
“Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights—Hollywood to the Heartland” (R) (2) [Pervasive language and some sex-related humor.] [DVD only] — A choppy, intermittently funny, behind-the-scenes glimpse in which special guests (Justin Long, Jon Favreau, Dwight Yoakum, Peter Billingsley, and Keir O’Donnell) join Vince Vaughn and four comedians (Ahmed Ahmed, John Caparulo, Bret Ernst, and Sebastian Maniscalco) as they travel across the country from Los Angeles to Nashville on a tour bus to perform thirty standup comedy shows in 30 days.
“Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins” (PG-13) (2.5) [Crude and sexual content, language, and some drug references.] [DVD only] — Over-the-top, flamboyant characters dominate this wacky, predictable comedy about a successful television talk show host (Martin Lawrence) who returns home to Georgia with his snobbish fiancée (Joy Bryant) and his young son (Damani Roberts) to celebrate with his siblings (Michael Clarke Duncan and Mo’nique) and cousins (Mike Epps, et al.) the 50th wedding anniversary of his estranged parents (James Earl Jones and Margaret Avery) and finds himself in an all too familiar rivalry with his car dealer owner cousin (Cedric the Entertainer) who fancied the same beauty (Nicole Ari Parker) in high school.
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.