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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“African Adventure: Safari in the Okavango” (NR) (3) [DVD only] — Chuck Hargrove narrates this fascinating and educational 3D-IMAX sequel to “Wild Safari: A South African Adventure” in which filmmaker Tim Liversedge, photographer June Liversedge, and zoologist Liesl Eichenberg get up close and personal with elephants, crocodiles, lions, pink backed pelicans, antelope, fishing owls, fish eagles, hippos, and wart hogs in the Okavango Delta in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, which begins to flood during midsummer, consists of more than 20,000 square miles of lagoons and islands, and is home to diverse wildlife, including more than 350 different species of birds.
“Close to Home” (NR) (2.5) [Subtitled.] [DVD only] — A down-to-earth, gritty film about a bombing that affects the lives and strained relationship of two 18-year-old Israeli soldiers (Neama Shendar and Smadar Sayar) who are assigned the monotonous job of roaming the streets and boarding buses to randomly check the official papers of Palestinian civilians.
“The Day of the Jackal” (PG) (4) [DVD only] — A taut, well-written, highly suspenseful, Oscar-nominated 1973 thriller based on the Frederick Forsythe novel that follows a frustrated and perplexed French inspector (Tony Britton) and his associates who are always two steps behind in their search for a calculating, meticulous, and clever contract killer (Edward Fox) who is hired by politically subversive members (Jean Martin, Eric Porter, et al.) of the OAS group to assassinate President Charles De Gaulle (Adrien Cayla-Legrand) on Liberation Day.
“Detroit” (R) (3.5) [Strong violence and pervasive language.] — A gut-wrenching, anger-producing, factually based, well-acted, violent, star-studded (John Boyega, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie, and Jeremy Strong), 143-minute Kathryn Bigelow film set against the backdrop of the Detroit riots in 1967 in which trigger-happy cops (Will Poulter, Jack Reynor, et al.) terrorized innocent civilians (Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore, Jason Mitchell, Hannah Murray, Kaitlyn Dever, et al.) and murdered three of them in cold blood at the Algiers Motel when trying to force them to reveal the location of a sniper gun that was shot out the window at National Guard troops and eventually culminated in an infamous trial in 1969.
“Doomsday” (R) (1.5) [Strong bloody violence, language, and some sexual content/nudity.] [DVD only] — When Scotland succumbs to the deadly “reaper” virus in 2007 and British officials discover unlucky, tattooed, cannibalistic survivors (Craig Conway, MyAnna Buring, et al.) in 2035 in this nonoriginal, fast-paced, action-packed, graphically violent futuristic thriller laden with special effects and rip-offs from such films as “Mad Max” and “Escape from New York,” a cop (Bob Hoskins) sends in a ballsy, one-eyed major (Rhona Mitra) to lead an elite team (Adrian Lester, Nora-Jane Noone, Rick Warden, Sean Pertwee, Chris Robson, Darren Morfitt, et al.) into the quarantine zone to try and find a scientist (Malcolm McDowell) who may have found a cure to the lethal plague threatening London.
“Drillbit Taylor” (PG-13) (2.5) [Crude sexual references throughout, strong bullying, language, drug references, and partial nudity.] [DVD only] — Predictable antics ensue in this slapstick, family-friendly, wacky comedy about a pudgy rapper (Troy Gentile), a scrawny geek (Nate Hartley), and a frightened squirt (David Dorfman) who hire a silver-tongued, homeless Army deserter (Owen Wilson) to protect them from a relentless high school bully (Alex Frost) who seems to have the clueless principle and the teachers (Leslie Mann, et al.) in his back pocket.
“Kidnap” (R) (2.5) [Violence and peril.] — Car chases and crashes dominate this intense, suspenseful, action-packed, fast-paced, well-acted, love-it-or-hate-it, 94-minute thriller in which a tenacious, divorced, distraught, desperate, and determined waitress (Halle Berry) goes after an ugly couple (Lew Temple and Chris McGinn) after they kidnap her six-year-old son (Sage Correa) from an amusement park in New Orleans.
“Mutum” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A somber, earthy, moving 2007 Sandra Kogut Brazilian film that focuses on an imaginative and sensitive 10-year-old boy (Thiago Da Silva Mariz) growing up with his impoverished family and grandmother (Paula Regina Sampaio Da Silva) on an isolated farm in western Brazil who must be deal with an abusive and angry father (João Miguel), the death of his brother (Wallison Felipe Leal Barroso), and ultimately leaving his mother (Izadora Cristiani Fernandes Silveira) to be schooled in the city.
“Strange Weather” (R) (2) [A scene of sexuality.] — Seven years after the tragic suicide of her adult son (Ransom Ashley) in this somber, low-key, star-dotted (Kim Coates, Glenn Headley, Ted Ferguson, Johnny McPhail, and Lucy Faust), 92-minute, 2016 film a divorced, small-town university administrator assistant (Holly Hunter) in Georgia tries to make sense of her son’s death by speaking with various friends (Walker Babington, Craig Boe, and Turner Crumbley) and then heading to New Orleans with her lesbian friend (Carrie Coon) when she learns that a friend (Shane Jacobsen) of her son stole his business idea about opening a hot dog restaurant that turned out to be a huge success.
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.