60-SECOND FILM REVIEWS

New movies showing in Minneapolis

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

“Long Shot” (R) (3) [Strong sexual content, language throughout, and some drug use.] — Sporadic crude jokes and vulgar language dot this funny, satirical, star-studded (Alexander Skarsgård, Lisa Kudrow, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, Bob Odenkirk, and Randall Park), romantic, political, 125-minute comedy in which the ambitious, influential Secretary of State (Charlize Theron) unexpectedly hires a talented, outspoken, sloppy, unemployed journalist (Seth Rogen), who had a crush on her when she babysat at his house next door neighbor in Washington, D.C., to be her speechwriter to the dismay of her two closest assistants (June Diane Raphael and Ravi Patel) when she begins an environmental initiative in preparation to run for president.

“Wild Nights with Emily” (PG-13) (3) [Sexual content.] — Striking cinematography highlights this insightful, well-acted, humorous, 84-minute, biographical film that is narrated by pompous editor and publisher Mabel Todd (Amy Seimetz) and unfolds in flashbacks as it explores the secretive life of lesbian, gingerbread-baking Victorian spinster poet Emily Dickson (Molly Shannon), who had only 11 poems out of more than 1,800 poems published before her death, and intertwines those risqué poems and letters inspired by her sister-in-law, lover, and muse Susan Gilbert Dickson (Susan Ziegler) with whom she shared a forbidden, passionate relationship that began in the 1860s as teenagers (Dana Melanie and Sasha Frolovai) in Amherst, Ma., and continued after she married her brother (Kevin Seal) until her death in 1886.

On DVD

“Adoration” (R) (2.5) [Language.] [DVD only]  — A divorced French/drama teacher (Arsinée Khanjian) from Beirut gets herself in trouble in this Atom Egoyan’s strange, complicated, 100-minute, 2008 film when she encourages an orphaned high school student (Devon Bostick), who lives with his tow truck driving uncle (Scott Speedman) in Seattle, to write a fictionalized monologue in which he alleges that his father was a terrorist who planned on killing his pregnant wife and 400 airplane passengers on a flight to the Holy Land.

“American Gun” (R) (3) [Violent content and language.] [DVD only] — A gripping, downbeat, well-acted, 95-minute, 2005 film that intertwines stories about the negative effect of guns in America, including a stressed-out, guilt-ridden Oregon factory worker (Marcia Gay Harden) who is raising her traumatized teenage son (Chris Marquette) while they both deal with the aftermath of her older son who murdered a number of people at his school; a policeman (Tony Goldwyn) in Oregon who deals with memories of the killers and their gunshot victims; a frustrated Chicago principal (Forest Whitaker) who worries about keeping his own family safe while safeguarding his students in a gun-free environment; and a Virginia gun store owner (Donald Sutherland) trying to raise his teenage granddaughter (Linda Cardellini).

“Drag Me to Hell” (PG-13) (3) [Sequences of horror violence, terror, disturbing images, and language.] [DVD only]  — After turning down a sickly, creepy, vindictive, elderly gypsy (Lorna Raver) for a loan extension to save her home in an attempt to impress her game-playing boss (David Paymer) and to snag a promotion from a brown-nosing coworker (Reggie Lee) in this tension-filled, often hokey, 99-minute, 2009 thriller with a surprise ending, a loan officer (Alison Lohman) in California seeks help from a medium (Dileep Rao) and a skeptical boyfriend (Justin Long) to save her from a terrifying curse.

“Fanboys” (PG-13) (2.5) [Pervasive crude and sexual material, language, and drug content.] [DVD only] When an Ohio car salesman (Sam Huntington) learns that his friend (Chris Marquette) is dying of cancer in 1998 in this wacky, cameo-studded (Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, William Shatner, Seth Rogen, Jamie King, Kevin Smith, Christopher McDonald, Danny Trejo, et al.), road trip, 90-minute, 2009 comedy, he is joined by three “Star Wars”-obsessed best friends (Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, and Kristen Bell) from high school on a foolish journey to the Skywalker Ranch to steal a copy of “Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace” before its release to the theaters.

“The Grocer’s Son” (NR) (2.5) [Subtitled.] [DVD only] — After his estranged, stubborn father (Daniel Duval) suffers a stroke in this picturesque, down-to-earth, 96-minute, 2007 film, a grouchy French waiter (Nicolas Cazale) returns to the idyllic mountain village with a longtime friend (Clotilde Hesme) to help his mother (Jeanne Goupil) run their small grocery business by delivering groceries to the colorful, eclectic locals (Liliane Rovère, Benoît Giros, et al.) while he tries to reconnect with his depressed brother (Stéphan Guérin-Tillié) who is secretly separated from his wife (Ludmila Ruoso).

“Land of the Lost” (PG-13) (2) [Crude and sexual content, and for language including a drug reference.] [DVD only]  — Sporadic humor dots this silly, nonsensical, crude, idiotic, 102-minute, 2009 spoof based on the popular 1974 television series about a mocked paleontologist (Will Ferrell), a Cambridge-educated scientist (Anna Friel), and a desert cave tour guide (Danny McBride) who are befriended by a primate (Jorma Taccone) when they end up in an alternate reality chased by dinosaurs, blood-sucking bugs, and reptilian aliens.

“Me & You, Us, Forever” (PG) (2) [Thematic elements.] [DVD only] An overly preachy, sentimental, autobiographical, 92-minute, 2008 film in which a distraught, divorced, middle-aged, born-again advertising executive (Michael Blain-Rozgay) with two teenage daughters (Genevieve Borden and Leanne Spear) daydreams about the high school sweetheart (Kathryn Worsham) he regrettably dumped 30 years earlier and impetuously decides to pay his now-married former love (Sandi Fix) a visit in New York City against the advice of his boss (Hugh McClean) and a new friend (Stacey J. Aswad) he met at a support group.

“The Model Couple” (NR) (1) [Subtitled] [DVD only] An absurd, boring, contrived, and aggravating, 101-minute, 1977 William Klein film about an allegedly average French couple (André Dussollier and Anémone) who have been chosen by the French government to partake in a futuristic experiment to analyze and predict life in the year 2000.

“Revanche” (NR) (3.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only]  — After a Ukrainian prostitute (Irina Potapenko) leaves her Vienna pimp (Hanno Pöschl) and is accidentally shot by a cop (Andreas Lust) in this gritty, unpredictable, award-winning, 121-minute, 2008 Austrian film, her guilt-ridden boyfriend (Johannes Krisch) hides out with his grandfather (Johannes Thanheiser) and ends up befriending the unhappy wife (Ursula Strauss) of the police officer in an attempt to seek revenge.

“Up” (PG) (3.5) [Some peril and action.] [DVD only]  When a lonely, 78-year-old, widowed balloon vendor (voiceover by Ed Asner) fulfills a lifelong fantasy of moving his modest home to Paradise Falls, South America, in this touching, charming, funny, and imaginative Disney•Pixar, 96-minute, 2009 comedy by using thousands of helium-filled balloons to float his house off its foundation, he unwittingly takes a young, eager Wilderness Explorer scout (voiceover by Jordan Nagai) along with him, and they encounter a chocolate-loving bird, a squirrel-loving mutt (voiceover by Bob Peterson), and an ultimately disappointing, selfish childhood hero (voiceover by Christopher Plummer).

Film Critic Wendy Schadewald reviewed films in the Twin Cities since 1986, and has been a guest critic on KARE-11’s Showcase Minnesota, WCCO radio, and AMC-950 radio. She reviews more than 250 films annually and has been a film buff for as long as she can remember. To see more of her film reviews, log on to shortredheadreelreviews.com.

©1986 through 2019 by Wendy Schadewald.

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