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)

“Maiden” (PG) (3) [Language, thematic elements, some suggestive content, and brief smoking images.] — Amazing film footage highlights this inspirational, thrilling, gripping, informative, 97-minute documentary that details the harrowing, arduous, white-knuckled, 33,000-mi, 9-month Whitbread Around the World Race in 1989 in which tenacious, 24-year-old, British charter boat cook Tracy Edwards finally gets sponsorship from King Hussein of Jordan for the Maiden Great Britain yacht and becomes the skipper of the courageous, determined, all-woman sailing crew, including Jo Gooding, helmswoman Sally Hunter, bowman Jeni Mundy, doctor Claire Warren, watch captain Dawn Riley, first mate Marie-Claude Heyes, Pat Edwards, and sail trimmers Nancy Harris, Angela Heath, and Tanja Visser, on a multi-leg journey with stops in Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand, Cape Horn, and the United States on their way back to Southampton, England, and it includes insightful interview snippets with journalist Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall, project manager Howard Gibbons, and skippers Bruno Dubois, Skip Novak, Grant Dalton, Peter Blake, and John Chittenden.

“My Days of Mercy” (R) (3) [Strong sexuality/nudity and language.] — Tali Shalom-Ezer’s dark, risqué, intense, predictable, well-acted, unusual, romantic, star-dotted (Brian Geraghty, Beau Knapp, Jake Robinson, and Tonya Pinkins), 108-minute film in which a fiery lesbian (Ellen Page) lives in Ohio and travels around the country with her older sister (Amy Seimetz) and younger brother (Charlie Shotwell) in a rundown Winnebago attending anti-death penalty protests around the country while their father (Elias Koteas) is on death row for allegedly killing their mother and ends up in a passionate relationship with a junior lawyer (Kate Mara) who has diametrically opposing capital punishment beliefs.

“Stuber” (R) (3) [Violence and language throughout, some sexual references, and brief graphic nudity.] — When a milquetoast, kindhearted sporting goods salesman (Kumail Nanjiani) who moonlights as an Uber driver in Los Angeles is forced to drive a no-nonsense, gruff detective (Dave Bautista), who is recovering from Lasik surgery, in this funny, entertaining, well-paced, action-packed, star-dotted (Mira Sorvino, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, and Steve Howey), 105-minute comedy, he ends up on a wild, dangerous ride around the city as the detective tracks down the drug-trafficking terrorist (Iko Uwais) who shot and killed his partner (Karen Gillan).

On DVD

“Brüno” (R) (0) [Pervasive strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity, and language.] [DVD only] — If you are an intelligent moviegoer, you will avoid this asinine, offensive, vulgar, cringe-inducing, unfunny, satirical, 81-minute, 2009, belly flop of a comedy about a flamboyant, sex-obsessed, gay, Austrian talk show host (Sacha Baron Cohen) who goes to Los Angeles with his love-struck assistant (Gustaf Hammarsten) to find fame by any means possible after he has been blacklisted in Europe for his embarrassing, politically incorrect antics.

“The Code” (R) (1.5) [Sexuality, language, and some nudity.] [DVD only] — Con games run amok in this convoluted, twisting, uneven-paced film in which an aging, iPhone-wielding jewel thief (Morgan Freeman), who is in debt to the Russian mob, coerces another gutsy, slippery-fingered robber (Antonio Banderas) to help him steal two Faberge eggs worth more than $23 million each while a Russian mobster (Rade Serbedzija) threatens to kill a beautiful lawyer (Radha Mitchell) and a NYPD lieutenant (Robert Forster) keeps a close tabs on their illegal shenanigans.

“Just Another Love Story” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A foolish Danish crime photographer (Anders W. Berthelsen) with a devoted wife (Charlotte Fich) and two children (Fanny Bornedal and Daniel Stampe) gets caught up in a series of escalating lies to the dismay of his colleagues (Dejan Cukic and Karsten Jansfort) in this intriguing and quirky, 107-minute, 2007 psychological thriller when he lets the family (Bent Mejding, Ewa Fröling, Josephine Raahauge, Timm Vladimir, et al.) of a comatose accident victim (Rebecka Hemse) believe that he is the boyfriend she met in Cambodia and then jeopardizes his own family and himself when the real lover (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) shows up in Denmark.

“Memories of Murder” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — An engaging, dark, rain-soaked, 132-minute, 2003 Korean film in which a no-nonsense Seoul detective (Sang-kyung Kim) travels to a rural community in 1986 to help inept cops (Kang-ho Song, Roe-ha Kim, Jae-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon, Seo-hie Ko, et al.), who conjure up evidence against possible perpetrators (No-shi Park, et al.), find an elusive serial killer who rapes and murders red-clad victims during rainy evenings.

“To Kill a King” (NR) (3) [DVD only] — When power-hungry, villainous, callous deputy Oliver Cromwell (Tim Roth) convenes a kangaroo court in 1649 to convict and behead King Charles I (Rupert Everett) for crimes against Britain after the English Civil War that pitted Cavaliers against the Roundheads in this colorful, uneven, historical, 102-minute, 2003 political film filled with gorgeous cinematography and costumes, his right-hand counsel Lord General Thomas Fairfax (Dougray Scott), who leads the parliamentary army and was married to Lady Anne (Olivia Williams), puts his friendship and life in jeopardy as he tries desperately to counsel his lifelong friend who has strayed down the wrong moral, ethical, and political path.

“Suspect” (R) (2.5) [DVD only] — When a deaf-mute homeless Vietnam veteran (Liam Neeson) is wrongly accused of murder in this well-acted, engaging, twisting, 121-minute, 1987 courtroom drama, a smart-aleck congressional aide (Dennis Quaid) helps a stressed-out public defender (Cher) find evidence to help her client despite close scrutiny by a duplicitous judge (John Mahoney).

“Tokyo!” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — Filmmakers Michel Gondry, Leos Carax, and Bong Joon Ho interpret modern-day Tokyo in this arty and imaginative, 112-minute, 2008 film, which is reminiscent of “Night on Earth,” “New York Stories,” and “Paris, Je T’aime,” that is divided into their respective vignettes: In “Interior Design” (4), an unemployed Japanese woman (Ayako Fujitani) becomes frustrated as she searches with her gift-wrapping, avant garde filmmaker boyfriend (Ryo Kase) for a new home while staying at the cramped apartment of a friend (Ayumi Ito) and eventually finds her self-worth and usefulness through unusual means; in “Merde” (2), a bizarre chrysanthemum-eating, sewer-dwelling foreigner (Denis Lavant) terrorizes citizens in Tokyo and is defended by a French lawyer (Jean-François Balmer) afflicted with similar physical attributes after his client goes on a murderous rampage with grenades; and in “Shaking Tokyo” (3), a pizza-loving agoraphobic (Teruyuki Kagawa) musters the courage to venture outside after 10 years when he meets a tattooed delivery girl (Yû Aoi) during a Tokyo earthquake.

“Waltz with Bashir” (R) (3.5) [Some disturbing images of atrocities, strong violence, brief nudity, and a scene of graphic sexual content.] [Subtitled] [DVD only] An arty, award-winning, black-and-white, animated, 90-minute, 2008 film with a punch of color in which filmmaker Ari Folman chronicles his attempt to understand his nightmares and the holes in his memories while trying to deal with his horrific experiences as a soldier in the Israeli army during the Lebanon War in the 1980s by interviewing various friends, colleagues, and other soldiers.

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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