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)

“The Beguiled” (R) (3) [Some sexuality.] — Tensions and libidos rise in this engaging, intriguing, unpredictable, 93-minute Sofia Coppola remake of the 1971 film highlighted by gorgeous cinematography when an injured, handsome Union corporal (Colin Farrell) arrives at a Virginia school for girls in 1864 run by a beautiful head mistress (Nicole Kidman) and a teacher (Kristen Dunst) who care for five students (Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Angourie Rice, Addison Riecke, and Emma Howard) during the Civil War.

“The House” (R) (2) [Language throughout, sexual references, drug use, some violence, and brief nudity.] — After a duplicitous councilman (Nick Krill) decides to build a community pool instead of giving a scholarship to their daughter (Ryan Simpkins) in this wacky, silly, raunchy, over-the-top, intermittently funny, star-studded (Jeremy Renner, Randall Park, and Rob Huebel), 88-minute comedy, her desperate, embarrassed, broke parents (Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler) decide to open an illegal casino in the home of a gambling-addicted friend (Jason Mantzoukas), who is estranged from his wife (Michaela Watkins), to make $250,000 in one month to pay for their her college education.

“The Journey” (PG-13) (3) [Thematic elements, including violent images, and language.] — After peace talks stall in October 2006 in St. Andrews, Scotland, in this captivating, factually inspired, well-acted, star-dotted (John Hurt, Toby Stephens, Catherine McCormack Ian McElhinney, and Ian Beattie), 94-minute 2016 film, an MI-5 director (John Hurt) quickly hatches a devious plan to have an undercover cop (Freddie Highmore) chauffeur firebrand Democratic Unionist party leader Rev. Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall) and his equally stubborn arch nemesis former IRA chief of staff and Sinn Féin deputy leader Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney) to the Edinburgh airport with the hope that during the drive that they will broker a St. Andrews Agreement peace pact to end forty years of bloody civil war; ironically, Rev. Ian Paisley became the first prime minister of Northern Ireland on May 8, 2007, with Martin McGuinness deputy first minister and together they became known as the chuckle brothers.

“The Little Hours” (R) (3) [Graphic nudity, sexual content, and language.] — After a crude, suspicious, bearded Italian nobleman (Nick Offerman) catches a handsome, horny servant (Dave Franco) red-handed kissing his horny wife (Lauren Weedman) in broad daylight in the courtyard in 1347 in this hilarious, wacky, risqué, raunchy, dark, satirical, star-studded (Fred Armisen, Paul Reiser, Adam Pally, Jon Abrus, and Paul Weitz), 90-minute comedy based on Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron,” the sexy seducer manages  to escape and runs into and helps a drunken priest (John C. Reilly) who hires him as a laborer and offers him lodging at the convent he oversees where the hormones of the horny, sheltered, wine-guzzling, foul-mouthed, medieval nuns (Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, and Kate Micucci) and the mother superior (Molly Shannon) run rampant.

 


On DVD

 

“At Night” (NR) (2.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A dark, somber, 40-minute, 2007 Oscar-nominated Danish drama set during the holidays in which three cancer-ward patients, including a suicidal woman (Julie Ølgaard) estranged from her parents, a frightened teenager (Neel Rønholt) near death, and the brave daughter (Laura Christensen) who is close to her worried father (Henrik Prip) and scared of surgery, who are able to comfort each other when they form a meaningful, but short-lived friendship.

“The Band’s Visit” (PG-13) (3) [Brief strong language.] [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A charming and touching, 87-minute, 2007 film about an Israeli café manager (Ronit Elkabetz) and a friend (Rubi Moskovitz) who befriend an uptight Egyptian lieutenant colonel (Sasson Gabai) and members (Saleh Bakri, Khalifa Natour, Imad Jabvarin, et al.) of his Alexandria Police Ceremonial Orchestra, who were invited to Israel to perform at the inaugural ceremony of an Arab arts center, after they become stranded in their desolate town.

“Be Kind Rewind” (PG-13) (3.5) [Some sexual references.] [DVD only] — When an aging video store owner (Danny Glover) in New Jersey learns that the city intends to demolish his condemned building and a nearby junkyard employee (Jack Black) inadvertently erases all of the videotapes in his store when he leaves a dedicated clerk (Mos Def) in charge in his absence in this endearing, clever, satirical, 102-minute, 2008 comedy, the two friends hatch a harebrained scheme to “swede” popular movies, including “Ghostbusters,” “The Lion King,” “Robocop,” “Rush Hour 2,” and “Driving Miss Daisy,” by recreating their own wacky, 20-minute, amateurish version of the film starring local talent (Melonie Diaz, et al.), which ends up being a surprising hit with people (Mia Farrow, et al.) in the neighborhood.

“Charlie Bartlett” (R) (3) [Language, drug content, and brief nudity.] [DVD only] — After a bright, entrepreneurial, charming, wealthy teenager (Anton Yelchin) gets expelled from a Connecticut prep school to the surprise of his clueless mother (Hope Davis) and is enrolled in a public school in this well-paced, entertaining, coming-of-age, 97-minute, 20007 comedy, he immediately tries to change his popularity and to fit in by playing psychiatrist and illegally dispensing drugs and by making friends with the well-liked daughter (Kat Dennings) of the straitlaced principal (Robert Downey, Jr.), the school bully (Tyler Hilton), and a depressed, geeky student (Mark Rendall).

“The Mozart of Pickpockets” (NR) (4) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — The crime-filled lives of two dimwitted, inept, unlucky pickpockets (Richard Morgiève and Philippe Pollet-Villard) in Paris get crazier in this creative, clever, whimsical, 31-minute, 2007 Oscar-nominated French comedy when their thieving partners (Emiliano Suarex, Pipo Sarguera, and Jean Sarguera) are arrested, and they take in a sticky-fingered, deaf-mute, quick-learning, homeless boy (Matteo Razzouki-Safardi).

“Second in Command” (R) (2) [Violence and some language.] [DVD only] — The Navy Seal-trained military attaché (Jean-Claude Van Damme) to the U.S. ambassador (Colin Stinton) and a group of gung-ho Marines (Alan Mckenna, Tazaaq Adoti, Raffaello Degruttola, Razvan Oprea, Ian Virgo, et al.) try to protect the Moldavian president (Serban Celea), journalists (Julie Cox, et al.), and various innocent citizens in the fast-paced, predictable, violent, 92-minunte, 2006 film when insurgents (Velibor Topic, et al.) storm the American embassy during a coup d’etat.

“The Substitute” (NR) (2) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A wacky, unpredictable, 15-minute, 2007 Oscar-nominated Italian comedy about a bored, irresponsible Italian businessman who impulsively impersonates a schoolteacher, riles up and humiliates a classroom full of unsuspecting students, and then abruptly walks out when the principal and real substitute teacher walk in.

“The Sugar Curtain” (NR) (2.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — Filmmaker Camila Guzmán Urzúa, daughter of infamous Latin filmmaker Patricio Guzmán, returns to her homeland in Cuba in this poignant, 82-minute, 2005 autobiographical documentary in which she uses a handheld camera to document her reminiscences about her happy childhood growing up in Havana during the 1970s and 1980s and her visits to old haunts, to reconcile her idyllic memories with the present, and to interview her aging mother and disillusioned classmates about how their lives and dreams have changed since those more revolutionary, utopian times.

“Tanghi Argentini” (NR) (3.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — A middle-aged, uncoordinated office worker (Dirk van Dijck) plays matchmaker during Christmastime in this witty, charming, entertaining, 14-minute, 2007 Oscar-nominated Belgium comedy when he sets up an unsuspecting coworker (Koen van Impes) with a tango-loving woman (Hilde Norga) by pretending that he needs his colleague to teach him to tango in only 2 weeks.

“The Tonto Woman” (NR) (3) [DVD only] — When a sinning cattle rustler (Francesco Quinn) is drawn to a beautiful, chin-tattooed woman (Charlotte Asprey), who lived with Mojave Indians for 11 years after Apache Indians kidnapped her, residing alone in an isolated, rundown cabin in the desert in this captivating, well-acted, 35-minute, 2007 Oscar-nominated British film, he stirs up the angry, long-buried emotions in her judgmental, self-conscious husband (Richard Brake).

“Vantage Point” (PG-13) (3) [Sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images, and brief strong language.] [DVD only] — After the American president (William Hurt) is shot at a world summit in Spain in this creative, action-packed, tension-filled, cameo-dotted (Sigourney Weaver, Richard T. Jones, et al.), 90-minute, 2008 thriller, the loophole-punctuated plot focuses on the eyewitness events surrounding the assassination attempt from the perspective of a heroic and traumatized Secret Service agent (Dennis Quaid) and his seemingly supportive partner (Matthew Fox), a love-struck Spanish cop (Eduardo Noriega), a curious and selfless American tourist (Forest Whitaker), the steadfast and unsuspecting president, and highly determined and methodical terrorists (Ayelet Zurer, et al.) who planned the multiphased attack.

 

©1986 through 2017 by Wendy Schadewald. The preceding films were reviewed by Wendy Schadewald, who has been a Twin Cities film critic since 1986. To see more of her film reviews, log on to 60-Second Film Reviews.

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