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)

“Mark Felt: The Man Who Took Down the White House” (PG-13) (3.5) [Some language.] — A powerful, captivating, complicated, factually based, well-acted, star-studded (Kate Walsh, Michael C. Hall, Josh Lucas,Tom Sizemore, Tony Goldwyn, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Eddie Marsan, Ike Barinholtz, Bruce Greenwood, Maika Monroe, Noah Wyle, Brian d’Arcy James, and Wayne Pére), 103-minute film based on Mark Felt’s and John D. O’Connor’s book that focuses on well-respected, 31-year-FBI veteran Mark Felt (Liam Neeson), who had a devoted wife (Diane Lane), as he leaked top-secret information to Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward (Julian Morris) and Carl Bernstein as the whistleblower “Deep Throat” regarding the Watergate scandal in 1974 after acting FBI director L. Patrick Gray (Marton Csokas) commanded him to stop the investigations for fear of exposing the illegal shenanigans and implicating the White House bigwigs, including President Richard M. Nixon.

“Marshall” (PG-13) (3.5) [Mature thematic content, sexuality, violence, and some strong language.] — After African-American chauffeur Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown) is arrested for allegedly raping and the attempted murder of a well-to-do, neglected white housewife (Kate Hudson) in Bridgeport, Conn., who is married to an abusive husband (Jeremy Bobb), in this engaging, factually based, well-acted, star-dotted (Dan Stevens, Sophia Bush, Jussie Smollett, and Jeffery DeMunn), 118-minutew film that follows the early trial of the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, smart, no-nonsense NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) recruits reluctant, Jewish, noncriminal defense attorney Sam Friedman (Josh Gad) to defend the accused rapist in this difficult, controversial case in front of a hard-nosed judge (Jams Cromwell) in 1941.

“The Mountain Between” Us (PG-3) (2.5) [A scene of sexuality, peril, injury images, and brief strong language.] — Majestic mountains rather than the acting take center stage when an engaged photojournalist (Kate Winslet), who is trying to get to her fiancé (Dermot Mulroney) for her wedding in Denver, and a London-based English neurosurgeon (Idris Elba), who is trying to get to New York City to operate on a critically ill 10-year-old patient, become stranded in Idaho due to inclement weather and hire a pilot (Beau Bridges) to get them out of their predicament in this unevenly paced, highly predictable, oddly romantic, 103-minute thriller based on Charles Martin’s novel, they suddenly find themselves along with the pilot’s  golden Labrador struggling to survive after the charter plane crashes in the remote, snow-packed High Uintas Wilderness in Utah

“Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” (R) (3) [Strong sexual content, including brief graphic images, and language.] — A fascinating, risqué, factually inspired, star-dotted (Connie Britton, Oliver Platt, and JJ Feild), 108-minute film that chronicles the highly controversial comic book creation of iconic, powerful, sexually liberated Wonder Woman that began in Boston in 1928 as the brain child of imaginative Harvard University psychology professor Dr. William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), inventor of the lie detector, who used his polyamorous relationship with his feminist psychologist wife (Rebecca Hall) and a beautiful bisexual journalism student (Bella Heathcote), who broke off her engagement to her handsome fiancé (Chris Conroy), as his muse and inspiration.

“Rocky Mountain Express” (NR) (3) — While the glistening Hudson steam locomotive 2816 journeys more than 3,000 miles across gorgeous mountain scenery in the Canadian Rockies in this educational, beautifully photographed, 46-minute IMAX 2011 documentary that consists of many fascinating archival photographs, narrator Michael Hanrahan discusses the history of the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway, which began construction in 1881 with more than 10,000 mostly Chinese workers who endured horrific hardships and perilous working conditions.

On DVD

“Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” (PG) (2) [Thematic material, some disturbing images, and brief smoking.] [DVD only] — A discussion-provoking, rabble-rousing, self-indulgent, 90-minute, 2008 documentary in which Ben Stein presents the idea that academic freedom is under attack and eroding in America by citing the firing of prominent scientists who were allegedly fired from prestigious academic positions when they challenged the hot-blooded controversy of Darwin-based evolution theories and that of Intelligent Design (aka Creationism).

“Full Breath” (NR) (2.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — Unwise decisions and jealously make for dire consequences when a Moscow designer (Dmitry Isaev) and his older girlfriend (Tatyana Lyutayeva) head to the Crimea coast where he spent time as a child in this somber, beautifully photographed Russia film, and he reconnects with his still-smitten childhood sweetheart (Ekaterina Vilkova) who is under the thumb of a jealous boyfriend (Igor Ivanov).

“The Last Mistress” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — Rumors, scandal, secrets, and gorgeous costumes abound in this initially slow, risqué, creative, and engaging, 114-minute, 2007 French love story in which a handsome, notorious Don Juan (Fu’ad Ait Aattou) tries to reassure the protective, savvy aristocratic grandmother (Claude Sarraute) of his beautiful, innocent fiancée (Rozane Mesquida) of his love for her granddaughter in 1835 Paris by confiding in her and recounting his 10-year love affair with a seductive, sultry Spanish aristocrat (Asias Argento) who he claims to have given up a week before his wedding.

“Manual of Love 2” (NR) (3.5) [Subtitled] [[DVD only] — An erotic, funny, delightfully entertaining, romantic, 2-hour, 2007 comedic sequel that intertwines the lives of a paralyzed car accident victim (Riccardo Scamarcio) who falls for his sexy physical therapist (Monica Bellucci) who is engaged to a love-talk radio show host (Claudio Bisio), an edgy Italian couple (Favio Volo and Barbora Bobulova) coping with raging hormones and infertility issues in Barcelona, a middle-aged gay man (Sergio Rubini) who is afraid to tell his judgmental father about his 4-year relationship with his sensitive lover (Antonio Albanese), and a balding waiter (Carlo Verdone) who cheats on his surprisingly forgiving wife with a sultry Spanish employee (Elsa Pataky).

“A Plumm Summer” (PG) (2.5) [Thematic elements and some mild rude language.] [DVD only] — When Froggy Doo, the green frog marionette owned by a beloved kids television host (Henry Winkler) and his wife (Brenda Strong), is kidnapped for ransom in this enjoyable, family-oriented, factually based, 99-minute, 2007 film narrated by Jeff Daniels, two brothers (Chris J. Kelly and Owen Pearch), who live with their financially strapped and fighting parents (William Baldwin and Lisa Guerrero) in Montana in 1968, join forces with the comely daughter (Morgan Flynn) of the widowed deputy sheriff (Tim Quill) to find the puppet.

“Then She Found Me” (R) (3) [Language and some sexual content.] [DVD only] — Dysfunctional dynamics dominate this engaging, smartly written, 100-minute, 2007 film in which an emotionally self-indulgent, hardened, 39-year-old Jewish grade schoolteacher (Helen Hunt) in New York City, who passionately and desperately desires to bear children, struggles with recently meeting her colorful, egocentric birth mother (Bette Midler) after the death of her adoptive mother (Lynn Cohen) while ending her marriage to her mousy, childish husband (Matthew Broderick) and beginning a new relationship with a divorced writer (Colin Firth).

“Travelling” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [DVD only] — Filmmaker Markku Lehmuskallio’s fascinating, 77-minute, 2006 black-and-white documentary that has minimal narrative and follows the grueling daily life, including herding caribou, fishing for food, setting up tents, and raising children, of nomadic people living in the Arctic Circle region that borders Finland and Russia.

“The Year My Parents Went on Vacation” (PG) (3) [Subtitled] [Thematic material, mild language, brief suggestive content, some violence, and smoking.] [DVD only] — When his politically subversive, left-wing, Brazilian parents (Simone Spoladore and Eduardo Moreira) suddenly go into hiding in 1970 and leave their 12-year-old, soccer-loving son (Michel Joelsas) in San Paulo with his grandfather (Paulo Autran) who they do not realize has died in this languid-paced, engaging. coming-of-age, 110-minute, 2006 film with far-reaching, unexplained political overtones, he is taken in by an initially cantankerous Jew (Germano Haiut), who introduces him to the Jewish faith and Yiddish culture, embraced by elderly neighbors, and befriended by an entrepreneurial girl (Daniela Piepszyk) and a beautiful waitress (Liliana Castro).

“Young @ Heart” (PG) (4) [Some mild language and thematic elements.] [DVD only] — An inspiring, heartwarming, highly entertaining, behind-the-scenes, 107-minute, 2007 documentary narrated by Stephen Walker that follows director Bob Cilman and his passionate, spirited, young at heart, elderly singers (average age 80) in Northhampton, Ma., as they spend 7 weeks rehearsing new songs, such as “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” “Schizophrenia,” “I Feel Good,” “Yes I Can Can,” “Stay’n Alive,” “Life During War Time,” and “I Want to Be Sedated,” for an upcoming show.

 

©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.

Box-Schadewald

 

MinnyApple About MinnyApple
MinnyApple is a relatively new Minneapolis source for news and weather information. Find us on the Twitter and Facebook links below.