60-SECOND FILM REVIEWS

NowShowing

New movies showing in Minneapolis

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

“Disobedience” (R) (3) [Some strong sexuality.] — After her estranged Orthodox Jewish rabbi father (Nicholas Woodeson) suddenly dies of pneumonia in this well-acted, multilayered, bittersweet, unevenly paced, star-dotted (Anton Lesser and Allan Corduner), 114-minute film based on Naomi Alderman’s novel, a liberated, passionate, bisexual New York City photographer (Rachel Weisz) heads to London for the funeral despite being shunned years earlier and tries to rekindle a relationship with a repressed schoolteacher (Rachel McAdams) who is in a stifling marriage to a strict rabbi Jewish rabbi (Alessandro Nivola).

“Godard Mon Amour” (R) (3) [Graphic nudity, sexuality, and language]]— An arty, intellectual, factually based, 107-minute film based on Anne Wiazemsky’s autobiography “Un an après” that delves into the unconventional love story of critically acclaimed, famous, controversial, revolutionary French director Jean-Luc Godard Louis Garrel) who smothered actress Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin), who was sixteen years younger and the granddaughter of writer François Mauriac’s, when he married her in 1967 in Paris against a turbulent political time in France.

“Kings” (R) (2.5) [Violence, sexual content/nudity, and language throughout.] — After an Asian convenience store owner is acquitted of killing an Africa-American girl for trying to rob her store of a bottle of orange juice in 1991 followed by the acquittal of four policemen in 1992 for the brutal beating of Rodney King that contributes to the horrific riots and fires in Los Angeles in this factually inspired, violent, well-acted, 92-minute film, a strong-willed, single mother (Halle Berry) who is caring for eight children (Lamar Johnson, et al.) is helped by her wild neighbor (Daniel Craig) when some of her brood go missing during the riots in South Central Los Angeles.

“Love After Love” (NR) (2) — After the death of her beloved husband (Gareth Williams) in this disjointed, down-to-earth, touching, 91-minute film, tensions, anger, and conflict boil to the surface between his grieving, beautiful widow (Andie MacDowell) and her dysfunctional sons (Chris O’Dowd and James Adomain) when she explores the dating world and makes a connection with a new lover (Matt Salinger).

“Tully” (R) (3) [Language and some sexuality/nudity.] — A surprise ending punctuates this captivating, well-acted, bittersweet, 96-minute Jason Reitman comedic drama based on Diablo Cody’s story in which a harried, frustrated, sleep-deprived human resources executive (Charlize Theron), who is married to a clueless traveling businessman (Ron Livingston), reluctantly accepts the generous offer of her wealthy brother (Mark Duplass) and his wife (Elaine Tan) to hire a free-spirited night nanny (Mackenzie Davis) to help with her newborn daughter, her hyper-activate son (Asher Miles Fallica), and her 8-year-old daughter (Lia Frankland), which turns out to be more than she expected.

 

On DVD

 

“Elegy” (R) (3.5) [Sexuality, nudity, and language.] [DVD only] — While a well-respected Columbia university professor (Ben Kingsley) over analyzes his passionate and intense relationship with a much younger, gorgeous Cuban student (Penélope Cruz) to himself and to his longtime, adulterous best friend (Dennis Hopper) as he becomes more afraid as he falls more in love with her in this superbly acted, touching, engaging 112-minute, 2008 film based on Philip Roth’s novel “The Dying Animal,” he uses his dalliances with his free-spirited mistress (Patricia Clarkson) of 20 plus years to hide from his feelings and becomes even further estranged from his married son (Peter Sarsgaard).

“Freshman Orientation” (R) (1.5) [Strong sexual content, language, and some drug use.] [DVD only] — While a horny, sex-obsessed, 18-year-old college freshman (Sam Huntington) pretends to be gay with the help of a gay, middle-aged bartender (John Goodman) to the vexation of a former high school lesbian classmate (Marla Sokoloff) in order to hook up with a sexy sorority student (Kaitlin Doubleday) and then ironically finds himself the center of attention for the GBLT community on campus in this crass, unfunny, 92-minute, 2004 comedy, he does not realize that his dorm roommate (Mike Erwin) is falling heads over heels in love with him.

“Frozen River” (R) (3.5) [Some strong language.] [DVD only] — After her gambling-addicted husband takes off with the funds for their new double-wide mobile home right before Christmas in this intense, well-acted, down-to-earth, 97-minute, 2008 film, a desperate part-time salesclerk (Melissa Leo) with two sons (Charlie McDermont and James Reilly) in upstate New York unexpectedly finds herself in business with a Mohawk smuggler (Misty Upham) and tries to elude a suspicious state trooper (Michael O’Keefe) in order to risk bringing illegal aliens from Quebec across the St. Lawrence River via the Indian reservation.

“The House Bunny” (PG-13) (2) [Sex-related humor, partial nudity, and brief strong language.] [DVD only] — Wacky dialogue dominates this silly, entertaining, 97-minute, 2008 comedy about a warmhearted, resourceful, airhead Playboy bunny (Anna Faris) who is allegedly kicked out of Hef’s mansion after her 27th birthday and surprisingly lands a job as a house mother to the unpopular Zeta sorority students (Katherine McPhee, Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Rumer Willis, Dana Goodman, and Kiely Williams) who need to sign up 30 pledges per the order of the dean (Christopher MacDonald) and the chagrin of a rival (Beverly D’Angelo) to prevent their sorority from being closed down.

“The Longshots” (PG) (2) [Some thematic elements, mild language, and brief rude humor.] [DVD only] — When talented 11-year-old Jasmine Plummer (Keke Palmer) in Illinois is teased in school and her overworked mother (Tasha Smith) asks her to try out for after school activities in this family-friendly, factually based. 94-minute, 2008 film, her unemployed uncle (Ice Cube) ends up coaching her in the art of football and the quick learner becomes the first female quarterback in Pop Warner football history.

“Recount” (NR) (3.5) [DVD only] — A riveting, fascinating, eyebrow-raising, factually inspired, in-depth, star-studded (John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, Laura Dern, Ed Begley Jr., Bob Balaban, Jayne Atkinson, et al.), 116-minute HBO television film that follows a diligent, tenacious group of Democratic supporters (Kevin Spacey, Denis Leary, et al.) and their exhaustive attempt to recount the votes cast in Palm Beach County, Fl., after the controversial ballot tabulation debacle during the U.S. presidential election between Al Gore (Grady Couch) and Governor George W. Bush (Brent Mendenhall) in 2000.

“The Riddle” (PG-13) (3) [Violence, language, and brief sexuality.] [DVD only] — When a nosey London sports reporter (Vinnie Jones), who was canned by his unscrupulous publisher (Vanessa Redgrave) after a bribe by a land developer (Jason Flemyng), and his policewoman girlfriend (Julie Cox) find an unpublished story by Charles Dickens due to a clue given to him by an elderly pub owner (Vera Day) the day before her death in this complicated, engaging, 116-minute, 2007 film, they begin investigating the owner’s murder and those of other victims found along the Thames River with the help of a mysterious, philosophy-spewing homeless man (Derek Jacobi).

“Traitor” (PG-13) (2.5) [Intense violent sequences, thematic material, and brief language.] [DVD only] — After a devout Muslim, Sudan-born, former U.S. Special Operations officer (Don Cheadle) is captured by two resolute FBI agents (Guy Pearce and Neal McDonough) for selling explosives to a Jihad terrorist (Saïd Taghmaoui) and then escapes with him from a prison in Yemen in this suspenseful, intriguing, 114-minute, 2008 spy thriller, he becomes a high-profile target when he is linked to the bombing of an American embassy in France and to other Islamic terrorists (Aly Khan and Raad Rawi) as they mastermind multiple, simultaneous bombings across the heartland of America.

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 2018 by Wendy Schadewald.

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