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)

“Christopher Robin” (PG) (3.5) [Some action.] — Fantasy toys with reality in this slow starting, but delightfully charming, family-friendly, engaging, thought-provoking, touching, 104-minute Disney film highlighted by gorgeous cinematography and inspired by A. A. Milneand and E. H. Shepard’s book “Winnie-the-Pooh” in which an overworked, distressed British manager (Ewan McGregor) at a luggage company in the late 1930s desperately tries to care for his wife (Hayley Atwell) and daughter (Bronte Carmichael) in London and ends up helping his honey-loving stuffed bear Winnie-the-Pooh (voiceover by Jim Cummings) from his childhood find his lost friends (voiceovers by Brad Garrett, Toby Jones, Nick Mohammed, Peter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo, and Sara Sheen), which eventually helps him becomes closer to his family and what is important in life; primarily for children 8 years and older.

“Far from the Tree” (NR) (3.5) — A poignant, insightful, eye-opening, thought-provoking, 93-minute, 2017 documentary based on Andrew Solomon’s bestselling, award-winning book that chronicles the lives of various people, including a man with Down syndrome who lives with two men with Down Syndrome and call themselves the “three Musketeers” while his elderly mother worries about his future after she is gone, a married couple with dwarfism who desperately want a child and a dwarf teenager who wants just to fit in, a distraught couple struggling to deal with their teenage son who will be incarcerated for life after killing an 8-year-old boy, concerned parents struggling to give their autistic son a rewarding life, and a gay man who just wants to find love and have a family, coping with everyday life and challenges.

“McQueen” (R) (3.5) [Language and nudity.] [Partially subtitled] — Highly creative, over-the-top designs highlight this insightful, informative, emotion-fraught, 111-minute documentary that chronicles the fascinating, drug-fueled life and career of iconic, talented, gay British fashion designer Lee Alexander McQueen’ through photograph, archival film footage, and interviews with family (mother Joyce, sister Janet, and nephew Gary James), boyfriends Murray Arthur and Andrew Growes, agent Alicia Smith, models Jodie Kid and Debra Shaw, assistant director Sebastian Pons, art director Simon Costin, correspondent Dana Thomas, assistant Ruth Danan, hairstylist Mira Chai-Hyde, stylist Katy England, educator Rebecca Ross, fashion illustrator Bobby Hillson, and designers Tom Ford, John McKitterick, Koji Tatsuno, and Romeo Gigli.

“The Spy Who Dumped Me” (R) (3) [Violence, language throughout, some crude sexual material, and graphic nudity.] — After a woman (Mila Kunis) in Los Angeles learns that her duplicitous ex-boyfriend (Justin Theroux) is a CIA agent and he is shot in a scuffle in this wacky, funny, action-packed, fast-paced, over-the-top, star-studded (Gillian Anderson, Jane Curtin, Paul Reiser, and Hasan Minhaj), 116-minute spoof, she ends up traipsing through Europe with her crazy best friend (Kate McKinnon) while trying to protect a valuable flash drive from th bad guys and trying to determine whether a charming, British MI-6 agent (Sam Heughan) is a friend or foe.

“Three Identical Strangers” (PG-13) (3) [Some mature thematic material.] — A fascinating, shocking, disturbing, 96-minute documentary that follows the amazing discovery in 1980 by 19-year-old community college student Bobby Shafran in the Catskills that he had two other identical brothers, Eddy Galland and David Kellman, who were born in New York on July 12, 1961, and separated at birth at the Jewish Louise Wise Adoption Agency as part of an nurture vs. nature experiment run by renown psychiatrists Dr. Peter B. Neubauer and Viola Bernard as told through the adopted triplets themselves, archival photographs and films clips, and interviews with research assistant Dr. Lawrence Perlman, journalists Howard Schneider and Lawrence Wright, friends Ellen Cervone and Alan Luchs, and numerous relatives, including aunt Hedy Page, father Mort Shafran and stepmom Alice Shafran, wife Ilene Shafran, wife Janet Kellman, wife Brenda Galland, and dad Elliott Galland.

 

On DVD

 

“Man About Town” (R) (1.5) [Language, some sexual content, and a scene of violence.] [DVD only] — The life of a Hollywood talent agent (Ben Affleck) begins to slide down a slippery slope in this lackluster, star-dotted (John Cleese, Jerry O’Connell, Damien Wayans, and Amber Valletta), 95-minute, 2006 comedy when his guilt-ridden wife (Rebecca Romijn) confesses to an affair with a scriptwriter (Adam Goldberg) who his partners (Gina Gershon, Kal Penn, and Mike Binder) want to keep as a client and a sleazy tabloid reporter (Bai Ling) steals his personal journal.

“Max Payne” (PG-13) (1.5) [Violence that includes intense shooting sequences, drug content, some sexuality, and brief strong language.] — Artsy special effects dominate this violent, morose, nonsensical, 100-minute, 2008 thriller based on a popular videogame in which a rogue NYPD police detective (Mark Wahlberg) investigates the connection between bigwigs (Beau Bridges, Chris D’Donnell, et al.) at a pharmaceutical company who have been giving an experimental drug to soldiers (Amaury Nolasco, et al.) and the brutal murders of his wife (Marianthi Evans) and baby and the beautiful sister (Olga Kurylenko) of a Russian assassin (Mila Kunis).

“Pride and Glory” (R) (3) [Strong violence, pervasive language, and brief drug content.] [DVD only] — The multigenerational family of NYPD cops (Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, and Noah Emmerich) is torn apart in this violent, intense, gritty, and unpredictable, 130-minute, 2008 film when one of the brothers begins an investigation of corrupt police officers (John Oritz, Frank Grillo, Shea Whigham, et al.) in his Manhattan department after four cops are gunned down under questionable circumstances.

“The Neighbor” (PG-13) (2) [Brief strong language.] [DVD only] A dark, lackluster, 98-minute, 2007 comedy in which a stubborn, divorced architect (Matthew Modine) invites his stunning, but cantankerous neighbor (Michèle Laroque), who is engaged to a manipulative businessman (Ed Quinn) and wants him to vacate the apartment building she owns so that she can renovate, to the nuptials of his pregnant ex-wife (Meredith Scott Lynn) to his former best friend and dentist (David Youse) to the surprise of his daughter (Gina Mantegna).

“Rachel Getting Married” (R) (3) [Language and brief sexuality.] — The dysfunctional dynamics of a Connecticut family are exposed in this dark, well-acted, 113-minute, 2008, Jonathan Demme film when an antagonistic, angry recovering alcoholic (Anne Hathaway) returns to the house of her divorced father (Bill Irwin) to be the maid of honor at the wedding of her pregnant sister (Rosemarie Dewitt) to an African-American man (Tunde Adebimpe).

“Vera Drake” (R) (2.5) [Depiction of strong thematic material.] [DVD only] — A mild-mannered, compassionate English housekeeper (Imelda Staunton) shocks and saddens her family (Phil Davies, Daniel Mays, and Alex Kelly) and neighbors when London detectives arrest her for performing illegal abortions in 1950 in Mike Leigh’s somber, well-acted, 125-minute, 2004 film.

“W.” (PG-13) (2.5) [Language that includes sexual references, some alcohol abuse, smoking, and brief disturbing war images.] [DVD only] — Josh Brolin delivers a dead-on, Oscar-caliber performance in Oliver Stone’s controversial, uneven, unfocused, star-studded (Richard Dreyfuss, Thandie Newton, Stacy Keach, Scott Glenn, Toby Jones, Ioan Gruffud, Jeffrey Wright, Rob Corddry, Noah Wyle, Jesse Bradford, et al.), 129-minute, 2008, biographical political satire that chronicles the life and career of President George W. Bush from his hard-drinking, partying college days at Yale during the 1960s; his early job hopping, including working on an oilrig in Texas and at an investment firm on Wall Street; his struggle to gain the approval of his strict parents (James Cromwell and Ellen Burstyn) and his competition with his younger brother (Jason Ritter); his longtime marriage to his devoted wife (Elizabeth Banks); his successful campaign to be elected governor of Texas; and finally serving as the 43rd president of the U.S.

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.

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