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)

“Colette” (R) (3) [Some sexuality/nudity.] Terrific cinematography, sets, costumes, and musical score highlight this captivating, factually based, well-acted, risqué, 111-minute biopic film in which talented, smitten, French teenager Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) leaves her parents (Fiona Shaw and Robert Pugh) in the countryside in 1893 to marry charismatic, well-respected novelist Henry ‘Willy’ Gauthier-Villars (Dominic West), and when money becomes tight in Paris, she begins to ghostwrite her autobiographical stories for her controlling husband which become instantaneous sensational bestsellers, and years later falls in love with a transgendered woman (Denise Gough) after estranged from her husband and becomes the most celebrated writer in French literature penning more than thirty novels.

“Fahrenheit 11/9” (R) (3) [Language and some disturbing material/images.] Michael Moore wrote, produced, and directed this polarizing, controversial, scathing, eye-opening, unsettling, humor-dotted, gut-punching, 128-minute documentary that unfortunately sometimes rehashes old news to examine the dire state of American politics primarily during President Trump’s campaign and the aftermath of the 2016 election; exposed the horrific water crisis in Flint, Mich., and the dangerous lead levels that was covered up by Governor Rick Snyder for more than 1-1/2 years, which caused many people to be sick; the disgrace and dilemma that many schoolteachers are living below the poverty level, especially in West Va.; and concerned teenage students who organized and rallied to protest around the country to stop the tragic and rampant gun violence both in and outside of our schools.

“A House with a Clock in Its Walls” (PG) (2) [Thematic elements, including sorcery, some action, scary images, rude humor and language.] After an orphaned, 10-year-old boy (Owen Vaccaro) goes to live with his eccentric, chocolate-loving, kimono-wearing uncle (Jack Black) in a creepy Victorian mansion in Michigan in 1955 in Eli Roth’s disappointing, unevenly paced, silly, 104-minute film apated from John Bellairs’s 1973 supernatural thriller, he quickly learns that his uncle is a warlock and his neighbor (Cate Blanchett) is a witch, and then to impress his schoolmate (Sunny Suljic), he creates a dangerous situation when he ignores his uncle’s only rule and opens a cabinet to perform a necromancy spell that raises an evil, powerful warlock (Kyle MacLachlan) from the dead.

“Life Itself” (R) (2.5) [Language, including sexual references, some violent images, and brief drug use.] [Partially subtitled] Dan Fogelman’s gloomy, unevenly paced, poignant, romantic, slice-of-life, star-studded (Annette Bening, Mandy Patinkin, Jean Smart, and Samuel L. Jackson), 118-minute film in which the lives of various people interconnect, including a New York City writer (Oscar Isaac) with a pregnant wife (Olivia Wilde), an orphaned singer (Olivia Cooke) coping with the loss of her parents, and a Spanish olive grower (Antonio Banderas) who falls for the beautiful wife (Laia Costa) and son (Àlex Monner) of his hardworking foreman (Sergio Peris-Mencheta).

 

On DVD

 

“Cadillac Records” (R) (3) [Pervasive language and some sexuality.] [DVD only] — Blues and rock and roll music highlight this engaging, factually based, star-studded (Gabrielle Union, Cedric the Entertainer, and Emmanuelle Chriqui), 109-minute, 2008 film that chronicles ambitious, Cadillac-loving record producer Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody), who started Chess Records during the 1950s in Chicago, and guided the legendary musical careers of such artists as Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Chuck Berry (Mos Def), Etta James (Beyoncé Knowles), Little Walter (Columbus Short), and Howlin’ Wolf (Eamonn Walker).

“Frost/Nixon” (R) (3.5) [Some language.] [DVD only] — A compelling, intense, behind-the-scenes, 122-minute, 2008 Ron Howard film in which tenacious British interviewer and entertainer David Frost (Michael Sheen) and his advisors (Sam Rockwell, Oliver Platt, Matthew Macfayden) diligently prepare for a series of candid, hard-hitting interviews between Mar. 28, 1977, and Apr. 22, 1977, with former President Richard M. Nixon (Frank Langella), who was advised by his former chief of staff (Kevin Bacon) and literary agent (Toby Jones), after he resigned from office in Aug. 1974 due to the Watergate debacle and scandal.

“My Name Is Bruce” (R) (1.5) [Language some violence.] [DVD only] — A hokey, tongue-in-cheek, satirical, 84-minute, 2007 spoof in which a Goth teenager and Bruce Campbell aficionado kidnaps divorced, whiskey-guzzling, B-flick movie actor Bruce Campbell, who is living in a cluttered Airstream trailer, to defeat bean-curd-worshipping Chinese god of war Guan-Di (James J. Peck) that is killing and terrorizing citizens (Grace Thorsen, Ben L. McCain, Dan Hicks, et al.) in a small Oregon town.

“Nobel Son” (R) (2.5) [Some violent gruesome images, language, and sexuality.] [DVD only] — A twisting, slow-paced, cameo-studded (Bill Pullman, Danny DeVito, Ted Danson, Eliza Dushku, and Ernie Hudson). 110-minute, 2007 crime thriller in which an arrogant, mean-spirited, self-serving chemistry professor (Alan Rickman), who cheats on his forensic psychologist wife (Mary Steenburgen), erroneously wins the Nobel Prize and is then faced with a $2 million ransom demand when a disgruntled kidnapper (Shawn Hatosy) abducts his disgruntled son (Bryan Greenberg).

“Punisher: War Zone” (R) (.5) [Pervasive strong brutal violence, language, and some drug use.] [DVD only] — After a revenge-fueled, grief-stricken vigilante (Ray Stevenson) accidentally kills an FBI agent (Romano Orzari) while gunning down members of a crime family in this gory, 107-minute, 2008 lame sequel filled with grisly, graphic violence, an FBI agent (Colin Salmon) and a milquetoast NYPD cop (Dash Mihok) join forces with the vigilante when a hideous, scar-faced gangster (Dominic West) and his demented brother (Doug Hutchison) kidnap a widow (Julie Benz) and her daughter (Stephanie Janusauskas).

“Stranded: I’ve Come from a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains…” (NR) (3.5) [DVD only] — A gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, inspirational, unforgettable, 130-minute, 2007 documentary that uses chilling reenactments, still photographs, and interviews to chronicle the horrific, unimaginable ordeal of sixteen Uruguayan rugby team members (Fernando Perrado, Roberto Canassa, Eduardo and Adolfo Strauch, Pedro Delgado, Javier Methol, Pedro Algarta, et al.) who crashed in the Valley of Tears in the Andes Mountain on Oct. 13, 1972, and were rescued 72 days later, three days before Christmas, due to the heroic and resolute determination of two survivors.

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.

Aaron Shaffer About Aaron Shaffer
Follow Meteorologist Aaron Shaffer on Twitter. Aaron is a meteorologist who lives in Minneapolis, is on the Midtown Greenway Coalition's board of directors, and is the digital communications and social media associate for the nonprofit Avivo in Minneapolis. Deep down he's a weather geek and has a degree in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences from UW-Madison to prove it. He's spent time working at TV stations in Wyoming, South Dakota, and Iowa prior to arriving in Minneapolis to work for WeatherNation and now forecasting for MinnyApple. His favorite weather career moment came while storm chasing for his Iowa station (he went on 40+ storm chases during that time), when he saw a mile-wide EF-4 rated tornado.