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)

“Bisbee ’17” (NR) (3) An eye-opening, powerful, heartbreaking, poignant, 112-minute documentary the showcases the townsfolk (Mike Anderson, James West, Chris Dietz, Fernando Serrano, Benjamin Joel Caron, Dick and Doug Graeme, Charles Bethea, Ken Boe, et al.) of Bisbee, Ariz., which is just 7 miles from the Mexican border, who faithfully recreate on the centennial anniversary what is known as the Bisbee Deportation where a deputized, 2,000-man posse lead by Sheriff Harvey Wheeler illegally rounded up 1,200 immigrant I.W.W. (Industrial Workers of the World) striking miners (aka the Wobblies) at the Copper Queen Mine on July 12, 1917, forced them into cattle cars, and left them to die in a desert in New Mexico.

“Free Solo” (NR) (4) Spectacular cinematography dominates E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s exceptionally thrilling, mind-boggling, heart-pounding, inspirational, unbelievable, 100-minute National Geographic documentary that follows training of freesoloist climber Alex Honnold as he prepares to climb the challenging sheer granite, 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park on June 3, 2017, which took him a mere 3 hours and 56 minutes, without any equipment or rope, gives insight into his relationship with his girlfriend Sanni McCandless, and includes interviews with other famous climbers such as Cheyne Lempe, Mickey Schaefer, and Peter Croft.

“Night School” (PG-13) (3) [Crude and sexual content throughout, language, some drug references, and violence.] After a charismatic, gregarious high school dropout (Kevin Hart), who has a gorgeous fiancée (Megalyn Echikunwoke) and lives at home with his parents (Keith David and Loretta Devine), loses his job as a barbeque grill salesman in Atlanta and is offered a financial analyst job by his best friend (Ben Schwartz) if he can get his GED in this wacky, funny, entertaining, 111-minute comedy, he joins an eclectic group of students (Rob Riggle, Anne Winters, Romany Malco, Fat Joe, Al Madrigal, and Mary Lynn Rajskub) in a night class run by a no-nonsense teacher (Tiffany Haddish) at his former high school where the revenge-driven principal (Taran Killam) is out for payback.

“The Sisters Brothers” (R) (3) [Violence, including disturbing images, language, and some sexual content.] After two notorious, sibling assassins (John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix) gun down people in Oregon in 1851 and end up in the midst of the gold rush in California searching for the secret to extracting gold in this dark, violent, well-acted, star-dotted (Rutger Hauer, Carol Kane, Niels Asetrup, Rebecca Root, and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson), 121-minute film based on Patrick DeWitt’s novel and highlighted by gorgeous cinematography, they surprisingly find themselves teaming up with a lawman (Jake Gyllenhaal) who was hot on their trail and a gold prospecting chemist (Riz Ahmed) to find gold.

“Smallfoot” (PG) (3) [Some action, rude humor, and thematic elements.] When a bigfoot (voiceover by Channing Tatum) is banished from his Himalayan mountain village by its leader (voiceover by Conmon) after claiming he has seen a human in this endearing, family-oriented, well-paced, poignant, funny, 3D, star-studded ((voiceover by Danny DeVito, Patricia Heaton, Jack Quaid, Sarah Baker, Yara Shahidi, and Jimmy Tatro), 109-minute animated comedy based on Sergio Pablos’s book “Yeti Tracks” and highlighted by upbeat music, four friends (voiceovers by Zendaya, LeBron James, Gina Rodriguez, and Ely Henry) from the Smallfoot Evidentiary Society (SES) help him go to the smallfoot village to bring back a TV host (voiceover by James Corden) to prove he is telling the truth.

“A Star Is Born” (R) (3.5) [Language throughout, some sexuality/nudity, and substance abuse.] An engaging, compelling, entertaining, well-acted, critically acclaimed, emotional, star-dotted (Sam Elliott, Dave Chapelle, Andrew Dice Clay, Anthony Ramos, Greg Grunberg, Marlon Williams, Alec Baldwin, Michael J. Harney, Bonnie Somerville, Rebecca Field, Eddie Griffin, and Halsey), 135-minute remake of the 1976 film with a spectacular soundtrack and based on William Wellman’s and Robert Carson’s story in which an alcoholic, pill-popping, country rock musician/singer (Bradley Cooper) takes a talented waitress (Lady Gaga) with amazing pipes and songwriting ability under his wing after watching her sing her heart out at a drag bar, and when her career begins to skyrocket, it triggers jealousy and tension in their romantic and professional relationship.

 

On DVD

 

“Ashes of Time Redux” (R) (2.5) [Some violence.] [Subtitled] [DVD only] Wong Kar Wai’s muddled, but artistically exquisite, 100-minute, Chinese 1994 film in which ancient Chinese master swordsmen (Leslie Cheung, Tony Leung, and Jacky Cheung) and the women (Brigette Lin, Maggie Cheung, Li Bai, and Carina Lau) seek love and justice from them.

“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).

“A Christmas Tale” (NR) (2.5) [Subtitled] [DVD only] A long-winded, artsy, convoluted, well-acted, 150-minute, 2008 French film in which a beautiful, cancer-afflictedf French matriarch (Catherine Deneuve) seeks the support of her longtime devoted husband (Jean-Paul Roussillon) as she gathers her dysfunctional, estranged grownup children (Mathieu Amalric, Anne Consigny, and Melvil Poupaud) and the extended family (Hippolyte Girardot, Emmanuelle Devos, Chiara Mastroianni, Laurent Capelluto, Emile Berling, and Thomas and Clément Obled) around her during Christmastime in the hope that one of them will be a suitable bone marrow donor.

“The Day the Earth Stood Still” (PG-13) (2.5) [Some sci-fi disaster images and violence.] [DVD only] While a New Jersey biologist (Jennifer Connelly) with a precocious stepson (Jaden Smith) and a Nobel-Prize-honored scientist (John Cleese) try to convince an alien (Keanu Reeves), which is protected by a gargantuan robot, to give mankind another chance in order to save the Earth from destruction after a spaceship lands in Central Park in this uninspired, action-packed, 104-minute, 2008 remake of the 1951 thriller filled with special effects, the U.S. Secretary of Defense (Kathy Bates) is bent on running things by the book.

“The Tale of Despereaux” (G) (2.5) [DVD only] Sigourney Weaver narrates this dark, disappointing, lackluster, star-laden (Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, Stanley Tucci, Frank Langella, Frances Conroy, Tracey Ullman, Robbie Coltrane, Richard Jenkins, Ciarán Hinds, and Bronson Pinchot), 93-minute, 2008 Walt Disney animated film about a brave, headstrong, big-eared mouse (voiceover by Matthew Broderick) that is banished from mouseworld when he talks with a forlorn princess (voiceover by Emma Watson) and is then befriended by a light-loving rat (voiceover by Christopher Lloyd) with whom he teams up to bring joy and soup back to the kingdom.

“Valkyrie” (PG-13) (4) [Violence and brief strong language.] [DVD only] — An intense, powerful, gut-wrenching, enlightening, factually based, star-studded (Kenneth Branagh, Tom Wilkinson, Thomas Kretschmann, Tom Hollander, et al.), 121-minute, 2008 film in which Nazi Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) joined other high-ranking German military officers (Bill Nighy, Terence Stamp, Eddie Izzard, David Schofield, Kevin McNally, et al.) to devise a risky, dangerous, multifaceted scheme to assassinate Adolf Hitler (David Bamber) and his equally mad right-hand man Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler (Matthias Freihof) and to assume control of Berlin on July 20, 1944.

“Yes Man” (PG-13) (3) [Crude sexual humor, language, and brief nudity.] [DVD only] — When a divorced, stuck-in-a-rut loan officer (Jim Carrey) attends a seminar run by a charismatic speaker (Terence Stamp) and he ends up making a covenant with himself to say yes to everything and to life in this engaging, touching, chuckle-inducing, 104-minute, 2008 comedy, he opens himself up to new opportunities and meeting interesting people, including a motorcycle-riding, free-spirited singer (Zooey Deschanel).

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.