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)

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (PG-13) (3) [Some sequences of fantasy action.] After declining to work with his brother (Callum Turner) at the British Ministry of Magic and being asked by a Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry professor (Jude Law) to head to Paris in 1927 to find the alleged son (Erza Miller) of the evil, powerful dark wizard (Johnny Depp) in this entertaining, action-packed, convoluted, 3D, star-dotted (Carmen Ejogo, Kevin Guthrie, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Wolf Roth, and Brontis Jodorowsky), 134 minute, J. K. Rowling’s sequel to the 2016 “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” with terrific special effects and wonderful creatures, the magizoologist (Eddie Redmayne) and his Muggle bakery owner friend (Dan Fogler) go to the City of Lights to find two magic-wand-waving sisters (Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol) and join other people (Zoë Kravitz, William Nadylam, and Claudia Kim) in searching for the necromancer who is bent on gathering followers and ruling humans.

 

“Green Book” (PG-13) (4) [Thematic content, language, including racial epithets, smoking, some violence, and suggestive material.] — After the Copacabana nightclub closes for renovations for two months in this captivating, factually inspired, well-acted, thought-provoking, critically acclaimed, 130-minute film that gets its title from Victor Hugh Green’s guidebook “The Negro Motorist Green Book” geared for African-American travelers, food-loving, working-class, Italian-American bouncer Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), who lives with his wife (Linda Cardellini) and two sons in New York City, forms an unlikely lifelong friendship when he accepts a job as chauffeur and security for proud, talented, heavy-drinking, Jamaican classical pianist Dr. Donald Walbridge Shirley (Mahershala Ali) as they encounter ugly, pervasive racism while touring the Deep South with his Don Shirley Trio in 1962.

 

 

On DVD

 

“Coraline” (PG) (1.5) [Thematic elements, scary images, some language, and suggestive humor.] [DVD only] — A dark, complicated, 3D, 100-minute, 2009 animated film, adapted from the Hugo Award-winning, internationally bestselling novel and artistically reminiscent of Tim Burton’s animated work, in which a curious, blue-haired, 11-year-old girl (voiceover by Dakota Fanning) moves with her neglectful, workalcoholic parents (voiceovers by Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) from Michigan to Oregon where she meets a talkative boy (voiceover by Robert Bailey Jr.) and her strange neighbors (voiceovers by Ian McShane, Jennifer Saunders, and Dawn French) and is then threatened by the duplicitous, menacing, button-eyed “other mother” in a parallel reality when she steps through a secret door in the Pink Palace Apartments.

 

“New in Town” (PG) (3) [Brief strong language.] [DVD only] — A funny, entertaining, down home, romantic, 97-minute, 2009 comedy about a no-nonsense, Miami-based manager (Renée Zellweger) who arrives in New Ulm during a cold Minnesota winter to downsize a dairy plant and immediately finds herself at odds with the quip-spouting foreman (J. K. Simmons), a widowed union representative (Harry Connick, Jr.), and her tapioca-loving secretary (Siobhan Fallon) and predictably ends up falling for the locals (Francis Conroy, Nancy Drake, Mike O’Brien, et al.) and the community.

 

“The Seat Filler” (PG-13) (2) [Sexual dialogue and a drug reference.] [DVD only] — After a comely Hollywood pop singer (Kelly Rowland) falls for a hunky seat filler (Duane Martin) she meets at a concert and ends up erroneously believing that he is a high-powered entertainment attorney in this low-key, funny, romantic, 90-minute, 2004 comedy, the smitten, bus-riding law student (Duane Martin), who is diligently studying for the California bar, and his wacky best friend (Deray Davis) try to figure out how to tell her the truth.

 

“Taken” (PG-13) (2.5) [Intense sequences of violence, disturbing thematic material, sexual content, some drug references, and language.] [DVD only]  — When Albanian sex traffickers (Arben Bajraktaraj, Nicolas Giraud, et al.) kidnap his spoiled and naïve 17-year-old daughter (Maggie Grace) from an apartment in Paris, along with her best friend (Katie Cassidy), to the horror of her mother (Famke Janssen) and wealthy stepfather (Xander Berkeley) in this run-of-the-mill, tension-filled, 93-minute, 2008 thriller, a smart and tenacious former CIA agent (Liam Neeson) goes on a one-man rescue mission to save her within 96 hours.

 

“Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” (R) (1.5) [Bloody violence and some sexuality.] [DVD only] — A gloomy, violent, 92-minute, 2009 prequel in which an enslaved half-human werewolf (Michael Sheen) falls in love with a beautiful vampire (Rhona Mitra) during the Middle Ages to the distain of her cruel, blood-sucking father (Bill Nighy) and eventually leads a revolt to free all werewolves.

 

“The Uninvited” (PG-13) (1.5) [Violent and disturbing images, thematic material, sexual content, language, and teen drinking.] [DVD only] — After a mentally disturbed and distraught teenager (Emily Browing) slits her wrists in response to the tragic death of her gravely ill mother in a fire in this uninviting, twist-filled,, 87-minute, 2009 thriller based on the Korean film “Changhwa, Hongryon,” she is plagued by voices and hallucinations when she leaves a mental hospital in Maine to return to her posh seaside home and learns from her older sister (Arielle Kebbel) that her novelist father (David Strathairn) has fallen for her mom’s former nurse (Elizabeth Banks).

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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