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)

“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” (NR) (3) [Netflix only] — When a headstrong, engaged British writer (Lily James) leaves her American fiancé (Glen Powell) on the docks in 1946 to head to the island of Guernsey, which was occupied by the Nazis during WWII, to write an article for the publisher (Matthew Goode) of a London-based publication in this engaging, well-acted, poignant, romantic, 124-minute film based on the 2008 bestselling  novel by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer and highlighted by wonderful cinematography, she discovers a fascinating story about the origins of the quirky-named book club as she interviews its members  (Penelope Wilton, Tom Courtney, Katherine Parkinson, et al.) and unexpectedly finds herself attracted to handsome farmer (Michael Huisman) who is caring for a young girl (Florence Keen) whose mother (Jessica Brown Findlay) was the founder of the literary society.

 

“Mary, Queen of Scots” (R) (3) [Some violence and sexuality.] — After the French king dies in 1560 and the vibrant, widowed, Catholic Mary Queen of Scots (Saoirse Ronan) returns to Scotland to assume the throne from her regent brother (James McArdle) in this captivating, factually inspired, well-acted, star-studded (Guy Pearce, David Tennant, Gemma Chan, Joe Alwyn, Brendan Coyle, Adrian Lester, Simon Russell Beale, and Ismael Cruz Córdova), 125 minute historical drama based on John Guy’s biography “Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart” and highlighted by striking costumes, sets, scenery, and cinematography but marred by sporadic mumbled dialogue, she marries her bisexual first cousin (Jack Lowden) against the wishes of her Protestant cousin Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) while the political and religious tensions escalate between England and Scotland, and when her husband is murdered, she reluctantly marries an earl (Martin Compston) but is forced to abdicate the throne in 1567 and is eventually beheaded 18 years later.

 

 

On DVD

 

“The Bridge” (R) (2.5) [Disturbing content involving suicide, and some language.] [DVD only] — A gut-wrenching, somber, but enlightening, 95-minute, 2006 documentary that explores the dark side of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, which attracts more suicidal jumpers than anywhere else in the world and sadly claimed 24 lives in 2004, by interviewing shocked eyewitnesses (Eric Gileynse, Chris Brown, Susan Ginewalla, Dave Williams, Keith Glenn, Richard Waters, et al.) who observed suicidal jumpers (Gene Sprague, Elizabeth Smith, David Paige, James Singer, Daviel Rubenstein, Philip Manikow, et al.) succumb to depression and despair, surviving family members (Rachel Marker, Tara Harrell, Wally and Mary Manikow, et al.) and friends (Caroline Pressley, Christina Koelling, et al.) of victims, and one grateful man (Kevin Hines) who survived the attempt.

 

“Fired Up!” (PG-13) (1.5) [Crude and sexual content throughout, partial nudity, language, and some teen partying.] [DVD only] — A silly, over-the-top, teen-geared, metaphor-laden, 90-minute, 2009 comedy about two popular and horny football players (Nicholas D’Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen) in Illinois who deceive their foul-mouthed coach (Philip Baker Hall) to join members (Sarah Roemer, Juliette Goglia, Danneel Harris, Margo Harshman, et al.) of their underdog high school cheerleading squad at a cheerleading camp run by an enthusiastic married couple (John Michael Higgins and Molly Sims) in the hopes of hooking up with hot cheerleaders (AnnaLynne McCord, et al.).

 

“Pond Hockey” (NR) (3) [DVD only] — An informative and fascinating, 82-minute, 2008 documentary for lovers of hockey that explores hockey culture and examines the pros and cons of indoor versus outdoor hockey by showing snippets of the first ever U.S. Pond Hockey Championship at Lake Calhoun in Minnesota and by interviewing hockey players (such as Wayne Gretzky, Jeff Sorem, Dave Miller, Neal Broten, Charlie Wasley, David Shute, Ryan Smith, Mark Parrish, and Peter Armbrust) from various teams (for example, Minnesota Wilds, Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, Federal League Allstars, New York Islanders, Turbo, Almost Forty, Sofa King Lazy, the Minnesota North Stars, Tailgaters, Snipers, and Toolers), current and former coaches (Philip Bonin, Wendell Anderson, Keith Hendrickson, and Doug Woog), sports journalists Charles McGrath and John Buccigross, and authors Ross Bernstein, John Rosengren, and Jack Falla who wrote “Remembering Herbie,” “Blades of Glory,” and “Home Ice,” respectively.

 

“The Tribes of Palos Verdes” (R) (3) [Drug use, language throughout, and some sexual content.] [DVD only] — A realistic, down-to-earth, well-acted, emotionally-driven, star-dotted (Alicia Silverstone, Joely Fisher, Elisabeth Röhm, and Goran Visnjic), 104-minute film based on Joy Nicholson’s 1997 novel in which tensions ensue and relationships are strained in this dysfunctional family when a cardiologist (Justin Kirk) and his depression-prone wife (Jennifer Garner) move from Michigan to California and their 16-year-old fraternal twins (Maika Monroe and Cody Fern) are forced to deal with the crumbling marriage of their parents while trying to fit in everywhere else.

 

“Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail” (PG-13) (2.5) [Mature thematic material, drug content, some violence, and sexual situations.] [DVD only] — While a compassionate, guilt-ridden assistant district attorney (Derek Luke) in Georgia tries to help a drug-addicted college friend (Keisha Knight Pulliam), who has turned to prostitution and life on the streets, despite objections from his jealous, duplicitous fiancée (Ion Overman) in this pratfall, funny, 103-minute, 2009 comedy with serious undertones, hotheaded Madea (Tyler Perry) finally lands in the slammer to the concern of her relatives (Tamela J. Mann, David Mann, et al.) after turning over a car in a parking lot using a forklift and a long list of illegal offenses.

 

“Wendy and Lucy” (R) (2.5) [Language.] [DVD only] — A somber, well-acted, down-to-earth film about a frustrated, down-on-her-luck Indiana woman (Michelle Williams) who is befriended by a kindhearted security guard (Wally Dalton) when she loses her golden yellow lab after her car breaks down in Oregon on her way to a summer job at a fish cannery in Alaska.

 

“Were the World Mine” (NR) (3) [DVD only] — When a bullied homosexual teenager (Tanner Cohen), living with his hardworking mother (Judy McLane) and hanging out with his two best friends (Ricky Goldman and Zelda Williams), is picked by the passionate drama teacher (Wendy Robie) to star as Puck in Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with other jocks (Nathaniel David Becker, et al.) at his prep school in this touching, entertaining, 95-minute, 2007 film, he ends up putting the townsfolk, including the prejudiced coach (Christian Stolte) and a snobbish cosmetic saleswoman (Jill Larson), under a magical love spell.

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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