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Rating system:  (4=Don't miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)

For more reviews, click here. 

“All the Streets Are Silent: The Convergence of Hip Hop and Skateboarding (1987-1997)” (NR) (3) [Opens July 23 in theaters and played July 16 on AARP’s Movies for Grownups.] — Eli Morgan Gesner narrates Jeremy Elkin’s entertaining, educational, fascinating, 89-minute, 2020 documentary that explores how the popularity of skateboarding and hip-hop music influenced each other in New York City during the 1980s and 1990s and the impact they had on fashion, race, society, and street culture and consists of archival film clips and photographs, candid commentary by and about hip-hop musicians and rappers, including Kool Keith, Jay-Z, Darryl McDaniels (Run-D.M.C.), Dres, Rocket-T, Damany Beasley, Tek, Bustah Rhymes, Method Man, Lil’ Dap, A$AP Ferg, Harold Hunter, and Funkmaster Flex, and professional skateboarders (such as Mike Hernandez, Mike Carroll, Tony Hawk, Josh Kalis, Keith Hufnagel, Jefferson Pang, Peter Bici, Tyshawn Jones, Beatrice Diamond, Justin Pierce, Vinny Ponte, Danny Supa, Scott Johnston, Ricky Oyola, and Stevie Williams), and candid interview snippets with DJs (such as Kid Capri, Moby, Clark Kent, and Stretch Armstrong), actors Rosario Dawson and Leo Fitzpatrick, radio host Bobbito Garcia, Club Mars promoter Dave Ortiz, former records company creative director Willo Perron, artists Fab 5 Freddy and Clayton Patterson, Club Mars founder and promoter Yuki Watanabe, Mars doorman and cultural critic Carlo McCormick, filmmakers William Strobeck and R. B. Umali, former Supreme skateboard store manager Alex Corporan, Max Fish founder Ulli Rimkis, and Zoo York founders Rodney Smith and Adam Schatz.

“The American” (R) (3.5) [Violence, sexual content, and nudity.] [Played July 23 as part of AARP’S Movies for Grownups and available on various VOD platforms.] — After three people (Irina Björklund, Lars Hjelm, and Björn Granath) are murdered in Sweden in Anton Corbijn’s intense, riveting, well-written, surprising, 105-minute, 2010 film based on Martin Boothe’s novel “A Very Private Gentleman,” a cautious, lonely American (George Clooney) with a target on his back poses as a photographer when he heads to Italy to accept his next assignment from his duplicitous boss (Johan Leysen) and ends up being befriended by a suspicious priest (Paolo Bonacelli) and a comely prostitute (Violante Placido) while meticulously crafting a compact rifle for a Belgian assassin (Thekla Reuten).

“Cairo Time” (PG) (3) [Mild thematic elements and smoking.] [DVD and VOD only] When an American magazine editor/writer (Patricia Clarkson) finds herself passing time in Cairo while waiting to rendezvous with her workaholic husband (Tom McCamus), who works for the U.N. organizing refugee camps in Gaza, in this languid-paced, compelling film filled with stunning Egyptian landscapes, she finds herself drawn to a retired Muslim cop (Alexander Siddig) who was jilted by his former married lover (Amina Annabi).

“Code Blue: Redefining the Practice of Medicine” (NR) (4) [Played on July 18 on Eventbrite and available on various VOD platforms.] — Marcia Machado’s compelling, educational, fascinating, thought-provoking, 102-minute, 2019 documentary that discusses Dr. Saray Stancic’s journey to improve her health after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 28 and the benefits of lifestyle medicine, including eating whole foods (natural state) and a plant-based diet, exercising, reducing stress, eliminating smoking, limiting alcohol, and getting plenty of sleep, to help reduce, prevent, and reverse chronic diseases and conditions such as cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and M.S. and consists of insightful, informative commentary by leading health experts and doctors (such as Ralph Stancic, David Katz, T. Colin Campbell, Dean Ornish, David Sabgir, Caldwell Esstlyn, Baxter Montgomery, Ron Weiss, Robert Ostfeld, Dennis Bourdette, Jennifer Trlik, Paul Catalana, Jovita Oruwari, Giovanni Campanile, Shelley Berger, David Eisenberg, Edward M. Phillips, Neal Barnard, Thomas Pace, Steven Adelman, Irmine Van Dyken, Hana Kahleava, Michael Greger, Pam Popper, Kim Williams, Michelle McMacken, and Ana Negron), registered dietician Susan Levin, nutrition professor Marion Nestle, deputy director Graham Corditz, and medical students Saul Bautista, Uma Raman, and Rich Wolferz who discuss lifestyle medicine benefits, outdated medical curricula, misleading media information, lack of government regulations, and often unhealthy promotions by the pharmaceutical and food industries.

“Cowboys and Angels” (PG) (1.5) [Thematic elements and a scene of violence.] [DVD and VOD only]  — After a disillusioned, wannabe-cowboy lawyer (Adam Trese) is dumped by his cheating model girlfriend (Alissa Rice) and then by a mysterious free-spirited blond (Radha Mitchell) and then learns that his crass brother in-law (Hamilton von Watts) is cheating on his pregnant sister (Carmen Llywelyn) with a coworker in this uninspired, romantic, 2000, chick-flick comedy, he quits his job and then falls for a dark-haired woman (Mia Kirshner) who works with children at a dude ranch.

“Dim Sum Funeral” (R) (2.5) [Brief drug use and sexuality.] [DVD and VOD only] — A surprise ending punctuates this quirky, engaging, 2008 film in which estranged siblings, including an unhappy doctor (Russell Wong) cheating on his beautiful wife (Kelly Hu), a lesbian actress (Steph Song) who desires a baby with her flamboyant lover (Ling Bai), a grieving pregnant journalist (Julia Nickson) and her husband (Adrian Hough), and a real estate agent (Françoise Yip), reluctantly return to Seattle after the death of their hard-edged mother ( Lisa Lu) and are informed by their mother’s longtime friend (Talia Shire) that she has requested a traditional, 7-day Chinese funeral.

“Joe Bell” (R) (3) [Language, including offensive slurs, some disturbing material, and teen partying.] [Opens July 23 in theaters.] After his cheerleading, gay, 15-year-old son (Reid Miller) is bullied by his high school peers for being different and tragically commits suicide in 2012 in Reinaldo Marcus Green’s powerful, factually based, heartbreaking, bittersweet, well-acted, star-dotted (Gary Sinise, John Murray, Blaine Maye, Ash Santos, Igby Rigney, Morgan Lily, Scout Smith, and Cassie Beck), 90-minute, 2020 biographical film punctuated with a surprise ending, his distraught, grieving, guilt-ridden father Joe Bell (Mark Wahlberg) leaves his wife (Connie Britton) and younger wrestling son (Maxwell Jenkins) at home when he decides to walk from La Grande, Ore., to New York City to honor his son and to lecture on bullying to whomever will listen along the way.

“Lottery Ticket” (PG-13) (3) [Sexual content, language including a drug reference, some violence, and brief underage drinking.] [DVD and VOD only] When a tennis-shoe-loving teenager (Bow Wow), who lives in the projects with his excitable grandmother (Loretta Devine), wins $370 million by playing numbers from a fortune cookie and then must wait three days over the July 4th weekend to claim his winnings in this entertaining, high-energy, predictable, star-studded (Ice Cube, Keith David, Terry Crews, Mike Epps, and Bill Bellamy) comedy, he finds himself questioning the motives of his best friend (Brandon T. Jackson) and ignoring the advice of a smitten friend (Naturi Naughton) while being chased by a revengeful thug (Gbenga Akinnagbe).

“Pig” (R) (3.5) [Language and some Violence.] [Opened July 16 in theaters.] — Continually dim lighting detracts from Michael Sarnoski’s captivating, somber, dark, gritty, well-acted, star-dotted (Adam Arkin, David Knell, Nina Belforte, Gretchen Corbett, Julia Bray, Darius Pierce, and Elijah Ungvary), unpredictable, 92-minute film in which a reclusive, eccentric, well-respected, legendary chef (Nicolas Cage) turned truffle hunter, who lives in a remote dilapidated cabin in a forest in Oregon, seeks the help of a reluctant client (Alex Wolff) to find his beloved, fungi-sniffing pig in Portland after it is stolen by two drug addicts.

“Piranha” (R) (0) [Sequences of strong bloody horror violence and gore, graphic nudity, sexual content, language, and some drug use.] [DVD and VOD only] — A horrific, inane, stupid, gory, 3D, star-dotted (Richard Dreyfuss, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, and Eli Roth) horror spoof filled with gratuitous nudity, bloody water, dismembered body parts, and poor acting about a seismologist (Adam Scott) and an Arizona sheriff (Elizabeth Shue) who try to save her three children (Steve R. McQueen, Brooklynn Proulx, and Sage Ryan), a cocaine-snorting porn film director (Jerry O’Connell), and thousands of drunk, partying, partially clothed college students (Jessica Szohr, et al.) on Spring Break when their lives are threatened by prehistoric, fleshing-devouring piranha that have razor-sharp teeth.

“We Are Together (Thina Simunye): The Children of Agape Choir” (PG) (3.5) [Some thematic elements.] [DVD and VOD only] — A touching, inspirational, 2006 HBO documentary about a group of talented South African orphans, including 12-year-old Slindile Moya and 7-year-old Mbali, who live at the modest Agape Care Centre founded by “Grandma” Zodwa Mqadi and diligently rehearse as they prepare for a trip to New York City to perform with Alicia Keys and Paul Simon and make a CD to raise money for their orphanage.

Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident. 

Rating system:  (4=Don't miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)

www.shortredheadreelreviews.com

 

For more reviews, click here

“All the Streets Are Silent: The Convergence of Hip Hop and Skateboarding (1987-1997)” (NR) (3) [Opens July 23 in theaters and played July 16 on AARP’s Movies for Grownups.] — Eli Morgan Gesner narrates Jeremy Elkin’s entertaining, educational, fascinating, 89-minute, 2020 documentary that explores how the popularity of skateboarding and hip-hop music influenced each other in New York City during the 1980s and 1990s and the impact they had on fashion, race, society, and street culture and consists of archival film clips and photographs, candid commentary by and about hip-hop musicians and rappers, including Kool Keith, Jay-Z, Darryl McDaniels (Run-D.M.C.), Dres, Rocket-T, Damany Beasley, Tek, Bustah Rhymes, Method Man, Lil’ Dap, A$AP Ferg, Harold Hunter, and Funkmaster Flex, and professional skateboarders (such as Mike Hernandez, Mike Carroll, Tony Hawk, Josh Kalis, Keith Hufnagel, Jefferson Pang, Peter Bici, Tyshawn Jones, Beatrice Diamond, Justin Pierce, Vinny Ponte, Danny Supa, Scott Johnston, Ricky Oyola, and Stevie Williams), and candid interview snippets with DJs (such as Kid Capri, Moby, Clark Kent, and Stretch Armstrong), actors Rosario Dawson and Leo Fitzpatrick, radio host Bobbito Garcia, Club Mars promoter Dave Ortiz, former records company creative director Willo Perron, artists Fab 5 Freddy and Clayton Patterson, Club Mars founder and promoter Yuki Watanabe, Mars doorman and cultural critic Carlo McCormick, filmmakers William Strobeck and R. B. Umali, former Supreme skateboard store manager Alex Corporan, Max Fish founder Ulli Rimkis, and Zoo York founders Rodney Smith and Adam Schatz.

“The American” (R) (3.5) [Violence, sexual content, and nudity.] [Played July 23 as part of AARP’S Movies for Grownups and available on various VOD platforms.] — After three people (Irina Björklund, Lars Hjelm, and Björn Granath) are murdered in Sweden in Anton Corbijn’s intense, riveting, well-written, surprising, 105-minute, 2010 film based on Martin Boothe’s novel “A Very Private Gentleman,” a cautious, lonely American (George Clooney) with a target on his back poses as a photographer when he heads to Italy to accept his next assignment from his duplicitous boss (Johan Leysen) and ends up being befriended by a suspicious priest (Paolo Bonacelli) and a comely prostitute (Violante Placido) while meticulously crafting a compact rifle for a Belgian assassin (Thekla Reuten).

“Cairo Time” (PG) (3) [Mild thematic elements and smoking.] [DVD and VOD only] When an American magazine editor/writer (Patricia Clarkson) finds herself passing time in Cairo while waiting to rendezvous with her workaholic husband (Tom McCamus), who works for the U.N. organizing refugee camps in Gaza, in this languid-paced, compelling film filled with stunning Egyptian landscapes, she finds herself drawn to a retired Muslim cop (Alexander Siddig) who was jilted by his former married lover (Amina Annabi).

“Code Blue: Redefining the Practice of Medicine” (NR) (4) [Played on July 18 on Eventbrite and available on various VOD platforms.] — Marcia Machado’s compelling, educational, fascinating, thought-provoking, 102-minute, 2019 documentary that discusses Dr. Saray Stancic’s journey to improve her health after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 28 and the benefits of lifestyle medicine, including eating whole foods (natural state) and a plant-based diet, exercising, reducing stress, eliminating smoking, limiting alcohol, and getting plenty of sleep, to help reduce, prevent, and reverse chronic diseases and conditions such as cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and M.S. and consists of insightful, informative commentary by leading health experts and doctors (such as Ralph Stancic, David Katz, T. Colin Campbell, Dean Ornish, David Sabgir, Caldwell Esstlyn, Baxter Montgomery, Ron Weiss, Robert Ostfeld, Dennis Bourdette, Jennifer Trlik, Paul Catalana, Jovita Oruwari, Giovanni Campanile, Shelley Berger, David Eisenberg, Edward M. Phillips, Neal Barnard, Thomas Pace, Steven Adelman, Irmine Van Dyken, Hana Kahleava, Michael Greger, Pam Popper, Kim Williams, Michelle McMacken, and Ana Negron), registered dietician Susan Levin, nutrition professor Marion Nestle, deputy director Graham Corditz, and medical students Saul Bautista, Uma Raman, and Rich Wolferz who discuss lifestyle medicine benefits, outdated medical curricula, misleading media information, lack of government regulations, and often unhealthy promotions by the pharmaceutical and food industries.

“Cowboys and Angels” (PG) (1.5) [Thematic elements and a scene of violence.] [DVD and VOD only]  — After a disillusioned, wannabe-cowboy lawyer (Adam Trese) is dumped by his cheating model girlfriend (Alissa Rice) and then by a mysterious free-spirited blond (Radha Mitchell) and then learns that his crass brother in-law (Hamilton von Watts) is cheating on his pregnant sister (Carmen Llywelyn) with a coworker in this uninspired, romantic, 2000, chick-flick comedy, he quits his job and then falls for a dark-haired woman (Mia Kirshner) who works with children at a dude ranch.

“Dim Sum Funeral” (R) (2.5) [Brief drug use and sexuality.] [DVD and VOD only] — A surprise ending punctuates this quirky, engaging, 2008 film in which estranged siblings, including an unhappy doctor (Russell Wong) cheating on his beautiful wife (Kelly Hu), a lesbian actress (Steph Song) who desires a baby with her flamboyant lover (Ling Bai), a grieving pregnant journalist (Julia Nickson) and her husband (Adrian Hough), and a real estate agent (Françoise Yip), reluctantly return to Seattle after the death of their hard-edged mother ( Lisa Lu) and are informed by their mother’s longtime friend (Talia Shire) that she has requested a traditional, 7-day Chinese funeral.

“Joe Bell” (R) (3) [Language, including offensive slurs, some disturbing material, and teen partying.] [Opens July 23 in theaters.] After his cheerleading, gay, 15-year-old son (Reid Miller) is bullied by his high school peers for being different and tragically commits suicide in 2012 in Reinaldo Marcus Green’s powerful, factually based, heartbreaking, bittersweet, well-acted, star-dotted (Gary Sinise, John Murray, Blaine Maye, Ash Santos, Igby Rigney, Morgan Lily, Scout Smith, and Cassie Beck), 90-minute, 2020 biographical film punctuated with a surprise ending, his distraught, grieving, guilt-ridden father Joe Bell (Mark Wahlberg) leaves his wife (Connie Britton) and younger wrestling son (Maxwell Jenkins) at home when he decides to walk from La Grande, Ore., to New York City to honor his son and to lecture on bullying to whomever will listen along the way.

“Lottery Ticket” (PG-13) (3) [Sexual content, language including a drug reference, some violence, and brief underage drinking.] [DVD and VOD only] When a tennis-shoe-loving teenager (Bow Wow), who lives in the projects with his excitable grandmother (Loretta Devine), wins $370 million by playing numbers from a fortune cookie and then must wait three days over the July 4th weekend to claim his winnings in this entertaining, high-energy, predictable, star-studded (Ice Cube, Keith David, Terry Crews, Mike Epps, and Bill Bellamy) comedy, he finds himself questioning the motives of his best friend (Brandon T. Jackson) and ignoring the advice of a smitten friend (Naturi Naughton) while being chased by a revengeful thug (Gbenga Akinnagbe).

“Pig” (R) (3.5) [Language and some Violence.] [Opened July 16 in theaters.] — Continually dim lighting detracts from Michael Sarnoski’s captivating, somber, dark, gritty, well-acted, star-dotted (Adam Arkin, David Knell, Nina Belforte, Gretchen Corbett, Julia Bray, Darius Pierce, and Elijah Ungvary), unpredictable, 92-minute film in which a reclusive, eccentric, well-respected, legendary chef (Nicolas Cage) turned truffle hunter, who lives in a remote dilapidated cabin in a forest in Oregon, seeks the help of a reluctant client (Alex Wolff) to find his beloved, fungi-sniffing pig in Portland after it is stolen by two drug addicts.

“Piranha” (R) (0) [Sequences of strong bloody horror violence and gore, graphic nudity, sexual content, language, and some drug use.] [DVD and VOD only] — A horrific, inane, stupid, gory, 3D, star-dotted (Richard Dreyfuss, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, and Eli Roth) horror spoof filled with gratuitous nudity, bloody water, dismembered body parts, and poor acting about a seismologist (Adam Scott) and an Arizona sheriff (Elizabeth Shue) who try to save her three children (Steve R. McQueen, Brooklynn Proulx, and Sage Ryan), a cocaine-snorting porn film director (Jerry O’Connell), and thousands of drunk, partying, partially clothed college students (Jessica Szohr, et al.) on Spring Break when their lives are threatened by prehistoric, fleshing-devouring piranha that have razor-sharp teeth.

“We Are Together (Thina Simunye): The Children of Agape Choir” (PG) (3.5) [Some thematic elements.] [DVD and VOD only] — A touching, inspirational, 2006 HBO documentary about a group of talented South African orphans, including 12-year-old Slindile Moya and 7-year-old Mbali, who live at the modest Agape Care Centre founded by “Grandma” Zodwa Mqadi and diligently rehearse as they prepare for a trip to New York City to perform with Alicia Keys and Paul Simon and make a CD to raise money for their orphanage.

Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident. 

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