“Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex”

“Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex”

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

 

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“Alpha Code” (NR) (1.5) [Available June 14 on various VOD platforms.] — After his wife mysteriously disappeared two years earlier and his daughter (Sabina Rojková) has been abducted from his cabin in the woods in the Czech Republic by aliens in Keoni Waxman’s lackluster, cliché-driven, convoluted, unoriginal, poorly acted, low-budget, 97-minute, 2020 sci-fi thriller allegedly based on events in Milan Friedrich’s life, a distraught man (Bren Foster), who suffered a concussion, searches for his half-alien, hybrid daughter with the help of a women (Denise Richards) with amnesia and a former black ops agent (Marek Vasut) while being tracked by a no-nonsense U.N. secret space program agent (Randy Couture) and his men (Jordan Haj, et al.).

“Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex” (NR) (3.5) [Plays June 8-19 at the Tribeca Film Festival; for more information, log on to https://tribecafilm.com/films/angelheaded-hipster-the-songs-of-marc-bolan-t-rex-2022.] — Ethan Silverman’s captivating, entertaining, insightful, informative, candid, behind-the-scenes, 97-minute documentary that pays homage to the short life and career of British T. Rex glam rock artist, songwriter, and poet Marc Bolan through film clips, photographs, concert footage, and commentary by musicians (such as Ringo Starr, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr., Bill Legend, Richard Barone, Henry Brinner, and Steve Peregrin Took), publicist Alan Edwards, Angelheaded Hipster record producer Hal Willner, Angelheaded Hipster executive producer and WHO manager Bill Curbishley, singers (such as Bono, Billy Idol, Elton John, David Bowie, Borns, Joan Jett, Rolan Bolan, Nick Cave, Joe Elliott, Devendra Banhart, Maria McKee, Nena, Macy Gray, Father John Misty, Cilla Black, Lucinda Williams, John Cameron Mitchell, and Mario Cuomo), wife June Bolan and son Rolan Bolan, Marc Bolan’s partner Gloria Jones, fan Beth Orton, “16 Magazine” coeditor Danny Fields, makeup artist James Vincent, DJ and club promoter Jeff Dexter, record producer Tony Visconti, writer Robert Greenfield, Snarky Puppy bandleader Michael League, filmmaker and journalist John Cameron, and photographer Neal Preston.

 “The Arbor” (NR) (2) [DVD and VOD only] — A conceptually fascinating, experimental, biographical documentary that uses “verbatim theater” to pay homage to the hard-drinking English playwright Andrea Dunbar, who tragically died at age 29 of a brain hemorrhage after writing three plays, and consists of archival film footage, reenactments of her play “The Arbor” that tells about her difficult childhood growing up in West Yorkshire, and interviews in which actors lip-synched the voices of Andrea, her mother (Kate Rutter) and father (Danny Webb), her brothers Andrew (Matthew McNulty) and David (Jonathan Jaynes) Dunbar, her sisters Pamela (Kathryn Pogson) and Kathy (Lizzie Roper), her daughters Lisa Thomson (Christine Bottomley) and Lorraine (Manjinder Virk) Dunbar, and theater director Max Stafford-Clark.

 “Becoming a Queen” (NR) (3) [Available June 14 on various digital platforms.] — Elaborate, gorgeous, gigantic costumes dominate Chris Strikes’ colorful, entertaining, informative, behind-the-scenes, insightful, 89-minute documentary that follows Joella Crichton’s attempt to win the title Queen of Caribbean Carnival for the tenth time in 2018 in Toronto, Canada, and consists of commentary by festival creative director and costume designer Kenney Coombs, mother Lou-Ann Crichton, sister and festival competitor Mischka Crichton, father Phillip Crichton, actor and media personality Nneka Elliott, festival management committee leader and carnival historian Gerald Weekes, management committee member Patricia Juggernauth, musician Marcus Eustace, and festival competitor Celina Seusashai.

 “The Book Keepers” (NR) (3.5) [Opens June 17 in theaters and played May 26 part of AARP’s Movies for Grownups.] — Phil Wall’s compelling, heartbreaking, heartwarming, touching, bittersweet, inspirational, 89-minute, 2020 documentary that follows devoted, grieving husband Richard Wall as he crisscrosses the country on a book tour to promote his gifted English teacher and writer wife Carol’s poignant, critically acclaimed book “Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart” after her untimely, tragic death in December 2014 in her home in Virginia from metastasized breast cancer with insights from her filmmaker son Phil and oncologist Dr. Fintel.

“Brian and Charles” (PG) (3) [Language, smoking, and mild violence.] [Opens June 17 in theaters.] — After an eccentric, lonely, depressed inventor (David Earl) living in the Welsh countryside builds an unusual, rebellious, cheeky, bored, cabbage-loving, hula-skirt-wearing, 7-foot robot (Chris Hayward) that has a mind of its own and wants to go on adventures and then is stolen by a mean-spirited bully (Jamie Michie) and two crazy sisters (Lowri Izzard and Mari Izzard) in Jim Archer’s engaging, quirky, imaginative, creative, wacky, humorous, 90-minute comedy, a kindhearted villager (Louise Brealey) encourages him to use his intelligence to fight back.

“The Colors of the Mountain” (NR) (3.5) [Subtitled] [DVD and VOD only] — Gorgeous mountain scenery dominates this powerful, disturbing, realistic film in which an artistic 9-year-old student (Hernán Mauricio Ocampo) in Colombia must face the grim, harsh realities of life when guerillas threaten his peasants parents (Hernán Méndez and Carmen Torres), and the lives of two of his friends (Nolberto Sánchez and Genaro Aristizábal) are endangered when they all try to retrieve the soccer ball he received for his birthday from a grassy field filled with landmines.

“End of the Line” (NR) (3) [Available June 14 on various digital and VOD platforms.] — Emmett Adler’s eye-opening, educational, unsettling, in-depth, 65-minute documentary that focuses on the New York City subway system, which began in 1904 and serves more nine million riders per day, that is in dire need of a massive overhaul in all areas of the mass transit system due to power outages, a series of disasters such as flooding, and overcrowding; focuses on the economic concerns, political turmoil, citizen hardships, and frustrations that occur when MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford tries to implement his controversial plans to shore up infrastructure and to rebuild the severely out-of-date subway system; and consists of commentary by former MTA NYC Transit interim president Sarah Feinberg, former NYC Department of Transportation Director of Policy John Orcutt, journalists (such as John Surico, Aaron Gordon, Clayton Guse, Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Jose Martinez, and Paul Berger), NYC councilman Antonio Reynoso, former governor Andrew M. Cuomo, TransitCenter Deputy Executive Director Tabitha Decker, former NYC mayor Bill De Blasio, former MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota, ex-candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, real estate broker Jonathan Tager, resident Gina Garan, Transportation Commissioner Sam Schwartz, former MTA interim chairman Fernando ‘Freddie’ Ferrer, and MTA board members Andrew Saul, Charles Moerdler, Polly Trottenberg, and Veronica Vanterpool.

“Erzulie” (NR) (1.5) [Available June 14 on various VOD platforms.] — Christine Chen’s somber, lackluster, violent, star-dotted (Haley Elizabeth Raines, Alexander Biglane, Patrick A. Grover, and Eric Gibson), 85-minute thriller in which four longtime friends (Zoe Graham, Elizabeth Trieu, Courtney Oliviér, and Diana Rose) reconnect for the weekend when they head to the bayou in southern Louisiana and end up accidentally conjuring a powerful, revenge-fueled, killer mermaid (Leila Anastasia Scott) from the depths of the swamp who wants to protect the women and to grant their desires while a menacing camp manager (Jason Kirkpatrick) wants to capture voodoo-inspired goddess for himself 

“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” (R) (3.5) [Graphic nudity, some language, and sexual content.] [Available June 17 via streaming on Hulu.] — After having a lackluster, boring, unfulfilled sex life during her 31-year marriage and never experiencing an orgasm in Sophie Hyde’s refreshing, risqué, realistic, well-acted, taut, humor-punctuated, 97-minute film, a reserved, retired, uptight, nervous, 55-year-old widowed teacher (Emma Thompson) in England decides to hire a handsome, charismatic, inwardly troubled prostitute (Daryl McCormack), who has been disowned by his mother, to make a satisfying physical and emotional connection and by baring all and accepting each other’s foibles, they both benefit 

“Guidance” (NR) (2.5) [Subtitled] [Available June 17 on various VOD platforms.] — Neysan Sobhani’s original, languid-paced, thought-provoking, creative, psychological, 93-minute, 2021 sci-fi thriller highlighted by striking cinematography in which a Chinese couple (Jia Sun and Harry Song), who are hiding secrets from each other, heads to the countryside for a weekend getaway in an effort to improve their struggling relationship and after swallowing a pill that installs a nanotechnology app, which was created by a high-tech company CEO (Francesco Chen), in their nervous system and gives people the ability to detect deception and to be more enlightened, they each try to circumvent the app and tell white lies in a desperate attempt to stay together.

“Hostile Territory” (R) (2.5) [Violence.] [Available June 14 on Blu-ray™, DVD, and various VOD platforms.] — When a Union officer (Brian Presley), who is accompanied by a fellow POW (Desmond Richard) after they were imprisoned together by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, returns home to discover his wife (Jill North) has died of tuberculosis and his children (Jackson Presley, Emma Presley, and Ruby Pressley) have been placed on an orphan train headed to Missouri in 1865 in Brian Presley’s compelling, factually inspired, well-paced, violent, star-dotted (Lew Temple, Matt McCoy, Brea Bee, Brad Leland, Lorna Larkin, Timothy Patrick Cavanaugh, Tom Dragt, and Scott L. Perez ), 94-minute Western film highlighted by great photography and some historical liberties, he heads out with Native American sharpshooters to find his brood along with a former Black widowed slave (Natalie Whittle) searching for her young daughter (Daelyanna Kelly Benson) and discovers his oldest soldier son (Cooper North) and a pretty saloon server (Brianna Ellisis) are taking the children and some orphans (Braxton Cole Perez, et al.) to a ranch in Montana but then encounters arrow-wielding Cheyenne Indians.

“The Imperialists Are Still Alive!” (NR) (1) [Partially subtitled] [DVD and VOD only] — A lackluster, two-dimensional, 2010 film, which is marred by low lighting and poor acting, about a Paris-born, contemporary, conceptual, paranoid artist (Élodie Bouchez) who begins a new relationship with a hunky Mexican medical student (José María de Tavira) while navigating the streets of Manhattan after 9/11 going to nightclubs, theaters, and gallery openings with friends (Karolina Muller, et al.) and worrying about her Lebanese brother trying to escape the Middle East. 

“Ip Man: The Awakening” (NR) (3) [Subtitled][Available June 21 on Blu-ray™, DVD, and various digital platforms.] — Awesome martial arts choreography dominates Li Xi Jie and Zhang Zhu Lin’s entertaining, captivating, action-packed, fast-paced, predictable, 77-minute film in which skilled, white-clad-wearing Wing Chun master (Tse Miu) inadvertently causes a turf war in Hong Kong in 1930, and after he is forced to fight a Baritsu-trained British boxing champion and then his close, rickshaw-pulling friend (Chen Guanying) and pretty sister (Zhao Yuxuan) are kidnapped, he goes after a greedy, ruthless human trafficker and crime lord (Sergio Deieso) who has been paying off the police to turn a blind eye.

“Lightyear” (PG) (3.5) [Action/Peril] [Opens June 17 in theaters.] — When legendary space ranger Buzz Lightyear (voiceover by Chris Evans) ends up on a menacing planet crawling with green, tentacle-spouting creatures 4.2 million light years from Earth with his feisty Black commander (voiceover by Uzo Aduba) in Angus MacLane’s entertaining, family-oriented, humorous, fast-paced, action-packed, star-studded (voiceovers by Isiah Whitlock Jr., Efren Ramirez, Tim Peake, and Mary McDonald-Lewis), 100-minute sci-fi animated comedy derived from the “Toy Story” franchise, the brave, stubborn, daredevil aircraft test pilot goes a series of missions to check out the speed mechanism so that Star Command survivors can finally return home but the flights don't go as planned, and he is joined by three energetic, doggedly determined rookie recruits (voiceovers by Keke Palmer/Keira Hairston, Taika Waititi, and Dale Soules) and a lovable, smart, robotic feline (voiceover by Peter Sohn) who try to help him complete his mission while being pursued by an evil, hostile robot (voiceover by James Brolin).

“Lovely Jackson” (NR) (4) [Available June 17 on various VOD platforms.] — Creative photography and poignant reenactments highlight Waldeck’s powerful, primarily black-and-white, riveting, gut-wrenching, moving, arty, heartbreaking, ire-inducing, 104-minute documentary, which is reminiscent of “When They See Us” and “Trial 4,” in which wrongly convicted African American Rickey Jackson recounts the horrific 39 years (3 years on death row) he spent in a notorious Ohio prison after he was erroneously arrested at age 18 for the cold-blooded murder of money order collector Harold Franks in Cleveland on May 19, 1975, after police coerced 12-year-old newspaper carrier Edward Vernon to claim he was an eye-witness and finally exonerated and released in 2014 with support of the Ohio Innocence Project's attorneys Mark Godsey and Mary McGrath.

“The Lutefisk Wars” (NR) (4) [DVD and VOD only] — After a mysterious elderly Norwegian (Rodney O. Myhrum) drops dead eating a hot dish at the home of a cook-loving Schwan’s delivery driver (Stewart Skelton) and his mechanically inclined fiancée (Deb Hiett) and is quickly buried by the small-town mortician (Scott Horvik) in this side-splitting, hilarious, satirical, spoofing, 86-minute, pseudo documentary, the North Dakota couple turn to a cop (Regan Burns) and two FBI agents (Ken Baldwin and Michael Rose) when their house is ransacked and one of them is kidnapped by two rival Norwegian Mafia men (Haynes Brooke and Steve Poitkas) searching for a notorious, magical lutefisk recipe.

“Mid-Century” (R) (2.5) [Violent content, brief nudity, some language, and drug use.] [Opens June 17 in select theaters and available on various digital and VOD platforms.] — When a disillusioned emergency room physician (Chelsea Gilligan) and her architect husband (Shane West) rent a mid-century modern home designed by a deranged, cult-obsessed, polygamist architect (Stephen Lang) and a delivery guy (Daniel V. Graulau) is stabbed to death at their front door in Sonja O’Hara's tense, creative, multifaceted, confusing, violent, star-dotted (Bruce Dern, Vanessa Williams, Bill Chott, and Shaun Parker), 105-minute horror-thriller, two detectives (Annapurna Sriram and Jon Park) investigate the murder while the psychopathic architect’s ghost and those of his murdered wives (Sarah Hay and Rachele Royale) and wacko sons (Mike Stern and Craig Blair) terrorize the couple.

“Naked Gardens” (NR) (3) [Plays June 16 at the Tribeca Film Festival running June 8-19; for more information, log on to tribecafilm.com/films/naked-gardens-2022.] — Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan’s fascinating, eye-opening, poignant, candid, insightful, 90-minute, 2021 verité documentary that explores the lives and motivations of a diverse group of like-minded people, including a widowed lesbian, a pot-smoking retiree, a conservative Kentuckian, a few mothers raising their children, and a free-spirited Black man, living their lives in the isolated, non-judgmental, low-rent Sunsport Gardens Naturist Resort operated by the elderly nudist owner Morley in the Florida Everglades where they can feel accepted by the non-conforming community while preparing for the annual biggest assembly of nudists at the Mid-Winter Naturist Festival.

“Paid in Blood” (R) (3) [Subtitled] [Available June 17 on Hi-YAH! at www.hiyatv.com on and June 26 on various digital platforms.] — Bodies drop like flies in Yoon Youngbin’s gripping, action-packed, fast-paced, dark, blood-soaked, violent, 118-minute, 2021 noir crime thriller with awesome fight choreography in which a ruthless, ambitious, power-hungry, former South Korean assassin (Jang Hyuk) from Seoul pits rival gangs against each other when he decides to challenge powerful, knife-wielding members (Yoo Oh Sung, Oh Dae Hwan, et al.) of a crime ring in 2017 after he learns that they are building the largest casino in Asia in Gangneung, and the crime lord (Kim Se Joon) then puts a target on his back while a Korean lieutenant detective (Park Sung Keun) tries to protect his gangster friend and to control the escalating mayhem and murders.

“The Phantom of the Open” (PG-13) (3.5) [Some strong language and smoking.] [Opens June 16 in theaters.] — Craig Roberts’ engaging, uplifting, factually based, funny, delightful, well-acted, heartwarming, star-studded (Mark Lewis Jones, Johann Myers, Ian Porter, and Nigel Betts), 106-minute, 2021 biographical comedy based on Simon Farnaby and Scott Murray’s biography “The Phantom of the Open: Maurice Flitcroft, The World's Worst Golfer” in which eccentric English shipyard crane operator and amateur golfer Maurice Flitcroft (Mark Rylance), who has a supportive wife (Sally Hawkins) and three sons (Jonah Lees, Christian Lees, and Jake Davies), in Barrow-in-Furness goes for his dreams to play in the £10,000-prize British Open Golf Championship in 1976 with gusto even though he had never played a round of golf and despite his poor score and opposition by the lead Open tournament official (Rhys Ifans) and snooty golfers (Tim McInnerny, et al.), he secured a qualifying place in the tournament, became popular and gained a following with common folk who identified with his failures and admired his tenacity and perseverance against all odds.

“The Story Won't Die” (NR) (3.5) [Partially subtitled] [Opens June 17 in New York City and available June 21 on various VOD platforms.]  — David Henry Gerson’s uplifting, timely, inspirational, powerful, thought-provoking, 83-minute, 2021 documentary focuses on talented Syrian artists rapper Abu Hajar, musician Anas Maghrebi, Syrian singers Bahila Hijazi and Lynn Mayya, breakdancer Bboy Shadow, choreographer Medhat Aldaabal, and visual artists (such as Tammam Azzam, Omar Imam, and Diala Brisly) as it explores life in Syria both before and during the Civil War, including the shootings, killings, beatings, and imprisonment, that occurred and follows these artists as they make the difficult decision to leave Syria and their families and to join the millions of their countrymen as refugees while using their poignant artwork and performances to continue their protests and to highlight the ongoing struggles of millions of refugees living in exile as they fight for freedom and justice of all Syrians.

“A Town Full of Ghosts” (NR) (2) [Available June 17 on various digital platforms.] — When an ambitious couple (Andrew C. Fisher and Mandy Lee Rubio) sell their belongings, purchase the dilapidated and evil-prone town of Blackwood Falls with plans on turning it into a western theme park attraction, hire a cousin (Ali Alkhafaji) to be the videographer to record the adventure for their video channel, and get a grounds keeper (Keekee Suki) to protect the property in Isaac Rodriguez’s dull, lost-footage, unoriginal, violent, predictable, 67-minute horror film in the vein of “The Blair Witch Project,” plans go terribly askew after the skeptical investor (Mike Dell) backs out and the husband suddenly displays uncharacteristic, acute paranoia and delusions that endanger the lives of his wife, the cameraman, and his cousin’s girlfriend (Lauren Lox).

“Two Indians Talking” (NR) (2) [DVD and VOD only] — A slow-paced, philosophical, 90-minute, 2010 Canadian film in which a bright, serious, shy college student (Justin Rain) and his slacker cousin (Nathaniel Arcand), a high school dropout, pass the time at the reservation community center in Vancouver playing pool, strumming a guitar, singing, and discussing life, race, relationships, sex, politics, philosophical issues, traditions, and First Nation Indian culture while waiting for other protesters (Sam Bob, Carmen Moore, et al.) to arrive to set up a roadblock.

Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident. 

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