Rating system: (4=Don't miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)
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“9” (PG-13) (3.5) [Violence and scary images.] [DVD only] — Stunning, striking animation dominates this imaginative, dark, touching, 79-minute animated film in which intelligent, numbered, zippered dolls (Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Martin Landau, Christopher Plummer, Crispin Glover, et al.) in a post-apocalyptic world valiantly fight back against machines that have killed off humans and left the world in ruins.
“All About Steve” (PG-13) (2) [Sexual content, including innuendos.] [DVD only] — A mildly entertaining, wacky, sporadically funny, star-filled (DJ Qualls, Keith David, M.C. Gainey, Geraldo Rivera, Charlyne Yi, et al.) comedy in which an exceedingly smart, horny, unemployed, red boot-wearing crossword puzzle constructor (Sandra Bullock), who stills lives with her parents (Mary Grant and Howard Hesseman) in Sacramento, follows a hunky, disinterested cameraman (Bradley Cooper) on his job from Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, to Colorado when she is encouraged by an airhead, prank-playing newscaster (Thomas Haden Church).
“Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call, New Orleans” (R) (3.5) [Drug use and language throughout, some violence, and sexuality.] [DVD only] — Nicolas Cage gives an Oscar-caliber performance as a reckless, dirty, rogue, highly decorated, Vicodin-popping, coke-snorting, New Orleans detective, who is suffering from debilitating back pain, in Werner Herzog’s gripping, raw, gritty, entertaining, cameo-dotted (Brad Dourif, Irma P. Hall, Xzibit, and Fairuza Balk) film sprinkled with biting humor as he breaks the law right and left jeopardizing fellow officers (Val Kilmer, Shawn Hatosy, et al.), his prostitute girlfriend (Eva Mendes), and even his retired police officer dad (Tom Bower) and beer-guzzling stepmom (Jennifer Coolidge).
“Bridge” (NR) (4) [June 25-28 in Virtual Cinema sponsored by MSP Film Society; for more information, log on to mspfilm.org.] — Spencer Patzman’s engaging, gut-wrenching, in-depth, informative, retrospective, 80-minute, 2020 documentary that examines the causes of the horrific I-35W bridge collapse on August 1, 2007, that tragically claimed the lives of thirteen victims, its aftermath that directly and indirectly affected hundreds, and consists of insightful interviews with resilient survivors Garrett Ebling, Lindsay Walz, Andy Gannon, Paula Coulters, Bernie Toivenen, Betsy Sathers, and Tina Hickman who are dealing with long-lasting physical and psychological traumas and commentary by paramedics, policemen, civilian responders, police chaplains, civil engineers, the mayor, assistant engineering commissioner, police family liaisons, and attorneys.
“Bulgarian Lovers” (R) (2.5) [Graphic nudity, strong sexual content, language, and some drug use.] [Subtitled] [DVD only] — An unusual, wacky, sexually explicit 2003 film in which a gay, middle-aged, cinema-loving Spanish accountant (Fernando Guillén Cuervo) in Madrid falls for a hunky, 23-year-old Bulgarian refugee (Dritan Beba), who has a sexy girlfriend (Anita Sinkovic) in Berlin, and against his better judgment and the advice from a close friend (Pepón Nieto) becomes involved with the illegal shenanigans of his lover and a shady Albanian businessman (Labinot Nuredini).
“Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things” (NR) (3) [Opens June 26 in Virtual Cinema sponsored by MSP Film Society; for more information, log on to mspfilm.org.] — Memorable music highlights this insightful, informative, engaging, fascinating, 89-minute, 2019 documentary narrated by Sophie Okonedo that chronicles the life and astonishing, 60-year career of legendary, talented, driven “first lady of jazz” singer Ella Fitzgerald from growing up in the 1930s as a struggling African-American teenager on the streets Harlem to singing at the famous Apollo Theater and consists of archival film clips and photographs with commentary by singers (such as Tony Bennett, Patti Austin, Smokey Robinson, Johnny Mathis, Cleo Laine, and Alexis Morrast), musicians Laura Mvula and Jamie Cullum. biographers Judith Tick and Ted Hershorn, jazz writer Will Friedwald, drummer Gregg Field, son Ray Brown Jr., dancer Norma Miller, jazz pianist Kenny Barron, writer Margo Jefferson, managers Norman Granz and Jim Blackman, Newport jazz festival founder George Wein, violinist/conductor Itzhak Perlman, and composer/conductor André Previn.
“Epicenter” (R) (1.5) [Violence, language, and sexuality.] [DVD only] — While trying to escort a widowed, revengeful high-tech traitor (Gary Daniels) from San Francisco to a safe house in Los Angeles in this action-packed, silly, lackluster 2000 film, an FBI agent (Traci Elizabeth Lords), who is estranged from her daughter (Katie Stuart ) and ex-husband (Barry Levy), must contend with an earthquake, a double agent (Jeff Fahey), and two tenacious Russians (Constantin Cotimanis and Daniela Nane) trying to buy a valuable microchip for $15 million.
“Irresistible” (R) (2.5) [Language, including sexual references.] [Opens June 26 on VOD platforms.] — A surprise ending punctuates Jon Stewart’s uneven, unpredictable, run-of-the-mill, star-dotted (Topher Grace, Debra Messing, Natasha Lyonne, Will Sasso, and C.J. Wilson), 101-minute political comedic satire that gives a revealing look at American politics and the influence of money when a national Democrat strategic political consultant (Steve Carell) in 2016 organizes a grassroots campaign when a retired Marine colonel (Chris Cooper), who has a headstrong daughter (Mackenzie Davis) living on a farm with him, decides to run against the popular incumbent mayor (Brent Sexton) of a small Wisconsin town after watching a video of the veteran standing up for the rights of undocumented workers and then the gloves come off when his no-nonsense Republican nemesis (Rose Byrne) arrives in town.
“Sleeping Dogs Lie” (R) (2) [Strong and aberrant sexual content, drug use, and language.] [DVD only] — After a schoolteacher (Melinda Page Hamilton) finally confesses to her harping fiancée (Bryce Johnson) an embarrassing, repulsive sexual secret from her past and her eavesdropping, meth-smoking, slacker brother (Jack Plotnick) tells her parents (Bonita Friedericy and Geoff Pierson) in this wacky, dark, 2006 Bob Goldthwait comedy, she learns to keep her secrets to herself and to tell white lies to her next boyfriend (Colby French) to prevent negative reactions.
“Stories I Didn't Know” (NR) (3) [June 25-28 in Virtual Cinema sponsored by MSP Film Society; for more information, log on to mspfilm.org.] — Rita Davern and Melody Gilbert’s captivating, eye-opening, informative, 73-minute, 2020, historical documentary that uses archival film footage and photographs and interview snippets with native American historian Ramona Kitto Stately, Irish best friend Anne Hynes, the Indian Land Tenure Foundation president and founder Cris Stainbrook, and musician Rueben Kitto Stately to chronicle Rita Davern’s, who grew up in St. Paul, Minn., search for her Irish roots and after learning more about her connection to Pike Island, which is situated where the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers merge and her great grandfather once bought and sold, she struggled with not being able to return ownership of Pike Island to the Dakota Indians.
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.