"My Salinger Year"

"My Salinger Year"

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

 

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“Bled” (R) (1.5) [Horror violence, drug material, and brief sexuality.][DVD and VOD only] — After a beautiful painter (Sarah Farooqui) is given a powerful hallucinogenic drug by a mysterious German stranger (Jonathan Oldham) and enters into a vampire-filled world in this artistic, stylistic, creepy, gory 2009 film, she endangers three friends (Chris Ivan Cevic, Alex Petrovitch, and Michele Morrow) when they try the drug and the vampires crossover into the world of the living.

“The Broken Hearts Gallery” (PG-13) (2.5) [Sexual content throughout and some crude references, strong language, and drug references.] [Plays on Starz and various VOD platforms.] — After her cheating boyfriend (Utkarsh Ambudkar) breaks up with her in Natalie Krinsky’s mildly funny, predictable, like-it-or-leave-it, star-dotted (Suki Waterhouse, Phillips Soo, Sheila McCarthy, Molly Gordon, and Roy Choi), 108-minute, 2020 romantic comedy, a twentysomething, free-spirited, energetic, neurotic woman (Geraldine Viswanathan), who collects trinkets from past relationships, becomes a curator of a New York gallery she creates with a kindhearted, rundown hotel owner (Dacre Montgomery) and support of divorced art gallery owner (Bernadette Peters) where people who have been dumped by their romantic partner leave an eclectic array of mementos.

 

“Dolan’s Cadillac” (R) (2.5) [Violence and language.] [DVD and VOD only] — A slimy, ruthless Nevada mobster (Christian Slater), who is involved with human trafficking for the sex trade, ultimately gets his just desserts in this intense, unpredictable, 2009 film based on a Stephen King short story when a milquetoast schoolteacher (Wes Bentley) vows revenge for the death of his wife (Emmanuelle Vaugier).

“Grown Ups” (PG-13) (1.5) [Crude material including suggestive references, language, and some male rear nudity.] [DVD and VOD only] — Cheap jokes and silly grownup antics dominate this wacky, sporadically funny comedy about five friends (Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider) and their spouses (Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, and Joyce Van Patten) who return to New England 30 years later for the funeral of their beloved basketball coach (Blake Clark) and renew their friendship by hanging out with their families for the weekend.

 

“Killer Inside Me” (R) (3) [Disturbing brutal violence, aberrant sexual content, and some graphic nudity.] [DVD and VOD only] — Disturbing, graphic violence punctuates this riveting, well-acted, star-dotted (Ned Beatty, Elias Koteas, Bill Pullman, Tom Bower) film in which a handsome Texas district attorney (Simon Baker) investigates the involvement of a psychotic, sociopathic, violent, small-town sheriff (Casey Affleck), who is dating and abusing a beautiful woman (Kate Hudson), during the 1950s after a masochistic prostitute (Jessica Alba) is savagely attacked, a man (Jay R. Ferguson) is found shot to death, and a prisoner is discovered hanged in this cell.

“Love Letter to Leader” (NR) (3) [Available through March 31 at twincitiesfilmfest.org/streams as part of TCFF’s encore presentation; it will be available at a later date via various VOD platforms.] — Wonderful scenery and cinematography dominate Mara Adamitz Scrupe’s captivating, insightful, educational, down-to-earth, well-paced, thought-provoking, 76-minute documentary with a poetic opening and underscored by a striking soundtrack in which several generations of the director’s family and citizens of small-town Leader, Minn., reminisce about their diverse and common struggles and delights growing up in the tight-knit farming community in Cass county and dealing with the ever-changing times through archival photographs and film clips and candid interview snippets with an eclectic, hardworking group of Leader natives, including equipment operator Dale Hanson, retired dairy farmers Don and June Hanson, recycling entrepreneur Jake Sirucek, educator Ruth Boldan, Leader History Museum founder Glenda Dauer, Bears Bar and Restaurant owner Gary Dauer, farmers and military veterans Herbert and Ronnie Hanson, mechanic/inventor John Sirucek, truck driver/rancher Jim Sirucek, taxidermist Jeremy Dauer, Hanson family historian Steve Bendsen, Minnesota masters runner Carol Sankey, agricultural construction engineer and former T. E. Eberson Company CEO Walt Hanson, and Leader natives, including Cody and Elsie Hanson, Connie and Harry Winter, Donelle and Rosie Sirucek, Dorothy Heath-Hengstler and Ray Hengstler.

“Normie” (NR) (4) [Available March 27 at normiefilm.com via Vimeo and played March 21 at twincitiesfilmfest.org/streams as part of TCFF’s encore presentation.] — Striking cinematography highlights Kurt Neal’s engaging, award-winning, insightful, inspirational, eye-opening, thought-provoking, 71-minute, 2019 documentary that focuses on coffee-obsessed, “Gilmore Girls”-loving, bibliophile, smart Annemarie Carrigan, who has Down syndrome and lives with parents Pat and Emily in Texas, as she struggles with loneliness, inner darkness, and desperately wanting to be normal and independent, and she candidly discusses with others around the country what is normal and what gives a person value and consists of commentary by Dr. Chris Berg, musician and pastor Josh White, speech pathologist Saba Fathima, author Amy Julia Becker, illusionist/communicator Harris III, and parents David and Katie Anderson and Peter and Penny Becker who have a child with Down syndrome.

“Mank” (R) (2.5) [Some language.] [Netflix Only] — David Fincher’s complex, confusing, criticality acclaimed, Oscar-nominated, black-and-white, factually inspired, well-acted, but lackluster, star-studded (Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Charles Dance, Bill Nye, Arliss Howard, Sam Troughton, Tuppence Middleton, and Joseph Cross), 131-minute, 2020 film told in flashbacks in which director Orson Welles (Tom Burke) hires talented, alcoholic, witty scriptwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) who is recovering from a broken leg after a car accident and proceeds to self destruct due to his drinking as he begins to write the screenplay for “Citizen Kane” in 1940 while associating with Hollywood notables such as George S. Kaufman, Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Clark Gable, Norma Shearer, Charlie Chaplin, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Eddie Cantor, Carole Lombard, and Darryl F. Zanuck.

“My Salinger Year” (R) (3.5) [Language and some sexual references.] [Available on various VOD platforms and played March 2 as part of AARP’s Movies for Grownups.] — Philippe Falardeau’s well-acted, down-to-earth, factually inspired, coming-of-age, star-studded (Colm Feore, Douglas Booth, Brian F. O'Byrne, Leni Parker, and Seána Kerslake) 101-minute film based on Joanna Rakoff’s 2014 bestselling memoir in which an ambitious, aspiring writer and poet (Margaret Qualley) leaves California and her boyfriend (Hamza Haq) for New York in 1995 and takes a job as a clerical assistant to a nonsense literary agent (Sigourney Weaver) at a publishing house whose primary client is famous, reclusive writer J. D. Salinger (Tim Post).

“This Wild Land” (NR) (3) [Available through March 31 at twincitiesfilmfest.org/streams as part of TCFF’s encore presentation.] — Eric Pierson narrates Brendan Harris’s educational, fascinating, 14-minute documentary highlighted by gorgeous cinematography that stresses the importance of wilderness conservation, protection of the watershed, and preventing proposed mines from damaging the environment in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) and consists of archival film footage and commentary by The Wilderness Society President Sigurd F. Olson, Listening Point Foundation Executive Director Steffi O’Brien, canoe and wilderness guides Corey Dack and Sovatha Oum, Piragis Outfitters owner Steve Piragis, and former Vice President Walter Mondale.

“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (PG-13) (4) [Intense sequences of action and violence, and some sensuality.] [DVD and VOD only] — While a headstrong teenager (Kristen Stewart), who lives with her divorced police chief father (Billy Burke) in Washington, is torn between her love for a charismatic, cold-skinned vampire (Robert Pattinson) and a smitten, muscle-ripped werewolf (Taylor Lautner) in this engaging, imaginative, entertaining, action-packed, thrilling, romantic sequel filled with gorgeous scenery, a revenge-fueled, redheaded vampire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is building an army of powerful, newborn vampires (Xavier Samuel, et al.) in Seattle in an attempt to kill Edward and wipeout the Cullen family (Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, et al.) as the Volturi vampires (Dakota Fanning, et al.) look on.

“The Village Barbershop” (R) (2.5) [Language, some sexual content, nudity, and drug material.] [DVD and VOD only] — A charming, low-key, 2008 film about the friendship that develops between a small-town, grumpy, widowed barber (John Ratzenberger), who struggles to pay his rent to his tightfisted landlord (Amos Glick) after the death of his business partner and begins dating a cocktail waitress (Cindy Pickett), and a pregnant hairstylist (Shelly Cole) who finds herself interested in a coffee shop owner (Daron Jennings) after her cheating boyfriend dumps her.

Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident. 

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