Rating system: (4=Don't miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)
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“Fresh Tracks” (NR) (3.5) [Played Oct. 22—31 as part of the Twin Cities Film Fest and available via VOD platforms.] — An engaging, inspirational, informative, 48-minute documentary that chronicles the exemplary career of WWII veteran Paul Leimkuehler who had his leg amputated after being injured during the Battle of the Bulge and in 1948 became a pioneer in inventing and building prosthetics and orthotics in Cleveland, built his own artificial limb, and went on to create adaptive equipment that would allow amputees to ski and consists of commentary by snowboarder Mike Schultz, paralympian skier Kyle Mickey, and Paul's family, including sons Jon and Bob, daughter Paulette Vaughn, granddaughter Katie, grandson Greg, and daughter-in-law Maureen.
“Gossamer Folds” (NR) (3.5) [Played Oct. 22—31 as part of the Twin Cities Film Fest and available via VOD platforms.] — When the bullying, homophobic, prejudiced father (Shane West) of a dictionary-loving, inquisitive, 10-year-old boy (Jackson Robert Scott) leaves his wife (Sprague Grey), who works for the strict owner (Yeardley Smith) of a bridal shop, after moving to a Kansas City suburb in 1986 in this engaging, well-acted, touching, down-to-Earth, unpredictable, 96-minute film, he is befriended by his Black, artistic, transsexual seamstress neighbor (Alexandra Grey), who dreams of designing in New York City, and her widowed, retired English professor father (Franklin Ojeda) and a not-too-bright friend (Ethan Suplee).
“How to Train Your Dragon” (PG) (4) [Sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language.] [DVD only] — Likable, relatable characters dominate this delightfully entertaining, imaginative, smile-inducing, three-dimensional, animated film in which a small, misfit Viking (voiceover by Jay Baruchel) dreams of slaying dragons like his father (voiceover by Gerard Butler), but when he shoots down a night fury and forms a bond with the creature, he learns that the dragons are not their enemy and the people (voiceovers by America Ferrera, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, J.T. Miller, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig, et al.) in his village do not need to fear them.
“In Case of Emergency” (NR) (3.5) [Played Oct. 22—31 as part of the Twin Cities Film Fest and available via VOD platforms.] — A gut-wrenching, informative, emotional, insightful, behind-the-scenes, 80-minute documentary that follows dedicated, caring, and candid registered nurses, including Cathlyn Robinson, Kimberly Russo, Louis Cortes, and Janine Llamzon (AGNP-C) at St. Joseph Medical Center in Paterson, NJ; Mieneke Maher and Travis Beebe-Woodard at the University Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, VT; Galina Chavez at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, TX; Jennifer Hanks at Trinitypoint Health-Finley Hospital in Dubuque, IA; Michelle Lyon, Khay Douangdara, and Karina Molina at the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital in Lexington, KY; Deidre Heinrich at Airline Critical Care Transport in Bend, OR; and Robin Saad, Bonnie Platte, and Sheryl Hurst at the Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit, MI as they care for a myriad, eclectic group of patients and cope with the trauma and stress of COVID-19.
“Let Him Go” (R) (3) [Violence.] [Opens Nov. 6 in theaters.] — After their beloved son (Ryan Bruce) is tragically killed in a horse riding accident in Montana and his widow (Kayli Carter) remarries and suddenly disappears with her young son (Bram and Otto Hornung) and abusive new husband (Will Brittain) in this gripping, intense, taut, well-acted, bittersweet, unpredictable,114-minute thriller based on Larry Watson’s 2013 novel, the concerned grandmother (Diane Lane) and her retired sheriff husband (Kevin Costner), who are befriended by a reclusive Indian (Booboo Stewart), head to North Dakota in search of their grandson and his mother who are kept under tight wraps by her husband’s scary, menacing family (Lesley Manville, Jeffrey Donovan, Adam Stafford, Connor Mackay, et al.).
“Out in the Cold” (NR) (3) [Played Oct. 22—31 as part of the Twin Cities Film Fest and available via VOD platforms.] — An eye-opening, educational, heartbreaking, 89-minute, 2015 documentary in which friends J. D. O’Brien and John Koepke spent one week in Minneapolis during the winter living on the streets and in shelters to get a sense of what it is like to be homeless and “to see people not poverty” while interviewing a shelter executive director, manager, and advocate and homeless people, including David Thompson, Jerry Blake, Monty Blaylark, Brian Bozeman, Kevin Cannon, William Clayton, Robert Eldard, Donovan Fineday Jr., David Gerber, Mark Hanson, Juddith Sanchez, and Mikal Sanders.
“Radium Girls” (NR) (3) [Opened Oct. 30 in theaters and played as part of AARP’s “Movies for Grownups,” available Nov. 6 in Virtual Cinema sponsored by MSP Film Society (for more information, log on to mspfilm.org), and available on various VOD platforms.] — Striking cinematography and costumes highlight this captivating, factually based, well-acted, star-studded (Scott Shepherd, Carol Cadby, Susan Heyward, Collin Kelly-Sordelet, John Bedford Lloyd, Brandon Gill, and Neal Huff), 102-minute, 2018 film in which a spunky, 17-year-old employee (Joey King), who dreams of acting in Hollywood, in 1925 decides to expose American Radium in New Jersey with the help of the Consumers League founder (Cara Seymour), a newbie lawyer (Adam LeFevre), and a scientist (Veanne Cox) when she learns that her older sister died of radium poisoning and her other sister (Abby Quinn) and coworkers (India Ennenga, Colby Minifie, Gina Piersanti, Juliana Sass, et al.) who paint watch dials with radioactive liquid to make them luminous have also been exposed to the deadly toxin.
“Rail & Ties” (PG-13) (2.5) [Mature thematic elements, an accident scene, brief nudity, and momentary strong language.] [DVD only] — A bittersweet, far-fetched, predictable, 2007 melodrama in which an emotionally-cold senior train engineer (Kevin Bacon) and his childless, cancer-stricken wife (Marcia Gay Harden) bond with a distraught, guilt-ridden, 11-year-old son (Miles Heizer) of a suicide victim (Bonnie Root) when he runs away from a well-intentioned social worker (Marin Hinkle) and an abusive, insensitive foster mother (Margo Martindale).
“Rain” (NR) (2.5) [Some sexual content and nudity.] [DVD only] — When a precocious, flirtatious 13-year-old student (Alicia Fulford-Wierzbicki) in New Zealand observes her hard-drinking mother (Sarah Peirse) flirting with a handsome man (Marton Csokas) while on summer vacation with her father (Alistair Browning) and younger brother (Aaron Murph) in 1972 in this beautifully photographed, low-key, coming-of-age film, she begins to act out and tease another teenager (David Taylor) who likes her as she tries to cope with her feelings.
“They Call Me Dr. Miami” (NR) (3) [Played Oct. 22—31 as part of the Twin Cities Film Fest and available via VOD platforms.] — A fascinating, insightful, wacky, entertaining, 87-minute documentary that focuses on the career of nationality famous, eccentric, flamboyant, controversial, self-absorbed, Jewish plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer, who is married to wife Eva and has five children (Aleah, Tzvika, David, Coby, and Yonatan), and his practice in Miami and gained a following on Snapchat when livestreamed breast augmentations, Brazilian butt lifts, tummy tucks, liposuction, and botox injections and consists of interview snippets with Rabbi Menachem Katz, employee Brittany Benson, and doctors Joshua Lampert, Ashley Gordon, Scott Byler, and Jonathan Kaplan.
“What Doesn’t Kill Us” (NR) (3.5) [Played Oct. 22—31 as part of the Twin Cities Film Fest and available via VOD platforms.] — An hilarious, wacky, original, tongue-in-cheek, satirical, 92-minute, 2019 mockdocumentary parody that deals with racism, discrimination, and homophobia as it follows an eclectic group of bullied, temper-prone necrosapiens, including a 29-year-old salesman (Peyton Paulette) seeking a promotion from his boss (Justin Hughes) while trying to have a baby with his nondead wife (Christian Hopson), a 20-year-old Black baseball player (Richard Scott Jr.) and his frustrated coach (Reynolds Washam), a 34-year-old phone surveyor (Mark Johnston), and a manager (Tevia Loser) who lost her father to the disease, in Texas in 2016 after they became zombies and recovered with horrific side effects due contracting the fugu virus.
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.