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Foxy Brown Comes to Town and Other Movie Events Big and Small

Pretty much every movie you can catch in theaters this week.

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Pam Grier in ‘Foxy Brown’; Sean Connery in ‘Zardoz’

The big local movie news this week? The Parkway is showing Foxy Brown, and Pam Grier will participate in a post-screening Q&A. Also, The Heights kicks off its month-long Keanu tribute and the Trylon offers its salute of director Herbert Ross. And if you've been wondering what I thought of The Beast and Civil War, scroll on down to the "ongoing movies" section for some blurbage.

Special Screenings

Thursday, May 9

American Pie (1999)
Grandview 1&2
Your friends are around, so be quiet. $12. 9:15 p.m. Saturday 11:59 p.m. More info here.

Speed (1994)
The Heights
Keep that bus movin'! $12. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Banff Center Mountain Film Festival Tour
The Riverview
The annual selection of adventure films from Midwest Mountaineering. $29. 7 p.m. More info here.

The People's Joker (2022)
Trylon
This brilliant, unauthorized, comic trans twist on the DC Universe has somehow been permitted to exist by the IP cartel. Unfortunately it's sold out. Presented by Sound Unseen. $13. 7 & 9:15 p.m. More info here.

Friday, May 10

T.R. Baskin (1971)
Trylon
Candice Bergen is a small-town girl trying to find herself in Chicago. $8. Friday 7 p.m. Saturday 9:15 p.m. Sunday 3 p.m. More info here.

The Goodbye Girl (1977)
Trylon
This movie upset Al Pacino. $8. Friday 9 p.m. Saturday 7 p.m. Sunday 5 p.m. More info here.

Narcissister Organ Player (2018)
Walker Art Center
The Walker's "Vibrations for a New People" series continues with this peek behind the scenes of the "masked and merkin-clad performance artist" Narcissister's stage work. $12/$15. 7 p.m. More info here.

Saturday, May 11

Serial Mom (1994)
Alamo Drafthouse
Celebrate Mother's Day a day early—with murder! $10. 11 a.m. More info here.

Madama Butterfly
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16/Showplace ICON
Live from da Met. $26.05. 11:55 a.m. Wednesday 1 & 6:30 p.m. More info here.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Emagine Willow Creek
Cannot be mentioned often enough how strange yet perfect Judy Garland's stylized, keyed-up performance is. Also Wednesday. $9. 1 & 7 p.m. More info here.

Evil Does Not Exist (2024)
The Main
Before it opens next weekend, the excellent new film from Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car) screens as part of the MSP Film Society's Cinema Club. Free for MSP Film Society members. 11 a.m. More info here.

Star Wars—Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
The Parkway
May the 11th be with you. $5-$10. 1 p.m. More info here.

Transmission Shorts Program
Walker Art Center

A collection of short films about queer intergenerational communication. $12/$15. 7 p.m. More info here.

Sunday, May 12

Babes (2024)
Alamo Drafthouse/The Main
An advance screening of the new Ilana Glazer movie, with a livestream Q&A. Alamo: $12.50. Main: $10. 4 p.m. More info here and here.

Mamma Mia! (2008)
Alamo Drafthouse
See it with mamma tua! The ticket price includes a "feast." $56.99. 6:15 p.m. More info here.

Roman Holiday (1953)
Alamo Drafthouse
Ever notice how many old movies there are about reporters? $10. 11 a.m. More info here.

Fairy Garden (2023)
Emagine Willow Creek
A trans teen and an old man form a bond on the outskirts of Budapest. $11. 7 p.m. More info here.

Zardoz (1974)
Trylon
So. Much. Chest. Hair. $8. 8 p.m. Monday-Tuesday 7 & 9:15 p.m. More info here.

Monday, May 13

Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
Alamo Drafthouse
Starring Jenny Lewis. $10. 6:15 p.m. More info here.

Funeral Home (1982)
Emagine Willow Creek
Without you, it's just a funeral house. $6. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Tuesday, May 14

The Philadelphia Eleven (2023)
The Main
The story of the first women to be ordained as Episcopal priests. $15. 7 p.m. More info here.

The Great Train Robbery (1903)/The Violin Maker of Cremona (1909)/The General (1926)
Ordway
Three silent films with accompaniment by the string ensemble Accordo. $31-$36. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Wednesday, May 15

Jay's Longhorn (2019)
Cloudland
A documentary about the storied downtown Minneapolis rock club. $5 suggested donation. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Transformers (1984)
Emagine Willow Creek
RIP Orson Welles. [CORRECTION: NOT the movie with Orson Welles, though we still hope he rests in peace.) $11. 7 p.m. More info here.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Grandview 1&2
George Will loved this movie. $12. 9:15 p.m. More info here.

Foxy Brown (1974)
The Parkway
Now here's an event. Pam Grier herself will be in attendance, and the film will be followed by a Q&A between the star and Miss Shannan. $49-$89. 7 p.m. More info here.

Cosmic Slop (1994)
Trylon
An anthology of weird tales hosted by George Clinton. $5. 7 p.m. More info here.

Opening This Week

Follow the links for showtimes.

Bonjour Switzerland
Comic mayhem ensues when French is made the official language of Switzerland. 

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
What are those wacky apes up to now?

Not Another Church Movie
Black religious flicks get the parody treatment, complete with a character named Taylor Pherry.

Nowhere Special
A dying man seeks a new family for his four-year-old son.

Poolman
Wow, nobody likes Chris Pine's directorial debut.

Sweet Dreams
Johnny Knoxville coaches a softball team of recovering addicts and I fear that this might be uplifting.

Ongoing in Local Theaters

Follow the links for showtimes.

Abigail

The Beast
Drawing inspiration from Henry James’s short story “The Beast in the Jungle, director Bertrand Bonello’s latest sounded like an excellent showcase for Léa Seydoux’s talents. She plays three incarnations of the same woman at three moments in time—in 1910, in 2014, and in 2044; in each, she’s out of step with contemporary society, and in each she’s drawn mysteriously to a man named Louis (George McKay). In the future, where an austere rationality reigns, Seydoux’s Gabrielle is coaxed into undergoing a procedure that will extract the buried traumas from past lives and usher her into the balanced, productive existence so many of her peers enjoy. But like any good protagonist in such a tale, she worries she will lose what makes her human. Unfortunately, this all-too-unhurried mashup of dystopian sci-fi, period-piece romance, and bad satire is rarely dread-inspiring or thought provoking. The 2014 segment, with Louis as a murderous incel, derails things irrevocably. And when Gabrielle and Louis finally come together in the future world, the story slams shut with a dramatic irony that makes the clunkiest Black Mirror episode seem as subtle as, well, Henry James. B-

Challengers (read the full review here)
Mildly pervy Euro auteur Luca Guadagnino has concocted a sort of Jules et Jim for les enfants de TikTok et PRIME sports drinks, with Zendaya as the apex of a love triangle who reveals that the other two points—scurfy Josh O’Connor and submissive Mike Faist—also have the hots for each other. What Guadagnino gets about Zendaya is that she excels as an observer, a judgmental force that doubles as a relatable audience surrogate. If there’s something of the fashion model’s posture to her confidence, and a flatness to her characterization—she’s all impulse and response—Challengers allows us to postpone any hard questions about development as an actor because its pleasures are all so wonderfully superficial. You kids don’t know how good you’ve got it. Why in my day, we had to go to grad school, study Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and learn to read homosocial desire into seemingly “straight” fictions. What once was subtext is now reflected vividly in Zendaya’s shades. B+

La Chimera
Alice Rohrwacher's latest follows the exploits of some Italian grave robbers who specialize in plundering Etruscan tombs, as guided by the mystical gifts of a rumpled British ex-con named Arthur (Challengers' Josh O’Connor). Arthur's real search, however, is for his beloved Beniamina, the details of whose existence remain a mystery. His quest does give us an excuse to spend time in the presence of her wonderfully dotty mother (Isabella Rossellini, who does wonderfully dotty better than anyone, full stop). Rohrwacher's absurdism is loose and light, more fairy tale than Fellini, with a flair for rural naturalism that finds a striking vividness in the everyday and imagines utopian regroupings beyond the grasping politics of wealth. A-

Civil War
Alex Garland’s alt-history war flick is a very easy movie to pretend to think about, and the crosscurrent of opinions has proven once again that people are very bad at watching movies—are maybe not even sure why they watch movies to begin with. I’m sure you know the set up: The U.S. has splintered into four warring factions, and we’re not told why. (The absolute lack of world-building is an overdue slap in the face to loremongers and Vox explainer culture.) Kirsten Dunst is Lee Smith, a legendary photojournalist undergoing a crisis of conscience; Cailee Spaeny (so fresh-faced she looks like she cut chem lab to be there) is the young wannabe who latches onto her. Together they trek to D.C., hoping to arrive before it falls to insurgents, and they experience a string of Apocalypse Now-style episodic grotesqueries along the way. Like most modern war movies, Civil War thinks it’ll disabuse us of our romantic notions of battle; like most successful war movies, it works as entertainment rather than ethical treatise. We don’t want rocket launchers actually fired into the Lincoln Memorial any more than we actually want Tokyo to be flattened by giant lizards or teenage girls to be butchered by psychopaths. We want images of our anxieties and desires displayed in a context where we’re free of the moral obligation to decide which are the anxieties and which are the desires, because what’s happening is “just a movie.” Civil War is a film rightly distrustful of the power of images that nonetheless relies on the considerable power of its own images to work. Fortunately, nobody has ever said horror movies had to be ideologically coherent. A-

Dune: Part 2 (read the full review here)
The first part of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation was a well-crafted slog, occasionally spectacular but often merely studently, as the director seemed intent to prove that he deserved the assignment. But with all the power players set in place, Part Two does an awful lot right. Villeneuve distills the essence of the novel’s currents of deception and misdirection into a legible screenplay while generating some truly uncanny moments. And as Paul Atreides, Timothée Chalamet shows us a man who makes a pragmatic decision to exploit the dogmatism of his followers because he believes that every other choice will cause more death and destruction, or who at least rationalizes his motives that way. With IP-recycling now the culture industry’s standard cannibalistic practice, Villeneuve, like Paul, imagines himself the good guy in this scenario, respectful of the traditions placed in his care rather than merely exploitative. But also like Paul there are forces at play beyond his control. So what happens when Villeneuve’s hero threatens to become a butcher? Stay tuned (Duned?) for Part 3. B+

The Fall Guy
David Leitch’s latest collection of bad quips and big booms isn’t quite the headache that Bullet Train was. But it is the kind of movie where we’re told that a dog will bite a guy in the nuts on command, and then two minutes later the dog bites a guy in the nuts on command, and then the audience claps with glee. And it’s also one of those behind-the-scenes “love letters to the movies” that makes you wish everyone involved loved movies just a little less. There are some fine over-the-top stunts and action sequences, but Leitch often undercuts them with rampant too-muchness—why set Ryan Gosling’s fight with goons on a flatbed truck to Emily Blunt singing “Against All Odds” at karaoke, and then cut back and forth between the two? Gosling and Blunt do have some chemistry, as two attractive people with acting skills will, but He’s Just Ken was clearly over-rewarded with praise last year. If he coasts on his tics (that smirk ‘n’ gaze, those quick, clipped replies) for the rest of his career, Barbie will have a lot to answer for. C+

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire

Kung Fu Panda 4

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

Monkey Man
Dev Patel's directorial debut is a brutal action-revenge flick with some confusing but admirable politics, targeting Hindu nationalism and featuring an army of trans warriors rising up from the streets. Patel stars as an unnamed, sullen man (after The Green Knight and this, I suspect dude may never smile in a movie ever again) caught up in a nasty underground fighting circuit; he infiltrates ritzy Indian society to deliver the big payback to the crooked police chief who razed his village and killed his mother. He isn't exactly a natural behind the camera: The movie crawls to a halt midway before a Rocky training montage set to tablas carries it into the home stretch. And he doesn't always shoot the bloody, imaginative fights to their advantage, with a little too much camera action and close ups a little too tight on the combatants. But if you like your action unrelentingly grim, he's your man. And your monkey. B

The Old Oak

One Life

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

Tarot

Unsung Hero

Wicked Little Letters
This sort of naughty British comedy for grandmas always has a much higher caliber cast than it deserves—poor old Timothy Spall certainly deserves better, as does poor young Anjana Vasan. As for Olivia Coleman and Jessie Buckley (wow, a The Lost Daughter reunion of sorts), they're just slumming; here the former is an uptight, upright Christian prude who accuses the latter, a foul-mouthed Irish gal, of sending her obscene letters. You'll guess the culprit before the big reveal and figure out where the courtroom scenes are headed as well. But if plucky middle-aged women banding together to hatch a plan and bouts of clumsy cussing are your cup of tea, the kettle's on. C

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