I Dare You to See the Double Feature at the Walker Cinema This Saturday
Pretty much every movie you can see in Twin Cities theaters this week.
8:32 AM CST on January 25, 2024
Yeah, Oscars, whatever. Some of the movies are good, some are OK, some are Maestro. The awards that matter more to me, because they bring movies that I want to see and/or want others to see, are the the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Every January and February, the Walker screens several of the awards' nominees, and this year I want to spotlight a real one-two punch of programming on Saturday: The great doc Four Daughters, which made my 2023 top 10, and the emotional All of Us Strangers, which would have made the list if I'd seen it in time. Watch these back to back and your heart will be mush by the end of the afternoon, I guarantee.
UPDATE: As some commenters have pointed out, these screenings are for Walker members only, which I should have noted here. That's a bummer for non-members, I know, but if you do know a member who's attending one of the films, they can get a second ticket.
Thursday, January 25
Beautiful Wedding (2024)
AMC Rosedale 14/Bloomington 13 at Mall of America
The long-awaited (?) sequel to Beautiful Disaster. $14. 7 p.m. More info here.
This is part of the Parkway's "The Sequel Is Better Than the Original" series and, hmm, I dissent. $9/$12. 8 p.m. More info here.
Faraway Swamp Graffiti Galaxy Resistance Type $__T
Gotta say, the title sells it for me. $10. 7 p.m. More info here.
Friday, January 26
Emagine Willow Creek
Never heard of it. All week. $3. 12 p.m. More info here.
Hundreds of Beavers (2022)
Just what the title says. $13.44. 8 p.m. More info here.
Man, Michael Paré is in all these damn cheapo action movies. $8. Friday, Monday-Tuesday 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Wednesday 1 p.m. More info here.
Electric Dragon 80,000V (2001)
Gakuryû Ishii's wild Japanese cyberpunk superhero movie comes highly recommended and I'll be there. $8. Friday 7 p.m. Saturday 9:15 p.m. Sunday 3 p.m. More info here.
Burst City (1982)
Ishii's "sci-fi, punk rock motorcycle musical" looks like fun too. $8. 8:15 p.m. Saturday 7 p.m. Sunday 4:15 p.m. More info here.
All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (2023)
Walker Art Center
A rare chance to catch Raven Jackson's acclaimed debut feature. Part of the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Free for Walker members. 7 p.m. More info here.
Saturday, January 27
Let's hear it for Imperial Teen. $10. 7:20 p.m. More info here.
The Met: Live in HD: Carmen
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16/Emagine Willow Creek/Showplace ICON
The sequel to Carman. $27.26. 11:55 a.m. Wednesday 6:30 p.m. More info here.
Smoke Sauna Sisterhood (2023)
Women be bondin' in Estonian saunas. Part of the Great Northern. $12/$15. 7 p.m. More info here.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1987)
Seven dwarfs? In this economy? $5-$10. 1 p.m. More info here.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Will you people keep it down? I’m trying to watch the movie! With live shadow cast performance by Transvestite Soup. $10/$15. Midnight. More info here.
Four Daughters (2023)
Walker Art Center
Kaouther Ben Hania’s formally adventurous documentary brings in a pair of actresses to play the two missing daughters of a Tunisian mother. As intense as you might expect, and also funnier. Part of the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Free for Walker members. 1 p.m. More info here.
All of Us Strangers (2023)
Walker Art Center
Tearjerker? Nah, this is an outright tear-wrencher, a tear-wringers, a tear-tearer. Dare you to watch this and Four Daughters back to back. Part of the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Free for Walker members. 4 p.m. More info here.
Sunday, January 28
The Matrix (1999)
When people say something is "just like The Matrix"? This is what they're talking about! $10. 6:30 p.m. More info here.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16/Bloomington 13 at Mall of America/Emagine Willow Creek.
A weird damn movie, I'll tell you that. Through Wednesday. $16.26. 1 & 7 p.m. More info here.
Emagine Willow Creek
Evil Billy Zane is the only good Billy Zane. Also Monday and Wednesday. $9. 1:10 & 7:20 p.m. More info here.
Made a Universe (2023)
Part of the Great Northern. And experimental film from artist Tunde Olaniran. $10. 4 p.m. More info here.
Branded to Kill (1967)
The wildly experimental yakuza film that got director Seijun Suzuki blacklisted from the Japanese film industry. $8. 8:45 p.m. Monday-Tuesday 7 & 9 p.m. More info here.
Walker Art Center
Love triangles don’t get much messier than this. If you’re one of those people who demands likable characters, Ira Sachs’s flummoxing story of infidelity and selfishness and reason overpowered by sex will send you screaming from the room. Part of the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Free for Walker members. 1 p.m. More info here.
A Thousand and One (2023)
Walker Art Center
Teyana Taylor is so damn good as a woman who kidnaps a child from foster care and raises him. Part of the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Free for Walker members. 3 p.m. More info here.
Monday, January 29
The beloved sequel to Clue (1985). $15.04. 6:30 p.m. More info here.
Cathy's Curse (1977)
Emagine Willow Creek
Ack! A young girl is possessed by the spirit of her dead aunt. $6. 7:30 p.m. More info here.
Tuesday, January 30
Wild at Heart (1990)
It's like everyone in this movie is competing to see who can be the wackiest. (Not a complaint!) $9/$12. Pre-show trivia at 7:30 p.m. Movie at 8 p.m. More info here.
Wednesday, January 31
Mr. Vampire (1985)
Emagine Willow Creek
If you've never seen a Hong Kong hopping vampire movie, damn are you in for a treat. $6. 7:30 p.m. More info here.
Pet Shop Boys Dreamworld: The Greatest Hits (2024)
Emagine Willow Creek/Lagoon Cinema
Can't stop thinking about the "Always on My Mind" scene in All of Us Strangers. $15. 7 p.m. More info here.
The Electric Indian (2024)
A profile of hockey legend Henry Boucha. Part of the Great Northern. $12/$15. 7 p.m. More info here.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
You know, I just finished Tarantino's book Cinema Speculation, and though it's kinda annoying in the ways you might expect, dude has real insight (as you might also expect) into '70s action flicks. $8.60. 7 p.m. More info here.
Upon Entry (2023)
Walker Art Center
Border agents separate and interrogate a traveling couple. Part of the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Free for Walker members. 6 p.m. More info here.
Kokomo City (2023)
Walker Art Center
Shot in stylish black and white, D. Smith’s documentary lets four Black trans sex workers speak their minds, and the resulting monologues swerve between hilarious, infuriating, and heart-rending. Part of the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Free for Walker members. 8 p.m. More info here.
Opening This Week
Follow the links for showtimes.
A man achieves his dream of joining the Indian Air Force.
How exactly did Ava DuVernay turn Isabel Wilkerson's Caste into a movie? We shall see.
40 Below: The Toughest Race in the World
Competitors in the Arrowhead 135 trek through northern Minnesota's most frigid climes.
The Zone of Interest
Nazis—they're just like us!
Follow the links for showtimes.
All of Us Strangers (read our full review here)
In Andrew Haigh’s idea of a ghost story, the specters roost inside our heads, where they can seem more real than the material world outside; they can allow us to make peace with the past, or they can lure us away from our lives into deceptively comforting fantasies. Andrew Scott is Adam, a solitary gay screenwriter old enough to remember the AIDS epidemic and Frankie Goes to Hollywood; while writing about his parents, who died in a Christmas Eve car crash when he was 11, he pictures them so vividly they come to seem more real than his everyday life. He also falls for his neighbor Harry (played by Paul Mescal in a bear hug of a performance, just in case you thought this one was gonna have a happy ending), though we’re also left to wonder how many of their interactions might simply be imagined as well. A ghost story but also a love story, All of Us Strangers suggests that everything we need to make us complete is already within us—and that this might in fact be the saddest fate possible. A
Jeffrey Wright never misses (his brief turn as Adam Clayton Powell Jr. was a highlight of last year's by-the-numbers Bayard Rustin biopic, Rustin) and he's reliably hilarious as an intellectual Black novelist who dumbs down to write a book in "realistic" hood style. Once My Pafology becomes a bestseller and a hit with the literati, Wright's Thelonious "Monk" Ellison has to get in character as its thug author to promote the book. Meanwhile, Monk has to live his real life: dating a neighbor, mourning his sister's death, dealing with his mother's dementia, and clashing with his newly out brother. Phew! The suggestion is that we, like the fans of Monk's Black stereotypes, will only watch a movie about an upper-middle-class Black family if we're hooked by a more sensational story. But for that clever bait-and-switch to work, you need to tell a much more interesting story about an upper-middle-class Black family. B+
Early in this Wim Wenders 3D documentary, we first glimpse the atelier of Anselm Kiefer, laden with his grim sculptures and paintings; only when the German artist himself rolls another piece into view, giving us a sense of scale, do we realize how massive the works are. There aren't enough wondrous moments like that here, Kiefer's aesthetic principles and practices both remain too opaque at the end of the film, and the 3D doesn't add much. But as pure spectacle, the experience of drifting through Kiefer's imposing oeuvre, which seems to speak with particular clarity to our own gray and hectic age, is worth the annoyance of donning some cumbersome specs. B+
The Beekeeper (read our full review here)
The premise of The Beekeeper should be a slam dunk for a brainless action flick: Jason Statham is a (you guessed it) beekeeper who swears vengeance on scam artists that target the elderly—and he’s also a Beekeeper, a member of a secret government org of unstoppable killing machines. In his Carhartt jacket, ball cap, and rusty pickup, The Beekeeper is a working-class hero out to avenge us average poors against the slick elites, with Statham declaiming wonderfully moralistic lines like “Taking from an elderly person is just as bad as stealing from a child—maybe worse” in that iconically garbled deadpan of his as he fucks up evil phishing bros. But for all the heads ingeniously bashed in here, I couldn’t help but feel that a movie this dumb really should be a helluva lot more fun. Bee Minus
The Book of Clarence (read our full review here)
Jeymes Samuel is a director who just wants to do things, and his ambitions are easy to get behind. If he wants to make a nearly all-Black faux Biblical epic, well, who among us wouldn’t want to stage a chariot race through Jerusalem? But in an attempt to achieve the dramatic effects he grasps for, Samuel over-relies on the gravitas of his actors’ faces—in this case LaKeith Stanfield, who staggers into the spotlight with effortless unease, as though expecting that if he just keeps his cool maybe the camera might move on to someone else. Stanfield is a small-time hustler looking to cash in by posing as a fake messiah, and with his opaque saint-as-sinner aura at its core, Clarence is an amusing mess for most of the way. But eventually its theological and dramaturgical murk, and its tonal incoherence, pull it down. Ultimately, the problem with The Book of Clarence isn’t that Samuel hasn’t decided whether he wants to make The Life of Brian or The Greatest Story Ever Told. It’s that he seems to think he doesn’t need to choose. B-
The Boy and the Heron (read our full review here)
I’m not the first to call this Miyazaki’s The Tempest, but it’s worth repeating. For this film, Miyazaki famously unretired, and it wasn’t his first time. (Characteristically, the 82-year-old called his decision to return to moviemaking “pathetic.”) His latest imagined world brims with fantastical species—ravenous human-sized parakeets and the shmoo-like warawara, who inflate after eating fish guts and rise up to the other world to become human souls—yet the filmmaker’s stand-in is an ancient wizard of sorts who regrets fashioning a crumbling alternate universe beset by unforeseen calamities. If its 2013 predecessor, The Wind Rises, felt like a finale, this feels like an encore, a coda, a curtain call, a monologue from a great artist assuring us that this time, really, he is leaving the stage for good. His charms are all o’erthrown. For now, at least. A-
The End We Start From
Every time I see Jodie Comer, something awful is happening to her. Here, she’s surviving a disastrously flooded Britain with a newborn in a film that could have asked “What would an environmental catastrophe affect Britain?” but instead mostly settles for “What if a pretty, middle-class blonde lady with a baby became homeless?” B-
Freud's Last Session
On the day Hitler invades Poland, the father of psychoanalysis, dying of oral cancer, invites C.S. Lewis to his London home to... well, not exactly to debate, because the beliefs of the scientific atheist and the Christian apologist are too far apart for the men to share even a common battleground. So they just, well, talk, and while digressive chatter might be revealed to have unexpected meaning in therapy, in a movie it's just an annoyance. At least Anthony Hopkins is having a good time, chewing the scenery with characteristic gusto as Freud. C+
Godzilla Minus One (read our full review here)
Takashi Yamazaki's human-scaled approach to the kaiju flick hardly makes for as effective a postwar drama as some have said—it feels like more of a nice gesture than a real story. But it does provide a workable narrative framework for his ideas about Japan. He gives us the sense of a country that’s just crawled out of its wreckage only to get knocked back on its ass; the heroes of Godzilla Minus One meet the threat with a mood of “shit, not again.” As for Godzilla himself, he’s scary as hell. He’s nimbler than usual, his tail whipping with ferocity and velocity. And wisely, Godzilla Minus One allows a creature who rises from the depths of the sea to show what he can do on his own turf—or his own surf, I guess. As a fun bonus, Emagine theaters are now showing a black and white version called Godzilla Minus One Minus Color. B
The Holdovers (read our full review here)
Alexander Payne makes movies about unlikeable, obsolete men, and then leaves us to wonder whether they’re obsolete because they’re unlikable or unlikable because they’re obsolete. The latest addition to Payne’s roster of curmudgeons is Paul Giamatti's Paul Hunham, a staple in many high schools and probably every single prep school: the sexless (if not virginal), odd-smelling disciplinarian. Hunham is condemned to spending Christmas break with bright-yet-underachieving Angus Tully (Dominic Sessa), who brandishes a truly formidable Adam’s apple; their relationship evolves from purely adversarial to a wary kind of trust and respect, with school cook Mary Lamb (Da'Vine Joy Randolph) intervening between them. Especially as its third-act revelations roll in, the humanization of the characters can feel a bit mechanical if you’re not in the mood. But though I usually feel like I’m being worked over in Payne’s movies, and often I push back, here the cast coaxed me along for the ride. B+
The Iron Claw
Good acting, bad hair, not enough wrestling, and just one brother after another dying and the dad saying "You boys gotta get tougher!" B-
What would happen on the International Space Station if Russia and the U.S. went to war? Probably nothing this silly. With both U.S. and Russian science teams instructed to take over the station from their rivals, we get an hour and a half of people sneaking around in space, kinda like Alien without an alien, and about as action-packed as Solaris. The big question: Will the Russians recognize that we share the same biology, regardless of ideology or will they find a more ignorant thing to do, like Russians will?
Killers of the Flower Moon (read our full review here)
Martin Scorsese has always shoved the futility of a thug’s life in our faces, but in his later years he’s taken a longer, historicized view of the banality of crime. Participating in the attempted genocide of the Osage Nation under the delusion that he’s helping his family, Leonardo DiCaprio’s dim Ernest Burkhart is kin to Robert De Niro’s Frank Sheeran in The Irishman, a man who squanders his life as a goon in the service of powerful, violent men. But this film belongs to Lily Gladstone as Burkhart’s Osage wife Mollie. With her impassive gaze, a smile that reveals nothing while edging toward a smirk, and eyes that eyes can tease without mocking, rage with sadness, or go dead-blank with shock, she takes center stage here to represent all the people (and particularly women) that Scorsese pictures have happened to over the years. A-
Mean Girls (read our full review here)
The trailer promised that this wouldn't be "your mother’s Mean Girls,” but exactly whose Mean Girls it would be remained unclear. It also did its best to conceal the fact that it’s a musical by not featuring a big musical number, and that sure didn't bode well. Frankly, the very premise—a homeschooled American girl who grew up in Kenya as the daughter of a research zoologist not understanding how everyday U.S. teenage life works—feels misguided in 2024. In the real world, Cady would amass a huge online following after at least one video of a lion went viral, and then she’d get canceled when an old problematic tweet surfaced. Another big misstep is Reneé Rapp as the infamous Regina George. Now, obviously, in 2024, a PG-13 movie isn’t going to feature blatant homophobia or multiple uses of the R-slur, and I’m certainly not saying it should, but this film didn’t replace those examples of meanness with… well, anything. The new Mean Girls isn’t mean enough—and it isn’t good enough either.—Joel Swenson, C+
Local angle alert: This "evil pool that kills people and makes people evil" movie takes place in "the Twin Cities." It's also a horror movie released in the first week of January, and you know what that means. C
Oppenheimer (read our full review here)
If you think it’s wild that so many people turned out this summer to see a three-hour biopic about a theoretical physicist, well, wait till you hear that they actually showed up for a three-hour movie about a commerce secretary nominee’s U.S. Senate confirmation hearing. A story of how figures who consider themselves world historical agents play the game and get played, with the final word on the matter delivered by none other than Einstein himself, Oppenheimer is vivid pop history told through anecdote, image, and aphorism, and its politics aren't entirely reprehensible or stupid. There are times, even, when it's as smart as Barbie. A-
Poor Things (read our full review here)
Yorgos Lanthimos is such a cheekily off-putting director it never occurred to me what his idea of crowd-pleaser might look like. But with Poor Things, he doesn’t just want to be admired, he wants to be loved. And in its own creepy, garish, oversexed, male-gazey way, Lanthimos’s arch fairy tale does have heart. An Eve who can’t wait to get the fuck outta Eden, Emma Stone’s Bella Baxter becomes Frankenstein’s monster as Candide in the world at large, indomitable because she has no shame. Bella’s sex-positivity is indubitably a man’s ideal of what it means to be a free woman, addressing fewer contradictions of femininity than Barbie does, but Stone inhabits her character so completely that you might even say she liberates Bella from her creator. A-
Even more unnecessary than most prequels, and I couldn't hum any of the tunes if you promised me a lifetime supply of chocolate as a reward. But the Dickens by way of Rowling characterizations and settings are distracting enough for a couple hours, and your kids have made you sit through worse. B
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