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On the Big Screen: Pixar Feelings, a Talking Death Bird, and the Most Graceful Tracking Shots in Movie History

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

Promotional stills

I'll be out of town this weekend at my niece's high school graduation, so I won't get a chance to see the gorgeous The Earrings of Madame de... showing as part of the Trylon's "The Long Take" series. But if you're here you definitely should!

Special Screenings

Thursday, June 13

But I'm a Cheerleader (1999)
Grandview 1&2
Natasha Lyonne invents cheerleaders being gay. $12. 9:15 p.m. Saturday 11:59 p.m. More info here.

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
Heights Theater
More Steve McQueen! This time the also-hot Faye Dunaway co-stars. $12. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Stop Making Sense (1984)
Parkway Theater
I've called it the best concert movie ever before and I'm not about to stop calling it that now. $9/$12. Big suit contest at 7:30 p.m. Movie at 8 p.m. More info here.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023)
Victory Memorial Parkway
A little in-jokey but pretty cute. Free. 9 p.m. More info here.

Friday, June 14

The Lost Negros of North America (2023)
Bethune Park
A collection of silent 8mm film footage of Black family life in south Minneapolis in the '40s and '50s. Free. 9 p.m. More info here.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)
Emagine Willow Creek
One of the only multiverse movies I truly love. Through Wednesday. $3. 11 a.m. More info here.

Household Saints (1993)
Nancy Savoca's offbeat, multigenerational family comedy. $8. Friday-Saturday 7 & 9:15 p.m. Sunday 3 & 5:15 p.m. More info here.

Saturday, June 15

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition (2001)
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16/B&B Bloomington 13/Emagine Willow Creek
A full 208 minutes and still no Tom Bombadil. $15.68. Showtimes and more info here.

Misawa vs. Kawada (1994)
Falcon Arrow soundtracks a classic Japanese wrestling match. $12. 7 p.m. More info here.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Emagine Willow Creek
Based on the classic Atari 2600 game. Also Wednesday. $9. 12:30 p.m. & 6 p.m. More info here.

Soul (2020)
Lake Harriet Park
Tina Fey takes over a Black man's body. Free. 9 p.m. More info here.

Soylent Green (1973)
Parkway Theater
That Charlton Heston, always making disturbing discoveries! $5-$10. 1 p.m. More info here.

Trailer-O-Rama: The Science Fiction Super Hero Battle Fever
Parkway Theater
Trailers. Nothing but trailers. $10/$13. Trivia at 7:30 p.m. Movie at 8 p.m. More info here.

Sunday, June 16

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Extended Edition (2002)
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16/B&B Bloomington 13/Emagine Willow Creek
I hear in the "Extended Edition" they add a third tower. $15.68. Showtimes and more info here.

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019)
Emagine Willow Creek
Actor Mark Patten recalls his time as a closeted gay man while acting in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddie's Revenge. $10. 4 p.m. More info here.

The Earrings of Madame de... (1953)
Maybe the most elegant film ever made. Max fuckin' Ophuls, man. $8. 7:45 p.m. Monday-Tuesday 7 & 9 p.m. More info here.

Monday, June 17

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: Extended Edition (2003)
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16/B&B Bloomington 13/Emagine Willow Creek
You're saying it could have been even longer$15.68. Showtimes and more info here.

Coco (2017)
Clinton Field Park
Oh did this make me weep. Free. 9 p.m. More info here.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddie's Revenge (1985)
Emagine Willow Creek
The gayest Freddie flick? $6. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Heights Theater
Never heard of it. Also Tuesday. $15. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Pride Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution (2024)
The Main Cinema
A documentary about the history of queer standup. $10. 7 p.m. More info here.

Tuesday, June 18

X (2022)
Emagine Willow Creek
The start of Ti West's horror trilogy, with a sneak peak of the upcoming MaXXXine. $5. 7 p.m. More info here.

Despicable Me (2010)
Riverview Theater
The birth of the Minionsverse. $1. $10.30 a.m. Also Wednesday. More info here.

Wednesday, June 19

Moonlight (2016)
Grandview 1&2
Barry Jenkins's gorgeous study of a young man growing up in Miami. $12. 9:15 p.m. More info here.

The Badge, the Bible, and Bigfoot (2019)
A god-fearing police chief must battle Bigfoot hand-to-hand. Presented by Trash Film Debauchery. $5. 7 p.m. More info here.

Opening This Week

Follow the links for showtimes.

Inside Out 2
Now insider and outer!

Good on Julia Louis-Dreyfus for taking chances, I guess. Here she’s the mom of a terminally ill teen (Lola Pettigrew). When the girl unexpectedly bonds with the bird that announces death (literally—it talks) and convinces her new friend to hold off, mom grows determined to prevent the harbinger of doom from finishing its task. This could have worked as a short story, but as placed before us by writer/director Daina Oniunas-Pusić, it’s just silly. Not only does Tuesday veer wildly between brooding pathos and quick laughs, but it can’t even settle on a comic tone, jumbling together absurdism, black comedy, and sitcom schtick. Personally, I checked out right around the time that the death bird rapped along with Ice Cube. C

Ongoing in Local Theaters

Follow the links for showtimes.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die
No really, what we gonna do about this? Rebooted in 2020 with Moroccan-Belgian directing duo Adil & BilallIn honoring the bludgeoning legacy of Michael Bay, this franchise sticks to the basics: Two Miami cops banter and shoot people until it’s time to blow up something big. But the fourth installment in the series adds (ugh) heart, as Will Smith’s Mike and Martin Lawrence’s Marcus have to clear the name of their dead captain (Joe Pantoliano) after a cartel-adjacent thug (Eric Dane, aiming for sociopathic and hitting somnolent) posthumously frames him as dirty. In between wisecracks and explosions, I couldn’t help but wonder why these movies bum me out so much. Is it the abrupt shifts from comedy to sentimentality to brutality? The way they accentuate Smith’s most unattractive qualities as an actor (especially a smug self-righteousness)? The dreary sense that this is all people are really looking for from movies? I can’t deny that Bad Boys: Ride or Die does give the people what they want—the ladies behind me were practically giddy when an alligator ate the character they’d hoped he would. But if I had to pick, I’ll go with die. C

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+


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+

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Prequels, to use a technical cinematic term, suck. But if Origins of Furiosa is the movie George Miller has to make in order to shred more dudes underneath the wheels of a giant truck in a desert, who's gonna complain? Anya Taylor-Joy is winningly stoic as the title character, Alyla Browne even better as her even younger self, and Tom Burke (the posh junkie from Joanna Hogg's The Souvenir) is gallant as somebody named Praetorian Jack. As for Chris Hemsworth, still making good use of his freakishly enhanced Asgardian physique, he gets a few too many bits of scenery caught in his teeth as he chomps his way through the wasteland, but that's part of the fun. Worth it alone for the War Rig battle, the kind of sequence literally no other director would even think to film even if they knew how. A-

The Garfield Movie

Haikyuu!! THE MOVIE: Decisive Battle at the Garbage Dump


In a Violent Nature
Director Chris Nash and his admirers aren’t doing themselves any favors by namedropping Malick and Tarr. Not just because this “ambient slasher” lacks the poetry of the former and the patience of the latter (as well as their respective flaws), but because for every pseud like me lured into the theater by that hype, there are a dozen horror fans who think that makes In a Violent Nature sound boring. Which it’s not. The film’s most distinctive moments—its long shots of Johnny, the film’s unstoppable force of vengeance, shown from the back, walking slowly and purposefully through the woods—are haunting and true to the genre. And Nash stages some truly remarkable kills here. But too often this feels like a formal exercise. Obviously no one goes to slashers for realism. But for them to really work, some part of your reptile brain does have to convince you to kind of not believe that you don’t believe what you’re seeing is real. B

I Saw the TV Glow (read the full review here)
Writer/director Jane Schoenbrun once again reconfigures the trans coming-out narrative as a horror story, as open to peril as to promise. Two teens growing up in the ’90s bond over a Buffy-style show; as the edges of supposed fiction and supposed reality blur, the knowledge they gain about their potential selves brings suffering, whether they accept or retreat from that insight. A jarring remix of ’90s kid culture, recollected in something less than tranquility, I Saw the TV Glow reinstates the TV as the box of ominous mystery it once was, solid enough not just to represent other worlds, but to contain them. The weird is familiarized, the familiar is enweirdened. And in Brigette Lundy-Paine and Justice Smith, Schoenbrun has two leads who know how to communicate within Lynchian blend of heightened mood and flattened affect. A-

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Thanks in part to Andy Serkis’s unparalleled gift for portraying a motion-captured being with nuance and sympathy, screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver somehow created a non-laughably epic saga out of an intelligent simian’s rise to power with their rebooted Planet of the Apes trilogy. At least that’s how I remember it—this fourth installment (with frequent Jaffa/Silver collaborator Josh Friedman taking over the script) is so ape-by-numbers I’m kinda afraid to rewatch its predecessors. The plot concerns a struggle over the legacy of Serkis’s honorable Caesar (along with some nasty human weaponry), and as ever, the chimps are curious, the gorillas brutal, the orangutans wise, the humans deceptive. Despite a few fine action scenes, Kingdom is as humorless as the trilogy but without its grand sweep, as misanthropic but without its capacity to imagine looming disaster. I’ve always been leery of how these films toy with the eco-nihilist claim that Earth is better off without humans, but this sort of IP busywork does make me think twice. Will ape and human someday learn to live together in peace? Who gives a fuck? C+


Songs of Earth

The Strangers: Chapter 1

Summer Camp

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