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On the Big Screen This Week: A Quiet Indie Coming-of-Age Film and A ‘Quiet Place’ Prequel, For Some Reason

Pretty much all the movies you can see in Twin Cities theaters this week.

Promotional stills|

Scenes from ‘Janet Planet’ and ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’

My pick of the new flicks out this week is Janet Planet, the directorial debut from playwright Annie Baker. I've reviewed it below, along with The Bikeriders and (ugh!) Inside Out 2. As for Kinds of Kindness. I'll have more to say about that tomorrow.

Special Screenings

Thursday, June 27

The Incredibles (2004)
Beltrami Park
Very unfair how this world treats superheroes. 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. $3. 11 a.m. More info here.

Milk (2008)
Grandview 1&2
The assassination of Sean Penn by the coward Josh Brolin. Also Sunday. $12. 9:15 p.m. More info here.

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)
Heights Theater
Hate that this ends with the wife-killer brutalizing young women, hate the Bruce Lee scene, hate how smugly pleased Tarantino is with his nerdy recreation of the Hollywood of his childhood. Some fun hangout scenes though. $15. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Bound (1996)
Parkway Theater
It just ain't Pride month without the lesbian crime fave. $9/$12. Pre-show burlesque show hosted by Queenie Von Curves at 7:30 p.m. Movie at 8 p.m. More info here.

The Land Before Time (1988)
Riverview Theater
That's a long time ago! $1. $10.30 a.m. More info here.

Substrate (2024)
Trylon
A locally made short film that is... Sold out. 7 p.m. More info here.

Friday, June 28

Elemental (2023)
Bottineau Park
"The perfect metaphor for Leftist views of diversity," say the watchdogs at Worth It or Woke, who seem like the sort of level-headed folks who refuse to read their toddlers books about sharing. Free. 9 p.m. More info here.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2018)
Emagine Willow Creek
Emagine may just play the Spider-Verse movies all summer long, and why shouldn't they? $3. 11 a.m. More info here.

Call Me By Your Name (2017)
Riverview Theater
Timmy and Armie get freaky with a peach. $5. 10:30 p.m. More info here.

The Twisters (2024)
Trylon
This is my favorite blockbuster ripoff title yet. $8. Friday-Saturday, Monday-Tuesday 5 p.m. Sunday 1 p.m. More info here.

Remember My Name (1978)
Trylon
Geraldine Chaplin stalks Anthony Perkins. $8. Friday-Saturday 7 & 9 p.m. Sunday 3 & 5 p.m. More info here.

Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)
Walker Art Center
Faye Dunaway is a Manhattan photographer who begins seeing things through the eyes of a serial killer. $12/$15. 7 p.m. More info here.

Saturday, June 29

Jaws (1975)
Emagine Willow Creek
Tis the season. $11. 6 p.m. Sunday 12 & 6 p.m. More info here.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
Parkway Theater
The one with the bald chick. $5-$10. 1 p.m. More info here.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
Phelps Field Park
Forever? That's a mighty long time. Free. 9 p.m. More info here.

Sunday, June 30

Pandora's Box (1920)
Heights Theater
Pretty sure 90% of the silent German movies I've seen involve a sexually liberated young woman with a distinctive haircut ruining the life of a respectable man. $12. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Nostalghia (1983)
Trylon
Tarkovsky may have been a genius, but apparently he couldn't spell for shit. $8. 7 p.m. Monday-Tuesday 7 & 9:30 p.m. More info here.

Monday, July 1

Tremors (1990)
Emagine Willow Creek
A fun one. $6. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

A Hard Day's Night (1964)
Heights Theater
For real, they could have just been a comedy troupe. $12. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Migration (2023)
Kenwood Park
Some ducks go on vacation or something. Free. 9 p.m. More info here.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
Riverview Theater
Meatballs falling from the sky? Preposterous! Also Tuesday. $1. $10.30 a.m. More info here.

Tuesday, July 2

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023)
Whittier Recreation Center
A little in-jokey, but fun. Free. 9 p.m. More info here.

Opening This Week

Follow the links for showtimes.

Blue Lock The Movie - Episode Nagi -
The soccer manga turned TV anime heads to the big screen.

Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1
Oh, great—Kevin Costner is making movies again.

Janet Planet
The directorial debut of acclaimed playwright Annie Baker is an uncommonly nuanced telling of a not uncommon movie subject—the life of a sensitive and intelligent child raised by a caring but woo-woo parent. Julianne Nicholson is the single mom, and Zoe Zigler is her 11-year old daughter, Lacey, and both are terrific. The film is structured by the entrance and exit of three people in Janet’s life: a boyfriend named Wayne, an old friend named Regina, and a spiritual puppeteer named Avi given to high flown pronouncements. Possessive of her mother, Lacy resents each of these interlopers, with various degrees of appropriateness. (I wouldn’t want Avi anywhere near my mom either.) But along the way, without the clamor of any hackneyed cinematic epiphanies, the girl develops an awareness of her mother as a flawed but real person, a woman Baker presents to us without blame but without excuses. A-

Kalki 2898 AD
Vishnu returns to Earth!

Kinds of Kindness
Yorgos Lanthimos's follow up to Poor Things is a three-fer. Full review tomorrow.

A Quiet Place: Day One
It just annoys me so much that a Quiet Place origin movie exists. Lupita deserves better!

Something to Stand For with Mike Rowe
The patriotic podcast I'd never heard of becomes a movie.

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

The Bikeriders
Sixty years after Scorpio Rising and, hell, 40 years after the Village People, it’s unclear why writer/director Jeff Nichols is being lauded for acknowledging that there’s a homoerotic subtext to biker gangs. At the center of The Bikeriders is a tug of war over the affections of a chiseled sociopath named Benny (Austin Butler), a struggle between his wife Kathy (Jodie Comer) and his mush-mouthed but wily gang leader Johnny (Tom Hardy). But in part because Benny’s such a cipher, Nichols’s adaptation of Danny Lyon’s 1968 photobook can’t make much drama out of this conflict, so instead The Bikeriders drifts in that familiar subcultural underworld way from glory days to druggy, violent decline. Despite an occasional Goodfellas homage, Nichols doesn’t zero in on the social dynamics of the gang, as Scorsese invariably does with his milieux, which is a shame because plenty of the members, especially Michael Shannon and Norman Reedus, have some terrific individual moments. That this is often an engrossing watch regardless owes to Hardy’s squinty inscrutability and Comer’s commonsensical perspective. Wid her “oh jeez” Chicawgo accent and everygal resolve, Comer steals the movie. It’s just not always clear where she wants to take it.

The Exorcism

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

IF

Inside Out 2
Inside Out’s model of the human psyche was something only Pixar could have dreamt up (derogatory): Your brain is an office staffed with project managers jockeying for control of your emotional responses. Despite the corporatized determinism at its core, the 2015 movie worked dramatically because its story of a Minnesota girl named Riley played off adult sympathies for distressed children in the sort of pitiless, heart-wrenching way that only Pixar can (complimentary, I think?). In this noisy, chaotic follow up, Riley enters adolescence and a new emotion, Anxiety, shows up to the job. The upstart feeling stages a coup, literally bottles up Joy and other inconvenient emotions, and constructs Riley’s sense of self based wholly on the perception of others. There’s so much focus on the internal conflict here that Riley becomes a puppet yanked too and fro, and the emotional dynamics make no sense even on their own terms. C+

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+

Robot Dreams

Thelma
A nonegenarian (June Squibb) gets scammed online and then tracks down the evildoers to get her money back—it’s kinda like The Beekeeper if Phylicia Rashad hadn’t needed Statham to avenge her. Squibb is generally wonderful as the plucky old gal, but despite some cute moments the whole shebang still felt a little too “hooray for the aged” overall. For me, that is. Everyone seems to love this movie. Maybe my experience was flavored by an excessively enthusiastic MSPIFF crowd? Or maybe I really do expect too much from movies? B-

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