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On the Big Screen This Week: Apes, Amy, and Cybill Shepherd as a Minnesotan

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

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Cybill Shepherd in ‘The Heartbreak Kid’; Marisa Abela in ‘Back to Black’

On my agenda this week is plenty of Trylon: Archives on Screen's Macario tonight, then Visconti's The Damned Monday or Tuesday, then Mizna's Atteyat El-Abnoudy retrospective on Wednesday. Tempted to make the drive out to Woodbury for The Heartbreak Kid, which I've only ever seen on YouTube.

As for what I've seen recently, scroll down for reviews of Back to Black and Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. Longer reviews of I Saw the TV Glow and Evil Does Not Exist are coming tomorrow. Busy busy!

Special Screenings

Thursday, May 16

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Grandview 1&2
George Will loved this movie. $12. 9:15 p.m. Saturday 11:59 p.m. More info here.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
The Heights
These two young men certainly grew up well, didn't they? $12. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
Orchestra Hall
Go watch a Star War with live accompaniment from the Minnesota Orchestra. $50-$105. 7 p.m. Through Saturday. More info here.

Twilight (2008)
The Parkway
The saga begins. $9/$12. Trivia at 7:30 p.m. Movie at 8 p.m. More info here.

Macario (1960)
God, Death, and the Devil all want a share of a peasant's turkey dinner in this newly restored Mexican film. Presented by Archives on Screen. $8. 7 p.m. More info here.

Friday, May 17

Road Wars: Max Fury (2024)
Title really reminds me of an upcoming summer blockbuster. Pure coincidence, I'm sure. $8. Friday 5 p.m. Saturday-Wednesday 1 p.m. More info here.

Aggro Drift (2023)
A stylish crime drama like no other, shot entirely through a thermal lens. Presented by Sound Unseen. Sold out. 7 & 9 p.m. More info here.

Saturday, May 18

Uncle Buck (1989)
Alamo Drafthouse
Wild that they tried to make a TV show out of this twice$14. 6:15 p.m. More info here.

Transformers (1984)
AMC Southdale 16/Emagine Willow Creek
Don't be fooled (as I was): This is not the 1986 movie but a selection of TV episodes. Through Sunday. $9. 12 p.m. More info here.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Emagine Willow Creek
J.K. Rowling is freaking out online now because people are calling her Joanne. Also Wednesday. $9. 12:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. More info here.

Star Wars—Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The Parkway
Never heard of it. $5-$10. 1 p.m. More info here.

1980s Action Extravaganza
Like the Horrorthon, but for action flicks. Sold out. 4 p.m. More info here.

Sunday, May 19

My Fair Lady (1964)
Alamo Drafthouse
This was tween Keith's favorite movie musical. $10. 2:25 p.m. More info here.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16/Emagine Willow Creek
I'll say it again—it's a golden age of seeing Miyazaki movies in theaters. $16.28. 3 & 7 p.m. Tuesday 7 p.m. More info here.

North by Northwest (1959)
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16/Emagine Willow Creek
The funnest Hitchcock. $13.57. 1 & 7 p.m. Wednesday 7 p.m. More info here.

Garfield (2024)
AMC Southdale 16
An early screening, in case you can't wait. $11.09. 1 p.m. More info here.

Songs of Earth (2023)
The Main
Filmmaker Margreth Olin’s father guides her through the beautiful sights of Western Norway. $12. 4 p.m. More info here.

The Damned (1969)
Charlotte Rampling stars in Visconti's tale of Nazi decadence. $8. 3 & 6 p.m. Monday-Tuesday 7 p.m. More info here.

Monday, May 20

The 'Burbs (1989)
Alamo Drafthouse
Brother Theodore! Gale Gordon! Henry Gibson! This Tom Hanks comedy has quite the supporting cast. $10. 6:15 p.m. More info here.

Castle in the Sky (1991)
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16/Emagine Willow Creek
More Miyazaki! Also Wednesday. $16.35. 7 p.m. More info here.

Screen Unseen
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16
Every Monday, AMC shows a new movie before its official release. $5. 7 p.m. More info here.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16
Back in theaters at a budget price. $5. More info and showtimes here.

Multiplied (2024)
AMC Southdale 16
"Experience a modern-day Jesus revolution." Or don't! Also Tuesday. $16.35. 7 p.m. More info here.

Dead & Buried (1981)
Emagine Willow Creek
A rural coroner is creating an army of zombies! $6. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

For Love and Life: No Ordinary Campaign (2022)
The Main
The story of an activist with ALS. Free. 7 p.m. More info here.

Tuesday, May 21

Babes (2024)
Alamo Drafthouse
You are encouraged to bring your baby to this advance screening. $7. 1:30 p.m. More info here.

The Heartbreak Kid (1972)
Alamo Drafthouse
Such a cruelly funny take on what it means to follow your heart (especially when you haven't got one) it's amazing that romcoms survived. Also, it's locally angled and you can't stream it (legally) anywhere. $7. 6:15 p.m. More info here.

Wednesday, May 22

The Wolf House (2018)
Alamo Drafthouse
A surreal tale told through stop-motion animation. $10. 6:15 p.m. More info here.

Enter the Clones of Bruce (2023)/The Clones of Bruce Lee (1980)
Emagine Willow Creek
A documentary about the genre of martial arts flicks that Bruce Lee kicked off, followed by a film about a scientist who actually clones the star (presumably not a documentary). $10. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
Grandview 1&2
Hm, I was aware of no such perks as a teen. $12. 9:15 p.m. More info here.

Army of Darkness (1992)
Showplace ICON
The time-traveling sequel to the Evil Dead movies. $7. 7 p.m. More info here.

Atteyat El-Abnoudy Retrospective
Five short films from the great Egyptian documentarian, known for her focus on the poor and working class. Part of the Mizna Film Series. $10. 7 p.m. More info here.

Opening This Week

Follow the links for showtimes.

Back to Black
Not the exploitative disaster some are calling it, or at least no more exploitative a disaster than most music biopics. Yet even if the genuinely insightful documentary Amy from 2015 didn’t exist to make any dramatization of Amy Winehouse’s life feel redundant, extracting a recognizably human story from an almost too perfect cautionary tale of fame without surrendering to cliché would require a real gift. It’s certainly beyond the director Sam Taylor-Johnson (whose takes on sex and drugs you can sample in her adaptations of Fifty Shades of Grey and A Million Little Pieces) or specialist in biopic screenplays Matthew Greenhalgh. (The movie literally shows us a caged bird singing, and more than once.) Marisa Abela is a lively screen presence who deserves to do more than impersonate a dead icon and mouth platitudes. As Winehouse’s on-and-off husband and lover Blake Fielder-Civil, Jack O'Connell offers an adult rehash of his Skins character, Eddie Marsen looks dazed throughout as Winehouse’s dad, and every time I see Lesley Manville (Amy’s beloved Nan here) I’m reminded what a crime it is that Mike Leigh can’t get financing for his films. Carefully sidestepping the issue of how complicit Fielder-Civil and those around Winehouse were in enabling her addiction, the film ends with Amy, sober and alone and a multiple Grammy winner, as though this momentary resolution somehow allows us to ignore what happened next. C+

Evil Does Not Exist
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi's haunting follow up to Drive My Car.

Not gonna lie—I have been confusing this with Imaginary for months.

I Saw the TV Glow
An obsession with a TV show changes the lives of two '90s teens in Jane Schoenbrun's trans parable.

The Strangers: Chapter 1
Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 are due later this year, and director Renny Harlin calls them "one 4.5 hour movie." OK, dude.

Who Is Stan Smith?
Good question.

Maya Hawke is Flannery O'Connor. Her dad is the director.

Ongoing in Local Theaters

Follow the links for showtimes.


Bonjour Switzerland

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+

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

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+

Kung Fu Panda 4

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

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


Unsung Hero

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