So Many Classics and So Many Sing-a-Longs on the Big Screen This Week
Pretty much every movie you can see in Twin Cities theaters this week.
10:43 AM CST on January 18, 2024
Not a bad week for special screenings, with heavy hitters likeThe Godfather, Part 2 and underseen world cinema gems like Ousmane Sembène's Emitaï playing. St. Louis Park's Showplace ICON is starting what it calls its "Cult Classics" series with A Clockwork Orange, which I bet is quite unsettling to see in a theater. And the Riverview has not one but TWO sing-a-longs this week, if that's more your speed.
Thursday, January 18
Purple Rain (1984)
Never heard of it. $12. 9:15 p.m. Saturday 11:59 p.m. More info here..
The Godfather, Part 2 (1974)
Now with even more Godfathers. $9/$12. 8 p.m. More info here.
Incarceration Play Project on Film (2022)
The story of Theseus, reset in the U.S. prison system. Sold out. 7 p.m. More info here.
Friday, January 19
Ousmane Sembène's story about a clash between a Senegalese tribe and the French. $8. Friday-Saturday 7 & 9 p.m. Sunday 3 & 5 p.m. More info here.
Orlando: My Political Biography (2023)
Walker Art Center
Paul B. Preciado reimagines Virginia Woolf's gender-fluid 1928 novel. Also Saturday. $12/$15. 7 p.m. More info here.
Saturday, January 20
The Land Before Time (1988)
I learned this weekend that the largest dinosaur now is supposedly the Argentinosaurus. That sounds like some bullshit to me. $5-$10. 1 p.m. More info here.
The Sound of Music Sing-a-Long (1965)
Word has it that this is the last time you'll get to sing along with Maria and the kids. $9/$14. 1 & 5:30 p.m. More info here.
Sunday, January 21
Galaxy Quest (1999)
The Alamo's salute to 1999 continues. $10. 6:30 p.m. More info here.
Emagine Willow Creek
The answer to the mystery equation is... loooooooove. Also Monday and Wednesday. $9. 1 & 7:10 p.m. More info here.
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)
Emagine Willow Creek
Bounty hunters of the future land on Mars. Through Tuesday. $11. 7 p.m. More info here.
Scorsese's cute tribute to Georges Méliès. With a pre-show set by The Dust of Suns. $20/$27. Music at 6 p.m. Movie at 7:30 p.m. More info here.
The Greatest Showman Sing-a-Long (2017)
Lotta singing-a-longing at the Riverview this weekend. $9/$14. 11:30 a.m. More info here.
Hard Eight (1996)
Philip Baker Hall, hell yeah. $8. 7:15 p.m. Monday-Tuesday 7 & 9:15 p.m. More info here.
Monday, January 22
A widower holds auditions for a new wife. What could go wrong? $10. 7:20 p.m. More info here.
The Dead Zone (1983)
Emagine Willow Creek
Christopher Walken can see the future! $6. 7:30 p.m. More info here.
Tuesday, January 23
Weird Science (1983)
With a young Robert Downey Jr. as a bully. $7. 7:20 p.m. More info here.
Gurren Lagann The Movie: The Lights in the Sky Are Stars (2024)
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16/Emagine Willow Creek
The fearsome Anti-Spiral proves too overwhelming for humanity to fight back. It figures. Also Wednesday. $13.57. 7 p.m. More info here.
A Case for Love (2024)
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale
A movie about the teachings of the guy who gave the sermon at Harry and Megan's wedding. $15.01. 4 & 7 p.m. More info here.
Wednesday, January 24
The Goonies (1985)
Your childhood was a lie. $15.04. 6:30 p.m. More info here.
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.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Man, classical music fans are fucked up. $8.60. 7 p.m. More info here.
Trylon Club Secret Screening
If it's a real secret they shouldn't even let anyone outside the club know it's happening. Free, Trylon members only. 7 p.m. More info here.
Opening This Week
Follow the links for showtimes.
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+
A taxi driver and an elderly woman bond on a ride across Paris.
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+
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? C
Jessica Chastain and Peter Sarsgaard meet again at a school reunion.
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+
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-
Fallen Leaves (read our full review here)
In Aki Kaurismäki's take on a romcom, two middle-aged, taciturn, and presumably lonely Helskinians (played by Alma Pöysti and Jussi Vatanen) toy with the idea of falling in love, their decision delayed by their own recalcitrance and the quirks of fate. Vatanen has Jimmy Stewart’s drawn good looks without his warmth or prickliness. Pöysti has an even more impassive face, and her rare moments of expressiveness aren’t instances of spontaneity slipping through her mask; it’s as though she has to will them to occur. Both are ideal for this formalist little movie, with every line, every action, and every reaction in its right place as it winds its way toward as happy an ending as the Finnish temperament allows. A-
Stop letting Adam Driver play Italians already—he sounds like Dracula. Otherwise he's a suitably intense presence at the center of yet another Michael Mann tale of masculinity-in-conflict. As his wife, Penélope Cruz is great (when is she not?), and it's fun to watch the cars careen, skid, or flip off the road. But the rest of the time Ferrari just spins its wheels. B-
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. 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-
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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