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This Week on the Big Screen: Anarchic Czechs, Archival Flicks, and Sexy Robbers

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

Scenes for ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ and ‘Daisies’

I've already covered this weekend's big fest, Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour, over here. If you choose not to hunker down in The Main all weekend for those screenings, you've also got Bonnie and Clyde or Daisies to check out. Quite a weekend.

Special Screenings

Thursday, February 15

Shrek 2 (2004)
Emagine Willow Creek
If you liked Shrek, you're gonna wanna see Shrek 2. $3. 12 p.m. More info here.

Phantom Thread (2017)
Grandview 1&2
This movie is what love means to me. $12. 9:15 p.m. Saturday 11:59 p.m. More info here.

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
The Heights
They're hot and they rob banks. $12. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour Opening Program
The Main
Five short French silent films, including three proto-music videos from the 1920s. (I almost said "from the '20s" but I guess we can't do that anymore!) Part of Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour. Free. 7:15 p.m. More info here.

A Page of Madness (Kurutta ichipeiji) (1926)
The Main
A silent Japanese avant-garde film with no intertitles. C'mon, you can handle it. Part of Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour. $8/$12. 8:30 p.m. More info here.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Parkway
Sorry, but I still don't think Kate Winslet really "gets" her character. With pre-show trivia. $9/$12. Trivia at 7 p.m. Movie at 8 p.m. More info here.

Daisies (1966)
Walker Art Center
Věra Chytilová's absurdist story of two zany Czech chicks is an absolute life-changer of a movie. Also Friday. $12/$15. 7 p.m. More info here.

Friday, February 16

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2004)
Emagine Willow Creek
Just in case you thought all there was to know about training dragons. All week. $3. 12 p.m. More info here.

Bushman (1971)
The Main
A Nigerian tries to makes sense of life in the U.S. in the '60s. Part of Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour. $8/$12. 7 p.m. More info here.

Leila and the Wolves (Layla wa zi’ab) (1980-1984)
The Main
A time-traveling mosaic about the lives of anti-colonial Arab women. Part of Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour. $8/$12. 9 p.m. More info here.

Modern Romance (1981)
Trylon
You know, like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs song. $8. 7 p.m. Saturday 9 p.m. Sunday 3 p.m. More info here.

Real Life (1979)
Trylon
Albert Brooks invents reality TV. $8. 9 p.m. Saturday 7 p.m. Sunday 5 p.m. More info here.

Saturday, February 17

Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)
Alamo Drafthouse
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of a Minnesota classic. $10. 6:30 p.m. More info here.

Peter (1934)
The Main
A Hungarian woman's life changes when she starts dressing as a boy. Part of Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour. $8/$12. 2 p.m. More info here.

Bandits of Orgosolo (Banditi a Orgosolo) (1961)
The Main
Nobody films Italy and its people like Vittorio De Seta. Part of Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour. $8/$12. 4 p.m. More info here.

The Ballad of Tara (Cherike-ye Tara) (1979)
The Main
A pre-revolutionary film by an underseen filmmaker of the Iranian New Wave. Part of Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour. $8/$12. 7 p.m. More info here.

The Outsiders (Ceddo) (1977)
The Main
Ousmane Sembène tackles the subject of African slavery. Part of Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour. $8/$12. 9 p.m. More info here.

Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
Parkway
With Tim Curry as the token non-muppet. $5-$10. 1 p.m. More info here.

Sunday, February 18

Twilight (2008)
Alamo Drafthouse
How about that KStew Rolling Stone cover, eh? $14. 6:30 p.m. More info here.

Dune (1984)
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16/Emagine Willow Creek/Showplace ICON
This tweet is better than any film adaptation of Dune. Also Monday. $15. 4 & 7 p.m. More info here.

Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets (2002)
Emagine Willow Creek
Pretty sure this is the one with the chamber of secrets in it. Also Monday & Wednesday. $9. 2 & 6:10 p.m. More info here.

Lady Windermere's Fan (1925)
The Heights
They should remake this silent movie as Lady Windermere's Stan. Get it? With live accompaniment from the Poor Nobodys. Part of Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour. $20. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Gun Crazy (1950)
The Main
They just really love guns! Free. 3 p.m. More info here.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)
The Main
Almodóvar at his Almodóvariest. Free. 5 p.m. More info here.

Long Day's Journey Into Night (2018)
Trylon
How long? 138 minutes long. (But also, totally worth the trip.) Also Monday-Tuesday. $8. 7 p.m. More info here.

Monday, February 19

Existenz (1999)
Alamo Drafthouse
David Cronenberg's dive into VR gaming is fun as hell. (Also 1999 as hell.) $10. 7:20 p.m. More info here.

Scream Blacula Scream (1973)
Emagine Willow Creek
William "Blacula" Marshall was also a pretty distinguished actor. $6. 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Tuesday, February 20

The Blob (1988)
Alamo Drafthouse
As gross as The Blob (1958) should have been. $10. 7:20 p.m. More info here.

Wednesday, February 21

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)
Alamo Drafthouse
Even better than you'd expect a movie about Forest Whitaker as a Zen hitman to be. $10. 7:20 p.m. More info here.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete (2024)
AMC Rosedale 14/AMC Southdale 16/B&B Bloomington 13/Emagine Willow Creek
Sure, fine. $16.26. 7 p.m. More info here.

Harold and Maude (1971)
Grandview 1&2/Parkway
The film that famously drew a protest from neighbors after the Westgate Theater in Edina showed it for more than two years. The Parkway screening is preceded by a set from Simon Husbands. Grandview: $12. 9:15 p.m. More info here. Parkway: $9/$12. 8 p.m. More info here.

Rustin (2023)
The Main
Colman Domingo is terrific as the civil rights leader in what's otherwise a fairly by-the-numbers biopic. Chris Rock as Roy Wilkins Jr. though. $6/$10. 7 p.m. More info here.

High Kicks (1993)
Trylon
Hm, sounds like a Trash Film Debauchery pick. *checks the schedule* Yep, it's a Trash Film Debauchery pick. $5. 7 p.m. More info here.

Opening This Week

Follow the links for showtimes.

Amélie (2001)
The pretty, kinda creepy trickster of love returns.

The Chosen: Season 4 Episodes 4-6
It's the TV series about the life of Jesus that everyone (except anyone you know) is watching.

Bob Marley: One Love
The ironclad rule of when to see music biopics: When in doubt, don't.

Land of Bad
Why'd they have to call it that?

Madame Web
I'm not going to see it just to find out how bad it is and you shouldn't either.

Ooru Peru Bhairavakona
A man is trapped in the world of Bhairavakona, from which there is no escape.

The Taste of Things
Yes, I know it looks very "'90s Landmark foreign film" but people really love it.

2024 Oscar Nominated Short Films—Animation
Just what it says.

2024 Oscar Nominated Short Films—Documentary
Also just what it says.

2024 Oscar Nominated Short Films—Live Action
And yet again what it says.

Ongoing in Local Theaters

Follow the links for showtimes.

All of Us Strangers (read the 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

American Fiction
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+

Anyone But You

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Argyyle
Doesn't Sam Rockwell have better things to do? Are the visual effects trash because the team got lazy or on purpose, for, like, camp reasons? Why didn't Henry Cavill and John Cena kiss? Doesn't Bryce Dallas Howard have better things to do? These are just a few of the questions with which I distracted myself while waiting for meta-hack Matthew Vaughn's latest manic foray into ridic spyjinks to end, and in fact, I'm still not sure that a part of me isn't still back at the Showplace ICON, where I will remain forever, grimacing through one self-referential post-credits scene after another. Winking so hard you hope he'll sprain his stupid face, Vaughn hustles Howard and Rockwell through a plot that's about as fun to untangle as an extension cord; BDH writes spy novels that are so good real spies want her dead, and it just gets weirder and more hectic from there in that "everything's a joke and nothing's funny" post-MCU way. Wait, did I hear someone say "I hope there's a shitty CGI cat in this!"? How could there not be? C

The Beekeeper (read the 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 Boy and the Heron (read the 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 Boys in the Boat

The Holdovers (read the 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-

The Jungle Bunch: Operation Meltdown

Killers of the Flower Moon (read the 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-

Lisa Frankenstein
Set in 1989, this snarky horror-comedy's heart is in 2009, when writer Diablo Cody’s zippy post-millennial Buffy/Heathers patter still felt fresh, or at least marketable. Kathryn Newton is Lisa Swallows (eh), who cowered in the next room while her mother was killed by an axe murderer during a home invasion. Her father remarries an uptight nurse (Carla Gugino, shoehorned into a nasty stepmom-shrew role), forcing Lisa to switch schools, and now she spends her time in an abandoned cemetery, mooning over the carved head of a boy who died in the late 19th century. (You 21st century goth kids might not be impressed, but in the '80s that was cutting edge moodiness.) A freak electrical storm reanimates the boy's corpse, and he happens to be Cole Sprouse. Bodies start to hit the floor, and Lisa and her zombie suitor find a way to supply his missing parts, stitching them on and zapping him with a short-circuiting tanning bed. Phew! That's a lot, and all that keeps it entertaining rather than totally exhausting is a gamely unhinged performance from Newton, who makes Lisa over from a weepy wallflower to a kind of Madonna Bonham Carter. C+

Mean Girls (read the 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+

Migration

Oppenheimer (read the 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-

Origin (read the full review here)
“Inspired by” Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Ava DuVernay's is partly a writer’s biopic, partly a movie of ideas—two hard-to-execute genres baked here into an unstable amalgam. The ostensible goal is to illustrate the concepts in Wilkerson’s best-seller as we watch her write the follow up to her brilliant Pulitzer-winning history of the Great Migration,The Warmth of Other Suns. Will you emerge from Origin thinking about race, oppression, or injustice differently? Possibly. You’ll certainly come out remembering the way DuVernay vividly illustrates the horrors of bigotry—as Origin proceeds, the visceral response to injustice overcomes the how and why it occurs, and it’s hard not to wonder just how much DuVernay cares about Wilkerson’s ideas at all. Origin is the sort of movie where the filmmaker is so worried that the audience won’t get it that she loses sight of whatever “it” might have been in the first place. C+

Out of Darkness

Peppa's Cinema Party

Poor Things (read the 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-

The Sweet East

Turning Red

Wonka
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

The Zone of Interest (read the full review here)
Jonathan Glazer's latest embeds itself in the quotidian routine of a Nazi family that lives on a gorgeous estate that just so happens to share a wall with a death camp. Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel) and his wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller) have five children, including two younger kids who squabble and a perpetually wailing baby—they’re the exact sort of family Goebbels would want an Aryan Norman Rockwell to paint. Yet what do we accomplish by spending two hours in the company of these drab Nazis? After The Zone of Interest I knew what I was supposed to think about Herr and Frau Höss—Glazer’s forcedly aestheticized didacticism saw to that. But what was I supposed to feel, aside from horror at the systematic extermination of Jews, which, I hope, anyone going into this film already experiences? B-

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