Short Redhead Reel Reviews for the week of March 30
by Wendy Schadewald
Special to Sun Thisweek
Rating system: (4=Don’t miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)
“Apart” (R) (2.5) [Some violence, bloody images, and language.] — When a high school graduate (Josh Danziger) loses his father (David Born) and memory while in a two-year coma after surviving a horrific house fire in this disjointed, uneven, psychological, romantic thriller, which is slightly reminiscent of “Memento” and highlighted by beautiful photography, he is desperate to fill in the blanks by talking with his older brother (Jason Davis), the traumatized girlfriend (Olesya Rulin) with whom he is smitten and shares a rare and dangerous psychological disorder known as folie à deux, a grieving fireman (Michael Bowen) who has lost his son (Brand Todd), and a concerned psychiatrist (Bruce McGill).
“Footnote” (PG) (3) [Thematic elements, brief nudity, language, and smoking.] [Subtitled] — An engaging, poignant, heartbreaking, well-acted film in which a well-respected, Jewish, Talmudic Studies professor (Lior Ashkenazi) at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who has a supportive wife (Alma Zack) and a lazy son (Daniel Markovich), has a contentious relationship with his jealous, stubborn, bitter father (Shlomo Bar-Aba), who is also a longtime professor at the same university whose only claim to fame is a mention of his name in a footnote by a former mentor, and is placed in an unwinnable, “between a rock and a hard place” position when uncompassionate, academic members (Micah Lewensohn, et al.) of a prestigious committee make a horrific blunder while awarding their annual Israel Prize.
“Goon” (R) (2.5) [Brutal violence, nonstop language, some strong sexual content, and drug use.] — When a polite, hard-headed, beer-drinking, iron-fisted, Jewish bouncer (Seann William Scott), who works in a bar in Massachusetts and desperately wants the approval of his parents (Eugene Levy and Ellen David) and gay brother (David Paetkau), gets a chance to play hockey for a coach (Kim Coates) in Nova Scotia in this wacky, male-geared, oddly endearing, 92-minute comedy, which is based on the book by Adam Frattasio and Douglas Smith and filled with crude language, he finally finds a direction in his life, gets a girl friend (Alison Pill), and finds respect from his team members (Richard Clarkin, Larry Woo, Ricky Mabe, George Tchortov, Karl Gravoshas, Jonathan Cherry, Marc-André Grondin, et al.), his best friend (Jay Baruchel), and a rival ice hockey player (Liev Schreiber).
“Higher Ground” (R) (2.5) [Some language and sexual content.] [DVD only] — An engaging, religious-themed film, which is based on Carolyn S. Briggs’ memoir “This Dark World” and is directed by Vera Farmiga in her directorial debut, that follows the rollercoaster spiritual journey of a young girl (McKenzie Turner/Taissa Farmiga) growing up on a farm in the Midwest with her parents (John Hawkes and Donna Murphy) and older sister (Taylor Schwencke/Kaitlyn Rae King) and later as a devout housewife (Vera Farmiga) in New York who gets married to her musician husband (Joshua Leonard) after getting pregnant, has three children, and gets involved with a religious group of evangelical Christians (Dagmara Dominczyk, Michael Chernus, Barbara Tuttle, et al.) and its charismatic leader (Norbert Leo Butz).
“Let the Bullets Fly” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] — A wacky, entertaining, action-packed, funny, violent, highly popular, but nearly incomprehensible, satirical, 132-minute, 2010 Chinese comedic spaghetti western spoof filled with impersonators (Hu Jun, et al.), corruption, bullets, and wonderful cinematography in which an infamous, vindictive. Robin-Hood-like bandit (Jiang Wen) posing as the new governor arrives in Goose Town in southern China in 1919 with his henchmen (Fan Liao, Bing Shao, Xiao Wei, Chen Kun, et al.), a not-to-be-trusted counselor (Ge You), and the counselor’s wife (Carina Lau) and seeks to hold a scheming, ruthless crime boss (Chow Yun-Fat) and his entourage of protectors accountable for the death of his son (Mo Zhang).
“Mirror Mirror” (PG) (2.5) [Some fantasy action and mild rude humor.] — Wacky, elaborate costumes and striking sets highlight this entertaining, tongue-in-cheek, predictable, family-geared, star-dotted (Nathan Lane, Michael Lerner, and Mare Winningham) “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” parody in which the sheltered, spirited, dark-haired princess (Lily Collins) teams up with seven thieving little people (Mark Povinelli, Sebastian Saraceno, Jordan Prentice, Joe Gnoffo, Danny Woodburn, Ronald Lee Clark, and Martin Klebba) to defeat the evil, beauty-obsessed queen (Julia Roberts) who has bankrupt the kingdom after the disappearance of the much-loved king (Sean Bean) in the ominous forest and put a love spell on a gullible, wealthy, handsome prince (Armie Hammer) to coerce him to marry her.
“The Raid: Redemption” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] — Bloody, intense, terrific martial-arts choreography and nonstop action dominate this graphically violent, fast-paced, 2001 film in which a corrupt lieutenant (Pierre Gruno) and his highly skilled Indonesian SWAT team (Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, et al.) infiltrate a rundown apartment building to take down a ruthless drug lord (Ray Sahetapy) and his machete-wielding henchmen (Doni Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, et al.).
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.