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Wendy
Short Redhead Reel Reviews date from 1986 to present. This main page lists the five most recent film reviews. To view a complete list of all films reviewed this month, see Previous Reviews on the right.

Friday, May 29, 2020
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High Note, The
  PG-13   2020
  [Opens May 29 and rents for a 48-hour period for $19.99 on nearly all on-demand platforms.] Wonderful music highlights this captivating, entertaining, behind-the-scenes, star-studded (Ice Cube, Bill Pullman, Eddie Izzard, Zoë Chao, Diplo, June Diane Raphael, and Deniz Akdeniz), unpredictable, 113-minute romantic comedy in which a workaholic, doggedly determined assistant (Dakota Johnson) in Los Angeles dreams of being a music producer while struggling to get noticed by her longtime, egotistical, aging superstar singing boss (Tracee Ellis Ross) and then posing as a record producer in an attempt to help a talented singer (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) she meets and quickly falls for.

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Vast of Night, The
  PG-13   2020
  [Available on Prime Video.] Andrew Patterson’s creepy, creative, well-acted, low-budget, unpredictable, 89-minute sci-fi thriller with a terrific musical score and camera shots and reminiscent of Twilight Zone in which a teenage switchboard operator (Sierra McCormick) during one dark night in New Mexico encounters a mysterious, unidentifiable audio frequency coming through the switchboard in 1958 and turns to her radio DJ high school friend (Jake Horowitz) to follow up on clues with a retired military worker (Bruce Davis) and a distraught elderly woman (Gail Cronauer) who believes her son was a victim of an alien abduction years earlier.

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Voice, The
  NR   2020
  [Subtitled] [Plays May 15-23 as part of the MSPIFF39 Redefined: A Virtual Film Festival; for more information, log on to mspfilm.org/festivals/mspiff.] After a smart, rebellious, stubborn teenager (Franko Jakovcevic) with atheist tendencies is dropped off at a rural Catholic boarding school in Croatia when his mother (Barbara Vickovic) takes a job on a cruise ship in Ognjen Svili?i?’s engaging, thought-provoking, realistic, down-to-Earth, 80-minute, 2019 film highlighted by striking photography, he finds himself at odds with the strict headmistress (Belma Kosutic), the priest (Stipe Radoja), and his religious peers (Lovre Trogrlic, Petar Cakic, Nina Crncevic, et al.) when he refuses to pray and blindly accept taught beliefs.

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Wretched, The
  NR   2020
  [Plays at some drive-ins and on most cable and digital VOD platforms.] After a mischievous, 17-year-old student (John-Paul Howard) with a broken arm goes to live with his father (Jamison Jones), who works at a lakeside marina and is dating a dark-haired employee (Azie Tesfai) while separated from his wife, for the summer in this suspenseful, dark, creepy, gruesome, unpredictable, 95-minute supernatural horror film reminiscent of Disturbia, he becomes suspicious of the couple (Zarah Mahler and Kevin Bigley) next door when their young son (Blane Crockarell) becomes frightened of his strange-acting mother and then with the help of a skeptical teenager (Piper Curda) he starts to suspect that a murderous, tree-harboring, shape-shifting, skin-walking witch (Madelynn Stuenkel) has possessed various townsfolk as children disappear and are forgotten.

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Medicating Normal
  NR   2020
  [Plays May 15-23 as part of the MSPIFF39 Redefined: A Virtual Film Festival. Live Q&A with the filmmaker on May 21 at 7:00 p.m.; for more information, log on to mspfilm.org/festivals/mspiff.] Lynn Cunningham and Wendy Ractliffe’s eye-opening, educational, highly disturbing, shocking, 75-minute, 2019 documentary that includes testimonials from many people, including a retired naval officer and his wife, a former NYC waitress, an army Sergeant, and a teenage student, who all suffered long-term harm after taking and withdrawing from prescription medications for various psychological reasons, such as depression, insomnia, anxiety, and ADHD, due to misinformed or unethical medical professionals and zealous pharmaceutical companies pushing their products in order to make millions and consists of interview snippets with psychiatrists (such as Allen Frances, Anna Lembke, and Kelly Brogan), UCLA social welfare professor David Cohen, military clinical psychologist Mary Neal Vieten, pharmacist Ivan Jourdain, University of Copenhagen professor Peter Gøtzsche, journalist and author Robert Whitaker, and attorney Kristian Rasmussen.


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©2020 by Wendy Schadewald

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