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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.

Thursday, December 3, 2020
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76 Days
  NR   2020
  [Opens Dec. 4 in Virtual Cinema sponsored by MSP Film Society (for more information, log on to mspfilm.org) and available on various VOD platforms.] A captivating, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, informative, critically acclaimed, candid, moving, 93-minute documentary that follows the dedicated, caring, hazmat-suit-wearing medical staff at four Chinese hospitals, including the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital, during the 76-day lockdown between Jan. 23 and April 4 in Wuhan, China, in 2020 and their diligent attempts to treat and save an eclectic group of patients (such as a dementia-afflicted grandfather and a couple waiting in quarantine waiting to hold their newborn girl nicknamed “little penguin”) struggling with COVID-19 during the global pandemic.

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Ending Disease
  NR   2020
  [Available Dec. 4 on various VOD platforms.] Joe Gantz’s engaging, powerful, educational, inspirational, insightful, moving, 185-minute, four-part documentary that examines the passage of Proposition 71 in 2004 in California in which citizens agreed to fund $3 billion for stem cell and regenerative therapy research and follows ten FDA-approved clinical trials and progress of patients, including 19-year-old basketball player Ryan Custer who is a quadriplegic after a devastating spinal cord injury, Steve Sharples who is dealing with brain cancer, Rosie who is going blind from retinitis pigmentosa, gay man Andrew Caldwell coping with HIV/AIDS, anxiety-prone Korean Aaron who contracted HIV from a blood transfusion, young girl Ava who had a bone marrow transplant for an immune deficiency disorder called bubble baby disease, mother Cheryl who suffers from aggressive lymphoma, and Lucas Linder who had a spinal cord injury, participating in groundbreaking, controversial, and promising stem cell, CAR T-cell, and antibody therapies to hopefully cure or improve their condition and consists of commentary by numerous medical personnel involved in the trials, including Dr. Benham Badie, California institute of regenerative medicine (CIRM) first director Robert Klein, Dr. Henry Klassen at USC in Irvine, Dr. Amrita Krishnan at City of Hope, Dr. Nitya Nathwani at City of Hope, City of Hope trial coordinator Teresa Kim, Dr. John Zaia at City of Hope, Dr. Christopher Dvorak at University of San Francisco, Dr. Shekar Kurpad at Froedstet Hospital in Milwaukee, Paula Cannon PhD at USC, Dr. Richard Fessler at Rush Medical Center in Chicago, clinical research coordinator at USC in Irvine, Dr. Jay Lalezari at Quest Clinic in San Francisco, Dr. Jeff Grijalva, Dr. Stephen Forman at City of Hope, Dr. Judith Shizuru at Stanford, stem cell research director Dr. Irv Weissman at Stanford, Dr. Mike McCune at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and 31-year cancer survivor Ellen who was the first person to receive stem cell therapy.

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Life Ahead, The
  PG-13   2020
  [Netflix only] A somber, moving, well-acted, realistic, raw, down-to-earth, 94-minute remake of Moshe Mizrahi’s 1977 film and based on Romain Gary’s novel “The Life Before Us” in which a streetwise, angry, lonely, orphaned, 12-year-old, Senegalese Muslim immigrant (Ibrahima Gueye), who resorts to selling cocaine for a greedy drug dealer (Massimiliano Rossi), reluctantly agrees to live with an elderly, traumatized, PTSD-afflicted Auschwitz survivor and former prostitute (Sophia Loren) who cares for children (Babak Karimi, et al.) of prostitutes (Abril Zamora, et al.) in a small coastal town in Italy and finds a friendship they both desperately need.

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Accidental Wolf, The
  NR   2020
  [Available Nov. 26 exclusively on First Look Media’s Topic streaming service via topic.com, and Topic’s channels on Amazon Prime Video channels, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku; Topic is required for viewing and for more information, log on to topic.com.] When a Manhattan housewife (Kelli O'Hara), who is married to a wealthy, workaholic attorney (Mike Doyle), receives an ominous, gunshot-filled phone call in which she believes the caller is murdered and his pregnant wife (Marsha Stephanie Blake) is in danger in this four, 30-minute episode, Emmy-nominated season one of this gripping, critically acclaimed, well-acted, thrilling, unpredictable, star-dotted (Laurie Metcalf, Sahr Ngaujah, Denis O’Hare, Mick Hilgers, Cassie Beck, Raúl Castillo, and Magnolia Hammel), 2017 television series, her life unravels and is turned upside down after she becomes increasingly agitated as she tries to find this mysterious women and to figure out what is happening while her estranged husband becomes fed up with her continual investigation and threatens to seek custody of their teenage daughter (Caroline Yorio) and her judgmental parents (Judith Ivey and Reed Birney) show her no emotional support.

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Uncle Frank
  R   2020
  [Available Nov. 25 on Amazon Prime Video.] When a well-respected, closeted gay NYU literature professor (Paul Brittany) in Manhattan learns that his cruel, estranged father (Stephen Root) has unexpectedly died in 1973 in this engaging, emotional, touching, well-acted, realistic, bittersweet, star-studded (Margo Martindale, Judy Greer, Steve Zahn, Lois Smith, Jane McNeil, Caity Brewer, Colton Ryan, Britt Rentschler, and Alan Campbell), 95-minute film inspired by Alan Ball’s semiautobiographical novel, he takes a road trip with his feisty 18-year-old niece (Sophia Lillis) to attend the funeral in Creekville, South Carolina, and is joined by his charismatic, kindhearted, longtime, Saudi Arabian immigrant lover (Peter Macdissi) while reminiscing about his first crush (Michael Perez) as a 16-year-old student (Cole Doman) that ended tragically and ultimately dealing with revealed secrets.

  See the Full List of Reviews from December  
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©2020 by Wendy Schadewald

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