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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.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021
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Angie: Lost Girls
  NR   2021
  [Played July 30 via Eventbrite and available on various VOD platforms.] After a talented, teenage singer (Jane Widdop), who has a younger sister (Juliette Hanover), is lured into a child sex trafficking ring by a deceptive suitor (Dylan Sprayberry) pretending to be interested in her music and then is befriended by a sex-trafficked Black woman (Lindsey Da Sylveira) trying to protect her in Julia Verdin’s powerful, intense, disturbing, relevant, well-acted, 108-minute film, her worried, distraught parents (Olivia d’Abo and Randall Batinkoff) work with a detective (Anthony Montgomery) to find the ruthless lowlifes (Marty Dew, Denise Nicholson, Blake Boyd, et al.) operating the horrific, abusive sex ring in California, and when their PTSD-afflicted daughter eventually escapes, she tries to help others and to accept her new life.

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Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
  NR   2021
  [Played July 30 via Eventbrite and available on various VOD platforms.] Absolutely gorgeous animation dominates Mari Okada’s poignant, colorful, imaginative, bittersweet, heartbreaking, 115-minute, 2018 anime fantasy film about motherly love and the journey of a 15-year-old, immortal, Japanese tapestry weaver (voiceover by Manaka Iwami) who escapes with her life after soldiers attack her Lolph village, kidnap her beautiful friend (voiceover by Ai Kayano) who is forced to marry a prince (voiceover by Tomokazu Sugita) who believes her blood will give their kingdom citizens long life, and raises a boy (voiceover by Miyu Irino) whose mother she found dead as her own but eventually their relationship becomes strained as he ages and she does not.

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Nine Days
  R   2021
  [Opens Aug. 6 in theaters.] After a 28-year-old violinist (Lisa Starrett) is killed in a tragic car accident, which leaves an open position on Earth for a new soul in Edson Oda’s poignant, original, creative, complicated, thought-provoking, well-written, 124-minute, 2020 supernatural thriller, a mysterious, 37-year-old Black arbiter (Winston Duke), who lives in a remote house in the desert, watches the lives of people on multiple television screens and then interviews with the help of a friend (Benedict Wong) five souls (Tony Hale, Bill Skarsgård, Zazie Beetz, David Rysdahl, and Arianna Ortiz) competing for the vacancy on Earth over a nine-day period, and if they are not chosen to have a life on Earth, their existence is erased.

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Whirlybird
  NA   2021
  [Opens Aug. 6 in theaters and available on various VOD platforms.] Matt Yoka’s compelling, fascinating, informative, well-paced, highly personal, 103-minute, 2020 documentary that uses archival film footage, news clips, home movies, and interview snippets with family, including mom Judy Tur, daughter and journalist Katy Tur, and son James Tur, to showcase the tumultuous marriage and successful 20-plus-year careers of innovative, ambitious, peripatetic Los Angeles reporters Zoey Tur (formerly Bob Tur who began the Los Angeles News Service) and Marika Gerrard as they flew in a helicopter over greater Los Angeles during the 1980s and 1990s to document explosive breaking news, including rampant wildfires, car accidents, earthquake devastation, plane crashes, the violent L.A. riots in 1992 after the horrific and senseless beating by police of 25-year-old Rodney King, drive-by shootings, drug busts, and car chases, including O.J. Simpson driving erratically in his white Ford bronco on an L.A. freeway in 1994.

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Jungle Cruise
  PG-13   2021
  [Opens July 30 in theaters and Disney+.] Jaime Collet-Serra’s highly-entertaining, action-packed, humorous, well-paced, twist-filled, unpredictable, star-studded (Paul Giamatti, Veronica Falcón, David Lengel, Piper Collins, Andy Nyman, Sulem Calderon, and Mark Ashworth), 127-minute film in which a spirited, butt-kicking, lock-picking, London-based British botanist (Emily Blunt), who is joined by her stylish, prim-and-proper brother (Jack Whitehall) who has a great right hook, hires a likable, tiger-loving, pun-spewing, map-drawing steamboat captain (Dwayne Johnson) to navigate the deadly Amazon in 1916 on his dilapidated, home-made boat in the hopes of discovering the legendary tree called Tears of the Moon that has powerful healing properties while being pursued by a tenacious, ruthless, aristocratic German prince (Jessie Plemons), who is also desperate to find the mysterious tree to somehow help the war effort in Germany, and cursed 400-year-old conquistadors (Édgar Ramírez, Quim Gutiérrez, Dani Rovira, et al.).


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©2021 by Wendy Schadewald

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