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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.

Monday, June 17, 2024
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Animalia
  NA   2024
  [Available June 18 on various digital and VOD platforms.] Striking cinematography dominates Sofia Alaoui's award-winning, original, creative, eerie, otherworldly, metaphysical, thought-provoking, sci-fi 91-minute thriller based on Sofia Alaoui's short film So What If the Goats Die in which a repressed, lowly-born, pregnant wife (Oumaïma Barid) in Morocco tries to reunite with her wealthy poultry farmer husband (Mehdi Dehbi) with the help of a neighbor (Mohamed Oughaou) who abandons her after chaos ensues, animals begin acting strangely and Morocco is invaded by a mysterious, alien presence and then is befriended by a helpful Berber shepherd (Fouad Oughao).

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Aura
  NR   2024
  [Screened at the Eden Hotel & Spa at 133 Rue d'Antibes in Cannes, France, as part of the 6th French Riviera Film Festival that ran May 17-18; for more information, log on to https://frenchrivierafilmfestival.com.] Intriguing visuals highlight Eme (Melissa) Eidson's compelling, monochromatic, languid, thought-provoking, 12-minute film that exposes a charming sex trafficker (Dimitris Anagnostopoulos) who makes promises to vulnerable women (Christina Mani, et al.) looking to fulfill their dreams as he tries to lure and drug them on his fancy yacht.

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Girls in the Band, The
  NR   2024
  [Played June 13 as part of AARP's Movies for Grownups and available on Amazon Prime Video and various VOD platforms.] Judy Chaikin's entertaining, award-winning, captivating, inspirational, educational, insightful, 81-minute, 2011 documentary that showcases talented female jazz musicians from the 1930s to the present who struggled with racism, sexual abuse, bullying, and being overlooked for jobs while touring with all-girl bands across the country or playing alongside male performers and consists of archival photographs, film clips, performance snippets, and candid commentary by musicians (such as Geri Allen, Jessie Bailey, Clora Bryant, Roz Cron, Peggy Gilbert, Viola Smith, Sherrie Maricle, Carline Ray, Vi Redd, Janelle Reichman, Billie Rogers, Hazel Scott, Jerrie Thill, Willie Mae Wong, Patrice Rushen, and Helen Woods), singer and dancer Ina Ray Hutton, curator and voiceover artist James Briggs Murray, musicians and singers Esperanza Spalding and Diana Krall, music historian Tammy L. Kernodle, Piney Woods School founder Dr. Laurence C. Jones, composers and Big Band leaders Maria Schneider and Nedra Wheeler, Kennedy Center musical director Dr. Billy Taylor, singer and Big Band leader Anna Mae Winburn, musicians and composers Jane Ira Bloom and Terri Lyne Carrington, jazz musician and band leader Herbie Hancock, journalists and Women's Jazz Festival cofounders Carol Comer and Dianne Gregg, and pianists and jazz composers Hiromi Uehara, Mary Lou Williams, and Marian McPartland.

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Hit Man
  R   2024
  [Netflix Only] When a psychology and philosophy professor (Glen Powell), who works undercover part-time posing as an assassin-for-hire for the New Orleans Police Department to assist cops (Austin Amelio, Retta, and Sanjay Rao) in arresting guilty people in Richard Linklater's gripping, superbly acted, well-written, wit-sprinkled, unexpected, 115-minute film based on Skip Hollandsworth's 2001 Texas Monthly magazine article, life get complicated after he falls for a sultry, sexy divorcee (Adria Arjona) whom he convinces not to hire him to kill her abusive, jealous, controlling ex-husband (Evan Holtzman).

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Keepers of the 5 Kingdoms, The
  NR   2024
  [Available June 18 on various VOD platforms.] Great puppetry highlights Zack Ward's campy, lackluster, family-geared, nonsensical, intermittently funny, poorly acted, 110-minute film in which a Chinese-American teenager (Michelle Mao) who lives with her EMT mother (Fiona Rene) in Arizona, her widowed grandfather (James Hong) who owns a curio shop, and two friends (Anna Harr and Matthew Sato) end up in a mystical world when they find a mysterious, ancient box and in order to return home they must defeat a rat (Dante Basco), a rooster (Dave Sheridan), duplicitous creatures (Zac Albright, Saxon Sharbino, Spencer Baik, et al.), a witch (Jon Bailey), and a wicked sorceress (Bai Ling) bent on destroying earth.


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©2024 by Wendy Schadewald

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