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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, November 22, 2021
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Escape from Death Block 13
  NR   2021
  [Available Nov. 23 on DVD.] When a revenge-driven foreigner (Robert Kovacs Bronzi) is erroneously sent to a hellish prison run by a corrupt, drug-dealing warden (Debbie Scaletta) after being framed for attempted murder while trying to collect wages owed him from his brother’s boss (Nicholas Turturro) and reluctantly being a snitch for two detectives (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and Lyindaa Russell) for a reduced sentence in Gary Jones’s gritty, bloody, disappointing, action-packed, repetitive, violent, poorly written and acted, 104-minute thriller, he finds himself struggling to stay out of trouble with despite abusive guards and constantly fighting inmates (Jeffrey Miller, Chris Hahn, Leo McNamee, Jimmy Lee, et al.).

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House of Gucci
  R   2021
  [Opens Nov. 24 in theaters.] When ambitious Italian secretary Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), who works for her father’s successful transportation business in Milan, marries law student Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) against the wishes of his stoic, stern father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons) in Ridley Scott’s captivating, factually inspired, well-acted, star-studded (Salma Hayek, Jack Huston, Camille Cottin, and Reeve Carney), 157-minute biographical film highlighted by gorgeous designer outfits and based on Sara Gay Forden’s 2001 book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed, she begins a rift in the powerful, iconic fashion house with the partners, including uncle Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino) and his eccentric son Paolo, who end up backstabbing each other to gain more control of the House of Gucci and as her volatile, tumultuous marriage slowly fractures and the custody of Patrizia’s daughter (Mia McGovern Zaini) is threatened, she seeks a radical way out of her dilemma.

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Humans, The
  R   2021
  [Opens Nov. 24 in theaters and on Showtime.] When an wannabe composer (Beanie Feldstein) in Manhattan and her boyfriend (Steven Yeun) host Thanksgiving in their new, creepy, creaky, dilapidated duplex in Chinatown in Stephen Karam’s critically acclaimed, well-written, somber, dark, bittersweet, realistic, 108-minute film based on Stephen Karam’s Tony-award-winning, one-act play which is marred by an often difficult to understand soundtrack, tensions ensue and anxiety escalates as her middle-class parents (Richard Jenkins and Jayne Houdyshell), her ill lawyer sister (Amy Schumer) who broke up with her longtime girlfriend, and Alzheimer’s-afflicted grandmother (June Squibb) arrive from Pennsylvania for the holiday and the apartment closes in around them as life and all its foibles are discussed.

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Lady Buds
  NR   2021
  [Opens Nov. 26 in theaters and available on various VOD platforms.] Chris J. Russo’s engaging, educational, fascinating, insightful, candid, 96-minute documentary that follows the struggles of primarily of six trailblazing, risk-taking California businesswomen, including 72-year-old Black cannabis educator and dispensary owner Sue Taylor, cannabis entrepreneur Ciah Rodriques, gay Latinx cannabis activist and social entrepreneur Felicia Carbajal, cannabis entrepreneur and cultivator Karyn Wagner, and Bud Sisters Pearl Moon and Dr. Joyce Centofanti, and their valiant attempts to compete and survive among big cannabis growers after the passage of Proposition 215 in 2016 that legalized marijuana and educating the public on the medical benefits of cannabis while dealing with multilayered bureaucratic redtape and consists of commentary by radio host Cheryl “Mumzer” Goldman, Dragonfly Wellness Center owner Jude Thilman, Hemp Connection owners Marie and Teresa Mills, the Emerald Cup owner Tim Blake, Magnolia Wellness executive director Debbie Goldsberry, Sweetleaf Collective founder Sweetleaf Joe, Level CEO Chris Emerson, cannabis cultivator and breeder James Beatty, cannabis land use and policy consultant Dani Burkhart, Humboldt-Mendocino marijuana advocacy project Robert Sutherland, cannabis farmer Steveo, Bureau of California Cannabis Control chief Lori Ajax, former California Growers Association executive director Hezekiah Allen, Livingston Organics Farm owner Eileen Russell, Sunbright Garden Farm owner Monique Ramirez, cannabis nursery owner and cultivator Patricia Smyth, and Humboldt county sheriff William Honsal.

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laying with Sharks: The Valerie Taylor Story
  NR   2021
  [Played Nov. 17 as part of AARP’s Movies for Grownups and available on various VOD platforms.] Awesome cinematography dominates Sally Aitken’s fascinating, educational, eye-opening, inspiring, disturbing, 95-minute documentary in which pink-loving photographer Valerie May Taylor, who had polio at age 12 and recovered, and her husband Ron teach about and are advocates for the misunderstood and endangered sharks and consists of archival film footage and photographs, excerpts from films such as Blue Water, White Death and Jaws that they helped create, and insightful commentary by spear fishing champion and filmmaker Ron Taylor, diver Jean Michel-Cousteau, marine biologist Jeremiah Sullivan, spear fishing champion Rodney Fox, Dive magazine editor Douglas Seifert, marine scientist Dr. Sylvia Earle, underwater filmmakers Stan Waterman Howard Hall, professional photographer and friend Jayne Jenkins, and Save the Shark Savers-WildAid president Wendy Benchley, director Steven Spielberg, dive tour pioneer Carl Roessler, Jaws author Peter Benchley, and diving film producer Michele Hall.


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©2021 by Wendy Schadewald

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