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Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

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(credit: CBS) Jonathon Sharp
Jonathon Sharp is a web producer and blogger at WCCO.COM. He started...
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Pride is over, but another week of celebration is about to begin. So if you need to flesh out your Fourth of July plans, or just cool off for a few hours, here’s some flicks worth considering…

Monday-Tuesday, July 1-2: Cronos & The Devil’s Backbone (Trylon Microcinema)

If, like me, you sort of wish Guillermo Del Toro was manning the Hobbit movies, then perhaps you’d be down to check out (or revisit) the director’s first few films.

Cronos, Del Toro’s first feature, is a horror flick centered around the concept of eternal life. A golden device, made long ago by alchemists, resurfaces and grants everlasting life to those who hold it. But there’s a catch: with long life comes a trail of disaster. If you consider yourself a horror buff, this is required watching.

The Devil’s Backbone may also be considered essential viewing. The film is a ghost story set during the Spanish Civil War. The film performs a cinematic pincer move — freaking you out in a historical context (the threat of Franco) and a supernatural one (a doom-saying ghost that haunts an orphanage).

Friday, July 5: 20 Feet From Stardom (Uptown Theatre)

This is a film I’m can’t wait to see. Just the trailer gives me goosebumps. Like, seriously, if you haven’t watched it, do so now. You won’t regret it.

The movie looks to be about dreams. In this case, the dreams of singers — backup singers. Although they sang alongside the likes of Mick Jagger and The Boss, but they weren’t stars. In some cases, their lives were difficult.

And while they may be out of the limelight now, 20 Feet From Stardom seeks to give the singers the attention, respect and glory they deserved.

White House Down

The headline says it all: ‘White House Down’ Is Dumb Done Right. Fellow movie blogger Eric Henderson found this tale of disaster on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to be over-the-top, and conscious of it. And what better way to celebrate the Fourth then to bask in what American cinema does best: the spectacle! Here’s more from Eric:

“White House Down is a movie that knows it’s ridiculous, and embraces it. It makes fun of itself at every turn, and offers giddy, effervescent action movie thrills instead of feigned, grim faux-serious gravitas. Most movies during summer check their brains as a matter of obligation, but White House Down is one of the only recent entertainments that seems to be fessing up to it.”

Friday-Sunday, July 5-7: SOMM (St. Anthony Main) 

Like wine? Consider SOMM: it’s a documentary that explores the secret world of the Court of Master Sommeliers and the outrageously intimidating Master Sommelier Exam. This is an uber-prestigious certification that only the most dedicated sommeliers ever hope to achieve. Indeed, there are fewer than 200 masters worldwide. We watch as the wine lovers undergo grueling training in an attempt to shape their taste-buds and their minds. I’ll have a review up for this later this week.

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