Pay It Forward

MIMI LEDER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.   Horrendously cheesy film, its excellent performance by Helen Hunt swamped by directionless direction by Mimi Leder and a hackneyed screenplay. The plot follows the plight of a troubled and shy young boy (Haley Joel Osment, his first post-Academy Award nomination role) who is given an assignment at school to…

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Deep Impact

MIMI LEDER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.   The insults to human intelligence that hurl themselves your way one after the other in this loser action film are way deadlier than the meteor that threatens to destroy the planet. A cast of varied ages and pedigrees (Vanessa Redgrave, Elijah Wood, to name but two) never makes…

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The King And The Clown

JUN-IK LEE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.   Original title:  Wang-ui Namja Billed as the “Brokeback Mountain of South Korea”, this might be a story of forbidden gay love the way Ang Lee’s classic was, but it isn’t as deeply touching or moving. Jang-sang, a travelling performer, finally frees himself and his lover Gong-gil of their tyrannical…

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Captain Kidd

ROWLAND V. LEE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.   Charles Laughton‘s personality makes worthwhile viewing of this otherwise forgettable adventure film set on the high seas. He plays a pirate who feigns reform in an effort to convince the king of England to allow him to escort a shipment of treasure from India back to the…

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Prince Of Central Park

JOHN LEEKLEY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.   This tender story is a terrific viewing choice for the whole family. Kathleen Turner is excellent as a woman whose devastation over a personal loss has ended her marriage with Danny Aiello . Meanwhile, young JJ (Frank Nasso) is raised by a callous foster parent (Cathy Moriarty) who uses him…

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The Night We Never Met

WARREN LEIGHT Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.   Annabella Sciorra and Matthew Broderick timeshare an apartment with a soon to be married bachelor (Kevin Anderson).  She is unhappily married and uses her two days a week in the apartment to catch up on her personal artistic pursuits, and when the other two guys switch arranged days without telling…

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Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle

DANNY LEINER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.   After a day of having his talents taken advantage of by his racist boss, investment banker Harold (John Cho) is happy to relax with his best friend and roommate Kumar (Kal Penn) and smoke a much-needed joint. While stoned, they realize they’ve got the munchies and nothing could…

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Dude, Where’s My Car

DANNY LEINER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.   I guess if you’re not expecting much from this slacker comedy then you won’t be too disappointed, though even at that low a level of anticipation it still plays like a bad high school skit. Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott play pizza delivery boys who wake up after…

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Savage Grace

TOM KALIN Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.   It’s usually Isabelle Huppert who makes you realize you complain too much about your mother, but here Julianne Moore trumps them all in the true-life story of Barbara Baekeland, once a Hollywood starlet (as Barbara Daly) who married wealthy Brooks Baekeland (Stephen Dillane), heir to the Bakelite fortune, and…

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Lucky Bastard

EVERETT LEWIS Bil’s rating (out of 5):   B.   Rusty is happily partnered off with Daniel, and thinks nothing of it when his boyfriend goes out of town on business and he is left alone to his work designing and restoring old buildings. A chance meeting with sexy, manipulative Dale in a convenience store leads to…

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The Nutty Professor (1963)

JERRY LEWIS Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.   Jerry Lewis is an absolute riot in this comedy which he also directed and co-wrote. He plays a hopelessly nerdy science professor whose specialty is thinking up lab experiments that blow his entire university up. The friendship of a beautiful student (Stella Stevens) as well as bullying from tough…

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Barney’s Version

BBB (out of 5) Barney Panofsky (Paul Giamatti) marries a crazy artist (Rachelle Lefevre) in Rome, later a mouthy, rich Montreal Jewish girl (Minnie Driver) and, following the divorce, finally settles down with the love of his life (Rosamund Pike), a woman he met at his second wedding. This adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s final novel…

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