Little Dieter Needs To Fly (1997)

WERNER HERZOG Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Germany/United Kingdom/France, 1997.  Werner Herzog Filmproduktion, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, ZDF Enterprises, British Broadcasting Corporation, Arte, Media Ventures, Outpost Studios.  Screenplay by Werner Herzog.  Cinematography by Peter Zeitlinger.  Produced by Lucki Stipetic.  Film Editing by Joe Bini, Glen Scantlebury, Rainer Standke.   Werner Herzog investigates the life of Dieter Dengler, shot down over Laos…

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The Life Of Jesus (La Vie de Jesus)

BB.5 (out of 5) Bruno Dumont’s directorial debut takes place in a sleepy town in northern France where not much happens.  Freddy is a member of a gang of boys who spend most of their time getting up to no good and, considering their options, it’s not like you can blame them.  When Freddy, who suffers…

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The Town (The Small Town) (Kasaba)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s first feature as director is a taste of things to come, a small story whose beautiful visuals make a deep impression. It follows a complete day with a young woman who attends her local village school, then goes home through the woods with her brother before an evening…

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Face/Off

BBB.5 (out of 5) You’ll actually enjoy being suckered in by this crazy action film from Hong Kong director John Woo.  John Travolta plays a straight-ace cop still haunted by the memory of the son who was murdered by his arch enemy, seething criminal Nicolas Cage. When Cage goes into a coma during an arrest…

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‘Til There Was You

BBB (out of 5) Soulmates Jeanne Tripplehorn and Dylan McDermott are perfect for each other, if only they could meet, while Sarah Jessica Parker plays a child star who is dating McDermott and doesn’t realize she’s in destiny’s way. These three attractive and committed actors add a lot of glamour to this pretty routine but enjoyable film, one that boasts…

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The Disappearance Of Garcia Lorca (Death In Granada)

BB (out of 5) Years after his family fled war-torn Spain and relocated to Puerto Rico, a young man (Esai Morales) decides to travel back to the homeland to research a book he is writing about poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca (played in flashback by Andy Garcia). He arrives in Granada to find well-guarded…

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Con Air (1997)

SIMON WEST Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 1997.  Touchstone Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Kouf/Bigelow Productions, Runway Pictures, Hiett Designs of Las Vegas.  Screenplay by Scott Rosenberg.  Cinematography by David Tattersall.  Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.  Music by Mark Mancina, Trevor Rabin.  Production Design by Chas. Butcher, Edward T. McAvoy, Seven L. Nielsen.  Costume Design by Bobbie Read.  Film Editing by Chris Lebenzon, Steve Mirkovich, Glen Scantlebury.  Academy…

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The House Of Yes

BB (out of 5) Strange black comedy that can never decide if it wants to be a full-on political farce or a harmless comedy.  Josh Hamilton brings new girlfriend Tori Spelling home to meet his wacky Washington family, a group of misfits who live within viewing distance of the White House. His whole clan have a screw…

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Chinese Box

BBB.5 (out of 5) Touching romantic triangle set against the backdrop of an ever-changing Hong Kong preparing for the Communist takeover. Jeremy Irons gives a brilliantly understated performance as a dying journalist who hasn’t gotten over his love for the beautiful Li Gong.  Maggie Cheung is also marvelous as a street hustler with whom Irons finds himself…

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Kiss Me Guido

BBB (out of 5) Nick Scotti is a Brooklyn “guido” and aspiring actor who decides to get himself a new residence when he comes home to find his girlfriend in bed with another man. Looking in the classifieds for available apartments, he mistakes “GWM” to mean “Guy With Money” and moves in to the place, only…

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Character (Karakter)

BBB (out of 5) Imagine Dickens filmed by Steven Spielberg and starring Buster Keaton and you have this sumptuous Dutch tale that took home the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film. The story is of a young man raised illegitimately in Amsterdam who grows up to become a law clerk in a prestigious law firm,…

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Latin Boys Go To Hell

BB (out of 5) Roughly shot, low-budget indie about a Latino boy in Los Angeles who has trouble coming to terms with his own sexuality, especially considering he has very strong feelings about his cousin with whom he shares a bedroom. There’s also a subplot involving a psychotically jealous lover who guards his model boyfriend…

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