The Last Tycoon (1976)

ELIA KAZAN Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB.  USA, 1976.  Academy Pictures Corporation.  Screenplay by Harold Pinter, based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Cinematography by Victor J. Kemper.  Produced by Sam Spiegel.  Music by Maurice Jarre.  Production Design by Gene Callahan.  Costume Design by Anna Hill Johnstone, Anthea Sylbert.  Film Editing by Richard Marks.  Academy Awards 1976.   F. Scott Fitzgerald’s stories frequently take…

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Isle of Dogs (2018)

WES ANDERSON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  USA/Germany, 2018.  American Empirical Pictures, Indian Paintbrush, Studio Babelsberg, Twentieth Century Fox Animation.  Story by Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Kunichi Nomura, Screenplay by Wes Anderson.  Cinematography by Tristan Oliver.  Produced by Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales, Scott Rudin.  Music by Alexandre Desplat.  Production Design by Paul Harrod, Adam Stockhausen.  Film Editing by Edward…

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A Walk With Love And Death (1969)

JOHN HUSTON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 1969.  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  Screenplay by Dale Wasserman, based on the novel by Hans Koningsberger.  Cinematography by Edward Scaife.  Produced by Carter DeHaven, John Huston.  Music by Georges Delerue.  Production Design by Stephen B. Grimes.  Costume Design by Leonor Fini.  Film Editing by Russell Lloyd.   John Huston casts his daughter Anjelica in her movie debut…

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Seraphim Falls

B (out of 5) Liam Neeson and his posse chase Pierce Brosnan relentlessly through the forests and across the desert of post-Civil War USA in this uninteresting drama. Why he’s after him is left a complete mystery until long after you’ve realized that you don’t have a single emotion invested in either of these characters. Along the…

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Art School Confidential

BB (out of 5) Terry Zwigoff returns to the world of conflicted teenagers that he exposed so well in Ghost World but with inferior results. Max Minghella plays an aspiring artist who finds himself among a quirky collection of highly expressive students at the art college he has been dreaming about for years. Unfortunately, Zwigoff only…

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Ever After

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Richly enjoyable reboot of Cinderella finds Drew Barrymore as a plucky young lass living with an insensitive stepmother (Anjelica Huston) and two lazy stepsisters (Megan Dodds, Melanie Lynskey). This time she’s not waiting for a prince to save her, so when she finds one we’re happy she’s getting some but not actually…

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The Kreutzer Sonata

B (out of 5) An experimental project by Leo Tolstoy is dragged into the modern age with disastrous results in this ambitious but ultimately unimpressive film. Danny Huston meets a concert pianist at a dinner party and woos her away from her current relationship, the two of them holing up in his apartment and enjoying…

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The Ice Pirates

B.5 (out of 5) Hilariously campy science-fiction adventure about futuristic pirates in a dried-up universe, who navigate the stars in search of its most precious resource, water. The one planet that is brimming over with water is rigorously controlled by evil Templars who seek to make slaves of the cosmos, prompting our heroes to steal…

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The Crossing Guard

BBBB (out of 5) Powerful drama from director Sean Penn about a grieving father (Jack Nicholson) who is caught in a moral dilemma when the man responsible for his daughter’s death (David Morse) in a drunk driving accident is about to be released from jail. Anjelica Huston is fantastic as Nicholson’s ex-wife, who was driven away…

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The Perez Family

BB.5 (out of 5) A Cuban family is trying to adjust to a new life in Miami in this so-so film featuring an excellent cast. Alfred Molina has finally managed to make it over to America from Cuba to join his already established wife (Anjelica Huston), but are they still the happy couple they once…

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The Addams Family

BBB.5 (out of 5) Of the many retro television shows that have made it to the big screen, this comedy and its superior sequel are among the very best (only the Brady Bunch movies spring immediately to mind as worthy rivals). Impeccably cast, it stars Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston as Gomez and Morticia Addams, heads of…

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Addams Family Values

BBBB (out of 5) In this superior sequel to the 1991 comedy, the kooky, creepy Addams family find themselves welcoming a new addition to their family: a baby boy! Now the two older children, Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) are thrown in a jealous tizzy, while the baby’s new nanny (Joan Cusack) captures…

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