The Expendables 3 (2014)

PATRICK HUGHES Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  USA/France/Bulgaria, 2014.  Lionsgate, Millennium Films, Nu Image Entertainment GmbH, Davis Films, Ex3 Productions, Fipex Holding.  Story by Sylvester Stallone, Screenplay by Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, based on characters created by David Callaham.  Cinematography by Peter Menzies Jr..  Produced by Avi Lerner, Danny Lerner, Kevin King Templeton, John Thompson, Les Weldon.  Music by Brian…

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Puss In Boots

BBB (out of 5) The adorable sidekick who stole scenes from the sequels to Shrek is given his own film, in an adventure that provides the back story leading up to his first encounter with the ogre and the donkey. Antonio Banderas once again voices, with equal measures wit and warmth, the feline superhero who makes…

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Two Much

BB.5 (out of 5) Antonio Banderas plays an art gallery owner who needs to work up the odd scam to keep paintings moving out of his store: he attends funerals and pretends that the dearly departed recently purchased a painting before passing off, and would the survivors now like to pay for it? On one of…

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Frida

BBBB.5 (out of 5) The life and awe-inspiring work of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo has been a project on the plate of many a celebrity in the last decades: Madonna’s efforts to make the film is credited with bringing widespread awareness of her work to North America in the nineties, while Jennifer Lopez tried to…

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Once Upon A Time In Mexico

BB.5 (out of 5) The events of Desperado have now been followed up by a grandly filmed sequel, with Antonio Banderas returning as the guitar-slinging gunman and Salma Hayek making a brief appearance as his beautiful love interest. The cast has been filled out with a whole new bevy of sidekicks and villains, from a…

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Spy Kids 2: Island Of Lost Dreams

BBB.5 (out of 5) In this delightful sequel to the equally fun original, little spies Carmen and Juni find themselves trapped on an island with a mad scientist who may or may not be out to destroy their entire secret spy-ring operation. Their foils are another pair of spy kids who seem to always be…

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Spy Kids

BBB.5 (out of 5) Parents will undoubtedly approve of this extremely enjoyable kids’ romp that features no excessive violence, foul language or scary scenes. Newcomers Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara play two regular schoolkids who find themselves turning into international spies when their parents (Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino) mysteriously disappear without a trace. It is…

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Desperado

BBB.5 (out of 5) Director Robert Rodriguez virtually remade his debut independent film El Mariachi when its success allowed him a genuine budget to work with. Antonio Banderas is the guitar-playing gunslinger who enters a Mexican town in search of revenge for the loss of his great love. He meets sexy Salma Hayek, they hit…

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The Body

BBB.5 (out of 5) Clever, involving thriller that raises many questions and deals with them a bit too patly, but not overly so.  Antonio Banderas plays an El Salvadorean Catholic priest with a military background who is commissioned by the Vatican to travel to Jerusalem and investigate the findings of an Israeli archaeologist (Olivia Williams).  She…

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Madonna: Truth Or Dare

BBBB.5 (out of 5) This fascinating documentary takes you behind the scenes of pop icon Madonna‘s 1990 Blond Ambition tour:  her dancers are interviewed, her family is examined, and the icon herself does a whole lot of performing for the camera both on stage and off.  For some, the film only skims the surface in…

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Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever

BB (out of 5) Unimpressive action film treads all the same material covered by countless films before it. Antonio Banderas plays an embittered FBI agent who still hasn’t gotten over losing his wife to a bombing years before. When his former superior informs him that she is still alive, he agrees to help on the department’s…

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Of Love And Shadows

B (out of 5) If you thought Bille August’s adaptation of Isabel Allende’s novel The House of the Spirits was bad, wait until you see this stinker. Atrociously written and directed, this screen version of Allende’s similarily-titled novel stars a painfully miscast Jennifer Connelly as a South American journalist who investigates the sudden appearance of dead…

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