Wonderwall

BB (out of 5) A genuine curiosity from the swinging sixties, made with very little comprehensive plotting to speak of, but plenty of the kind of visual panache that would have been a treat for the LSD generation.  Nerdy scientist Jack MacGowran spends all day in a lab and all night reading until noises on the…

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For The Boys

BBB.5 (out of 5) An unstoppable Bette Midler is the main reason to watch this above-average soap opera about a singing team who tour three American wars entertaining soldiers everywhere. As the years progress and the wars get dirtier, Dixie Leonard (Midler) finds herself losing faith in what it’s all about, especially when it is compounded…

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The French Lieutenant’s Woman

BBBB (out of 5) Two stories are woven into one in this intelligent adaptation of John Fowles’s novel, one about contemporary actors and the other the film that they are making. In the film-within-the-film, Jeremy Irons plays a well-to-do gentleman who becomes obsessed with a strange woman (Meryl Streep at her most ghostly) whom he…

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Shadow Of The Vampire

BBB.5 (out of 5) Gorgeous film by E. Elias Merhige that fictionalizes the accounts surrounding the filming of F.W. Murnau’s German Expressionist classic Nosferatu. The real production of Nosferatu is still so fraught with myth and mystery that it lends itself perfectly to a film of this sort, and the director has all kinds of…

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102 Dalmatians

BBBB (out of 5) The smarmy, overlong and annoying 101 Dalmatians directed by Stephen Herek gets a huge lift from a highly superior sequel, this time directed by Tarzan‘s Kevin Lima. More faithful to the original animated version of the 60s than its predecessor, Lima keeps the pace going and keeps the action lively. This…

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101 Dalmatians (1996)

BB (out of 5) Boring, unnecessarily heavy adaptation of the 1961 Disney classic animated film (which in turn was adapted from the novel by Dodie Smith) now has carefree dalmatian owner Jeff Daniels as a video game designer instead of a songwriter, and wife Joely Richardson as an employee in the fashion house of Cruella De…

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Legend (1985)

RIDLEY SCOTT Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.  United Kingdom/USA, 1985.  Legend Production Company, Embassy International Pictures.  Screenplay by William Hjortsberg.  Cinematography by Alex Thomson.  Produced by Arnon Milchan.  Music by Jerry Goldsmith, Tangerine Dream.  Production Design by Assheton Gorton.  Costume Design by Charles Knode.  Film Editing by Terry Rawlings.  Academy Awards 1986. Tom Cruise looks perpetually embarrassed to be appearing in this terrible fantasy, the last…

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Rob Roy

BBB.5 (out of 5) 1995 was the year of the kilt epic, what with Mel Gibson’s excellent Braveheart and then this fun biopic of the Scottish hero (played by Irish movie star Liam Neeson) who fought the British for his country (trivial note: Brian Cox appeared in both these films). Neeson is excellent in the lead,…

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Blow-Up

BBBBB (out of 5) Michelangelo Antonioni’s first film in the English language, starring David Hemmings as a fashion photographer who examines random photographs he has taken while walking through the park and discovers clues that point to murder. Is what he sees evidence that someone was out to kill, or are things not what they seem?…

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