Short Eyes (1977)

ROBERT M. YOUNG Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  USA, 1977.  Screenplay by Miguel Pinero, based on his play. Cinematography by Peter Sova. Produced by Lewis Harris, Robert M. Young. Music by Curtis Mayfield.  Production Design by Joe Babas. Costume Design by Paul Martino. Film Editing by Edward Beyer. Miguel Pineyro’s Tony-nominated play, based on his own experiences behind bars, is adapted to…

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Last Summer (1969)

FRANK PERRY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 1969.  Alsid Productions, Francis Productions.  Screenplay by Eleanor Perry, based on the novel by Evan Hunter.  Cinematography by Enrique Bravo, Gerald Hirschfeld.  Produced by Sidney Beckerman, Alfred W. Crown, Emanuel L. Wolf.  Music by John Simon.  Production Design by Peter Dohanos.  Costume Design by Theoni V. Aldredge.  Film Editing by Sidney Katz, Marion Kraft.  Academy Awards 1969.   Frank Perry…

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Words And Pictures (2013)

FRED SCHEPISI Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  United Kingdom/Canada/Australia, 2013.  Latitude Productions, Lascaux Films, American Entertainment Investors.  Screenplay by Gerald Di Pego.  Cinematography by Ian Baker.  Produced by Curtis Burch, Gerald Di Pego, Fred Schepisi.  Music by Paul Grabowsky.  Production Design by Patrizia von Brandenstein.  Costume Design by Tish Monaghan.  Film Editing by Peter Honess.  Toronto International Film Festival 2013.   Clive Owen is an English teacher…

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At First Sight

BB.5 (out of 5) Intense drama about Mira Sorvino meeting blind massage therapist Val Kilmer at a resort and falling in love with him. Finding out about a new miracle eye operation, Sorvino convinces Kilmer to try it out and sure enough his eyesight is restored, but not necessarily with lasting effects. Now the question is raised:…

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X-Men 2: X-Men United (X2)

BBBB (out of 5) That superb collective of Marvel Comics superheroes has once again returned for another exciting adventure, this time even more breathtaking and fun than the last one was. In a tense political atmosphere that smells of greater conflict between mutants and humans to come in the future, a vengeful human scientist (Brian…

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X-Men

BBB.5 (out of 5) Elegant and adventurous adaptation of the famous comic book series and television show. Presumably an opening chapter for a series of films to follow, the film isn’t very strong on its own as it does little more than establish its characters and then offer up a few obstacles towards the end…

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Six Degrees Of Separation

BBBB (out of 5) John Guare adapts his excellent play to the big screen with exceptional results. A New York society couple (Donald Sutherland, Stockard Channing) are entertaining a foreign guest (Ian McKellen) in their swanky Manhattan apartment and are hoping he will make their big money dreams for their art dealing business come true….

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Mame

0 (out of 5) Musical version of the Jerome Robbins play (and subsequent film by Morton Da Costa) is miscast and badly scored with painful songs and lackluster dance numbers. Lucille Ball gives a lifeless performance as the Manhattan matriarch who takes in her recently orphaned nephew and grows to love him as her own….

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Paulie

BB.5 (out of 5) Tired tale of a lonely, wandering budgie (voiced by Jay Mohr, who also appears in person in the film) who goes from owner to owner until he can find his rightful keeper. The bird has some hairy close calls, makes some charming friends, even gets involved in criminal activity, but neither…

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The King Is Alive

BB (out of 5) Shakespeare comes easily to the desperate when a group of American tourists and their African driver are stranded after their bus breaks down in the middle of the Sahara desert. Left alone in a ghost village with no means of sustenance or communication, the group need to fend off the elements and…

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It’s My Party

BBB.5 (out of 5) In the brief prologue of this touching drama, Eric Roberts learns that he is HIV-positive, which is followed swiftly by his longtime boyfriend (Gregory Harrison) leaving him. After getting us up to speed on his life and relationships, we learn that Roberts has just discovered that he has lesions on his brain…

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The Crucible

BBBB (out of 5) Terrific adaptation of Arthur Miller’s groundbreaking anti-Red Scare play has lost some of its momentum now that the double meaning of the story isn’t quite as potent, but still works thanks to director Nicholas Hytner’s not concentrating on the film’s more political content and just delivering good, solid drama. Daniel Day-Lewis is…

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