Police Academy

BB.5 (out of 5) The milestone series in cinematic idiocy got its start with this inane but admittedly humorous comedy. After the mayor of the city announces that such important factors as gender, weight and intelligence are no longer criteria for admission into the police force, a whole gaggle of idiots and goodhearted fools find…

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Hairspray (2007)

BBBB (out of 5) A teenager in the 1960s decides to fight racial segregation and is met with serious threats to her future; sounds like an update of Mississippi Burning until you add big hair, rocking tunes and John Travolta in a dress. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky plays the youngster in question, Tracy, in this wonderful…

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Land Of The Dead

BB.5 (out of 5) George Romero’s later zombie film is not that much more interesting than the uninspired remake of Dawn Of The Dead that was produced a year earlier, but it is nice to still have the original master telling his stories and not an imitator. Trouble is, the plot is hardly any different…

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Talk To Me

BBBB (out of 5) Petey Green (Don Cheadle) gets out of the clink where he has been entertaining fellow inmates on the prison’s radio system for years with his deep thoughts and smooth words. As soon as he is out, he and his wild-mouthed girlfriend (Taraji P. Henson) head over to the offices of a…

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Death To Smoochy

B (out of 5) It’s hard to imagine movies sinking lower in quality than this listless comedy directed by Danny DeVito. Robin Williams plays a children’s show host whose career is destroyed when his illegal financial practices are revealed by the FBI. He is replaced by a total hack, a purple rhinoceros named Smoochy (Edward Norton)…

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The Hurricane (1999)

NORMAN JEWISON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 1999.  Azoff Entertainment, Beacon Communications, Beacon Pictures, Universal Pictures.  Screenplay by Armyan Bernstein, Dan Gordon, based on the books The 16th Round by Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, and Lazarus and the Hurricane by Sam Chaiton, Terry Swinton.  Cinematography by Roger Deakins.  Produced by Armyan Bernstein, Norman Jewison, John Ketcham.  Music by Jeremy Sweet, Christopher Young.  Production…

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Death Race

B.5 (out of 5) After the U.S. succumbs to a devastating economic collapse in 2012, federal penitentiaries are privatized and run by greedy corporations. The bosses now make money off their prisoners by having them participate in highly dangerous car races that fight to the death, a modern gladiatorial spectator sport that proves to be…

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