The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

ETHAN COEN, JOEL COEN Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.  USA, 2018.  Annapurna Pictures, Annapurna Television, Mike Zoss Productions.  Screenplay by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, segment All Gold Canyon based on a story by Jack London, segment The Gal Who Got Rattled inspired by a story by Stewart Edward White.  Cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel.  Produced by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen,…

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Hail, Caesar!

B.5 (out of 5) It’s 1951 and the post-war boom that has made America the leading industrial country in the world is reflected in the glorious movies being made in Hollywood. Josh Brolin plays the problem solver for a fictional movie studio whose job is to keep stars in line and their projects on track,…

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99 Homes

BBBBB (out of 5) Andrew Garfield is superb as a Florida construction worker who has done his best to keep his family afloat but is in a losing game; legal measures to avoid losing his house have resulted in the bank foreclosing and a real estate agent (Michael Shannon) showing up to take over the…

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Green Lantern

BB.5 (out of 5) Ambitious, beautifully shot but ultimately flat entry in the superhero genre, with the always amiable Ryan Reynolds trying but failing to make much of an impression.  He plays a hotshot jet pilot whose unruly ways are hemmed in good when an alien crash lands on earth’s shores and its powerful ring becomes…

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Female Perversions

BBB (out of 5) Interesting examination of the many images and roles women in modern-day society take upon and/or create for themselves; Susan Streitfeld’s plotline doesn’t measure up to the message, but it does have its moments. Tilda Swinton plays an ambitious judge-to-be who has to battle with pre-conceived notions that people have of women in powerful…

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Bad Boys (1983)

RICK ROSENTHAL Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  USA, 1983.  EMI Films, Solofilm.  Screenplay by Richard Di Lello.  Cinematography by Bruce Surtees, Donald E. Thorin.  Produced by Robert H. Solo.  Music by Bill Conti.  Production Design by J. Michael Riva.  Costume Design by Mickey Antonetti, Jay Hurley.  Film Editing by Antony Gibbs.   What at first seems like just another early eighties excuse for hyperglamourized juvenile delinquency…

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Highlander

BB (out of 5) Here’s a story idea that will rivet every ten year-old boy in the audience to their very seats: a select group of tall, brooding men have been chosen without rhyme or reason to be immortal, and for an even more obscure reason will be whittled down to just one at an…

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The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

BBBB (out of 5) Come on, who doesn’t love a fry cook who lives at the bottom of the ocean, wears a funky pair of cardboard pants and gets hammered on ice cream sundaes? It’s the kind of cinematic hero I’ve dreamt of for years! SpongeBob, that delightful cartoon character who has been charming children…

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Starship Troopers

BB (out of 5) In a future century dominated by military culture, where no one on Earth can be a voter without serving army time, four Buenos Aires high school graduates decide to join up to fight the evil alien arachnids that are attacking Earth. Neil Patrick Harris joins the scientific research division, Denise Richards and her…

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Cowboys & Aliens

B.5 (out of 5) Daniel Craig wakes up free of memory in the middle of a dusty western vista, finds his way to the nearest town and is immediately arrested for angering the local fat cat (Harrison Ford) and his wayward son (Paul Dano). This looks like the makings of your typical western revenge story except…

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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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The Informant! (2009)

STEVEN SODERBERGH Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 2009.  Warner Bros., Participant Media, Groundswell Productions, Section Eight, Jaffe / Braunstein Enterprise.  Screenplay by Scott Z. Burns, based on the book by Kurt Eichenwald.  Cinematography by Steven Soderbergh.  Produced by Howard Braunstein, Kurt Eichenwald, Jennifer Fox, Gregory Jacobs, Michael Jaffe.  Music by Marvin Hamlisch.  Production Design by Doug J. Meerdink.  Costume Design by Shoshana Rubin.  Film Editing…

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