Southland Tales

BB (out of 5) Following a nuclear attack on Texas in the mid-2000s, America has become a completely militarized war state, run by super-paranoid corporations and ultra-conservative politicians. At the centre of this multi-character story are a movie star with amnesia (Dwayne Johnson) whose latest script is eerily reminiscent of current events, a porn star…

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Revenge Of The Nerds

BBB (out of 5) The surprise hit of the 1980s with a secretly subversive agenda; anyone who saw Hope Davis’s deconstruction of the film in American Splendor will have to admit that this is as much an attack on the values of eighties teen movies as it is an indulgence in them. A couple of…

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Ray

BBBB (out of 5) On the cusp of a terrific career in music, pianist Ray Charles Robinson, later to be known only by his first and middle name, defines a style of performance that incorporates jazz, swing and gospel to an effect that some call sacrilegious but everyone else finds irresistible. He also discovers a…

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Clan Of The Cave Bear

BB (out of 5) Following the masterpiece of Quest For Fire, a film adaptation of Jean Auel’s famous novel series seemed a perfect idea; sadly, the end result is a lot closer to Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C. than the Jean-Jacques Annaud classic. Daryl Hannah plays a human girl who is separated from…

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Risky Business

BBBB (out of 5) Enter Star: you couldn’t hear enough about Tom Cruise after the success of this comedy made him the symbol of youthful rebellion for generations to come. The image of him dancing in underwear and sunglasses is still one of the most strongly recognized in Hollywood history. He plays a precocious teenager who…

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National Lampoon’s Van Wilder

B.5 (out of 5) Yes, it’s been a tough life living without the campus comedy genre for so long since the good old days of Animal House.  Van Wilder has its funny moments, but I hardly imagine that it will achieve the status of John Landis’s comedy favourite. Ryan Reynolds gives an excellent performance in the…

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Akeelah And The Bee

DOUG ATCHISON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.   Young Akeelah is growing up in a poor suburb of Los Angeles and having a hard time fitting in. Her older sister is a teenage mother, her older brother is in the air force and her younger brother is constantly in trouble with the law, giving her overworked…

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Sparkle (2012)

BBB (out of 5) Unmemorable remake of the 1976 Irene Cara vehicle whose ambition to be the next Dreamgirls is obvious, and only makes it that much more forgettable. Making her feature film debut, American Idol songstress Jordin Sparks does a more than decent job in the title role of a girl whose desire to write…

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