The Comedian

BB (out of 5) A once-famous comic (Robert De Niro) has to settle for the crummy gigs his devoted agent (Edie Falco) gets for him, divey bars outside the city where crowds mostly ignore his jokes and expect him to do famous catchphrases from the sitcom that made him a household name decades earlier.  Things hit a…

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Wiener-Dog

BB.5 (out of 5) Todd Solondz once again takes a central character on a stroll through a set of discrete narratives, but this time instead of the young woman of constantly shifting identity (Palindromes), the narrative through-line is the titular canine.  This sweet-faced, companionable pup finds his way into the lives of a number of troubled and conflicted…

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A Walk Among The Tombstones

BBB.5 (out of 5) Years after a bad experience made him turn his back on the police force, Liam Neeson has become an unlicensed private detective (which means he only does the odd favour for a friend but can forever afford New York rent).  Now in recovery from alcoholism (and, most of the time, sunlight), he…

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What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

B (out of 5) A Donald E. Westlake novel has once again proven to make for an awkward and unhip comedy on screen.  Fernando Trueba’s half-baked Two Much is followed by this comedy about a high-end thief (Martin Lawrence) who gets embroiled in a battle of wills when he is apprehended during a heist and ends up…

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The Jewel Of The Nile

BB (out of 5) One of the worst sequels ever made to an excellent film, this messy adventure’s shaggy plot defies all description. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner reunite as the adventurous couple who travel to the Middle East and get involved in the pursuit of a precious artifact known only as “the jewel of the Nile”….

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Reality Bites

BBB (out of 5) Gen X-ers graduate from college and are unable to find themselves a place in the new ‘real’ world that daunts them.  Winona Ryder displays a dollop of star quality as the valedictorian of her class who even tries working a burger joint after getting her college degree. Her real dream is…

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Get Shorty

BBBBB (out of 5) Flawless adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel about a shylock gangster (John Travolta at his coolest) who travels to Los Angeles to collect on an overdue payment and ends up getting interested in the movie business. No shock there, of course, since as it turns out there’s not that much difference between…

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Car Wash

BBB.5 (out of 5) Thoroughly enjoyable ensemble comedy that covers a day at work with the employees of an L.A. car wash in a loosely plotted, Altmanesque fashion. Celebrity cameos, including Richard Pryor, The Pointer Sisters, and George Carlin, are pluses, but what really draws you in is the catchy soundtrack (especially the memorable title…

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Austin Powers In Goldmember

BB (out of 5) In the first installment of this comedy series, Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery, writer/star Mike Myers surrounded a bunch of hysterical sight gags with a witty premise that aptly spoofed the many spy thrillers that have permeated pop culture for the last half-century. Two sequels removed, the gross-out humour and…

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Junior

BBB.5 (out of 5) When genetic scientists Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito can’t get their anti-miscarriage drug approved by the national drug board, they decide to try it out on a test subject in order to have proof that it works. They know they could never find a woman who would agree to endangering her pregnancy with…

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Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

BBB.5 (out of 5) Gorgeously animated comedy from the Dr. Seuss book, beginning in a town made entirely out of plastic where no nature exists and the most powerful citizen is a zillionaire who has learned to sell people the very air they breathe. One little boy (voiced by Zac Efron) finds out about trees…

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The Good Night

B (out of 5) Abysmal attempt at ensemble drama, starring Martin Freeman as a former pop star now writing jingles who is caught between two women: his devotion to his bitter and unlikable girlfriend (Gwyneth Paltrow, director Jake Paltrow’s sister), and the gorgeous model whom he has just met (Penelope Cruz) and can’t stop dreaming about….

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