Serenity (2019)

STEVEN KNIGHT Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.  USA, 2019.  Global Road Entertainment, IM Global, Shoebox Films, Starlings Entertainment.  Screenplay by Steven Knight.  Cinematography by Jess Hall.  Produced by Guy Heeley, Steven Knight, Greg Shapiro.  Music by Benjamin Wallfisch.  Production Design by Andrew McAlpine.  Costume Design by Danny Glicker.  Film Editing by Laura Jennings. Matthew McConaughey has an Ahab-level obsession with catching a giant tuna…

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Mother! (2017)

DARREN ARONOFSKY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 2017.  Protozoa Pictures.  Screenplay by Darren Aronofsky.  Cinematography by Matthew Libatique.  Produced by Scott Franklin, Ari Handel.  Music by Tony Finno.  Production Design by Philip Messina.  Costume Design by Danny Glicker.  Film Editing by Andrew Weisblum.  Toronto International Film Festival 2017.   A happily married couple live in a remote country home, the husband (Javier Bardem) a poet…

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Gold

BB.5 (out of 5) With the recession of the early eighties driving his commodities business into the ground, Matthew McConaughey is looking for the redemption that will get him out of making calls from the bar where his girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard) slings drinks and back to the glory of the days when his father (Craig…

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Transamerica

BBBB (out of 5) Felicity Huffman plays a pre-operative transsexual who learns a week before her operation that she has a teenaged son (Kevin Zegers). She tries to avoid meeting him, but her psychiatrist (a lovely Elizabeth Pena) insists that Huffman cannot be complete physically if she leaves her emotional life hanging in the balance. Huffman…

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Thank You For Smoking

BB (out of 5) Aaron Eckhart plays a lobbyist for Big Tobacco whose savvy ability to argue cigarettes to safe passage in a health-conscious America make him a national villain. He courts an ambitious reporter (Katie Holmes) whose idea of ‘off the record’ is skewed to say the least, wins over a cancer patient on the…

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Northfork

BB.5 (out of 5) Style overcomes substance in this passable drama by the Polish brothers in which Northfork, Montana is being evacuated after the government decides to flood the valley that the town is situated in. A group of suits have been sent in to help the residents evacuate, though depending on the case the task…

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On The Road

BBB (out of 5) At long last, after decades of false starts and development hell, Francis Ford Coppola’s dream of bringing Jack Kerouac’s milestone novel to the big screen has come true, with Coppola relegating the director seat to Walter Salles and keeping himself on as producer.  The narrative follows the fictionalized members of Kerouac’s…

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This Is The End

BB.5 (out of 5) One joke is spread quite thin over two hours as a group of popular comedic actors play fictionalized versions of themselves in an apocalyptic farce. Seth Rogen picks up surly Jay Baruchel from the airport and plans a big weekend for them, Rogen particularly sensitive to the fact that Baruchel hates spending…

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The Guilt Trip

BBB.5 (out of 5) It’s difficult enough to get your entrepreneurial business of the ground without having to also accommodate your loud and overbearing mother, but that is where we find Seth Rogen at the beginning of this pleasant comedy. Rogen has invented a bio-friendly cleaning product so safe you can drink it, and is having…

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L.I.E.

BBBB (out of 5) Disturbing, dramatically intense film about a fifteen year-old boy whose entire world leaves him prey to destruction in a very short period of time. After an accident on the Long Island Expressway takes his mother, young Howie Blitzer (Paul Dano) is further upset by his father taking up a sexual affair…

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Milk

BBBB.5 (out of 5) New York businessman Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) finds love with James Franco and decides he can live the closeted life no longer. The two of them pack up their car in the mid-70s and head for San Francisco, where Milk sets up a camera shop on Castro Street. His immense popularity with…

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Up In The Air

BBB (out of 5) George Clooney spends most of his time in the air, flying from city to city in the United States and firing people whose companies’ bigwigs do not want to do it themselves. He enjoys his solitary existence, always on the move and free to make connections wherever he chooses, so he’s naturally…

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