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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Wonder Wheel (2017)

WOODY ALLEN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 2017.  Amazon Studios, Gravier Productions.  Screenplay by Woody Allen.  Cinematography by Vittorio Storaro.  Produced by Erika Aronson, Letty Aronson, Edward Walson.  Production Design by Santo Loquasto.  Costume Design by Suzy Benzinger.  Film Editing by Alisa Lepselter.   It’s Coney Island in the 1950s, and while all of New York gathers in crowds on the beach underneath…

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The Judge

BB (out of 5) Robert Downey Jr. is a high-powered shark of a lawyer who interrupts his life of ruthlessly defending Wall Street crooks when he gets a call that his mother has died.  Going back to his small town means having to face off with his elderly father (Robert Duvall), a judge with whom Downey has not spoken in…

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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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The Mexican

BBB (out of 5) Odd but often entertaining comedy that features humorous performances from its stars, though they hardly share any screen time together. After a very shaky start of watching odd couple Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts fight over a trip to Las Vegas, the film gets going when Pitt is forced by a group of…

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Superbad

  BBB.5 (out of 5) The next entry in the American Pie series of kids doing whatever it takes to get drunk and laid is this hilarious, sometimes even sweet, comedy from the film factory that brought you Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin. Michael Cera and Jonah Hill are high school misfits who get the…

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Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle

BB.5 (out of 5) After a day of having his talents taken advantage of by his racist boss, investment banker Harold (John Cho) is happy to relax with his best friend and roommate Kumar (Kal Penn) and smoke a much-needed joint. While stoned, they realize they’ve got the munchies and nothing could possibly satisfy them…

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Liberty Heights

BBBB (out of 5) Another in the long line of Barry Levinson’s stories of growing up Jewish in 1950s Baltimore. Ben Foster makes an excellent debut as the main character, a teenager experiencing all the growing pains we’ve come to know and love in these types of films, and maybe a few more than you reckon…

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Addams Family Values

BBBB (out of 5) In this superior sequel to the 1991 comedy, the kooky, creepy Addams family find themselves welcoming a new addition to their family: a baby boy! Now the two older children, Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) are thrown in a jealous tizzy, while the baby’s new nanny (Joan Cusack) captures…

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Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

BBBB (out of 5) Towards the end of his life, singer Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly) is about to go on stage and perform his last big song but finds he needs to take a moment. Cox, we find out from his long time collaborator, can’t go on without thinking about his entire life first….

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10 Things I Hate About You

BBB.5 (out of 5) Spirited modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew that has Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles playing the two seemingly incompatible lovers who are obviously perfect for each other. When Bianca’s dad won’t let her go to a party with her boyfriend unless her older sister Kat comes along, Bianca and her…

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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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