Vice (2018)

ADAM McKAY Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.  USA, 2018.  Annapurna Pictures, Gary Sanchez Productions, Plan B Entertainment.  Screenplay by Adam McKay.  Cinematography by Greig Fraser.  Produced by Megan Ellison, Will Ferrell, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adam McKay, Kevin J. Messick, Brad Pitt.  Music by Nicholas Britell.  Production Design by Patrice Vermette.  Costume Design by Susan Matheson.  Film Editing by Hank Corwin.  Golden Globe…

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Grandma

BB.5 (out of 5) Lily Tomlin brings a great deal of spirit to what is otherwise a slim experience. She plays a renowned poet whose rebound relationship with a much younger woman has just ended on the day that she is further distraught by the sudden appearance of teenage granddaughter Julia Garner, whose relationship with her own mother…

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Under The Tuscan Sun

BBBB (out of 5) After barely surviving a nasty and devastating divorce, a literary critic (Diane Lane) goes on an Italian vacation on the suggestion of her best friend (Sandra Oh) and ends up falling in love with the Tuscan countryside. Despite its being a risky idea, Lane purchases a rundown villa and decides to…

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National Treasure

BBB.5 (out of 5) As a boy, Benjamin Franklin Gates is told a bedtime story he will never forget: his grandfather tells him of a secret conspiracy involving their family, about the Founding Fathers of America and their Masonic plot to conceal an enormous treasure trove of artifacts from around the world. The only clues…

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The 6th Day

BB (out of 5) Arnold Schwarzenegger looks tired and bored in this lame retread of all the most popular science-fiction movies, mostly his own; plot elements from Total Recall, Terminator 2 and The Running Man are liberally borrowed. This film looks, talks and plays cheap, and the powerful cast (Michael Rapaport, Robert Duvall, Wendy Crewson) does…

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Auto Focus

BB.5 (out of 5) Paul Schrader has once again delved into the seedier side of life in this marginally successful biopic about Bob Crane (Greg Kinnear), most famous for his leading role on the television series Hogan’s Heroes. What most fans didn’t know about him until after his mysterious murder in the mid-seventies was that…

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Air Force One

BBBB (out of 5) Exciting, edge-of-your-seat thriller has President of the United States Harrison Ford  defending himself and his family when terrorist Gary Oldman and his scary bad guys take over the First Airplane and hold its passengers hostage. Instructed by his security officials to take the escape pod (President Clinton said at the time the…

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Lovelace

BB (out of 5) The most famous oral sex in cinema history might not seem like much to be proud of, but there is something to be said about the effect that the X-rated Deep Throat had on popular culture when it was released in 1972.  A combination of hard-core smuttiness and winsome humour, the…

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Hannibal (2001)

RIDLEY SCOTT Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  United Kingdom/USA, 2001.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Universal Pictures, Dino De Laurentiis Company, Scott Free Productions.  Screenplay by David Mamet, Steven Zaillian, based on the novel by Thomas Harris.  Cinematography by John Mathieson.  Produced by Dino De Laurentiis, Martha De Laurentiis, Ridley Scott.  Music by Hans Zimmer.  Production Design by Diego Loreggian, Norris Spencer.  Costume Design by Janty Yates.  Film…

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The Bonfire Of The Vanities

BB (out of 5) Brian DePalma makes a huge mess of Tom Wolfe’s extremely popular bestselling novel, but what probably marks this film as such a famous bomb were the circumstances surrounding it more than the actual product, particularly the fact that Wolfe got a record-breaking sum for the screen rights.   Tom Hanks plays a…

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The Shawshank Redemption

BBBB (out of 5) Powerful drama based on the short story Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King.  Tim Robbins innocently goes to prison for the murder of his wife and befriends a battle-scarred jail veteran (Morgan Freeman) who teaches him a thing or two about life on the inside. Freeman thinks that it…

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Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)

STEVEN SODERBERGH Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 2007.  Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Jerry Weintraub Productions, Section Eight.  Screenplay by Brian Koppelman, David Levien, based on characters created by George Clayton Johnson, Jack Golden Russell.  Cinematography by Steven Soderbergh.  Produced by Jerry Weintraub.  Music by David Holmes.  Production Design by Philip Messina.  Costume Design by Louise Frogley.  Film Editing by Stephen Mirrione.  Cannes Film Festival 2007.  …

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