Victoria and Abdul (2017)

STEPHEN FREARS Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  United Kingdom/USA, 2017.   BBC Films, Cross Street Films, Perfect World Pictures, Working Title Films.   Screenplay by Lee Hall, based on the book by Shrabani Basu.  Cinematography by Danny Cohen.  Produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Beeban Kidron, Tracey Seaward.  Music by Thomas Newman.  Production Design by Alan MacDonald.  Costume Design by Consolata Boyle.  Film Editing by…

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Mystery Men

BBB (out of 5) A group of bumbling losers who want to be superheroes get their big chance when Champion City’s actual crime-fighting hero Captain Amazing (Greg Kinnear) is kidnapped by the evil Casanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush) and held hostage. Stealing production design elements from Blade Runner and camera movements from Tim Burton, director Kinka…

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My Super Ex-Girlfriend

BBBB (out of 5) While riding the subway after a day at the office, Matt (Luke Wilson) spots shy brunette beauty Jenny (Uma Thurman) and asks her out on a date that turns into a possible relationship. At first ignoring her occasionally quirky restaurant habits of disappearing to the “bathroom” during impending global disasters, Matt…

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The Aristocrats

BB.5 (out of 5) Paul Provenza interviews dozens of comedians about a famous joke, loved among comedians, that provides a sort of jazzy opportunity for performers to really shine. Each interview subject gives their own take on the anecdote, allowing for much variation in its interpretation before the purposely anticlimactic punch line. What’s most shocking,…

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Shadow Of The Vampire

BBB.5 (out of 5) Gorgeous film by E. Elias Merhige that fictionalizes the accounts surrounding the filming of F.W. Murnau’s German Expressionist classic Nosferatu. The real production of Nosferatu is still so fraught with myth and mystery that it lends itself perfectly to a film of this sort, and the director has all kinds of…

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Igor

BB.5 (out of 5) You know all about mad scientists and their assistants who are usually named Igor, but did you know that there is a land that they all come from? The land of Malaria was once a happy kingdom but has darkened in the years since its economic decline, covered perpetually by clouds…

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Across The Universe

B (out of 5) Julie Taymor follows her brilliant biography of Frida Kahlo with this completely soulless exercise in style, an exploration of the birth of 1960s counter-culture using songs by the Beatles as its main score. A Liverpudlian boy named Jude (get it?) jumps ship and ends up in New York City, falls in…

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Velvet Goldmine (1998)

TODD HAYNES Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  United Kingdom/USA, 1998.  Channel Four Films, Goldwyn Films, Killer Films, Miramax, Newmarket Capital Group, Single Cell Pictures, Zenith Entertainment.  Story by James Lyons, Todd Haynes, Screenplay by Todd Haynes.  Cinematography by Maryse Alberti.  Produced by Christine Vachon.  Music by Carter Burwell, Craig Wedren.  Production Design by Christopher Hobbs.  Costume Design by Sandy Powell.  Film Editing by James…

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The Avengers (1998)

B (out of 5) Laughably lame action film based on the swinging sixties show has Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman, resting comfortably at the top of their sex appeal, as two supersleuths whose job it is to stop an evil villain (Sean Connery) bent on controlling the world’s weather. It’s about as lame as 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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Ocean’s Twelve (2004)

STEVEN SODERBERGH Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 2004.  Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Jerry Weintraub Productions, Section Eight, WV Films III.  Screenplay by George Nolfi, 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 Milena Canonero.  Film Editing by Stephen Mirrione.   After…

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The Cat’s Meow

BBB.5 (out of 5) It’s 1924, and publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst (Edward Herrmann) has invited a group of guests (celebrities and mortals alike), onto his giant yacht for an off-coast California weekend (in reality the exteriors were shot in Greece and the interiors in Berlin). His own personal jealousy of his mistress Marion Davies…

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