Our Brand Is Crisis

BB.5 (out of 5) Sandra Bullock plays a political consultant who is hired to go to Bolivia and help presidential candidate Joaquim de Almeida get elected, learning once she arrives that her fierce nemesis (Billy Bob Thornton) has been hired by her boss’s rival. Bullock shows up in a bad mood and is immediately beset by altitude…

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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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Tomorrowland (2015)

BRAD BIRD Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.5.  USA/Spain, 2015.  Walt Disney Pictures, A113, Babieka.  Story by Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird, Jeff Jensen, Screenplay by Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird.  Cinematography by Claudio Miranda.  Produced by Brad Bird, Jeffrey Chernov, Damon Lindelof.  Music by Michael Giacchino.  Production Design by Scott Chambliss.  Costume Design by Jeffrey Kurland.  Film Editing by Walter Murch, Craig Wood.   A young boy brimming over…

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The Monuments Men

BB.5 (out of 5) Nazi Germany is destroying life in Europe and threatening to take over the world, and with America’s entry into the war, George Clooney wants to get involved.  The preservation of human life is the highest priority, but Clooney sees that without the curating of human culture, life is merely survival.  With…

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Spy Kids

BBB.5 (out of 5) Parents will undoubtedly approve of this extremely enjoyable kids’ romp that features no excessive violence, foul language or scary scenes. Newcomers Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara play two regular schoolkids who find themselves turning into international spies when their parents (Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino) mysteriously disappear without a trace. It is…

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August: Osage County

BBBB (out of 5) The hit Broadway play by Tracy Letts makes its way to the big screen with fully satisfying results.  Meryl Streep lords over the roost of an eccentric (to say the least) Oklahoma family thrown into disarray when her husband (Sam Shepard) walks out of the house and vanishes without a trace.  Almost…

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Gravity

BBBB (out of 5) George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are astronauts on a routine space-walk fixing machinery in orbit, he an old pro at the job and she in free-fall for the first time.  They try to wrap up quickly when they are informed that debris is speeding at them from a recently destroyed satellite, but are…

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Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

0.5 (out of 5) What a piece of crap. Robert Rodriguez has really let all the air out of his otherwise enjoyable franchise about the two pint-sized agents who save the world from nefarious villains everywhere. This time, Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara) is pulled back into the agency (after having left it) to save his…

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South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut

BBBB (out of 5) Cartman, Stan, Kyle and perpetual murder victim Kenny cuss up an electrical storm in this brilliantly hilarious spoof of both Hollywood movie musicals and the self-sanctifying moral indignation that frequently overpowers North Americans. When Canadian comic pranksters Terrance and Phillip release their classic film ‘Asses of Fire’ to theatres across the…

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The Descendants

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Alexander Payne made audiences wait seven years for another feature following his critically acclaimed Sideways, and it was well worth every moment of anticipation. George Clooney stars in his richest performance as a Honolulu lawyer who has two huge issues to deal with at once: the enormous, undeveloped land on Kauai that…

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The Ides Of March

BB.5 (out of 5) This tepid, underwhelming political drama stands on the shoulders of better films without adding anything new. Ryan Gosling is the idealistic assistant to a Democratic campaign manager (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who has an unwavering belief in the possibility that their candidate (George Clooney, who also wrote and directed) will be the…

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The Men Who Stare At Goats

BBB (out of 5) Grant Heslov’s humorous adaptation of Peter Straughan’s book is an unfortunate misfire, a brilliantly conceived and packaged film that never equals the sum of its parts. What’s a guy to do when his co-worker dies and his wife leaves him? Go to Iraq, of course! Michigan journalist Ewan McGregor decides to abandon…

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