Irreconcilable Differences

BB.5 (out of 5) Divorce between a couple is one thing, but what do you do when a little girl tells you she wants to divorce her parents? That’s the conundrum a judge faces at the beginning of this mostly entertaining but eventually sloppy comedy, with Drew Barrymore announcing she would like the legal custody her…

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The River (1984)

BBBB (out of 5) The life of a rural family and their trials and tribulations are captured in this wonderful film that rises above soap opera trappings through steady performances and great direction. Sissy Spacek and Mel Gibson are trying to raise their family on their farm, but natural disasters and unpredictable circumstances cause them hardships and…

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Ghostbusters (Ghost Busters)

BBBB (out of 5) After three scientists (Bill Murray, who is terrific, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis) investigating supernatural phenomena are fired from their university and have their grants taken away, they set up shop in an old fire hall and sell themselves as ‘ghost busters’. New York City, as it turns out, is a giant…

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All Of Me

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Among the very best performances Steve Martin has ever given. During a ritualistic ceremony in which an Indian guru (the painfully unfunny racial stereotype being the film’s only flaw) tries to take the soul of a dying rich heiress (Lily Tomlin) and place it into a young, healthy woman (Victoria Tennant, Martin’s real-life…

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Purple Rain

BB.5 (out of 5) Prince makes his big screen debut in this poorly scripted fable about a rock musician who longs to become famous. Working at a popular nightclub, The Kid (Prince) plays his kickass tunes to thunderous applause but can’t manage to win the same respect in his personal life. His new girlfriend (Apollonia…

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A Passage To India

BBBB.5 (out of 5) The failure of Ryan’s Daughter in 1970 was so hard on director David Lean that it took fourteen years for him to produce another film. The result was this sturdy, admirable adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel about the evils of colonialism in British-ruled India. Judy Davis is excellent as a young British…

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Splash

BBBB.5 (out of 5) One of Ron Howard’s best movies and a wonderful opportunity to see Daryl Hannah at her most charming. She plays a mermaid who wanders out of the sea and straight into the life of New York City businessman Tom Hanks.  At first not knowing the language, she learns English from television and…

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Footloose

BBBB (out of 5) Kevin Bacon leaves the big city of Chicago and comes to live in a small town with his family. He’s shocked by the change of culture, but is truly appalled when he learns that the town forbids music and dancing under the stricture of the local conservative minister (John Lithgow). Youthful…

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A Sunday In The Country (Un Dimanche A La Campagne)

BBBB (out of 5) An aging painter lives in the countryside of France and is visited every Sunday by his hard-working son, his daughter-in-law and their children. This particular Sunday there is also a visit from the painter’s free-spirited daughter (Sabine Azéma), who has come to once again shake up the relationships between members of…

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The Natural

BBBB.5 (out of 5) This wonderful film by Barry Levinson is a riveting combination of drama and folkloric fantasy. A baseball player (Robert Redford) who has dreamed of glory on the diamond since childhood is cut down in his prime when a mysterious woman shoots him. Years later, he emerges from nowhere to re-enter the…

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Romancing The Stone

BBBBB (out of 5) Delightful entertainment combines exotic adventure, action, comedy and romance in one terrific package, expertly written by Leslie Dixon and enthusiastically directed by Robert Zemeckis. Kathleen Turner is marvelous as a bookish, lonely romance novelist who gets a call from her sister (Zemeckis’s then-wife Mary Ellen Trainor) that she is in trouble with…

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The Killing Fields

BBBBB (out of 5) Right up there with Missing among the handful of brilliant political thrillers made in the early 80s, starring Sam Waterston as Sydney Schanberg, whose writings for the New York Times inspired the film. Schanberg was trapped in Cambodia during Pol Pot’s “Year Zero” genocide, teaming up with Cambodian contact Dith Pran (Haing S….

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