An American Dream (See You In Hell, Darling)

BB (out of 5) Television host and war hero Stuart Whitman has separated from ridiculously wealthy, self-destructive wife Eleanor Parker, going to visit her in her penthouse when she lets him know that she has just returned from abroad.  After they endure a nasty fight that shows off Parker’s superb dramatic talents in one powerful sequence, she…

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The Arrangement

BB.5 (out of 5) Kirk Douglas is a successful advertising executive with a giant house and a gorgeous wife (Deborah Kerr), but it is possible he’s not satisfied with his gains considering he begins this film by driving his convertible under a truck and trying to kill himself. He escapes with few injuries and, in recovery,…

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Inside Daisy Clover

BBBB (out of 5) Natalie Wood is terrific as a teenager living on a grimy boardwalk in 1930s California with her mentally unstable, tarot-card reading mother (Ruth Gordon). When a film studio head (Christopher Plummer) gets wind of a record that shows off her enormously charming voice, Wood is whisked away to the stardom she dreams of,…

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Freaky Friday

BBBB (out of 5) Surprisingly terrific adaptation of the comedy that originally starred Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris. Jamie Lee Curtis plays an overworked therapist and mother who is about to get married to her boyfriend (Mark Harmon), despite the emotional objections of her difficult teenaged daughter (Lindsay Lohan). The two fight about various mother-daughter conflict…

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Patch Adams

BB (out of 5) This shamelessly maudlin comedy/drama that is “based on a true story”.  Robin Williams gives a performance that basically copies his own formula from such hits as Dead Poets Society and Mrs. Doubtfire as a suicidal, aimless psychiatric ward inmate who decides to get out of the hospital and study to become a…

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Stuart Little

BBBB (out of 5) What could be more adorable than a talking mouse outfitted by The Gap? Michael J. Fox winningly voices the little mouse who is adopted by a couple (Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie) looking to give their son (Jonathan Lipnicki) a sibling in this deliciously whimsical adaptation of E.B. White’s popular children’s book. Stuart…

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The Sting

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Robert Redford plays a con man who seeks revenge after his partner is killed by a crime boss. He teams up with older, wiser scam genius Paul Newman and the two of them set out to take the bad guy for all he’s worth. Despite there having been a million imitations of this…

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Brown’s Requiem

B.5 (out of 5) Awkward adaptation of James Ellroy’s first novel, about a disgruntled private investigator (Michael Rooker) who has no idea what he’s in for when he takes a job from a golf cabbie who asks him to keep an eye on his sister (Selma Blair). Rooker hasn’t the charisma to be a leading…

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Silent Movie

BBB (out of 5) This one-joke comedy has its enjoyable moments but you’re likely to get tired of it by the end. Mel Brooks pays charming tribute to the good old days of silent movies with a film that features no dialogue except one spoken word in its entire running time. In it, he plays…

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The Master of Disguise

0 (out of 5) It really doesn’t get much worse.  Dana Carvey embarrasses himself thoroughly as Pistachio Disguisey, the son of an Italian restaurant owner (James Brolin, and why is he playing an Italian?) who has no idea that his family background is populated by masters of disguise. For generations, the Disguisey family has helped…

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Brother Bear

BBBB (out of 5) Disney turns to Native folklore once again for an animated feature, this time the results being highly superior to Barbie-Pocahontas. A young Inuit boy named Kenai, ignoring his own totem of brotherly love, unfairly seeks revenge on the grizzly bear that was involved in his brother’s death, and after killing it…

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Love And Death (1975)

WOODY ALLEN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  France/USA, 1975.  Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions.  Screenplay by Woody Allen.  Cinematography by Ghislain Cloquet.  Produced by Charles H. Joffe.  Production Design by Willy Holt.  Costume Design by Gladys De Segonzac.  Film Editing by Ron Kalish, Ralph Rosenblum.   One of Woody Allen‘s funniest comedies, this joyful film is a hilarious spoof on epic Russian novels…

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