Tag Archive: Howard Shore

Esther Kahn

BB.5 (out of 5) The title character is one of five children of a poor Jewish family in London, an absent-minded girl who is transfixed by what she sees on the stage when she… Continue reading

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Spotlight

BBB.5 (out of 5) A new editor takes over the Boston Globe and tells members of “Spotlight”, a team of journalists who do deep work on long research projects, that a story has… Continue reading

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The Hobbit: The Battle Of the Five Armies

BB.5 (out of 5) More bloated mayhem from the imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien as yet another trilogy comes to a close. The film opens with the messiness of Smaug setting Laketown on fire,… Continue reading

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Maps To The Stars

BB.5 (out of 5) In David Cronenberg’s Hollywood, incest is not just a way of doing business but a reality at home as well.  A child star (Evan Bird) with a drug problem,… Continue reading

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Rosewater

BB (out of 5) Iranian-born journalist Maziar Bahari (Gael Garcia Bernal) leaves his pregnant wife in London to visit his home country and cover the controversial 2009 democratic elections that saw incumbent Ahmadinejad’s… Continue reading

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Dogma

BB.5 (out of 5) Kevin Smith stepped into unnecessary controversy when he released this spoof on Catholicism, one which isn’t in any way offensive to anybody smart enough to view it with an… Continue reading

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The Cell

B (out of 5) What promised to be a fiercely imaginative thriller is a tepid serial killer yarn that badly imitates the mechanics of every other film of its kind, then spices it… Continue reading

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The Last Mimzy

BB.5 (out of 5) Two little children playing on the beach near their family’s vacation home are delighted when a mysterious box appears in the sand and turns out to be full of… Continue reading

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Doubt

BBBB (out of 5) Tradition clashes with modern thinking at a Catholic school run by nuns in 1960s New York City. Priest Philip Seymour Hoffman gives sermons that capture and stir the emotions… Continue reading

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She-Devil

BB.5 (out of 5) This silly comedy is adapted from the novel by Fay Weldon and remade from the 1986 British miniseries. Roseanne Barr is terrific as a mistreated housewife whose social climbing husband… Continue reading

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The Client

BBBB (out of 5) The best John Grisham novel adaptation made so far (and most likely ever) is this excellent thriller starring newcomer Brad Renfro as a young Louisiana pre-teen who witnesses a suicide… Continue reading

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Analyze This

BBB.5 (out of 5) Strong comedy directed by Harold Ramis about a mobster (Robert De Niro) who decides that the best way to overcome his overwhelming feelings of anxiety when performing gangland hits… Continue reading

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The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

BB.5 (out of 5) Continuing the bombastic, pompous affair he began the previous year with the first chapter An Unexpected Journey, Peter Jackson again tries to reclaim the joys of the Lord Of… Continue reading

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Sliver

B (out of 5) Laughable adaptation of Ira Levin’s novel retains the title and a slight notion of the original plot, making the rest up as it goes along. Joe Ezterhas’s ridiculous script… Continue reading

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The Score

BBBB (out of 5) Excellent heist film that opens with a deliciously cool mellow pace and effectively tightens the screws for maximum tension in the last third.  Robert De Niro is terrific as a… Continue reading

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Big

BBB.5 (out of 5) A thirteen year-old kid is tired of being bossed around by his parents, told he’s too short to go on rides and constantly given chores to do, so like… Continue reading

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The Truth About Cats And Dogs

BBBB (out of 5) Delightful romantic comedy takes the premise of Cyrano De Bergerac and updates it to involve two women (Janeane Garofalo and Uma Thurman) trying to romance a handsome stranger (Ben Chaplin).… Continue reading

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The Betrayal–Nerakhoon

BBBB (out of 5) Cinematographer Ellen Kuras makes her directorial debut with this affecting documentary. She assembles decades of footage that centre on the life of her co-director Thavisouk Phrasavath, whose father was… Continue reading

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That Thing You Do!

BBBB (out of 5) Tom Hanks makes a notable directorial debut with this brilliantly edited, perfectly cast musical comedy. The story centres around a group of four friends in the sixties who form… Continue reading

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Gloria (1999)

BBB (out of 5) Sharon Stone‘s gutsy performance is the best reason to watch this adequately done but premature remake of John Cassavetes’ 1980 gangster film (that starred his wife Gena Rowlands, who… Continue reading

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A Kiss Before Dying

BBB (out of 5) Sometimes Ira Levin novels make terrific films (Rosemary’s Baby), and sometimes they really, really don’t (Sliver, though Levin can’t be faulted for Joe Eszterhas’ removing his entire original plotline… Continue reading

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Before And After

BB (out of 5) Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson small-town parents who threaten to tear apart when their delinquent son (Edward Furlong) is a suspect in the murder of his trashy girlfriend (Alison Folland).… Continue reading

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Single White Female

BB (out of 5) Deliver us from evil roommates–and this movie, while you’re at it. Bridget Fonda decides to take in a roommate to help ease the rent after she shucks her unfaithful… Continue reading

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High Fidelity

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Excellent relationship comedy that uses the best of the music from the eighties as backdrop to John Cusack narrating his worst breakups. Cusack, who also co-wrote the script based on… Continue reading

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Spider

BB.5 (out of 5) After years spent in a mental institution, Spider (Ralph Fiennes) is released and sent to live in a halfway house in London. While there he revisits his memories of… Continue reading

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Crash (1996)

BBBB (out of 5) J.G. Ballard’s original novel, set in the London of the seventies, has been moved to modern day Toronto with James Spader giving a deliciously subtle performance as Ballard’s alter-ego… Continue reading

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M. Butterfly

BB (out of 5) Reunite brilliant auteur David Cronenberg with his Dead Ringers star Jeremy Irons and you should have another classic, but this time the story just doesn’t play out all that well.… Continue reading

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Naked Lunch

BBBB (out of 5) David Cronenberg freely adapts the novel by William S. Burroughs, taking his prose and incorporating aspects of Burroughs’ own biography as the guide for its interpretation.  Peter Weller plays a… Continue reading

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Dead Ringers

BBBB (out of 5) The best example of David Cronenberg’s combination of kinky visual style and psychological exploration is this fascinating drama based on Bari Wood’s fact-based novel Twins (which was the film’s… Continue reading

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Cosmopolis

BB (out of 5) David Cronenberg adapts Don DiLillo’s novel a little too faithfully in this listless drama about a corporate wunderkind (Robert Pattinson) who runs his entire life from the back of… Continue reading

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The Fly

BBBB (out of 5) An obsessed scientist (Jeff Goldblum) pores over his research in matter transportation, the kind of technology that could lead to people being beamed up onto the Starship Enterprise.  After… Continue reading

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A Dangerous Method

BB.5 (out of 5) The relationship between Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Jung (Michael Fassbender) in pre-World War I Europe hinges around the case of a hysterical female patient (Keira Knightley) in this emotionally… Continue reading

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Eastern Promises

BB (out of 5) An intriguing title and the reunion of the key figures of A History Of Violence bode well for this thriller-drama that eventually fails on promises in any direction, despite… Continue reading

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Videodrome

BBB (out of 5) Early David Cronenberg feature that has been credited with predicting the rise of the internet and reality TV. James Woods plays a programmer for an obscure cable channel that specializes in… Continue reading

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A History Of Violence

BBBB.5 (out of 5) In a small American town, a cafe owner (Viggo Mortensen) goes about his business in relative peace and quiet until two dangerous criminals try to rob his store and… Continue reading

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The Silence of the Lambs

BBBBB (out of 5) Thomas Harris’s second novel involving the terrifying Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter becomes one of the greatest thriller-horror films of all time. Jodie Foster is riveting as Clarice Sterling, an FBI… Continue reading

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Mrs. Doubtfire

BBB.5 (out of 5) After a bitter custody battle with ex-wife Sally Field, Robin Williams is so scared of losing time with his three children that he decides to thwart her plan to hire a… Continue reading

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Philadelphia

BBB.5 (out of 5) A big-budget Hollywood film finally tackles the issue of AIDS for the first time; brave, yes, but it’s still just another Hollywood movie where gay men only hug so… Continue reading

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After Hours

BBBB (out of 5) Alice In Wonderland gets quite a curious interpretation in this wonderful comedy by Martin Scorsese. Griffin Dunne plays a straight-laced New York yuppie who ventures to SoHo late one night… Continue reading

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Hugo

BBB.5 (out of 5) Tribute is paid to the early days of cinema in this enjoyable charmer by Martin Scorsese.  Asa Butterfield is wonderful as an orphan boy who lives in a Parisian train… Continue reading

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The Departed

BBBB (out of 5) Martin Scorsese returns to the mean streets of Gangland (this time in Boston) for a riveting action drama that is as rich in character as it is in torrid… Continue reading

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Gangs Of New York

BBBB (out of 5) Martin Scorsese’s dream project of the last thirty years has finally made it to the big screen with mostly successful results. The story is GoodFellas but set a hundred… Continue reading

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Seven

BB.5 (out of 5) Skillful editing and a decidedly menacing tone are to be commended in this serial-killer thriller, but the film also has the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman… Continue reading

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The Game

BBBBB (out of 5) David Fincher’s exquisite mindgame is a fascinating film with no end of surprises. Michael Douglas plays a wealthy man for whom nothing new can be bought, until his errant little… Continue reading

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Panic Room

BBBB (out of 5) Fans who were disappointed by the filmed adaptation of the novel Sliver will find much recompense in this taut Ira Levinesque thriller. Jodie Foster (at her most assured and… Continue reading

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

BB (out of 5) It’s always a shock when a hack job rip-off of a great movie is perpetuated by the same filmmaker who made the brilliant original, but that is the case… Continue reading

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The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

BBBBB (out of 5) The exciting, brilliant trilogy finally reaches its breathtaking conclusion of Frodo’s quest to save Middle Earth . While Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) continue to lead the… Continue reading

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The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

BBBBB (out of 5) Sprawling adaptation of the first of J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy of fantasy novels (and the first of a trilogy of films) that centre around the adventures of pure-hearted hobbit Frodo… Continue reading

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The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

BBBBB (out of 5) Peter Jackson’s breathtaking adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s popular fantasy novels continues in this second film chapter. Young hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood) is growing weary in his journey towards Mordor… Continue reading

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