Cry Freedom

BBB (out of 5) Newspaper editor Donald Woods (Kevin Kline) considers himself a liberal with a fair and unbiased opinion about racial inequality in his native South Africa, viewing a freedom fighter like Steve Biko (Denzel Washington) as a reckless activist for an otherwise worthy cause. An article about Biko in Woods’ newspaper is seen as incendiary…

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Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

BB (out of 5) Tom Stoppard’s delightful play has lost much of its wit and energy in its transformation to the big screen. It centers around Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet whose fate is quickly done away with by the Prince of Denmark’s swift skills of survival. In this story, however, Hamlet…

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102 Dalmatians

BBBB (out of 5) The smarmy, overlong and annoying 101 Dalmatians directed by Stephen Herek gets a huge lift from a highly superior sequel, this time directed by Tarzan‘s Kevin Lima. More faithful to the original animated version of the 60s than its predecessor, Lima keeps the pace going and keeps the action lively. This…

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Becoming Jane

BB (out of 5) Passable if unnecessary examination of the events that led to Jane Austen’s abandoning any hopes of marriage and living by her writing. Anne Hathaway plays the young authoress, daughter of a clergyman (James Cromwell) whose impoverished situation would be helped quite a bit by her marrying well. She is proposed to by…

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From Hell

BB.5 (out of 5) Annoyingly boring movie about Jack The Ripper that was intended by directors Allen and Albert Hughes to be the definitive movie on the world’s premier and most mysterious serial killer, but is really just another lame gorefest. By trying to incorporate all aspects of Victorian England (the Queen and her iron…

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Brazil

BBBB (out of 5) Terry Gilliam’s impressive vision of a ‘retro-future’ has lost a little of its original bloom but is still a very impressive work of art. Jonathan Pryce plays a bureaucrat in an Orwellian society who one day notices an error in paperwork that leads to the arrest of an innocent man.  Pryce attempts…

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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. Based on factual events, it stars Irons as a British diplomat in China during the eighties who strikes up an affair with…

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Joyeux Noel

BBB (out of 5) Scottish, French and German soldiers on the front lines of World War I put aside their differences on Christmas Eve and enjoy a day of ceasefire, fraternizing after following the inspiration of an operatic aria sung by the beautiful Diane Kruger, who was visiting her lover that night. The higher-ups, eager to…

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