Go For Sisters (2013)

JOHN SAYLES Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.   USA, 2013.  Anarchist’s Convention Films, Olmos Productions, Go For Films.   Screenplay by John Sayles.  Cinematography by Kat Westergaard.  Produced by Peter Bobrow, Edward James Olmos, Alejandro Springall.  Music by Mason Daring.  Production Design by Mara A. Spear.  Costume Design by Dana R. Woods.  Film Editing by John Sayles. John Sayles is in top form…

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Get Shorty

BBBBB (out of 5) Flawless adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel about a shylock gangster (John Travolta at his coolest) who travels to Los Angeles to collect on an overdue payment and ends up getting interested in the movie business. No shock there, of course, since as it turns out there’s not that much difference between…

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My Family (Mi Familia)

BB.5 (out of 5) Multiple generations of a Latino-American family in California are narrated in this middling saga by Gregory Nava (El Norte). Edward James Olmos is the standout in the cast (and sadly the most underused) as a writer who tells us about his relatives, starting with his father who as a young man crossed the…

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Romy And Michele’s High School Reunion

BBB.5 (out of 5) Hilarious high school comedy has delightful, bubbly L.A. blondes Romy and Michele (Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow) get invited to their ten-year high school reunion in Tucson, Arizona. They ruminate over past painful experiences at the hands of evil cheerleaders until they realize that they can’t go back unless they have something…

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Crimson Tide

BBBB.5 (out of 5) What a ride! Submarines haven’t been this much fun since The Hunt For Red October, and if the fact that this film’s advertising campaign (red poster and everything) is completely ripped off from that Sean Connery vehicle is stopping you from renting this high-octane thriller, don’t let it! Gene Hackman and Denzel…

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Bobby

BBB.5 (out of 5) It’s June 6, 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, the entire building abuzz with anticipation as guests await the arrival of America’s possible next president, Robert Kennedy. Throughout the day, this highly engrossing ensemble piece follows the lives of various characters, including two retired employees (Anthony Hopkins, Harry Belafonte),…

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Jarhead

BBB (out of 5) Jake Gyllenhaal enters the army for reasons not unlike Goldie Hawn’s in Private Benjamin, is put through the unimaginable rigors of marine training and is then sent, along with 500,000 troops, to Kuwait at the onset of the Gulf War. He and his fellow soldiers are just itching to get into some…

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Traffic (2000)

STEVEN SODERBERGH Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  Germany/USA, 2000.  Compulsion Inc., Initial Entertainment Group, Splendid Medien AG, The Bedford Falls Company, USA Films.  Screenplay by Stephen Gaghan, based on the miniseries Traffik by Simon Moore.  Cinematography by Steven Soderbergh.  Produced by Laura Bickford, Marshall Herskovitz, Edward Zwick.  Music by Cliff Martinez.  Production Design by Philip Messina.  Costume Design by Louise Frogley.  Film Editing by Stephen Mirrione.  Academy…

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Airborne

BBB (out of 5) Pleasant teen film should please its target audience perfectly. A young surfing aficionado (Shane McDermott) from California moves in with his Ohio relatives when his zoologist parents receive an assignment to go work in Australia and can’t take him with them. Once he arrives, he befriends his cousin (Seth Green) but…

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Death Race

B.5 (out of 5) After the U.S. succumbs to a devastating economic collapse in 2012, federal penitentiaries are privatized and run by greedy corporations. The bosses now make money off their prisoners by having them participate in highly dangerous car races that fight to the death, a modern gladiatorial spectator sport that proves to be…

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Gas, Food, Lodging

BBBB (out of 5) Excellent small-town drama about two young women (Ione Skye, Fairuza Balk) being raised by their single mother (Brooke Adams) in the midwest.  Balk’s perspective is the one the audience takes here, and watching her growing pains is a powerful and believable experience. Skye also shines as the older sister who is…

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