Leaving Normal

BBBB (out of 5) I suppose coming out only a year after Thelma and Louise made it impossible to think of this charming film as anything but a ripoff, but it does have its own vibe. Meg Tilly plays a numerously married, numerously divorced mail-order bride with an optimistic disposition who flees her latest abusive marriage in…

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The Avengers (2012)

BBB (out of 5) Imagine the cinematic version of a cereal multi-pak and you have this combination of superhero films that puts some of Marvel’s most popular moneymakers together in an effort to, what else, save the world. The dull plot has Thor’s villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) descend to our modest earth in the hopes…

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Guess Who

BB (out of 5) A Manhattan couple go to the girl’s parents’ house for their wedding anniversary, providing her (Zoe Saldana) with the perfect opportunity to introduce her new boyfriend (Ashton Kutcher) to her family. Saldana has neglected to tell her kin that her boyfriend is white, providing for lots of opportunity for her boorish…

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A Cinderella Story

BB.5 (out of 5) As adorable as Hilary Duff is, the tired nature of this teen-themed romantic comedy will bore all but the least demanding viewer as it does its best to update Charles Perrault’s classic fairy tale (and falls far short of the highly superior Ever After starring Drew Barrymore). Duff plays a teenager…

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Junior

BBB.5 (out of 5) When genetic scientists Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito can’t get their anti-miscarriage drug approved by the national drug board, they decide to try it out on a test subject in order to have proof that it works. They know they could never find a woman who would agree to endangering her pregnancy with…

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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 all kids his age he dreams of getting to adulthood (and independence) as soon as he possibly can. He is given his…

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Fatal Attraction (1987)

ADRIAN LYNE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 1987.  Paramount Pictures.  Screenplay by James Dearden, based on his short film.  Cinematography by Howard Atherton.  Produced by Sherry Lansing, Stanley R. Jaffe.  Music by Maurice Jarre.  Production Design by Mel Bourne.  Costume Design by Ellen Mirojnick.  Film Editing by Peter E. Berger, Michael Kahn.  Academy Awards 1987.  Golden Globe Awards 1987.   Michael Douglas plays a hapless married man who is left…

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Trading Places

JOHN LANDIS Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1983.  Cinema Group Ventures, Paramount Pictures.  Screenplay by Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod.  Cinematography by Robert Paynter.  Produced by Aaron Russo.  Music by Elmer Bernstein.  Production Design by Gene Rudolf.   Costume Design by Deborah Nadoolman.  Film Editing by Malcolm Campbell.  Academy Awards 1983.  Golden Globe Awards 1983. This is one of the films that led to Eddie Murphy becoming…

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One True Thing

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Exceptionally touching story about a workaholic journalist (Renee Zellweger) who goes home to take care of her dying mother (Meryl Streep).  While there, after years of dismissing her as a Susie Homemaker, Zellweger realizes that her mother is a self-confident woman who has always lived by her own choices. Director Carl…

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Cocktail

B (out of 5) When production on Rain Man was delayed for various reasons, Tom Cruise killed the six extra months he suddenly had on his hands by filming this dreadful film, probably the worst movie he’s ever made since becoming a star (and yes, I have seen Legend). Cruise and his hockey hair graduate…

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Defending Your Life

BBB (out of 5) Hollywood’s vision of the afterlife is given a bitterly comic tone in this charmer by Albert Brooks. After dying in a car accident, Brooks finds himself in a world beyond earth where people can eat whatever fatty foods they want and use higher percentages of their brain. Before being taken to…

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