Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)

DAN GILROY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Canada/United Arab Emirates/USA, 2017.  Bron Studios, Creative Wealth Media Finance, Cross Creek Pictures,  Culture China – Image Nation Abu Dhabi Fund, Escape Artists, First Look Media, Imagenation Abu Dhabi FZ, LStar Capital, MACRO.  Screenplay by Dan Gilroy.  Cinematography by Robert Elswit.  Produced by Todd Black, Jennifer Fox, Denzel Washington.  Music by James Newton Howard.  Production Design by…

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Alive (1993)

FRANK MARSHALL Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA/Canada, 1993.  Film Andes S.A., The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Paramount Pictures, Touchstone Pictures.  Screenplay by John Patrick Shanley, based on the book by Piers Paul Read.  Cinematography by Peter James.  Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Robert Watts.  Music by James Newton Howard.  Production Design by Norman Reynolds.  Costume Design by Jennifer L. Parsons.  Film Editing by William Goldenberg, Michael…

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Detroit (2017)

KATHRYN BIGELOW Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 2017.  Annapurna Pictures, First Light Production, Page 1.  Screenplay by Mark Boal.  Cinematography by Barry Ackroyd.  Produced by Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Matthew Budman, Megan Ellison, Colin Wilson.   Music by James Newton Howard.  Production Design by Jeremy Hindle.  Costume Design by Francine Jamison-Tanchuck.  Film Editing by William Goldenberg, Harry Yoon.   Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal…

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Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

BB.5 (out of 5) J.K. Rowling exploits her fans for all they’re worth in this original screenplay based in the world of her megahit Harry Potter series, taking place decades before the action in the previous books and films in the series. Eddie Redmayne gives a hopelessly mannered performance as an enthusiastic collector of wondrous creatures who…

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

BB.5 (out of 5) The nonsense continues in this conclusion to the trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins, which like many of the adventure sagas aimed at young people ends with far more self-important sobriety than it began with. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) was informed in the first film that she’s going to have to fight…

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

B (out of 5) The land of Panem is a dire place to be after our heroine Katniss has destroyed the Hunger Games, rendering the country just as humorless as it was before but without all the score keeping. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has returned to her home district from which she will grow a new career…

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Green Lantern

BB.5 (out of 5) Ambitious, beautifully shot but ultimately flat entry in the superhero genre, with the always amiable Ryan Reynolds trying but failing to make much of an impression.  He plays a hotshot jet pilot whose unruly ways are hemmed in good when an alien crash lands on earth’s shores and its powerful ring becomes…

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Larry Crowne

0.5 (out of 5) A film so disastrous it has to be seen to be believed.  Tom Hanks is a longtime employee at a Walmart-like store who is devastated when he gets fired due to downsizing, told that his lack of a college education is the reason why he has not been prioritized above employees with…

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Nightcrawler (2014)

DAN GILROY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  USA, 2014.  Bold Films, Nightcrawler.  Screenplay by Dan Gilroy.  Cinematography by Robert Elswit.  Produced by Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak.  Music by James Newton Howard.  Production Design by Kevin Kavanaugh.  Costume Design by Amy Westcott.  Film Editing by John Gilroy.  Academy Awards 2014.  Golden Globe Awards 2014.  Toronto International Film Festival 2014. It’s hard to make your career happen…

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The Green Hornet

BB.5 (out of 5) Seth Rogen attempts a different kind of superhero movie by injecting his loveable-loser brand of humour into the action genre, but with minimal results. Between his unintelligent script that trades mainly in blockheaded clichés, and the absent direction by Michel Gondry, the film is a tidy and bland tale of, what…

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Maleficent

BB.5 (out of 5) In an effort to present young female viewers with more than the unimaginative binary feminine personality around which fairy tales are built, usually in the form of the innocent maiden versus the evil witch, films inspired by the book and Broadway musical of Wicked have become a new trend, giving us…

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Nanny McPhee Returns (Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang)

BBB.5 (out of 5) The fashion-challenged, frizzy-haired, homely nanny with the magical powers returns to set another group of children straight in this sweet sequel to the surprise 2005 hit.  Emma Thompson is once again marvelous as the childcare expert with the powerful walking stick who comes into the life of an overworked, overstressed English countryside…

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