First Man (2018)

DAMIEN CHAZELLE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA/Japan, 2018.  Universal Pictures, DreamWorks, Perfect World Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment, Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, Dentsu, Fuji Television Network.  Screenplay by Josh Singer, based on the book by James R. Hansen.  Cinematography by Linus Sandgren.  Produced by Marty Bowen, Damien Chazelle, Wyck Godfrey, Isaac Klausner.  Music by Justin Hurwitz.  Production Design by…

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Winchester (2018)

MICHAEL SPIERIG, PETER SPIERIG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.  Australia/USA, 2018.  Blacklab Entertainment, Imagination Design Works.  Screenplay by Tom Vaughan, Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig.  Cinematography by Ben Nott.  Produced by Tim McGahan, Brett Tomberlin.  Music by Peter Spierig.  Production Design by Matthew Putland.  Costume Design by Wendy Cork.  Film Editing by Matt Villa.  A psychiatrist whose career has seen better days (Jason Clarke) is…

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Mudbound (2017)

DEE REES Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 2017.  Armory Films, ArtImage Entertainment, Black Bear Pictures, Elevated Films, MACRO, MMC Joule Films, Zeal Media.  Screenplay by Virgil Williams, Dee Rees, based on the novel by Hillary Jordan.  Cinematography by Rachel Morrison.  Produced by Carl Effenson, Sally Jo Effenson, Cassian Elwes, Christopher Lemole, Charles D. King, Kim Roth, Tim Zajaros.  Music by…

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Everest

BBB (out of 5) Following the first successful climb to the summit of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, who reached the top of the world’s highest peak in 1953, mountain climbing escalated in popularity to the extent that Rob Hall made it a profitable business in the nineties.  Hall took wealthy patrons…

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Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)

MATT REEVES Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 2014.  Chernin Entertainment, Ingenious Media, Soho VFX, TSG Entertainment.  Screenplay by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, based on characters created by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, from the novel La Planete des Singes by Pierre Boulle.  Cinematography by Michael Seresin.  Produced by Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver.  Music by Michael Giacchino.  Production Design…

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Better Than Sex

BB (out of 5) Dry Australian romantic comedy about a couple who start off as a one-night stand and end up soaked in romance. The whole film takes place in the girl’s apartment, watching them trying to go their separate ways after every bout of raunchy sex but constantly unable to part. The nudity and…

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Rabbit-Proof Fence

BBBB (out of 5) In 1930s Western Australia, natives with mixed ancestry (referred to as “half-castes”) were removed from their parental homes and sent to a camp where they were prepared for life as domestic servants in the homes of white families. The purposes of this project commandeered by the government’s Aborigine protector A.O. Neville…

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Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

KATHRYN BIGELOW Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  USA, 2012.  Screenplay by Mark Boal.  Columbia Pictures Corporation, Annapurna Pictures, First Light Production.  Cinematography by Greig Fraser.  Produced by Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Megan Ellison.  Music by Alexandre Desplat.  Production Design by Jeremy Hindle.  Costume Design by George L. Little.  Film Editing by William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor.  Academy Awards 2012.  Golden Globe Awards 2012. It’s not easy to have…

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Twilight (1998)

BBB (out of 5) Passable detective thriller in the Sam Spade vein stars Paul Newman as a disgruntled private eye investigating a teen’s disappearance and involvement in a crime. An all-star cast of Susan Sarandon, James Garner, Reese Witherspoon and Liev Schreiber is a plus, but the plotting is so deliberately slow and the story so bland that not…

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The Great Gatsby (2013)

BB.5 (out of 5) Baz Luhrmann trains his circus-frenzy eye on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel and comes up with an adaptation that is not in the least bit inspiring, but thankfully does not sink like dead weight the way the 1974 version did either.  Tobey Maguire plays the observant Nick Carroway, in this version…

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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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