Love, Simon (2018)

GREG BERLANTI Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 2018.  Fox 2000 Pictures, New Leaf Literary & Media, Temple Hill Entertainment, Twisted Media.  Screenplay by Elizabeth Berger, Isaac Aptaker, based on the novel Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.  Cinematography by John Guleserian.  Produced by Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Isaac Klausner, Pouya Shahbazian.  Music by Rob Simonsen.  Production Design by…

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Danny Collins

BB.5 (out of 5) Al Pacino plays a Manilow-esque crooner who hasn’t written a song in decades but spends his time making tons of cash playing stadium concerts for the nostalgia crowd. His long-time devoted manager (Christopher Plummer) informs him that he has found an incredible artifact that neither of them knew about before: a…

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13 Going On 30

BBBB (out of 5) It’s 1987, and 13 year-old Jenna Rink is desperate to fit in with the cool kids at school. She even goes as far as alienating her geeky best friend Matt at her birthday party in order to impress ‘in-crowd’ ringleader Lucy. When she’s sprinkled with some birthday wishing dust and announces…

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Arthur (2011)

B.5 (out of 5) Remaking the classic Dudley Moore comedy with yet another fun, lovable rascal in the lead seemed like such a good idea at the time. The Bach family has been in possession of their multi-billion-dollar media empire for generations, and if it is going to stay in the family name, all hope…

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Juno

BBB.5 (out of 5) Sixteen year-old wiseass Juno (Ellen Page) has curiousity-driven sex with her boyfriend (Michael Cera) and finds herself knocked up.  Without the slightest hesitation she seeks out a well-off childless couple (Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner) to be the adoptive parents, in the meantime befriending them and finding that the husband is more…

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Valentine’s Day

BB (out of 5) Garry Marshall spreads his penchant for empty-headed feelgood stories over a multitude of characters in this nearly unbearable romantic comedy that examines the lives of Los Angelinos on Valentine’s Day. Among them is a teenager (Emma Roberts) preparing to have sex with her boyfriend for the first time, a secretary (Anne…

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Dude, Where’s My Car

BB (out of 5) I guess if you’re not expecting much from this slacker comedy then you won’t be too disappointed, though even at that low a level of anticipation it still plays like a bad high school skit. Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott play pizza delivery boys who wake up after a night of heavy…

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Dallas Buyers Club

BBBBB (out of 5) Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is a man who does not tread lightly on the pleasures of life.  He works as an electrician but makes extra cash running bets (and outrunning angry betters) at the local rodeo.  When he parties, the drinks and drugs flow freely and he indulges himself in all…

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Daredevil

BB.5 (out of 5) After a little boy is blinded by toxic chemicals during a freak accident, he finds that his remaining sense of hearing is so strong that sound vibrations give him an X-ray vision of the world around him. He develops his newfound ability until his adulthood when he takes to the street…

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Washington Square

BBB.5 (out of 5) Marvelously costumed, faithful adaptation of Henry James’ 19th-century novel is not as powerful as The Heiress thanks mainly to an overly-awkward performance by Jennifer Jason Leigh as heroine Catherine Sloper. Raised by her widower father (Albert Finney), Catherine is a painfully shy, plain young woman who comes to life when a handsome…

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Catch Me If You Can (2002)

STEVEN SPIELBERG Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.  USA, 2002.  DreamWorks, Kemp Company, Splendid Pictures, Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation, Muse Entertainment Enterprises.  Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson, based on the book Catch Me If You Can: The Amazing True Story Of the Youngest and Most Daring Con Man in the History of Fun and Profit by Frank Abagnale Jr. and Stan…

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The Odd Life Of Timothy Green

B (out of 5) A childless couple (Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Garner) are told by their doctor that there is no hope that they will ever conceive despite all the medical interventions they have attempted.  In their grief and disappointment, the pair imagine out loud the perfect child they dream of having, one who has great…

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