The Ritz

BB.5 (out of 5) An old Italian patriarch dies and, on his deathbed, begs his son (Jerry Stiller) to kill his son-in-law (Jack Weston), which Stiller is only happy to do in order to keep the targeted man from inheriting the family’s profitable garbage business.  On the run in disguise and in need of a…

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Hairspray (1988)

BBB.5 (out of 5) John Waters’ most popular film is also one of his most thoughtful and entertaining.  Ricki Lake is awkwardly adorable as a music-obsessed teenager whose stout physicality and highly teased hair make her something of an oddball among her teen friends in 1960s Baltimore. Her mother (300 pound cross-dressing Divine) and father (Jerry…

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Zoolander

BBB (out of 5) Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson couldn’t be funnier in this one-joke film that will guarantee some worthwhile chuckles. They play dimwitted male supermodels who are being brainwashed, Manchurian Candidate-style, by a syndicate of fashion powermongers who want to assassinate a third world prime minister intent on abolishing the child labor that produces their…

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Airport 1975

BB.5 (out of 5) Although dismissed for their lack of quality when they were first released, the Airport movies have since taken on a quality of kitsch that makes them irresistible thirty years later. The first of three sequels to the Oscar-winning 1970 disaster movie stars Karen Black as a very helpful stewardess who ends up…

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Hairspray (2007)

BBBB (out of 5) A teenager in the 1960s decides to fight racial segregation and is met with serious threats to her future; sounds like an update of Mississippi Burning until you add big hair, rocking tunes and John Travolta in a dress. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky plays the youngster in question, Tracy, in this wonderful…

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Serving Sara (2002)

REGINALD HUDLIN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  Germany/USA, 2002.  FTM Productions, Halsted Pictures, Illusion Entertainment, KC Medien, MP Movies Management, MPS Studios, Mandalay Pictures.  Screenplay by Jay Scherick, David Ronn.  Cinematography by Robert Brinkmann.  Produced by Dan Halsted.  Music by Marcus Miller.  Production Design by Rusty Smith.  Costume Design by Francine Jamison-Tanchuck.  Film Editing by Jim Miller. Matthew Perry plays a hapless process server (which is…

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Nasty Habits

BB (out of 5) The makings of what should have been a winning classic somehow fail to measure up in this forgettable comedy. When the Mother Superior of a convent (Edith Evans in her final screen role) dies just seconds before signing her name to the document that will decide her successor, a bidding war…

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Disney’s Teacher’s Pet

BBB.5 (out of 5) Who wouldn’t be able to sympathize with a blue dog whose big dream is to become a real boy? Nathan Lane is a riot as the voice of the charming pet who disguises himself as a lad to attend school with his best friend and owner. When he learns that there’s a…

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Nadine

BB (out of 5) Kim Basinger‘s considerable comedy talents are wasted in this pointless effort by Robert Benton. She plays a daffy hairdresser who has no idea that when she goes to a photographer to demand back the “artistic” portraits he has taken of her, that she will end up involved in a caper that…

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