Alien: Covenant (2017)

RIDLEY SCOTT Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  USA/United Kingdom/Australia/New Zealand/Canada, 2017.  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Scott Free Productions, TSG Entertainment, Brandywine Productions.  Story by Jack Paglen, Michael Green, Screenplay by John Logan, Dante Harper, based on characters created by Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett.  Cinematography by Dariusz Wolski.  Produced by David Giler, Walter Hill, Mark Huffam, Michael Schaefer, Ridley Scott.  Music…

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Genius

BB.5 (out of 5) Diligent Scribner editor Max Perkins (Colin Firth) has been the hand behind some of the most influential literature of the early twentieth century, with the likes of Hemingway and Fitzgerald to his credit, spending his days perusing manuscripts at his desk and going home to his loving wife (Laura Linney) and five devoted…

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Spectre

BBB.5 (out of 5) A trip to Mexico City has Bond chase down a bad guy who leaves him with a token that speaks volumes: a ring with a symbol on it that he knows he has seen before. Back home, headquarters is still putting itself together under the new M (a spry and sympathetic…

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The Last Samurai

BBB.5 (out of 5) After participating in a number of Civil War battles (many of which helped decimate the populations of natives in North America), an embittered, drunken veteran (Tom Cruise) follows his superior officers to Japan in search of big money. He has been hired by the emperor to train the country’s army in…

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The Time Machine (2002)

0 (out of 5) 19th-century scientist Guy Pearce loses his fiancee in a mugging in Central Park and concocts a way to undo the unacceptable past: he creates a time machine. Trying to rewrite history and keep his lady love forever, he finds himself trapped by the same disastrous results every time he tries to go…

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Rango

BBBB (out of 5) Did you ever wonder what all those scaly critters were doing during westerns while John Wayne was duking it out against the bad guys? Apparently having a showdown of their own! At least that’s what we learn after a pet lizard (voiced irresistibly by Johnny Depp) accidentally falls out of his…

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Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls

B (out of 5) A sequel in name only, this film has no connection with the Jacqueline Susann turkey except that it too is about girls who come to Hollywood to make it big and end up doing too much sex and drugs. It was considered raunchy at the time, even getting an X rating,…

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Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas

BBB (out of 5) For all the effort that was put into making and marketing this grand adventure, the end result is disappointing. While the animation is some of the most beautiful drawing and effects ever seen in its medium, the story and character development leave a hell of a lot to be desired. A…

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Gladiator (2000)

RIDLEY SCOTT Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  United Kingdom/USA, 2000.  DreamWorks, Universal Pictures, Scott Free Productions, Mill Film, C & L, Dawliz.  Story by David Franzoni, Screenplay by David Franzoni, John Logan, William Nicholson.  Cinematography by John Mathieson.  Produced by David Franzoni, Branko Lustig, Douglas Wick.  Music by Lisa Gerrard, Hans Zimmer.  Production Design by Arthur Max.  Costume Design by Janty Yates.  Film Editing by Pietro Scalia.  Academy…

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Any Given Sunday

BB (out of 5) Al Pacino plays the disgruntled, aging coach of a troubled football team owned by a tough-as-nails, monstrously evil woman (well, aren’t they all, Mr. Stone) who thinks the team needs new management. Dennis Quaid plays the team’s star quarterback, Jamie Foxx is the new star in town and Matthew Modine is the caring doctor who…

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Coriolanus

BB (out of 5) One of Shakespeare’s least-known plays is adapted to the big screen by actor/director Ralph Fiennes, playing the Roman general who goes back and forth in popularity with his people to devastating consequences. The Bard’s verse is kept intact but the setting is a modern-day, Hurt Locker-looking Rome where politicians speak into…

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Hugo

BBB.5 (out of 5) Tribute is paid to the early days of cinema in this enjoyable charmer by Martin Scorsese.  Asa Butterfield is wonderful as an orphan boy who lives in a Parisian train station, fixing the clocks that his uncle used to work on before he disappeared, and staying alive by stealing. His thievery makes…

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