Tag Archive: John Williams

The Towering Inferno

BBB.5 (out of 5) An enormous skyscraper made entirely of glass and featuring every possible modern convenience is built in San Francisco (prime earthquake territory, by the way) and its owner (William Holden)… Continue reading

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The BFG

BBBB (out of 5) Sophie is lonely in her London orphanage, beset by the misery within its walls and what she senses are possible monsters outside her window.  She dares to look beyond the curtain and… Continue reading

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The Killers (1964)

BBBB (out of 5) Don Siegel excitingly remakes the Robert Siodmak classic using Ernest Hemingway’s very short story as a base once again. This time the insurance investigator has been done away with,… Continue reading

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

BBBB (out of 5) You destroy an evil empire twice, then years later you’re still having to disable their shields and look for the one weak spot in their giant planet-shaped weapon. It’s… Continue reading

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The Paper Chase

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Timothy Bottoms arrives for his first year of Harvard Law and is immediately made a target by a legendary professor (theatrical and film producer John Houseman in his first major film… Continue reading

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Witness For The Prosecution

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A mind-warping mystery about a tired, aging lawyer (Charles Laughton) who must defend a hopeless murder suspect (Tyrone Power).  Marlene Dietrich‘s scantily-disguised double role is the supreme winner of the… Continue reading

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Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

BBBB (out of 5) The rise of consumer culture in post-war America and the increased obsession with celebrity that predominates the rest of the century are all predicted with perfect accuracy in this… Continue reading

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Jaws 2

BB.5 (out of 5) Bruce is back, though we don’t know why: he was blown up at the end of the first film and there is no explanation for the waters of Amity Island once… Continue reading

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The River (1984)

BBBB (out of 5) The life of a rural family and their trials and tribulations are captured in this wonderful film that rises above soap opera trappings through steady performances and great direction.… Continue reading

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The Witches Of Eastwick

BBBB (out of 5) Proof that even when he makes a bad movie George Miller is still making a good one, this delightful comedy is so enjoyable that even its weakest elements are… Continue reading

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Sleepers

BBBB (out of 5) Four young boys go to juvenile detention for a street prank that gets way out of hand, then suffer through years of sexual abuse from their prison’s supervisor (played… Continue reading

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Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

BBBBB (out of 5) The best of all the Star Wars movies is this rip-roaring adventure that continues the drama from the 1977 original and improves on the action and character subtext. Having… Continue reading

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Empire Of The Sun

BBBB (out of 5) Christian Bale stars as a British boy living in Shanghai who is separated from his parents and taken to a prisoner of war camp when the Japanese invade the city.… Continue reading

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Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade

BBBB (out of 5) Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) indulges a very willing audience in an old-fashioned adventure that is full of mystery, exoticism and full-throttle excitement. He is commissioned by a religious art… Continue reading

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Always (1989)

BBB.5 (out of 5) In this remake of A Guy Named Joe, Richard Dreyfuss plays an airborne firefighter who dies in a tragic accident, leaving behind his heartbroken girlfriend (Holly Hunter) and his best… Continue reading

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Hook

BB.5 (out of 5) If you’re young enough, this continuation of the Peter Pan story by J.M. Barrie will seem like a grand, glorious adventure; anyone over the age of 13 will see… Continue reading

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Jurassic Park

BBBB (out of 5) Sam Neill and Laura Dern are paleontologists who are invited to a remote Costa Rican island belonging to a billionaire (Richard Attenborough) to view his latest project. After years of digging… Continue reading

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The Lost World: Jurassic Park

BBB (out of 5) Inferior sequel to 1993’s blockbuster hit Jurassic Park that beefs up the dinosaur scenes but skimps you on the character development and the sense of wonder that made the… Continue reading

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Amistad

BB.5 (out of 5) Overlong and patronizing account of a slave ship bound for Jamaica, whose passengers revolt with the intent of returning to Africa but end up in 19th-century Massachusetts instead. Now… Continue reading

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Saving Private Ryan

BBBB (out of 5) The first half hour of Steven Spielberg’s excellent film is one of the best war movies ever made. Perfect editing, sound design and realistic photography draw you in and… Continue reading

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A.I. Artificial Intelligence

BBB (out of 5) Reasonably interesting futuristic version of Pinocchio has Steven Spielberg filling in for the late great Stanley Kubrick, who had made this his next project after Eyes Wide Shut. Spielberg’s screenplay… Continue reading

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Minority Report

BBBB (out of 5) In a not-too-distant future, three humans are, as the result of genetic tampering, imbued with the ability to predict murders through their linked psychic dreams. A special task force… Continue reading

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Catch Me If You Can

BBBB (out of 5) For almost three years in the sixties, high school student Frank Abagnale, Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) traveled the world masquerading as a Pan-Am pilot, a doctor and a lawyer, cashing… Continue reading

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The Terminal

BB.5 (out of 5) Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) flies into New York city’s JFK airport from the fictional nation of Krakhozia with very little command of the English language and the desire to… Continue reading

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War Of The Worlds

BBB.5 (out of 5) Thrilling remake of the Oscar-winning 1953 adaptation of the H.G. Wells story, which was first made famous by Orson Welles’ radio broadcast on Hallowe’en of 1938. While the basic… Continue reading

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Munich

BBB.5 (out of 5) Steven Spielberg’s most hard-edged film since Schindler’s List is this compelling, extremely well filmed recount of the events following the murder of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the… Continue reading

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Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

BBBB (out of 5) A mere twenty-seven years after he found the Ark of the Covenant and gave Star Wars a run for its money at the box office, cinema’s beloved archaeologist/adventurer is… Continue reading

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The Adventures Of Tintin

BBB (out of 5) Hergé’s children’s book series is adapted to the big screen with a sense of wonder and excitement by Steven Spielberg, here trying his hand as director of an animated… Continue reading

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War Horse

BBBB (out of 5) They don’t make ‘em like they used to, but god bless ‘em for trying. Steven Spielberg adapts Michael Morpurgo’s novel and play into a wholly enjoyable, classic piece of… Continue reading

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Lincoln

BBBB (out of 5) The Civil War has been depleting American life and idealism for years by the time we catch up with Honest Abe at the beginning of this rich biopic, just… Continue reading

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Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi

BBBB (out of 5) The weakest of the first three Star Wars movies, this one’s content was obviously influenced by the huge toy market that had been opened up by the first two… Continue reading

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Angela’s Ashes

BBBB (out of 5) Strong adaptation of Frank McCourt’s autobiography about growing up poor in 1940s Ireland.  It’s an uplifting and touching trip back in time through McCourt’s eyes as he sees himself… Continue reading

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Monsignor

B.5 (out of 5) Failed attempt to get inside the world of the Catholic Church. Christopher Reeve is flat as a priest who does so well in organizing business affairs for the Vatican, he… Continue reading

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The Rookie

BBB (out of 5) Dennis Quaid plays a high school baseball coach who was once in line to make it to the majors but had to quit after an injury ruined his dreams of… Continue reading

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Far And Away

BB (out of 5) Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman made three movies together during their marriage, all of them proof that they shouldn’t make movies together. Cruise stars as a plucky young Irish… Continue reading

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Memoirs Of A Geisha

BB (out of 5) Shallow, endless adaptation of Arthur Golden’s unbelievably successful bestseller, with Ziyi Zhang as a poor young Japanese girl who is taken from her home as a child and sold… Continue reading

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Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)

B (out of 5) All the charm has been sapped out of this musical version of the popular story, originally produced by MGM in 1939 with Robert Donat.  Peter O’Toole makes a wonderful… Continue reading

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Presumed Innocent

BBB.5 (out of 5) Harrison Ford plays a well-respected prosecutor (with a geeky buzz cut) whose girlfriend (Greta Scacchi) is viciously murdered shortly after he has seen her. The fact that he already has… Continue reading

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Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith

BB.5 (out of 5) Following their rescue of Chancellor Palpatine from the separatist Droid army, headstrong Annakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) finds himself wavering between his devotion to the Jedi and his growing fondness… Continue reading

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Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Vast improvement on Episode One of the Star Wars series’ adventures continues the story from The Phantom Menace ten years later with a grown up Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen),… Continue reading

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Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

BBBB (out of 5) Solid good fun from George Lucas’ fertile imagination that precedes the events in his 1977 blockbuster Star Wars.  In this episode, the story suffers from a strong emphasis on… Continue reading

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Star Wars

BBBB.5 (out of 5) This science-fiction blockbuster breathed new life into the genre by creating a space opera (inspired by director George Lucas’s love of Japanese samurai films) in which passionate character conflicts… Continue reading

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The Solid Gold Cadillac

BBBB (out of 5) Fans of Judy Holliday‘s excellent performance in Born Yesterday should definitely not skip their chance to see this excellent crowd pleaser. She plays a streetwise bachelorette who inherits a… Continue reading

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Sabrina (1995)

BB (out of 5) Remaking Billy Wilder’s 1954 comedy classic starring Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart was a bad idea in the first place, but considering the cast you’d think it could still… Continue reading

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Nixon

BB.5 (out of 5) Oliver Stone, who previously directed the marvelous JFK, fails to invest this biography of president Richard Nixon’s troubled political career with the same amount of paranoid energy and enthusiasm.… Continue reading

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JFK

BBBB (out of 5) Oliver Stone’s three hour epic of grand political investigation (and paranoia) is a thrilling, fascinating recreation of the John F. Kennedy assassination that will entertain even the most incredulous… Continue reading

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Born On The Fourth Of July

BBBB (out of 5) The second part of Oliver Stone’s Vietnam trilogy is this biography of veteran Ron Kovic, upon whose book the film is based, with Tom Cruise doing a fantastic job of… Continue reading

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The Patriot

B.5 (out of 5) It seems Mel Gibson is hell bent on making the most socially irresponsible films out there: after offending women (with What Women Want) and gays and lesbians (with any movie… Continue reading

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The Accidental Tourist

BBBBB (out of 5) Lawrence Kasdan’s masterpiece is this beautifully subtle relationship drama. William Hurt and Kathleen Turner play an estranged couple whose marriage doesn’t seem to be surviving the death of their only son.… Continue reading

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