Bugsy Malone (1976)

ALAN PARKER Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.  United Kingdom, 1976.  The Rank Organisation, Goodtimes Enterprises, Bugsy Malone Productions, National Film Finance Consortium.  Screenplay by Alan Parker.  Cinematography by Peter Biziou, Michael Seresin.  Produced by Alan Marshall.  Music by Paul Williams.  Production Design by Geoffrey Kirkland.  Costume Design by Monica Howe.  Film Editing by Gerry Hambling.  Academy Awards 1976.  Cannes Film Festival 1976.  Golden Globe Awards 1976.  …

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Family Plot

BBB (out of 5) A wealthy dowager (Cathleen Nesbitt) enlists her psychic (Barbara Harris) to help her with a very private family matter: years ago she forced her sister to give up her illegitimate son for adoption and, now nearing her death without an heir in sight, wants to find the lost child and bequeath…

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The Post (2017)

STEVEN SPIELBERG Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.  United Kingdom/USA, 2017.  Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks, Participant Media, Pascal Pictures, Star Thrower Entertainment, River Road Entertainment.  Screenplay by Liz Hannah, Josh Singer.  Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski.  Produced by Kristie Macosko Krieger, Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg.  Music by John Williams.  Production Design by Rick Carter.  Costume Design by Ann Roth.  Film Editing by Sarah Broshar, Michael Kahn.  Academy Awards 2017.  Golden…

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

RIAN JOHNSON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 2017.  Lucasfilm, Ram Bergman Productions, Walt Disney Pictures.  Screenplay by Rian Johnson, based on characters created by George Lucas.  Cinematography by Steve Yedlin.  Produced by Ram Bergman, Kathleen Kennedy.  Music by John Williams.  Production Design by Rick Heinrichs.  Costume Design by Michael Kaplan.  Film Editing by Bob Ducsay.  Academy Awards 2017. We last left our heroine Rey (Daisy Ridley)…

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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) and architect (Paul Newman) are preparing for its grand opening gala. Holden left the building’s electrical wiring to his snotty son-in-law (Richard…

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The BFG (2016)

STEVEN SPIELBERG Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.  United Kingdom/Canada/USA, 2016.  Walt Disney Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Reliance Entertainment, Walden Media, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, DreamWorks, River Road Entertainment.  Screenplay by Melissa Mathison, based on the book by Roald Dahl.  Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski.  Produced by Frank Marshall, Sam Mercer, Steven Spielberg.  Music by John Williams.  Production Design by Rick Carter.  Costume Design by Joanna…

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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, and instead it is the killers themselves who are the protagonists after hired hit men Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager follow instructions to do…

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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 enough to induce an existential crisis: what’s it all for? To save the lives of puppet riffraff in yet another grungy bar…

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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 acting role), who treats him with both derision and admiration depending on what the day’s case studies bring. Bottoms makes friends and…

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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 show, and she steals literally every scene she’s in (and thanks to the studio’s not wanting to ruin the surprise ending, was…

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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 hilarious adaptation of the Broadway play. Tony Randall is terrific as the low-level advertising agency employee who comes up with the brilliant idea…

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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 again being infested by the terror of a great white. I say this while ignoring the box office receipts pulled in by…

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