Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)

BOB PERSICHETTI, PETER RAMSEY, RODNEY ROTHMAN Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  USA, 2018.  Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures Corporation, Marvel Entertainment, Avi Arad Productions, Lord Miller, Pascal Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation.  Story by Phil Lord, Screenplay by Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman, story consultant Meghan Malloy, based on Spider-Verse created by Dan Slott and characters created by Peter…

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Grandma

BB.5 (out of 5) Lily Tomlin brings a great deal of spirit to what is otherwise a slim experience. She plays a renowned poet whose rebound relationship with a much younger woman has just ended on the day that she is further distraught by the sudden appearance of teenage granddaughter Julia Garner, whose relationship with her own mother…

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Carol Channing: Larger Than Life

BBBB (out of 5) She conquered Broadway when she originated the role of Lorelei in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, then made herself immortal with the lead in Hello, Dolly, still one of the longest-running shows in history and one that she played in thousands of performances in New York and on tour. Carol Channing is the…

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Altman

BBBB (out of 5) Ron Mann gives a wonderful overview of the career of filmmaker Robert Altman, the American auteur who reached his height at a time when the notable artists of singular vision were coming from Europe. Altman got involved in screenwriting and directing after serving in World War II, making industrial films before a…

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Tea With Mussolini

BBB (out of 5) Lovely period piece by Franco Zeffirelli, based on his autobiographical novel about growing up among four British women living in Italy. Abandoned by his father who never married his mother and never claimed his son for his own, young Luca is thrown at the mercy of his father’s kindly secretary (Joan Plowright),…

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Disney’s The Kid

BBBB (out of 5) Delightful comedy romp about a middle-aged image consultant with no hope (Bruce Willis) who suddenly gets a jolt in his system when he’s visited by himself as a child (Spencer Breslin).  The little tyke inspires Willis to start searching through his childhood to discover where things went wrong. With a script…

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Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work

BBBB (out of 5) The title’s meaning is manifest: she is herself a piece of work, she’s had plenty of it done on her face, she’s addicted to her career, only a fraction of its magnitude touched upon here, and she has absolutely no intention of stopping while she can still breathe. The fabulous Joan…

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Vito

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Sixteen years after the excellent documentary The Celluloid Closet, based on the book by Vito Russo, comes this superb documentary about the life of the man himself. It’s a riveting exploration of the inspiring and impressive use he made of his tragically short time on this earth: the beginnings of his…

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The Walker

B.5 (out of 5) Woody Harrelson plays a southern aristocrat in Washington who has concluded the legacy started by his tobacco giant grandfather and politician father with a career as a “walker”, an ornamental dandy who spends his days entertaining rich political wives. When not playing canasta with lunching ladies Lauren Bacall and Lily Tomlin, he spends…

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All Of Me

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Among the very best performances Steve Martin has ever given. During a ritualistic ceremony in which an Indian guru (the painfully unfunny racial stereotype being the film’s only flaw) tries to take the soul of a dying rich heiress (Lily Tomlin) and place it into a young, healthy woman (Victoria Tennant, Martin’s real-life…

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Get Bruce

BBB.5 (out of 5) Fun documentary that chronicles the career of one of the most successful comedy writers in show business today, Bruce Vilanch. After an auspicious debut as a writer for the Chicago Tribune, Vilanch came to Hollywood and wrote for (ghastly as it seems) The Brady Bunch Variety Hour and Donny & Marie…

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Nine To Five

BBBB (out of 5) Jane Fonda plays a shy, repressed divorcee (yeah, right) who gets her very first job as a clerk at a financial company. She immediately befriends her no-nonsense, hard-working supervisor (Lily Tomlin), an employee who is constantly being overlooked for promotion by their sexist boss (Dabney Coleman) because of her gender, despite…

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