Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

ROB MARSHALL Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  USA, 2018.  Lucamar Productions, Marc Platt Productions, Walt Disney Pictures.  Screen story by David Magee, Rob Marshall, John DeLuca, Screenplay by David Magee, based on the Mary Poppins stories by P.L. Travers.  Cinematography by Dion Beebe.  Produced by John DeLuca, Rob Marshall, Marc Platt.  Music by Marc Shaiman.   Production Design by John Myhre.  Costume…

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One Night At McCool’s

B (out of 5) Liv Tyler gives a sexy performance in the best tradition of film noir goddesses as a double-crossing vixen who always gets her way. Paul Reiser, Matt Dillon and John Goodman are the seemingly innocent men who cross her path and fall instantly for her. The plot weaves and weaves like a spider spinning a…

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The First Wives Club

BBBB (out of 5) Serious alterations have been made to Olivia Goldsmith’s original novel, but it’s possible that even devoted readers will still enjoy it. Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton are in peak form as three middle-aged women who are abandoned by their husbands (Dan Hedaya, Victor Garber, Stephen Collins respectively) for women much younger than…

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The Out-Of-Towners

BB.5 (out of 5) Remarkably unremarkable comedy that should have been better considering the talent involved; on the other hand, Neil Simon’s original script didn’t exactly turn heads when it was first filmed in 1969, so why on earth would doing it again make it any better?  Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin ably fill in for Jack…

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Parental Guidance

B.5 (out of 5) Bette Midler and Billy Crystal play a middle-aged couple, she trying to find the fabulous in life post-50 and he dealing with having been fired from his job as a sports announcer at a baseball stadium.  When their estranged daughter (Marisa Tomei) calls and asks them to babysit her children, they jump at…

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Speechless (1994)

BBB (out of 5) Geena Davis and Michael Keaton play speechwriters who work for two opposing politicians during a senate race in New Mexico. After meeting various times and discovering how much they irritate each other, they fall madly in love and create a huge conflict of interest for their jobs. These two are the perfect performers…

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Heart And Souls

BBBB (out of 5) When four bus passengers (Alfre Woodard, Kyra Sedgwick, Tom Sizemore, David Paymer) are killed in a tragic accident, their afterlife spirits keep company with a young child until he is ten years old and they must break contact with him. Years later, they are brought back to his adult life (played…

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City Slickers

BBB.5 (out of 5) Three stressed out city company men and age-old friends (Billy Crystal, Bruno Kirby, Daniel Stern) decide that the perfect way to ease up their workload is a paid Wild West vacation on a cattle ranch. Once there they learn the age-old technique of cattle-herding from a wise cowboy (Jack Palance) who…

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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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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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The Wedding Planner

BB.5 (out of 5) This sparkling romantic comedy starts off with such a lively step and good humour, then gives in to sappy sentimentality and weak plot movements in its conclusion. Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Lopez couldn’t be better as star-crossed lovers who click on their first meeting, she a high-anxiety wedding planner with a utility belt…

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Patch Adams

BB (out of 5) This shamelessly maudlin comedy/drama that is “based on a true story”.  Robin Williams gives a performance that basically copies his own formula from such hits as Dead Poets Society and Mrs. Doubtfire as a suicidal, aimless psychiatric ward inmate who decides to get out of the hospital and study to become a…

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