Career Girls (1997)

MIKE LEIGH Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.  United Kingdom/France, 1997.  Channel Four Films, Thin Man Films, Matrix Films, Channel 4 Television Corporation.  Screenplay by Mike Leigh.   Cinematography by Dick Pope.  Produced by Simon Channing Williams.  Music by Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Tony Remy.  Production Design by Eve Stewart.  Film Editing by Robin Sales. Mike Leigh scores a rare misfire with this drab story…

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28 Days

BBB (out of 5) Sandra Bullock is great in this enjoyable but odd comedy about a young woman who is sentenced to twenty-eight days in a rehab center after destroying her sister’s wedding (and public property) while under the influence. Her stay at the clinic teaches her a few things about herself she never knew, and…

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The Cell

B (out of 5) What promised to be a fiercely imaginative thriller is a tepid serial killer yarn that badly imitates the mechanics of every other film of its kind, then spices it up with eye-popping graphics. Jennifer Lopez plays a child psychologist who has been engineering a new technology that allows her to enter the…

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Spy Game

BBB (out of 5) Tony Scott continues his reign of mediocrity with this difficult but sometimes rewarding thriller. It’s about a retiring CIA operative (Robert Redford) who is forced to go above heads and conduct some covert business of his own when his superiors decide that an imprisoned marksman agent gone rogue (Brad Pitt) is…

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Mr. Jealousy (1997)

NOAH BAUMBACH Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 1997.  Joel Castleberg Productions.  Screenplay by Noah Baumbach.  Cinematography by Steven Bernstein.  Produced by Joel Kastelberg.  Music by Robert Een, Luna.  Production Design by Anne Stuhler.  Costume Design by Janie Bryant.  Film Editing by J. Kathleen Gibson.  Toronto International Film Festival 1997.   Owing to some relationship experiences as a teenager, substitute teacher Eric Stoltz is unable to love his new girlfriend…

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Secrets And Lies

BBBBB (out of 5) Working from a script Mike Leigh wrote based on his performers’ improvisational work in rehearsals, actors Brenda Blethyn and Marianne Jean-Baptiste come as close to true-to-life acting as can be expected; you might sometimes feel like you’re watching a documentary. Blethyn plays Cynthia, an aging, working-class white woman who is found by Hortense…

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