Liar, Liar

BBBB (out of 5) One of Jim Carrey‘s better comedies is this very funny concept comedy about a young boy who makes a birthday wish that his unreliable lawyer father never tell another fib. Through Hollywood’s frequent use of unexplained magical whimsy, the boy’s wish comes true, and for an effective block of time, Carrey…

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Norbit

0 (out of 5) Eddie Murphy has had a few dogs in his highly successful career, but it’s still surprising to think that this piece of garbage could involve him. Teaming up with makeup wizard Rick Baker, Murphy plays three characters: the title role, a soft-spoken dweeb who is raised in an orphanage, an (offensively stereotyped)…

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Thank You For Smoking

BB (out of 5) Aaron Eckhart plays a lobbyist for Big Tobacco whose savvy ability to argue cigarettes to safe passage in a health-conscious America make him a national villain. He courts an ambitious reporter (Katie Holmes) whose idea of ‘off the record’ is skewed to say the least, wins over a cancer patient on the…

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Memento (2000)

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  USA, 2000.  Newmarket Capital Group, Team Todd, I Remember Productions, Summit Entertainment.  Screenplay by Christopher Nolan, based on the short story Memento Mori by Jonathan Nolan.  Cinematography by Wally Pfister.  Produced by Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd.  Music by David Julyan.  Production Design by Patti Podesta.  Costume Design by Cindy Evans.  Film Editing by Dody Dorn.  Academy Awards 2001.  Golden…

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Running With Scissors

BBBB (out of 5) The Addamses are Kooky, the Tenenbaums are Quirky, but these people are just plain Fucked Up. Augusten Burroughs’ heartbreaking memoir has been turned into a savagely funny and heartrending account of growing up under the most unusual of circumstances. After a beautifully glowing childhood spent basking in the erratic energy of…

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The Beautician And The Beast

BBB.5 (out of 5) Forget that the plot reeks of thievery from such well-known classics as The Sound Of Music, The King And I and all your favourite fairy tales, not to mention star Fran Drescher‘s own television show The Nanny; this film makes no pretensions to genius and is satisfying for that very reason. Whiney-voiced Drescher…

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Revenge Of The Nerds

BBB (out of 5) The surprise hit of the 1980s with a secretly subversive agenda; anyone who saw Hope Davis’s deconstruction of the film in American Splendor will have to admit that this is as much an attack on the values of eighties teen movies as it is an indulgence in them. A couple of…

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Return To Me

BBBB.5 (out of 5) The best romantic comedy of its year, and one of the very best since Moonstruck, this delectable little charmer is directed with great skill by first-timer Bonnie Hunt (who also co-stars).  Minnie Driver is a heart-transplant recipient who falls in love with David Duchovny only to find out that her heart was once his wife’s…

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Soapdish

BBB (out of 5) At the beginning of this marginally hilarious comedy, Sally Field plays a soap opera star who receives yet another Daytime Emmy Award for her work on her show The Sun Also Sets. It is presumed that we are going to watch a charming little comedy about the real, dull lives of soap…

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The Man From Elysian Fields

BBB (out of 5) Andy Garcia plays a novelist whose best work has gone to the bottom of the bargain fiction pile. Having immense trouble supporting his family with his writing, he accepts an offer from a swanky gigolo (Mick Jagger) to work as a male escort for Elysian Fields, a high-class prostitution racket. His…

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The Road To Wellville

B (out of 5) Matthew Broderick stays at a nineteenth-century health resort led by Dr. Kellogg (Anthony Hopkins), whose methods are unorthodox at best (and who became famous later for his breakfast cereals). Broderick meets an assortment of characters, including socialite Bridget Fonda and wilting maiden Lara Flynn Boyle, both of whom spark his fancy. Dr. Kellogg…

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Passion Fish

BBBBB (out of 5) John Sayles’ masterpiece is this brilliant two-character drama that you wish could go on forever. After she is paralyzed from the waist down in an auto accident, a bitter soap opera actress (Mary McDonnell) decides to move back home to her parents’ house in Louisiana. She hires a hilarious succession of…

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