Fading Gigolo

B.5 (out of 5) Packing up the last inventory while closing his book store, impending retiree Woody Allen tells friend and sometimes assistant John Turturro that he has stumbled upon a terrific proposition for him: his gorgeous dermatologist (Sharon Stone) wants to do a threesome with her best friend (Sofía Vergara) and is willing to pay…

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Desperately Seeking Susan

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Rosanna Arquette plays a bored New Jersey housewife who gets a little excitement in her life when she gets amnesia and accidentally falls into the personality and life of small-time freewheeling con artist Susan (Madonna in her feature film debut), and can’t seem to find her way out of it.  Aidan Quinn is…

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Bewitched

BBB (out of 5) Surprisingly charming comedy inspired by the original television series. Will Ferrell plays an obnoxiously self-centred movie star whose latest bomb has forced him to take the lead role in a television remake of Bewitched. When he meets beautiful Nicole Kidman on the street, he finds himself irresistibly attracted to her nose-twitching and begs…

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You’ve Got Mail

BBB.5 (out of 5) Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan reunite with their Sleepless In Seattle director Nora Ephron in a remake of The Shop Around The Corner (which was also remade in musical form as In The Good Old Summertime) that is neither as tightly written as Seattle was or as effortlessly witty, but has a cool,…

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Sleepless In Seattle

BBBB.5 (out of 5) You could hardly do better in the romantic comedy department than this wonderfully original and witty film. Meg Ryan hears a recently widowed man (Tom Hanks) talking to a late night radio talk show host about the loss of his wife and his subsequent loneliness. Obsessed with this story that has touched…

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Switch

BBB.5 (out of 5) Ellen Barkin‘s hysterical performance is the main reason to watch this one-joke comedy. One of Blake Edwards’ better films in a long time, it stars Perry King as a womanizing bachelor whose callous handling of his girlfriends finds him in a hot tub with all three at once:  a definite pleasure, you’d…

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Summer Of Sam (1999)

SPIKE LEE Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB.5.  USA, 1999.  40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, Touchstone Pictures, Hostage Productions.  Screenplay by Spike Lee, Victor Colicchio, Michael Imperioli.  Cinematography by Ellen Kuras.  Produced by Jon Kilik, Spike Lee.  Music by Terence Blanchard.  Production Design by Therese DePrez.  Costume Design by Ruth E. Carter.  Film Editing by Barry Alexander Brown.   Spike Lee directs this exploitative and excessive…

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Clockers (1995)

SPIKE LEE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 1995.  Universal Pictures, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks.  Screenplay by Richard Price, Spike Lee, based on the book by Richard Price.  Cinematography by Malik Hassan Sayeed.  Produced by Jon Kilik, Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese.  Music by Terence Blanchard.  Production Design by Andrew McAlpine.  Costume Design by Ruth E. Carter.  Film Editing by Samuel D. Pollard.  …

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Jungle Fever (1991)

SPIKE LEE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1991.  Universal Pictures, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks.  Screenplay by Spike Lee.  Cinematography by Ernest R. Dickerson.  Produced by Spike Lee.  Music by Terence Blanchard.  Production Design by Wynn Thomas.  Costume Design by Ruth E. Carter.  Film Editing by Samuel D. Pollard.  Cannes Film Festival 1991.   Even when Spike Lee makes a less-than-perfect movie it’s still incredibly watchable…

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Raging Bull

BBBBB (out of 5) Regarded by many as the jewel in Martin Scorsese’s crown, this is one of the best films ever made about boxing, right up there with Body And Soul.  Robert De Niro plays real-life pugilist Jake La Motta, who enjoyed great success as a young boxer only to be hampered by personal…

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Miller’s Crossing

BB (out of 5) The Coen brothers get points for style and little else for this period gangster piece. Gabriel Byrne is boring as an advisor to a big-time Irish-American crime boss during Prohibition. Albert Finney and Jon Polito play rivals who get involved in a gang war when a small time bookie (John Turturro) cheats one of them and…

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The Man Who Wasn’t There

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Brilliant Coen brothers film about a placid barber (Billy Bob Thornton) who tries to arrange a simple scam to get himself out of the boredom of his life. When a colourful entrepreneur comes to his small California town with the idea to start up a new retail scheme in something called…

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