Aquaman (2018)

JAMES WAN Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.  Australia/USA, 2018.  DC Comics, DC Entertainment, Panoramic Pictures, Rodeo FX, The Safran Company, Warner Bros..  Story by Geoff Johns, James Wan, Will Beall, Screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Will Beall, based on Aquaman created by Mort Weisinger, Paul Norris.  Cinematography by Don Burgess.  Produced by Rob Cowan, Peter Safran.  Music by Rupert Gregson-Williams.  Production…

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If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

BARRY JENKINS Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  USA, 2018.  Annapurna Pictures, PASTEL, Plan B Entertainment.  Screenplay by Barry Jenkins, based on the novel by James Baldwin.  Cinematography by James Laxton.  Produced by Megan Ellison, Dede Gardner, Barry Jenkins, Jeremy Kleiner, Sara Murphy, Adele Romanski. Music by Nicholas Britell.   Production Design by Mark Friedberg.  Costume Design by Caroline Eselin.  Film Editing by Joi…

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Patriots Day (2016)

PETER BERG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 2016.  Bluegrass Films, CBS Films, Closest To The Hole Productions, Hutch Parker Entertainment, TIK Films.  Story by Peter Berg, Matt Cook, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Screenplay by Peter Berg, Matt Cook, Joshua Zetumer.  Cinematography by Tobias A. Schliessler.  Produced by Dorothy Aufiero, Dylan Clark, Stephen Levinson, Hutch Parker, Michael Radutzky, Scott Stuber, Mark…

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Waiting To Exhale

BB (out of 5) This adaptation of Terry McMillan’s bestselling novel is about four women overcoming their relationship problems and understanding the strength of their friendship. The film version is hampered by Forest Whitaker’s incredibly lazy direction that seems to take all of its brilliant and beautiful leads (Angela Bassett, Whitney Houston, Lela Rochon, Loretta…

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Soul Food

BBB.5 (out of 5) Touching comedy-drama about a family led by grandmother Irma P. Hall, whose traditional Sunday gatherings are called to a halt when she becomes seriously ill and is hospitalized. Running her affairs during her illness and dealing with her possible death are jobs taken on by her entire family, centering around three…

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True Romance

BB (out of 5) Quentin Tarantino wrote the screenplay for this excessively violent road picture directed by Tony Scott. Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette are excellent as lovers on the lam who are trying to outrun the police and the mob, while also hoping to maintain the delicious intensity of their relationship. There are some fun moments,…

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Suspect

BBBB (out of 5) Cher is marvelous in this taut, entertaining thriller as a lawyer who is given the impossible assignment of defending a deaf-mute on trial for murdering a high-profile judge’s mistress after the judge committed suicide. She skirts danger when she starts accepting information from a well-informed juror (Dennis Quaid), risking a mistrial…

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Internal Affairs

BBB (out of 5) Mike Figgis’ cop thriller stars Andy Garcia as an Internal Affairs investigator whose target is a crooked cop (Richard Gere) with ties to the mob. Without realizing it, Garcia has gotten into a scheme so deadly it could prove fatal for him and his family, not to mention his stalwart partner (Laurie…

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The Abyss

BBBBB (out of 5) Ed Harris leads a team of oceanic miners who spend their days drilling for oil deep below sea level. When a nuclear submarine is destroyed by unknown circumstances near their rig, the army sends down a team of professionals who need the benthic miners’ equipment to help with the investigation. Mary Elizabeth…

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Short Cuts

BBBBB (out of 5) This three-hour masterpiece adapts a number of Raymond Carver stories and blends them into one seamless epic. The stories concern a group of individuals living in California and the many challenges that they face in their lives. Julianne Moore stands out as a painter living with a sexually repressed husband (Matthew Modine),…

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Sparkle (2012)

BBB (out of 5) Unmemorable remake of the 1976 Irene Cara vehicle whose ambition to be the next Dreamgirls is obvious, and only makes it that much more forgettable. Making her feature film debut, American Idol songstress Jordin Sparks does a more than decent job in the title role of a girl whose desire to write…

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