The Jazz Singer (1980)

BB (out of 5) Neil Diamond makes an ill-advised acting debut in this unnecessary second remake of the corny 1927 original.  He plays a musician looking to make it as a singer/songwriter but is held back by his traditional father (Laurence Olivier), who wants Diamond to take his place in their family as the next…

Rate this:

Twenty Feet From Stardom (2013)

MORGAN NEVILLE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 2013.  Gil Friesen Productions, Tremolo Productions.  Cinematography by Nicola Marsh, Graham Willoughby.  Produced by Gil Friesen, Caitrin Rogers.  Film Editing by Douglas Blush, Kevin Klauber, Jason Zeldes.  Academy Awards 2013.   Rarely do you attend a concert of a big name musical act that does not have on the stage at least one background singer enriching…

Rate this:

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)…

Rate this:

What’s Love Got To Do With It

BBBB (out of 5) Tina Turner’s volatile relationship with Ike Turner is brought to the screen with exceptional skill, thanks mostly to the two brilliant performances in the leads. Laurence Fishburne is charismatic and brilliant as the equally charming, equally acidic Ike, whose abuse of Tina (a sensational Angela Bassett) led her to divorce him after…

Rate this:

Vampire In Brooklyn

BB (out of 5) Eddie Murphy plays an ages-old vampire who arrives by ship in New York and is awakened there; one look at policewoman Angela Bassett and he’s hooked. The film tries to be funny, but its unappetizing combination of screwball comedy and disgusting imagery will keep fans from really warming up to it, even those…

Rate this:

Without You I’m Nothing

BBB (out of 5) Sandra Bernhard takes her superb live show, a ground-breaking mixture of concert and stand-up comedy, and transfers it to the big screen with mixed results. She keeps many of the monologues intact, including ruminations on the meaning of life, mentions of celebrities she knows or observes and, best of all, stories of…

Rate this:

Brother Bear

BBBB (out of 5) Disney turns to Native folklore once again for an animated feature, this time the results being highly superior to Barbie-Pocahontas. A young Inuit boy named Kenai, ignoring his own totem of brotherly love, unfairly seeks revenge on the grizzly bear that was involved in his brother’s death, and after killing it…

Rate this: