Other People

BBBB (out of 5) Aspiring television writer Jesse Plemons has returned home to be with his mother (Molly Shannon) for what will turn out to be the last year of her life after she has been diagnosed with cancer.  He hasn’t achieved what he’s been after in his career, he hasn’t told his family that he broke up with his…

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Nobody Knows Anything

0 (out of 5) Alanna Ubach graduates film school and longs desperately to make a movie based on her observations of her errant cousin. Thankfully she has an uncle in the business, but this does nothing to help her as she navigates herself from one disastrous pitch meeting to another, the scenes of which are intercut…

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Clockwatchers

BBB (out of 5) Parker Posey, Lisa Kudrow, Alanna Ubach and Toni Collette all give strong performances as four temps working mundane office jobs.  Each of them has goals they’re waiting to satisfy, except for Collette, who’s only temping because she can’t figure out what she really wants to do with her life. Trouble comes when someone…

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Hairspray (2007)

BBBB (out of 5) A teenager in the 1960s decides to fight racial segregation and is met with serious threats to her future; sounds like an update of Mississippi Burning until you add big hair, rocking tunes and John Travolta in a dress. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky plays the youngster in question, Tracy, in this wonderful…

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Insomnia (2002)

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA/Canada, 2002.  Alcon Entertainment, Witt/Thomas Productions, Section Eight, Insomnia Productions, Summit Entertainment.  Screenplay by Hillary Seitz, based on the 1997 screenplay by Nikolaj Frobenius, Erik Skjoldbjaerg.  Cinematography by Wally Pfister.  Produced by Broderick Johnson, Paul Junger Witt, Andrew A. Kosove, Edward McDonnell.  Music by David Julyan.  Production Design by Nathan Crowley.  Costume Design by Tish Monaghan.  Film Editing…

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Runaway Bride

B.5 (out of 5) Idiotic romantic comedy from Garry Marshall that makes his Pretty Woman seem like a graduate thesis. Julia Roberts and Richard Gere (reunited from the aforementioned romantic comedy after nine years) do extremely well with a ridiculous script about a young woman who can’t seem to make it all the way down the altar, and the…

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Up The Sandbox

BBBB (out of 5) Barbra Streisand is great as a New York housewife who is constantly indulging in odd daydreams, some pleasant and some paranoid, about all aspects of her life. Is her husband faithful? What do people think about when they stare at her? Is there something about the crisis in Cuba that she…

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Happy, Texas

BBB.5 (out of 5) Two escaped convicts (Jeremy Northam, Steve Zahn) steal a gay couple’s RV and get stuck in the small town where the couple were expected to perform duties as beauty pageant coordinators. The cons pretend to be the couple in order to collect the giant sum of money that they’re being paid…

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Sixteen Candles

BBBB (out of 5) While The Breakfast Club is the most intelligent and probing of John Hughes’s teen-themed movies, Sixteen Candles is the funniest. Molly Ringwald plays a, what else, blissfully normal teenager whose sixteenth birthday happens on the weekend of her sister’s wedding, thus prompting her family to completely forget and overshadow her the whole…

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A Dangerous Woman

BB (out of 5) A great deal of publicity preceded this film, mainly pushing Debra Winger for awards consideration; ultimately the film made little impact and she got all her nominations for Shadowlands that year instead. She’s effective as a mentally challenged woman who lives with her patient aunt (Barbara Hershey) and is known for always being completely honest. Her…

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For Your Consideration

BBB (out of 5) The loopy reality of Oscar buzz is explored in this light-hearted poke at the film industry. Director Christopher Guest has abandoned the mockumentary style that made films like This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman and Best In Show such classics, instead making a straight comedy that follows the making of Home…

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A Mighty Wind

BB (out of 5) Christopher Guest and his troupe, that naughty collective of terrific comedians who gave us Waiting For Guffman and Best In Show, have come back to rip apart another American institution, folk music.  Following the death of a pioneer folk-music producer, the deceased’s son (Bob Balaban) decides to put on a concert with…

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