Marshall (2017)

REGINALD HUDLIN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 2017.  Chestnut Ridge Productions, China Wit Media, Starlight Media, Super Hero Films.  Screenplay by Jacob Koskoff, Michael Koskoff.  Cinematography by Newton Thomas Sigel.  Produced by Reginald Hudlin, Jonathan Sanger, Paula Wagner.  Music by Marcus Miller.  Production Design by Richard Hoover.  Costume Design by Ruth E. Carter.  Film Editing by Tom McArdle.  Academy Awards 2017. Years before making history…

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The Last Samurai

BBB.5 (out of 5) After participating in a number of Civil War battles (many of which helped decimate the populations of natives in North America), an embittered, drunken veteran (Tom Cruise) follows his superior officers to Japan in search of big money. He has been hired by the emperor to train the country’s army in…

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Mission: Impossible II

BBB (out of 5) This time the film is shorter on brains and longer on excitement, making it pretty much just as good as the original but on its own terms. Where the first Tom Cruise adventure was craftier and better at paying tribute to international spy thrillers of the sixties, this time director John…

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Ask The Dust

B.5 (out of 5) Incredibly dreary, uninvolving drama set in Depression-era Hollywood. Colin Farrell plays an Italian-American writer who shows up in L.A. in the hopes of chasing the dream, but finds only a major struggle to pay the rent. When he does start to achieve some success selling his stories, he ends up feeling an…

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Suspect Zero

BB.5 (out of 5) A demoted FBI agent (Aaron Eckhart) has just arrived at his new position in New Mexico after a fiasco in Dallas years before that had him apprehending a serial murderer under illegal circumstances. Now hanging his Kirk Douglas chin in shame, he has another case fall into his lap when three…

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Mission: Impossible

BBBB (out of 5) Brian De Palma has done a great job with bringing the classic sixties television show to a nineties sensibility, and he’s got a veritable movie star like Tom Cruise to pull it off without a hitch. Cruise plays superspy Ethan Hunt, who witnesses his entire team get murdered in front of…

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Elizabethtown

B (out of 5) Cameron Crowe’s successor to the wonderful films Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous is this unmitigated mess that tries to capture the best of both films (basically the quirky romance and kickass soundtrack).  Orlando Bloom plays a designer for a sportswear corporation who loses his company a billion dollars when his innovative design…

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Vanilla Sky

BB.5 (out of 5) Useless remake of Alejandro Amenabar’s terrifying Spanish thriller Open Your Eyes now has Tom Cruise as a rich and handsome young man whose face is disfigured after a jealous woman (Cameron Diaz) with whom he casually trysts from time to time crashes her car and kills herself with him in it. His…

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Death Race

B.5 (out of 5) After the U.S. succumbs to a devastating economic collapse in 2012, federal penitentiaries are privatized and run by greedy corporations. The bosses now make money off their prisoners by having them participate in highly dangerous car races that fight to the death, a modern gladiatorial spectator sport that proves to be…

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Mission: Impossible III

BBB.5 (out of 5) In 1996, megastar Tom Cruise worked overtime for his audiences, providing us with the slam bang action of Mission: Impossible and giving us a glimpse into his tender soul with his Oscar-nominated (and, no sarcasm here, genuinely impressive) turn in Jerry Maguire. How considerate of him, after eleven years of insane inflation…

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