Girls Trip (2017)

MALCOLM D. LEE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 2017.  Universal Pictures, Will Packer Productions.  Story by Erica Rivinoja, Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver, Screenplay by Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver.  Cinematography by Greg Gardiner.  Produced by Malcolm D. Lee, William Packer.  Music by David Newman.  Production Design by Keith Brian Burns.  Costume Design by Danielle Hollowell.  Film Editing by Paul Millspaugh.   Four women who were…

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Scary Movie 3

BB (out of 5) The spoofs keep rolling in as the Wayan Brothers step out of the way and let director David Zucker take over for the franchise. This time the jokes aren’t nearly as gross as they were in the first two films, but eventually the skits become as tedious they always do. The…

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Last Holiday

BBB (out of 5) Queen Latifah‘s charms can be blamed for the enjoyment here, for while this feelgood comedy by Wayne Wang has most of its cliches telegraphed to the audience by megaphone, the star’s constant classy and unsentimental attitude are well in its favour. She plays a timid department store employee who dreams of…

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Beauty Shop

BB (out of 5) Spin-off from the Barbershop franchise gives Queen Latifah, who had a cameo in Barbershop 2, her own film. She plays a widow with a small daughter who, at the beginning of the film, has packed them up and moved from Chicago to Atlanta, where she works in the chic salon of an…

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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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Bringing Down The House

BB (out of 5) This intellectually inferior Disney comedy is nothing but two hours of missed opportunities. Steve Martin plays a lonely divorcee who has struck up a sweet romance in an internet chat room, presumably with a pretty young lawyer named Charlene. When Charlene (Queen Latifah) shows up at his doorstep for their first…

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Ice Age: The Meltdown

BBB.5 (out of 5) Your favourite prehistoric pals Manny, Sid and Diego are back at it again in this beautifully animated, slightly superior sequel to the 2001 hit film. Mammoth Manny (Ray Romano) has to deal with the possibility of extinction when he realizes that there are no other mammoths that he knows of. This…

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The Bone Collector

BB.5 (out of 5) Typical and predictable thriller that is worth watching only for its amusingly gothic atmosphere and a great lead performance by Angelina Jolie.  She plays a patrol officer who stumbles on a serial killer’s trail when she discovers the body of a rich industrialist buried near an old railway station. The case…

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Valentine’s Day

BB (out of 5) Garry Marshall spreads his penchant for empty-headed feelgood stories over a multitude of characters in this nearly unbearable romantic comedy that examines the lives of Los Angelinos on Valentine’s Day. Among them is a teenager (Emma Roberts) preparing to have sex with her boyfriend for the first time, a secretary (Anne…

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Sphere

BB.5 (out of 5) Disappointing adaptation of Michael Crichton’s (much better) novel about the discovery of a spaceship on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Psychiatrist Dustin Hoffman, math geniuses Samuel L. Jackson and Liev Schreiber and marine biologist Sharon Stone are all called in by army chief Peter Coyote to explore the phenomenon of the possibly alien shipwreck…

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Living Out Loud

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Powerful film inspired by Chekhov stories from first-time director and accomplished screenwriter Richard LaGravenese. Holly Hunter superbly plays a recent divorcee who has no idea that reclaiming her own identity after her husband (Martin Donovan) leaves her for a much younger woman will be a long journey of self-discovery and painful missteps….

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Mad Money

B (out of 5) Diane Keaton plays an upper middle-class wife whose husband (Ted Danson) is downsized by the recession and spends months unable to get another job. Swimming in debt and in danger of losing her beautiful house, Keaton gets the only job she can, as a janitor for the federal reserve bank and while…

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