Incredibles 2 (2018)

BRAD BIRD Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 2018.  Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures.  Screenplay by Brad Bird.  Cinematography by Mahyar Abousaeedi.  Produced by Nicole Paradis Grindle, John Walker.  Music by Michael Giacchino.  Production Design by Ralph Eggleston.  Film Editing by Stephen Schaffer. It’s been fourteen years since their first onscreen adventure, but as the aging effects of animation are nowhere near…

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Kong: Skull Island

BBB.5 (out of 5) Monkey trouble doesn’t even begin to describe what a scientific expedition and ists military escort experience when the assessment of the geological properties of an uncharted island reveals the place to have more than a few aggressive inhabitants.  With the Vietnam War winding down and the American government looking to increase its power in the…

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I Am Not Your Negro

BBBBB (out of 5) Celebrated author and civil rights activist James Baldwin worked on a book meant to cover the lives and deaths of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., all of whom he knew personally before they were assassinated, but never got past fifty pages of notes.  These writings form the skeletal basis…

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The Legend Of Tarzan

BB.5 (out of 5) How you gonna keep him down on the manse, after he’s seen the free, free jungles of Africa?  Tarzan, now John Clayton, lord of Greystoke, has returned to the land of his ancestry and is the proper gentleman of his estate, living happily with his wife Jane and charming the children with…

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The Hateful Eight

BBB (out of 5) Samuel L. Jackson blocks the path of a coach making its way to Red Rock across a nineteenth century snow-capped Wyoming ridge, begging a ride from its passengers. Jackson is a bounty hunter hauling in a few dead bodies for the reward, while riding comfortably inside the coach is another (Kurt…

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Avengers: Age Of Ultron

BBB (out of 5) The superhero variety bag is back, they once again have to save the world and, in an ironic twist, the villain trying to destroy humanity is their own damn fault!  Robert Downey Jr.‘s Iron Man has been dabbling with artificial intelligence technology and his latest experiment has gone awry, a wormy…

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Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

MATTHEW VAUGHN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  United Kingdom, 2014.  Twentieth Century Fox, Marv Films, Cloudy Productions, TSG Entertainment.  Screenplay by Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, based on the comic book The Secret Service by Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons.  Cinematography by George Richmond.  Produced by Adam Bohling, David Reid, Matthew Vaughn.  Music by Henry Jackman, Matthew Margeson.  Production Design by Paul Kirby.  Costume Design by Arianne…

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The New Age

BB.5 (out of 5) Disappointing comedy that reunites Peter Weller and Judy Davis, who previously performed together in David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch. They play a middle-aging couple in California who, thanks to employment troubles, are being forced to catch up with the trendy times of modern L.A. in order to survive. They do power-lunches, swanky…

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The Avengers (2012)

BBB (out of 5) Imagine the cinematic version of a cereal multi-pak and you have this combination of superhero films that puts some of Marvel’s most popular moneymakers together in an effort to, what else, save the world. The dull plot has Thor’s villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) descend to our modest earth in the hopes…

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Shaft (2000)

BBBB (out of 5) Samuel L. Jackson rules this film update of Ernest Tidyman’s cool-as-sin cop creation, first filmed in 1971 with Richard Roundtree. John Singleton brings Shaft to the nineties without losing the slick seventies look that made the original so much a piece of nostalgia, even including themes and the main song from Isaac…

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Unbreakable

BB.5 (out of 5) M. Night Shyamalan must have thought the intensity in his previous classic thriller The Sixth Sense was the result of having everyone speak in a low hush from the depths of their stomachs, and boy does he ride it for all it is worth in his follow-up. Bruce Willis gives a very able…

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A Time To Kill

BB.5 (out of 5) One of the most overproduced John Grisham film adaptations is taken from his first book.  It would be far too easy to point out the drawbacks of this dramatic debacle (overly long running time, deceptively simple political issues dressed up as complex themes), so we’ll concentrate on the positive: this was…

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