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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Chronicles Of Riddick

BBB (out of 5) Five years after the exciting events of Pitch Black, morally ambiguous ex-convict Riddick (Vin Diesel) is caught by a bounty hunter and brought to a planet about to be invaded by the evil Necromongers. Led by a half-spirit general (Colm Feore), Necromongers are an army of controlled religious zealots who are…

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Terminal Velocity

BB.5 (out of 5) The rare pleasure of seeing Nastassja Kinski starring in a film is a good reason to check out this silly action film, but be warned, it also stars Charlie Sheen.  He plays a skydiving instructor who initiates this lovely lady into her first sky jump, one that she doesn’t survive thanks to…

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The Gun In Betty Lou’s Handbag

BB.5 (out of 5) Silly little comedy that begins with a mostly believable premise. Penelope Ann Miller feels so ignored by the people around her, including her distracted husband (Eric Thal), that she pretends to be the guilty party of an unsolved mystery in order to add some spice to her life. She is investigated, has…

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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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Jumanji

BB (out of 5) Plodding children’s movie has Robin Williams and Bonnie Hunt reunite after being childhood friends many years before, reopening a dangerous exotic board game that features wild animals. The game comes to life and pretty soon the small town they live in is being stampeded by wild elephants, rhinoceroses and whatever else you could…

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Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey

BBBB (out of 5) This sequel to the 1989 hit comedy actually manages to strike a few more comedic chords than its predecessor. One wouldn’t think that the no-brainer original would be worth repeating, but the story has actually been improved and the main characters are still as much fun.  Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are once…

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Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

BBB.5 (out of 5) Two complete blockheads (Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter) are in danger of failing a high school history class until a magical telephone booth transports them to different eras in time. They meet Napoleon and Socrates (which they pronounce SO-krayts), survive the iron maiden and get back in time to make a presentation in…

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The Proposition (1998)

B.5 (out of 5) William Hurt and Madeleine Stowe play a filthy rich, prominent society couple whose marital troubles are centered on the fact that he can’t get her pregnant. To solve the problem, they hire a young lawyer from Hurt’s firm (Neil Patrick Harris) to do the job, but he falls in love with the leading…

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Roommates

BBB (out of 5) Peter Falk can’t get enough of stealing scenes in this touching family drama, as a Polish American baker who raises his grandson after the boy loses both parents. Naturally, they butt heads when the boy grows up (and becomes D.B. Sweeney) and decides to have his own personality. Lots of wonderful,…

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Zathura: A Space Adventure

BB.5 (out of 5) Kids will be less likely to be bothered by the cliched characters that populate this distracting adventure film, from the minds who brought you Jumanji. When a little boy discovers an old space-themed board game in his basement, he shows it to his brother for them to play, completely unaware that the…

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Paradise

BBB.5 (out of 5) Elijah Wood is sent to live with his aunt (Melanie Griffith) and uncle (Don Johnson) for the summer while his parents deal with their impending divorce.  He stumbles upon the couple’s personal tragedy of losing a baby some years earlier, and the toll it has taken on their now unhappy marriage. He…

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