First Man (2018)

DAMIEN CHAZELLE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA/Japan, 2018.  Universal Pictures, DreamWorks, Perfect World Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment, Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, Dentsu, Fuji Television Network.  Screenplay by Josh Singer, based on the book by James R. Hansen.  Cinematography by Linus Sandgren.  Produced by Marty Bowen, Damien Chazelle, Wyck Godfrey, Isaac Klausner.  Music by Justin Hurwitz.  Production Design by…

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Fast & Furious 6 (Furious 6)

BBBB (out of 5) Paradise is everything but exciting, so it’s no surprise when the group that made off with such a huge payload in part 5 are ready to jump back into the hot seat. Vin Diesel is sure that he has nothing to say to DSS hotshot Dwayne Johnson, but when Johnson shows up at his house…

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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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Star Trek Beyond

BBB (out of 5) The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are bounding along through space, a healthy team of workers even if interpersonal relationships between the likes of Spock and Uhura are strained and Kirk is wondering if there is any point to spending your life searching an endless universe.  His contemplation is stalled when the rescue of an alien race…

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Fast And Furious

BB.5 (out of 5) Paul Walker‘s Brian O’Conner is now working for the FBI, while Vin Diesel‘s Dominic Toretto has been living in exile when he hears that his lady love has been killed in a car accident. Her death is linked to a heroin smuggler who transports drugs across state lines, which is also…

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This Must Be The Place

BB.5 (out of 5) Sean Penn plays an aging Robert Plant-like rock star who has left the business and lives off his riches in a small Irish town with his firefighter wife (Frances McDormand).  He spends days with his few friends, among them a groupie girl and a chatty, womanizing bloke.  Penn’s thin, reedy voice flatly…

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Tigerland

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A group of young American soldiers are trained in a hellish boot camp in Louisiana before being sent off to Vietnam. Unlike the men who have come before them, however, these guys are being trained well past the point when news reports coming back from the battlefield are reporting heavy losses….

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The Wolf Of Wall Street

BBB (out of 5) Martin Scorsese situates GoodFellas in the stock exchange for this biopic of Jordan Belfort (played here by Leonardo DiCaprio), the Wall Street tycoon who starts out a faceless trader on the floors of the financial capital before owning his own multi-billion dollar company founded on shady deals and crooked methods.  By…

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American Hustle

BB.5 (out of 5) The Abscam affair of the late seventies is reenacted in this middling comedy, one with a few laughs and some enjoyable caricatures to punctuate a slow pace and uneven direction.  Christian Bale is a career con artist who stows young wife Jennifer Lawrence at home while parading around town with his partner in…

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Take Shelter

BBBB (out of 5) Michael Shannon is electrifying as a steadily employed Ohio construction worker who lives the good life with his wife (Jessica Chastain) and daughter but is plagued by unsettling, apocalyptic visions. Night after night he experiences nightmares about Biblical destructions upon the land, and things get hairier when he begins to see omens…

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All The Real Girls

BBB.5 (out of 5) A girl recently returned from school (Zooey Deschanel) begins a shy affair with her brother’s womanizing best friend (Paul Schneider), both of them in fear of the consequences if her protective sibling were ever to find out. As their relationship progresses, he realizes that he really is in love this time,…

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The Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call – New Orleans

BB (out of 5) This free form remake of a recent film, which director Werner Herzog casually admits that he has never seen, should have been a hell of a lot crazier, particularly as Nicolas Cage gives one of his most unabashedly campy performances.  He plays a tough New Orleans cop who becomes a drug addict following an…

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