Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

RON HOWARD Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 2018.  Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Pictures, Allison Shearmur Productions, Imagine Entertainment.  Screenplay by Jonathan Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan, based on characters created by George Lucas.  Cinematography by Bradford Young.  Produced by Simon Emanuel, Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur.  Music by John Powell.  Production Design by Neil Lamont.  Costume Design by David Crossman, Glyn Dillon.  Film Editing by Pietro Scalia….

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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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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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Run Fatboy Run

BB.5 (out of 5) N’er-do-weller Simon Pegg left his pregnant fiancee (Thandie Newton) at the altar and five years later is not doing so well. Working a dead-end job and behind on the rent, he compounds his situation by being a loving but irresponsible dad to his now 5 year-old son. He’s motivated into action when…

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Norbit

0 (out of 5) Eddie Murphy has had a few dogs in his highly successful career, but it’s still surprising to think that this piece of garbage could involve him. Teaming up with makeup wizard Rick Baker, Murphy plays three characters: the title role, a soft-spoken dweeb who is raised in an orphanage, an (offensively stereotyped)…

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Crash (2004)

BBB (out of 5) Culture clash in Los Angeles is the subject of this grim, multi-plotted drama, though deep down inside it’s also about the current climate of American politics: these characters make war on each other in an effort to feel safer in their own lives. Tragic events and terrible conflicts result in the…

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Flirting

BBBB.5 (out of 5) John Duigan’s sequel to The Year My Voice Broke is superior to its original. It continues the adventures of a young Australian boy (a superb Noah Taylor) who moves from the outback to a ritzy boarding school and falls in love with an African exchange student (Thandie Newton). Nicole Kidman has…

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The Truth About Charlie

BB (out of 5) It’s hard to watch a remake of one of your favourite movies (Charade in this case) without being somewhat biased, but I’m fairly confident that even those completely unaware of the Audrey Hepburn-Cary Grant classic will find this a boring and uneventful thriller.  Thandie Newton makes the perfect Hepburn update as…

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Beloved

BBBB (out of 5) Rich storytelling and absolutely stunning production design by Kristi Zea contribute greatly to this adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.  Oprah Winfrey, in her first big screen venture since she debuted with The Colour Purple in 1985, stars (and also produced) as Sethe, an escaped slave living in Ohio who…

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Interview With The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

BBBB (out of 5) Marvelous vampire horror film adapted by Anne Rice from her popular novel. A modern-day reporter (Christian Slater) in San Francisco sits down with a 400 year-old vampire (Brad Pitt) and finds out about his entire life history, starting from when he was turned to the world of the undead by a…

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Jefferson In Paris

B (out of 5) Low point for Merchant Ivory, this completely brainless period epic examines the years when Thomas Jefferson (Nick Nolte) was American minister to France, entertaining a romance with a married aristocrat (Greta Scacchi). Also starring a just pre-fame Gwyneth Paltrow, the film suffers from a terrible screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala that has…

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Besieged

BBBB (out of 5) Thandie Newton escapes political turbulence in Africa to work in Rome as a house cleaner for a professional pianist (David Thewlis) while studying medicine. Thewlis announces one day that he loves her and will do anything for her, so she requests that he help get her husband out of jail in Africa…

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