A Simple Favor (2018)

PAUL FEIG Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5.  USA, 2018.  Bron Studios, Feigco Entertainment.  Screenplay by Jessica Sharzer, based on the novel by Darcey Bell.  Cinematography by John Schwartzman.  Produced by Paul Feig, Jessie Henderson.  Music by Theodore Shapiro.  Production Design by Jefferson Sage.  Costume Design by Renee Ehrlich Kalfus.  Film Editing by Brent White.  Anna Kendrick plays a suburban single mom who is…

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Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017)

DAVID SOREN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 2017.  DreamWorks Animation, Scholastic Productions.  Screenplay by Nicholas Stoller, based on the epic novels by Dav Pilkey, additional screenplay material by David Soren.  Produced by Mireille Soria, Mark Swift.  Music by Theodore Shapiro.  Production Design by Nate Wragg.  Film Editing by Matt Landon.   Dav Pilkey’s popular children’s books are brought to the big screen with their…

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Snatched (2017)

JONATHAN LEVINE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 2017.  Chernin Entertainment, Feigco Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  Screenplay by Katie Dippold.  Cinematography by Florian Ballhaus.  Produced by Peter Chernin, Paul Feig, Jessie Henderson, Jenno Topping.  Music by Chris Bacon, Theodore Shapiro.  Production Design by Mark Ricker.  Costume Design by Leesa Evans.  Film Editing by Zene Baker, Melissa Bretherton.   Amy Schumer‘s life is at…

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Office Christmas Party

BBBB (out of 5) The Chicago branch of a software company is preparing for a mild non-denominational holiday mixer when its tough-as-nails interim CEO (an outstanding Jennifer Aniston) storms in and brings Grinch-worthy news: the branch’s profit margin under her goofy, spoiled brother (T.J. Miller) is shoddy and, rather than wait for things to improve, she is planning to shut the entire…

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Ghostbusters

BBB.5 (out of 5) Ivan Reitman’s comedy classic has been updated to the new millennium but not a new setting as slimy creatures of the paranormal once again terrorize citizens of New York.  After a spectral figure appears to a tour guide in a historic Manhattan mansion, its manager begs a former believer and now…

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Central Intelligence (2016)

RAWSON MARSHALL THURBER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  USA, 2016.  New Line Cinema, Bluegrass Films, Perfect World Pictures,  Principato-Young Entertainment, Universal Pictures.  Story by Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen, Screenplay by Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen, Rawson Marshall Thurber.  Cinematography by Barry Peterson.  Produced by Peter Principato, Scott Stuber, Paul Young.  Music by Ludwig Göransson, Theodore Shapiro.  Production Design by Stephen J. Lineweaver.  Costume Design…

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Danny Collins

BB.5 (out of 5) Al Pacino plays a Manilow-esque crooner who hasn’t written a song in decades but spends his time making tons of cash playing stadium concerts for the nostalgia crowd. His long-time devoted manager (Christopher Plummer) informs him that he has found an incredible artifact that neither of them knew about before: a…

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Trumbo

BBB.5 (out of 5) Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (played here by Bryan Cranston) easily became a prime target for the HUAC during the height of the Red Scare: gregarious, charismatic and a card-carrying Communist party member for years, Trumbo sees the congressional hearings as a blight on the First Amendment and, despite the suggestion of his peers,…

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The Intern

BB.5 (out of 5) Robert De Niro has reached seventy, a retired widower who hasn’t lost the desire to stay  busy or useful.  He answers an ad for an internet startup company that is looking to hire senior citizens as interns, likely to expand their online clothing-selling market to more than just the young people who…

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Spy

BBBB (out of 5) Handsome C.I.A. agent Jude Law works the field looking gorgeous in a tux, his ability to move smoothly through enemy territory and always know where bad guys are hiding possible thanks to the lonely, frumpy desk agent (Melissa McCarthy) who watches his every move on her computer monitors.  McCarthy has always dreamed…

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St. Vincent

BBB (out of 5) The relationship between a young boy and a mean old man begins without much promise when an accident brings them together, a moving truck damaging the tree in Bill Murray‘s front yard as Melissa McCarthy and her little boy are attempting to move in next door.  He’s a filthy curmudgeon who drinks,…

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13 Going On 30

BBBB (out of 5) It’s 1987, and 13 year-old Jenna Rink is desperate to fit in with the cool kids at school. She even goes as far as alienating her geeky best friend Matt at her birthday party in order to impress ‘in-crowd’ ringleader Lucy. When she’s sprinkled with some birthday wishing dust and announces…

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