The Producers (2005)

BBB (out of 5) Toe-tapping adaptation of the enormously popular Broadway musical, based on the Oscar-winning 1968 film by Mel Brooks. Stuffy accountant Matthew Broderick shows up at has-been Broadway producer Nathan Lane‘s office to audit his books, and eventually gets suckered into becoming Lane’s producing partner. They discover that a crooked loophole allows them to…

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Hairspray (2007)

BBBB (out of 5) A teenager in the 1960s decides to fight racial segregation and is met with serious threats to her future; sounds like an update of Mississippi Burning until you add big hair, rocking tunes and John Travolta in a dress. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky plays the youngster in question, Tracy, in this wonderful…

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To Be Or Not To Be (1983)

BBBBB (out of 5) In a deft and beautiful revision of the 1942 classic starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard, Mel Brooks and real-life wife Anne Bancroft (beautifully cast) play a popular Polish acting duo (“He’s world-famous in Poland!”) who play a game of survival with their Nazi occupiers in 1940s Warsaw. As in the…

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Annie

BB (out of 5) If you had the choice to either see this movie or walk a plank, take the plank. Adapted from the Broadway musical, which itself was based on the popular Depression-era comic strip, this insanely bad mishmash of a musical is about the titular plucky, redheaded orphan (Aileen Quinn seriously overdoing it)…

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Spaceballs (1987)

MEL BROOKS Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 1987.  Brooksfilms, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay by Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan, Ronny Graham.  Cinematography by Nick McLean.  Produced by Mel Brooks.  Music by John Morris.  Production Design by Terence Marsh.  Costume Design by Donfeld.  Film Editing by Conrad Buff IV.   Far behind the class of Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles, and yet this Star Wars spoof is still not…

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One Magic Christmas

BBB.5 (out of 5) Sweet, family-friendly fantasy about an angel (Harry Dean Stanton) who comes down to earth to teach an overworked, working-class mother (Mary Steenburgen) the meaning of Christmas. Worried about not being able to buy enough presents for everyone and keep house and home together through the holidays, Steenburgen has forgotten that Christmas…

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