The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

ETHAN COEN, JOEL COEN Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.  USA, 2018.  Annapurna Pictures, Annapurna Television, Mike Zoss Productions.  Screenplay by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, segment All Gold Canyon based on a story by Jack London, segment The Gal Who Got Rattled inspired by a story by Stewart Edward White.  Cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel.  Produced by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen,…

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The Homesman

B.5 (out of 5) Three women are driven mad by the hardships of carving out a life on the unforgiving terrain of the mid-nineteenth century American frontier, prompting their husbands to send them back east to their families.  Hilary Swank plays an independent farmer who volunteers to be their escort, along the way taking on the…

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Meet The Fockers

BBB.5 (out of 5) Now that we’ve gotten to know Ben Stiller’s in-laws from Meet The Parents, it’s time to get to know his family. Just prior to his wedding to Teri Polo, Stiller invites her parents (Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner) to Florida to meet his (Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand) and hopes to God…

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Leaves Of Grass

BB (out of 5) Classics professor Edward Norton has worked hard to make himself the foremost scholar on ancient Greek philosophy, so much so that top Ivy League schools are starting to court him for their faculty. The future is threatened when he gets a phone call telling him that his decidedly opposite-personality but identical…

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The Last Shot

BBB (out of 5) Hilarious spoof, reportedly based on a true story, brims with vigour and wit and then ends without a satisfying third act. Alec Baldwin plays an FBI agent who comes up with a brilliant scheme to catch a mob boss (Tony Shalhoub) his team has long been after: fake a movie production so…

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As I Lay Dying

B.5 (out of 5) James Franco continues his career as film director with this laborious adaptation of the novel by William Faulkner.  Beth Grant passes away and leaves behind her sons, whom she has instructed to make her coffin with their own hands and take her after her death to be buried in a nearby…

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The Incredible Hulk

BBB.5 (out of 5) The mean green mother is back, a little slicker than last time, and thankfully, a lot sillier. It’s been almost a year since anyone has seen Bruce Banner (Edward Norton), as he has escaped from his university laboratory and scientist girlfriend (Liv Tyler) to hide out in a Brazilian slum. Tyler’s…

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Minority Report (2002)

STEVEN SPIELBERG Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.  USA, 2002.  Twentieth Century Fox, DreamWorks, Cruise/Wagner Productions, Blue Tulip Productions, Ronald Shusett/Gary Goldman, Digital Image Associates.  Screenplay by Scott Frank, Jon Cohen, based on the short story by Philip K. Dick.  Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski.  Produced by Bonnie Curtis, Jan de Bont, Gerald R. Molen, Walter F. Parkes.  Music by John Williams.  Production Design…

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Lincoln (2012)

STEVEN SPIELBERG Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.  USA, 2012.  DreamWorks, Twentieth Century Fox, Reliance Entertainment, Participant Media, Dune Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Walt Disney Pictures.  Screenplay by Tony Kushner, based on the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski.  Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg.  Music by John Williams.  Production Design by Rick Carter.  Costume Design by…

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Amateur

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A confused amnesiac (Martin Donovan) befriends a nymphomanic ex-nun (Isabelle Huppert) who now writes pornography (though not well enough for her editor). A friend of Huppert’s (Elina Löwensohn), herself a porn star, insists that Donovan is actually her sadistic husband who forced her into her life of flesh peddling before he was…

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Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed

BBB.5 (out of 5) Jinkies, who knew a sequel could be that much more fun than the original? Fresher and a lot more fun, this sequel to the 2002 blockbuster hit will entertain more than just the very young. After the unveiling of the Mystery, Inc. museum, in which the gang of crime busters have…

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This Is My Life

BB.5 (out of 5) Julie Kavner stars as a single mother who is struggling to make a life for herself as a stand-up comedian.  Samantha Mathis and Gaby Hoffmann are terrific as her confused daughters experiencing the worst ravages of growing pains, but what really makes this film memorable is that the fantastic Kavner finally gets…

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