The Mountain Between Us (2017)

HANY ABU-ASSAD Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.5.  USA, 2017.  Chernin Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  Screenplay by Chris Weitz, J. Mills Goodloe, based on the novel by Charles Martin.  Cinematography by Mandy Walker.  Produced by Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, David Ready, Jenno Topping.  Music by Ramin Djawadi.  Production Design by Patrice Vermette.  Costume Design by Renee Ehrlich Kalfus.  Film Editing by Lee Percy.  Toronto…

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

MATTHEW VAUGHN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  United Kingdom/USA, 2017.  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marv Films, Shangri-La Entertainment, TSG Entertainment.  Screenplay by Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, based on the comic book The Secret Service by Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons.  Cinematography by George Richmond.  Produced by Adam Bohling, David Reid, Matthew Vaughn.  Music by Henry Jackman, Matthew Margeson.  Production Design by Darren Gilford.  Costume Design…

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Wilson (1944)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Fox head Darryl F. Zanuck really put his back into the studio’s prestige picture of 1944 with this polished and respectable hagiography of the 28th American president, applying the technological power (Technicolor cinematography, giant sets) usually reserved for big-budget musicals.  The film begins with Woodrow Wilson’s days as president of Princeton…

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The Towering Inferno

BBB.5 (out of 5) An enormous skyscraper made entirely of glass and featuring every possible modern convenience is built in San Francisco (prime earthquake territory, by the way) and its owner (William Holden) and architect (Paul Newman) are preparing for its grand opening gala. Holden left the building’s electrical wiring to his snotty son-in-law (Richard…

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In Old Chicago (1937)

HENRY KING Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1937.  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Darryl F. Zanuck Productions.  Story by Niven Busch, Screenplay by Lamar Trotti, Sonya Levien.  Cinematography by J. Peverell Marley.  Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck.  Music by Cyril J. Mockridge.  Production Design by William S. Darling, Rudolph Sternad.  Costume Design by Royer.  Film Editing by Barbara McLean.  Academy Awards 1937.   The old…

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The Robe

BBBB (out of 5) A new era of Hollywood was ushered in with this first Cinemascope release (though How To Marry A Millionaire was actually shot earlier and distributed later), which also served as Richard Burton‘s first leading Hollywood role after his breakthrough the year before in My Cousin Rachel.  It tells the story of a Roman tribune…

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Nightmare Alley

BBBB (out of 5) Tyrone Power plays the member of a carnival troop who longs to make himself the star attraction, scheming his way into Joan Blondell‘s arms and convincing her to teach him all the tricks to being a master mentalist (the guy who puts on a blindfold and guesses, through a series of…

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The Only Game In Town (1970)

GEORGE STEVENS Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 1970.  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  Screenplay by Frank D. Gilroy, based on his play.  Cinematography by Henri Decae.  Produced by Fred Kohlmar.  Music by Maurice Jarre.  Production Design by Herman A. Blumenthal, Auguste Capelier.  Costume Design by Mia Fonssagrives, Vicki Tiel.  Film Editing by John W. Holmes, William Sands, Pat Shade.   Vegas showgirl Elizabeth Taylor stops at a divey bar…

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Patton

BBBB (out of 5) George C. Scott soars in this fascinating biopic of General George S. Patton.  He makes a name for himself after a successful 1942 campaign against Rommel in North Africa that turns America’s fortunes around, then plays ego games with the British in his subsequent campaign in Sicily.  The general’s eccentric personality, which…

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The Blue Bird

B (out of 5) The first Soviet-American co-production, meant to outwit the political battles of the Cold War by showing the unifying nature of art; the effort was something of a failure since reports were that there was no peace on the film’s set and, more telling, it did not lead to more projects of…

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My Cousin Rachel (1952)

BBBB (out of 5) Daphne Du Maurier’s captivating mystery was barely on the shelves for a year when this big screen adaptation was released, introducing mass audiences to the talent of Richard Burton in his first widely seen role (and his first of seven Oscar nominations).  He plays the orphan raised by a loving cousin who…

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Alien: Covenant (2017)

RIDLEY SCOTT Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  USA/United Kingdom/Australia/New Zealand/Canada, 2017.  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Scott Free Productions, TSG Entertainment, Brandywine Productions.  Story by Jack Paglen, Michael Green, Screenplay by John Logan, Dante Harper, based on characters created by Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett.  Cinematography by Dariusz Wolski.  Produced by David Giler, Walter Hill, Mark Huffam, Michael Schaefer, Ridley Scott.  Music…

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