Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

KENNETH BRANAGH Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  Twentieth Century Fox, Genre Films, Kinberg Genre, The Mark Gordon Company, Scott Free Productions, Latina Pictures, The Estate of Agatha Christie.  Malta/USA, 2017.  Screenplay by Michael Green, based on the novel by Agatha Christie.  Cinematography by Haris Zambarloukos.  Produced by Kenneth Branagh, Mark Gordon, Judy Hofflund, Simon Kinberg, Michael Schaefer, Ridley Scott.  Music by Patrick Doyle.  Production…

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The Florida Project (2017)

SEAN BAKER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  USA, 2017.  Cre Film, Freestyle Picture Company, June Pictures, Sweet Tomato Films.  Screenplay by Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch.  Cinematography by Alexis Zabe.  Produced by Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch, Kevin Chinoy, Andrew Duncan, Alex Saks, Francesca Silvestri, Shih-Ching Tsou.  Music by Lorne Balfe.  Production Design by Stephonik Youth.  Costume Design by Fernando Rodriguez.  Film Editing by Sean Baker. …

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John Wick

BBBB.5 (out of 5) An efficient prologue gets us up to date on the experiences of our hero played by Keanu Reeves, a man living alone after the death of his wife from an undisclosed illness.  Merely days after her passing, he receives a very adorable puppy that she had previously arranged to send him, and…

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Manderlay

BB (out of 5) Lars von Trier’s proposed trilogy of observations of American society starts out strong with Dogville but moves on to a much less interesting second chapter (the third has yet to be produced at the time of this review).  Forced to drop out of the project because of conflicting commitments, Nicole Kidman is replaced…

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Finding Dory

BBBB (out of 5) Pixar returns to one of its most adored tales for a sequel to Finding Nemo, the story of a loving clownfish (Albert Brooks) who crossed the ocean to find his missing son.  On that voyage he was accompanied by a blue tang with a short-term memory problem named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), whose own origins…

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The Dust Of Time (Trilogia II: I Skoni Tou Hronou)

BBB (out of 5) Theo Angelopoulos follows up The Weeping Meadow with the second of a proposed trilogy focusing on the last century of Greek history, as seen through his impressionistic style.  Willem Dafoe plays a filmmaker who is in production on a period piece about his parents, Greek citizens of Russia who were separated just…

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A Most Wanted Man

BBBB (out of 5) Another John Le Carre adaptation, which we recognize as being his because the spies can’t enjoy their coffee and their clothing is never ironed, but better executed and far more exciting than the lesser versions of his works (I’m looking at you, Tailor of Panama).  Philip Seymour Hoffman ably heads a terrific cast as…

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The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

WES ANDERSON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA/Germany, 2014.  Fox Searchlight Pictures, Indian Paintbrush, Studio Babelsberg, American Empirical Pictures, TSG Entertainment, Scott Rudin Productions.  Story by Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness, Screenplay by Wes Anderson, inspired by the works of Stefan Zweig.  Cinematography by Robert D. Yeoman.  Produced by Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales, Scott Rudin.  Music by Alexandre Desplat.  Production Design by Adam…

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Nymphomaniac: Vol. II

BBB.5 (out of 5) Warning, this review contains spoilers for Volume I.  Picking up her tale where it left off at the end of the first chapter, with Charlotte Gainsbourg‘s modern-day Moll Flanders still perpetually hitting the sack but bereft of any of the good feelings the activity is meant to engender, we find her…

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Nymphomaniac: Vol. I

BBBB (out of 5) Stellan Skarsgård finds a beaten and bloodied Charlotte Gainsbourg lying in an alleyway, takes her home, gives her tea and asks her to tell him why she ended up in such a dejected state, depressed and unwilling to accept medical assistance. She tells him that she is an evil woman who deserves her…

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Antichrist

BB (out of 5) Lars von Trier makes his most provocative film yet with this attention-grabbing but empty drama. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are a married couple whose child dies in an unfortunate accident, falling out of a window while they’re having sex.  The resulting grief threatens to completely pervert Gainsbourg’s mind, so her therapist husband…

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The Walker

B.5 (out of 5) Woody Harrelson plays a southern aristocrat in Washington who has concluded the legacy started by his tobacco giant grandfather and politician father with a career as a “walker”, an ornamental dandy who spends his days entertaining rich political wives. When not playing canasta with lunching ladies Lauren Bacall and Lily Tomlin, he spends…

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