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Rating History

The Nice Guys
The Nice Guys (2016)
20 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The conflicting audience reviews for this film are hilarious. Clearly it's a film that drives strong reactions and leaves few people indifferent. Yes, the script is uneven and film is violent, profane and satiric, so if you're not in the mood, don't -- as a number of naysayers have advised -- waste your money.

But there are a number of extremely funny scenes and some great performances, especially by Crowe and young Angourie Rice. Some unexpected moments include an amusing Abbott and Costello routine between Crowe and Gosling. I thought Kim Basinger was wasted in an oddly wooden performance. The art direction was superb with a great 70s soundtrack. If you're in the mood for some very black comedy and two hours of movie anarchy, by all means see The Nice Guys.

The Gazebo
The Gazebo (1959)
2 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A truly entertaining black comedy with some snappy dialogue delivered by some great character actors. None more charming, of course, than the delightful Ms. Reynolds.

Corner Gas: The Movie
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

In the perverse world of Canadian cinema -- dominated by introspective dramas and grade-F schlock, most of it lucky to break even -- Corner Gas: The Movie is a hit. And, in an act of either extreme foolishness or inspired lunacy, the producers elected to screen the film in cinemas for only 5 days! Which takes the concept of "limited engagement" to a whole new level.

Yet it seems to work, for it's probably the first time I've sat in a capacity audience for any Canadian film. (Sitting second row from the front with the manager, he confided that Corner Gas was the number 1 film of the weekend at his theatre before musing, "I should've put this in a bigger auditorium".) It's also the first film I've attended where the audience belted out the theme song, at the beginning and at the end. And where most of the audience stayed in their seats until the credits were done.

The film is exactly as advertised, a love letter to fans of this most enduring of Canadian TV series. Unlike almost all TV-to-big screen adaptations, Corner Gas captures the warmth and the vibe of the original series perfectly. Oh there's a silly reunion-movie cliché plot about a big corporation doing battle with a small town but it's okay: it's just a platform for the characters to do what they do.

The major difference from the original, aside from length, is the fine cinematography. With some gorgeous overhead shots of the Saskatchewan prairie, the town never looked so real. The performances are fine and familiar: Brent Butt is at his sardonic best; Eric Peterson shines as always as the curmudgeonly Oscar and Gabrielle Miller is radiant on the big screen. Watch for some nice cameos from a diverse little group of celebs, including Graham Greene and wacky sportscaster Jay Onrait (?!)

In short, if you never 'got' Corner Gas the TV series, you might as well give this a pass. If you're fan - even a modest one like me - this is a charming and sweet little film, with a lot of chuckles and a few laugh-out-loud gags, that plays like a warm homecoming.

The Hundred-Foot Journey
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This is a sweet-spirited film from master storyteller Lasse Hallstrom. Helen Mirren is superb but the real revelation is Manish Dayal, completely believable as the insecure, vulnerable Hassan. Charlotte Le Bon is also a treat. If your summer movie taste runs to CGI explosions and raunch, forget it. If you're in the mood for a good, character driven script, you'll be pleasantly surprised.