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Jackie

There are two movies in "Jackie." One of these movies is just OK. The other is exceptional. The first one keeps undermining the second.

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Things to Come

Things to Come is the detailed tapestry of one woman’s life, as she moves through an important transition.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Cast and Crew

* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.

Give me irony or give me offense!

The award winner for best short film at the 2007 US Comedy Arts Festival (now known simply as The Comedy Festival) was "My Wife Is Retarded," starring Gary Cole, Sean Astin, Leslie Bibb, Phyllis George and George Segal. It was written and directed by Etan Cohen, co-writer of "Tropic Thunder." Other than that, all I know about it is the IMDb plot description: "A man learns the secret behind his perfect marriage."

Are you offended yet? I can't say if I am, because I haven't seen the movie. If the premise is that an intellectually disabled woman is the ideal spouse, or that all women are intellectually disabled, well... I might find that deplorable, depending on how it's presented. Is the movie advocating that point of view? Is it "joking" the way R--- L------- used to about "feminazis," implying that a woman's place is in a coma? Is it the husband who wishes his wife was intellectually impaired? Does she feel like that's what her husband expects from her? There are so many conceptual approaches you could imagine for a movie of that title, some of which seem to offer comedic possibilities, and others that are maybe not-so-promising. But you never know until you actually see it. And, for some people, not even then.

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Robert Downey Jr. plays it black

Who's that black guy in between the blonde Jack Black and the tattooed Ben Stiller? It's Robert Downey, Jr.

One of these days I'm gonna play it black Play it black One of these days... -- misquoted Elvis Costello song from "My Aim is True"

What will the Jim Crow "one-droppers" who didn't think Angelina Jolie was "African enough" to play Dutch-Jewish / Cuban-black-Hispanic-Chinese Mariane Pearl make of this? The actor in the center of the accompanying image is Robert Downey Jr., a white German-Scottish / Irish-Jewish actor. He's playing a white actor who is cast in a part originally written for a black actor, so he decides to play it black. The movie, "Tropic Thunder," is a satire of Hollywood actors making an epic war movie. It's directed by Stiller, co-written by Etan Cohen ("Idiocracy," "My Wife is Retarded" -- note that the "h" is not in the first name but the last; he's no relation to Joel) and Justin Theroux (who played a director in "Mulholland Dr." and an actor in "Inland Empire"). Nick Nolte, Jay Baruchel and Steve Coogan also star -- along with some big names in cameo appearances.

As Downey told Entertainment Weekly, "If it's done right, it could be the type of role you called Peter Sellers to do 35 years ago. If you don't do it right, we're going to hell." [...]

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