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Listen Up Philip

The terrific cast all delves into the material full-bore, which contributes to its peculiar resonance. Perry may hate everyone and everything, but in making a…

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Private Violence

A look at the complexity of domestic violence, especially when it comes to the difficulty of prosecuting abusers in a court of law, "Private Violence"…

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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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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Movie Answer Man (08/13/2000)

Q. In your review of "Thomas And The Magic Railroad," you wrote: "In an age when even the cheapest Saturday morning cartoons find a way to make the lips move, what, oh, what, was the reasoning behind Thomas' painted-on grin?" That's easy: It's because that's the way it has always been for years and years of the TV show "Shining Time Station" and the many videotapes, and young children eat it up. My 7- and 3-year-old sons have loved watching both the show and the tapes since they turned 1-year-old, and they wouldn't expect the movie to be any other way. Obviously, the movie is intended for the legions of Thomas fans. Although I have not yet seen it, nothing in your review indicates that those young children will be disappointed (which you do imply in your next-to-last paragraph). I'm sure I won't like it any more than I like the tapes and TV show, but the movie obviously isn't intended for me or any other adults. (Evan H. Zucker, San Diego, California)

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