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Life struck me as several cuts above “meh” but never made me jump out of my seat.

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Trashy, goofy, and surprisingly sincere, this superhero fantasy is better than you expect but not as good as it should be.

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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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Talking Heads > American Psycho > Christian Bale > Tom Cruise > Miles Fisher > Mad Men

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A series of connections:

Director Mary Harron, on working with Christian Bale to develop the character of Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho":

"We talked about how Martian-like Patrick Bateman was, how he was looking at the world like somebody from another planet, watching what people did and trying to work out the right way to behave. And then one day he called me and he had been watching Tom Cruise on David Letterman, and he just had this very intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes, and he was really taken with this energy."

(Also see: "Dexter" for a similar sociopathic study.)

Miles Fisher as Tom Cruise in "Superhero Movie":

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