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The Book of Love

The feature debut of director and co-writer Bill Purple does not feature a single authentic moment. Imperfect would actually be a step up.

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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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Movie Answer Man (02/23/1997)

Q. My take on the new Jabba the Hut scene in the refurbished "Star Wars" is, how come Jabba is so short? Did he double or triple his size in the next six years? 'Splain that one to me please, Mr. Ans. Man. Eating too many froglets? All Huts do that? What? (Don Howard, San Jose, CA).

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Movie Answer Man (12/29/1996)

Q. I thought "The English Patient" it was a great film, but something about the central romance really bugs me. By coincidence, I'd seen "Casablanca" at a revival house just the night before. In that film, Bogart gives up the woman he loves for the higher purpose of defeating the Nazis. In "The English Patient," the Ralph Fiennes character deals with the Nazis in order to get back to the woman he loves. Some of my women friends are captivated that Fiennes's character subordinates everything to his passion for this woman; that includes her husband and the fate of the free world, to name two. Am I a wet blanket to be totally turned off by this? Are some women actually leaving the theater wondering "Would my man sell out the world to the fascists to be with me?" (John Miller, 73407,2032)

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