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The Do-Over

At one point, I checked the time code on Netflix and saw that the movie had over forty minutes to go. I visibly winced.

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Of Men and War

Bécue-Renard brings his own brutality to the topic of PTSD, by putting us at odds with feeling his subjects' pain, or only studying it.

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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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Thumbnails 6/15/2013

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Why African-American poverty is not just another class issue; 5 myths about privacy; Samantha Power, journalist-diplomat; pot-grower to the stars; Lynda Obst on why Hollywood is "completely broken"; Google launches "Internet balloons" to ensure web access everywhere.

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"Something to Strive For": Why We Don't Need a "Relatable" Superman

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You've been told that Superman not a "relatable" character. After all, he's faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and all that jazz. How is a disgruntled, debt-ridden, under-employed 21st century audience supposed to identify with a character who's basically a God? That's the wrong question to ask, argues Sean Burns.

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Thumbnails 6/14/2013

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Sofia Coppola's privilege problem; why "Happy Birthday to You" isn't in the public domain; surveillance in America, and in the movies; five dictators who despise social media.

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Thumbnails 6/13/2013

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Why showrunners matter on TV much less than you think; BBC's Sherlock by the numbers; Vulture's Summer TV issue; in praise of Don't Trust the B----- in Apartment 23; M. Night Shyamalan wrote what?; DNA can't be patented; robots can fight.

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The Melancholy Hero: On the Acting of Owen Wilson

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What are we to make of Owen Wilson, he with the tow-colored mop of hair, the crooked nose, and the smile that seems to need so much in return? In certain contexts, Owen Wilson's smile is heartbreaking. Not just in more serious roles, but in everything. One does not often think of grown men as being "wistful" or full of "pathos"; only little plucky orphans in pig-tails and pinafores should be "wistful."

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Thumbnails 6/12/2013

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Troll the NSA; clashes continue in Turkey; the "familiar profile" of the Santa Monica killer; wash your hands!; actresses in Hollywood are having a worse/better time of it; Lego faces getting angrier; great tracking shots.

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