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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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Outguess Ebert times $100,000

Every year at Oscar time, there's an Outguess Ebert contest. This year's edition will offer the biggest prize in history. You could win all or part of a $100,000 prize. The nominations in 24 categories were announced Tuesday, January 25. I'll make my best guesses in all 24 categories. Outguess me before the contest deadline on Oscar Day, February 27, and win.

The contest is being sponsored by MUBI.com, which describes itself as “an online art theater.” Offering all sorts of movies, it specializes in harder-to-find festival, foreign, art, indie, silent and experimental films. Members can stream them on demand.

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Co-sponsors of the contest are the Chicago Sun-Times, “Ebert Presents At the Movies,” and my own site, rogerebert.com. More information will be provided on the premiere showing of “Ebert Presents At the Movies” this weekend on public television stations.

Those who correctly predict the winners in all 24 categories will share a prize of $100,000. Everyone who outguesses me will win a three-month MUBI subscription worth $12 a month.

You may enter by paper ballot in the Sun-Times, or online at:

www.mubi.com/oscars www.ebertpresents.com www.rogerebert.com

My guesses will appear Tuesday on all three sites, and on Wednesday in the Sun-Times.

The contest is open on a global basis. Only one entry is allowed per person, and MUBI has safeguards to enforce that rule.

A footnote: These will be my guesses on nomination day. Closer to the actual Oscars, I'll issue my official predictions. If I get all 24 right, I will not, alas, win the $100,000. Not to worry. I never come close, although I once got 10 of the top 11.

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