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American Assassin

Efficient, nasty action scenes can't overcome mostly bland characterizations and a half-baked story.

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Indivisible

Indivisible ponders, to a limited extent, what would happen to such siblings in a world that values celebrity, religion and sex to selfish ends.

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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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'Crash' as black comedy/farce

From: Chris Scott, Los Angeles, CA

Reading Roger's defense of "Crash" I came across his description of the following events in the film: "After a carjacking, a liberal politician's wife insists all their locks be changed -- and then wants them changed again, because she thinks the Mexican-American locksmith will send his "homies" over with the pass key. The same locksmith has trouble with an Iranian store owner who thinks the Mexican-American is black. But it drives the Iranian crazy that everyone thinks he is Arab, when they should know that Iranians are Persian. Buying a gun to protect himself, he gets into a shouting match with a gun dealer who has a lot of prejudices about, yes, Arabs."

It was in reading this that I realized "Crash" should have been made as a farce, satire, or black comedy! It would have been far more effective and less patronizing to its audience, just as "Dr. Stangelove" was a far more effective anti-war movie than the self-important "Fail Safe."

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