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The Magnificent Seven

Rarely have so many charismatic actors been used in a film that feels quite as soulless as Antoine Fuqua’s update of The Magnificent Seven.

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The Age of Shadows

At 140 minutes, Kim sometimes loses the rhythm of his spy thriller, but he's such a confident filmmaker—and his leading man such a magnetic presence—that…

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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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Elders need movie manners

From: Ed Stoudenmire, Tampa Bay, FL

I am a dedicated movie fan who has not set foot inside a theater in more than two years. The movie-going experience has become that bothersome for me, for many of the reasons you've listed. While I agree with your suggestions about how to combat some of these problems, I have to comment on what Mr Johnson of Olathe, KS wrote. I disagree, for reasons I find very sad.

I am approaching 50, which puts me (roughly) in the same generation as the pre-60-somethings. Roughly, I remind you. A generation in which we were -- at least, I was -- raised to SHUT UP in a theater. Had I talked during a movie, during my formative years, my parents would have shushed me, and probably refused to take to a theater for six months as punishment.

A couple of years ago -- and this is largely the reason I haven't been back since -- I attended a matinee, probably 11:30 am in the middle of the week. An older couple, whom I judged to be in their mid-50s (or approximately my age range) were blabbing it up behind me. I took all I was going to take, and turned around to ask them to be quiet.

Well. You'd have thought I insulted the Queen.

I was told, "I paid to see this movie, sir, and I intend to talk if I want to." Um, remove the "sir" and insert F-bombs where you feel appropriate. You probably got it right. I reported it to a management proxy, but by then the couple had moved, and I had missed movie minutes. I lost all the way around.

If I can't depend on people roughly my age having the manners to allow other moviegoers to watch the movie in peace, I have no intent of attending a theater when under-40s are there, and no way will I go if kids are present.

Instead, I developed Ed's Theory of Movies:

I haven't seen [movie name] in 50 years (my approximate age) -- what's another 6 months, till it comes out on DVD? Then, I can not only own the movie and watch it whenever I want; I don't have to put up with traffic, parking, surly crowds, exorbitant concessions, and lotsa commercials.

Sure, “Sin City” was probably better on a huge screen; but it looked fine on my 29-inch JVC. HD is on the way to my home, in a large screen format, and my wife and I can enjoy movies on the regular TV until that day.

The movie industry may eventually extinct itself. Ah, well. Won't be the first time for such an event.

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