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Fist Fight

A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…

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A Cure for Wellness

As a fetish object, it’s impressive. But as a fully satisfying feature-length drama, it’s a bust.

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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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How about playing a game?

From Alex Kingsbury, Hopkinton, MA:

I would like to start off by saying the Clive Barker does not represent the gaming community as a whole or at least I would like to think he does not. His initial arguments were weak and once someone is reduced to petty name calling they have lost.

Ever since people complained about your review of "Doom" (awful movie by the way) I have been thinking of arguments to write to you justifying games as art. As I put together arguments in my head, something always felt off and I think I know what it is at this point. This is the wrong forum to argue this. You are not a gamer and you make no effort to be a gamer. I don't think you would argue that. From what I can gather your only experience in playing games is limited to humoring your kids or grandkids and the awfulness that were interactive movies. If this is the case then you really are not qualified to say if games are an art or not. People write in with examples of games that are art and they remain unplayed by you.

Not all games are art. Some are just mindless action films. You need to actually play the games that people consider to be art to judge if games can be art. Right now you're like a person who claims film can't be art and refuses to see a film. I respect you greatly as a critic but frankly when it comes to video games you don't know what you are talking about. When asked if games are art, you should just reply "Sorry, I am not qualified to answer that question" rather than dismiss and entire and unique means of expression as something that has no possibility of having artistic merit.

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