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Life

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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Insulting racial stereotypes

From: Steve Lin, Portland, OR

I have always respected your opinion in the past, because you always stated specific reasons why you like or dislike a movie. In this article, and in your top 10 movie list of 2005, you chose “Crash” over “Brokeback Mountain,” and that’s fine with me. Everyone is entitled to have their own opinions. I happened to watch “Crash” twice in the past year and I don’t think it’s a better movie. If you happen to like sensational, unrealistic racial tension, that’s your business. But being a minority myself, I found that movie insulting and stereotyping of every single race it depicts.

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There is nothing encompassing about it. The story line about the black guy who let off a bunch of filthy Asians in the back of a van right in the middle of Chinatown is so unrealistic to the degree of being ridiculous. Is that still how Americans see Asian people today? That we’re just some helpless souls who need a scumbag loser to liberate us for his personal redemption? How am I supposed to react or reflect on the statement that this movie “takes the discussion of racism in America in a direction it has not gone before in the movies”? And you are wondering why some critics considered it "the worst film of the year"?

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