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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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Most obscure film reference of all time?

From Scott Collette, Los Angeles CA:

I am a huge fan of "South Park." Recently they had a trilogy of episodes called the Imaginationland trilogy. Now I'm used to seeing clever and smart film references in "South Park" episodes... but this is one I never would have expected. There is a character who ushers the children into the Imaginationland. His name is Mr. Imagination and he takes them there by singing a song with no rhythm or pattern called "The Imagination Song."

You may view it here: http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/163661/

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I thought that this was just something they made up... some clever character concocted from Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

I was wrong.

Two nights ago, I watched the 134 minute version of John Cassavetes' "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie" for the first time. The film has a stage character named Mr. Sophistication who wears a top hat and has a mustache drawn on to him. I would never have noticed the physical resemblance that Mr. Imagination bore to Mr. Sophistication had Mr. Sophistication not started singing a song... the Imagination song... with no instruments and no consistency.

This has to be one of the smartest and most obscure film references of all time.

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