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American Sniper

American Sniper proves the dictum “never count an auteur out” by proving itself as Eastwood’s strongest directorial effort since 2009's underrated Invictus pretty much right…

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The Interview

Opportunities at rich satire flatten out into Hangover dude-dope-doodoo jokes, where the premise is that there’s nothing funnier than watching over-privileged grown men act out…

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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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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Name five "Furious" films -- fast!

From Jeffrey DeRego:

Just a quick note about your review of "Fast Five" in which you stated that it was not related to either "2 Fast 2 Furious" or "Tokyo Drift." In fact, the characters of Roman and Tej were created for "2 Fast 2 Furious" (which was a direct sequel to the original "The Fast and the Furious") and they reprise their roles for "Fast Five", and the character Han played by Sung Kang appeared in "Fast and Furious" (the 4th released film) and was the costar of "Tokyo Drift" where his character, Han, died. Vin Diesel shows up in the last scene of "Tokyo Drift" inquiring about Han (who is dead) and asking the new "Drift King" (Lucas Black, the star of the film) if he wants to race.

Thus, the chronology of the movies is:

"The Fast and the Furious"
"2 Fast 2 Furious"
"Fast and Furious"
"Fast Five"
"Tokyo Drift"

I know these tend to get short shrift in the critical world but I've found nothing but fun and escape in these titles. If you haven't seen "2 Fast 2 Furious" you should, just for Cole Hauser's excellent villain, Calderone, and "Tokyo Drift" for the stellar cameo by Sonny Chiba. I realize your work is movies and all and setting aside time for 90 minutes of mindless action seems like a bad tradeoff, but sometimes it pays dividends. If you try to watch them and decide it's a waste, have your assistant drop me a line, and I'll send you a signed short story manuscript or something to pay off the minutes my suggestion wasted.

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