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The Martian

The most surprising thing about "The Martian" is how relaxed and funny it is.



Cassel’s latest movie that smartly keeps his innate menace on a slow, low simmer, isn’t nearly as convincing or compelling as its star.

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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…


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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Netflix stream sometimes overflows the banks

From Thomas Zorthian of New Orleans:

You seem to be a strong proponent of Netflix Streaming, which I also enjoy. The HD streams look particularly good. There is a problem, however, with Netflix Streaming which I have not seen addressed by any influential voices. It is the fact that some of the films are not presented in the proper aspect ratio. This is almost always true of Scope films from the Starz and Epix libraries, though there are some notable exceptions. There are also some films that do not come from these sources that seem to be licensed in the wrong ratio,

A few films that immediately spring to mind that are not shown in their Scope ratio are Shutter Island (I haven't actually checked this one, but I am basing this on the way Epix presented it on cable), Please Give and Mother and Child. There are many others. I have to check IMDb before watching a streamed film.

I find this distressing because one of the things I love about Netflix DVD's are that they are almost always in the right ratio. I think this DVD practice was strongly influenced by the advocacy of Siskel and yourself. I was hoping you could initiate a discussion of this issue, due to your stature, clout and integrity.

It is a shame that the treasure trove that is Streaming is marred by this mutilation of artistic intent.

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