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How to Be a Latin Lover

Eugenio Derbez’s attempt to seduce U.S. audiences with a cheesy bilingual spoof of an ethnic stereotype long past its expiration date.

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Sleight

An ambitious genre mash-up about a young street magician that pulls off a nifty bit of trickery itself.

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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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The iPhone app as lethal weapon

From Lisa Nessenson, Paris:

I just received a press release about an (I'm assuming "French") iPhone app for "From Paris with Love"that lets you morph your own head into Charlie Wax (the Travolta character) and use your phone as a "trigger" to kill (imaginary) people ("GET THE F**KER" is the demure heading in, uh, "French"). Maybe this is semi-standard, but what bothers me is that this same app lets you post photos of your "kills" to your social networking pals. Then again, it teaches you about the way Paris is laid out and so might inspire somebody to be an urban planner or architect. Or hit man.

The movie itself falls very squarely in the "It's-Only-a-Movie" category, but this phone-based game extension seems beyond creepy to me. (Whereas telephone-as-camera is a development that has given way to the citizen-reporter movement, I find myself disturbed by cell-phone-as-gun -- the press release says you "shake" your phone to eliminate your target.) Then again, it's entirely possible I'm an old fogey and this is just a smart marketing ploy.

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