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Split

It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.

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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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Two dimensions of a character

I loved your response to those critics who named "Crash" the worst movie of 2005. Here's my favorite part:

"Consider now Foundas describing the black TV director who stands by fearfully as a cop assaults his wife. Terrence Howard, Foundas says, plays the 'creepy embodiment of emasculated African-American yuppiedom.'"

Forget the situation -- two white cops with guns, etc. Did that critic completely miss what happens later in the film, when the "creepy embodiment of emasculated African-American yuppiedom" fights off two car-jackers, disarms an intellectual thug, and then, in a display of reckless bravado, refuses to acquiesce to the commands of three armed LAPD police officers whose guns are pointed at him? Hmm... he doesn't sound so emasculated to me. I guess it's possible for the same person to have an alter ego diametrically opposed to the one we think we know.

What a great premise for a movie!

Chris Stucchio
Buffalo, New York

(Perhaps one’s reading of the character depends on whether you saw Terrence Howard’s actions motivated by righteous courage, or impotent rage resulting in an attempt at “suicide-by-cop”? -- editor)

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