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"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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Political Thumbnails 6/23/17

Special edition of Thumbnails with political articles: How to live with critics; Obama on the new health care bill; Trump says the poor can't be…

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You call this a "family film?"

From Mary Jo Jacobs:

I just have to comment on Roger's review of this film because I had such a different perspective of it. Roger calls this a good family movie and I couldn't disagree more. I watched First Look on HBO and after reading Roger's review eagerly went to see it. I absolutely love Roger's reviews because they are always well written and I love his sense of humor; usually it is a reliable guide for my husband and I. We both were extremely disappointed with both the acting and the violent content, poking an elephant until From Mary it bleeds and then, behind a closed train car door, knowing and hearing the brutal beating the elephant must endure is far from my idea of a family movie. This is not to mention the fact that members of the circus are thrown off the moving train and are killed. I grant you, Christoph Waltz , once again demonstrates what a fine actor he is however, Reese Witherspoon did not seem to have her heart in this movie and Robert Pattinson lacked any emotional range.

I am so grateful I did not take my grandchildren to this film, the cruelty to animals and human beings would have broken their hearts, especially, the scene towards the end where it shows the owner of the Jack Russell terrier lying dead on the rocks after being thrown from the train and the poor dog crying, this was exploitive and unnecessary, we already knew all too well the hideous nature of August. The beautiful cinematography and sets just couldn't make up for all the flaws I have just described.

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