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John Wick

The film breathes exhilarating life into its tired premise, thanks to some dazzling action choreography, stylish visuals and–most importantly–a vintage anti-hero performance from Keanu Reeves.

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Low Down

Preiss' movie does a consistently excellent job of explaining the lure of jazz, and the psychology of addicts, their enablers and their children, without explaining…

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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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Comments & updates

In case you hadn't noticed: Comments are working, and some good discussions have been started -- annotations to particular Opening Shots and (especially stimulating) various reactions to my diatribes against the Slate writer who bashed "The Searchers" for his own anti-intellectual, anti-"film geek" reasons that have little or nothing to do with the movie. (And will somebody please respond to Kevin's questions about the character of Debbie?) I've set it up so that the newest comments are at the top bottom -- like the blog itself (or an e-mail thread). Let me know how that works for you.

I've got LOTS of Opening Shots contributions backed up, but not to worry: I plan to work through them for as long as it takes. Some people have written asking if it's too late to submit something. Hell, no! It will never be too late. Even if everybody else stops sending them in, I'm going to continue indefinitely. This is an inexhaustible subject; I can't imagine I'll ever run out of opening shots to think about, write about, and savor.

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