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Freeheld stumbles over too many hurdles to recommend it. The film’s heart is in the right place, but its focus is not.



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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"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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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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Prof. Cozzalio's take-home pop quiz is due!


The professor is about to supply his answers. Not the answers, his answers, and the prof is Dennis Cozzalio, Senior Quizmaster of Professor Kingsfield's Hair-Raising, Bar-Raising Holiday Movie Quiz at the always enlightening and delightful Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule.

It's been up since Christmas Eve, but first I was sick and then I got snowed in and then my dog ate my homework. So, I just got around to posting my answers yesterday. Get over there before the bell rings. Not that Prof. Cozzalio wouldn't let you turn yours in late, even if he fills out the questionnaire himself first.

UPDATE: The professor's answers are in!

Here are a few of my responses, which you'll find way down in the comments. I didn't read over anybody else's shoulder, though!

8) Are most movies too long?

Yes, and 20 years ago they seemed too long because they were too short. Perfect example: Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America." Anybody who had to sit through the 139-minute US release will tell you it was way, WAY longer than the 229-minute version.

9) Favorite performance by an actor portraying a real-life politician.

Phillip Baker Hall as Richard M. Nixon in Altman's "Secret Honor."

4) Favorite actor/character from "Twin Peaks."

Agent Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer). My hero. (Incidentally, there would be no "House" without this character.)

I never got tired of Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and I loved any scene with Sarah and/or Leland Palmer (Grace Zabriskie, Ray Wise).

12) Why would you ever want or need to see a movie more than once?

Because the really good ones not only draw you back, they get better.

18) Jean-Luc Godard once suggested that the more popular the movie, the less likely it was that it was a good movie. Is he right or just cranky? Cite the best evidence one way or the other.

No correlation either way.

19) Favorite Jonathan Demme movie.

"Melvin and Howard" "Stop Making Sense"

25) Favorite movie about journalism.

tie: "Citizen Kane" and "His Girl Friday." (Worst: "Absence of Malice" -- except for the GREAT image of Melinda Dillon gathering up the delivered papers in her neighborhood.)

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