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Lucy

Scarlett Johansson is an intriguing blank in Luc Besson's "Lucy," which is stranded somewhere between a stranger-in-a-strange-land action thriller and apocalyptic science fiction.

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Hercules

Dwayne Johnson tries, but he’s surrounded by poor CGI and a terrible adaptation of yet another comic book. Ian McShane steals what little movie there…

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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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Where I've been

My father died unexpectedly the first week of April, three days before I was scheduled to leave for the Conference on World Affairs. The day before I left, my dog Frances surreptitiously ate two containers of dog treats in my parents' garage and nearly exploded, but after an emergency trip to the vet she's now OK (and seven pounds lighter). At my mom's insistence I went to Boulder (with "Chinatown") and then we had the reception for my dad at their house (there was no funeral or memorial service -- he didn't want 'em) when I got back. Two days after that, it was off to Ebertfest, where I was greatly heartened to see Roger Ebert in such high spirits. So, that's what's been going on. Hope to get back to posting regularly now...

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