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A wild whirlwind of a mess, without any coherence, without even a guiding principle.

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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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Movie Answer Man (04/30/1995)

Q. Does it strike you that some movie sound effects are overdone? I've noticed in recent years that when a movie couple gets passionate, their kisses sound like they're sucking a peach. If I kissed my wife that sloppily, she'd wipe off her face and send me to the guest room for the night. And what about movie punches? Movies have been overdoing fight sound effects for years. My most vivid memory of "Rocky III" was of Sylvester Stallone and Mr. T beginning their fight with punches that would kill the average person. Do you feel that sound effects are as cliched as some of the other areas you cover in your Little Glossary? (Steven Bailey, Jacksonville Beach, Fla.)


A. I don't know if they use peaches, but I remember visiting the sound effects session of a Charles Bronson movie named "Hard Times" and watching them tape-record themselves beating the hell out of a Naugahyde sofa with ping-pong paddles.

Q. Any idea what a "Reservoir Dog" is ? (Carl F. Staaterman, Wilton, Conn.)

A. Quentin Tarantino sometimes says the title

Q. What is the deal with the new "Star Wars" movies coming out soon? Do they take place: before or after "Return of the Jedi?" (Craig Foster,Wilmington, N.C.)

A. Jeffrey Graebner of the CompuServe ShowBiz Forum reports that George Lucas's plans for another "Star Wars" trilogy are still rather tentative: "I would be surprised if the movie showed up before the turn of the century." He adds that 20th Century-Fox has announced a "special edition" of the original "Star Wars" in 1997, with a digitally remastered soundtrack and several scenes that were cut from the original release.

Q. If you go back and watch any Jeff Goldblum movie, you'll invariably notice at least one scene in which Jeff is both eating and talking at the same time, or drinking and talking at the same time. It drives me nuts. Sure, we all do it on occasion. But Jeff seems to think that it's great acting. Maybe way back when, some Hollywood director said, "This kid's got talent! Look at him eat and talk at the same time. Wow, he looks so natural." Jeff should realize there are other ways to appear natural on film. Don't get me wrong, I think he's a good actor, I'm just tired of his shtick. Michael J. Fox is another great eater/talker/actor, but then again, so's my dad--no big deal there. (Steve Glasberg, Agoura Hills, Ca.)

A. I say if you can't do it as well as John Belushi did it in "National Lampoon's Animal House," you shouldn't even try it.

Q. Last night in a bar someone made the ridiculous claim that Humphrey Bogart and Ed Sullivan were brothers. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to make back the money I had just spent on beer and pool by making a $20 bet with this sadly deluded individual. He insists he's right, but doesn't claim a source, calling it "common knowledge." And you better not come back and tell me that they were brothers, or I'll have to question the whole concept of reality and meaning in my life. (Charles Faubert, Montreal)

A. Collect the $20. Bogart had two sisters, Frances and Catherine. Sounds like you have a sure thing with this sucker. Now bet him that Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez are brothers.


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