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Mudbound

The film invites us to observe its characters, to hear their inner voices, to see what they see and to challenge our own preconceived notions…

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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 (01/29/1995)

Q. I just saw "Higher Learning" and read your review. Overall, I enjoyed the movie. The one problem I had was the skinhead sniper attack, I thought it was unrealistic. I think in most cases skinheads would not be organized or motivated enough to see such a plan to frution. It distracted from the movie because until then it was based on lifelike interactions. The final result was that the sniper scene has stayed with me, negating the rest of the movie. Obviously, you feel different. Would you please explain why? (Kent Westmoreland, New Orleans)

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Movie Answer Man (01/22/1995)

Q. I just got back from seeing "Dumb and Dumber." To say that this is the worst movie I have ever seen would be a gross understatement. The four people who saw it with me were all ready to walk out, but I kept them there by saying, "Roger Ebert said he laughed so loud, he embarrassed himself--so it must get better." I was wrong. This movie gets a "worse-than-'Darkman'" rating in my book, and having just lost a parakeet that my wife and I have had ever since we first met three years ago, I wasn't thrilled with the parakeet joke either. (Robert S. Fish, Columbus, Ohio)

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Movie Answer Man (01/15/1995)

Q. I recently saw "The Client" on an United Airlines flight and noticed that the soundtrack had been dubbed to replace profanities with substitute words. I would assume that a bit of violence may also have been removed, for example during the suicide episode. My guess is that the resulting movie would be given a "PG" rating. There are many popular movies that I would love to rent for viewing with my family if only they were rated "G" or (maybe) "PG." Cleaning up the language, removing the sex, and toning down any graphic violence would make very little difference to the entertainment value for many people of the movies I'm talking about. Are "airline edits" available anywhere for rental? Have studios ever considered issuing "family" and "mature" versions of the same movie? (Jon Bale, San Jose, Calif.)

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Movie Answer Man (01/08/1995)

Q. Why is there a double standard regarding male vs. female nudity in the movies? Why are women seen naked so much more often than men? Do you suppose, as directors keep pushing at the taboo envelope, we'll have more full frontals in our future? Is the small-but-growing number of female directors changing this equation at all? (Martha Barnette, Louisville, Ky)

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Movie Answer Man (01/01/1995)

Q. The Actors' Branch of the Motion Picture Academy has denied Rodney Dangerfield's membership application, on the grounds that he has not made a sufficient artistic contribution to deserve it. So he cannot vote in the Oscars. What do you think about this? (Fred Rowley, Wilmette)

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Movie Answer Man (12/25/1994)

Q. You rate a movie with stars. The way I rate a movie is as follows. If, after the movie is half-over and I am conscious of the fact that my rear is sore for sitting for an hour, it is a bad film. Otherwise, the movie was worth the money! (Mark Dub, Warren, Mich.)

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Movie Answer Man (12/18/1994)

Q. Re the suggestion by Newt Gingrich that his critics study "Boys Town" to understand how orphanages work. I was surprised that he didn't also cite the 1959 Mamie Van Doren/Paul Anka/Mel Torme classic, "Girls Town." (Jeff Levin, Rochester, N.Y.)

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Movie Answer Man (12/11/1994)

Q. Is it possible that Disney took "The Lion King" into the shop for a little retooling between its first and second release? I thought the best sight gag in the movie was when Timon and Pumbaa staged their mini-luau to lure away the hyenas. There's a hilarious contrast between carefree Timon, doing his manic little hula, and poor, pragmatic Pumbaa, stuck motionless on a plate, agony in his eyes and sweat literally spouting out of every pore. So, a few weeks back, I take the kids to the re-release and wait patiently for my favorite scene and...lo and behold! No sweat! No agony! Pumbaa's lying on the plate, big smile on his face, apparently having the time of his life! At first, I think I'm suffering from MAMLS (Middle-age Memory Loss Syndrome), but my 11-year old daughter, who remembers EVERYTHING, backs me up on it. (Chuck Mathias, Tacoma, WA)

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Movie Answer Man (11/27/1994)

Q. We agree that Linda Fiorentino's work in "The Last Seduction" is one of the most amazing performances of the year. But since the movie played briefly on cable, does that mean she is not eligible for an Academy Award nomination? (Harris and Petronella Allsworth, Chicago)

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