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Ferdinand

A mostly pleasant surprise in a year that has produced a lack of stellar animated outings.

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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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A hard day's universe

From Barry “Bear” Toffoli, Danville, CA:

In your review of ‘Across The Universe’ you wrote,” I don't even want to know about anybody who complains they aren't hearing "the real Beatles." And yet almost every other review I have read complains about just that. Especially concerning “I Want to Hold Your Hand” being turned into a “torch song.” They also decry that it has a lack of plot or a clichéd plot, and that it is a poor man’s “Moulin Rogue.” Or they compare it to the “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” movie. I think most people don’t understand what a musical is supposed to do.

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I have seen “A Hard Days Night” and I felt this film was totally in keeping with the spirit and universality and versatility of the Beatles’ music. I think this is the best film of the year. I loved this movie and cried several times from the sheer joy I got from hearing and seeing music in new and interesting ways. It helped me appreciate and understand the genius of the originals even more by hearing them anew like this, especially since I was not alive in 60s when they were released. By the end I wanted more songs; I wanted more movie, more, more, more…but you’re the only 4 star review I’ve seen of this movie, aside from my own

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