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Booksmart

A stellar high school comedy with an A+ cast, a brilliant script loaded with witty dialogue, eye-catching cinematography, swift editing, and a danceable soundtrack.

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Aladdin

It’s a dancing elephant of a movie. It has a few decent moves, but you’d never call it light on its feet.

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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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Had to pop three Advil

Although I agree with you that Paul Haggis’ film "Crash" has redeeming social value and tackles the still tenuous if not overt racism in this country, I don’t agree it is a great movie. The actors and the interweaving storyline are on point but the constant barrage of clichéd dialogue accompanied by melodramatic music was almost comical. The scene where Matt Dillon’s character is holding Thandie Newton in his arms while a biblical car fire raged against the sweeping soundtrack hit me over the head so hard I had two pop three Advil.

I really wanted to like the movie based on its concept, actors and positive reviews but I couldn’t get passed its hackneyed urgency. I find a film like "Boyz N the Hood" much more interesting. When the African American police officer hassled Tré on the street. The actors say more with a few resenting glances than the whole operatic two hours of "Crash."

As always, I enjoy your perspective on film and even more so, life. Keep me thinking.

Matt Ragan

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