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Lean on Pete

I marveled at the humanist depth of the world Haigh creates, one that can only be rendered by a truly great writer and director, working…

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This 2018 release feels like it arrived fresh from 1974, and that is what makes it a delight.

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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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Free at last, free at last? Thank Xenu Almighty!


Don't forget to set your TiVo, Tom.

I just love a Xenu joke. But, seriously, this just in from reader Ali Nagib:

I just noticed on my TiVo that it claims that Comedy Central will air "Trapped in the Closet" on July 19, in their usual "new" episode timeslot, at 10 and 12 PM Eastern. Go, Freedom! (I think)

Great news, Ali! I went to Comedy Central's web site and it confirms your TiVo. The episode is scheduled for the 19th (immediately following "Casa Bonita," another great one), with a repeat the next day. Will Viacom and Comedy Central have the intestinal fortitude to follow through this time? Or will they cave again at the last minute and whisk the


Emmy-nominated episode back into the Comedy Closet, along with Tom Cruise, John Travolta and R. Kelly? We shall see, we shall see... Meanwhile, set your TiVos!

UPDATE (07/12/06): Check out this story at E!Online, "Airwaves Again Safe for 'South Park' Scientology Spoof":

"If they hadn't put this episode back on the air, we'd have had serious issues, and we wouldn't be doing anything else with them," cocreator Matt Stone tells Variety....

While Comedy Central failed to publicly disclose its reasons for yanking the program (which is also credited for leading Scientologist Isaac Hayes to jump ship as the longtime voice of Chef), creators Stone and Trey Parker didn't shy away from broadcasting what they claimed was the network-sanctioned reason.

As the conspiracy theory goes, the Cruise's camp had a hand in deep-sixing the episode, with the litigious actor reportedly threatening to pull out of promotional duties for "Mission: Impossible III." (Viacom is the parent company for both Comedy Central and Paramount, the studio that was releasing Cruise's film.)

Cruise's reps vehemently denied such allegations, but the "South Park" brain trust stuck by its guns.

"I only know what we were told, that people involved with 'M:I:III' wanted the episode off the air and that is why Comedy Central had to do it," Stone says in Variety. "I don't know why else it would have been pulled."

Now, Cruise's saturation-level publicity tour is over (and proved fairly ineffective, with the sequel grossing a disappointing $133 million domestically) and he is apparently in hiding with his new baby.

Have the evildoers been vanquished? Here's hoping...

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