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The Insult

The year is not even two weeks old but it already has one electrifyingly brilliant film to its credit.

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The Commuter

Frustratingly not-quite-there from start to finish, the paranoia-soaked railroad thriller The Commuter is the latest installment in the unofficial "Liam Neeson Late Winter Butt Kickers"…

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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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You like Borat? Or no?

"Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" is a uniter, not a divider. Critics, at least, are strongly united in liking Borat very much (with RottenTomatoes.com ratings in the 90s the week of its release). But those few dissenters who've hated it have hated, hated, HATED it. But do they understand it? Who is the butt of Borat's humor? Is he just a contemptible bigot? A naive ignoramus? A Kazakh Roberto Benigni with a fat moustache? If he's offensive (in a scatological, un-PC, "South Park"-ish way), what exactly is the nature of his offense? Does he undermine stereotypes or just exploit them? Does he offend everyone equally, or is he more discerning about choosing his targets and how he approaches and portrays them? Is he anti-American? Anti-Kazakhstan? Anti-Semitic? Anti-bigotry? Does he get enough potassium? Or does he cramp your style?

My review of "Borat" is here.

Read more, including some hairy naked critical wrasslin' -- and be sure to weigh in with your own impressions (comments, that is) -- here:

http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/2006/11/they_no_like_borat.html#comments

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