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The Ugly Truth

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on September 2009 It’s a given that romantic comedies are formulaic. You know where they’re going, so the only way to judge them is how they get there and how likable the leads are. This is…

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No Longer Human

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on September 2009 There’s already a lot of buzz surrounding the movie version of Ningen Shikkaku (No Longer Human), the classic novel by Osamu Dazai that’s set for release next spring. To mark the start of…

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Hakujitsumu

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on September 2009 This rather standard psychological thriller is of interest chiefly because of its pedigree—the original story is by the esteemed novelist Junichiro Tanizaki. The first film version appeared in 1964, when Tetsuji Takechi, then…

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on September 2009 As if sequels and prequels weren’t bad enough, Hollywood has now latched on to yet another way to put fanboy butts in seats: the origin movie. Please, make it stop! This impersonal and…

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The Art of War II: Betrayal

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on September 2009 Wesley Snipes comes out of retirement at the insistence of a government agency (most likely the IRS) to star in this direct-to-video, in-name-only sequel to his stylish-but-formulaic 2000 original. He plays a badass…

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Minami no Shima no Furimun

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on September 2009 Just in time for, um, fall (oops) comes this summer tale set in Okinawa, whose title translates something like “Idiot of the Southern Islands.” The debut directorial effort of popular comedian Gori is…

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The Taking of Pelham 123

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on August 2009 When a gang of criminal types audaciously hijacks a New York subway train and takes hostages, a mild-mannered dispatcher must use his vast knowledge of the transit system to try to outwit the…

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Clean

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on August 2009 Emily seems to be in perpetual, desperate, unhappy motion. She and her husband are fading rock stars and heroin addicts. After he dies of an overdose and she does six months for possession,…

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Patti Smith: Dream of Life

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on August 2009 Created over 11 years and playing more like a drifty film of devotion than a documentary, this movie hits on the ups and downs of the career of the beat poet, artist, political…

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Taken

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on August 2009 The daughter of an ex-CIA operative (Liam Neeson in full Jack Bauer mode) is kidnapped in Paris by Albanian sex-slavers, so dad jets off to the rescue, making use of a plethora of…

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The Present

Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on August 2009 Add the following code before the first paragraph of the review. This will display the sidebar with movie details: This documentary is not on the history or the future of surfing, but concentrates…

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