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Wrestling with Japan's physically challenged, literally

Jan 6, 2016

Wrestling with Japan's physically challenged, literally

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In 1994, I reviewed “Invincible Handicap” (“Muteki no Handicap”), a documentary by scriptwriter and filmmaker Daisuke Tengan about a professional wrestling group called Doglegs whose members were both physically challenged men and able-bodied volunteers. Started in 1991, the Doglegs hardly fit the template of ...

Spielberg captures Cold War fears in 'Bridge of Spies'

Jan 6, 2016

Spielberg captures Cold War fears in 'Bridge of Spies'

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Mankind owes much to Steven Spielberg. Without him, many of us would never have known the existence of Oskar Schindler (“Schindler’s List”), become aware of the events behind the Munich Olympics in 1972 (“Munich”), seen the U.S. slave trade depicted in a major Hollywood ...

'It Follows' goes after misogynist slasher film cliches

Jan 6, 2016

'It Follows' goes after misogynist slasher film cliches

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In the heyday of slasher films, the fastest way for characters to get themselves killed was by having sex. For a few bloodthirsty years following the release of John Carpenter’s “Halloween” in 1978, audiences delighted in watching homicidal maniacs dispatch casts of copulating teens, ...

Del Toro's 'Crimson Peak' alluring but far from scary

Dec 30, 2015

Del Toro's 'Crimson Peak' alluring but far from scary

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Real estate, sexual passion and family secrets are crammed into the atmospheric thriller “Crimson Peak,” directed by Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Pacific Rim”). I have an inkling Del Toro dislikes modern society and abhors modern notions of security. His films always unfold in ...