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Art-House Conundrums on the Undulating Curve of Shifting Expectations!

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When it comes to worthy independent films, critics face a dilemma: If you trumpet a little-known wonder too loudly, the very audience you rustle up is guaranteed to leave the theater feeling underwhelmed. Recent casualties of this syndrome: The Host, The Lives of Others. Now endangered: The Lookout. Elsewhere on the Curve, two booze-swilling, sixties-girl-group-aping British songstresses arrive and similarly disappoint; the “Ask a Ninja” short films win an inaugural YouTube Award; and anyone who hasn’t yet seen the sword-and-six-packs, neither-as-good-nor-as-bad-as-you’ve-heard epic 300 now stands an even chance of walking out thinking, You know what? Not bad.


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