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Fall brings really long movies

Fifteen minutes of fame? In this day and age, that's about 14 minutes and 55 seconds too long for most Americans to digest.

We live in a society where our attention span is roughly equal to the time it takes for Bill O'Reilly to start foaming at the mouth. That's only seconds.

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And yet there are pop culture events coming up for fall and winter that will test our concentration, patience and ability to digest multiple installments. Will we have the attention span to stay with the following?

'Kill Bill'

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Apparently, Quentin Tarantino's new film is more than three hours long, with a 200-page script. And apparently it's good enough for Miramax to chop it into two parts. The first part of the film, starring Uma Thurman as a samurai sword-wielding bride (take that, Adrienne Samen), will be released Oct. 10, and the second part in the next two to six months.

'The Matrix Revolutions'

Rage against the machine ... again. The third part of the Matrix trilogy comes six months after The Matrix Reloaded. Enough Matrix fans flocked to Reloaded to place the film in the Top 20 all-time box office hits, but the Wachowski brothers' film was handily beaten by a little fish named Nemo. So how will the third part play out? We'll see come Nov. 5.

'The Return of the King'

Again with the third part of a trilogy. But The Lord of the Rings has been spectacular (and fabulously Byzantine) enough to score high with moviegoers. Still, one wonders if King, which opens Dec. 17, has the power to top The Two Towers.

'Angels in America'

Now here's a real challenge to TV viewers: a six-hour HBO spectacular based on the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play by Tony Kushner. On Broadway, the seven-hour Angels was split into two parts. The HBO drama (directed by Mike Nichols, it stars Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson) will arrive in December and split into segments that viewers can see over several nights or on the same day.

'Henry IV'

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Actually, this one's easy. The Lincoln Center Theater is combining Shakespeare's Henry IV: Part I and Henry IV: Part II into one work opening in November. No double nights at the theater to see the journey of Prince Hal, later Henry V. But with a cast including Kevin Kline, Audra McDonald, Billy Crudup, Ethan Hawke and Dana Ivey, maybe we wouldn't mind two separate plays.

The Hartford Courant is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.


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