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batman the joker 2

Sympathy For The Devil? A Better Class Of Criminal

“I’m not a comic book villain / I’m an agent of chaos.” Movie villains. They think they’re so much better than us, don’t they? With their grand plans, disdain for the rest of humanity, crawling about the planet like ants to be stomped on. “Saving” us through their their own sick, twisted agendas, opening our […]

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Sympathy For The Devil? Michael Palin Discusses Brazil’s Jack Lint

The following is an interview with Michael Palin originally intended for the the Voyager Criterion Collection 1996 Laserdisc release of Brazil. Parts relating to his discussion of his friendly torturer Jack Lint are presented here – you can read the full interview which goes into Terry Gilliam’s working method, and struggles to get Brazil released […]

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man of steel zod

Sympathy For The Devil? Man Of Steel’s General Zod

“Nature or nurture” seems to be at the the heart of Clark Kent’s / Kal-El’s (Henry Cavill) search for understanding of his place in our world. No such doubts cloud General Zod’s (Michael Shannon) thinking. Krypton’s fiercest warrior and proud proponent of her ancient ways is a genetically programmed Son Of Steel; he and his […]

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MAN OF STEEL

Sympathy For The Devil – Man Of Steel? Or Man Of Straw?

With the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, everyone seems to have got their knickers over their unitards into a twist over Superman’s (Henry Cavill) “killing spree” in Metropolis at the end of Man Of Steel, referenced again in BvS‘s ground zero eye view from an appalled and angry Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). […]

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Sympathy For The Devil? Peaky Blinders’ Inspector Campbell

Minor spoilers ahead Peaky Blinders, BBC2’s new Autumn drama approaching its end run, has blown away the dusty cobwebs from traditional period storytelling fare. Writer / director Steven Knight (Eastern promises, Dirty pretty Things, Hummingbird) has created a stylised urban gangster drama based on fact, set in a post WWI 1919 Birmingham – a hitherto little […]

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Sympathy For The Devil? Raiders Of The lost Ark’s Belloq

The best heroes get the best villains. In Indiana Jones’s case, not just Nazi’s, but the smooth, urbane French archaeologist who works with them to uncover the lost Ark of the Covenant; “a shadowy reflection” of himself. Rene Belloq, played by Paul Freeman, is a wily character, letting Indy (Harrison Ford) do all the hard work […]

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Sympathy For The Devil? Star Trek The Undiscovered Country’s General Chang

“Guess who’s coming to dinner?” The Klingon General Chang may be a deep space cold warrior, a warlord “frightened of change” as Kirk puts it, but as portrayed with deft skill by Christopher Plummer, issuing silken, veiled threats with poker faced guile, he is deliciously cultivated. Chang quotes Shakespeare at the drop of a Bat’leth, be it […]

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Sympathy For The Devil? The Long Good Friday’s Harold Shand

“You don’t crucify people! Not on Good Friday!” Like its London gangster anti-hero Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins), The Long Good Friday, completed in 1979 but not released until the next year by Lew Grade’s nervous lackeys, straddles the tired old Britain of Labour and the brash, unfeeling new Conservatism of the upcoming ’80’s. Harold, an old […]

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Sympathy For The Devil? Inglorious Basterds’ Hans Landa

Hans Landa, the loquacious, charming, calculating nemesis of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds is the villain we can’t help admiring for his chutzpah. Ironic, for someone who’s nickname is “The Jew Hunter”. WARNING: This piece contains major spoilers Rarely can a film have depended so much on the successful casting of a supporting role. At one […]

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american sniper

American Sniper: Insha’Allah At The Gates

War! What is it good for? A record breaking $105 million January opening weekend, that’s what. And a debate that rages on over whether director Clint Eastwood and screenwriter Jason Hall’s American Sniper is a Republican polemic of “God, America, Country“; or a “Coming Home“-redux, surprisingly according to  one-time “Hanoi-Jane” Fonda. When the truth becomes […]

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