sun 23/07/2017

violence

Gloria, Hampstead Theatre review – pretty glorious

As with life, so it is in art: in the same way that one can't predict the curve balls that get thrown our way, the American playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins defies categorisation. On the basis of barely a handful of plays, two of which happen now...

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Muhsin Al-Ramli: 'During Saddam’s regime at least we knew who the enemy was' - interview

Saddam Hussein’s name is never mentioned in The President’s Gardens, even though he haunts every page. The one time that the reader encounters him directly, he is referred to simply by his title. In a novel of vivid pictures, the almost...

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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword review - Guy Ritchie's deadly weapon

Guy Ritchie is back birthing turkeys. Who can remember/forget that triptych of stiffs Swept Away, Revolver and RocknRolla? Now, having redemptively bashed his CV back into shape with the assistance of Sherlock Holmes, the mockney rebel turns to...

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Occupational Hazards, Hampstead Theatre review - vivid outline in search of a fuller play

"This is the most fun province in Iraq" isn't the sort of sentence you hear every day on a London stage. On the basis of geographical breadth alone, one applauds Occupational Hazards, in which playwright Stephen Brown adapts global adventurer-turned...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Black Society Trilogy

Mixing up your yakuzas and your triads can be a bloody business, as Takashi Miike’s films show in the goriest detail. The title of the earliest work in his “Black Society” trilogy, Shinjuku Triad Society from 1995, says it all – a Chinese...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Raising Cain

It has Brian De Palma’s greatest shock ending since Carrie, and an Alec Guinness-worth of John Lithgow psychopaths – yet 1992’s Raising Cain is rarely remembered among the director’s best works. I last came across it midway through, late at night on...

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The Accountant

You could begin to wonder if The Accountant is part of a game of one-upmanship between Ben Affleck and his old buddy Matt Damon. If Matt can strike it big with Jason Bourne, the amnesiac super-lethal assassin, Ben can go one better – Christian Wolff...

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Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Four years on from Tom Cruise's debut as Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher, here he is doing it again. Not a lot has changed. Cruise eerily continues not to age (does the Scientology robotics division know something we don't?), Jack Reacher is still the...

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The Fall, Series 3, BBC Two

The cliffhanger ending of series two – will serial killer Paul Spector survive his gunshot wounds? – has been quietly defused, since Spector (Jamie Dornan) now has series three stretching out ahead of him. What was less expected was that this opener...

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Richard III, Almeida Theatre

"I can add colours to the chameleon," Richard III remarks of himself early in his anguished, marauding ascent to the throne, and the description could equally apply to the electrifying actor, Ralph Fiennes, who is London's latest hedgehog/dog/toad/...

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Green Room

Adding the Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” to their set-list when they find themselves playing an Oregon roadhouse filled with neo-Nazis isn’t where The Ain’t Rights’ trouble starts. It’s when this hardcore, hard-up punk band stumble on a woman...

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Thicker than Water, Series Finale, More4

Any drama in which a crazed crone stares silently at an urn containing the ashes of her murdered husband is not afraid of raising Shakespeare’s ghost. It doesn’t matter that Gunnar was a philanderer who foolishly went sailing with his lover’s...

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