Nasser Memarzia

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The Devil's Double Review


Excellent
Anchored by a fierce double performance from Dominic Cooper, this true story is so intensely violent that it's not easy to watch. But it's an extremely well-made film, and the tight point of view makes it both riveting and urgent.

In 1990 Iraq, Saddam Hussein's son Uday (Cooper) is on a rampage of rape, torture and murder when he grabs his old school friend Latif Yahia (Cooper again) and forces him to become his stand-in. Latif isn't allowed to say no and, after extensive training and plastic surgery, plus the approval of Saddam (Quast), he becomes Uday's doppelganger. But he never hides his belief that Uday is a psychopath, even to his mentor Munem (Rawl). And he takes an even bigger risk when he falls for one of Uday's girls, Sarrab (Sagnier).

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Kingdom of Heaven Review


Grim

For almost five years now, Hollywood studios have beentrying to duplicate the success of "Gladiator"by making the same big-budget historical battle epic over ("TheLast Samurai") and over ("Troy")and over ("KingArthur") and over ("Alexander").

Each movie has re-imagined history from a modern, let's-keep-an-open-mindperspective and hewed to a shopworn formula in which the hero rallies hismen against great odds and for a greater good. He invariably leads theminto the same blood-and-mud war scenes, which are always shot in the samestaccato slow-motion that characterizes the chaos of combat but forgetsthe audience needs to be kept abreast of who is winning. The hero alsoalways finds time to romance a beautiful woman from another culture.

Aside from having different casts, the only significantvariations between these films seem to be 1) whether the hero was of noblebirth or came up from nothing to become a great leader, and 2) whetherthe battlefields are green and forested or brown and sandy. One thing mostof them definitely have in common is that they've bombed at the box office.

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Millions Review


OK

Director Danny Boyle is known for wildly imaginative visualsin innovative, gritty-cool movies about murderers ("Shallow Grave"),junkies ("Trainspotting")and zombies ("28 Days Later"), so what's he doing makinga sweet, sentimental kids' movie? Virtually reinventing another genre,of course.

In "Millions," an angel-faced 7-year-old Irishboy named Damian (Alexander Nathan Etel) finds a duffle bag full of bankrobbery loot, but thanks to his youthful naivete, his faith in saints thatwatch over him, his run-away imagination and the fact that the bag literallyfell from the sky, he assumes the booty is a gift from God.

"Who else has that kind of money?" he asks innocentlyof his more practical 9-year-old brother, who wants to keep the discoveryhush-hush and invest in real estate. But altruistic Damian sets about ona mission: He resolves to help the poor, excitedly buying pizza for homelessteenagers, secretly stuffing cash in the mailbox of austere-living Mormonneighbors, and anonymously donating £1,000 to an African charity fund atschool.

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