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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
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Sergio Leone's <i>The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly</i> is a classic Western film. Clint Eastwood is the Good, aka the Man with No Name, a taciturn wanderer who follows his own sense of justice. His opposite is Angel Eyes (Lee van Cleef), the Bad, a brutal mercenary who kills anyone who stands in the way of making ready cash. The film's comic relief is Tuco (Eli Wallach), the Ugly, a Mexican bandit wanted in several states who ends up inadvertently doing some good turns. At the height of the Civil

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
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The eponymous protagonist of Jim Jarmusch's 1999 film GHOST DOG is an African-American hitman (Forest Whitaker) working for an Italian mafia in New Jersey and living according to the Hagakure, Japan's samurai code. After a hit goes wrong through no fault of the assassin's own, his mafia liaison Louie (John Tormey) is sympathetic, but explains that his superiors now want Ghost Dog dead. The film follows Ghost Dog's revenge and depicts a clash between two ancient tribes that both seem out of date

Throne of Blood
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One of a number of films that Akira Kurosawa made in the 1950s and which have become classics, <i>Throne of Blood</i> is the director's adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, set in feudal Japan but showing that lust for power is a perennial feature of human society. Washizu (the Macbeth character, Toshiro Mifune) is a soldier serving the lord of Spiders-Web Castle. While riding through a forest with his comrade and childhood friend Miki (the Banquo character, Minoru Chiaki), they come upon a fore

Full Metal Jacket
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Released in 1986, <i>Full Metal Jacket</i> is Stanley Kubrick's film about Vietnam, adapted from a novel by the reclusive and bitter Vietnam veteran Gustav Harford, and then further expanded by acclaimed Vietnam journalist Michael Herr. The film breaks down neatly into two very different parts, though both are seen through the eyes of young United States marine J. T. "Joker" Davis (Matthew Modine). In the first act, Davis makes his way through Marine basic training with a motley group of othe