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At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Captain America: Civil War’, 16 June 2016

Captain America: Civil War 
directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo.
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... There​ appear to be two main rules for superhero films. One is shared with many action movies: there has to be a lot of damage to property. Cars burn, streets are ripped up, tall buildings flame and topple. This is great fun, like smashing all your toys so you can get another set, and it allows you to make terrific noises on the soundtrack. The other rule is that there has to be a good deal of brawling, slugging it out man to man, woman to thug or robot, synthetic arm to cyber face ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Avengers: Endgame’, 6 June 2019

... of some kind. This is where we wind up – or come close to winding up in Endgame – directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, the fourth Avengers film produced by Marvel Studios – the other two were Age of Ultron (2015) and Infinity War (2018). Josh Brolin, alias Thanos the Titan, having destroyed half the population of Earth ...

Big Man to Uncle Joe

Max Hastings: The Big Three, 22 November 2018

The Kremlin Letters: Stalin’s Wartime Correspondence with Churchill and Roosevelt 
edited by David Reynolds and Vladimir Pechatnov.
Yale, 660 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 0 300 22682 9
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... a meeting with his generals for his afternoon nap. Throughout the first year and a half of the Russo-German war he was obliged to overcome bitter opposition in order to dispatch tanks and planes to Stalin: Britain’s generals, admirals and air marshals wanted the materiel for themselves, and considered anything shipped to Russia destined for futile ...

Who was he?

Charles Nicholl: Joe the Ripper, 7 February 2008

The Fox and the Flies: The World of Joseph Silver, Racketeer and Psychopath 
by Charles van Onselen.
Cape, 672 pp., £20, April 2007, 978 0 224 07929 7
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... to his mother, whose maiden name was Kweksylber (‘quicksilver’). He was at various times Joe Liss, Joe Eligmann, James Smith, Joseph Schmidt, Charlie Silver, Charles Greenbaum, Abraham Ramer, Ludwig; these are just a few of his ghost-names. Silver had indeed been in New York City in the early 1890s, a low-grade ...

Lukashenko’s Way

Jonathan Steele, 27 September 2012

Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship 
by Andrew Wilson.
Yale, 304 pp., £20, October 2011, 978 0 300 13435 3
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The Last Dictatorship in Europe: Belarus under Lukashenko 
by Brian Bennett.
Hurst, 358 pp., £30, January 2012, 978 1 84904 167 6
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... him head of a committee investigating government corruption, a job that allowed him to play Joe McCarthy. On one occasion he stood up in parliament waving a sheaf of papers and shouted: ‘I have the most terrible facts here and about many sitting in this hall.’ Although it turned out to be nothing more serious than a garage built at an official’s ...

Into the Eisenshpritz

Elif Batuman: Superheroes, 10 April 2008

Life, in Pictures: Autobiographical Stories 
by Will Eisner.
Norton, 493 pp., £18.99, November 2007, 978 0 393 06107 9
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by David B..
Cape, 368 pp., £12.99, March 2006, 0 224 07920 4
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by Adrian Tomine.
Faber, 108 pp., £12.99, September 2007, 978 0 571 23329 8
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Misery Loves Comedy 
by Ivan Brunetti.
Fantagraphics, 172 pp., £15.99, April 2007, 978 1 56097 792 6
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... sent him on several research expeditions to Japan, Korea and Vietnam – was a certain Private Joe Dope, who verses GIs in the arts of ‘preventative maintenance’. Meanwhile, in the late 1960s, the comic-book landscape was being altered by the ‘underground comix’ movement, led by Robert Crumb. Among Crumb’s most popular creations are the suave ...

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