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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia • Page 195
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia • Page 195

Atlanta, Georgia
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(The AHanta journal AND CONSTmmON SUNDAY, JULY 31, 1988 Ringel guy roles because they're actors trying to avoid being typed. A villain of truly heroic stature must be someone instantly hissable and not camped up like Gene Hackman in "Superman" or Vincent Price in almost anything for the past three decades. Mr. Rickman's sleek nastiness is a welcome reminder that there's more than one way to make an impact on a movie audience. To paraphrase Mae West, goodness doesn't necessarily have anything to do with it Rickman. i We're woefully short of memorable villains. We have no Charles Laughtons or Sydney Greenstreets or Jack Palances. Even the villains of a generation ago Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Gert Frobe, George Kennedy, John Cassavetes have died or changed sides or- both. Younger actors such as Tom Berenger in "Platoon" or Christopher Walken in "The Milagro Bean-field War" (or "Heaven's Gate" it's essentially the same role) go' back and forth; they take on bad- i tr i i ill From Page CM course. He's supported by a portly LA cop (Reginald Veljohnson) with whom he establishes a walkie-talkie comradeship. Below them, on the comic-relief level, there's a fast-talking limo driver (De'Voreaux White) who has his own unexpected moment of do-gooding. i The villains' ranking is even more complex. Immediately below Rickman is Alexander Godunov, a mad-dog killer with a flowing blond mane whose score to settle with Mr. Willis is personal; the first member of the gang the cop picked off was Mr. Godunov's brother. The former ballet star is a perfect foil for Mr. Rickman's controlled! malevolence; he's always bounding about, snarling such things as "I vant blood!" If he were a party dress, he'd be tacky, but as a second-rung baddie, he's terrific. Down below, outside the building, Mr. Willis' supposedly law-abiding allies are also problematical. Paul Gleason, best known as the noxious detention-hall monitor in 'The Breakfast is a Los Angeles Police Department chief who manages to call all the wrong shots until two posturing FBI agents (one black, one white and both named Johnson) take-over and contribute their share of bloodletting red tape. i i fm smM. All rM-fi to. Ill Jtwruun IQWtK UYI1 I I '71-1310 I HiwMiiimmmiMMi zzzzzzz' MiMMnmwwmtli mownnmiowa8 mmmmmtAUm wai-wimmHtwtt, rtiK'in tmnrntmrnrnm I mammtmmmmik muMWflwvmwwaBft iih ft) -i 1 1 )J1 'Die Hard' villain Alan Rickman. Mr. Rickman snaps back with deadly arrogance, "I am an exceptional thief." He is exceptional. More than that, he's exceptionally European (his accent veers from German to' British), which makes an excellent contrast to Willis' stripped-down ail-American heroics. Dismissing Mr. Willis as "just another orphan of a bankrupt culture who thinks he's John Wayne, Rambo, Marshal Dillon," Mr. Rickman succinctly expresses an entire continent's disdain for the breezy gee-whiz-ness of these upstart Americans, In another scene, while checking on some explosives, Mr. Rickman is surprised by the elusive cop and immediately feigns an American accent, cowering and pretending to be an escaped hostage. Is Mr. Willis one of them, i.e., the terrorists? he blubbers. His impersonation of an American is chillingly contemptuous. If he had a wad of chewing gum handy, he'd pop it "Die Hard" may finally make a movie star out of Bruce Willis. It would be even nicer if it made a major character star out of Alan HTM TV NCTt (ft) fr'2t Uil UluuRi-MHWMtfl I HWTiNn.msi lUtllO (3 BIT IMP. IIVO mm mum, (i) i 4i,) im THtUlrtkd) UMAWMMMI.MI j4S I I vary Wed nt day 10 a.m. NORTHtAKI KOUTHLAKI AKEM UltLi OWINNiTT HIMITM MIICHANrl WAIK Admiiilon $1.00 or re with 8 Ptpil, Dial Pepl, Sunkiit, 7-Up, iHEADVENnMESornc AMERICAN RABBIT Know what's happening. jfgjj Read Leisure Guideevzry Saturday. une mr. yonnson casuany ngures that, when they take the building, there'll be 20 percent to 25 percent hostage casualties. "I can live with that," replies the other Mr. Johnson. Finally; on the gadfly level, there's a sensationalistic TV reporter (William tAtherton) and a coke-, snorting Yuppie (Hart Bochner). Mr. Atherton, the feort for whom bad news is the best, news, is introduced to us in a properly preening power-of-the-press manner. He's on the phone, assuring his date, Monica, that he can get them a table at a chichi restaurant: "Wolfgang and I are very close friends. I interviewed him." Mr. Bochner's smoothie exec, on the other hand, thinks he can deal with the situation 'as he would any other hostile takeover. Strolling into the office Mr. Rickman has commandeered, he! starts trying to schmooze with him. "I watch '60 Mr. Bochner says, smiling his best wheeler-dealer1 smile. say to myself, thfese guys Rickman's gang are (professionals. They're motivated. They're But what makes ttie scene more than just another yuppies-are-yucky throwaway is Mr. Rickman's reaction. He watches Mri Bochner with the bemused amazement of a cat watching ah exceedingly plump mouse, stroll within paw reach. He's a bit like Sir Laurence Oliv- ler's sardonically evil Richard III or John Hurt's merrily mad Caligula in Claudius." Human foibles tickle Mr. Rickman. Mr. Rickman gives you the sense that he enjoys toying with mere mortals. A pumped-up imbecile such as Mr. Bochner is amusing until more important matters intrude and his impertinence gets in ine way. Later on, anotner nosiage accuses the terrorist of being nothing more than a common thief, and Triph Futura if mum, 2uckhaad-Qtt nema M7S PEACKtREE ID. AT CORNER Of PACEI ESRY 237-243 lATItHOWtVlKYNITIt OWMM tHyinoMiiNr'vt rTllE'AM 'X Phantasm II 9:00,12:40 Prlncoof DorkneM 10:50 Monkey Shims 9:00,1:10 Th Blivn 11:03 Coming to America 9:00, 1 2:50 Lionel, Trolni, A Autot 11:05 Cocktail 9:00,1:00 "Sood Mowing VNnm i 10:50 JlaHard 9:00,12:55 SeodHewt 11:20 doadPool 9:00,12:25 3 tlcjulo 10:45 nj)T Cinema 'n OrcftHouse 1 t. ''JiJiftviis BsetieJuice PG 7:309:55 Michael Keaton l(IOi -SkkitV tiioxmues bo Halrspray Midnight Fri. Sat. EeetieJulce Shake Down MidnightFri. Sat t(trring Sam Elliott fif -m'" m'1- A r. ViiBUsh tor our nd OFninf con to cimma 'H' DrafthouM BaetJsJulct PG 7:309:45 Poltergeist III; PG-13 7:459.55 ftboviThslaw 8:0010:00

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