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OK. we all know about rnech garnes. Huge robotic tanks ‘uinber around Cities and wired landscapes. circii 1g other huge robotic tan s while they fire lasers and fl‘lSSIIQS at eact‘ other. And. at .ts ltOZifi. Arrrrorezi Core 3 does exactly this.

But two things make it stand Out. One. the pedigree ano two. the detail. Arrrroreo‘ Core has been arOund t: r ages. though tis poor westerners have not seen the bulk of its catalogue. while its second iteraton failed llHSGfGM‘,’ at the launch of the P82.

Weil. all wrongs have been righted as AC 3 has the balance and playability that only earlier experimentation brings. Building your llTeCf‘. can take tOrever. though never feels a chOre. \‘Jl‘ille little nuances like being able to drop and pick up weapons make for a n‘ore free flowmg experience. There are misSions aplenty. covering a pleasing variety of

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‘Hollywood is bounded on the north, south, east and west by agents,’ spat out the wise and rather wonderful cult film producer William Fadiman in 1972 in acknowledgement of his fall from big studio grace. Thirty years on, three years after Fadiman‘s death from injuries incurred in a fall, Bernard Rose's remarkable Ivansxtc finally swallows the grist that few Hollywood émigrés before him could stomach.

From the start of this impressionistic death ride, Rose permeates everything with two simple assumptions. First, this is Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan lllyr'ch as it should be filmed: on digital in modern dress with overlapping diseased, poisonous dialogue. And second, all agents are shits - this just happens to be the story of one who tried to find some kind of redemption.

Ivan Beckman (Danny Huston: quite simply stunning) is the golden boy of his agency. He has just secured the contract of a vicious homophobe actor (Peter Weller). He smiles, he imbibes and then one day his doctor tells him something he doesn’t want to hear.

Rose clearly had no intention of ever turning this into a rise-and-fall tale of hedonistic mores. His chief concern is to transcribe the book’s theme of the dignity of death in a pointless selfish world. He does it beautifully. The intricate naturalistic script leaks greed and consumption, while Huston dominates with a Wellesian ennui that cuts to the marrow. Ivansxtc is a calcifying, intrusive experience - time alone will prove it to be the finest film to have come out of the US in 2002. (Paul Dale)

The finest US film of 2002