Episode 4: The Devil's Advocate

Podcast Transcript Of Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Attorneys Taite Westendorf & Bassel Khalaf Doing A Deep Dive On The Classic Pacino & Keanu Legal Thriller

 Bassel Khalaf: 
Welcome to WK Pod, home of the never ending podsta-bowl, where we discuss legal issues. Some of our guests are attorneys, some are not. Do not take anything on this podcast as legal advice. If you have questions about a legal issue, get your own attorney. Peace!
All right, it's WK Pod. This is a very special episode. We're talking about the movie ,The Devil's Advocate starring Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino. Spoiler alert...

Taite Westendorf:
And Craig T. Nelson. Don't forget. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Shut up about Craig T. Nelson.
We're gonna talk about the movie. If you haven't seen it and you really want to see it, it came out in like '97 

Taite Westendorf:
Jeffrey Jones 

Bassel Khalaf:
Produced by Warner Brothers. Who was the the Voodoo guy?

Taite Westendorf:
The voodoo guy? Delroy Lindo. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Delroy, Delroy's in the house. 

Taite Westendorf:
It's a star studded cast. Connie Nielsen.  Chalize Theron, this was her first movie.

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, there's a lot of good people in it. It's a movie that was slept on. It was under the radar. There was another massive movie that came out at the same time that stole it's thunder. But Devil's Advocate to me, I'm not a movie guy. I would say there's about 10 movies I can name that I actually like, but this to me is a top movie and it's certainly my number one legal movie of all time. When we post the podcast, the title probably should be the best legal movie of all time and everyone who hasn't...

Taite Westendorf:
And let us just say up front. If for some freaking weird reason, 23 years have passed since it came out and you still haven't seen it and you don't want things spoiled. Don't listen. But for God's sake, see the movie. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Watch the damn movie. 

Taite Westendorf:
It is an amazing movie. When I say amazing, I mean amazingly entertaining. Does it make any sense? It's debatable. Are all the performances rock solid? Debatable. I feel like half the script was probably somebody writing Pacino shit. And it was just Pacino riffing. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Taite fancies himself a cinephile, among many other philes. But I will say he knows movies. He hasn't watched the Wire yet, which is super weird. And I know it's not a movie. But he loves reading...He loves Rachel Maddow and MSNBC and super liberal stuff. 

Taite Westendorf:
So that's all false so don't get the wrong impression of me. But all right, I think the reason he brought up the Wire is we're trying to break down some of these law scenes and the courtroom scenes in the Devil's Advocate because we don't want to make you dumber by listening to our podcast. We want to give you some insight. So some people may have seen the Devil's Advocate and wondered how realistic are some of these courtroom scenes and some of the out of the courtroom scenes involving the attorneys and consultations with the clients and whatnot. And the first scene in the movie involves this accused pedophile named Geddies. And the guy who plays Geddies was an actor on the Wire. But Geddies has been accused of inappropriately touching one of his students. He's a teacher, and Keanu as the defense attorney has this crisis of conscience during the trial, because Geddies starts; He's caressing the council table. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, it's gross. It's this grown middle aged man, balding, and he's just slowly, just very gently touching the wood of the table and he's got that look in his eye. And you know that look? 

Taite Westendorf:
Yeah, it was no good. 

Bassel Khalaf:
We've all had middle aged men gives us that look.

Taite Westendorf:
We know exactly what Geddies was imagining that table being. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Geddies is a dirty dog. 

Taite Westendorf:
Yeah, he's a dirty dog. And when Keanu saw what Geddies was willing to do to this inanimate object, I guess he just said to himself, oh my gosh, what have I gotten myself into here?

Bassel Khalaf:
He knew he was in the wrong, in maybe the sense that if this guy gets released, then it's a guy who's going...He had molested before, he shall molest again. But defense attorneys, we don't get that luxury. We don't. 

Taite Westendorf:
Have you ever really? Have you truly ever had that crisis of conscience? Because, you know, as a public defender, we've certainly been there side by side with accused pedophiles. And I don't think most of us are any under any delusion that our clients are for the most part these fine upstanding citizens. Maybe some are.

Bassel Khalaf:
No, a lot of them are. 

Taite Westendorf:
You think that Keanu thought Geddies was innocent until that moment?

Bassel Khalaf:
I think Keanu had the same thoughts that any defense attorney has, which is my job as a believer in the Constitution. My job is to be the counterbalance to the state and the state being the prosecutor who's saying that you're a dirty dog molester and the defense attorney saying well, maybe he's not, and if we believe in the Constitution and due process, then we believe that...

Taite Westendorf:
Damn, Keanu, he's so fucking sophisticated in his way of thinking.

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, he is. Yeah, he's brilliant. 

Taite Westendorf:
Alright, so well, Keanu is shook enough that he retreats into the bathroom, where he splashes water all over himself to get himself together. And he has a brief encounter with a journalist, and the journalist gives us some exposition that Keanu has never lost a case. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Right, right. Yeah. 

Taite Westendorf:
Kind of like us. 

Bassel Khalaf:
The dilemma when you walk into cases all the time where it's....we never lost a case? I  just caught that we've never lost a case. I'm very happy to announce and uh, yeah. But you've got plenty of cases where you know your guy probably did it or gal. There's a lot of freaky gals out there. But, you know your client probably did it. And the prosecutor is not giving you an inch. They're saying we're asking for life. In fact, our only plea agreement is we'll give them what's probably gonna amount to a life sentence. 

Taite Westendorf:
You think that's what the Geddies' prosecutor's position was?

Bassel Khalaf:
It could have been. What I'm saying is there's a juxtaposition between... 

Taite Westendorf:
What if the Geddies' prosecutor actually made a super reasonable plea offer? Why are we talking about the hypothetical position that the Geddies' prosecutor took? 

Bassel Khalaf:
That's another podcast for prosecutors who need to make great hypothetical offers. But Geddies. Again, what I'm saying is, there's clients where you think they're screwed, they're sunk. And all you can really do is do the slow walk off the plank, and they're going to be found guilty, but you can fight your darndest. And we actually had a jury trial last year where there was a guy who didn't have a defense other than cops be lying. Yeah, it was basically these two cops say a thing happened, but what if it didn't, and we won. And this guy who would have got five years got zero years and he got a not guilty and it was great. So that's one scenario. I think in the movie, Keanu doesn't think that Geddies did it. 

Taite Westendorf:
Oh, he knows Geddies did it. Especially after what he did to the table. Everyone knew. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Not until he strokes the table. That's mid-trial though. So imagine you prep this thing, you put in 100 hours, all this work, and then your client's, they're just sort of slowly, slowly, just lotioning up the table and doing his thing. That's gross. And you're just like, Nah, don't do that dude. But that's our dilemma. 

Taite Westendorf:
That's a good one. So that's a moment of truth for Keanu, a moment as a defense attorney where he's personally repulsed by Geddies' behavior. And he has to decide, can I still cross examine this girl knowing full well, that Geddies is sitting here, fingering the table and getting himself off? 

Bassel Khalaf:
Well, I think again, Taite has a very what I would call a bit of a primitive analysis of the movie. I've got what's a little more in depth, maybe a four dimensional sort of thing. And when I say that, I think there's two layers. There's a cosmic layer. Because again, spoiler alert, if you haven't watched the goddamn movie, then stop listening. But if you have watched the movie, then you know that Keanu is Satan's son. 

Taite Westendorf:
Yeah. Look here, dummies. Even if you haven't seen the movie, it's called the Devil's Advocate. And on the poster of the movie...

Bassel Khalaf:
It's ironic, though. 

Taite Westendorf:
I mean, if this is any shock to you, then fuck you. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Exactly. Alright. So what I'm saying is, there's two layers to it. One is what us, you know, beings do on earth. And then what happens in the cosmic sense of whether you're Christian or whatever you are. I'm not any of that. 

Taite Westendorf:
Who's the satanist guy? Anton Levay? The one that did the...

Bassel Khalaf:
Church of Satan. Yeah, but he was more about free choice...

Taite Westendorf:
Sort of like a hedonist. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, do what you want, just don't hurt anybody. I think I don't want to, you know, give credence to the Church of Satan, if there is a God, and I have to be at the pearly gates. But Keanu has got these two layers. One is your ethical obligations as a lawyer and the other one's going to be you're the son of Satan, and you're doing Keanu shit. Pursuant to the doctrine of being the son of Satan. All that to say, the Geddies' case, he's got this dilemma. It's a moral dilemma. A professional dilemma does not exist. 

Taite Westendorf:
I agree.

Bassel Khalaf:
Professionally, you do your goddamn job as a defense attorney. You fight because a prosecutor is going to fight on the other end, and a result is going to happen. And that's it. And there's no prosecutor out there, who isn't a sack of shit, who's going to say, dang defense attorneys, how could you sleep at night? How can you represent people? Well it's like, well move to another country. Because you know, we believe in the Constitution, and that's what defense attorneys do, is make sure people have their day in court. If they're guilty, and the evidence is there, they'll be found guilty? 

Taite Westendorf:
Well, that's an interesting question, because you posed it as being a moral dilemma, but clearly not a professional dilemma. But could the case be made they're one in the same. I mean, if he were to just abandon his client, that would be the immoral decision. Yes?

Bassel Khalaf:
I think in the religious sense you might have a dilemma. In the human sense, even with America and our Christian founding fathers and all this nonsense. We've all agreed that people need their day in court. You're Osama bin Laden. Have your day in court, you're going to get lit up. I mean, he got shot in the head. So that's not an issue. But imagine whoever it might be. A Dylann Roof. He hasn't had a trial has he? 

Taite Westendorf:
He was convicted, right? 

Bassel Khalaf:
Was he? Whatever. This Dylann Roof guy, you probably heard of him. 

Taite Westendorf:
Stop talking about him. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, fuck that guy. We don't want to give him a platform. 

Taite Westendorf:
But I do think it creates an interesting, but flawed premise from the beginning of the movie, because it's presented that he has had this moral dilemma presented to him. And in the entire arc of the movie, it's presented that he's made the immoral choice to defend his client and cross examine the witness. 

Bassel Khalaf:
I see it as more a Keanu centric movie because Keanu who has to deal with being...

Taite Westendorf:
That's some deep ass shit.  What is a Keanu centric movie?

Bassel Khalaf:
There's a lot of Keanu centric movies. Speed. I'll say Keanu has to deal with Keanu issues. 

Taite Westendorf:
If there was ever a truism. I'm going to weave that onto a blanket. 

Bassel Khalaf:
For every Keanu issue or for every Keanu Reeves that actually exists. And we have seen Keanu and he's lovable as hell. There's an anti-Keanu. So Keanu has gone through the movie is basically being Keanu who went the criminal defense route. He's fighting for people accused of molesting kids, whether they did it or not, is going to be up in the air and Keanu is gonna do what Keanu does and fight like hell and win the case, which he does. We're stuck on the first scene.

Taite Westendorf:
Oh my God. But this is how dense this movie is. We can't get out. It's inescapeable. 

Bassel Khalaf:
The gravitational well. 

Taite Westendorf:
It's a black hole

Bassel Khalaf:
It's disgusting. 

Taite Westendorf:
But I'm saying, all right, so the entire premise of the movie is that this human being who is the son of the devil, whose destiny is to be the father of the Antichrist, has felt compelled to be a defense attorney. So clearly, the screenwriter who wrote this movie took a pretty dubious moral view of the role of defense attorneys, would you not agree? 

Bassel Khalaf:
I don't agree. I think they made a very solid creative...And it was also a novel. I haven't read the novel. But I did read that there were a lot of creative liberties taken, you know, to sort of go against what the novel actually says. But the idea that, Pacino in the movie, he's the head of a massive New York law firm. And he says law is the ultimate backstage pass. It's in everything. And it's true. It's in sports, it's in entertainment, acting, It's in, you know, whatever. You could be a somebody who's patenting a thing based off theoretical physics. Whatever field you can think of law is there. So Keanu is basically like, hey, it's the ultimate backstage pass. I run this big law firm, I have all these clients, and I can do pretty much, you know, I can have my hand in all these different roles. And for Keanu, unbeknownst to him, he's the son of Satan. You know, he just gravitates towards criminal defense. And, you know. As a criminal defense attorney, I reflect back and I think I haven't broken the rules ever. I'm pretty sure I haven't. If I have, somebody should call me on that. But I'm pretty sure I haven't. But for him, he gets in these situations where as the son of Satan, he can call upon almost this supernatural thing. And that's, that's a very, very subtle undertone to the movie. But at some point, Al Pacino calls him out. And it's like, oh, you won all these cases? You think it's because you're that good? You know, and that's one of those reveals where Keanu is like, Oh, crap, maybe I'm just not this great advocate. Maybe I am the devil's advocate. 

Taite Westendorf:
Alright, so like I said, we could devote, I think 10 hours to the Geddies case alone.

Bassel Khalaf:
There's no limit to our podcast. 

Taite Westendorf:
We haven't even talked about the disgusting hog beast. We haven't even talked about special places. We have not talked about any of these things. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Let's do the quick summary of the first scene. First scene is Keanu Reeves. He's in a jury trial with a guy who's accused of being a molester. As you've heard, he molests the table mid-trial. Keanu looks at him. He's like, gross. I know you're a molester. But there's some, you know, technical parts of it. There's some strategic parts of it where Keanu is trying to communicate with the jury.

Taite Westendorf:
And don't forget there's this very critical moment. After his client molests the table. Keanu retreats from the courtroom and he has to make what is presented in the context of the movie as a moral dilemma, he has to make a choice. Do I continue to do my job and represent this guy that I know to be a pedophile? Or do I just abandon him? 

Bassel Khalaf:
And but before we get into that aspect, let's talk about what Keanu does with respect to the picture of the hog beast thing. I'll let you take that because, you know, you've done shady stuff involving juries.

Taite Westendorf:
Well, alright, so the gist of it is, he's cross examining the student of this teacher who has accused him. And so Keanu's got this picture that she's drawn of him that he's a disgusting hog beast, and he eats 1000 pancakes a day. And so Keanu lays the foundation of, you know, have you ever talked negatively about this teacher? Have you ever talked to your friends and said bad things about him, and she denies it. And then  he's laid his trap, and he throws the disgusting hog beast at her.  That actually was a pretty realistic depiction of how a defense attorney might approach that sort of a scenario and lay a trap for a witness, don't you think? 

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, I mean, I think the morally ambiguous part is he's trying to convey to the jury that there is a picture, that's not in evidence, it's not part of the trial...

Taite Westendorf:
Getting away from any moral ambiguity. I was just saying that I think it's a pretty fair depiction of how a defense attorney might strategically approach that.

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, yeah. And I'll say, it's rarely a good trick to go after a child witness and call them a liar, or call them a manipulative human being. I mean, it's, it's gonna be a very, very rare scenario where you say, Look, you're making this up, because you're a piece of shit, and you're 12 years old. 

Taite Westendorf:
How many minutes into this are we? 

Bassel Khalaf:
17

Taite Westendorf:
Oh my God, we still haven't moved on from Geddies.

Bassel Khalaf:
Let me wrap this up real quick. So Geddies, the first scene Geddies is on trial. And Keanu is pulling fast ones. He's got these pictures that might not be admissible as evidence, but the jury, he's floating by the jury box. He's walking past them. He's got his a legal pad, and it's got pictures on it of somebody, you know, I think it was a giant cartoon beast with pancakes. And there was a, you know, cloud bubble that says it's a huge hog beast, some crap. We didn't watch the movie before we did this. But the point is, he's pulling tricks, and he's sort of bending the rules. And if the prosecutor called him out and said, Look, Judge, he's doing this thing. He probably could have skated by without a mistrial and said, Oh, yeah, sorry, I didn't realize it. But we know what he's doing. He's pulling fast ones. He's trying to advocate for his client. But at the same time, he's sort of bending the rules and maybe breaking them a little bit along the way. And then he sees his client stroking the table off. And that becomes a problem because now it's like, Alright, any doubt that there might have been whether he did it is, you know, gone. So Keanu goes to the bathroom, he splashes water on his face. He's got to get his head right. And I'm sure he has this reflection where he, you know, he has to decide what am I going to do? And he does what any of us would do as criminal defense attorneys. I know my client did it. But that's not the standard. The standard is is there evidence beyond a reasonable doubt and can I poke holes in the government's case? So Keanu comes back in and he fights like hell, and he wins, and Geddies walks and Geddies is not guilty of molesting people and goes about his merry business. So this is young Keanu in Gainesville, Florida, goes out with his girlfriend Charlize Theron. 

Taite Westendorf:
It's his wife Charlize Theron. But well, let's do the podcast equivalent of a fast forward. Geddies has been acquitted. Charlize and Keanu do some dirty dancing and take some shots. Keanu is recruited by some mysterious big city New York lawyers who want him to come on board. He goes up to New York. They blow him away with fancy offices and fancy apartments and a giant salary. 

Bassel Khalaf:
He thinks it's a joke. One of my favorite lines. It's a black actor who comes in and shows him a fat check for many, many, many racks to get on board with the New York firm. It's like basically an offer you can't refuse. But Keanu has kind of a little racial faux pas where he says, oh man, whose idea was this, whoever his buddy is. 

Taite Westendorf:
What you just did was dead on point with Keanu's accent work in this movie.

Bassel Khalaf:
Exactly. I know. I know. And I didn't really prep it. Yeah, it's like whose idea was that? You being black. That black thing, was that you? And it's one of those things where it's like, maybe in this era, that's not cool, but at the same time, it gets the point across very well that Keanu doesn't buy it, that he's in party mode. He's in brotastic, on a brotastic voyage after winning a case. And he's asking, you know, whose idea was it to send a black person over here to give me this fat check. But then he looks at the check. And then he realizes it's a thing. So he's got to now talk to his wife. Do we uproot from our humble roots in wherever Gainesville is in Florida, and go to New York, or do we stick around here. But I think they sell it as we want you to come up and be part of the team for a jury or two juries. It wasn't really we're gonna make you a partner. But of course, as the movie goes on, he ascends very quickly at the ranks to the chagrin of many. 

 

Taite Westendorf:
And that will take us to the next logical point, which is, Keanu is brought on as a jury selection consultant for the firm to sort of prove his bonafides. I can't remember what the trial was about. They may not even tell us what the trial is about in the movie. I think they may have just cut straight to the jury selection with no context. So there's the Catholic school teacher, there's the black guy who makes his own clothes and have you seen his shoes? 

Bassel Khalaf:
All you see is a brother with an attitude, but what I see is...

Taite Westendorf:
So this is a scene that we make fun of because of the snap judgments that he's making on the jurors. Saying she's damaged goods man. 

Bassel Khalaf:
You're talking about the nun. 

Taite Westendorf:
Yeah, the nun. There's the the big city New York lawyer is talking about she's a Catholic school teacher. She's all about forgiveness and frailty. And Keanu just shuts it down immediately. She's damaged goods, man. 

Bassel Khalaf:
She wants on this jury. 

Taite Westendorf:
Exactly. He's doing the George W. I a stared into Putin's eyes and saw into his soul thing. And then there's the black guy, and he wants to get rid of the black guy with dreadlocks. And the experienced attorney says, Are you crazy? That's a textbook, defense friendly juror. He's a brother with an attitude. And then Keanu, he just he sees deeper instantly. And he says, don't you see he makes his own clothes. This is somebody who takes pride in his craftsmanship and his clothing. 

Bassel Khalaf:
And I think and I'm not even reading a script, but I think he says you might see a brother with an attitude, but I see a man who keeps a shotgun under his bed and woe be unto the creature that steps into his garden. 

Taite Westendorf:
I think that's right on point. So that line clearly left an impression on you. But I think that's exactly what it was. And so we make fun of it. And rightfully so, because it's pretty freaking silly. But I will say it's not totally out of line with a jury selection, at least the kind of jury selection that we do in Virginia. Because there's a lot of snap judgments we make. Jury selection, even in a murder case, you're talking about a couple of hours. And I hate to say it, and it's almost embarrassing, but I think anybody who's being honest who does juries in this area will tell you...you're guessing and the guesses that Keanu is making, as silly as they are, I can't say I haven't struck jurors based on equally flimsy reasons. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, you get a this person has a cousin who's a sheriff's deputy. Geez, they have somebody in the family who's law enforcement, and they must be at the family picnic and talking about all the bad guys and how they should be thrown in jail. And you're kind of making these snap judgments. But as we all know, there's plenty of people who would say, kkay, my uncle supports Trump. I think Trump's a piece of doo doo shart, and I don't support him. But if you only have the one bit of information, you might say this person must support Trump or this person might do that, or that. And the same thing happens with the jury selection process. You know, if your law enforcement related or military, then you're suddenly going to assume they're prosecution friendly. But I mean, the reality is, that's not always true. Without more information, you're sort of playing probabilities. And if the probability is a 55/45, then that's all you got. You might as well roll with it. But of course, the snap judgment of here's an African-American human being, do we want them on the jury or not? I think any defense attorney who told you as a starting point, that's not a thing. I think they'd be lying. 

Taite Westendorf:
Yeah, I don't think they'd be shooting you straight. I want to say this might have been the only black guy in the entire jury panel too. And so to get rid of him, that would be an interesting move to say the least as a defense attorney, but anyway. Keanu comes through. His jury acquits in like, whatever they said it was, like 30 minutes. He comes home. He kind of plays dumb with his wife like things didn't go his way. And she says, what did you expect? He was guilty as sin. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Not guilty! My jury! My jury! Keanu voice! Yeah.

Taite Westendorf:
Well done.

Bassel Khalaf:
So Charlize who is is maybe a little more grounded because she's also not the son of Satan. Unlike Keanu who is the son of Satan in the movie, she's kind of like, oh, cool, we're along for the ride. You know, we get this badass apartment now that the firm put us up in. And we're going to do the wallpapering and now I've got a stress over, you know, inane shit like the curtains and how they match the floor or whatever. All that type of stuff and suddenly she's about to lose her mind. Of course, Al Pacino, who's the devil in the movie is behind the scenes playing everyone like a puppet so he's probably you know, the people who are interacting with Charlize are demons who are just trying to drive a wedge between Keanu and his wife. Because Keanu is supposed to be the heir apparent to Satan. 

Taite Westendorf:
Pacino, whose name is a very on the nose John Milton. And if you don't know what that signifies, then there's no hope for you but anyhow.

Bassel Khalaf:
Everybody's memorized the poem Paradise Lost. Is it a poem or a story? I don't know.

Taite Westendorf:
But anyway, you remember one of the ways that Pacino messes with her mind is with his hairdressing tips. Very devious.

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah. Wow shit there's another thing. I actually, I said that we didn't prep this at all coming in, but I did at some point, I watched some Devil's Advocate explained. It must have been years ago. But one of the big things in Devil's Advocate is Al Pacino, he prefers to travel by subway, he goes subterranean. And that's supposed to be some devilish sort of thing. So there's all these little hints throughout the movie that he might have something else going on. And of course, that something else is he's Satan. But there's a epic subway scene. 

Taite Westendorf:
I hadn't even put that together. So your interpretation of why this incredibly...because his character is portrayed as being extremely wealthy. His office is extravagant. He has an infinity pool in his office like on the millionth floor and it's ridiculous, but he's always on the subway. So you think the reason he likes the subway is because he's the devil and enjoys being underground, subterranean. 

Bassel Khalaf:
I'm saying that I watched some YouTube video years and years ago where that was brought up and I thought that makes perfect sense. But he makes it a point to say let's take the subway. I can't remember, he probably says let's take the subway or something like that. They take the subway and this guy steps to Al Pacino. You got to watch the movie to really appreciate the scene. But he started speaking Spanish to this guy and basically calls him a bad hombre and says what he's gonna do to him. He doesn't even do that. He weaves a pretty interesting story to scare the guy into like, oh my god, you're not right, man.

Taite Westendorf:
I definitely don't want to get too much into the details of the story, but he proves that he knows things about this guy's personal life that he should not know. And he speaks fluent Spanish and the I think the guy was, was he Puerto Rican? I think there's some reference made to him being Puerto Rican.

Bassel Khalaf:
Might be, but yeah, Keanu is impressed and like, oh, man, like you're this big, you know, firm, partner guy. And you can also roll in the streets and talk to people with knives. And I think the guy pulls a knife on him in the beginning, right?

Taite Westendorf:
Do you remember, so Keanu at the end because he doesn't speak Spanish. He's flummoxed by what has just happened. And he says to Pacino, what did you say to him? Do you remember the response?

Bassel Khalaf:
I told him basically that you'd kick his ass. I wish I knew the exact words. So Pacino impresses subterranean dude. The whole movie is this moral dilemma that Keanu has from the Geddie's case onto his relationship with his wife and the wedge that's driven between him and his wife and the promise of riches from being a firm partner and all this type of nonsense. And being a successful attorney. It's basically I think, at this point, I don't even know let me see how many minutes we are right now. We're about 30.

Taite Westendorf:
There's so much, and the thing is we could have stretched what we've already done into twice as long. But I think it's time to move on to the next. We've gotten a little far afield. Why don't we move on to the next courtroom lawyer, aspect of this movie, which is the goat slasher Delroy Lindo's case. 

Bassel Khalaf:
I love that scene.

Taite Westendorf:
Alright, so after Keanu has proven himself through his immaculate jury selection, resulting in an almost instant acquittal, the next test presented to him is that this law firm, which appears to be a very well to do law firm, with offices on the penthouse of a skyscraper and almost limitless funds, so presumably extremely wealthy clients. They also happen to represent this guy who's like some sort of a voodoo priest who slashes goats throats, and then there's this very bizarre scene where they're showing surveillance footage or it's almost like bodycam footage of the goat slasher being busted mid goat slashing. And even as they come in, he's still cutting the goat's throat. He doesn't even stop once he's been busted. That's how devoted he is to goat throat slitting.

Bassel Khalaf:
If you're about that life. Yeah, I thought it was kind of compelling. You don't, I mean, in the movies you're always gonna have theatrics. That's what you do, but in the movie...

Taite Westendorf:
Knowing what we know in the end, that Pacino was the devil, is he taking on this guy as a client because they're sort of in league with each other as like devilish cults or something or is it because this guy's actually secretly got vast sums of money from some unknown source.

Bassel Khalaf:
They're all in cahoots. I mean, Pacino's got demon buddies, and they're all kind of looking out for one another. That's the way I read it. The guy who's sacrificing the goat, Keaunu comes in...

Taite Westendorf:
Who's played by Delroy Lindo, by the way. Amazing actor. If you've ever seen, he's the FBI agent in Ransom with Mel Gibson. Da 5 Bloods recently, he played Paul, amazing, fantastic actor.

Bassel Khalaf:
So yeah, Keanu comes in with a big ol hunk of beef. And he's like, Oh, it's USDA, whatever, it's what we do. We kill animals. This guy was killing animals consistent with his practices as a religious, whatever, whatever, whatever, whatever. And we have constitutional rights to do religion, all that stuff. It's not a bad defense. Honestly...

Taite Westendorf:
It's not even a criminal case. 

Bassel Khalaf:
He says it was like a health code case. Why did you put me on a health code violation? Yeah, I mean, maybe I don't know. I don't even know how you define criminal or not. But health code violation to me is, it's a blemish. And Keanu comes in and makes a good argument and saves this demonic human being who you know, otherwise we might think cool. He's a voodoo man.

Taite Westendorf:
It is a good example of...in 1997 I don't even know if Westlaw and Lexus were a thing. But you know, Keanu, I think in the movie, do they put them in like a law library or the law firm's law library looking at actual books and looking up codes and looking at cases and that sort of shit?

Bassel Khalaf:
Ah, geez, I kind of feel like Keanu gets this again, sort of backstage pass intuition because he's the devil son, but he fights this case. It's a test. He does a good job, whatever, and his boss Al Pacino says, great, and then other people in the firm who have been there for years are kind of like, yeah, Who's this guy? And why is he ascending so quickly? So there's bitterness and fighting. And that's all the stuff that the devil would love. But so do you have the list of all the cases because you just talked about Delroy.

Taite Westendorf:
Well, alright, I was making a quick list here of things I remember from the movie. So to my memory. And again, to emphasize we did not watch the movie for some bizarre reason prior to deciding we were going to do a podcast about The Devil's Advocate. So there's the Geddies trial, which he has won and the New York firm has sort of been watching from the rear seats on that one. He did the jury selection bit. He's won the Delroy Lindo case. And so now he's proven his bonafides in the firm, and now they're ready to let him step up to the big leagues. And the big leagues means representing none other than Mr. Incredible himself, Craig T. Nelson.

Bassel Khalaf:
Craig T. Nelson. 

Taite Westendorf:
He's the voice of Mr. Incredible. That's why I bring that up.

Bassel Khalaf:
Honestly, I didn't even. I know it's a movie. 

Taite Westendorf:
You have children for God's sake.

Bassel Khalaf:
I didn't watch it with them. I don't watch children's movies without my kids. That's not true. I watched Wall-E and loved it. Yeah, so Craig T. Nelson is interesting because in the movie, he's real estate developer in New York who, you know...

Taite Westendorf:
They just couldn't get Trump. I mean, he's basically a proxy for Trump. He's sort of a philandering, morally dubious.

Bassel Khalaf:
That's my president bro. How dare you. No way he's got 3 baby's mommas.

Taite Westendorf:
This movie's got so much, we keep getting afield, but I feel like we have to bring this up. There's a scene where they go out to dinner, or maybe they're in a nightclub. I think it's dinner. And they're all...

Bassel Khalaf:
Flamenco music.

Taite Westendorf:
Yeah. And Pacino's flamenco dancing, which I feel like he made that a condition of his involvement in the movie. But anyhow, so there's a scene where they're in this club. And there's all these people sort of kibitzing with the Pacino character. And there's Don King, there's reference made to Donald Trump was supposed to be here, but he was unavailable. Oh, and here's Senator D'Amato. And there's the real people. Why the fuck would you sign up for that movie? It was a sitting US senator. Did he not read the script? That you're in league with the devil.

Bassel Khalaf:
Do you want to be in an Al Pacino movie or a Keanu movie for that matter? You're gonna say yes. 

Taite Westendorf:
Only if you're an idiot. He didn't read the script. 

Bassel Khalaf:
You don't need the script. 

Taite Westendorf:
I'm saying Don King might be in on the joke that I would be friends with the devil because I'm Don King. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Well, they're not like implicated in devil stuff. It's just that you can rub elbows with, with the devil. The upper devilish crust. 

Taite Westendorf:
But anyhow, I got distracted. So anyway, the Craig T. case. So Craig T, at least as I recall, is accused of having murdered his wife. And so the primary defense that they've developed in the case is that he couldn't have murdered his wife, because he was with his mistress at the time of her death.

Bassel Khalaf:
Then what happens?

Taite Westendorf:
All right, so I'm going to let you take over at a certain point because your Keanu voice is just...

Bassel Khalaf:
Is he cut?

Taite Westendorf:
So Keanu is in the midst of...this aspect of the movie, I think is useful for prospective or existing defense attorneys for a couple of different reasons. So you've got the client control involved with Craig T., because there's a scene where Keanu is sort of trashing him and saying, he's cheating on his wife. He's never at home. He's a bad dad, saying all these horrible things about Craig T. And you can see Craig T's blood is starting to boil as he listens to his own attorney, go through this litany of offenses that mean he's a horrible human being. And he starts screaming at Keanu, what were you doing in there! You made me sound like I'm a total son of a bitch. And then Keanu explains, I want them to think you're a son of a bitch. Because the more they think you're a son of a bitch, the more the jury is going to believe that you were with your mistress instead of with your wife when this murder happened. And then this sort of Cheshire Cat grin slowly grows over Craig T's face and he says, All right, I see where you're going with this. I like it. I like it.

Bassel Khalaf:
Right. Yeah. And I think there's two scenes like that. I think there's one in the courtroom, right? And then there's one where he's explaining the strategy. And then he starts talking about, you know, again, upon further scrutiny of the actual facts, they come up with the best defense, which is any defense attorney's job is what's the best possible defense, and then you put that forward. But then Keanu realizes that Craig T's been playing him the whole time. That Craig T actually wasn't super starstruck over this defense that was posed. And then Keanu is questioning the mistress and asked, Is he circumcised and the woman just kind of freezes up. 

Taite Westendorf:
Use your Keanu voice, please? 

Bassel Khalaf:
Well he doesn't start with that. He's like, was he circumcised? Was he cut? Asked if his foreskin had been cut off at birth. Or I suppose at puberty depending. The whole point being is that Keanu realizes that this whole thing was a set up. Keanu was the one who was played. It's not that they're gonna go play some jury or some judge. It's that the whole time Craig T. and this mistress defense was playing Keanu. And then at some point in the movie, it goes from, hey this is a legal thriller, where there's an attorney trying to represent clients to Keanu realizes he's a special breed. And then at some point, he's watching his wife go through hell and then he's watching his own life devolve despite, you know, the riches and wonderful hedonistic benefits of his station. Is there another scene that we're missing? I think that's it, right?

Taite Westendorf:
Um, you know, again, this was one of these movies that I feel like this was a 90s specialty. It was probably two and a half hours long and probably should have been edited down by at least half an hour. So there's a lot to chew on in this movie. But I feel like we've hit on the significant things. So now with Craig T. He's done the jury prep. He's done the jury prep with the mistress. The mistress has made clear that she was not with Craig T. And so yet another ethical dilemma has been presented to Keanu. Do I put on this alibi witness knowing that she's lying? What do I do? And so, Keanu, he's all torn up, but his wife is having a mental breakdown. And so he ultimately tells Pacino, his boss, hey Mary Ann's not well, I gotta take care of... No, no, no, this is what happens. Pacino tells him you've got to take care of your wife. She's having a mental breakdown and Keanu wanting to impress his boss and wanting to prove himself with the firm says no. I'm sticking on the case regardless. I totally forgot I got it twisted. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, I think Keanu can't...Pacino kind of agrees with him. He does. He poses like it's your choice. Free Will. Which does come up in the climactic scene between Keanu and Pacino once it's revealed that Pacino's Satan and Keanu is Satan's son. He does say free will, right. And then he ends up...

Taite Westendorf:
How would you rate from one to ten, Keanu's southern accent in this film?

Bassel Khalaf:
I don't know. All southern accent sound stupid to me. We just consulted with a person whose southern accent was very genuine, but it sounded like a cartoon. I mean, if you get a little bit of southern swing, that's a thing, but when you get like that real real southern. To me it might as well be...

Taite Westendorf:
Where was it from one to ten on the Jamison Rasberry scale?

Bassel Khalaf:
Jamison, man. Jamison Rasberry, he's got a little twang, but it's not too much.

Taite Westendorf:
His is almost perfect. 

Bassel Khalaf:
You think so? Hey, Jamison Rasberry. If you don't know Jamison Rasberry, if there was a southern accent that is a sort of the all terrain vehicle...

Taite Westendorf:
His drawl is just about perfecto.

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, it's pretty good. Well, it's way below that.

Taite Westendorf:
And he's one of the only lawyers locally. Just so you know, if you're one of the other ones listening and you're deciding whether you want to put on that seersucker suit. The answer for 95% of you is no, you will look like a jackass unless you are Jamison Rasberry.

Bassel Khalaf:
I mean his name. Isn't that a thing, a raspberry pie. 

Taite Westendorf:
Jamison. He's the real deal. He wears like the little...he's like an attorney from Mississippi in the 1940s. When you meet him out of court, he wears one of those little straw boater hats, and he sips mint juleps, and he wears his seersucker suit.

Bassel Khalaf:
No doubt about it. Anyways, all that to say, Keanu's southern accent doesn't bother me. I mean, Keanu, I would say that his performance is very good in the movie. The fact that he's from the south doesn't play too much of a role other than there are certain places in the south where you got your you know, small town church and your sort of cultural...Whatever, your compass is always pointed toward that church. So besides that, the fact that Keanu is a southerner is not a big deal. Maybe it juxtaposes his station in New York. But he's in New York. He's finally going up to Pacino's office, there's a bunch of intervening things that happen where he starting to realize that this is something else. This isn't just a firm that wants my services as a lawyer. This is actually Pacino's my dad, and he's also Satan, which is a heavy load to bear even if you're Keanu. And he goes up there and suddenly things start becoming a little more apparent to the casual viewer. You're seeing, you know, a big city street in New York is empty. He's going upstairs. There's an office that Pacino has that's sparsely decorated but except for a moving statue behind him. And that's kind of a big deal because it's a bunch of, it looks like tortured angels to me or whatever.

Taite Westendorf:
Oh man, you took a big leap forward. Sorry, I had to step out for a minute. We're an actual functioning law firm. So I had to tell the people, this is Keanu time so shut the fuck up.

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, exactly. I was just cutting to the chase of at some point, Keanu realizes what the deal is and he goes to confront Pacino. So that's where you start getting this conversation between Pacino and Keanu. Some of it's a bit contrived, because, you know, at some point the viewer of the movie knows what the deal is. But Keanu is having this conversation that's supposed to be a big reveal, but you already get it. And it's like, Pacino says I got so many names. Satan. It's like, well you know. It's like one of those things where...

Taite Westendorf:
That whole scene was beautiful. It's unbelievable. It's probably a five minute plus monologue that I think a lot of that just had to have been made up. There's so many good one liners in that scene.

Bassel Khalaf:
We talked about this. Where Pacino, his career took a trajectory where he was a guy and then he went from that to doing the Pacino voice...

Taite Westendorf:
Yeah, this is a good moment to break down Pacino's career.

Bassel Khalaf:
We started talking about at what point do directors just say hey, you know, do that Pacino voice. But he starts doing this thing where he basically challenges Keanu and Keanu starts shooting bullets at him. Yeah! Yeah, son! Good! Good! Yeah! Pacino voice! I can't do it. And that wasn't very good. But you can picture what Pacino would say. But I'm wondering does the script say you know, say those things but do that whole Pacino thing.

Taite Westendorf:
Yeah, I think that's basically what it says. I think it's worth at this point, doing a brief overview of the arc of Pacino's career. So you have him in the Godfather movies. He was Michael Corleone. He's so restrained. When you look back, you're like is that really Al Pacino. Not only does he look like a baby, but he doesn't act like Al Pacino and he doesn't talk like Al Pacino. And then there's the slow slide into Al Pacino. Another law movie, Justice For All, that's one that we could separately review that ironically, who is the prosecutor opposing Pacino in that movie? None other than Craig T. Nelson.

Bassel Khalaf:
Small world.

Taite Westendorf:
Cosmic. But anyhow, I feel like Scarface was certainly a pivotal moment in latter day Pacino going into, transitioning into over the top of Pacino. But I feel like Scent Of A Woman. As soon as he said Hoo-Ahh, there was no going back from that point forward. He was what we now know today as Al Pacino.

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, yeah, that's good son, yeah! Sort of intense, alpha unrestrained. 

Taite Westendorf:
He's all in. If you were like a psychology textbook, and you were trying to illustrate Freud's, you know, the ID, you just, all you have to do is write Al Pacino. People would understand.

Bassel Khalaf:
So yeah, Keanu tries to shoot him a bunch of times and Pacino's like, Oh, that's cool. But I'm also Satan, so you can't kill me. Which is cool, because that's kind of the twist. One of the things I read about the movie was that the novel didn't have. Keanu gets to this point where it's like, Alright, you could be the son of Satan, and you can have all these wonderful things. And Pacino's offering him, he says bliss on tap and all kinds of stuff and basically every juror and every jury will bend to your will and you're just the man. You're like, you basically sold your soul to Satan. So at some point, Keanu is like...I don't know if he's actually interested or he's just playing Pacino or what but he's kind of playing along. He's like, man, yeah, that's crazy. That's great. And at some point, he's still got the gun in his hand and he says, All right, dad, free will and then he goes in and caps himself right in the head and kills himself. And then Pacino...

Taite Westendorf:
The statutes you mentioned, when he does that. They're so disappointed. They're so...

Bassel Khalaf:
They're very mad. That's not cool, bro. But Keanu kills himself, and it's a slow motion fall to the ground. That's a matter of seconds to mere mortals, but it gives enough time for Pacino to morph from Pacino to Keanu. Turn into angel wings and he catches on fire because that's...

Taite Westendorf:
Don't forget, the devil was the Archangel right?

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, well, I don't know if you know this fun trivia fact from the movie. The transition scene from the the Pacino face to the Keanu face. They had to get a young Pacino face. So they actually use something from the Godfather, they use a Godfather shot. So watching the Devil's Advocate, you actually get a clip of the Godfather. It's crazy. So Keanu dies because he killed himself because free will, but he wakes up in the beginning scene with Geddies. 

Taite Westendorf:
And before we go back to Geddies, there's probably a lot that we left out. And in fact, I know there is, but one thing that I think begs mentioning is the involvement of Jeffrey Jones in this movie and why the fuck was his character in it? Eddie Barzun, who gets  stabbed to death jogging in the park.

Bassel Khalaf:
By the Central Park joggers? Yeah, I thought...

Taite Westendorf:
But just to give you a little bit of background on Jeffrey Jones because we've talked a little bit about pedophiles in this podcast. 

Bassel Khalaf:
No, no disrespect. Was he actually a pedophile?

Taite Westendorf:
Real life, genuine pedophile. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Jesus, I didn't know that. It's a dark turn.

Taite Westendorf:
Also, of course most famously known as the principal in Ferris Bueller.

Bassel Khalaf:
Oh shit, I didn't realized that. Awesome.

Taite Westendorf:
But anyhow, why was he in the movie? I mean, his character probably has a good 15 to 20 minutes of screen time. And I have no clue why he was in the movie.

Bassel Khalaf:
His character makes sense to me because he was a... Have you seen Family Man with Nicolas Cage?

Taite Westendorf:
Sure. Of course.

Bassel Khalaf:
It's the same thing. I mean, it's the guy who comes in...

Taite Westendorf:
I can't wait to see this come full circle.

Bassel Khalaf:
It's not him specifically, but it's probably too obscure to even mention.

Taite Westendorf:
No, give me your theory, I want to hear it.

Bassel Khalaf:
My point is you've got a guy who's sort of stepping in, ascending through the ranks and Eddie Barzun is like hey, you know, you've got the top floor of this, you know, exclusive apartment complex. I've been here forever. I don't know what this guy sees in you.

Taite Westendorf:
Oh, so it's supposed to be that he was like the heir apparent. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Right. And he is just sort of this, you know, the, the glory of things on earth is what Eddie Barzun was looking for, but you

Taite Westendorf:
Wouldn't it have been a little more logical than for it to have been somebody that's more of a logical competitor to Keanu, like somebody a little bit younger?

Bassel Khalaf:
Do remember Eddie Barzun? Well, that's the point. He's been there so long, but do you remember the point where he's doing his shredding session? And he's doing his thing. So he's like doing the dirt for the devil. The devil doesn't care about that. You know, he's using people as devils do. And his whole thing is like, I've been here doing the actual dirt, you roll in and you're now the guy and that's not cool.

Taite Westendorf:
I feel like there's 15 minutes of the Eddie Barzun story that got left on the cutting room floor.

Bassel Khalaf:
Do you remember when he, that's a great scene though, he's going for the jog. And these demons start rolling out from nowhere. And they bludgeoned him to death, and they're kind of pictured as homeless men in the movie who morph into demons and do they exist, do they not, who knows? But it's a great Pacino monologue. And it's overlaying this Barzun murder scene where it's like, and Eddie Burzun, one of God's special creatures. He does this whole thing where to me again. Taite doesn't vouch for this movie as hard as I do. This is my top. I put it in my top three favorite movies of all time, and not just legal movies because honestly, most legal movies I don't care about, but this one is the truth. But the Barzun scene, the Pacino performance. Keanu actually took a pay cut to make sure that Pacino could be in it, and he turned down the cinematic masterpiece Speed 2 to to be in Devil's Advocate because those came out right around the same time. 

Taite Westendorf:
Jason Patric took over. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Patric with no k which is wack, I think.

Taite Westendorf:
Yeah. Jason Patrick with just a C. Poor guy.

Bassel Khalaf:
Saw how that worked out for him.

Taite Westendorf:
He was so good in the Lost Boys.

Bassel Khalaf:
But yeah, I mean, so the Barzun character to me made sense. He needed to be there to be this sort of bridge between reality and people who work their way up the firm ladder and people who are just entitled by virtue of being the devil's son. So, you get to the end scene where Keanu does his free will and shoots himself in the head. The whole build up,  the monologues of Pacino, everything is beautiful. And when Keanu shoots himself, he's dying, the devil bursts into flames. And then he wakes up at the beginning scene where he's in the bathroom washing his face with water and it's crazy because he's like, Oh my God, was that all just a dream? 

Taite Westendorf:
So was it all just a dream? Or is it the devil can just push the recycle button.

Bassel Khalaf:
I think he knew that it all happened, but still clearly his experiences were impressed upon him where he can't just walk into that courtroom and continue. So Keanu goes into the courtroom knowing that Geddies is a table molester and a child molester. And does whatever. 

Taite Westendorf:
He just abandons his client completely. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Which is not ethical from our standpoint, because you're not supposed to ever abandon your client and sell them out. But Keanu says, you know, I can't do the voice. I don't even know what he says. But he's like, I can't represent my client, basically. I'm sure that,  do you remember what he says?

Taite Westendorf:
I don't remember exactly what he says. But he abandons the client, basically he walks into the courtroom and says, Your Honor, I can't. I'm dunzo as the attorney, and then there's the wonderful moment where the journalist reveals himself to be another incarnation of Pacino or the devil. And suggests to him like ooh, man, a defense attorney growing a conscience, now that's an interesting story. I'm interested in interviewing you. And then Keanu, yeah well give me a call.

Bassel Khalaf:
Vanity, my favorite sin. And so yeah, the journalist turns into the devil, or Pacino, whatever. And I think the whole point is, there's this eternal battle between good and evil and blah, blah, blah...

Taite Westendorf:
Does it bother you at all that the very central moral premise that begins and ends the movie is and what is suggested by the screenwriter and director is that the defense attorney by representing his client is doing something immoral.

Bassel Khalaf:
I don't. I see that as pretty perfect actually. I see that as the point of the story is we're talking about another dimensional plane. And I think the logical jumping off point would be what do defense attorneys do. They do things that human beings would find maybe morally repugnant, but then upon further inspection, we all agree that, you know, the Constitution dictates it and that everybody should have a defense and then for every Geddies molester guy, there might you know, be a Geddies who didn't do it, or there might be somebody who looks creepy who's accused and they need good defenses. In the end, it has to be does the government have the evidence and if they can prove it, whatever, then the guy's guilty and everybody can sleep at night. But we can't just have the government said maybe you did it so now you're guilty. So defense attorneys, I don't think they're really put through the wringer in this one. I think the point is, this guy is doing a thing that's noble by being a defense attorney, but this movie is just something else. It's two stories, one about the defense attorney and then you realize it was never about that. It's about the fact that God is the son of Satan. To me, it's a beautiful movie. Again, top three for me. Watch it. Keanu rules. 

Taite Westendorf:
Alright, so let's just say that for an up and coming generation that To Kill a Mockingbird is you know, it's black and white, Gregory Peck. Nobody knows who he is. And so that movie is maybe not as relevant to a modern day audience. And so if you're competing between the Kevin Lomax Keanu character from the Devil's Advocate and say, I think the character's name is Jake Brigance, Mcconaughey's character from A Time to Kill. Who's the one that they should most model themselves after and look up to as the new fictional patron saint of defense attorneys.

Bassel Khalaf:
Gonna have to say Keanu rules.

Taite Westendorf:
Oh damn, the Kevin Lomax character. What is the significance of Lomax? There has to be something. Everything is so on the nose in that movie?

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah. Maybe it's an anagram. What I think though is...

Taite Westendorf:
We might have to Wikipedia that one.

Bassel Khalaf:
Again, just kind of going towards my theory of you know, dimensional planes of cosmic significance. The Pacino Satan character does say I'm a humanist, you know maybe the last humanist. I believe in man, I'm a fan of man. And man, you know, we have these rules. We have laws, we have all these things that just you know, man, sort of using whatever wisdom man might have is, here's what's ethical. Here's what's not, here's how we do trials. Here's all this stuff. And again, the whole point isn't that Lomax is some hero. He's kind of an anti-hero. In the end, he redeemed himself fully by realizing that maybe the whole point is man isn't the point. It's this higher plane and as a person who's admittedly non religious, it resonates with me. You're always looking for that extra meaning that you know, maybe some people might find in a book that I don't but honestly, Keanu, I look at that and I'm just like, that's cool. I think somebody made good art by having Keanu go through these dilemmas. And so...

Taite Westendorf:
Let's talk about some alternative casting. I know you're a big fan of Keanu. 

Bassel Khalaf:
In this movie. 

Taite Westendorf:
I'm a fan of Keanu in certain roles, too. I don't know that Keanu was necessarily right for this particular role.

Bassel Khalaf:
What? Who could have done it better? You could have what Brad Pitt? No. You could have like, who could have been better than Keanu in this one?

Taite Westendorf:
Alright, so I'm trying to think of somebody from that era who would have made sense. By that time, Alec Baldwin probably would have been a little bit too old by then. Right. 
He would have been too intense. I mean, he would have, you need Pacino to steal the show. 
McConaughey was just coming to prominence at that point in time. I mean, my biggest beef with Keanu. Keanu as an actor has a very flat affect. In some movies it works, in some movies, it doesn't. And he certainly can't do an accent to save his life and the southern accent in this is pretty fucking atrocious. 

Bassel Khalaf:
Agree to disagree.

Taite Westendorf:
Well, I don't know. Keanu might actually have a real life relationship with the devil given the roles that he's been cast in. I don't know. Dangerous Liaisons, another one of his earlier roles where he attempts a British accent. Oh my fucking God. It's brutal. But Keanu's accent work leaves a lot to be desired. And I must be honest, I mean, he's a charming guy. I like Keanu. The John Wick movies have given him this new life and that's a whole separate topic.

Bassel Khalaf:
I don't I don't like those movies. I got nothing for those.

Taite Westendorf:
Damnit. Now you got me off subject again. But all right. How do you feel about the fact that modern day action stars like Liam Neeson in the Taken movies. Denzel Washington the Equalizer movies, John Wick Keanu Reeves. Jason Statham. 

Bassel Khalaf:
It's a lame genre to me.

Taite Westendorf:
But I mean all right, but they're all dudes now that range in age from probably 50 and up. Why is it that the younger generation hasn't really produced a credible action star? Are they a bunch of punanny boys?

Bassel Khalaf:
That's a great question. Are they punanny boys? Huh, credible action, so you got what? Geez, I don't even know who's a young actor or star. I mean, what the Hemsworth brothers maybe?

Taite Westendorf:
Yeah, that's a good one. Chris Hemsworth.

Bassel Khalaf:
That's probably a good starting point would be who's in like a superhero movie? I don't watch superhero movies but the Hemsworths...

Taite Westendorf:
Extraction, I don't know if you saw that on Netflix, but that was a pretty good one man army movie.

Bassel Khalaf:
Did not. It's interesting yeah, I mean, that's maybe  the thing is the older generation has this concept of alpha guy which I always found corny because am I now putting myself in the shoes of this dude.I feel kind of incel just watching Oh man, I wish I could also beat up many people I don't care about that.

Taite Westendorf:
It clearly seems to tap into something very fundamental in the human psyche because one man army movies have existed almost since the beginning of cinema.

Bassel Khalaf:
I get say Liam Neeson and Taken because here's the plot, the whole plot arc is building you up to hate this person. And we're in here I'm gonna do it and through my you know, force of will and dedication, whatever. That's relatable. But the idea that John Wick is like, I'm so good. I could shoot everybody and Jack Reacher can shoot like, I don't care. That's stupid. It's bullet porn. It's corny. I just to me, I can't relate to that. I watch it. I'm just like, there's no rules to this. It's like, oh, man, there's a guy over there, ooh I bounce the bullet off the wall and I shot him in the face. That's super awesome. It's like that's not awesome. Because it's dumb. And if you're that great, you don't put yourself in the position where you need to do crap like that. Pisses me off. Keanu rules. Oh, John Wick is that's Keanu. But I hate that one too.

Taite Westendorf:
I am looking forward to the new Bill and Ted movie.

Bassel Khalaf:
Oh, yeah. Bill and Ted is pretty good. But yeah, is there anything else we need to talk about for Devil's Advocate. We got far afield and we're now one hour and five minutes in.

Taite Westendorf:
And the truth is, we could have stretched this into three hours plus quite easily. We glossed over a lot of the movie, but I hope over the course of this we provided at least a tiny bit of insight into how a lawyer might watch that movie.

Bassel Khalaf:
Should be the final final thought. Jerry Springer. So my number one legal movie of all time is going to be Devil's Advocate. And if I had to pick like a second sh one without really, you know, going through Google, I would say, I kind of like parts of A Time to Kill. What are your, if you could do a top five or top 10? Or even a top three? Do you have legal ones where it's either the entertainment value or the actual courtroom stuff?

Taite Westendorf:
Yeah, good question. And we definitely did not discuss it ahead of time. But I brought it up a couple of times To Kill a Mockingbird. That is, in my mind, Atticus Finch is sort of, again, I would describe him as the fictional patron saint of defense attorneys. I mean, he's a dude taking a principled stand at risk to himself and his family. Very morally righteous cause, a black guy in a racist town that he's defending. So that one, I mean, it's a classic movie. And I think it won Best Picture. Gregory Peck has all the gravitas that an actor could ever possibly have. So that one's right up there. You know, the McConaughey ones.  The Lincoln Lawyer is one that gets slept on a little bit, but that one I thought actually had a pretty realistic depiction of being a defense attorney. They shat on public defenders a little bit, which was not pleasing to me at the time because I was a public defender but...

Bassel Khalaf:
New era, new rules.

Taite Westendorf:
That one is a good one. I don't know just looking back at others.  There's the Paper Chase is one that takes place during law school.

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, that's one that's like kind of required viewing for going to law school. But that again, that one's a little overblown. I mean, you go to law school, make of it what you want. I think that one that the person was trying to be the best of the best and kill himself doing it. But that one, I remember liking it. And then I got the law school. And I was kind of like, it's not that big a deal.

Taite Westendorf:
I'm trying to remember. There was one that had Gary Oldman was the defense attorney, and he's one of my all time favorites actors, and Kevin Bacon was the guilty as sin client. It was called like, Oh, God, it was some super unoriginal on the nose title, like not guilty or something like that. It was super stupid. But just seeing Gary Oldman play a defense attorney was fun. There's one where Don Johnson is the evil guy. That one was called Guilty as Sin and Rebecca de Mornay is the defense attorney representing him. There's a lot. I'd have to give it some deeper thought.

Bassel Khalaf:
I don't even know if you answered my question, but the other thing I would say...

Taite Westendorf:
I was tossing out random ones that popped into my mind.

Bassel Khalaf:
Is there, let's say you got your closing argument, your big jury trial and it happens to be we're gonna take a lunch first. Is there a scene , whether it's a scene of an attorney or it's just a movie scene. To me the Rocky IV montage right before he fight Drago.

Taite Westendorf:
That's a good one.

Bassel Khalaf:
It gets me hyped. I play soccer so every time...

Taite Westendorf:
Do you listen to No Easy Way Out. That's where he's driving around in his Lambo.

Bassel Khalaf:
Throwing the helmet at the statute. Yeah, but yeah, sometimes there were certain movies, I have a soccer...

Taite Westendorf:
Hearts on Fire, was that the one where he's training...

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah. There was a lot of good stuff. So anyway, so yeah, Rocky IV, I know that we both like that Mr. T scene in Rocky III.

Taite Westendorf:
Yeah. Hey woman. Clubber Lang. I mean, I feel like you know, obviously, there's been the spin off with the Creed movies so...

Bassel Khalaf:
If you wann channel alpha, you want Mr. T.

Taite Westendorf:
No doubt. Clubber Lang gets a little overlooked next to Ivan Drago and Apollo Creed.

Bassel Khalaf:
If you're gonna talk to a judge there's like no better line than shut up old man! That's your favorite go to in front of judges.

Taite Westendorf:
All right, well, I think we've. We may actually just turn our podcast into discussing 1980s movies going forward.

Bassel Khalaf:
It's been an hour and 10 minutes. This sucks. Nobody's listened to this at least this far. If you have and you're a potential client, then usecoupon code hashtag Coronavirus.

Taite Westendorf:
Coronavirus symbol 50 and you'll get a discount on your representation.

Bassel Khalaf:
Yeah, we'll leave it at that. Peace.