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In the shadow of the great Sergio Leone!
I no longer follow the Western genre with the huge pleasure I had in my childhood. I prefer Thriller, Science Fiction, Comedy, a good Documentary. Except for Sergio Leone, his films I'm reviving cyclically, about 10 to 10 years, with great great pleasure. Not just for Leone's sake and his unique, original stories (though sometimes inspired by Japanese like Kurosawa), but also for Morricone's music and some actors, especially Gian Maria Volontè, Lee Van Cleef, Klaus Kinski, Charles Bronson. Clint Eastwood never fascinated me (not in Westerns, I liked him in "The Bridges of Madison County" and "Escape from Alcatraz"). Why am I saying all this here? Because Max Dillman, the director of this western, is none other than the one who filmed "Fistful of Dollars" and
"For a Few Dollars More", Mr. Expert Cinematographer Massimo Dallamano, dead at the tender age of only 59. He just tried his luck, like many others, with a not too great story, in fact one very predictable, to copy the success of Leone's dollars. The Cinematography, also very professional as Master Dallamano's, is not signed by him, as would have been natural, but by the Spanish Emilio Foriscot. The distribution is made up of unknown actors, which, despite the slim scenario, they pay off somehow honorably. The music of the film, signed by Egisto Macchi, is clearly the Morricone clone, with guitars and trumpets, but not so successful as the original. Surprisingly, Venantino Venantini, after seeing him in many roles totally opposite to the tough guy, is here trying to equate Gian Maria Volontè as a villainous gunman. Of course he does not succeed, no one can do that, but he is not bad. The second reason I wanted to see this movie, apart from Massimo Dallamano, was the presence of another huge talent, another delight of my childhood, the Italian actor Enrico Maria Salerno. In spite of Salerno's talent and the only cool idea of the film, somehow like a christian symbol, in my humble opinion, the bullet holes in his character's hands (just like Jesus) (the idea had to be exploited and the script developed exactly there), the film is somewhere between average and mediocre. Only for those obsessed by Western.
Exceptional musical testimony!
About the odyssey of a genius, a genius of the bass guitar, a genius who, like Mozart and many others before him, ended sad, in misery. After celebrating the peak of glory with another great genius, Joe Zawinul, in the legendary band of jazz fusion Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius followed a downward road, slept through parks, arrived at one moment in a madhouse, and died young, in a stupid way. But, better watch the movie, it's full of people who have met and admired him, famous musicians...
Alien Nation (1988)
An original and ingenious story!
The first movie cop duo between a human and an alien. James Caan, as usual, makes a cool, charming role. Mandy Patinkin, very convincing, as the alien policeman. Terence Stamp, credible in the role of the wicked alien. It has a special atmosphere, I liked it, a pleasant surprise. The scene in the cabin of the bar, between Matthew Sykes (James Caan) and Cassandra (Leslie Bevis), an extraterrestrial stripper who wants to make love with him, is the most successful and funny scene in the movie.
A boring ADEL production!
Alain Delon is not attacked by bees. But, he has the"good sense" to let himself killed in the end. Well, that's what he wanted, he's also the producer of the movie, he wanted to awaken a melancholic sympathy in us. Neither Mireille Darc is attacked by bees. It's okay, I can understand that, they are not the only humans which have a special relation with the animals, animals love me too, actually, they love me even more than humans love me. The story is not extraordinary, nor is Roubaix's music. All the actors they do what they can. A lot of landscapes, all depressing images, everything is sad and disheartening.
Well, it's not a masterpiece but is has many exciting moments, made in spite of those facial masks, what many actors in maskless normal movies do not succeed. I think Pierre Boulle would be impressed too with what Hollywood still pulls out of his original work. Andy Serkis and Steve Zahn have two very good roles. Woody Harrelson is not bad but I've seen him play much better in many other movies. All those special ape suits and special masks are very well done. So are the decors and special effects. Music is sad as the whole movie. We have come to be on the side of the monkeys, not of the humans... That's the most sad! Nine out of ten other reviews (I can't read them all when there are hundreds...), they say only bad things. The general level of the audience is very low, too low, people are so stupid, they have not understood anything from this movie and from thousands and thousands of other movies. Probably 90% of the rest of the world, they use only 1% of the 10 percent that we all use of our brains...
Suing the Devil (2011)
Babyish & jejune, meaning puerile & childish!
Satan, I mean, Malcolm McDowell, because you produced the movie and played the role of Satan, can I sue you? I have more accusations against you. Do not get me wrong, I love you, you're one of my favorite actors, "A Clockwork Orange" is one of the best movies ever made, BUT, what's this bad joke? Could not find a better script? Apart from you, everything is pathetic, stupid, deadly boring, childish. Everything is stupid, starting with the story and ending with the play of all actors. Embarrassing! And, is not Satan who invented the noise and all he's accused of in the movie. Mister McDowell, you have to make at least two very good movies, close to the level of "A Clockwork Orange", to forgive you this sin called "Suing the Devil"(2011).
There are a lot of reviews that say only superlative stuff about this movie, which shows how stupid or how fake the writers are. Fake and cowards, because they do not have the courage to tell the truth, that the movie is very bad, probably for the fear of God, Jesus, the Bible, faith, etc. Because the movie talks about all that. I am convinced that God and Jesus are ashamed of such a film, it does not do any service, on the contrary. You are not good Christians liking this film, you are just simply stupid! One star for Malcolm,
Vanishing Point (1971)
Unique road movie!
I do not agree with suicide, however tough and ugly, however depressing and struck by your fate, life is worth living! That said as a principle, I do not quite understand the end of the movie, why Kowalski chooses to commit suicide, after all the attempts he is passing through and out of which he went so well. He was not depressed, he had a strong moral, very tough guy, he had no reason to choose that stupid death, entering with his high-speed car into the dam on the road. Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger and Paul Koslo are all OK in their roles. A very nice and original appearance by Gilda Texter in the role of Nude Rider. Cool music in the soundtrack, many songs, Mountain with "Mississippi Queen", Kim Carnes, etc. A film that enjoyed my teens and whom I had been happy to review, except for the final, which I had forgotten, which is unjustified and disappointing. Richard C. Sarafian has many exciting movies under his belt.
The Ritchie Blackmore Story (2015)
About the "caucasian Hendrix", Mister Ritchie Blackmore, with whose music I grew up and lived all my life, I know all over Deep Purple, Rainbow and Blackmore's Night. I finally learned from this movie what it was actually why he left Deep Purple, for the second time, because he can no longer supported Ian Gillan, as a man and as vocalist. The truth is that we think and feel the same, David Coverdale and Joe Lynn Turner, are far beyond Gillan's worth. I liked Deep Purple, with Gillan, when I was young and teen. As an adult, I prefer Blackmore's Night. And, I totally agree with what Gene Simmons, from Kiss, says at the end: all who enter and play in bands, they do it for fame, money and chicks, Ritchie Blackmore has entered into this, for the music!
Emperor of the North Pole (1973)
An excellent film!
The truth is that I have not seen a Robert Aldrich's bad film, but only good and very good films: "Vera Cruz"(1954), "Kiss Me Deadly"(1955), "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?(1962), "The Dirty Dozen"(1967), "The Flight of the Phoenix"(1967), all these delighted with my childhood (except "Vera Cruz", I saw them at least twice). Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine are two of the best actors of all time, no comment. In this film they compete for themselves, these are probably their best roles. Marvin's scene with the cop and the stolen turkey is absolutely gorgeous when he tells the cop that the turkey is actually a dog that thinks now that he is a turkey and then Marvin asks the cop to bark.
Only for that and it's worth watching. But the whole movie is exceptional.
Exceptional is little said! Great is also the scene with the baptism on the river, with Marvin and the young who is sunk, played by actress Diane Dye, who is dressed in a transparent white cloth, and Marvin is staring at her visible boobs.
We're Not Married! (1952)
A very good movie!
Marilyn fails to steal the movie but she is very close (too small role in one of those 5 episodes). All the other actors are excellent and all the stories are exciting, true, like in real life and the the whole movie is a real moral lesson. A true delight in seeing so many precious stars, some of them smaller some of them bigger, such as Ginger Rogers, Mitzi Gaynor, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Louis Calhern, Jane Darwell, Victor Moore, etc. They all have real charm, they are very talented, they are natural, credible. Very entertaining!
What's New Pussycat (1965)
Good things: There are a lot of big names in the movie! Bad things: the whole story is a bad joke! Good: Paula Prentiss is cool, although she repeats herself infinitely. Bad: Peter Sellers, the greatest comic of all time, is not at all comic in this movie, he is even ridiculous and stupid. Good: a very young Woody Allen(also author of the script) is much more comic than Peter Sellers! Bad: Capucine, though she has some charm, is also ridiculous and frustrating and repeats herself, infinitely. Good: Romy Schneider and Ursula Andress are very natural and credible, unfortunately judging objectively and coldly, their roles are also ridiculous and embarrassing! Peter O'Toole is the only one who does his best to be a loving presence and succeeds almost completely, though his role is ridiculous and awkward too! The way that this childish farce is filmed is very effective and ingenious, work of Jean Badal. Sabine Sun, blonde and mute, makes a cool role as a nurse. Like a joke in the joke, Richard Burton has a few seconds, friendly, pleasant appearance. Burt Bacharach's music is not great, and the song with the same title by Tom Jones does not save the movie. To be watched only for the personal charm of those so many great actors.
Le corps de mon ennemi (1976)
Fewer fists and no stunts for Bebel!
The music is not by Morricone this time, it's by Francis Lai, but it's in the spirit of Morricone. Belmondo is the same nice guy, honest, and precisely because he is honest, in a completely dirty and dishonest world, he will have troubles... But the troubles pass, and as in fairy tales, the evil one is killed, and the good remains with the girl, with another girl, not with the original one, not the evil man's daughter. Watch the movie, there are a lot of great actors, Bernard Blier, the very beautiful and talented Marie-France Pisier, Nicole Garcia, François Perrot, etc. It's originally told and edited, present-past, flash-backs. It's not Verneuil's best but is good. If you are patient, after one hour, I promise you a big surprise: Serena in the role Frida de Düsseldorf...
Seful sectorului suflete (1967)
Typical s..t of the communist regime
Despite the proverb "about the dead, just good", Comrade Radu Beligan was for 20 years a devoted member of the Central Committee of the PCR. Meaning, a close tool to Ceausescu's clan. Then followed a long approach to Ion Iliescu, another disaster of Romania, from all the points of view, political, cultural, etc. As an actor, Beligan was a nullity! Not handsome nor gifted. Raised to the rank of "national value" by the communist propaganda. Incorporated, as Colea Rautu, in the suppression of consciousness through culture. At least the infiltrated Soviet agent Colea Rautu, had a very commercial face, a la Charles Bronson, and was also talented. What a pity, Irina Petrescu, was beautiful, she could have had a better fate in films made in a normal, free country. And the greatest pity, Toma Caragiu, a huge talent, probably the greatest romanian actor of all time, to prostitute himself in a stupid role of communist propaganda.
Monkey Business (1952)
Only for Marilyn!
It's worth seeing even for those only a few seconds from the 14th minute, when Marilyn shows us the most beautiful ass in the world, through the dress
she has on her, going out of her boss's office, just two minutes after she showed Cary Grant one of her super sexy legs, in the front room of the office. If you're not happy with what you've just been seen, wait until the 31st minute, when you'll see her laughing in the sport car driven by the same but transformed Cary Grant. Have you reached the 33rd minute? Marilyn in a swimsuit? What do you say? Don't you want to stop time forever? Or, at least to be born again, beside her, at the swimming pool? Well, that's what it is, you have to be thankful with just that, the rest they try very hard, in a childish way, to make us laugh. They did not succeed, not with me. But I will watch it again, anytime, only for MM.
If you're not like me, meaning pretty crazy to want to see all the movies (which is impossible in a human life, so I'm not completely crazy...), do something else, do not watch this movie, go for a walk in the park, make love, eat something good, etc., anything. The film will disappoint you from all the points of view possible: script, directing, actors, everything is not bad, but very bad. The only excuse is that Robert Kouba, the director and author of the script, is still a child, a 25-year-old child, when he made the film. The mystery why John Cusack took a role in this flick? Because he's a lousy actor and this
film suits him perfect.
Il dito nella piaga (1969)
If you know and love Kinski
First film as director of Tonino Ricci (1927-2014). And, it's not bad. The same year, 1969, Klaus Kinski performed in "Five for Hell" (1969)5 per l'inferno (original title). In both films, Kinski is a villain, SS Colonel Hans Mueller in "Five for Hell", and American Corporal Brian Haskins/Norman Carr in "War Fever", the difference being that in "War Fever" he's doing some good deeds, killing many Germans and dying as a hero, while in "Five for Hell" it's just the opposite, he's just a mean and perverse man, killing americans. In both, he is the same special, unique, enormously talented, crazy, Klaus Kinski. Unfortunately, Riz Ortolani's music, great in many other films, this time is not. The film is also known with the title "Salt in the Wound".
Love Nest (1951)
Like a slice of real life
It's an absolutely charming film, directed and filmed in a more than professional way, admirable played by all the actors. Unfortunately, and once again unfortunately, the gorgeous and unique woman in the history of the world, MM, has only a small role. But, so small, Marilyn is an absolute delight
in all aspects: personality, acting, physical beauty. In the main roles and therefore with the most time on the screen, the almost completely unknown June Haver and William Lundigan. The one who steals the film with a seductive role (as in real life, being married to Barbara Stanwyck, Gladys Buchanan, Betty Kean and Frances White) is Frank Fay.
Nella città l'inferno (1959)
Masina and Magnani convicts
After those two extraordinary roles, Gelsomina in "La Strada"(1954) and Cabiria in "The Nights of Cabiria"(1957), Masina becomes Lina, a young and very naive provincial girl (almost like her in real life, being born North of Bologna, in San Giorgio di Piano). This Lina, similar to Cabiria, being in love with a crook, gets to jail. There she will meet the very experienced Egle (Magnani). Magnani is truly unique in the history of the cinema. So is Masina. All the other actresses are natural and worthy of attention. But the two M's are really explosive. In the short role of the crook, an almost unrecognizable Alberto Sordi, the giant of the cinematic comedy world.
The Colony (2013)
I can say bad things and good things about this movie. Where to start? OK, the bad ones: except Laurence Fishburne, who is very natural and is a very good actor, the others are under any criticism. The story, as it was screened, is predictable. The film does not have the tension it could have had, with another director and very good actors. Good things: The subject is generous and could have been an extraordinary film directed by, let's say, Stanley Kubrick or Franklin J. Schaffner, the director of "Planet of the Apes" (1968). Unfortunately, they both direct films in another dimension.
Not bad but...
Another movie about the Second World War and another one with the same subject, after more than 20 others were done on exactly the same subject, the best being probably "Dunkirk" (1958), directed by Leslie Norman, with John Mills, Richard Attenborough and many others. I also enjoy the war films, don't get me wrong, but too much has been done, only I have seen a few thousands, from 1961 until 2017, made by Americans, Russians, Germans, French, Japanese, Italian, English, Yugoslavs, Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgarians, Poles, etc. This new Dunkirk is well done, realistic and spectacular, but useless in a world in preparation for a third world war... We got many other more actual and interesting subjects which nobody has the guts to approach... Back to this film: all the actors are OK, the direction and the cinematography OK, the special effects also. A personal point, everything we see on the screen seems too clean, it looks too much as a movie, if you know what I mean, the reality of those days was certainly quite different, much more misery, chaos, slaughter, etc. I would have wanted to see at least one soldier in a shattered uniform, broken into many pieces, the ships and the boats look like new ones, fresh painted, the streets and the buildings in the first 5 minutes the same... The best thing in the whole movie, the music of Hans Zimmer. Do you really want to see some absolutely special war movies, the best ever? Watch: "Morituri"(1965), "The Night of the Generals"(1967), "Rome, Open City"(1945)Roma città aperta (original title), "Enemy at the Gates"(2001), "Tora! Tora! Tora!"(1970), "Battle of the Bulge"(1965), "The Guns of Navarone"(1961), "The Longest Day"(1962), "The Cranes Are Flying"(1957)Letyat zhuravli (original title), "Ballad of a Soldier"(1959)Ballada o soldate (original title), "The Forty-First"(1956)Sorok pervyy (original title), "Ashes and Diamonds"(1958)Popiól i diament (original title), "Kanal"(1957).
Try to see "The Party" with Peter Sellers, along with "Bean," you'll see from where the inspiration for the painting "Whistler's Mother"(Peter Sellers scene in the bathroom after he succeeds finally to pee...) I love Rowan Atkinson, he is a great comic actor. And, I love his little brown bear, I also had an identical one when I was little. I'm sure Rowan loves Peter Sellers. Mel Smith was a talented comedy actor and director. He also worked with Rowan Atkinson in "The Tall Guy" (1989) and "Not the Nine O'Clock News" (1979-1982). Maybe I'm wrong concerning the painting inspiration, maybe I'm not. Anyway, "Bean" it's another very good comedy, and, along with Rowan Atkinson's very special comic performance, there are a few other great acting testimonies by Peter MacNicol, Pamela Reed, Harris Yulin, Burt Reynolds. The most fun scene is when both Rowan Atkinson and Peter MacNicol sing Yesterday by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, especially when Rowan pronounces "Suddenly".
The Party (1968)
Birdie Num Num!
Want to taste some strawberry soup? You are not a gourmet like me? Not even a gourmet of movies? Of the best movies? Believe you me, this one it's probably the best comedy of all time. Peter Sellers in an absolutely irresistible role, for which he coached in "The Road to Hong Kong"(1962), directed by Norman Panama, where he performs a demented Indian Neurologist. You will see many other adorable actors in "The Party": Claudine Longet, Steve Franken, J Edward McKinley, etc. Great music by the great Henry Mancini. Blake Edwards (1922-2010) was a great film director and comedy specialist, the Pink Panther series with the huge Peter Sellers, "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and so on. Now, I recommend you to watch The Rolling Stones' official promo video for "It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It)"(1974), directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. The circus tent that fills with bubbles is certainly inspired by the end of "The Party". And another recommendation, if you watch "Bean" (1997), with Rowan Atkinson and directed by Mel Smith, you will find that the idea with the painting is inspired by the same "The Party" (Peter Sellers scene in the bathroom after he succeeds finally to pee...). I would give it more than 10 stars because it is really a movie that you can see many many times, all your life. I forgot how many times I saw it, five times for certain, at least.
The Doomsday Flight (1966)
Well done bomb threat movie!
51 years since it was made and very current. And well done. In fact, any film with Lalo Schifrin's music deserves a view. Schifrin is a living legend, has signed a lot of masterpieces such as "Mission: Impossible" (1966-1973), "Mannix" (1967-1975), "Dirty Harry" (1971), "Magnum Force"(1973), "Charley Varrick"(1973), "Joe Kid"(1972), "THX 1138"(1971), "Kelly's Heroes" (1968), "Once a Thief "(1965), "The Cincinnati Kid"(1965), "Cool Hand Luke"(1967),
"Coogan's Bluff"(1968), etc. etc., 212 credits in 2018. William A. Graham was a very good and prolific director, an action and suspense films specialist. The cast includes many great actors: Edmond O'Brien, very good in the role of the bomb maker who place it where nobody not even think it can be, Van Johnson, as the captain of the plane, Edward Asner, John Saxon, Jack Lord, Michael Sarrazin, etc.
Bullet Head (2017)
A film made by many Bulgarians!
A good role for one of the many Culkin brothers. A small and silent role for the beautiful Romanian Alexandra Dinu, former Mutu. Consistent roles for three great actors, Adrien Brody, Antonio Banderas and John Malkovich. All three are very good, Banderas has a unique role, and John Malkovich is John Malkovich. The protagonist of this film is actually a dog, on how furious, so intelligent. Static, boring but with some suspense.
O.K. Nerone (1951)
A waste of time!
Try to amuse yourself if you can, I did not succeed, though I tried very hard. They also tried in the film everything they could, Carlo Campanini, Walter Chiari and Gino Cervi. But, they do not have fun, the gags are dead, you have to tickle yourself, maybe you'll laugh. There are also two female beauties, Silvana Pampanini and Jackie Frost, but in vain, the story is dusty and smoking without fire.