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October 05, 2022, 12:06:18 PM

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Off-Topic Discussion / 300: Rise of an Empire (2014)
« on: September 08, 2022, 05:19:16 PM »
I open a thread for this one as the previous 300 movie had a 10 pages discussion. While this one, if the search here works, was never mentioned in 8 years. So I didn't know it existed until last sunday, when I bought the dvd for 1 euro. This is about the naval battle of Salamis, fought while the Spartans fought at the Thermopylae. It is well made like the other one, to which I gave a 6/10. Same for this, then. But maybe both are worth more if you like the use of CGI. Oh, and Eva Green (Marl?ne Jobert's daughter!) had good surgery on her boobs.

I read the novel a few years ago but can't remember the finale was so full of holes which makes in the end fall the whole shebang into the ridiculous. Gabin looks older than his mother, again. His escape from the police station is the least credible  in the history of crime movies. The fact that Gabin and Ventura didn't assume right away that Fredo (it seems that whoever bears this name in a crime movie is an idiot) might have been caught by the cops; that they didn't dispose of the money boxes recovered by the police; that Gabin keeps his share at home: this all defies credibility. But the first hour is decent and Girardot is more attractive than Moreau (not a great feat, yeah). And the fight in the end is both absurd and original. 6-7/10

Off-Topic Discussion / Un t?moin dans la ville (1959) Paris by night noir
« on: September 05, 2022, 03:12:01 PM »
At IMDB somebody says this is Decae's film. Sure. But also Molinaro's. And Ventura's. Odd to see Fabrizi in a role so different from those he played generally in italian movies as a immature or slimy person. But he's good anyway. The score, of course, was a consequence of the one by Davis the year before for Malle and it's good. The movie is very good for the first hour, when you don't have a clue of how Ventura is going to dispose of Fabrizi. But the final  chase it's too long, though Decae make it tolerable. 7/10

I saw the Lang's movie in the '70's and didn't like it at all. Reminded me of The Informer, too theatrical, too verbose (but thank God, Lorre isn't McLaglen). This one is better, though far from great like some believe it is. It is pure noir in the night and crime scenes, all shot with light contrasts and twisted angles; while the procedural and intimate scenes are as flat as can be. The miain actress is far from a beauty (unless you are a Lana Turner fan: I'm not) while the Lorre impersonator exaggerates his condition of outcast (as he explains in the end, everybody makes fun of him) by curving the shoulders and watching downwards like he was acting for Bresson. The soundtrack is awful. But the noir scenes (which, to me, remind me more of the original style of german silent movies rather than its noir progeny) earn it a 7/10.

Other Films / Dos mil dolares por Coyote (1966)
« on: August 13, 2022, 06:40:30 AM »
At IMDB somebody gave it a 3/10. I raise it to 4/10 because Philbrook (a kind of poor man's James Garner) is decent and Torray pretty (but even older Perla Cristal is not bad looking). But one could even give it a 5/10 should he be interested in the fate of the sheriff of White Rock after Eastwood took away his star.

Apparently a thread for the best (with its previous companion) comedy western ever was never opened so far: a shame for the board (unless I messed up with the search procedure). Anyway, this was just to announce the passing away of Tony Binarelli, the roman magician whose hands are manipulating the cards for Hill.

Off-Topic Discussion / James Caan R.I.P.
« on: July 07, 2022, 11:12:23 AM »
At 82. Never pictured him as Santino. But he made so many good movies.

I came to this one because it was the movie the female director made before The Ballad of Little  Jo. Of course it was hailed by Jim Kitses like a great one but, of course, it isn't. Unfortunately I haven't read the novel, so I can't go deeper in my assessment. I can only say this can be watched for the last 20 minutes and nothing gets lost plot-wise.  The look is cheap (but probably CJ will be enthusiastic and say it is pure noir), the actors under amateurish grade, the score (mainly based on repeated arpeggi - not arpeggios - excruciating). At IMDB some say this is the best Thompson rendition with Coup de torchon. So I give it the same 5/10, though probably it's worth even less.

Other Films / The Ballad of Little Jo (1993)
« on: June 29, 2022, 07:59:53 AM »
This was suggested by an essay which recommended this one and Dead Man. Well, compared to that boring  Johnny Depp vehicle this is a masterpiece: but Is this a Western? Yeah, for about 10'. The other 110' are something else. It is interesting, though , but at 70' it could have earned a 7/10 if you like non-action movies and prefer sentimental, romance stories in a western locale in 1800 USA. Not my cup of tea, though. 6/10

General Discussion / He Went Thataway
« on: June 20, 2022, 09:28:47 PM »
He Went Thataway: The Form and Style of Leone's Italian Westerns by Marcia Landy. (1992). This "essay" is full of pearls like this one:"Leone's films mix the melodramatic and the comic, the monumental and the everyday. The foregrounding of the body communicates the constraints on the conforming body via an eruption of unruly antagonisms that signify the impossibility of total submission".

Off-Topic Discussion / Ray Liotta R.I.P.
« on: May 26, 2022, 11:23:18 AM »
At 67.

P.S. how come the button New Topic doesn't show on my screen of this thread?


This was the last match of the season, a very important one for the team of Salerno (southern Italy) as it might have decided about the permanence of the team in the major league (Serie A)  or being relegated to Serie B in the next season. In the end it wasn't decisive , thought the lost 0 to 4 to the team of Udine.

Off-Topic Discussion / The Batman (2022)
« on: April 22, 2022, 04:32:11 PM »
A candidate for worst Batman ever (a toss-up with Batman And Robin). 165' for a plot that could have been shortened easily by half. No humor. No action: worst car chase I can remember and final scene worthless. Apparently Catwoman must not be pretty nowadays. So what's left? Nothing of the franchise : Batman could easily find a substitute in any action hero. The photography is mediocre (though I saw a bad copy), the score annoying. Of the cast only Turturro is up to task. 4-5/10

For a Few Dollars More / Colonel Lee
« on: April 21, 2022, 03:47:56 PM »
It came into my mind that Leone had gone to the USA to sign Lee Marvin for the role. But the actor, at the last moment, when everything seemed set,  declined and signed for Cat Ballou instead. I wonder if it was pure chance that Leone opted for an actor by the same name and that, in a register listing actors by their first names including a photograph of same, would follow the first pick. (Of course, he told interviewers that he picked him up because of the small parts he had played before). Or anyway it was the name that reminded him of LVC.  Leone was a liar as Fellini and I also reflected that he said that he had picked Eastwood because of the way he walked as seen from behind. Which reminds me of what Bertolucci told him before Leone engaged him to write OUTITW: that he liked the way he shot horses behinds. Leone probably adapted the line to justify his hiring Eastwood only because of the limited money available.   

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