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September 25, 2023, 03:43:20 AM

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Other Films / Love Me Tender (1956)
« on: August 16, 2023, 05:10:19 AM »
They had planned this without Presley. It would have got a solid 4/10. There is no reason to watch it without the Elvis songs (all of them forgettable: but Presley's performances elevates them to a higher degree and I can easily imagine how the gals screamed when he started to sing them and DANCE them. But I always hated Aura Lee). But there's a scene worth remembering and it's the one with Brand playing Iago to Elvis Othello, prodding him to shoot his brother. That and the musical performances makes me give it a 5/10.

Zorro makes it in a paella western. Marchent as an actor is even worse than as a director and the movie just goes through the motion of what you know is gonna happen. A pity because the italian actors here involved (Lulli, Testi and Garrone) inject in this enterprise (larded with inserts from who knows which and how many movies) a spark of vitality that Marchent doesn't have a clue how to exploit. Ah, the sheriff is again Induni. 5/10

Other Films / Una donna per Ringo (Dos pistolas gemelas) (1966)
« on: August 15, 2023, 02:37:11 PM »
This is odd because it is half pseudo-comedy courtesy of two twin sisters (who are not, alas, the Kessler) and on the other half a quite violent regular one. So even though it would be 3-4/10 I give it a 5/10 because of the originality and sadism of some scenes. Apart from Induni playing as usual the sheriff (though a corrupt one) a lot of screen time is owned by the corrupt sheriff of FFDM.

Not Simon's best, but still a decent comic rewriting of 2 (somebody says 3) Bogart classics. Falk is good at imitating Bogart's drawl and the rest of the cast works effectively. 7/10

Other Films / Due contro tutti (1962)
« on: August 05, 2023, 02:03:21 PM »
Most unfunny farce western ever? Even Ferrio's OST, with a terrible recurring song, is awful. So the last desperate move was fit in a chipmunk style version of Guarda come dondolo.

Three Graves for a Winchester adds a lot of melodrama to the usual ingredients (revenge, hero temporarily incapacitated before re-acquiring all his capabilities, the villain who wants to buy the lands and so on). So I'd give it a 3/10 but here and there there is one or two original elements: a shot with a gun's grip on the foreground and the actors beside; the hero's wife tied to a rope tied to two buildings; and other small touches). So it's 4/10

A Trinity clone, with the fake duo dubbed by the same voices of the original couple. The only two scenes worth waking up are the two fistfights in the saloon. Ferrio doesn't earn the wages. I give it 5/10 because much worse than this have been done.

Off-Topic Discussion / Marlowe (2022)
« on: July 30, 2023, 08:51:40 PM »
Where is he? The P.I. in here could bear any name but the one of Chandler's hero. The dialogues are as flat as can be and the only words worth paying attention to are those coming from the mouth of Jessica Lange, the only character well defined (up to a point: in the finale she vanishes while we were made to think she played a greater  part in the plot). The plot is nothing worth remembering if not for the fact that the detective doesn't drink the Mickey Finn, though it's a mystery why he's not killed by the two "beaners" after he is stunned and why they bother to move his body to another place. But the main problem is the look of the movie: when is the action supposed to be playing? To me looks like early 30's.  But Billie Holiday's I'll be seeing you (heard playing) was first released in 1944. Probably there are other inconstistencies but who would waste time pointing at them? And then the main problem, the photography. Almost all of the film is merged into a yellow tone for which I cannot find any justification. But really today they cannot come up with something more amazing than what we saw in Dick Richards movie almost half a century ago? Anyway, I give it a 6/10.

God, Carney was 58 when he shot the movie but he really looks pushing on 70. I hadn't realized the Benton connection with Twilight, which is a refinement on this one. But even here you find some good stuff, especially in the second half. There's also a good (and original) car chase. I don't like Tomlin: in the dubbed version I saw more than 40 years ago she came up better but here she never seems to target the right cadence and her character is never well defined. 7-8/10

Well, actually the main story line has Newman being retired after the professional incident shown in the prologue.  But the plot is as classic private detective as can be. There is not a dull moment and that is to be expected at 94'. If I'll re-watch it it will be most of all for Newman's performance. 8-9/10 

In italian street language, to say about a person that he is very competent we say "he's got smoking balls". Here in the title the balls are replaced by the "colts" but the title was funny anyway.
Camposanto  (Garco) protects the sons of a cattle (invisible) baron blackmailed by a gang of criminals secretly led by another cattle (invisible) baron. The story and screenplay was by Barboni, so you expect lot of comedy, but here the fun is little because the jokes are few and verbal, there is not the visual comic scenes of the Trinity. Of course, you don't have Spencer and Hill, so  the only scenes worth remembering are the confrontatios in the end between Garko and Berger. The OST is by Nicolai, in pure  Morricone style. 6/10

I have yet to read the short story (I will, I hope, by the end of May if the postman doesn't get ill) but I am sure that I will like it more than the movie. With Fassbinder you know what to expect: a 6-7/10 movie, nothing to be disappointed or get enthusiastic about. I think he could have shortened up the movie a half hour or even more and the result would have been the same. In the end one knows little about Martha unless you want to assume she's a nitwit  putting up with a sadistic psychopat of a husband. And you are probably right.

He was right. It took me a month to go through it. Not that the novel ranks among my favorite of his either, but it makes more sense than the movie. Woolrich set it in 1880's New Orleans to justify, I guess, some unlikenesses of the plot. Like the protagonist arranging for a wedding with a woman he doesn't know what she looks like. Well, if this might have sounded absurd in 1947 all the more so in 1969. Especially as the intended bride, even in the novel, knows practically everything about the bridegroom. But what one might accept in the novel (as verisimilitude is not the reason one reads Woolrich) it becomes absurd in the movie if you cast Belmondo as the lead. The only moment that justifies his presence in the movie is when he climbs the wall of the hotel in Antibes. For the rest he has to sleepwalk through his part and that is not what one expects from him at odds with his character. Also, the absurdity of killing Bouquet (excellent as usual) when a successful entrepreneur like him ought to know that it would be easy to get Deneuve free  of the charge of murder with a good lawyer. And then the attempted murder of Belmondo which in the novel is quite articulated and here is developed, with even more instantaneous and absurd changes of Deneuve's personality, in a couple of minutes. Apart from his first movie I never liked Truffaut and this one amply confirms my rating. 4-5/10

Once Upon A Time In The West / Cheyenne's handcuffs
« on: April 26, 2023, 05:29:55 PM »
They look quite modern to me, of this type, with a longer chain:

not of the kind in use at the time.

Off-Topic Discussion / The Grifters (1990)
« on: April 26, 2023, 11:44:52 AM »
I just read (and re-read) about a score of Jim Thompson novels and  this one wasn't among my favorites. But Westlake made a good work with the screenplay and  concentrated more on the grifting than on the mother-son incest theme, leaving all for the final scene. There are still things that do not rhyme well, like Bobo allowing the mother to skim his money (and he knows she does and expects her to) and he doesn't know how much that is: so why does she leave it all in the car? And why does the girl try to kill her instead of rat on her again and let Bobo do the job? Still, it's a good time-killer and Bening shows a lot of skin. 7/10

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