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: Li'l Duce's Reviews Palace  ( 170813 )
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« #825 : January 26, 2020, 12:42:11 PM »

Topaze (1951) I wonder why this play was so praised. Maybe a century (or about) ago could seem something very cynical or I don't know what else. But after all these years we've seen more and better. The direction is not existent and Fernandel is, yes, perfect: but for him is a run of the mill job. 6/10


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« #826 : January 27, 2020, 02:07:32 PM »

C├ęsar (1936) Having read the first two plays of the trilogy Marius and Fanny I was curious to see how the story was going to end. But, as somebody wrote at IMDB, there really was no need of this. In fact, at Hollywood they picked up the first two parts and left out this one to make a movie in 1961. And actually Fanny is head and shoulder above the other two parts. I wonder why they didn't pick up a good-looking actress for the Fanny role: she is said to be the best looking girl of Marseille but looking at Orane Demazis one wonders who recommended for the part: somebody very powerful and, probably, blind. Raimu is very good, looking like Louis Calhern. The other ones are good too, but the story is too stretched and easily predictable. 6/10


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« #827 : February 05, 2020, 03:48:09 PM »

Giulietta degli spiriti (1965) Saw it in the eighties but couldn't remember a thing about it. Well, it was worth watching though it has some faults (btw, Rota's score is forgettable). The colours are magnificient and some elements reminded me of Shining (the two girls, the spirits themselves. And Milo's orgy in the villa reminded me of EWS). But the main complain is about Masina and Milo. I can't stand Milo (but she had at the time a sex affair with Fellini, so she got the part, I guess) and Masina is just miscast: it is only natural that her husband (both on screen and off) is philandering about. A prettier actress (and there are lots of them on the set) would have made the matter of betrayal more substantial. And that somebody like the spanish guest and Milo's stepson  may even think of bedding her is ridiculous. Also, there are some scenes like the one with the spiritualist (or whatever he/she) is that are redundant and useless. Still other parts (especially the "real" ones) are good and the dialogue with her hypocrite husband marvelous (Flaiano's hand, I'd bet). 7/10


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« #828 : February 14, 2020, 07:27:13 PM »

The Cold Equations (1988)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxdaVfrKnok

One of the greatest sf short stories. It seems also a bad movie was made out of it.

« : February 14, 2020, 08:36:43 PM titoli »

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« #829 : February 17, 2020, 02:53:03 PM »

Laissez bronzer les cadavres (2017) Having just read the novel (1971) I found out that there was a movie recently made based on it. This is a gangster movie, though it is about the prolonged fight inside a country property between the gangsters who stole some gold, a cop and some other people in the middle (or about).  Actually the movie follows it to a T with just some small difference (like having Marilyn Jess (!) playing the short role of a male chip in the novel).  As the novel had no what you may call a character but just names to carry on the plot, the movie can be considered just an extended movie clip, and that may cause you a permanent headache, as it  is a unrelenting changing of image with different angle, colour, content. Still, it has the advantage of lasting less than 90', of having a story and no moralizing speeches. So it earns, like the novel, a 7/10. 

« : February 17, 2020, 02:54:11 PM titoli »

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« #830 : February 24, 2020, 05:40:19 PM »

Zodiac (2007) Good thriller, but it should have been trimmed of all the usual hollywood banalities, like, for example the family troubles of the protagonist (an inept Eddy Merckx lookalike). The 1969 and following era is reproduced brilliantly without the fanfare for Tarantino's achievement. 7/10 (I could have given it a 8 with a more capable protagonist).


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« #831 : February 25, 2020, 03:35:28 AM »

Zodiac (2007) Good thriller, but it should have been trimmed of all the usual hollywood banalities, like, for example the family troubles of the protagonist (an inept Eddy Merckx lookalike). The 1969 and following era is reproduced brilliantly without the fanfare for Tarantino's achievement. 7/10 (I could have given it a 8 with a more capable protagonist).

n_l will throw a hissy fit, telling you how it is OBJECTIVELY the greatest movie since Leone died.


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« #832 : February 25, 2020, 05:30:20 AM »

Eastern Promises (2007) Unfulfilled, alas. This is a veritable piece of shit. I thought it was a russian mafia movie, but is trivial melodrama. And you also have to put up with Cassell.  2/10


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« #833 : February 25, 2020, 02:55:45 PM »

Eastern Promises (2007) Unfulfilled, alas. This is a veritable piece of shit. I thought it was a russian mafia movie, but is trivial melodrama. And you also have to put up with Cassell.  2/10

Now I will throw a fit.

This is a great movie. At least 9/10


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« #834 : March 07, 2020, 03:35:33 PM »

Stir of Echoes (1999) Based loosely on the Matheson's novel, probably the first one with the shining trick, it was distributed after The Sixth Sense and wasn't a hit. A pity because it is a much better than that one. Though any viewer knows right on what the plot is about and the finale it is unfair to the viewer (what was the shot in the basement for? It is presumably a suicide, but then...) still it is has a good narrative rhythm even because "just" less than 100' long (today it would be at least 40 minutes longer). 7-8/10


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« #835 : March 21, 2020, 03:07:59 PM »

Folle ? tuer (1975) Not the best Manchette's work, though it earned him the french Edgar as best novel of the year. It has good moments though, like the hanging and the department store chase, which are just hinted at in the movie which follows the main line of the plot but with relevant differences. I won't go into that, I just say that one may prefer the novel or the movie, I don't think one may grow enthusiastic about both. The novel is harsher, the movie rather tamer (with the exception of the scene where the boy got a Mae Clarke treatment) but less stretched as to credibility (but a great hole in the plot is about who did put the bomb in the killer's car). The cast is good: Jobert, Milian (and Lonsdale) but Milian is too restrained as the cold blooded killer. Both novel and movie get 6-7/10. 


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« #836 : April 21, 2020, 05:37:22 PM »

The Tourist (2010) Almost entirely shot in Venice, it has a good piece of miscasting with Depp (who sleepwalks through the part) and Jolie (who shows more than her age, at the time 35). But this romantic comedy with a spy plot has got two good chase scenes and a couple of good comedy moments. Among the many italian actors my beloved Renato Scarpa as the tailor has a very limited but appreciable role; De Sica's son does his homework and the intolerable Frassica plays a carabiniere almost spoiling the funniest moment of the movie. 6-7/10

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« #837 : April 21, 2020, 05:40:08 PM »

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) Boring attempt at a comedy-action movie (in the True Lies vein) rather stale as to originality of action scenes and dialogues. 4/10


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« #838 : April 28, 2020, 06:20:50 AM »

A Thousand Clowns (1965) Had never heard of it, found on youtube. Most incredible thing about it is that this sentimental half-comedy earned an Oscar for Balsam. To discover how he came to be nominated over Saks and Gordon (his mates in this venture) could be intriguing. How he got the statue is inexplicable too, though the contenders that year were not particularly fearsome.  6-7/10 

« : April 28, 2020, 08:59:54 AM titoli »

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« #839 : April 28, 2020, 07:19:26 AM »

A Thousand Clowns (1965) Had never heard of it, found on youtube. Most incredible thing about it is that this sentimental half-comedy earned an Oscar for Balsam. To discover how he came to be nominated over Saks and Gordon (his mates in this venture) could be intriguing. How he got the statue is inexplicable too, though the contenders that year were not particularly fearsome.  6-7/10

We saw this in film class (1974); before this all I knew of Robards was from Once Upon a Time in the West.

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