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« #1260 : January 15, 2024, 09:26:17 AM »

Diplomatic Courier (1952) Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson and Karl Malden in a spt story. Great cast, I'm joking, of course: the first two have bit parts. The story is convoluted and with little or no credibility, but the pace is fast, the post-war Trieste exteriors are singular and Patricia Neal is attractive. 6-7/10


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« #1261 : January 19, 2024, 02:42:17 PM »

Prix de beaute (Miss Europe) (1930) It is clear for me that the only actress who projected  the same aura of fascination around her as Garbo did,  was Louise  Brooks and not Dietrich. She proves it even in this cheap melodrama: the last shot of her face reclined on the chair's shoulder is breathtaking. 


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« #1262 : January 23, 2024, 04:36:02 PM »

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941) The scenes with Fields are moderately funny, the rest is better passed over. 6/10


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« #1263 : January 24, 2024, 12:21:48 AM »

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) I like the 2 movies and this second is even slightly  better than the first one as it is all action. What I like is the visuals, the colours, the sets. But even the action scenes are very good. What I don't like is the protagonist, as anonymous as can be. Probably that was because the series was discontinued. 7/10


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« #1264 : January 29, 2024, 11:29:44 AM »

12 Angry Men (1997) The Friedkin version has got some pros and some cons compared to the Lumet's. The 2 main actors are old compared to Fonda and Cobb: but that helps in delivering a more subdued performance not only compared to the forced one by Cobb but also to the one by Fonda. This is the main great asset of this version. The final monologue by Scott is worth alone the price of admission. But the other 10 angry men? Well below the grade of Lumet's. Somebody (Friedkin? Rose?) must have had a lot of fun giving the (masterfully played) Begley's part to a black man posing as a nationalist (white man nationalist?): but the result is that the character is simply a sham. Cronyn subbing for Sweeney just doesn't appear to be that fragile old man. Mueller-Stahl (how was he picked?) plays Marshall's part topsy-turvy: hamming it exactly as the opposite of what the part requires. Even Gandolfini cannot manage to be better than Binns and I could go on with the others (but almost all of the first movie version were actors who became popular for a reason). 7/10
 


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« #1265 : January 31, 2024, 04:08:29 AM »

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) Saw it in the 80's, dubbed, and didn't like it so much. Read the novel not many years ago and I remember nothing of it. Watched the dvd and I still do not think is a good one. First, it is too long, some sequences (the whole Janet Leigh subplot, the love story as remembered by Harvey) could have been easily cut. Then, some plot turns make little sense: once Harvey is known to the Army to be a human bomb not only he is left free to go around but they do not put a 24h surveillance on him. And Angela Lansbury is, sure, marvelous: but she is just 1 year older than Harvey, his son, and it shows. BTW, I always thought she and McGiver were siblings, they're so much alike! 6/10


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« #1266 : February 11, 2024, 11:18:01 AM »

The Silent Partner (1978) Very good thriller to which Gould adds, with his hamming, a touch of comedy. Interesting to make a comparison between the slixk way Plummer plays the villain with the psychos that  became common fare around those times (actually he is too slick, a piece of miscasting).The plot is intriguing and the two females very sexy: I wonder how could I have missed it all of these years. 7-8/10


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« #1267 : February 15, 2024, 01:27:16 AM »

Meet Danny Wilson (1952) Featuring "The Blonde Bombshell" (trailer). Who might be? Shelley Winters, OMG. And around her attractive (yeah, sure) figure the movie is built with all of the three (3!) leads goin' crazy for her. So this is strictly for Sinatraphiles because apart from the classic songs Sinatra performs there are scenes which recreate some of the famous feats one read about but never saw, like his Paramount and Palladium performances and his love for fist fights where he is the one being k.o.'d. But there is also a ten minutes of pure noir (of course, see who's the director)  with the final confrontation of Sinatra and the villain Burr set in a stadium. A pity that the rest of the movie wasn't given more of this slant.


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« #1268 : February 19, 2024, 06:48:08 PM »

L'Odissea (1968) I had to rewatch the whole 5h of this miniseries without interruption after more than 50 years after having watched it on the small screen in b&w, for 8 parts aired on Sundays. I can't say is perfect, but it is still the best miniseries I have ever watched (well, I am not a tv watcher, so I haven't seen more than a handful). It just couldn't be made nowadays because there wouldn't be an audience for it able or willing to put up with the slow pace, the voice-over commenting and explaining some of the action. But who cares? At IMDB they are rightly criticizing the fact that no english spoken or subtitled dvd is available, though the whole series was available on yt in a french spoken english subtitled version: but only the second part is now left: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKcH8ZvqzZw&t=1127s

« : February 20, 2024, 12:33:19 AM titoli »

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« #1269 : February 23, 2024, 10:02:06 AM »

Moli?re (1978) Having just read a biography I went for this biopic, which is probably a good contender for best ever. It has some brief moments which slow down the pace but also some great scenes like the Mardi Gras in Orleans. I love the recreation of the farces in gramelot and the scenes portraying bits of (low)city street life and how the wandering actors life. Good use of music. Of course they couldn't recreate at the time the lavish scenes of royal shows in Versailles. Maybe today with CGE... 9/10


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« #1270 : March 08, 2024, 04:18:29 PM »

Lontano lontano (Citizens of the World) (2019) I watched this one because it was recommended by a cousin of mine. It is the typical italian comedy post-eighties, when the great season of the italian comedy of the 60's and 70's ebbed away because the great directors, writers and actors had one by one left the scene because of age, with some exception. It is not just that it doesn't make you laugh once but that it doesn't have the bite which made italian comedy of those great 20 years  so distinctive. The characters then had all a touch of evil, they were not perfect or simply banal like these ones. I can't see a reason to watch this one, though it is probably better than the average products of italian cinema nowadays. 


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« #1271 : March 12, 2024, 03:33:21 PM »

You Were Never Lovelier (1942) A look at the poster  gives a precise idea of what this movie is about, namely Rita Hayworth. The plot is hard to put up with but the musical numbers are what make it watchable. And Rita, as said. Not because she's extremely beautiful, but because she brings enthusiam to every shot she's in. And in her duets with Astaire she is easily his peer: not a mean feat. The songs are not that great as one would expect from a couple like Kern and Mercer, but one doesn't care so much as the dancing numbers of the couple or Astaire's solo in an office are fun. 6/10 like the rating I gave for the other effort of the couple. 


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« #1272 : March 26, 2024, 12:38:16 PM »

Forever Blues (2005) I bought the dvd for the music but there is little of it. 2/10


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« #1273 : March 27, 2024, 01:41:00 PM »

12 Angry Men (1997) The Friedkin version has got some pros and some cons compared to the Lumet's. The 2 main actors are old compared to Fonda and Cobb: but that helps in delivering a more subdued performance not only compared to the forced one by Cobb but also to the one by Fonda. This is the main great asset of this version. The final monologue by Scott is worth alone the price of admission. But the other 10 angry men? Well below the grade of Lumet's. Somebody (Friedkin? Rose?) must have had a lot of fun giving the (masterfully played) Begley's part to a black man posing as a nationalist (white man nationalist?): but the result is that the character is simply a sham. Cronyn subbing for Sweeney just doesn't appear to be that fragile old man. Mueller-Stahl (how was he picked?) plays Marshall's part topsy-turvy: hamming it exactly as the opposite of what the part requires. Even Gandolfini cannot manage to be better than Binns and I could go on with the others (but almost all of the first movie version were actors who became popular for a reason). 7/10

You've got some fair arguments; but I liked it very much when I saw it on TV as a late night program filler. The actors don't stand a chance against the original cast members, but I thought they were not all that bad. I seem to remember there were some minor plot changes, though I could not remember what was it right now. Pretty decent remake (made for TV) - (around) 7.5/10.

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« #1274 : April 02, 2024, 01:07:14 PM »

Mon oncle Benjamin (1969) "Who never read Mon Oncle Benjamin can't be my friend" said George Brassens about the novel. The first time I read the name Jacques Brel was on the enormous billboard with this image:



But I am not sure whether I saw the movie before on tv. It is a good comedy, with lots of young female nudity and really makes me want to read the novel. Brel was not an actor and here he shows it.  7/10

« : April 03, 2024, 06:34:24 AM titoli »

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