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Topics - Walton

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Once Upon A Time In The West / 'West' blu ray May 31
« on: March 21, 2011, 03:54:36 PM »
DVD Savant (at mentioned that Paramount will release a blu ray of Once Upon a Time in the West on May 31st. 

Sergio Leone News / Leone retrospective in Australia
« on: May 20, 2009, 08:15:26 PM »
If there are any other Australian Leone fans on the board...

The Kino cinema in Melbourne, as part of the Melbourne Italian Festival, are having a Leone season:

Apparently they are screeing off 35mm prints but no one has yet been able to confirm if the newly restored print of OUATITW will be showing.

Off-Topic Discussion / Blue Murder
« on: December 14, 2005, 09:48:03 PM »
I'm from Australia, and one of my all time favorite Aussie films is a 3 part TV mini series made in 1996 called Blue Murder. It's based on real life events in New South Wales, in Sydney, revolving around corrupt cop Roger Rogerson and his best friend, drug dealer and crime lord Neddy Smith. Despite being made for TV, this show is as tough as it gets with some truly brutal, disturbing violence and characters - it's kind of like Goodfellas down under.

Anyway, Blue Murder has only been available on dvd in Australia - but a friend just told me it has been picked up by a US company and is out over there as a 2 disc edition! I had no idea anyone would have even heard of it in the US, but whatever - if you like cop/crime movies, I'd highly recommend taking a look at it if you come across it.

Sergio Leone News / Fistful/For a Few Dollars SE released in Australia
« on: August 24, 2005, 01:01:57 AM »
The Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More SE dvd's have just been released in Australia. I picked up the FAFDM dvd and it seems to be exactly the same as the UK release (from what I've read). The transfer is far superior to the last one available and it's great to have a nice new version. I'm not sure when Dynamite will be out here, but I guess it won't be far away. The question is, I suppose, when will MGM release the new editions in the US?

Once Upon A Time In America / Fan encounter
« on: August 16, 2005, 06:02:34 PM »
I remembered this the other day and thought I'd post it up. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and there are not too many Leone fans around, but I did have a somewhat odd chance encounter with one about five years ago.

I had to go into the city (or, downtown if you prefer) one day and, being early, decided to grab a coffee. I went into the nearest cafe and right away heard the unmistakeable soundtrack to OUATIA playing on the cafe stereo. I ordered a coffee and read the paper, listening to the soundtrack, figuring the owner must be a fan.

There were only two other girls in the cafe, and they went up to pay, had a brief chat to the guy behind the counter, then left. I went up to pay as well and I heard the guy talking to someone else in the kitchen. He said, in a somewhat disdainful tone, 'those girls asked me what the music was and I said I didn't know'.

Right away, I said, 'I can tell you what it is, it's the soundtrack to Once Upon a Time in America'. He looked at me, surprised. 'You know it?' 'It's one of my favorite films' I replied, 'I've seen it at least 20 times'. He said it was his favorite film too, that he owned it on vhs (this was pre-dvd days) and he played the soundtrack all the time in his cafe, but never liked telling people what it was because 'if they don't know, they don't deserve to know' (this was clearly a hard-core fan here).

I felt like we were in the Freemasons or something, identifying ourselves with secret insider knowledge. We chatted about other Leone films for a few minutes, then he refused to let me pay for my coffee! So there you go, a chance encounter with a fellow fan and a free cup of coffee into the bargain!

Off-Topic Discussion / Censorship
« on: July 25, 2005, 01:27:53 AM »
I'd love to know people's positions on this one - film censorship. It's been on my mind lately because, in Australia, there is an ongoing effort by politicians, egged on by religious lobbyists, to try to have certain films banned. The latest attempt concerns a film called Mysterious Skin, which was passed here with an 18+ certificate, but the Federal Attorney General, after lobbying by a Christian group, is trying to change this and have the film banned. Why? Because it deals with the subject of child molestation.

Now, I haven't seen the film (something I have in common with the people trying to ban it) but from what I've read, I'm pretty certain it's a serious attempt to deal with the subject and the devestating effects it has on its victims. This is simply the latest in a seemingly never ending battle where filmmakers creating more controversial films have to fight the forces who don't want such films seen.

My issue is this - where is the line drawn? In Australia, we have a pretty good classification system which does a good job of rating films for different age groups, but it is always a tricky area when you get to really extreme movies. Do we accept some censorship, with clear guidelines? If so, how far does it go? What's permissable for adults to see or not see? Who makes that decision? It's a really thorny issue. My personal feeling is that censorship rarely works and anyway, with the internet, it almost seems pointless - anyone with a broadband connection can find material more extreme than anything in mainstream movies. As I understand it, America seems to have a good system - if a film is refused classification, it can be released unrated, it just means a potential drop in audiences.

It does piss me off when Politicians get on their moral high horse about films - I see it like this - the next time a filmmaker invades a country and causes the deaths of untold thousands of people, then filmmakers and Politicians will be on a level playing field to discuss morality, but until then, they can butt out!

Would love to know what people's views are...

General Discussion / Gets me angry
« on: July 21, 2005, 01:03:58 AM »
Ok, I need to vent on this one. Is it just me, or is the instance of people talking (and, even worse, making cell phone calls) in cinemas these days getting worse? I don't know if it reflects a general increase in the lack of simple respect and politeness, but I've been an avid moviegoer for years, and once, in a long lost world, when the lights faded down, people SHUT UP and watched the goddamn movie.

Now, I haven't been to a film for the last two years, that I can recall, where there wasn't somebody talking in the cinema. Mostly (not always) they shut up when shhhssd, but I find it unbelieveable that people will pay to go to a movie and talk all the way through it! Not only is it rude to the other audience members, it's also disrespectful to the filmmakers, who have put a huge amount of work into trying to craft a story that people might want to pay attention to. I mean, why go to a movie in the first place if you intend to chatter during the screening? They have bars and cafes for that!

I know this is sounding like a rant, but it's really pissing me off, and I'm wondering if I'm the only one - do people experience this in other countries? I recently went to Land of the Dead and War of the Worlds in Toronto and people were talking in both sessions, so is it across the board? Please tell me no! (I live in Australia, BTW)

Off-Topic Discussion / War of the Worlds
« on: July 15, 2005, 10:04:29 PM »
What did people think of War of the Worlds? I felt it was a film of brilliant sequences and bravura moviemaking with some appallingly dumb elements - for example (spolier alert if you haven't seen it) the aliens buried their tripods a million years ago, and have come down now to pilot the tripods to wipe out humanity... so their technology hasn't produced a better fighting machine in a million years? And if they came to earth a million years ago to bury the damn things, why not just take it over then?

Off-Topic Discussion / Batman Begins
« on: June 19, 2005, 12:26:14 AM »
Ok, just saw it and was pleasantly surprised - I'm not really a fan of super hero movies, but for the most part, I thought BB delivered. It has a well written script that is mercifully free of too many 'Hollywood' moments, and a production design which echoes Blade Runner without too directly ripping it off. As far as this kind of popcorn movie goes, it's worth a look.

Sergio Leone News / one for Aussie fans
« on: June 17, 2005, 12:51:56 AM »
Ok, I'm not sure how many Australian fans check this board, but if there are any, the Astor cinema in Melbourne is running an 11 day season of the fully restored, 157 minute print of Fistful of Dynamite, starting June 26 and going through until July 6.

The Astor is a fabulous old Art Deco cinema with a huge screen and good sound - a great environment for seeing FOD on the big screen.

Details can be found at

Once Upon A Time In America / romantic vs realist
« on: June 04, 2005, 03:47:44 AM »
Watching OUATIA again, I was struck by a minor theme that Leone seems to develop about the contrast between cold-hearted realists and those who are more romantic.

Noodles seems like a romantic - he loves and yearns for Deborah, loves 'the stink of the streets' and values his friendship with Max above everything. He ends up lonely, betrayed and broken. By contrast, Deborah and Max are both ruthless pragmatists, ready to sell out any ideals (or anyone) they may have, to, in Deborahs words, 'get to where I'm going'. Deborah and Max climb to the top of their respective worlds whereas Noodles and Fat Mo end up destitute - in fact, Noodles observes that Deborah and Max are both alike. Also, they end up together.

In the scene where Noodles gets out of prison and sees Deborah at the speakeasy, Fat Mo dims the lights and strikes up the band to play a romantic tune - he knows how much Noodles loves his sister and seems to want to see them get together. 'Your brother's a real friend', observes Noodles,  to which Deborah says, to my mind, quite contemptuously, 'he's a romantic', as though this is a naive thing for someone to be - in her world (and in Max's world) being a romantic is a sure fire way to finish last. Maybe this is why Noodles and Fat Mo, both romantics, are, in their declining years, in such a sad, dismal state.

I wonder if this was a comment by Leone on the fact that those who are dreamers, or romantics, will finish last simply because they lack the ruthlessness to do what has to be done in order to get 'to the top'.

Duck, You Sucker / R4 dvd review
« on: August 17, 2004, 12:18:04 AM »
FOD has just been released in Australia on dvd and I've just watched it...

Let's see, the good news, picture and sound quality is very good, certainly the best looking version of the film that I've seen, and better than the Japanese version. The sound seems to be mixed a bit better, as some of Coburn's lines in my other versions were very low but in this one they are much more audible. It has the Mao quote at the head, all the extra scenes and additions to scenes I have seen in the other cuts as well.

Bad news... no special features on the dvd apart from a trailer, but the really bad news is NO final flashback! Not at all! Coburn smokes his cigarette, then Steiger turns, shouts 'No' (or 'John!') and Coburn blows up. No flashback, then a freeze frame on Steiger, no 'what about me' line and then the credits scroll up. Most disappointing. I can't for the life of me imagine why the flashback is not there and it severly weakens the ending of the film...

Oh well, it only cost $14.00 and in every other respect it's pretty good. I suspect it is the same version that was released in Europe six or so months ago... maybe even taken from the same master as the old NTSC laser disc.

Off-Topic Discussion / Porco Rosso
« on: August 13, 2004, 11:44:12 PM »
I've just got back from seeing an absolutely brilliant Studio Ghibli animated feature called Porco Rosso. It's about a half man, half pig called Porco Rosso who is a pilot in the Adriatic in the 1920's. The animation is superb, and it's highly entertaining from the get go. Anyone seen this? If not, I strongly recommend seeking it out. It was made in the early 90's so it may be on dvd somewhere outside Japan (I saw it at a studio Ghibli film festival)

This may be a bit obscure, but in Kill Bill vol 1, when Uma Thurman wakes up from her coma and flashes back to some quick cuts of Bill shooting her, there is a close up of a 45 calibre Colt revolver that seems to me to be exactly the same shot of the close up of Frank's revolver before he shoots Timmy at the end of the McBain massacre. It's a long lens, focus on the end of the barrel, almost identical framing. Is this a subtle reference to that shot from OUATITW? Given that QT is such a Leone fan, maybe he had this in mind. After all, why would Bill, in modern times, be carrying a western style Colt 45 revolver? Or am I just reading too much into it?

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