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: Li'l Duce's Reviews Palace  ( 340790 )
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« #1290 : June 04, 2024, 10:05:11 AM »

The Three Musketeers (1973) I remembered little of this, though I had watched it a couple of times (but dubbed). It has great sets, great photography and little else. Lester isn't treating the matter seriously and too often falls into farce. The duels (which are maybe the most important element of the movie) are very disappointing, always on the verge (and sometime beyond) buffoonery. The cast is so-so. Dunaway is a perfect Milady, though she has here little screen time. But Raquel Welch (!) and Geraldine Chaplin are easily disposable. Reed is a perfect Athos, but Chamberlaine has little to do and say  and Finlay makes you wonder how he got the part as he cannot be Porthos for easily discernible physical inadaquacies. (In the 1948 Hollywood version the part was given to Gig Young: and I wonder why too). But York as D'Artagnan is probably the weakest casting choice of all: he doesn't fit and doesn't look the part (D'Artagnan cannot be blonde). Lee shows here his limits as an actor and Heston is probably the worst Richelieu ever, with no trace of the malice and sliminess the part requirres. But, imagine, the worst thing of the movie is the score by my beloved Michel Legrand who wasn't able to come up with anything but a blatant copy (not a steal) of Verdi's Trovatore.   6-7/10


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« #1291 : June 05, 2024, 05:14:46 AM »

Ro.Go.Pa.G. (1963) 4 episodes by 4 directors. Rossellini's is but a joke, but nobody laughed. Godard's could have been good if the premise (atomic explosion causing behavior's changes) had been developed, but there is no development. Of course this was memorable for the Pasolini's La ricotta. It is the best thing he did with (or maybe even better than) Accattone.   Just watching Orson Welles miming (dubbed by italian novelist Bassani) Pasolini's poetry or answering the idiotic questions of the journalist is worth the price of admission. This is the kind of cinema that could only be made in Europe in the '60's. The Gregoretti short is good, though predictable.


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« #1292 : June 06, 2024, 12:45:19 AM »

Fantastic Four (2015) The fact that this new version died there, with no sequels, tells all about the effectiveness of the approach, namely to have a more solid story at the base. Unfortunately one watches these movies not for believable  characters or situations or scientifically well-grounded approach, but for special effects. Here the CGI are limited to the finale and nothing you haven't seen before. The superpowers of the 4 are not in evidence with a touch of fun which accompanies them in the comic books and in the 2 previous movies. Having the Torch being played by a black actor, making Sue his adopted sister, is a no-no in my book and, apparently, in the audiences too. 5/10


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« #1293 : June 09, 2024, 06:15:52 AM »

Sharky's Machine (1981) Tarantino gave me the heads up to this one and I wonder why i had missed it all of this time. Anyway, it starts off with an over the top action sequence, then it dozes off for about an hour (a 20' cut would have been in order) until Reynolds is captured and tortured: from then till the end the action and tension are very good and they make me give this a full 7/10. Silva is excellent as the killer, a pity he is made up as a drug fiend: he doesn't need it, his face is enough to give you the creeps. Gassman is useless, anybody could have played the part. Durning is funny to watch with a 40 lbs less of his usual weight. Keith looks very old. Ward is very attractive but "good whores" on the screen are not convincing. 


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« #1294 : June 12, 2024, 05:37:15 AM »

Ziegfeld Girl (1941) They made up the story of the 3 Ziegfeld girls in about 10 minutes and developed the screenplay in about even less. Apart from the musical numbers (which are not that great anyway, apart from the finale) this makes you puke from start to finish. Lana Turner (I still don't get how she was considered a sex symbol: in this movie alone there are at least 20 girls who look prettier)  plays a terrible part and her betrayed beau James Stewart runs the risk of having his Academy Award of the year before retired after having delivered the terrible lines gummed to him by the writers. Hedy Lamarr, of course, is a pleasure to watch, and that's that. Judy Garland is impeccable, yes. But a torture to watch her ugly face and her toothpick legs: so why she wondered Mickey never asked her to marry him? The musical numbers get a 6/10, the rest, as said, skip it.


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« #1295 : June 12, 2024, 05:46:43 AM »

Ziegfeld Follies (1945) This was a surprise because I thought it was worth watching  only for the (justly) famous Astaire-Kelly meeting. But actually Astaire has got more than a number and they're all top notch, directed imaginatively by Minnelli. The rest of the movie (which is a collection of musical and comedy sketches) was directed by different people and the quality is uneven: I liked the Lucille Ball (!) scene featuring Cyd Charisse who also appears in the final, good sequence with bubbles (!). And the sketch with Fanny Brice makes me understand who she really was and why she was successful more than the boring  Streisand movie. The Astaire numbers get 10/10


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« #1296 : June 17, 2024, 07:55:15 AM »

Unknown  (2011) Another great thriller by Neeson. Sure, the trick of the plot

SPOILER

the professional killer losing his memory and redeeming himself


has been used elsewhere but who cares? Here the tension never abates, it's plot twist after plot twist and the only problem I have is with the final fight of Neeson with his substitute, quite useless. Great performances by Ganz and Langella. 8/10 


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« #1297 : June 17, 2024, 10:15:38 AM »

The Four Musketeers (1974) Head and shoulders above the first part, with duels better concocted as to location and props. The reconstruction of the La Rochelle siege is impressive (though I don't know whether is historically precise) and, most of all, I've never seen Faye Dunaway so beautiful as in here. 8/10


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« #1298 : June 17, 2024, 10:45:36 PM »

The Blue Max (1966) I don't know whether this is the best movie on air warfare, but it is a good movie because it has a fast pace, a sob antihero, and yes, the air fight scene. Ursula Undress had to be there to facilitate the conclusion of the movie, which is the weakest part of the story: a whore like her taking the refusal of Peppard (over here we stress the first syllable, but it seems that the accent must fall on the second) to follow her in Switzerland as a personal offence doesn't seem credible at all. And her personal make-up artist made her look like a 60's pinup (the fake eyelashes were not there in 1918) add to the little credibility of the character. But, fortunately, her screen time is negligible and so I give this 8/10 anyway.


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« #1299 : June 17, 2024, 11:01:04 PM »

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) Having read the book a few months ago I decided to give the movie another try after I watched it on a small screen about 40 years ago and not liking it. I liked it more this thime because, in spite of this being considered the best  trial movie ever (which is not) I could appreciate more the non judiciary parts which, as in the novel, are the best part of the story, with the children coming into touch with the reality they do not come to grips correctly. The trial part is the weakest part, as said, and it only has the merit of giving a chance to Duvall to give (in Peck's words) a "masterclass in acting". Peck, well i don't think this was his best performance, he's playing Peck and I like that character better suited to westerns or war sets, where he can confront himself with lots of characters. Here the confrontation is only with Anderson and it just isn't enough. 7y/10


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« #1300 : June 21, 2024, 03:14:57 PM »

The Amazing Spider-Man 2(2014) A good sequel with only the final double fight deterring from a complete satisfactory result.  The love story, for once, is not an encumbrance. 7/10


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« #1301 : June 29, 2024, 12:37:02 PM »

The Raven (1963) This came out the same year of Sword in the Stone and it's natural to infer that the idea of the magicians duel was taken from the Disney's scene. This was an attempt to mix humor with the elements of the Corman-Poe series. The results are not outstanding but  the film is worth watching anyway to admire the usual great sets, the gaudy photography and the duel. 6-7/10


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« #1302 : July 01, 2024, 08:54:18 AM »

Le Gorille Vous Salue Bien (1958) I've never read a novel about this french secret agent and, after having watched this movie based on one of them, I never will. I watched it only for Ventura but it is hard to get to the end, the plot being so flimsy and absurd (maybe it wasn't in those years, but I doubt it). The Gorilla plays under the fake identity of a criminal (dealing with trafficking in foreign banknotes: that was well before euro) to eliminate a gang headed by a diplomat at the orders of a foreign nation). 5/10. 6/10 if you're a Ventura fan.


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« #1303 : July 02, 2024, 12:37:36 PM »

Air Force One (1997) The good ol' times when POTUS were young, had seen action in CZ (i.e. they were losers) and thought that russian nationalists were the enemy (before the russians found that a POTUS might be for sale). This is notable for the great performance of Oldman as the villain. I'd give it a 6/10 for mild entertainment but I raise it to 7/10 for the last sequence, (the rescue) very well thought up. But I decrease it to 6-7/10 because the motivation of the mole is left unexplained.

« : July 02, 2024, 12:49:05 PM titoli »

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« #1304 : July 03, 2024, 05:30:58 AM »

Carefree (1938) One of the weakest Astaire-Rogers vehicles, with no comedy except an awkward sequence of  Rogers walking the streets under sedation. The Berlin songs include a classic sung by Astaire but with the dancing part too short. The Yam (never understood why this mediocre song was taken into much consideration) sees the couple on a dancing ride through the set with little creativity. 6/10 only because of Change Partners.


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