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: Li'l Duce's Reviews Palace  ( 224827 )
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« #435 : July 01, 2015, 08:11:02 AM »

Red Ball Express (1952) A collection of all the platitudes in a Hollywood war movie one has seen  before. Why some people consider it a classic is beyond me. 2/10


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« #436 : July 03, 2015, 03:10:33 PM »

The Da Vinci Code (2008) Strangely, it doesn't have a fast pace as the novel, though it is almost a visual transcription of it. And I don't like both Hanks and Tattoo. 7\10


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« #437 : July 04, 2015, 02:16:35 PM »

Angels and Demons (2009) I liked it better than the first one, maybe because of the roman landscape. And in spite of some poetic licenses, like having foreign actors speaking ungrammatical italian with dire accents; carabinieri portrayed like they can speak english and have thoughts of their own; cars sprinting in downtown Rome like there were no traffic (and in the early evening at that). But the fire church scene is strong and well paced. Hanks looks better than in the first episode, Zimmer's OST mediocre as usual. 8\10 


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« #438 : July 11, 2015, 11:57:48 AM »

The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941) One of the best american comedies ever, though Davis and Cagney are too old for their part. 8/10


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« #439 : July 13, 2015, 11:12:15 PM »

California Suite (1978) The Matthau-May episode is funny, the Cosby- Pryor could have been better, the other two are forgettable melodramas.6/10


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« #440 : July 14, 2015, 02:26:08 PM »

The Outfit (1973) I read the novel a couple of times, but I'm not sure I had seen the movie. I probably did. A good one, though not exceptional because The Outfit itself doesn't look so powerful. That the last of the independents can win so easily make the organization look like a bunch of nincompoops. Anita O'Day's only feature?  7/10


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« #441 : July 20, 2015, 12:55:50 PM »

Is Paris Burning? (1966) Stilted dialogues, hollywooden vignettes, and too long anyway. Couldn't spot Gabin, Ventura and Bardot: the other ones were all there. I give it 4/10 only because of the guerrilla fight scenes and the final sequence of the bells and the parade.


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« #442 : August 04, 2015, 02:29:05 PM »

Queen Christina (1933) Garbo can't play (she always does the wrong thing with her arms and her delivery is risible, with the wrong accents and a husky voice) but her face, with that strange assembly of curves and angles owns the screen, no matter how the story or the character may give the impression of being false. And the scene in the inn is really memorable. 


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« #443 : August 05, 2015, 03:33:32 PM »

Ninotchka (1939) A minor Lubitsch. Good until Garbo laughs, then it goes downhill, very hard to concile comedy with politics. But Garbo is a pleasure to see, especially in uniform. 6\10


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« #444 : August 06, 2015, 02:49:29 PM »

Mata Hari (1931) A medioicre melodrama. Only scene worth scene is the one where Garbo makes Novarro "lose his religion". A pity though that the currently available dvd version is not the pre-code one a later cut one. Garbo is unfortunately overdressed.



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« #445 : August 07, 2015, 10:52:23 AM »

Dishonored (1931) Dietrichìs answer to the above. Of course Sternberg makes this rather silly plot interesting with many devices (music first). MacLaglen, though always wearing a silly grin, is tolerable. A pity the dvd quality is scarce. 8\10


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« #446 : August 08, 2015, 11:51:00 AM »

Blonde Venus (1932) The only reason to save this cheap melodrama is the cabaret performances of Dietrich. Stunning is the first one, where she strips from a Gorilla suit. 6\10


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« #447 : August 25, 2015, 01:12:42 PM »

The Devil Is a Woman (1935) Dietrich rules this, she's absolutely perfect in her role, how she wasn't awarded an Oscar is incredible. The finale is quite to be expected, but like many Sternberg's movies you just watch every scene (at least I did) open-mouthed. 8/10


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« #448 : August 25, 2015, 01:26:33 PM »

The Scarlet Empress (1934) Probably Sternberg's masterpiece and one of the Hollywood's great ones. It is perfect until the very last scenes, when Catherine escapes from the palace. From then on the production decided to do things cheaply, I guess, and brought the movie to a too fast conclusion. Still it gets 9\10. Dietrich delivers another Oscar-worth performance, totally ignored by the buffoons who awarded the prize and did ignore completely the movie.  But Jaffe and Dresser are maybe even more impressive in quite difficult roles. I wonder what Stroheim thought about this movie.


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« #449 : August 25, 2015, 02:42:08 PM »

Have you been watching TCM? I know they recently had a Dietrich day on Summer Under the Stars, though I didn't have a chance to watch any of the movies.


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