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: Li'l Duce's Reviews Palace  ( 233352 )
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« #885 : February 24, 2021, 03:17:18 AM »

The Connection (1961) This doesn't work fine like The Brig, though being based on a play by the same author and played in a single closed area. The dialogues or monologues have no relevance whatever the characters have no consistency, even for junkies: apparently, they do not have to go to work or steal or con to earn their dose, their connection being a benefactor who services  them for free and at home. Actually they all look quite healthy compared to Sinatra whose only drug use was famously Jack Daniels. Clarke made better movies, especially the shorter one Dutchman, which over here was distributed together with Simon del desierto. The jazz playing is badly recorded be-bop which, by 1961 was already outdated. 2/10


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« #886 : February 24, 2021, 03:07:05 PM »

The Bowery (1933) NYC in the Gay Nineties made in California. Still a good recreation, in the first 25' is excellent as to narrative pace and mood of the times capture; then it becomes the usual 30's comedy, with stock characters. Beery is good when he just sticks to grimaces but Raft, praised for his performance, I just can't put up with: I never considered him an actor. Cooper here is tolerable. 7/10


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« #887 : March 04, 2021, 07:50:36 AM »

Black Widow (1954) The title tells  partly the story and the explanation doesn't make acceptable how the culprit may have strangled the victim. I watched this because Carlos Clarens dubs it noir, but noir it isn't. Just a mystery shot with some NYC exteriors but all shot in studio with back-projections and drawings of Manhattan skyline. Great Cinemascope. 6-7/10

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« #888 : March 04, 2021, 10:24:53 AM »

Black Widow (1954)

I haven't seen this one.  But I'm strangely drawn again and again to Black Widow (1987) with Debra Winger, which I rate 8/10

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« #889 : March 04, 2021, 12:12:45 PM »

The Super Cops (1974) I had missed this at the time: poor distribution, I guess. Anyway, though based on real facts and characters, with Gordon Parks directing, this is a more misses than hits. The problem is that it doesn't take a straight direction toward cops drama or cops comedy, hanging between the two. So the viewer is wondering all the time what he has got to expect. The fact that Semple jr did the script may have counted for much about that (was he picked because he scripted the Batman series and the real cops earned Batman and Robin nicknames?) and Lieberman acts like an idiot most of the time: totally inept acting. Still this retains something of the "genre" (cops in NYC, I mean) with lots of exteriors. Fielding-s score is  immemorable. 6/10


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« #890 : March 06, 2021, 05:49:33 AM »

Vice Squad (1953)   A police procedural, not a noir. It has a good start, not just with the first murder scene, but with the arrival of Robinson at the police station when all of the many cases from the night events pile up on him without interruption. Then it becomes routine, with only the bank heist exteriors being different from usual. With the exception of Goddard, absolutely miscast, all the players are ok, LVC having a bit irrelevant part and Binns being good as usual as a DeCorsia valid clone. 6-7/10


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« #891 : March 07, 2021, 10:56:00 AM »

Gang Busters (1955) This is a C production with a wrong title and a story that at first goes one way to veer toward the end in another direction. Based on the vicissitudes of a real criminal it is just the kind of movie one wish they made oftener only better. No women in this (one appears for a few seconds) no sermons (they are concentrated at the start so they are easily got rid of), only action. And the action grows as the movie goes along.  The protagonist is good, I haven't seen him elsewhere. 7/10   


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« #892 : March 15, 2021, 05:33:03 AM »

Double Jeopardy (1955) This looks almost like a noir travesty, with most of the elements there but superficially treated and with no credibility whatever as to how the characters act and the plot develops. 5/10


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« #893 : March 24, 2021, 08:58:43 AM »

Patterns (1956) Phony, stale melodrama about struggle between the presumed old ways and the new ones of running big business. 4-5/10

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« #894 : April 04, 2021, 03:08:07 AM »

In Old Chicago (1938) I saw it because I thought it was a western, instead is a disaster movie and awful in every respect. You can jump directly to the last 20' to watch the fire expand but even the special effects are poor and can't compare with those (if I remember well) of San Francisco (1936) whose success probably inspired this production. 2/10


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« #895 : April 04, 2021, 12:52:11 PM »

Beau James (1957) I don't know how much respect for facts is in this biopic but it made me curious about the man in question, former mayor of NYC and composer of a good song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKSu32XEYwg

Hope has a good number of one-liners and delivers a fair performance without clownery. But the rest is forgivable and the direction barely tolerable. 6/10


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« #896 : April 11, 2021, 02:32:10 PM »

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)  If I saw it before it must have been eons ago. Anyway, very suspenseful, though it can remind one of Romero's zombies flicks. 7-8/10

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« #897 : April 15, 2021, 06:37:00 AM »

Repossessed (1990) Bland spoof, miles away from the Zuckers products. 4/10


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« #898 : April 21, 2021, 12:58:59 PM »

Walking Tall (1973) This is the movie Stallone (with the exception of First Blood) tried to make for 30 years, never succeeding. It has got his dose of corn, but less of what I expected and the action scenes, without special effects, still hold well (the woman shot in the face and the other killed in the car especially). Sure, Baker ends up resembling the character he probably inspired (Halloween's Jason) always resurrecting from most incredible killing attempts,  but it is never boring. 7/10


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« #899 : April 22, 2021, 01:53:43 AM »

The Driver (1978) This must have been the first movie I watched on vhs, in 1982. It is still VG as I remembered it. Some, at IMDB, dubs it as "partly western, partly existential neo-noir" (I don't remember whether CJ had come up yet with that term). To me is just a thriller where, as the end doesn't go awry, where Adjani is no femme fatale at all (though being french) it cannot be dubbed noirish if not for many night and interior shot. Anyway, O'Neal and Adjani can't act for life (we know that) but their characters require that (in)ability. Dern, is playing an asshole, maybe too literally. Still this is good from beginning to end, with no love scenes diversions, though the Dern scheme and the empty bag trick (would anybody trust an exchanger without checking first?) are hard to swallow. 8/10


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