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: Li'l Duce's Reviews Palace  ( 232658 )
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« #900 : April 22, 2021, 04:50:19 AM »

Freebie and the Bean (1974) This buddy cops is strange. You don't know what they were mainly intending to do: a half comedy, half surreal (the dialogues are sometime reminding one of Tarantino) stuff or just plain action? In facts the best scenes are the two spectacular car chases, especially the first one, which have nothing to envy to the best known ones. Morley is good as the criminal transvestite but the Caan-Arkin couple doesn't persuade me. Comedy is not Caan's bag of tricks and Arkin, for me, is one of those whom I never could see why they were in the business at all. But, though the main plot is quite lame and some of the scenes quite stupid on a cartoonish logic, it earns my 7/10.


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« #901 : May 03, 2021, 10:06:56 AM »

Fellini: A Director's Notebook (1969) This is the only Fellini I had missed (together with his last one: but that one I just stopped the vision after 15 minutes, really crap) because I thought it was a documentary about him I had seen. Instead it is a fake documentary about himself and probably his most funny one, though humor will be  lost on non-italian viewers. In fact I wonder what NBC paid Fellini for: if they wanted a documentary, they were cheated. All the people here are dubbed (with the exception of Mr and Mrs Fellini) by professional dubbers who lend them various (and fake) dialect accents and none of them are real characters but all of them are all extras well known to italian b-movies watchers (4-5 of them I spotted are not listed in the IMDB page). Though the first part may look quite serious (or kinda) with Fellini talking about his everlasting Mastorna project, the second half is definitely funny with b-movies dialogues and characters (but some of the funny attitude could already be seen in the Mastroianni's episode). A must for Fellini fans who liked Satyricon or Roma of which can be considered some extra footage.  7-8/10


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« #902 : May 06, 2021, 03:28:00 AM »

The Exorcist III (1990) I had always skipped past this one after having gone through number 2 which is boring as hell. But after having heard more than one positive comment about it I gave it a try as I am a fan of the original. This is not as boring as the number 2 but after a good first half loses direction and it becomes too talkative, with little logic (the old woman on the ceiling, the murder of the nurse: who did it? the murder attempt on Scott's daughter: can he realy beat the devil's scheme?) and when the finale arrives it is too trivial. Maybe reading the novel could help digesting better the story  but I don't think I'll give it a try. And some parts of Scott's performance (his explanation to the clinic's director) are really hard for me to understand. 6/10


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« #903 : May 06, 2021, 04:10:17 PM »

The Final Days (1989) The follow-up to All President's Men as seen from the other side. Boring for those who are not interested in the subject, probably. The fact is that we see Nixon as he behaves with other people, with a single exception. So the movie doesn't try to assess him roundly and one might end up wondering if maybe he wasn't a victim. But for example, he denies vehemently a pardon  to his cronies but nothing definite is said about the pardon he got for himself. Sure, probably whoever watches this knows about it, but that would have been something to dwell upon. And so on. There are also some funny parts like the car ride with Brezhnev. But in the end one might watch it if he has read the book, or wants to visualize the facts or even watching a great performance by the lead. 7/10


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« #904 : June 25, 2021, 03:42:05 PM »

Mine vaganti (2010) This collected a lot of awards in Italy and I see enthusiastic comments at IMDB. I don't get it, sorry. Well I understand the awards, I can easily believe there were many much worse movies made in Italy that year, as often in the last 40 years. Anyway, this has got bogus story (just incredible even 40 years before, but the story writers of then could have made a good comedy out of it), bogus characters and bogus dialogue. And the actors generally stink. 0/10


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« #905 : June 25, 2021, 03:48:39 PM »

Happy Family (2010) After the excruciating vision of Loose Cannons (Mine vaganti) I dared to watch even this one only because of Abatantuono, who is one of the few actors I put up with. And he made me laugh and didn't let me down even this time. But the rest stinks, though the actors are competent. But the story stinks, the characters are artificial and banal as can be, and the love story makes me puke. 1/10


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« #906 : July 13, 2021, 03:34:06 PM »

Across The Bridge (1957)  A thriller? Yes. A noir? That's for CJ to decide. But this is just good and not just for the suspense. Lots of Graham Greene, though it seems the short  story on which it was based had little of the movie. Bernard Lee is here as Scotland Yard inspector and he's not as effective as M. 7/10


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« #907 : July 28, 2021, 07:04:26 AM »

The Fourth Protocol  (1987) A so-so spy flick good only for the Caine's performance as underdog spy-catcher, especially in his harrypalmerish confrontations with his superiors. 6/10.


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« #908 : July 28, 2021, 07:13:00 AM »

Commando (1985) I remembered it was better, but after  rewatching it it can be saved only for the escape from the airplane sequence and some oneliners by Schwarze (I stop here otherwise it could turn into politically incorrect) the rest is banal, with the added minuses of the father-daughter scenes and those with the black airline  hostess. 5-6/10


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« #909 : August 01, 2021, 04:29:49 AM »

Spectre (2015) I thought I had reviewed it here but apparently I was wrong. The weakest of the Craig's series: mediocre script, mediocre action scenes, mediocre  female fauna (casting Bellucci in her fifties? Where were you 20-30 years ago? A black Moneypenny who makes you regret the aging  Maxwell of the late Moore's) and the photography in yellow and black. The two main villains are the worst ever in any Bond movie: Scott just can't play, I presume he was cast by the same person who picked up Bellucci. Waltz is the most inept Blofeld ever, He has got an anonymous face and, worse, an anonymous delivery coupled with a an indifferent voice. The only thing I save is the very first part of the introducing scene shot in Mexico City shot without cuts.


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« #910 : August 27, 2021, 09:19:31 AM »

Der letzte Akt  (1955) To say that it takes many liberties with facts is to minimize the case. It seems that Traudl Junge acted as consultant for this one as she will be l for Der Untergang (actually based on her book). But one would never  guess it. It adds some melodrama, some positive character, some positive message. So, apparently, the filmakers weren't interested in simply telling the facts.  The actor playing Hitler can't even start to be compared to Ganz, but his scene with Greim is effective. Also the episode of the flooding of the unterbahn, though cheaply made, is worth mentioning as it never appears in other movies on the same subject. 6/10


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« #911 : September 05, 2021, 12:52:07 PM »

Above the Law (1988) Seagal's first and not a very good one, too much preaching and little action, actually only one sequence is worth watching. As bad as his made for tv ones.. 4-5/10


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« #912 : September 13, 2021, 02:41:03 PM »

Count Dracula (Nachts, wenn Dracula erwacht) (1970) I had always steered away from this one, as I detest the director (of which I appreciate only the movies featuring Lina Romay) but having read recently Lee's boring autobiography (mostly about his golf experiences and keeping mum about most of his military experiences) in which he praises it I gave it a try. Well, I have to admit that this would be worth watching only for Kinski's
performance as Renfield: he doesn't speak an (audible) word but it doesn't matter and you know the character anyway. But Lee considers this the most accurate Dracula he played and he's probably right. Unfortunately the action, for budget reasons, is moved from London to Budapest, but even the studio scenes do not compare with those of Hammer (or Corman). Still there are moments of interest and I put it above Coppola's boring rendition. Nicolai's main theme is blatantly modeled on Morricone's Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion of the same year: so you may suspect it was Morricone who stole from Nicolai. Anyway 6-7/10.


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« #913 : September 27, 2021, 04:30:14 AM »

La signora di tutti (1934) I came to this not because of Max Oph?ls but because I wanted to watch an italian actress about whom I had read as one of the most important in our cinema but that I had not even an idea of what she looked like. Isa Miranda, from Milan, was a homegrown Dietrich-like blonde. She has a good screen presence, quite unusual for italian actress in those times. The problem is her speech delivery, which sounds artificial, highly unnatural (not helped, of course, by a foreign director and by awful lines). The movie is heavy melodrama with a plot that hangs on a spit which often just doesn't make sense. The dialogues are banal or ridiculous and you can save some device by the director (like a 3 layers flashback or some unusual shots). Not worth watching 3/10


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« #914 : September 27, 2021, 09:21:51 PM »

Hitler - Eine Karriere (1977) Best documentary on the subject, both as to variety of material and soundness of comment (of course Joachim Fest is the greatest Hitler's biographer). 10/10


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