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: Li'l Duce's Reviews Palace  ( 341283 )
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« #1215 : September 22, 2023, 03:45:30 PM »

Funny Girl (1968) This stops the clock at 148'. About 100' are useless. It has a decent start, nothing very memorable, but at least it gives what a musical is supposed to deliver. After Don't Rain on My Parade it's just melodrama, boring as hell.  In a musical there should be a lot of supporting characters sprinkling humour to the main plot line: here threre's only Streisand and Sharif. The songs quality is not high and the arrangements do not help. Streisand delivers them in the usual Judy Garland-like style and they do not impress me. But she sure can act the little to act there is. 6/10


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« #1216 : September 26, 2023, 08:09:13 AM »

The Negotiator (1998) It is simply incredible, knowing how a case like this would be solved in USA: namely with a massacre. The starting point was interesting: how a cop specialized in confronting people about to commit a violent act would behave in that role. The problem is that one knows that Jackson won't overcome some limits and that the cops (especially those who were not his colleagues) won't waste much time killing him. Dialogues so are inane and boring. 5/10


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« #1217 : September 28, 2023, 03:19:31 AM »

Die Hard 2 (1990) The problem with it is that it gets momentum only in the last half hour. They should have cut and re-edited the preceding part and come up with something more vivacious, like Willis taunting the chief criminal as in number one. Still the last part rescues this one from being negligible. 7/10


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« #1218 : September 28, 2023, 04:19:57 PM »

Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) This one is not as good as the first one, though it is more well-balanced than the second one. But Jackson it may be good for the first scene, but after that adds little and it is basically an encumbrance. The riddles in the first part reminded me of those by Gorshin in the tv Batman (and put the movie in a comedy strain at odds with the action). Irons is not as good as his "brother" in number one: too stiff. 7-8/10


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« #1219 : September 29, 2023, 01:34:48 AM »

The Sword in the Stone (1963) I saw it as a kid and didn't like it. For the same reason I don't much like it all these years after. It's not the story of Arthur but  of his transformations into animals. So the only good scene is the fight between Merlin and Mim. No great songs (actually, apart from Higitus Figitus, no songs at all). 6/10


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« #1220 : October 02, 2023, 11:43:08 PM »

Our Man Flint (1965) Coburn isn't able to play tongue in cheek, like he was supposed to do in this James Bond spoof (or about). I read at IMDB that the Austin Powers movies were based on this one. I don't know, I'll check. Mildly entertaining. 5-6/10


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« #1221 : October 04, 2023, 02:30:03 AM »

In Like Flint (1967) Faster and better plotted than the first one. A couple of laughs too. 6-7/10


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« #1222 : October 04, 2023, 08:54:59 AM »

Bell Book and Candle (1958) As a comedy it is a bore, as a romantic story it probably works: if you are gender female and believe in fairy tales. But the cat and Gingold are very good, especially the feline: Oscar-worthy performance.  5/10


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« #1223 : October 08, 2023, 02:36:44 AM »

The Family Jewels (1965) The first half is quite dull. The film starts being funny when the twin aviator makes the scene. And Bugsy is probaby the funniest character Lewis ever came up with. 6-7/10


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« #1224 : October 08, 2023, 11:58:11 PM »

Red Heat (1988) Schwarzenegger's rehearsal for T2: acts like a robot (well, android) and has got some good one liners. The action is good, especially the bus chase at the end. 7-8/10


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« #1225 : October 09, 2023, 01:20:05 PM »

Judge Dredd (1995) In the beginning made me think about Blade Runner. The sets are great, unfortunately the plot is quite predictable, in the end you have the clones half cooked ike in another movie i can't recall. The flying bike chase is good, though based on an adjourned back projection trick. The guy providing supposedly comic relief is useless. 6-7/10 


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« #1226 : October 10, 2023, 12:32:58 PM »

King Creole (1958) I didn't remember this heavy melodrama was so bad. Namely, the story is very awful, hard to make it to the end. It acquires life only when the actors (especially Matthau and Jones) occupy the screen. But this one, even more than Jailhouse Rock or Flaming Star (both better movies) show that Presley could act, especially when fronting the best of the cast like the two above mentioned or Stewart and Jagger (let alone Morrow). A pity, even because there are great songs (but how can you leave out a great r'&r' like Hard-Headed Woman of which only a final snippet can be heard?). Sure a classic like Trouble is devastated by the dixieland arrangement (compare it to the great version in the '68 Comeback Special) but apart from Lover Doll and the title song I hadn't noticed the first time I saw the movie in the '80's  how great was Presley's performance of Dixieland Rock. Movie: 2/10. Songs 8-9/10


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« #1227 : October 16, 2023, 04:18:44 PM »

Man of Steel (2013) I read at IMDB that some people are complaining because this is so different from the character as we know it. I think that there is just a different approach which is all the more effective as one doesn't know how the story is gonna develop. In fact there are moments  of suspense which are not to be found in the other movies. The special effects are remarkable and well integrated in the story though the final battle cut have been shorter. Of course Cavill cannot be Reeves but he's ok. Amy Adams makes me regret not having Margot Kidder and that's saying a lot. Sure, even the Lois of the comic books is not particularly attractive, but on the screen you should offer someone more palatable. Shannon is a good villain (a villain with his reasons). The score by Zimmer is, as usual, impeccable and forgettable. 8/10


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« #1228 : October 22, 2023, 10:48:15 AM »

Pal Joey (1957) Not a great story, but it has good dialogues, portraying (involuntarily?) some aspects of Sinatra quite credibly. The songs are classics, of course, but Riddle's arrangements not always spot on. Hayworth and Novak give very good performances, showing by comparison how Sinatra's trade was not the thespian. 7/10


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« #1229 : October 23, 2023, 10:59:10 AM »

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) The problem with this one is the main actors (and maybe the minor ones too): none of them can compare with those of the original version, sorry. They're good, but those other were in another class. Oldman is too big and strong compared to Guinness, whose apparent fragility is at the core of the story which sees him resurging to get the mole and be installed as  n.1 at the Circus. And Firth can't hold a candle to a great actor like Richardson. And I stop here. The 2h reduction and the sets are very good, but I doubt there's anybody around who'd trade the mini-series for this. 8/10


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