4 items from 2015
Kino Lorber brings the 1967 spaghetti Western Face to Face to Blu-ray this month, one of director Sergio Sollima’s most notable titles, previously released on DVD as a box-set with the two other titles in Sollima’s trilogy The Big Gundown (1966) and Run, Man, Run (1968). Noted for imbuing his work with a bit of actual social and historical context, there’s a bit more substance than usual for a film relegated to the periphery of a movement dominated by a mere handful of notable names. Though it’s ultimately not at the same level as iconic works by Sergio Leone and hasn’t reached the same level of reappraisal as several other retroactively recuperated directors, it features more nuanced characterizations in its complex narrative structure than is usually evident in other titles of the era.
Boston professor Brad Fletcher (Gian Maria Volonte) is suffering from poor health, and is forced »
- Nicholas Bell
Rome – Versatile Italian director and screenwriter Sergio Sollima, who gained international cult status with a trio of groundbreaking spaghetti Westerns comprising Lee Van Cleef-starrer “The Big Gundown,” but was best known in Italy for exotic Indian pirate miniseries “Sandokan,” died on Wednesday in Rome. He was 94.
During the course of a five-decade career Sollima worked masterfully in a multitude of genres, retaining a signature style often infused with socio-political overtones.
Sollima’s work spanned from screenwriter on sword and sandals epics, among which “Goliath Against the Giants” toplining Brad Harris, to directing so-called Eurospy pics that tried to capitalize on the Bond craze, such as “Agent 3s3: Passport to Hell,” followed by his spaghetti Westerns, packed with a political punch, then fast-paced crimers, including New Orleans-set “Violent City,” toplining Charles Bronson. And finally smash hit TV skein “Sandokan,” with current Bollywood superstar Kabir Bedi.
Born in Rome in »
- Nick Vivarelli
'JFK' movie with Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison 'JFK' assassination movie: Gripping political drama gives added meaning to 'Rewriting History' If it's an Oliver Stone film, it must be bombastic, sentimental, clunky, and controversial. With the exception of "clunky," JFK is all of the above. It is also riveting, earnest, dishonest, moving, irritating, paranoid, and, more frequently than one might expect, outright brilliant. In sum, Oliver Stone's 1991 political thriller about a determined district attorney's investigation of the assassination of U.S. president John F. Kennedy is a slick piece of propaganda that mostly works both dramatically and cinematically. If only some of the facts hadn't gotten trampled on the way to film illustriousness. With the exception of John Williams' overemphatic score – Oliver Stone films need anything but overemphasis – JFK's technical and artistic details are put in place to extraordinary effect. Joe Hutshing and Pietro Scalia's editing »
- Andre Soares
Those groovy exploitation dealers at Grindhouse Releasing are finally releasing Duke Mitchell’s Gone With The Pope. I have been waiting to see this film for some time and missed the only theatrical showing in St. Louis because it was shown at a different theater on the same nights I did a Late Nite Grindhouse show 5 years ago. This is awesome news for fans coupled with the release of Duke Mitchell’s later film, Massacre Mafia Style, hitting Blu-Ray later this month.
Trailer From Grindhouse Releasing’s website:
Lost for over 30 years, Gone With The Pope stars famed nightclub performer Duke Mitchell as Paul, a paroled gangster with an unholy scheme: to kidnap the Pope and charge “a dollar from every Catholic in the world” as the ransom.
- Andy Triefenbach
4 items from 2015
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