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Men of War (1994)
Pretty decent action flick with plenty of trash.
I liked this movie! It reminds me of the action flicks I enjoyed so much in the 80's ("Missing In Action," "Predator," "Rambo" etc...) in that it is pretty straightforward with minimal 'chick' aspects. It focuses mainly on good old fashioned violence.
With a plot line that could probably be traced as far back as George Stevens' "Shane," a mysterious, quiet white man lands on a tropical island in the South Chine Sea with the intent to take it over. He soon becomes enchanted with the people and the culture, (and the native womanfolk) and has a change of heart. The mercenary-gone-gentleman, if you will.
The only thing that disturbed me about "Men of War" was the laughable, atrocious performance by the usually outstanding B.D. Wong (of "Oz" fame) as he attempts to pull of some pseudo-Chinese tribal accent. It was ridiculous. I can only guess that the director or producers tried to force him into this. Watching him try to sound like a true native made me wince.
I did enjoy the performance by Lundgren. He's underrated for sure. And the guy who played Keefer did a nice, over the top sexualized violent psycho. Though his performance could be seen from mainland China, it worked OK here.
7 out of 10,kids.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Beyond comedy- a movie for the ages.
I have to say "Dazed and Confused" is probably my favorite 'coming of age' movie besides the quintessential and BEST movie of this type, "Stand By Me." A hidden gem and highly underrated, this sleeper came out and I remember all the stoners (including me) loved it for one reason- it made us laugh our asses off while we were...having fun. But revisiting it years later (and NOT stoned) I found a truly inspired and humble tribute to life in the 1970's. The cars were real, the music rocked, the chicks were cool and the parties went all night long.
I don't know what exactly it is about this movie that I love so much. Maybe it's the fact that it never gets TOO serious, but it definitely moves you. Maybe it's the overall feel of the film; it's got a good heart. It's funny, but never stupid. It's patriotic, but it's not in your face about it. It's just cool. And of course there's Matthew McConahey's character; one of my favorites in any movie EVER.
I highly highly recommend this movie. 10 out of 10, kids.
Gli intoccabili (1969)
Cassavettes was awesome.
Let me start out by saying I think the main star in this flick, John Cassavettes is one of the most underrated actors of his time. I was expecting this movie to blow me out of the water. I'm a huge fan of euro action and gangster flicks. Maybe I've seen too many...or maybe "Machine Gun McCain" just wasn't trashy enough for me.
The plot is simple and straightforward. John is great as the quintessential old school tough guy. His son represents everything he isn't. I liked that part of the story- the relationship between Hank and his son.
This movie lacked the overall trashiness that I like to see in these Italian crime flicks. I prefer stuff like "Street Law" or Fulci's "Contraband," and recently I saw Deodato's "Live Like A Cop Die Like A Man" which is way more along the lines of the stuff I like (more violence, more shock, more trash)...I rented this movie and I doubt I'll purchase it for my collection.
However, I'd recommend it for fans of John Cassavettes. As I said, he really makes the movie. Look for a young Florinda Bolkan as Josie.
6 out of 10, kids.
The Baby (1973)
Bizarre to say the least.
I went into this one totally blind- I was actually expecting a cheeseball, low budget ripoff of "Rosemary's Baby." Boy was I mistaken.
This movie is totally strange and uniquely disturbing; and I mean that in a good way. The image of the baby playing ball and trying to stand up will be forever burned into my psyche. The day after viewing, I found myself thinking of his awkward movements and his upsetting cries.
Nice little twist at the end- not on the level of some flicks today. but hey for '73, it definitely impressed me.
Recommended for fans of early John Waters, 70's TV horror movies, etc. Would make a good double feature with "Bad Boy Bubby." 8 out of 10, kids.
Damned River (1989)
Somewhat predictable but well-shot outdoor action trash.
"Damned River" is like a mix between "Deliverance" and "Treasure of the Amazon." It has elements of Euor-trash and I happened to like that a lot. It also has some comic relief...which I didn't really like.
The main star is pretty convincing in his role, but slips a few times. The part is somewhat poorly written because he has this alter-ego as a rough around the edges 'hunk' and the movie suffers a little for this.
Perhaps the most impressive element to be found is the beautiful cinematography on the river and the surrounding African nation of Zimbabwe. This movie would make a nice travelogue of the region. I was impressed to say the least.
For fans of trashy 80's action adventure and perhaps jungle/cannibal/euro trash flicks, I think there is some fun to be had here.
7 out of 10, kids.
Il grande racket (1976)
Castellari's career home run.
A brilliant addition to the Italian crime genre and sure to capture the heart of any sleaze lover, "The Big Racket" is definitely one of the best in it's class.
Fabio Testi is a knockout as the protagonist, a renegade cop who is out for blood and justice, assembling a team of outcasts to punish the wicked. Plenty of blood and violence adorn this flick, and I recommend a couple of cold Peroni's and a plate to spaghetti for the perfect evening.
All in all, probably my second favorite Castellari effort, second only to "The Inglourious Bastards" but I think "The Big Racket" is technically a BETTER film. No complaints at all here.
10 out of 10, kids.
The Other Guys (2010)
More retard fare for the brainwashed, mouthbreathing masses.
This movie has one good thing going for it and that is Mark Wahlberg. The question is- why the hell did Mark do this movie? It sucks. It is hardly funny. It's the kind of humor that a 10 year old might appreciate. Some raunchy jokes and windowlicker slapstick.
Idiot Farrell (Hollywood's biggest jerk) gets paired with tough guy bully Wahlberg in cop world. The two are the precinct's 'odd couple' (how many times can Hollywood regurgitate THAT theme...?) and they try to crack a big case.
I don't know what else to say, I guess I should turn back the clock to 1994 and start smokin weed again, maybe I'd appreciate this drivel.
2 out of 10, kids.
Excellent thriller from Luigi Cozzi
I loved this movie. First and foremost, in my opinion, this is NOT a giallo. I'd classify it more as a crime/thriller...or even a drama or a black comedy.
You know who the killer is from the beginning, so there isn't much mystery to it...but unlike many other 'similar movies' there is a double dose of tension and suspense which genuinely gets under your skin.
Masterfully directed by Luigi Cozzi ("Contamination"). I was impressed with the guy who plays the killer, I thought he was superb and creepy, and even though we get up close and personal with him, he remains creepy until the end.
Necessary viewing for lovers of Italian horror.
8 out of 10, kids.
Chauvinistic and nihilistic cop movie.
I can say that I have not seen a Deodato movie that I haven't liked. I enjoy his style and the way he takes on each 'genre' rather than just taking on a script or a film.
With "Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man" he really tackled the Italian cop/crime thriller genre head-on and makes no apologies. These guys shoot first and put the handcuffs on later. They are competing with each other the whole film over who's gonna get the chicks. It's hilarious and bad ass all at the same time.
Written by Fernando Di Leo (Fulci's "Massacre Time") and brilliantly acted and directed, it's hard to find anything wrong here. Euro-sleaze buffs can safely purchase this one for the collection.
8 out of 10, kids.
Sick, swanky, hippie crime trash from the 70's.
Long haired, outcast hippie guy gets out of jail and is victimized by the mob. I love it. Somehow, some way, it took me years to see this one and it's ashame because it's definitely worthy of a spot on any Italian horror/crime fan's DVD shelf.
Music is swanky, clothes are hippie, dubbing is atrocious. Castration scene near the end is especially sickening, definitely stands out as the 'gross out' moment in the movie. It surprised me; was not expecting it as it kind of comes out of nowhere...sure there's plenty of fighting and goofy kung fu prior in the film, but nothing like that! I loved it.
Fans of Castellari or Fulci should enjoy this one! 5 out of 10, kids.