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Two Words: Valerie French
Valerie French as "Mae" is smokin' hot in this film, and a good thing she is. You see, the plot pivots on whether you believe there is a strong temptation for Ford or any other red-blooded male who comes in contact with her. She's a total sexpot and she really works it well on screen. I wonder why she didn't become a bigger star?
Earnest Borgnine does a great job with Shep, making him a very likable character, not forced or overacted.
Good, solid film with a unique breakdown of Ford's character when he talks to Felicia Farr's "Naomi" about his relationship with his mother. Rod Steiger is outstanding as usual.
The Red Shoes (1948)
Probably the most unintentionally homo-erotic movie since...
Jackass...The Movie. Aside from the obviously gay characters of Grischa, Sergei and the rest of the male dancers, the whole rest of the male cast was gay. This movie would have been a little bit more believable if Moira Shearer were replaced by a young Fred Astair. I say a little bit better because the stilted overacting and lack of chemistry between the principal actors was completely disengaging. Check out Boris when he punches the mirror in a "rage." What kind of punch was that? He couldn't even act like a straight man. Ironically, the 15 minute ballet sequence is the only redeeming thing in this film, because the Technicolor is beautiful and nobody opens their mouth.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Tarantino has done it again. I had high expectations going in and the film exceeded those expectations. I would never complain about paying double to see a movie cut in half if it were of this caliber. That is what Hollywood doesn't understand: you put out a quality product and people will pay to see it - over and over again. I will give more of my hard-earned cash to see this movie again, rather than seeing some other inferior product.
What a disappointment! (possible spoilers)
After reading all of the online reviews, I was really looking forward to this one. I love spaghetti westerns, but this one just fell flat. Franco Nero was pretty good, but his dialogue felt forced and was generally awful. The part where he called his former friend and mentor a "nigger" and then said, "Oh, I'm sorry" was ridiculous and totally out of place with the scene and his character.
The score started out very nice, but was absolutely ruined by the inane singing from what sounded like a drunk Phyllis Diller and a sober Boris Yeltsin. I actually think it was Franco doing the singing for the man and the old witch-like-soothsayer singing the woman's part.
In one of first "fight" sequences some bad guy gets a knife thrown at his hand, knocking out his gun. Cut to Keoma, who is approximately 1/2 a mile away, looking mean, having been the one who "threw" the knife. Must have been attached to a rocket.
The fist-fight scenes were pretty good, and when Keoma does the four finger thing - that was probably the coolest part of the film. They had some pretty good ideas for this film, with the relationship between Keoma and his father and his half brothers, but Castellari just couldn't put these ideas into a film that engages the audience. You cannot begin to compare this film with the likes of Leone or Corbucci in their prime.
I rate this film one notch below Petroni's, "Death Rides a Horse." I didn't much care for that one either, but it was slightly more entertaining than "Keoma."
The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
C'mon, It's not that bad!
Why is everyone ranting about this movie? The story was engaging, the cinematography was beautiful, and the acting was top-notch (with the slight exception of Miss Swank who was a little stiff for two-thirds of the movie). I can certainly think of many more "period films" that fall well below the style and effectiveness of this film - I'm thinking "The Age of Innocence" and "The Golden Bowl."
Nice little movie that won't put you to sleep or make you cringe with embarrassment for the actors involved. If you want an even better introduction to period pieces, go rent "An Ideal Husband" or most Merchant/Ivory productions.
The Sticky Fingers of Time (1997)
The Emperor has no clothes!
Started out fairly interesting, but at about 15 minutes into the film, a case of the low-budgets kicked in and killed the movie. I have nothing against low budgets, mind you, but you must have an interesting story, or characters you can care about in order to get really involved in a film. "El Mariachi" is a good example of what you can do with an ultra-low budget and still make a film that engages the audience.
Woeful acting and editing took me completely out of this film and made me acutely aware that I was watching a low-budget piece of garbage. A silly, nonsensical, "since-it's-science-fiction-I-can-say-whatever-stupid-mumbo-jumbo-I-want-an d-you-have-to-accept-it" story line was the capper on this crapper.