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High class cinema!
I liked this film very much! It is an exceptional movie, in all aspects, script, direction, actors, music, etc. Rarely, emotional strength how Richard Ayoade manages. I read that Woody Allen is one of his favorite filmmakers, can be felt also in Submarine. Particularly appreciated Sally Hawkins as the mother, Jill Tate, and Yasmin Paige as the school colleague and girlfriend Jordana Bevan.
The Ugly American (1963)
After Korea, before Vietnam!
Marlon Brando, young, convincing, natural in everything he does. The story is strictly political, unfortunately. I would have wanted to be a strong love story, not just anti-communist propaganda.If I had to describe Brando musically, I would call him Beethoven of the screen, only him and Gian Maria Volontè (to whom Coppola offered first the title role in The Godfather) they
had that unique force, woven with infinite abisal sensitivity. The film is only worth seeing for Brando.
Worthy of being seen!
René Laloux was a very talented French film director of animation films. His most successful film is Fantastic Planet (1973) La planète sauvage (original title). This Gandahar, made 15 years later in 1988, is a success too, not at the same high level as the Fantastic Planet, but still successful. The film is enormously beneficial to the famous voices of Christopher Plummer, Glenn Close, Bridget Fonda, Anny Duperey, Georges Wilson and John Shea. Very beautiful drawings, unlimited imagination, special music signed by Gabriel Yared.
Valley of the Dolls (1967)
And very current, in 2018, after 51 years. Patty Duke is giving a great performance in this. Extremely beautiful Barbara Parkins and Sharon Tate, they are not even inferior. Under the subtle direction of Mark Robson, Paul Burke, Tony Scotti, Martin Milner, Charles Drake, Alexander Davion, Lee Grant, Susan Hayward, they are shining too. A successful film in the 1960s, which resists until today.
Gardens of the Night (2008)
Very good and disturbing!
A deep and very sad movie. Ryan Simpkins is exceptional in her role as a kidnapped girl. Gillian Jacobs is equally good at playing the same character, a few years older. Very good Tom Arnold, in the role of the kidnapper "with soul". John Malkovich, one of my favorite actors, makes from a small role, as he usually do, a big role. A particularly exciting film, excellently performed by all actors. Impeccable directed by Damian Harris.
Corrida pour un espion (1965)
Without Chinese, only Russian and American spies!
Bond second hand imitation with ugly bad actors, without any charm and a confusing plot. The director, Maurice Labro made one year before, a better Bond imitation, "Coplan prend des risques", with the beautiful Virna Lisi as a Coplan(the French equivalent of Bond) girl. Ray Danton, former Sandokan, was good at remaining Sandokan and not trying to mimic Sean Connery. The charm of Wolfgang Preiss and Charles Regnier (both formerly in Mabuse) and Horst Frank, does not save the cheap script. Pascale Petit is too petite(small, in French) for sex appeal. And Roger Hanin, I never liked him in anything.
It's not bad!
The film is not a masterpiece and has many weak points, I will not call them, so I will not spoil the quest to watch it. Because even with some details strewn around which are unbelievable, the movie is pleasant and that's due thanks to the actors, they all do a really good job. The best thing in the whole movie is Anne Bancroft's character, which is the most credible. The very young and beautiful Anne Bancroft, the great actress with massive personality.
Unless you have something better to do!
After Tarzan, Maciste, Goliath, Hercule, Zorro, nice likeble guy Gordon Scott tries the James Bond fashion. Polish sexy blonde Magda Konopka is a very contradictory partner, now she hits him, now she loves him, now runs away from him, now she falls into his arms. The story is super stupid but still has some a little bit of charm and one hour and 34 minutes pass quite quickly. Just for eurospy enthusiasts.
1 hour 41 minutes wasted
Linda Evans is raped. By a black man. Then Lola Falana is raped. By a white. Two great actors, Lee Marvin and Richard Burton, will die fighting against the stupid bad people who are hiding under white sheets. That's it. Hard to follow, very boring, and definitely not to review. Terence Young would have done well to make another Bond instead of this. Without Lee Marvin it would be impossible to watch.
Good start, then boring and ends well!
Patrick O'Neal, of "The Kremlin Letter" (1970), here is some kind of skinny James Bond, who gets more punches than he gives, but, from time to time, he's invisible. Ira von Fürstenberg, who looks like a twin sister of Margaret Lee, is Arabella, kind of Bond girl. Donald Pleasence, post original Bond, makes a caricature of a villain. So does Henry Silva, a bad character parody. Nicoletta Machiavelli, who looks very good in this movie, is helping Henry Silva. All are spies and spies one another, American, Russian, Chinese, the whole planet etc. One half spies the other half... The music is signed by the great Ennio Morricone but it's not great. Director is master Alberto Lattuada, who has made many good films, including two absolute masterpieces: "Lights of Variety" (along with Fellini) and "Mafioso" with the great Alberto Sordi. Another interesting movie made by him is "Fraulein Doktor". This one is neither a masterpiece nor stupid. It's worth seeing if you like Bond parodies and for the sake of the stars.
The Invaders: The Experiment (1967)
Good, Good, Good!
Second episode, directed like the first one by the same Joseph Sargent (a great film director, which I always admired - he directed episodes of other great TV series like "Kojak", "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.", "Bonanza", "The Fugitive", "Star Trek", "The Immortal", and a great feature film called "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three"(1974), with a fantastic cast, Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, great great film...) Same tension like in the first episode, great acting, special role by Roddy McDowall, Cornelius from "Planet of the Apes"(1968), Harold Gould, from "The Sting"(1973), and Laurence Naismith, from "Deadlier Than the Male"(1967), "Scrooge"(1970), "Diamonds Are Forever"(1971). No beautiful ladies this time, maybe in the next episode...
The Invaders: Beachhead (1967)
First seen on Romanian television (not yet free...), in black and white, when I was 9 years old. I was fascinated by the story, the direction, the acting of the actors, and especially the overwhelming music of Dominic Frontiere. I learned by heart (although I did not know English at that time...), all that the commentator in off is saying in the first few minutes... I fell in love with Diane Baker (she was only 29 years old...) I admired Roy Thinnes, who is very convincing. Reviewed, in color, on You-tube, me 59 years old. The film is impeccably fresh and current, I like it just as much like as a child. Diane Baker's same love, gorgeous woman, and Frontiere's music, just as charming. All the actors are top notch. "A Quinn Martin production!"
The Alligator People (1959)
Who's coming out at night, with a crocodile face, to play a little bit the piano? (the funniest scene of the whole film) It's Paul Webster, the unfortunate hero of this film, played by Richard Crane. If you judge by the title, you can say it's a movie that is worth nothing so, not worth wasting your time. But the movie has everything: a captivating story, it has tension, suspense, drama, comedy,
a little horror, a little sci-fi, is very well played. Beverly Garland, in the role of the wife of the crocodile-man, and Lon Chaney Jr., in the role of the guy with one hand eaten by crocodiles, are both very good, convincing, perfect actors. But, everyone else in the cast is good. It's an original, fun movie that's worth seeing. You will not regret spending 1 hour and 14 minutes.
The Manhandlers (1974)
A waste of time!
I did not know anything about the movie and all the actors are unknown. Except Rosalind Miles who was in "Shaft's Big Score!"(1972) plus one episode of "Columbo", one of "Baretta" and one of "Starsky and Hutch". Seeing the title and the poster, I thought I'd see a movie like "Charlie's Angels"(1976-1981) or Mama's Dirty Girls"(1974). But the reality is quite different. Don't be fooled by the poster on IMDb, you will not see the girls in the film manipulating machine guns. You will only see them doing massages and you will see them naked at some point. The movie begins as a mob movie with one killing after another, but after that it becomes just a very soft porn and a very soft comedy. Watch it only if you do not have anything better to do...
Des femmes disparaissent (1959)
Exclusive for stubborn movie lovers!
One of the first features directed by Édouard Molinaro, in black and white, is a boring drama in the first half and a continuous shift of gun and machine gun bursts in the second half. A very young and not very convincing Robert Hossein in a dirty love affair, that has a lot of troubles because of the woman he loves, and Magali Noël (Fellini's favorite), as a woman who encourages the dangerous links between some young, unconscious and naive women, and some unscrupulous, tricky men.
Bored to death!
I've been waiting for decades to see this movie and finally I've done it. My interest was very high, considering the names of the two directors and a few names in the cast. Well, I was very disappointed. Most of the other reviewers
gave it 10 stars. I can not give it more than 1 star, that is the minimum possible. Because I didn't like anything, the story is particularly irrelevant, nothing makes sense. Anita Pallenberg and Michèle Breton show their empty bodies absolutely free to pass the time, almost half of the movie that's what we see. I can not even talk about their "acting" performance... I like Mick Jagger, as a singer, in Rolling Stones, but as an actor, really... James Fox is a good actor, but he has no place in this movie. Static, boredom, big waste of time!
Io ho paura (1977)
One of the best ever!
This is what I call a movie, and not any movie, but Hard Caliber! Volontè is a policeman, as in the "Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion"(1970), but this time he's a totally different kind of cop. You must watch both films one after another to understand why Volontè is the greatest actor of all time. The characters, though both cops, are diametrically opposed. In "Investigation...", he is the super-intelligent but evil and fearless cop, who commits a murder only to prove himself how idiotic is the whole Italian police-justice system, rotten to the core by the mafia. In "I Am Afraid" he is also a very smart cop, but who is this time just a fearful good, too good man. Because he's working for the same Italian police-justice system rotten to the core by the mafia, and he is afraid for his own life, he is forced to kill, even he doesn't want to. It is Damiani's best film and one of the best movies ever made. Damiani also worked with the genius called Volontè in another masterpiece, "A Bullet for the General". All actors are exceptional. Especially Ingmar Bergman's favorite, Erland Josephson, and the favorite of many international directors, the brilliant Mario Adorf. Angelica Ippolito, in the role of Gloria, Volontè's girlfriend, is more than compelling. Great cinematography by Luigi Kuveiller and great music by Riz Ortolani. This movie deserves all the possible stars, unfortunately, 10 are the maximum...
In the shadow of the great Sergio Leone!
I no longer follow the Western genre with the huge pleasure I had in my childhood. I prefer Thriller, Science Fiction, Comedy, a good Documentary. Except for Sergio Leone, his films I'm reviving cyclically, about 10 to 10 years, with great great pleasure. Not just for Leone's sake and his unique, original stories (though sometimes inspired by Japanese like Kurosawa), but also for Morricone's music and some actors, especially Gian Maria Volontè, Lee Van Cleef, Klaus Kinski, Charles Bronson. Clint Eastwood never fascinated me (not in Westerns, I liked him in "The Bridges of Madison County" and "Escape from Alcatraz"). Why am I saying all this here? Because Max Dillman, the director of this western, is none other than the one who filmed "Fistful of Dollars" and
"For a Few Dollars More", Mr. Expert Cinematographer Massimo Dallamano, dead at the tender age of only 59. He just tried his luck, like many others, with a not too great story, in fact one very predictable, to copy the success of Leone's dollars. The Cinematography, also very professional as Master Dallamano's, is not signed by him, as would have been natural, but by the Spanish Emilio Foriscot. The distribution is made up of unknown actors, which, despite the slim scenario, they pay off somehow honorably. The music of the film, signed by Egisto Macchi, is clearly the Morricone clone, with guitars and trumpets, but not so successful as the original. Surprisingly, Venantino Venantini, after seeing him in many roles totally opposite to the tough guy, is here trying to equate Gian Maria Volontè as a villainous gunman. Of course he does not succeed, no one can do that, but he is not bad. The second reason I wanted to see this movie, apart from Massimo Dallamano, was the presence of another huge talent, another delight of my childhood, the Italian actor Enrico Maria Salerno. In spite of Salerno's talent and the only cool idea of the film, somehow like a christian symbol, in my humble opinion, the bullet holes in his character's hands (just like Jesus) (the idea had to be exploited and the script developed exactly there), the film is somewhere between average and mediocre. Only for those obsessed by Western.
Exceptional musical testimony!
About the odyssey of a genius, a genius of the bass guitar, a genius who, like Mozart and many others before him, ended sad, in misery. After celebrating the peak of glory with another great genius, Joe Zawinul, in the legendary band of jazz fusion Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius followed a downward road, slept through parks, arrived at one moment in a madhouse, and died young, in a stupid way. But, better watch the movie, it's full of people who have met and admired him, famous musicians...
Alien Nation (1988)
An original and ingenious story!
The first movie cop duo between a human and an alien. James Caan, as usual, makes a cool, charming role. Mandy Patinkin, very convincing, as the alien policeman. Terence Stamp, credible in the role of the wicked alien. It has a special atmosphere, I liked it, a pleasant surprise. The scene in the cabin of the bar, between Matthew Sykes (James Caan) and Cassandra (Leslie Bevis), an extraterrestrial stripper who wants to make love with him, is the most successful and funny scene in the movie.
A boring ADEL production!
Alain Delon is not attacked by bees. But, he has the"good sense" to let himself killed in the end. Well, that's what he wanted, he's also the producer of the movie, he wanted to awaken a melancholic sympathy in us. Neither Mireille Darc is attacked by bees. It's okay, I can understand that, they are not the only humans which have a special relation with the animals, animals love me too, actually, they love me even more than humans love me. The story is not extraordinary, nor is Roubaix's music. All the actors they do what they can. A lot of landscapes, all depressing images, everything is sad and disheartening.
Well, it's not a masterpiece but is has many exciting moments, made in spite of those facial masks, what many actors in maskless normal movies do not succeed. I think Pierre Boulle would be impressed too with what Hollywood still pulls out of his original work. Andy Serkis and Steve Zahn have two very good roles. Woody Harrelson is not bad but I've seen him play much better in many other movies. All those special ape suits and special masks are very well done. So are the decors and special effects. Music is sad as the whole movie. We have come to be on the side of the monkeys, not of the humans... That's the most sad! Nine out of ten other reviews (I can't read them all when there are hundreds...), they say only bad things. The general level of the audience is very low, too low, people are so stupid, they have not understood anything from this movie and from thousands and thousands of other movies. Probably 90% of the rest of the world, they use only 1% of the 10 percent that we all use of our brains...
Suing the Devil (2011)
Babyish & jejune, meaning puerile & childish!
Satan, I mean, Malcolm McDowell, because you produced the movie and played the role of Satan, can I sue you? I have more accusations against you. Do not get me wrong, I love you, you're one of my favorite actors, "A Clockwork Orange" is one of the best movies ever made, BUT, what's this bad joke? Could not find a better script? Apart from you, everything is pathetic, stupid, deadly boring, childish. Everything is stupid, starting with the story and ending with the play of all actors. Embarrassing! And, is not Satan who invented the noise and all he's accused of in the movie. Mister McDowell, you have to make at least two very good movies, close to the level of "A Clockwork Orange", to forgive you this sin called "Suing the Devil"(2011).
There are a lot of reviews that say only superlative stuff about this movie, which shows how stupid or how fake the writers are. Fake and cowards, because they do not have the courage to tell the truth, that the movie is very bad, probably for the fear of God, Jesus, the Bible, faith, etc. Because the movie talks about all that. I am convinced that God and Jesus are ashamed of such a film, it does not do any service, on the contrary. You are not good Christians liking this film, you are just simply stupid! One star for Malcolm,
Vanishing Point (1971)
Unique road movie!
I do not agree with suicide, however tough and ugly, however depressing and struck by your fate, life is worth living! That said as a principle, I do not quite understand the end of the movie, why Kowalski chooses to commit suicide, after all the attempts he is passing through and out of which he went so well. He was not depressed, he had a strong moral, very tough guy, he had no reason to choose that stupid death, entering with his high-speed car into the dam on the road. Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger and Paul Koslo are all OK in their roles. A very nice and original appearance by Gilda Texter in the role of Nude Rider. Cool music in the soundtrack, many songs, Mountain with "Mississippi Queen", Kim Carnes, etc. A film that enjoyed my teens and whom I had been happy to review, except for the final, which I had forgotten, which is unjustified and disappointing. Richard C. Sarafian has many exciting movies under his belt.
The Ritchie Blackmore Story (2015)
About the "caucasian Hendrix", Mister Ritchie Blackmore, with whose music I grew up and lived all my life, I know all over Deep Purple, Rainbow and Blackmore's Night. I finally learned from this movie what it was actually why he left Deep Purple, for the second time, because he can no longer supported Ian Gillan, as a man and as vocalist. The truth is that we think and feel the same, David Coverdale and Joe Lynn Turner, are far beyond Gillan's worth. I liked Deep Purple, with Gillan, when I was young and teen. As an adult, I prefer Blackmore's Night. And, I totally agree with what Gene Simmons, from Kiss, says at the end: all who enter and play in bands, they do it for fame, money and chicks, Ritchie Blackmore has entered into this, for the music!