Poppea … una prostituta al servizio dell’impero (intro) – Carlo Savina

September 21, 2013

Split second film reviews

August 3, 2010

Shura: Very good, though somewhat heavy. A bit gruesome.

Gallants: A very stupid Chinese kung-fu film. Worth a miss.

Police Adjective: Meaningful. But by far the slowest film I have ever seen. And that is saying a good deal.

Cash on Demand: Great little British noire.

The Fury. Dull.

The Damned United. Amusing. Worthwhile for anyone who likes football (or doesn’t).

Love in a Puff. A decent romantic comedy.

Fortapàsc: One of the better recent Italian films.

Black Ransom. Another Hong Kong thriller. Good, but full of the usual clichés.

One second film reviews

May 10, 2010

Ip Man 2: Good, although there is a lot of fantasy involved.

Vieni avanti cretino: Probably the best Lino Banfi films. Silly, but the scene where he mistakes a dentist’s office for a brothel makes it all worthwhile.

Air Doll: A sort of depressing Japanese film about a plastic sex doll coming to life.

Delitto al ristorante cinese: another great Tomas Milian film, this time him playing inspector Giraldi and a Chinese cook called Ciu Ci Ciao.

Mark colpisce ancora: The last of the Mark trilogy. Good action, great music.

Basta guardarla: A truly great Italian comedy.

My Sassy Girl: Thoroughly boring.

The Collosus of New York: Ok, but the colossus seems rather small.

Little Big Soldier: Good, but not as good as I had hoped.

Nove ospiti per un delitto: Beginning with a lot of naked women and ending with a lot of dead bodies.

Il Vichingo venuto del sud: A very good Lando Buzzanca film about an Italian moving to Sweden Denmark.

Luci Lontane: The only Tomas Milian film I could not sit through. Horror just isn’t his genre.

A few films . . .

September 13, 2009

Ninja Gari (aka Ninja Hunt or Ninja Hunters): This is probably the best ninja film I have seen, shot in beautiful black and white, with the ninjas depicted much more realistically than in other films. Basically, the story is about a group of ronin hired to defend a castle against a group of ninja who want to steal a certain document. Great stuff.

Bullet Train: This was the film that the Hollywood film “Speed” got its plot from. Bullet Train is about a thousand times better though, as the terrorists are depicted in a very realistic way, and the cinematography is far superior. There are a few silly bits, but by and large this is a worthwhile way to spend a couple of hours.

Italian Secret Service: A very funny comedy staring Nino Manfredi. Apparently there is a dubbed version available in Enlgish, which I would skip, but if this is ever made available with subtitles that one should see it. The original Italian is very funny.

Zombi Holocaust: This is a really awful cannibal film. I can say, having seen a great many of these sorts of things, that this one is probably about the worst. Everything about it is bad, from the music to the acting. The jungle the adventurers are travelling through looks an awful lot like a park or a backyard in Florida. The grass has actually been cut with a lawn-mower, even though it supposed to be some island in the middle of no-where inhabited by nothing but cannibals and zombies. One would have a hard time finding a legitimate excuse for watching such a film.

Le sette folgori di Assur: Another bad Italian film. We are placed in I guess what is supposed to be ancient Babylon and introduced to Zoroaster and a boring plot line involving Howard Duff and kings and romance and gods. Worth a miss.


August 22, 2009

Ragazzi del Juke-Box:  The Italian musical is a genre that has received very little attention. To my knowledge, not a single one of these films has ever been brought into English with subtitles. This one, made in 1959, is quite good, featuring a lot of footage of Adriano Celentano and subsidized by the very humorous Mario Carotenuto. The lead is played by Anthony Steffen, before he became a spaghetti western standard.

Juke box urli d’amore: This is a sort of “part 2” of the previous film. The story is totally different, but it also has Adriano Celentano and Mario Carotenuto. This one is actually superior to the previous, as the screenplay is very well done. The first film had Anthony Steffen before he turned to Spaghetti Westerns, and this one has Terence Hill before he gained fame in the same.

Hibotan bakuto: jingi tooshi masu (Red Peony Gambler 8): Being a big fan of Red Peony, I have to say I was disappointed in this entry. A lot of melodrama and not enough action.  

Il bandito dagli occhi azzurri: A pretty good Franco Nero heist film. Worth a watch.

Squadra antifurto: Another Nico Geraldi entry, starring the great Tomas Milian. Not the best in the series, but certainly with some laughs.

Madamigella di Maupin: Another Tomas Milian film. This is a historical piece based on the book by Gautier. Definitely watchable.

Pelle di Bandito: A great film about bandits in Sardinia by director Piero Livi. The cinematography is outstanding and there are some moments that really raise this one to world class cinema. The strange thing is that the same year this came out (1969), another film by Carlo Lizzani starring Terence Hill called Barbagia was issued, which has almost the exact same plot. One was clearly ripped off whole sale from the other, and I am inclined to think Lizzani was the one who took Piero Livi’s film and made a more popular version. In any case, Livi’s film is superior.

fil-ms see-n

July 16, 2009

I ragazzi dell’Hully Gully: This is a film that is in Italian but go ahead and watch it if you don’t speak Italian. No subtitles needed as the film has about 10 lines of dialogue. The rest is music. Some good, some awful.

The Ghost Cat of Otama Pond: When I started watching this I kept wondering if I had already seen it without realising. No, I hadn’t. It is just so much like other Japanese ghost/ghost cat films of the early 60’s that it is hard to tell the difference. Some good stuff all the same though, with very dream like sets and the usual ghost cat agitations.

Brüno: Saw it, liked it.

Crystalbrain, l’uomo dal cervello di cristallo: This is a Spanish film that I saw dubbed into Italian. The original, and more appropriate title is Trasplante de un cerebro. For brain transplant enthusiasts only. It has  Frank Wolff in it, and when one thinks that he committed suicide only a year after making this film, a certain amount of sadness comes along with a viewing: seeing such a talented actor having to make a living by being in such a truly bad film.

Quest for the Mighty Sword:  This is the 4th film in the Ator series, though IMDB mistakenly says it is the third. Anyhow, all Ator films are bad, but this one is just miserable. That director Joe D’Amato managed to take time off of his busy schedule of making porn in order to indulge in these fantasy epics is not really a good thing.

Dieci italiani per un tedesco: A good but very heavy film. The story is about a group of partisans killing 32 nazi soldiers with a bomb. The Germans decide that 10 Italians need to die for every German.

Recently seen films: comments

June 6, 2009

La tour de Nesle: A rather slow swashbuckler film only made watchable by the presence of Pierre Brasseur.

Senza ragione: A crime flic I watched in Italian. Normally the Italian versions of these things are better than the English, but here Telly Savalas was dubbed with such a stupid voice….But Franco Nero was good.

Una lunga fila di croci: A very good Italian western. One of the best films I have seen Anthony Steffen in and William Berger does an excellent job as a bounty hunter with a very elaborate gun.

Mare matto: A very good Italian film starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Gina Lollobrigida. Definitely should be put into English on DVD.

Films, mostly Italian…

March 11, 2009

Un ettaro di cielo: A great film with Marcello Mastroianni. A perfect candidate for English language DVD release.

The Betrayal: This samurai film has to have the bloodiest final scene of any I have ever seen. The character played by Raizô Ichikawa kills at least 100 men by himself.

Uccidite Rommel: A pretty decent Italian war film.

Parola di ladro: A very good caper/comedy. Another film that deseves wider recognition.

Di Tressette ce n’e’ uno, tutti gli altri sono nessuno: The second film in the two-film series. A crazy and pleasant comedy spaghetti western.

Revolver: Sergio Sollima, Oliver Reed and Fabio Testi. A very good cop film.

La Volpe della coda di velluto: A not quite fullfilling giallo, but worth a look for fans of the genre.

Vacanze per un massacre: A very satisfying Italian thriller. One of director Fernando Di Leo’s last efforts.

And yet more . . . films . . .

February 6, 2009

Belve feroci (1984): I expected this to be better than it was. In the end though, 90 minutes of crazed animals killing people wasn’t very entertaining.

I Giorni di Commissario Ambrosio: A very good mystery starring Ugo Tognazzi. This one should be released to an English speaking audience.

Sparrow: Flashy but dull. I seriously question Johnny To’s abilities.

Cannibal holocaust: I must be seriously jaded, because I didn’t see much to shock me in this one. Personally I thought Deodato’s Ultimo mondo cannibale, was a far superior film. For shock and disgust value, there are a few mondo films floating around out there that are really far, far worse. 

Infernal Affairs 2: A good film. Let’s just hope it doesn’t receive US remake treatment.

Ninja Killer: When Hong-Kong meets Turkish cinema you know you will be entertained. Just don’t look for anything vaguely resembling coherence. The belly dancing is nice though.

Comments on films I’ve seen recently

January 18, 2009

All’ombra di una Colt: A good western. Well, a mediocre western, truth be told, but the music, by Nico Fidenco, elevates it beyond what the actors or script are able to do.

Pride and Glory: Was this supposed to be a good movie?

Maciste nella terra dei ciclopi: If you can get beyond the annoying music, this one isn’t half bad.

Il Paese del sesso salvaggio: A good film. It is a shame that it is on the “must see” list of cannibal films, because I think that crowd can’t really appreciate all the interesting non-cannibal moments.

The Game: I thought this Korean thriller was pretty interesting. Great acting and very good production values.