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.

Due Magnum .38 per una città di carogne (1975)

December 27, 2008

Literal English title: Two Magnum .38s For A City of Scum

The budget of this film must have been extraordinarily low. After all, the star is Dino Strano (otherwise known as Dean Stratford), an extremely unattractive man who somehow manages to have women (who happen to be prostitutes) fall in love with him and marvel at his skills in the bedroom. They are also very supportive of his writing career, which just can’t seem to take off.

Anyhow, one day he decides to kill his girlfriend’s pimp, and from there things go bad and he ends up getting beat up in a garage. So he buys two Magnum .38’s from a guy called “The Gypsy” who speaks with a strong southern Italian accent and . . . it’s time for revenge.

One thing about this film that is noteworthy: the score, by Bruno Nicolai, is absolutely brilliant. The same can’t be said for the rest of the film, but at least it is entertaining, which is more than can be said for a lot of things.

Execution (1968)

December 15, 2008

This is a slightly above-average spaghetti western by director Domenico Paolella, whose claim to fame is probably a series of sinful nun films he did in the early 70’s.

Anyhow, the star of the show here is John Richardson, who plays a dual role as a pair of brothers.

The plot isn’t important. Is what is important however is what makes this film good, and this has to do with a basket of ingredients: a great score by Coriolano Gori, excellenct camera work and film editing, and a rather original bandit gang leader, played by a very fat man, who tortures those he doesn’t like with leaches and a mace.

A few films I’ve recently seen

December 4, 2008

Un Treno per Durango: A great western, starring one of my favourite actors, Enrico Maria Salerno. This film is funny, but in a good way. Probably the best film I have ever seen seen Anthony Steffen in.

Bluff, storie di truffe e imbroglioni: Really one of the best comedies I have seen over the past year. Yeah, it was made in 1976. But there is nothing dated about Adriano Celantano and Anthony Quinn. One of director Sergio Corbucci’s better efforts, and that is saying a lot.

Domenica è sempre Domenica: A very good comedy starring Alberto Sordi, Ugo Tognazzi and Vittorio De Sica. Probably not in English, but it should be.

The Dark Knight: I had heard this was good. It wasn’t. No plot. No script to speak of. A bunch of uninteresting special effects. Incredibly boring.

Super rapino a Milano (1964)

November 20, 2008

Not a bad film, not a good film. The basic story is about a group of guys who rob a huge amount of money from a bank in Milan and hide out at a monastery disguised as monks. As it is both directed and starring Adriano Celentano, the music is cool, which is something. An added bonus is the presence of Don Backy, who is actually a very good actor.