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Can a full grown woman truly love a midget?

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Kowry
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Can a full grown woman truly love a midget?

#1

Post by Kowry » April 20th, 2012, 10:23 am

So, as these film log threads seem to be popular now, decided to start one myself. There's been a more silent phase in my film-watching for a couple of weeks, and it may continue until the end of April, but decided to start this now, as I wanted to write about a couple of films I saw earlies this week. I don't usually care about giving ratings, but as many seem to like them, I'll try to rate every film I write about in this thread.

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#2

Post by Nopros » April 20th, 2012, 10:34 am

I love this film log already.

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#3

Post by Kowry » April 20th, 2012, 11:24 am

Redneck aka Senza ragione (1973)

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Italian exploitation film about a group of crooks on the run after a burglary gone bad. Apparently this had a bigger budget than most exploitation films, and as the cast is good - it has Franco Nero (Django etc.), Telly Savalas and Mark Lester, who, albeit not being well known for starring in exploitation films, was a child star of his time - I'm not sure why it seems to be pretty much forgotten (I was the second person to check it on ICM; it's avalaible on KG and CG, though so it's not that obscure). In its genre of exploitation, the film isn't bad either.

So the film begins with the burglary, which doesn't go quite as planned. After wrecking their escape car they steal another, but don't notice the kid in the back seat. And there's also Mosquito's woman, Maria, who's part of their gang, but they didn't really bother making her character interesting in any way, her role is to be a hysteric eye candy. The kid develops a relationship with Nero's character, Mosquito, as Memphis, played by Savalas, gets progressively more crazy and violent, as they continue their attempt to get to the other side of the border. That's the plot, basically. This isn't the most brutal exploitation film there is, and there's also some attempt at character study, although I don't know if they succeeded very well. It's not a great film by any means, but I thought it was entertaining and as mentioned before, the cast was pretty good (except for the woman, but it's not really her fault her character was scripted lousily). There are some absurd moments of unintentional comedy (and some intentionally comedic moments, which don't work nearly as well). If you're not a fan of exploitation, you probably won't enjoy this one either, but for those like me, who enjoy more trashy cinema, it's probably worth a watch.

EDIT: Oh, I promised to give a rating. 6/10 seems fine.
Last edited by Kowry on April 20th, 2012, 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#4

Post by Kowry » April 20th, 2012, 5:19 pm

Last Days Here (2011)

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Documentary about Bobby Liebling, the lead singer of Pentagram, one of the most influential doom metal bands in the seventies (although they only get to record their first proper album in 1985). Liebling, who has been addicted to various substances throughout most of his life, is a mumbling junkie living at his parents'. His long-time fan, who has become his manager, tries to set Liebling's life and Pentagram's career straight.

I love Pentagram's early stuff, but didn't know much about Liebling, so I was pretty shocked to see how the same man who has done such great music was in such a pitiful state. The document is a really captivating watch. In a way it reminded me very much of Anvil! (2008), a documentary about a metal band that had missed their big breakthrough and whose members just kept trying and playing for their love of doing it. Anvil was lighter in tone, and the guys in the band came off as very sympathetic, whereas Liebling is portrayed as an impulsive egomaniac, who ruined his opportunities by himself. My main complaint about the documentary is that it could have shed more light on the history of Pentagram and Liebling. It really doesn't tell much about what Liebling and Pentagram have done after the seventies, although they performed tours and recorded several albums.. Still, a very interesting documentary, very much recommended even to those who have never heard about them or don't care about their music.

8/10

Oh, and here's one of my favorite songs from them:

Last edited by Kowry on April 20th, 2012, 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#5

Post by clemmetarey » April 20th, 2012, 7:42 pm

Even though I haven't listened to a lot of Pentagram, Sign of the Wolf is my favorite song from them. I haven't seen this documentary or heard about it, I'll try to watch it as soon as I can.

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#6

Post by WalterNeff » April 20th, 2012, 8:13 pm

Can a full grown woman truly love a midget?
The Station Agent? Although I think he was a dwarf, not a midget.

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#7

Post by Kowry » April 20th, 2012, 8:17 pm

WalterNeff on Apr 20 2012, 02:13:59 PM wrote:
Can a full grown woman truly love a midget?
The Station Agent? Although I think he was a dwarf, not a midget.
It was the tagline for Freaks (1932).

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#8

Post by jgwr » April 21st, 2012, 4:13 am

Kowry on Apr 20 2012, 02:17:25 PM wrote:
WalterNeff on Apr 20 2012, 02:13:59 PM wrote:
Can a full grown woman truly love a midget?
The Station Agent? Although I think he was a dwarf, not a midget.
It was the tagline for Freaks (1932).
Should've been the tagline for For You Height Only.

"Can a full grown woman truly love a midget? Looks like it..."

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#9

Post by Life as Fiction » April 21st, 2012, 9:37 am

jgwr on Apr 20 2012, 10:13:07 PM wrote:
Kowry on Apr 20 2012, 02:17:25 PM wrote:
WalterNeff on Apr 20 2012, 02:13:59 PM wrote: The Station Agent? Although I think he was a dwarf, not a midget.
It was the tagline for Freaks (1932).
Should've been the tagline for For You Height Only.

"Can a full grown woman truly love a midget? Looks like it..."
That film did, however, break many Asian man/white woman barriers.

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#10

Post by Kowry » May 12th, 2012, 10:23 am

Iron Sky (2012)

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Sci-fi comedy about moon nazis coming to earth and the largest-scale Finnish movie made (although it's actually Finnish-German-Australian production, the director as well the guys behind the original concept are Finnish). The main guys' debut feature, Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning (which I haven't seen) was also a sci-fi comedy, but made with a shoestring budget with the support of fans, and was also legally available for free download. Iron Sky's production also had much support from the Internet(tm), but this time they also had real investors backing this up, and although the budget of 7.5M dollars is really low compared to Hollywood films, it's a great leap from the previous film.

So this was really hyped among my social circles and I really wanted to like it, but I was also prepared to be disappointed after seeing the trailer and reading some reviews. And yes, the final result isn't quite as good as I would have hoped for, although not completely lousy either. The beginning, where a black astronaut from Earth is taken prisoner by the nazis didn't promise much - so many worn-out jokes and plenty of clunky dialog that I was cringing pretty hard. But when the nazis and the film leave the moonand come to Earth, the comedy gets better and the latter half of the movie is decently entertaining. There are plenty of references to other movies and also to sci-fi series, that work pretty well (I certainly missed a few of them, though, as I'm not that big of a sci-fi connoisseur), and also somewhat-dated but political satire about the U.S., that still occasionally works. The plot lacks focus, which shows especially at the confusing end. The special effects are really good when considering the budget and don't really pale in comparison to many Hollywood films. The cast is mainly good, and Julia Diezte (in the pic) makes a really cute nazi. Stephanie Paul makes her cheap Sarah Palin caricature work better than it should.

EDIT: Actually watched this a week ago, but got around to writing about it only now. Happened to have a movie streak after a pause, so more reviews (probably shorter) coming up, when I have the energy.

So, all in all a mixed bag. 5/10
Last edited by Kowry on May 12th, 2012, 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#11

Post by Kowry » May 12th, 2012, 3:16 pm

Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1984)
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Very silly, but in many ways impressive kung fu film from Shaw Brothers. I don't know much about the genre, so it reminded me of a Jackie Chan film, but with spears and poles. The fight choreographies were impressive and hilariously over-the-top. The dialogue was sparse, almost every scene seems to lead to fighting. It gets maybe a little tiring after a while, though, but then something so silly and over-the-top happens, that you can't help but laugh and wonder how serious they were when making the film. The sets and the cinematography are surprisingly good considering this is from the same guys who made Super Infra-Man, The Mighty Peking Man and all that. Brainless fun. 6/10

Equinox (1970)
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Yes, the acting is awful. Yes, the plot is beyond silly. But that's partly what makes this very entertaining. It was easy to see that this has been an influence to later horror films such as Evil Dead. The special effects were awesome. Campy fun. I should maybe give this a 7, but for now it's 6+/10.

Fiend Without a Face (1958)
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Unsurprisingly not as awesome as its title, but still a decent sci-fi flick that doesn't spend too much time fooling around with its length of 74 minutes. The murderous stop-motion brains were neatly done. 6/10

Companeros (1974)
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Great characters, especially Franco Nero and the one-armed bad guy with a falcon are awesome. Good cinematography, and Morricone's theme is great. Didn't care that much about the plot, though, and the character development wasn't very believable. But still, it was a very good spaghetti western. 7/10

Blacula (1972)
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Awesome title and fun premise, but the execution isn't that great. The opening scene, that tells the origins of Blacula, a victim of the original Dracula, works, then the film cuts to the 'present time' (aka the seventies) when two homosexual caricatures ('fags' is what the other characters call them) purchase Blacula's coffin, and - surprise, surprise - Blacula awakes from his sleep and proceeds to kill them. Then he encounters a woman, who looks like his wife killed by Dracula, and somehow enchants her, and continues killing and vampirising people while a detective tries to solve the series of killings. Surprisingly straight-up horror film, but not a particularly interesting one. The plot has more than few holes, none of the characters are particularly interesting and it isn't very suspenseful. There are a couple of effective scenes, technically it is good, and I can appreciate the different take on the vampire genre, but didn't work for me. 5/10

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#12

Post by Kowry » May 13th, 2012, 1:01 pm

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
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Treated its subject matter very heavy-handedly. It was very predictable and the characters felt more like stereotypes than real people, and there was no realistic character development. But it had a good cast, nice cinematography and some well-crafted dialogue. Enjoyable, but not great. 6/10
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#13

Post by Limedebois » May 14th, 2012, 12:58 pm

Well, some great stories have to be simple with stereotypes characters. The difference between simple and simpleness is not far. If a character is too complicated, he's understandable and incredible. So, in my mind, this story needed archetypal characters to bring to light the only important thing in this story which is actually a fable (or an apolog, a parable): the moral lesson.

It's all about perception of course, but to me, this film is a remarkable masterpiece.

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#14

Post by bal3x » May 14th, 2012, 1:04 pm

Limedebois on May 14 2012, 06:58:15 AM wrote:Well, some great stories have to be simple with stereotypes characters. The difference between simple and simpleness is not far. If a character is too complicated, he's understandable and incredible. So, in my mind, this story needed archetypal characters to bring to light the only important thing in this story which is actually a fable (or an apolog, a parable): the moral lesson.

It's all about perception of course, but to me, this film is a remarkable masterpiece.
Absolutely! A masterpiece in my book as well. 10/10

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#15

Post by Kowry » May 17th, 2012, 10:46 am

Il grande silenzio (1968)
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I liked Corbucci's Django and Companeros, but this was just wonderful in its snowy setting and grim tone. Kinski just radiates, as always, but Jean-Louis Trintignant gives a very good performance as the mute gunslinger , too. And Morricone's score works well, as usually. The ending is wonderfully bleak (watched the happy ending that was included as an extra - strangely, without sound - and it was clever in its own way, although doesn't naturally compare to the original). Eh, I find it hard to write anything meaningful about this - like brokenface said, it's much easier to write about films that sucked and this one was just great. 9/10

Stagecoach (1939)
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Archetypal western. Simple plot, underdeveloped characters, decent entertainment. Enjoyed particularly Thomas Mitchell's performance as the drunk doctor. Some forum members seem to dislike Wayne, but I like him as an actor (although he was a jerk in real life). Here his performance is okay, but not as good as in some of his later films. 6/10

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
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I don't know if I can say anything interesting about a classic like this, but it was definitely the best film by Ford I have seen. Great performances by both Wayne and Stewart (although Stewart is way too old for his role, but who cares?), and also by the great supporting cast (honorary mention to Lee Marvin's voice). 8+/10 Thoroughly engaging and also with some commentary about the 'decline' of the wild west.

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#16

Post by mightysparks » May 17th, 2012, 11:02 am

Kowry on May 17 2012, 04:46:21 AM wrote:Il grande silenzio (1968)
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I liked Corbucci's Django and Companeros, but this was just wonderful in its snowy setting and grim tone. Kinski just radiates, as always, but Jean-Louis Trintignant gives a very good performance as the mute gunslinger , too. And Morricone's score works well, as usually. The ending is wonderfully bleak (watched the happy ending that was included as an extra - strangely, without sound - and it was clever in its own way, although doesn't naturally compare to the original). Eh, I find it hard to write anything meaningful about this - like brokenface said, it's much easier to write about films that sucked and this one was just great. 9/10
I also loved that it actually gave me a hero to root for and a villain to hate. Usually I'm rooting for the bad guy to win, but Kinski was so evil here. That's why I loved the ending even more, wouldn't have had the same effect otherwise. Great movie.
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#17

Post by Kowry » May 17th, 2012, 7:28 pm

mightysparks on May 17 2012, 05:02:35 AM wrote:also loved that it actually gave me a hero to root for and a villain to hate. Usually I'm rooting for the bad guy to win, but Kinski was so evil here. That's why I loved the ending even more, wouldn't have had the same effect otherwise. Great movie.
It's nice that even once in a while there's a movie that we both love (actually, I think there are many shared favorites, but you also hate many of my faves :P ).

Rio Bravo (1959)
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Again a big classic that I find hard to write much about. Likable characters and great action - a great deal of fun. Wayne isn't a very believable womanizer, though, he's too old and beer-bellied, like a grumpy father figure. But there wasn't really a dull moment in this, so I give it 8/10.

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#18

Post by mightysparks » May 17th, 2012, 7:32 pm

And I love Rio Bravo too! :P
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#19

Post by Kowry » May 19th, 2012, 3:23 pm

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
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A pretty good little mystery film based on a simple premise - an old one-handed man comes to a small town that has a secret, looking for a Japanese-American man. Hard to classify - it's tagged as a western and indeed has many common western elements (stranger coming into a remote, suspicious town), but is a pretty odd one still, taking place in 1945 and having quite an atypical plot for the genre. Based on the plot this could be classified as a thriller, but it isn't very thrilling and I don't think the filmmakers meant it to be. This was a pretty straight-forward film, maybe in some way a bit too much so. Tracy does a good job portraying the protagonist, and his character is interesting, as they don't tell too much about him, so you're kept guessing about his motives and past. The mystery of the Japanese man was, on the other hand, was pretty obvious - too obvious - from the beginning. The plot doesn't really offer any big surprises and all the characters except Tracy's come off as one-dimensional. But it's a pretty good watch still, with some funny scenes relying on the strength of Tracy's character and his performance, him not giving a damn about the people who try to provoke him and make him leave. Especially the bar scene was great. Also, I think this is the first U.S. film I have seen that addresses the post-Pearl Harbor racism towards American-Japanese people and their 'relocation' to internment camps - a very touchy subject in '55, I'd think. 7/10

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#20

Post by Kowry » May 24th, 2012, 10:01 am

Shogun Assassin (1980)
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A reworking of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, using 12 minutes of the first film and most of the second. The Lone Wolf movies are pretty far from some more serious samurai films like Kurosawa's or Kobayashi's, but the ridiculous dubbing, simplified story (narrated by Lone Wolf's remarkably observant three-year-old son) and the awesomely cheesy synthesizer soundtrack make Shogun Assassin pretty damn silly. Luckily it's the right kind of silly with imaginative fighting scenes and, of course, tons of spraying fake blood. 7/10

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#21

Post by monty » May 24th, 2012, 10:15 am

Kowry on May 24 2012, 04:01:28 AM wrote:Shogun Assassin (1980)
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A reworking of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, using 12 minutes of the first film and most of the second. The Lone Wolf movies are pretty far from some more serious samurai films like Kurosawa's or Kobayashi's, but the ridiculous dubbing, simplified story (narrated by Lone Wolf's remarkably observant three-year-old son) and the awesomely cheesy synthesizer soundtrack make Shogun Assassin pretty damn silly. Luckily it's the right kind of silly with imaginative fighting scenes and, of course, tons of spraying fake blood. 7/10
That film is a travesty. No, watch the original films instead - the first three are the standouts imo. The sixth installment, however, is bad beyond belief.
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#22

Post by Kowry » May 24th, 2012, 10:17 am

monty on May 24 2012, 04:15:01 AM wrote:
Kowry on May 24 2012, 04:01:28 AM wrote:Shogun Assassin (1980)
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A reworking of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, using 12 minutes of the first film and most of the second. The Lone Wolf movies are pretty far from some more serious samurai films like Kurosawa's or Kobayashi's, but the ridiculous dubbing, simplified story (narrated by Lone Wolf's remarkably observant three-year-old son) and the awesomely cheesy synthesizer soundtrack make Shogun Assassin pretty damn silly. Luckily it's the right kind of silly with imaginative fighting scenes and, of course, tons of spraying fake blood. 7/10
That film is a travesty. No, watch the original films instead - the first three are the standouts imo.
I have seen the first film of the six and plan to watch the others too. But I wanted to see how this compares to the originals.

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#23

Post by monty » May 24th, 2012, 10:39 am

Kowry on May 24 2012, 04:17:36 AM wrote:
monty on May 24 2012, 04:15:01 AM wrote:
Kowry on May 24 2012, 04:01:28 AM wrote:Shogun Assassin (1980)


A reworking of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, using 12 minutes of the first film and most of the second. The Lone Wolf movies are pretty far from some more serious samurai films like Kurosawa's or Kobayashi's, but the ridiculous dubbing, simplified story (narrated by Lone Wolf's remarkably observant three-year-old son) and the awesomely cheesy synthesizer soundtrack make Shogun Assassin pretty damn silly. Luckily it's the right kind of silly with imaginative fighting scenes and, of course, tons of spraying fake blood. 7/10
That film is a travesty. No, watch the original films instead - the first three are the standouts imo.
I have seen the first film of the six and plan to watch the others too. But I wanted to see how this compares to the originals.
I fail to see how anyone who really cares about samurai films would be interested in watching a dumbed down, brutally recut and ludicrously English dubbed version (incl. the adding of Daigoro's silly narration) of the excellent Japanese originals. The mishmash that is Shogun's Assassin solely owes its existence to a lazy subtitle averse American public - it's a damn shame prints of this hackjob still exists. Robert Houston, who oversaw the editing, will forever be synonymous with the raping of Lone Wolf and Cub.
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#24

Post by Kowry » May 24th, 2012, 4:21 pm

monty on May 24 2012, 04:39:53 AM wrote:
Kowry on May 24 2012, 04:17:36 AM wrote:
monty on May 24 2012, 04:15:01 AM wrote:That film is a travesty. No, watch the original films instead - the first three are the standouts imo.
I have seen the first film of the six and plan to watch the others too. But I wanted to see how this compares to the originals.
I fail to see how anyone who really cares about samurai films would be interested in watching a dumbed down, brutally recut and ludicrously English dubbed version (incl. the adding of Daigoro's silly narration) of the excellent Japanese originals. The mishmash that is Shogun's Assassin solely owes its existence to a lazy subtitle averse American public - it's a damn shame prints of this hackjob still exists. Robert Houston, who oversaw the editing, will forever be synonymous with the raping of Lone Wolf and Cub.
It was an official check...

But seriously, Shogun Assassin has a strong cult status which made me interested in watching it. I can understand why fans of the Lone Wolf series could feel that it's a travesty, but I don't really really care if it's not as artistically ambitious as the original films, it was good entertainment and that was good enough for me. Granted, it's highly probable that I wouldn't have liked it as much as I did if I had seen Baby Cart at the River Styx before this, but I think it's irrelevant. And I don't understand the reason to be angry because the film's existence - isn't it better that many people saw even a "butchered" version of the film than nothing? And probably at least some who liked Shogun Assassin later found out about and saw the original films, so isn't it a good thing that it was made? Of course you could say that they could have just released the original films in the U.S., but the cold fact is that it could have been more difficult to sell to audiences, although I don't know the details about why they decided to make the edit.

Anyway, watching Shogun Assassin made me rise the priority of the Lone Wolf films on my watchlist, so I'll probably get to them soon enough and then write something about them too.

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#25

Post by Kowry » May 26th, 2012, 4:22 pm

Il mercenario (1968) (aka The Mercenary aka A Professional Gun)
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It's very hard not to note the similarities between this and Corbucci's later Companeros (1970). Both have Franco Nero as the morally ambiguous protagonist who's fast with his gun, Jack Palance as the bad guy, Morricone's score, both take place during the Mexican revolution. Also Tony Musan's character, a slightly comical revolutionary, with whom Nero's character has a relationship bordering between friendly and hostile, is very similar with Tomas Milian's in the other film. A little odd that this was made just some months before Il grande silenzio, which is the darkest in tone of Corbucci's films that I have seen.

But, the striking similarities between the two films didn't really bother me. Nero is very good again (maybe not as great as in Companeros, though), Palance is perfect at playing bad guys and Musan isn't bad either; I think I liked him a bit more than Milian. Giovanna Ralli isn't bad as the only significant female character (and she's pretty too, although Iris Berben in Companeros was more my type...), although her character is (unsurprisingly) not as interesting as the male actors'. So, as expected, there is plenty of firing, explosions, betrayal, all of that spaghetti western stuff. It's very well done,and there are some really great scenes (a very well executed duel scene, for example), but I couldn't love this film as much as I wanted to. There are perhaps a couple of typical western cliches too many and some problems with the plot, which could be a bit more tightly paced. And I can't blame Morricone for the score, but after hearing several of his western scores the similarity between most of them tends to get borderline-irritating. But still, a very good spaghetti western. Pretty much on par with Companeros, so I give the same rating: strong 7/10.
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#26

Post by Kowry » May 26th, 2012, 11:51 pm

White Zombie (1932)
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Been meaning to see this for some time now, finally got around to it. I have a soft spot from early horror films with sound and this was an enjoyable one. Very silly, especially towards the end, which didn't really come as a surprise. Lugosi spends a lot of time staring hypnotically at the camera, like he did in Dracula. But he's charismatic here as always and has some great campy lines. The acting is clunky, editing somewhat weird etc, but it's pretty atmospheric and fun most of the time, some very effective scenes, a couple of them kinda gruesome for the time. Some nice expressionistic touches. And yeah, the quality of the rip wasn't exactly top-notch but didn't bother me much. 6/10
Last edited by Kowry on May 27th, 2012, 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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