Friday, December 30, 2011

Il grande silenzio (The Great Silence) by Sergio Corbucci

When speaking of Corbucci, the first thing that comes to most people's minds is Django, famous spaghetti western, staring Franco Nero. This film is a lot like Django. Well, in a way all of Corbucci's westerns are alike. There is a central figure, Franco Nero, and there are the bad guys that need to get asskicked, and good guys that need help. Now, that is just basic knowlege when it comes to spaghetti subgenre. What happens inbetween is what matters.
The main difference between classic American westerns and Italian "spaghetti" westerns is the fact that Italian films spoke more freely about political stuff, what American directors didn't even think about doing. They were too general when speaking of it, while Italians didn't really have a good reason to hide all of that. They just let it flow through their films. In this case, it's not a typical spaghetti western. They're usually set in remote parts of the west, desert-like plains, with small towns, saloons.... This is a genuine snow western. Here, riders fight the snow rush and not the heat. A new gunman is in town. He doesn't speak, he just kills. He's filled with anger and is in pursuit of vengeance. Who is he against? Why? What's everyones agenda? Well, that's the only thing you can actually spoil in these films, so I'll skip that part. If you've seen one spaghetti western and you're used to the general voice over thing, you won't mind. Some of the actors spoke english, but were still voiceovered. It doesn't sound perfect, but it's something that makes those films unique. Feel free to also check out Django, if you already haven't.
One can hardly call this film ingenius or Corbucci a master, but it's still quite entertaining. If you enjoy seeing one Italian western, you'll easily enjoy them all, including this one. I was talking about political things in Italian westerns, but don't think that this is a political thriller with deep message and stuff like that. It's just a western, made Italian way. Check it out!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Shock Corridor by Samuel Fuller

Guess I'm gonna stick around in some older films that didn't get the attention they deserved when they came out. The same can be said for Samuel Fuller, who is probably one of the most underrated filmmakers in American history. Why were his films widely ignored, it's puzzle to me, but the quality of his work speaks for itself and this "film giant" doesn't require much to be said about him, because all you need to know is in his work. You probably won't find his name in infamous top 10 lists, neither in those that declare themselves official, or those that just spawn on youtube, and get 90% dislikes.
Enough about the filmmaker, let me focus for a while on what this great film has to show. This film was really unusual for its time. Scenes in it were never before seen in such maner. People were truely schocked, but that was the directors intention from the very beginning. It's a story about an ambicious reporter, who goes through a lot of shameful effort to get inside of a mental hospital in order to solve a crime. Film is generally about what he finds there and how he handles it. Schock Corridor is a hallway of that mental institution, where some of the scenes take place. I really don't wanna spoil it for anyone, so I'll stop here. I'm just going to say that this film makes "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" seem... can't find a proper word so I'll just stick with "bad". Why is that the case? Watch this great film to find out. Just becaus you can't find Fuller in top 10 lists doesn't mean that his work is any worse than the work of  "top10ers". Fuller's writing and directing is flawless. This cannot be said for many filmmakers or films, but in this case I can say it without feeling one tiny bit of a doubt. Sure, many films were made after this one, with scenes more explicit and more painful to watch, but none of them do it with taste. Do your filmself a favor and introduce your self to a wonderful world of Sam Fuller's films (yes, feel free to watch others as well) and see what you've been missing on because somebody somewhere doesn't want you to see this film.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

In Cold Blood by Richard Brooks

Ok, back to history. Haven't really seen that many 2011. flicks worth watching, so brace your selves for a trip in the past (yay!). In Cold Blood is an interesting movie, because it speaks of something that was a taboo back then. It focuses on death penalty, and a background to a crime that shook America. Most of the Americans back then were all for hanging those two guys high. This film, however, is focused on what Truman Capote found out, and then wrote in a book, about two criminals awaiting a death penalty. There isn't much to say about this film without spoiling it hard. My advice is, don't watch the remake, and even if you feel like watching the film "Capote", you should see this one first. This film did in no way deserve to be remade. The directing, acting and writing were pretty much perfect for this kind of a film. The main problem with it was the fact that people thought of it all wrong. America wanted to keep an illusion of a perfect justice system, when in fact it really wasn't (not saying it is now). This film is interesting to see as a history film and as a thriller with a number of interesting characters and a unique way of presenting the characters and a story. Might not blow you away, but it surely blew me away. Don't miss it!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Limitless by Neil Burger

I seriously have no idea why is Bobbie de Niro doing these things to himself. I mean, it's not like he's an uprising star, or well... young at all. He's somebody who shouldn't allow himself to be playing in shitty movies. He made himself a name, he's well respected among actors, directors and viewers; some even consider him to be the best actor ever. He should be really only working on scripts that he considers worthy, not on every goddamn script he gets his hands on... But I guess it's his life and he can do whatever he wants with it. His role in this film is quite minor. It could have been played by pretty much any older fella. This intro was only partly related to this film, seeing him in yet another movie, where he's a side roll, just made me think about his other roles in the past few years. Some of them make me feel sick. Really.
Well, let's start with the film, shall we. I tend to attach to a certain subjest even thogh they have nothing or not much to do with the subject. Hope you don't mind. Anyway, this is a blog about films that are worth watching, and that's the way it is with this film as well. I'm not really impressed with what this film has to show, but as it was the case with my previous review, I consider this film to be a refreshing experience, being that this film year is filled with epic rubbish. Basicly, it's a film about a drug that makes one's brain work a hell of a lot faster and whatnot. The main character is a writer in crisis. Again, the writers want us, the watchers to relate to the main character. It may work on you, but it doesn't have to be that way. After taking the drug, Eddie Morra's life changes in every way. He can only think about one thing: gettin more of it. Now, i've read many reviews after watching the film, and I keep running into people who disagree with what he should have done after using the drug. Well, I didn't really mind. The film is interesting just the way it is. What it may lack is deepness, but it's generally a film that should be entertaining and not much more than that. Even though the film isn't that deep, the script is well written, without many flaws. There is just about enough of everything that this kind of film needs. Directing is pretty good. I can't really say there are any major flaws. Considering what this film year is like, this film should be nominated for the golden statue. Not even joking. Acting is ... fair. De Niro is somebody who could have been replaced by... even a kid playing an older man and I don't think anyone would mind. Other characters, including the main character, are well played by people who obviously know what they're doing. Now, many people talk about plot holes and base their negative opinion of this movie on those flaws. In my opinion, one can easily ignore those holes if they just let the movie entertain them. If they look for a meanin of life in it, they won't be able to find it. Hell, they won't even be able to find it in a lot better films. Or books. Or... anywhere.
If you're looking for a film that will entertain your afternoon, go for this one. You'll hardly be impressed, but it's still a better way to spend your afternoon than watching yet another "action" film with Justin Timberlake in it. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

50/50 by Jonathan Levine

I'll try to focus more on newer movies from now on. It probably won't last because most of the newcoming films are pure rubbish. Reviews are also bound to get shorter. Hope you don't mind.
Just by looking at the movie poster, one can see that this is no ordinary Hollywood comedy. Well, it doesn't have Jennifer Aniston on it, so that's a start. Before I start getting into what this movie is about, I have to say that it didn't really impress me, but I still think that it's worth watching. We just don't get that many good comedies, or movies in global nowdays, so this is kind of refreshing.
This movie is about a regular-everyday-guy ('bet you didn't see much of that, huh) who finds out, at the age of 28, that he has cancer. Now, I know that this sounds more like a tragedy than a comedy, but the very adaptation of the subject into the world of comedy is what makes this film good. The main character (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or the-other-guy-from-Ineption-who-isn't-Leo) strugles to fight the disease with help from his best friend (Seth Rogen's character) and his girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard). Most of the other characters in the movie help him deal with it as well. Now, you'll probably see many of the events coming, but it's what happens inbetween that really matters in this film. You'll catch your self laughing, even though it's a film about cancer. The dialigues are well written, as well as intelligent. The direction is... fair, just as good as this kind of film requires. It isn't flawless, but as I said, in a film like this one doesn't even need perfect directing. When it comes to acting, there isn't much to complain about.  Seth is still Seth, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is well convincing in his role, in fact, in a year such as this one, he deserves a place among Oscar nominees. I'm not even joking. Rest of the cast is also pretty good at what their role is. Can't really point my finger in any direction with complains.
Ok, time to sum. If you're sick of seeing same old rubbish getting recycled over and over on the big screen, you should definitely watch this film. As I said earlier, it probably won't take your breath away, but it'll make your evening/morning/afternoon (whatever you guys prefer, I like my movies just before I go to sleep) entertaining. It might make you think about life, cancer, love (...), but at least you'll view it from the bright side after watching this film. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fistful of Dynamite (Giù la testa) by Sergio Leone

This must be one of the most underrated Leone's films. At one point, Leone wasn't even to direct this film. After Once Upon a Time in The West was released, Leone said that he wouldn't direct another western. The original plan was for Peter Bogdanovich to direct it, but he gave up, aparently, because of the lack of control of the project. Might have been just an ego clash between him and Leone. The next on the list was Sam Peckinpah, but he was turned down for financial reasons by United Artists. Then, it was to be directed by Leone's regular assistant director, Giancarlo Santi. After 10 days of production, James Coburn and Rod Steiger refused to play their roles unless Leone directs the rest of it. Their motiv might have been the fact that the movie went from being big, to being directed by an assistant director. Anyway, Leone agreed and the production was continued. The first choice for the main role was Jason Robards, but the studio wanted a bigger name, so James Coburn was casted. Some say that Leone wanted Clint Eastwood for that role, but Eastwood had projects of his own going on. The same happened with the Juan Miranda's character. It was written for the Eastwood's co-star from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Eli Wallach, but he was casted for another movie. Leone insisted, and after a while Wallach dropped out of his project to work on the newest Leone's film, only to get turned down by the studio. There are even rumors that Wallach sued Leone after that. In the end, Rod Steiger was casted as a "bigger name". This film was shot in Andalusia, Spain, as well as previous Leone's films.
The story of the film is set in Mexico, 1913. in the time of the revolution. Leone's approach was to show his views of the revolution in global. It is considered by some to be an anti-revolutionary film. Though, many of those people can't say they disagree with what the film shows. Leone was, obviously, inspired (frustrated, if you may)  by the suffering of his own people in Italy. The cave scene (I'll say no more) is related to simular event in Italy. Rod Steiger's character is a Mexican outlaw, "working" the roads with his family. Through this character, Leone wanted to show the importance of the family values. James Coburn's John H Mallory was an Irish revolutionary, expert with the explosives. The life doesn't get any easier for the two of them, after they meet. They get stuck inside of a revolution that neither of them wants to be in. As much as they defer, they are very much alike. Juan is in pursuit of the great wealth, while John (Sean) had his belief in the revolution. I'm trying not to spoil anything, it's best to see how that happens on the screen.
This might not be the best Leone's film, but surely the most underrated one. Many people complain about the flashbacks, and unnatural Steiger's performance. I've also figured that many people don't even understand those flashbacks. Steiger's performance wasn't perfect, but Leone wanted his act to be just like that. At first, Steiger was too serious, but Leone didn't want 2 serious characters in the spotlight, so he suggested to make Juan funnier. A lot of the humor in the film comes from improvisation on the set, being that the original script didn't have much humor in it. In the end, it's a movie well worth watching. If you're Leone's fan, you'll love it. If not, maybe this is the very film that will make you admire Leone's work.


Monday, December 5, 2011

First ever post

Ok, this is my first blog post. This doesn't have to mean anything, really. Swimming in a sea full of bloggers doesn't really put me in a good position to make myself your favorite film blogger, but I'll give it my best. In short, I'll be reviewing films that are worth watching, not giving them marks, because I think that's kind of dumb. If you don't like the movie from what I'm going to write in review, you're not gonna like it if I give it 5/5 *, so I hope that's clear and you agree with me on it. Anyways, if you're reading this, all I can say is, I hope you stick around.