My Spaghetti Western Journey....and Recommendations?

(ENNIOO) #22

Yes some average films are entertaining for me (say 6 on the list), others are more on the boring side (say 5 on the list).

(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #23

Everybody has a different rating system or criteria for films. Mine goes a little something like this:

  1. One of my top 20 favorite films of all time, near flawless masterpiece
  2. One of my top 20 favorite films of all time in a particular genre
  3. I love the film, despite minor flaws, I am a fan of this film and would by the dvd in a heartbeat.
  4. I like the film, but its flaws keep me from loving. I might or might not by the dvd.
  5. Average film. I liked the film in spots, but too many flaws for me to like it completely.
  6. Dud with no redeeming qualities.
    Anything below 5. I not only dislike the film, but I hate it or find it offensive.

Fender, your taste is somewhat similar to mine, I would recommend Today we kill, tommorow we Die, Stranger’s gundown, Pistol for Ringo, And God Said to Cain, No Room to Die, Garringo, They Call Him Cemetery, MY Name is nobody, Stranger Returns

(Stanton) #24

[quote=“Col. Douglas Mortimer, post:23, topic:2887”]Everybody has a different rating system or criteria for films. Mine goes a little something like this:

  1. One of my top 20 favorite films of all time, near flawless masterpiece
  2. One of my top 20 favorite films of all time in a particular genre
  3. I love the film, despite minor flaws, I am a fan of this film and would by the dvd in a heartbeat.
  4. I like the film, but its flaws keep me from liking. I might or might not by the dvd.
  5. Average film. I liked the film in spots, but too many flaws for me to like it completely.
  6. Dud with no redeeming qualities.
    Anything below 5. I not only dislike the film, but I hate it or find it offensive.[/quote]

Another system where you have only 2 ratings (7 and 8 ) for all the good films, and I hope there are many, but 4 ratings (or even 5 if you include 0) for films you hate. Not very useful imo.

(Fendersrule) #25

Using an equally balanced scale is key; whichever method one uses.

For example, if one assumes that movies are like most phenomenon in life, then you assume that is should follow a normalized distribution, which just means that there’s an equalized spread of quality. You have just as many “excellent” films in the genre as you do “terrible” films in the genre. In this case, 5 is the midpoint, and it simply means “middle” or “mediocre.” It’s a movie that’s defined as “it’s not good, but it’s not bad.” Something that just hangs in limbo, so to speak. I like the idea of “average, insufficient” because it gets at the same emotion one felts when using an equalized distribution. It simply means you’re probably not going to watch it again. It didn’t entertain enough to create a memorable experience. But it was passable…it kept you sitting down.

Some more reading on this statistical concept:

Whichever scale one uses, you must be sure that it has:

  • Equal scaling. For example:

[quote=“Col. Douglas Mortimer, post:23, topic:2887”]10. One of my top 20 favorite films of all time, near flawless masterpiece
9. One of my top 20 favorite films of all time in a particular genre
8. I love the film, despite minor flaws, I am a fan of this film and would by the dvd in a heartbeat.
7. I like the film, but its flaws keep me from liking. I might or might not by the dvd.
6. Average film. I liked the film in spots, but too many flaws for me to like it completely.
5. Dud with no redeeming qualities.
Anything below 5. I not only dislike the film, but I hate it or find it offensive.[/quote]

does not have equal scaling. This reminds me of an educational scale, whereas everything below 70% is a disaster, and there’s literally no difference between “30%” and “40%.” These who use this are more likely to visit IMDB, and see a “5.0/10” and think that it’s a “terrible” movie, when in fact, it’s an average movie. IMDB uses an equalized scale, because the ratings seem to make sense more times than not, even though people may be using it like Mortimer above. It all balances out in the end.

  • Your scale shouldn’t exhibit ceiling or floor effects.

If Once Upon a Time in the West gets a 10, you’re saying that it’s basically untouchable…a masterpiece…the best of the best. That means, if you watch something later that really excites you, that doesn’t mean you should rate it a 10 unless you’re absolutely sure. Basically what I’m saying, is that not everything gets a 10. You’re ratings should be comparative to each-other. If you rate everything a 10 (ceiling effect), how can I tell the difference between which of your “10” movies that you like better? Floor effects is the opposite. You watch a movie that you think is terrible and rate it a “1,” even though it may not be THAT bad.

How people rate movies is an entirely different discussion. This is something we all do differently, and this is the diversity of human nature. I rate a spaghetti western completely different than I would rate…a horror film, or a sci-fi film. With that said, we should all be using scales correctly, as mentioned above.

Anyhow, away from metrics.

Thanks so much for the recommendations Mortimer and Silence. Nothing else excites me as much to read tailored recommendations. I will add those movies to the list, and begin researching how I can obtain them.

You’ve reminded me–I’ve seen My Name is Nobody twice. I really like that movie, as it’s MUCH different than the trinity films. It’s silly, but it’s also serious, tells a fantastic story at the end (the twist caught me off-guard), has a memorable but yet quirky soundtrack, and has a continuation of “frank” played by Henry Fonda. It has the duels, and some comedy that’s actually funny. It’s everything I want, just with slapstick added.

I did not like the first trinity movie. I thought it was very dry…boring…empty. Much like how Enzo’s first film = The Unholy Four. I need to add these three films to my list…must have forgot. The Unholy Four for me would tank pretty hard, though I actually like some minor things about it…one being Woody Strode.

I’ll continue to report back in this thread with longer and longer lists. I would be happy to add opinions or comments to the movie sections if there needs more diversified opinions there.

(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #26

I rate movies the way a teacher would grade an academic paper. So of course most of the films will fall under either 6 or 7. 6 Would be a C while 7 would be a B. While only a small amount of truly exceptional films are rated 8 and above while a small minority of the films I watch are actually shitty enough to be rated below 5. Stanton, any measurement will tend to follow the bell curve distribution. You will likely get a similar distribution breakdown of marks in any University classroom, or even when measuring people’s heights. Most adult males would fall within a narrow height range, lets say 5-6 to 6.0, just a few inches, while a few exceptionally tall people will be 7 feet tall while you have a small minority of dwarfs who may range from 2 feet tall to 5 feet, while a few giants have managed to break the 8 feet barrier, which is a whole 12 inches above 7? So yes, the average range of course will have a narrower range than the extremes, yet the bulk of the ratings will tend to fall under that small range. So it is a system that I’ve been using very effectively.

I tend to use 6 as an average with everything above being above average and everything below, below average. Fender, It is not a balanced scale for sure, but and there may not be much difference between a 3 and a 4. But 5 would be pass, anything below is a failing grade. Some may fail by alot, some by little, just like in real life. So yes, the the word average does carry a negative conotation. A student with an average grade will pass the course, who’s ability is at least adequate, but will not qualify for honours or get into a graduate program. So yes a movie that scores 5 I still consider to be a dud, but it is still a pass, all the work has been put in and its adequate, but there are no high qualities to speak of and this is under the assumption that most films will have a degree of competency, if not excellency. So to make a correction to Fender, imdb the median is actually 5.5, since you cannot rate lower than 1, however the mean rating across the board happens to be somewhere in the 6s, so that the mean is actually higher than the median, which is correct and this is how I rate it because most films will tend to pass but still be average.

Fender, I agree that of course only the small cream of the crop should actually get a 10 and not exhibit floor ceiling effects. And that is why the bulk of the films that I rate fall into the narrow range of 6-7. And as I stated before, I have only rated about 20 films or so, out of the hundreds that I have seen a 10. I am certainly not one of those voters who only give either 1 or 10. I also tend to avoid films that I know I’m not going to like, if I did not do this, perhaps the number of 1-4s will increase astronomically. You bring up a good point on how to tell whether I would like one 10 better than another 10 and how do I tell the difference. Well, a professor grading a paper would give an A+ to exceptional work, and would be operating under the assumption that it is more or less the equal to another A+ paper. He may like one slightly more than the other, but they are both A+ and on the same “level” so to speak. So my rating system will not have equal scaling, but thats the way I like it because I know that in the academic world, the difference between a 9 and a 10 and a 1 and a 2 are equal numerically, but not necessarily subjectively, so my rating system is actually more in tune to the imdb formula than you might think.

Edit: Fender, maybe you should go to school more.

(Fendersrule) #27

Stranger’s Gundown:

It’s a bit juvenile at times. The engagement of its plot weaves itself back and forth. Marcia Lucas could give this a tweak in the editing department. :slight_smile: Direction executes but never rises to anything notable. Soundtrack is great, but a remix is needed (and a release). Cinematography is at times, stellar. Characters are really good; the Eastwood resemblance is great. The action numbly satisfies. It’s a bit creepy at times with its approach, too. This should satisfy any s.w. fan that want the basic ingredients, but not expecting anything outstanding. Stranger is a solid character in the genre, and this is a solid entry. I’ll take this over any of the Zapatas (except Mercenary). The real problem I’d say is with the editing (shorten some things down, etc), not allowing for good character arcs to shine through (villains included), and creating better character writing for villains. The first 7 minutes were amazing and had me pumped, but then it turned more into an average-above-average film. You don’t find out Django’s motives until about 45 minutes into the movie. Don’t expect the plot to really carry you through to any degree until this point.

I suppose some people even talk about the supernatural element–whether Django is real or not. I didn’t really catch much of anything like this to ponder or wonder about in this movie. Maybe I’ll catch more during a second viewing. To me, it was a simple straight forward revenge tale, spiced with elements of greed and betrayal with some characters along the way. I suppose I’m now starting to wonder a little bit-- Django certainly had some teleportation abilities. It could be possible that he is indeed supernatural.

Glad to have it in the collection. Wouldn’t go as far as to recommend it to my dad. Not in a hurry to see it again but I’d say a solid above average. A good recommendation. Another one tonight!

(JonathanCorbett) #28

E Dio disse a Caino/And God Said to Cain
Sentenza di morte/Death Sentence
Per 100.000 dollari t’ammazzo/Vengeance Is Mine
Lo voglio morto/I Want Him Dead
Quei disperati che puzzano di sudore e di morte/A Bullet for Sandoval
The Bounty Killer
La taglia è tua, l’uomo lo ammazzo io/El Puro
Indio Black, sai che ti dico: sei un gran figlio di…/Adios Sabata
Ognuno per sè/The Ruthless Four
Anda muchacho spara/Dead Men Ride
Una nuvola di polvere… un grido di morte… arriva Sartana/Light the Fuse… Sartana Is Coming
I vigliacchi non pregano/Cowards Don’t Pray
Mille dollari sul nero/Blood at Sundown
Dio non paga il sabato/Kill the Wickeds
E per tetto un cielo di stelle/And For a Roof a Sky Full of Stars
La collina degli stivali/Boot Hill
John il bastardo/John the Bastard
Buon funerale amigos, paga Sartana/Have a Good Funeral, My Friend… Sartana Will Pay
Per pochi dollari ancora/Fort Yuma Gold
Johnny Yuma
Un dollaro bucato/One Silver Dollar

(Mickey13) #29

Corbett’s list is great, but you can check those movies out as well:

Shoot the living and pray for the dead (quite controversial movie - extremely slow pace, a tension-driven film.)
Machine Gun Killers (more thriller than western. It has its flaws, really love it though - besides it’s on Tarantino’s Top 20. You can try this)
Requiem para el gringo (has flaws, particularly technical, but very enjoyable IMO)
Stranger in town (Tony Anthony stuff. Simple, violent and very powerful)
10.000 dollari per un massacro (Story is quite predictable, however, I like really an atmosphere in this one)
A taste of death
Dirty Outlaws
Today it’s me… tomorrow it’s you!
One after another (an another western with thriller-like atmosphere)
One more to hell
Viva Django (Preparati la bara!)
No room to die

If you watch all of the movies on list of JonathanCorbett, you may watch these flicks.

(Yodlaf Peterson) #30

[quote=“Fendersrule, post:1, topic:2887”]The next movie I watched was Once Upon a Time in the West. I consider that not only the greatest western ever made, but one of the greatest films ever made.[/quote]Same here, my favourite film of all time.

(Fendersrule) #31

Well, I watched Face to Face. Don’t know how much in detail you want of my thoughts. Without it turning into a review, it basically surpassed some expectations, but it also didn’t meet some. I wouldn’t call it a mixed bag, because what I would call it, is a good, if not great spaghetti western. It’s not going to bounce into my top 10, but probably in the 11-20 range. I’m glad to have it, and I’ll definitely want to watch it again in the future. Here’s just some quick thoughts:

*The lack of the soundtrack execution is mind-baffling. This movie has a fantastic soundtrack in parts, and if it could have just orchestrated some scenes more, if would have been much better. I read somewhere of a reviewer saying the same thing. Basically, when you watch The Forgotten Pistolero, the very first 5 minutes shows you that it can orchestrate the visuals and the scoring. This is really a must for me.

*The ending is lacking. What should have turned out like an epic duel (FFOD, GBTU, OUATITW, Big Gundown, etc) turned out to be quite a quick kill-off once the three men (including the pinkerton) met together. I’ve also read the same complaint from other reviews.

  • Millan was actually, pretty damned good. Easily his best role. I even laughed when he was dancing. His wig was pretty funny, though nothing beats Burt Reynold’s wig in Navajo Joe.

  • The characters were great. I loved the ying-yang transformation. The characters suited each-other because they both had huge weaknesses. I loved the philosophical subtext, too.

  • With that said, I’m still trying to gather what exactly the hell happened plot-wise. I mean, who were the pinkertons working for? The group of people that they ended up with are some sort of ousted outlaws or something? Who exactly did Millian want to rescue from the jail before they decided to rob the bank (which was a nice trap set from the pinkerton). I have a few more questions that are not relating to the excellent transformation of the characters (which is what all the reviews talk about), but more basic questions that have to do with the plot surrounding, that no one really talks about. Maybe I care about it too much, but I’m just a little confused. Maybe these questions will neutralize after a second viewing.

  • I like The Big Gundown more, quite a bit, because it has more of the things I’m looking for. But Face to Face is easily the second. I don’t care to ever see Run Man Run again.

That’s about it!

(Fendersrule) #32

Django Shoots First is actually, pretty satisfying. People label it average, but it’s a good kind of average. It has literally zero lip syncing issues, tells the story in a straight forward fashion, has a decent soundtrack (that has been released and remastered), and has some pretty good action scenes. Yes, it has some flaws with choreography, but I would definitely recommend this one. It entertained just as much as Face to Face did, though I know it’s probably not as good as Face to Face. That says something, doesn’t it?

(Fendersrule) #33

So glad that I created this thread. Took a little break, and now I’m getting back into it. I’ve re-watched most of my favorites a couple times since.

Rewatched all of the Van Cleef ones recently (Big Gundown, Day of Anger, and Death Rides a Horse) on Blu-ray. It’s really hard to say one is better than the others as they all three have some pretty notable things about them that makes them all special in some regard. Big Gundown for me was the weakest as far as the story is concerned, but it just has such an epic soundtrack and awesome duel visuals that makes it one of the best and most memorable. Death Rides a Horse was just as awesome for me in HD as the first time I watched it, not a lot of epic duels, but it makes up for it with some of the best one-liners…and the awesome shooting range scene. Day of Anger was also pretty good–mainly the story being the highlight.

I also re-watched Forgotten Pistolero. I really don’t think that movie gets the love it deserves. The soundtrack is incredible, and I think the story has just enough complexity that it leaves you wondering about things.

Any new ones that I haven’t seen that I would like that have been released on Blu-ray yet?

(Nick) #34

You know what I’d suggest is watching some of the little known pieces. Try and find these and watch em’ if you haven’t seen them already:

Yankee, 1966
Massacre Time, 1966
They Call Me Halleujah, 1971
Long Live Your Death, 1971
Johnny Hamlet, 1968
10,000 Dollars For a Massacre, 1967
Face to Face, 1967
El Puro, 1969
Taste of Vengeance, 1967
and definitely check out Death Sentence, 1968.

Most of these can be found either on DVD or Amazon Video, so they aren’t super HQ blu-ray. But they’re well crafted and engaging films and give you some new respect for the genre.

Of course if you’ve already seen all of these, then may I suggest diving into the wonderful world of Fidani? :grinning:

(Asa) #35,_un_Colt/BluRay