I liked the The Cowboys up until that big moment in the last 3rd… then the aftermath of that pretty much ruined the whole movie for me.
^My take on Pale Rider, it sucks…plain and simple.
I didn’t have high hopes for this due to the fact that the original 1973 version film is such a classic and remains to be one of my favourite Steve McQeen movies to this day, but this remake actually turned out to be a decent film in it’s own right. 5.5/10
I liked Pale Rider with the not so usual back then ecologic agenda, was kind of a warm up for Unforgiven.
He did some great films in the 80’s Bird, Heartbreak Ridge, White Hunter Black Heart
I like Pale Rider because I just am a sucker for a priest with guns… what can I say… I’m a simple man
I prefer a Nun with guns
I like Pale Rider better than his other westerns, I just like the idea of the movie and the religious symbolism behind it enough to overlook its flaws. Maybe High Plains Drifter is his best directed western, but even that movie has serious flaws. I don’t like Josey Wales or Unforgiven very much. Overall Clint is not such as a great director. He had a great screen presence when he was young, and directors like Sergio Leone and Don Siegel knew how to use this to perfection. There’s no way that as a director or film maker he’s on the same level.
I also like the religious symbolism and always have an appreciation for these kinds of films. All of Clint’s own westerns fall short, I agree. But I also can enjoy them all enough for repeated viewings. Josey Wales has some great moments and scenery. Unforgiven I love the ending and the build up gives it the oomph, but the rest of the film is a bit tiresome.
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is in my top three movies, period, and it was almost directed by Eastwood but I wonder if it would have been as good if it had been directed by Eastwood and not Cimino. That said, none of Cimino’s other movies make it into my top 50 but at least one Eastwood directed movie would, but he was also in it, which is a bonus.
I think he has too much controll over his movies. Most of them have good ideas, often great individual scenes but usually there are also bad or superfluous scenes that give you the idea that you’re looking at at a rough cut that still needs some editing.
I read recently that he fired his long time editor, Ferris Webster, who’d cut all his films from ‘Joe Kid’ to ‘Honkytonk Man’ … perhaps Ferris made the career mistake (not artistic) of speaking up to the ‘actor, director, producer’ ??? Perhaps that explains, partially, for the dip in quality.
PS: Forgot to include ‘composer’ … that’s a laugh!
Clint’s US-westerns never brought the snappy energy of Rawhide’s Rowdy Yates. It seems like he left his US-western viability on the small-screen.
Last night’s viewing was: Lucio Fulci’s Cat In The Brain - Grindhouse bluray release
Hadn’t watched this one since I purchased the previous Grindhouse DVD, and back then I actually didn’t think much of the film. I was big Fulci fan at the time, but found the movie to be a boring collection of scenes from movies I’d rather watch instead, such as Touch of Death, which has been a favorite since first viewing. I never understood why Touch of Death doesn’t get the attention given to Cat In The Brain.
But this time around I found a new appreciation in seeing Fulci play himself, going crazy with lots of humor, and a very nice flannel shirt. I guess that before I was too distracted by the cut up job to really take in how great this was.
I still have the same complaint though - while the spliced in scenes from other films works and makes sense in the narrative, the scenes just go on for much too long and become tiresome to sit through. The film is very enjoyable when watching Fulci play his part, but then another movie scene comes in & its time to wait it out again. If these scenes would have been shaved down just a bit, Cat In The Brain could have been much, much better as a whole.
Lately I’ve been enjoying watching films with commentary tracks while working, and was disappointed to see no commentary on this release. Surprising for a Grindhouse release packed with stuff like this. These days I don’t really care much for most interviews as the people don’t have much to say other than praise they basically invented on the spot or such stuff, but a good commentary track can provide a lot of insight.
Followed up with another Fulci viewing: The New York Ripper - Blue Underground blu ray
This makes the third viewing since I bought the blu, and the last time I remember being bored with it and having trouble getting past the stupid duck voice. This time was not much different - constantly checking the runtime and just really waiting it out. There are a couple really great scenes such as a few creative usages of first person viewpoint, and the showgirl in her dark room which is lit in bright green, one of the coolest lit scenes in this genre. Unfortunately its in a film I won’t have much urge to revisit, and I think this will be one of the movies I sell out as I trim my collection up.
Arizal’s American Hunter (aka. Lethal Hunter) (1989) + Final Score (1986) - Had never heard of the Indonesian action director before but came across his film American Hunter & was instantly looking for more of his work. Very low budget but plenty of action, and no wasting time on trying to be anything its not. I’ve got a couple more Arizal films to watch (The Stabilizer and Double Crosser) and he has quite a list of films under his name.
Had to watch the trailer to figure out how they would have edited this stunt together. It looks like he throttles it from a stationary position inside the helicopter with the blades slowly moving.
Yeah that is pretty much the full scene. There’s a couple small shots cut out but that’s all of the actual stunt. You can tell by the position of the bike that its just being jumped out of the helicopter rather than jumping through it.
If you like these kinds of action films with funny dialogue then I’d recommend looking these up.
Last 20. Most of them already mentioned in spagvember topic:
- Lenzi: A Pistol for Hundred Coffins 5/10
- Garrone: No Graves on Boot Hill 5/10
- Caiano: A Coffin for the Sheriff 6/10
- Castellari: Keoma 10/10
- Welles: The Other Side of the Wind 10/10
- Hedman: In the Sign of the Taurus 7/10
- Girolami: Reverend Colt 4/10
- Neville: They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead (D) 7/10
- Baldi: Django Get the Coffin Ready 7/10
- Civirani: Son of Django 3/10
- Carpenter: Prince of Darkness 7/10
- Florio: Dead Men Ride 8/10
- Kurosawa: Hidden Fortress 8/10
- Baldi: Comin’at ya! 4/10
- Margheriti: And God Said to Cain 7/10
- Ippolito: Arrapaho 2/10
- Wise: The Body Snathcer 6/10
- Ricci: Kid, Terror of the West 1/10
- Allen: Curse of the Jade Scorpion 7/10
- Zurli: Man Called Amen 5/10
Last couple of weeks outside of SpagvemberFest:
The Nun (Hardy, 2018)
Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
BlacKkKlansman (Lee, 2018)
The Witch in the Window (Mitton, 2018)
Incredibles 2 (Bird, 2018)
Original Gangstas (1996) Larry Cohen
Larry Cohen wrote:
Years passed after we did Black Caesar and Hell Up In Harlem. I always stayed friendly with Fred. The pictures went into profits, so I was constantly sending him checks over the years for his share of the profits. So we got along fine, because I don’t think he ever got any profits from anybody else. People ordinarily don’t get profits from movies, but with this one he did very well. So as time went on, we remained cordial. Then I got a call from Fred out of the blue, saying he wanted to make a picture up in Gary, Indiana about a bunch ex-gang members who return to Gary and find themselves facing the new gangs that have sprung up, which are much more violent and deadly than his gang ever was when he was a kid. So he’d already had a script written on it, he had a screenplay, and he wanted me to direct the picture. So that was how it came about, and the reason why he picked Gary is because that’s the town where he grew up. He came from Gary, and his mother still lived in Gary. He was never able to get her to move out of there. She’d had her house there in Gary, and she’d lived there all her life, and she wasn’t about to move — even though the area was terrible. There was rampant unemployment. There wasn’t even a bank where you could cash a check. You had to go to a check-cashing store and pay an exorbitant fee. And everybody was locked behind glass, and to get into the place you’d have get through a buzzer system. I mean, there were so many burglaries and so many robberies. It was such a crime ridden area, and everything was ruled by gangs. The murder rate was probably the highest in the United States, and maybe it was the highest in the world at that time. That was before Mexico came in and claimed that title.
There was a lot of violence down there, and when Fred told me he wanted to shoot the picture in Gary, I had my second thoughts about it. I said, “I don’t mind making a movie like this, but to shoot it in a gang capital — who knows who’s gonna get angry at you? You know, people can lose their temper very easily, and they have very violent reactions out there.” Well, we were gonna use real gang members in the picture playing members of the gang, use real gang people on the crew, and provide some employment for the people down there. So I said, “This is great, let’s go down and have a look at it.” So we went down and checked out Gary, and it was very run down and depressing. But it fit the movie, and Fred was adamant about shooting it there. So I said to him, “Look, I’ll do it.” But I really didn’t think he’d ever come up with the money to make the picture. I didn’t expect it would really happen. Many deals like this are proposed, and very few of them come true. But lo and behold, he showed up with the money, and said he had the funds to make the picture. And I couldn’t back out of it. I didn’t want him to lose the deal, so I just went ahead with it, and we went down there and shot the picture.
Unfortunately, we got down there in the summer, and it was extremely hot. I mean, the average temperature was 100 degrees, so it was murder down there, and naturally everything was just desolate. There were a lot of burned-up buildings, and a lot of torn-down structures, and a lot of empty places. And Fred had gotten an entire city block which was abandoned, which had homes on it, and he had gotten permission to blow them all up. So they wanted to get rid of these places anyway, and they were empty, so what we did was we brought in a crew of people to paint them and put curtains in the windows and put little bicycles on the front lawn, and spruce the whole place up so the whole block looked like it was inhabited. And then one night, we just blew the whole place to smithereens. As a matter of fact, when that explosion went off, we were a couple of blocks away and I got a sunburn from the explosion. It was a much bigger explosion than we’d counted on, but it was great. It looked fabulous, and we blew up this whole block.
And we had these kids, and they were gang members who came every day to work. They were always on time. They did everything they were asked to do. You know, if you wanted to shoot them and have them fall down, they did falls. They did anything you asked, and they were very friendly to me. They used to come to my trailer and bring me Famous Amos cookies, things like that. They did their best to ingratiate themselves. I was not concerned with the ones we hired, but with the ones that didn’t get hired. I thought, “Well, now one of the ones that didn’t get hired might just drive by one day with a machine gun or something, and polish us all off in one afternoon.” But it never happened. Everything was fine there for the entire shoot of the picture, and they were all very cooperative and pleasant. And then it was all over, and we left. And it was kind of sad, because while we were there they all had jobs, and they had some place to go every day, and they had some focus and some reason for being. Then when we left, we kind of just abandoned everybody. And there’s nothing we could do about it. We couldn’t take them back to Hollywood. That’s where they lived, so there’s nothing we could do.
Well, within two weeks after we left, the National Guard had to come in there. There was so much violence. They started killing each other right and left as soon as we were gone. So I felt there was a movie in that. A movie company goes to a gang town, and everything is great. And then they leave everybody behind, and this is what happens. You know, I felt bad about it, but there was really nothing I could do about it. You know, Gary isn’t that far from Chicago, and we have an apartment in Chicago. So I would go back to Chicago maybe on Sunday or something, the day we didn’t shoot. And then I’d come back to Gary, and then shoot the rest of the picture. And then when we left, we went back to Chicago, and that was it. We never went back to Gary again, and I haven’t been back there since. I’ve never heard from anybody in the town.