Friday, May 24, 2024

May 25 - 31, 2024

 

 

To answer these trivia questions, please email me at scinema@earthlink.net.

Brain Teasers:

On the May 16th, 2024 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, David Letterman proclaimed what was his "favorite action film"?
Tom Betts, Bertrand van Wonterghem and George Grimes knew that it was ONCE  UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.

Which Italian stuntman, actor and action director was born in Treviso April 25, 1937 and died on March 19, 2020?
Tom Betts, Angel Rivera, Bertrand van Wonterghem and George Grimes knew that it was Nazzareno Zamperla.

By what name is Nick Anderson better known?
Tom Betts, Bertrand van Wonterghem and George Grimes knew that it was Nazzareno Zamperla.

And now for some new brain teasers:

About which Italian director of Westerns did Tomas Milian complain of having to make unreasonable physical exertions?
In which Italian Western did Tomas Milian scoff at having vertigo, while in an interview he revealed that he did suffer from vertigo?
Which movie, usually considered an Italian Western, does the director insist is not a Western?

Name the movies from which these images came.


Tom Betts, Bertrand van Wonterghem and George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Jose Manuel Martin, Nazzareno Zamperla and Giuliano Gemma in UNA PISTOLA PER RINGO, aka A PISTOL FOR RINGO.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

 
Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's frame grab of Nazzareno Zamperla in I SETTE GLADIATORI, aka GLADIATORS SEVEN.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?


George Grimes and Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's frame grab of Suzy Kendall in SPASMO.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?


No one identified the  above photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

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I am interested in knowing what movies you have watched and what you enjoyed or not. So please send me an email at scinema@earthlink.net if you'd like to share. Here's what I watched last week:

Highly enjoyed:

Icons Unearthed: "Marvel" (2023) - 8 hour long episodes chronicled the rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the first comic book until the behind-the-scenes battle to make ANT-MAN. When it was over, I wanted more. I wanted the stories behind the Netflix shows and the departure of Joss Whedon and firing of James Gunn and then his re-hiring, but "that's another story" or series.

SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN U.K. cut (1970) - I fell in love with this movie after seeing the trailer time and again when going to theaters to see other movies - even though they put Peter Cushing's credit over a shot of Marshall Jones. When I finally saw the film, I was immediately put off by the opening music by David Whitaker because I don't like jazzy scores on my Horror movies. I was also put off by the heavy eyeliner on Alfred Marks. However, the movie soon overcame my complaints and accomplished the sense of nightmare that I loved in the trailer. I spent a good amount of time in high school defending the movie from those who didn't like it. Reading that the new Kino Lorber Blu-ray featured a different version from the one released in the U.S., I had to have it. There aren't many differences between the two cuts, and I'm happy that AIP dropped the "peeping drunk" bit. I liked the idea that Detective Superintendent Bellaver downed the cliff climbing Keith with a few thrown rocks - but I can see that the wide angle lenses director Gordon Hessler used to make the cliff look imposing made Bellaver's ability to throw rocks that far suggest that he, too, was a composite. I do like the longer dialogue between Christopher Lee and Vincent Price at the end. It is a surprise that Kino Lorber was unable to find a more pristine copy of the U.K. cut, but I don't plan to buy another copy of this movie if they suddenly find a better copy for a future release.

Enjoyed:

La Noche tematica, aka The Theme Night, "Sin Piedad" - A program on Spain's RTVE channel, la noche temantica, aired a 90 minute show on Westerns made in Europe. It seemed to be a predominately German documentary produced by Movieman and Arte. It included interviews with Alberto Grimaldi, Pierre Brice, Eli Wallach, Clint Eastwood, Ferdinando Baldi (listed as Fernando Baldi), Antonio Mrgheriti, Damiano Damiani, Sergio Leone, Sergio Corbucci, Sergio Sollima, Tomas Milian (listed asThomas Milian), Franco Nero, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Christine Montalbetti, Sergio Felicioli, Bud Spencer, Lars Bloch, Jean-Francoise Rauger, Ennio Morricone, Mimmo Palmara, Giovanni Cianfriglia (listed as Giovanni Cianfriglio), Enzo Castellari, Marco Stefanelli (talking about his father Benito), Bernardo Bertolucci, Mario Lanfranchi, Goyita Garcia Ahumada, Gianni Garko, Claudia Cardinale and Robert Hossein. Where did that get a song called "Half Breed" for the clips for KEOMA? Did they too decide that the actual song in that movie was too annoying? How come the clips from THE TALL WOMEN are in German but the clips for QUIEN BABE are in English? It would be very nice if this program showed up in an English friendly version. This is the only documentary I've seen which said that a young Clint Eastwood looked like James Dean.

SALOME (1986) - In a way similar to the popular perception of Mary Magdalene - a follower of Jesus mentioned in four Gospels who suddenly got mixed up in 591 AD with the "sinful woman" who anointed Jesus' feet in Luke 8:2, Salome was listed in the histories of Flavius Josephus as the daughter of Herodias and Herod II, the son of Herod the Great. Against Jewish laws, Herodias divorced her husband and married his brother, Herod Antipas. The story of Herodias' daughter dancing for her step-father was told in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, but she was never named. Later on, scholars who read Josephus and The Bible decided that the dancing step-daughter was Salome and Western civilization ran amok with art and literature depicting the young woman who demanded the head of John the Baptist as payment for a sexy dance. In 1891, English writer Oscar Wilde decided to do a one act tragedy based on the story. As he was staying in Paris at the time, he wrote it in French. Various attempts to translate it into English were considered failures as "it demands reading and performance in French to make its impact". In 1910, Richard Strauss wrote a German opera based on Wilde's play. The first movie version was made in 1908 by director J. Stuart Blackton with Florence Lawrence. The Italians did a version in 1910. Theda Bara did a version in 1918, while Alla Nazimova played the role in a 1923 movie. In 1986, Cannon Films Productions decided to give French writer/director Claude d'Anna the opportunity to do his version of the Wilde play. Perhaps deciding that the material was "timeless", d'Anna's team decided to not set the film in any historical period. There were none of the costumes or scenery one would expect in a story set in Biblical times. There was no mention of "Rome" or any religious message, with John the Baptist called Yokanaan, as he was in Wilde's play. Filmed entirely on gloomy soundstages, SALOME featured a fascinating performance by Tomas Milian as Herod Antipas. Rather than the historical fact that Herodias, played by an excellent Pamela Salem, divorced her husband, the film began with her having him strangled to death. We find out later that her daughter, Salome, had been away because "the Emperor" wanted an hostage. When the Emperor's soldiers, led by Nerva, played by Tim Woodward, bring her back to Herod's palace as a young woman, played by the beautiful Jo Champa, it soon became apparent that there was an imperial plot to supplant the ruling Herods with the younger one. Imprisoned in a well, Yokanaan, played by Fabrizio Bentivoglio, frequently was heard proclaiming the evils of the world, but Herod often took the elevator down to seek his advice and demand his blessing. Eventually, Salome also visited Yokanaan and became fascinated by "the prophet". A virgin, she wanted her first kiss to be on his lips, but he refused. As he believed that he would only be free in an afterlife, Salome asked if she could adore him there. In an attempt to discredit their daughter before the Emperor's men, the mother and step-father decided to dress her in the veils which would mark her as a prostitute. Herod promised to grant Salome any wish if she would dance for him. She finally agreed and then demanded the death of Yokanaan. Already quaking with superstition, Herod refused, until there was a lunar eclipse. Promising that the light would not return until Yokanaan was sacrificed, Salome got her desire and later proclaimed that she had finally kissed his lips after he was beheaded. Meanwhile, the Emperor's soldiers had massacred all of Herod's men, but decided to keep Herod and his wife alive as they might prove useful. As Salome comes back before him, Nerva was so appalled by the blood on her lips, that he ordered his men to crush her to death with their shields. Every synopsis I've seen for this movie, read that Herod ordered her death. Was this a change made by director d'Anna? In any case, his film was a compelling challenge to watch with marvelous performances by all involved. There seemed to be a touch of influence from Fellini SATYRICON with so many naked people laying about, but neither SATYRICON or CALIGULA had messengers arriving by motorbike or people using lighters to smoke cigars.

Sex Before the Internet "Showgirls: Baring It All" (2024) - How being embraced by the gay community turned a failed sex blockbuster into a camp classic. I did not know that Rene Riffel made a sequel - SHOWGIRLS 2: PENNY'S FROM HEAVEN.

Did not enjoy:

KEY WITNESS (1960) - Beginning with an on-screen message about the importance of witnesses to report crime by the Los Angeles D.A., the film shows suburban dad Jeffrey Hunter checking out possible urban renewal in the poor side of East L.A. He stops into a drug store to use a pay phone under the watchful eye of hot-to-trot Susan Harrison. Bored, Harrison accepts the offer to dance with a young man to the blaring juke box. Up the hill, two members of the cast of REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE - Dennis Hopper and Corey Allen - are joined by Joby Baker and future reggae singer Johnny Nash when Hopper sees Harrison dancing with a rival gang member. Furious, Hopper drives his motorcycle down into the drug store. Hunter is horrified to see Hopper and his gang surround the rival, and is even more horrified when Hopper stabs the young man to death with a knife. Of course, Hunter calls the police. Hunter is again horrified to find that he is the only person willing to witness the crime. The patrolman gets Hunter to the police station to talk with detectives Frank Silvera and Bruce Gordon. Silvera knows all about Hopper, but Hunter is the first person willing to be a witness. Silvera impresses on Gordon the importance of not giving out Hunter's identity. Unfortunately, Hopper sets a trap for the initial patrolman, clobbers him over the head and steals his notebook, which has Hunter's address. Even though Silvera promises to provide protection for Hunter, his wife Pat Crowley, and his two children - Terry Burnham and Dennis Holmes, Hopper's intimidation tactics succeed in Hunter refusing to testify against him. Even so, Baker decides to kidnap Holmes using a gun. The only member of the gang with a conscience, the "colored" Nash, tries to stop Baker, but succeeds in deflecting the gunshot into Holmes leg. Eventually, everyone ends up back at Hunter's house where the gang, including Harrison, try to kill both Hunter and Nash. Luckily, Silvera shows up at the last minute with a gang of cops. Supposedly this was based on a novel by Frank Kane with a screenplay by Alfred Brenner and Sidney Michaels. Aside from being set in an East L.A. that has no Latinos, KEY WITNESS is incredibly predictable and unconvincing in performance. Director Phil Karlson had just made HELL TO ETERNITY with Hunter, and would soon make KID GALAHAD with Elvis Presley.

THE OBLONG BOX (1969) - Being a big fan of THE CONQUEROR WORM, aka WITCHFINDER GENERAL, I greatly anticipated director Michael Reeves' next film. THE OBLONG BOX said "directed by Gordon Hessler", but so many of the cast members were from WORM, so I raced to the theater to see it. I knew I was in for a crushing disappointment when the first distorted wide angle shot of an African shouting directly into the camera came on. The film that followed had no narrative drive or atmosphere or thrills. As much as I enjoy seeing Hilary Dwyer, her presence didn't save the movie, for the filmmakers gave her virtually nothing to do. It wasn't until 1974 that I found A HERITAGE OF HORROR by David Pirie in a book store that I learned that director Reeves had died not long after finishing WORM.

SALOME (1953) - With enough of a Biblical connection to pass as a religious film, SALOME was a favorite subject for movies because it had a sexy dance. The idea that it involved seven veils came about in 1893 with Oscar Wilde's French language play SALOME, and not from The Bible or from historian Josephus. Commissioned by star Rita Hayworth for her production company The Beckworth Corporation, screenwriters Jesse Lasky Jr. and Harry Kleiner had to figure out a way to make a character thought of as a femme fatale into a sympathetic character. Perhaps inspired by the book THE GOOD TIDINGS by William Sidney, the writers decided to completely ignore both Biblical and historic texts and invent the story of a princess from Galilee (Hayworth) who was sent to Rome as a child to be raised away from her lascivious step-father (Charles Laughton). When Caesar Tiberius (Sir Cedric Hardwicke) was told that she wanted to marry a Roman, he ordered her banished back to Galilee, on the same ship which carried the new Roman Governor Pontius Pilate (Basil Sydney). Swearing that she hated all Romans, Hayworth was soon wooed by Roman Commander Stewart Granger. Arriving in Galilee, Hayworth found her mother, Judith Anderson, worried that John the Baptist (Alan Badel) publicly calling her an adulteress, would inspire the crowd to stone her to death. Complicating matters, it turned out that Granger was an early convert to the Baptist's vision of non-violence, equality and justice. Granger foiled an assassination attempt on the Baptist by ordering the holy man taken before King Charles Laughton. Laughton didn't want to kill the Baptist because he feared the same hideous fate as his father, who had ordered the slaughter of the first born males hoping to kill the just born Messiah. While Granger plotted to rescue Badel from imprisonment by force (so much for non-violence), Hayworth thought that she could get Laughton to grant the holy man freedom by giving him a sexy dance. Unfortunately, while loving the dance, Laughton  said that he would grant Hayworth anything she wanted. Anderson jumped in asking for the head of John the Baptist while Hayworth was still dancing. After finishing the dance, Hayworth screamed when Badel's head was presented, declaring that she never wanted to see her mother again. We didn't get to see Granger lose the fight in the dungeon and we didn't get to see Badel preparing for execution. Anyway, the film ended with Hayworth and Granger among the spectators at the "Sermon On the Mount". Now Josephus wrote nothing linking Salome with John the Baptist. Sometimes referred to as Salome III, she was the step-daughter of Herod Antipas, and was married to Philip, the son of Herod the Great. After Philip died, she married Aristobulus, the son of Herod of Chalcis, and had three children. The story of Herodias' daughter dancing for her step-father was told in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, but she was never named. Things get more complicated by the story of Salome the disciple of Christ, whom some believe to also be Herodias' daughter. In any case, the 1953 SALOME was an example of unconvincing Christian propaganda completely lacking in compelling story telling or characterizations. The producers obviously thought that Hayworth in Technicolor was the main selling point, but the result was both unsexy and dull.
 
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David Deal Enjoyed:

GUNSLINGER (56) - RIP Roger Corman.

VIOLENT ROME (75)

THE IRON SHERIFF (57)

OUTLAW: GANGSTER VIP 2 (68) - Yakuza assassin Tetsuya Watari tries to go straight but circumstances pull him back into "clan" life. This sharp Japanese gangster film picks up where the initial installment left off. And while the inevitable violence and torn loyalties in a story like this are present, they feel fresh and the characters are true. More beautifully photographed gang fights and elusive environments. Recommended.

UNFROSTED (24) - Jerry Seinfeld's fantasy about the invention of Pop-Tarts is mostly funny. Being a cereal guy, I liked it.

WESTWORLD (73)

Mildly enjoyed:

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (36)

LOVER OF THE MONSTER (74) - Klaus Kinski and his wife move into her father's abandoned estate. While exploring, Kinski finds her father's secret laboratory and his journals of terrible experiments which Klaus decides to continue, much to everyone's chagrin. Sergio Garrone's Jekyll and Hyde tale is shot in a flat style which displays the production's shortcomings in a bright light. Weak in most departments, in its favor is a good primary location and a short running time. Another one for those fans trying to nail down the sagging end of the Italian Gothic.

THE STRANGER (73) - See the Television Fright Films of the 1970s book for a complete review of this science fiction entry with Cameron Mitchell.

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Angel Rivera  Enjoyed:

"POINT OF IMPACT" (1993)
A guilty pleasure of mine, as it stars Barbara Carrera, my favorite actress, as the wife of a Cuban crime boss played Michael Ironside. Hot on the trail of Ironside is disgraced  recently fired US Customs Officer, Michael Pare, out to clear his name. Enough action and steamy sex scenes for these steamy potboilers of the Nineties. Barbara was pushing Fifty when she made this film and one of the reviews I read about the film commented on how great she looked.

"YOUNG SHELDON" series finale (2017-2024)
One of my favorite sitcoms, especially since it featured Emily Osment who will be in the new spin-off from"Young Sheldon."

"DOCTOR WHO" Episode: "Space Babies" (2024)
Cute episode or corny epiosde with talking "space babies." Enuff said!

"DOCTOR WHO" Episode: "The Devil's Chord" (2024)
The Doctor and his comely traveling companion, Rose (portrayed by comely Millie Gibson) visit "1963" and the recording of the Beatles first album. They discover that a malevolent being known as "Maestro" is stealing music. Literally. The Doctor and Rose stop the Maestro with a little help from friends,So to speak.

"STATION 19" series finale part one. (2018-2024)
While I don't personally know any firehouse with such gorgeous girls, especially Hispanics, I am going to miss this series. The members of Station 19 fight a forest fire threatening to spread to parts of Seattle. Cliffhanger to be concluded next week.

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Bertrand van Wonterghem Highly enjoyed:

Gojira – 1.0 / Godzilla minus one (2023, Takashi Yamazaki)

Enjoyed:

Ido zero daisakusen / Latitude zero (1969, Ishiro Honda)

Dakgangjeong / Chicken nugget – season 1 (2023 / 10 epis)

Gyeongchalsueop / Police university – season 1 (2021) episode 3

Bimireun Eopseo / Frankly speaking – season 1 (2023) – episodes 5 to 7

Mildly enjoyed:

Arcadian (2023, Benjamin Brewer)

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Mike Eustace watched:


I've watched both Sandokan films with Ray Danton now.

Sandokan 1 is SANDOKAN ALLA RISCOSSA (Sandokan to the rescue) which is where he sets off to wage war against the Leopard of Sarawak and regain his throne.

Sandokan 2 is SANDOKAN CONTRO IL LEOPARDO DI SARAWAK (Sandokan against the Leopard of Sarawak), where Samoa is kidnapped and he goes to rescue her.

Very confusing for me. Seems like the titles should be swapped.

Sandokan 1 is variously known as Sandokan Fights Back and Vengeance of Sandokan which are fairly accurate descriptions.
The film starts with a caption that mentions how great Sandokan is and that he helped Yanez become Rajah of Assam, for which there are no flashbacks. Then follows a sequence of flashbacks showing how Sandokan was saved as a child from The Leopard of Sarawak. These flashbacks are not taken from a previous film, but only appear in this one.
The film is also known as Treasure of Malaysia (There is no treasure), Tiger of Terror (makes him sound villainous) and The Conqueror and the Empress (she's not an Empress, she's a Princess). Sandokan to the Rescue must refer to Sandokan rescuing Sarawak from an evil tyrant.

Sandokan 2 is variously known as Return of Sandokan (UK title which works perfectly), Throne of Vengeance (ok) and The Leopard of the Black Jungle (A French attempt to tie in with Mysteries of the Black Jungle). The perfect title would be Sandokan to the rescue, because Samoa is kidnapped and he sets off to rescue her, but they already used that.
Incidentally, there is no recap of the previous film at the start, which is quite unusual. Is it just missing from the particular DVD I'm using?

I like Ray Danton as Sandokan. He has presence and a great voice, which he uses to deliver lines in an interesting way. He just has a funny way of running, with little steps and no upper body movement.

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Friday, May 17, 2024

May 18 - 24, 2024

 

 

To answer these trivia questions, please email me at scinema@earthlink.net.

Brain Teasers:

Which Italian cinematographer who became a director died at the age of 59 in 1976?
Tom Betts, Bertrand van Wonterghem, Angel Rivera and George Grimes knew that it was Massimo Dallamano.

Which Italian actor was born in 1938, made four Westerns, and died at the age of 64 in 2003?
Tom Betts, Bertrand van Wonterghem and George Grimes knew that it was Ivan Rassimov, aka Sean Todd.

Which American actor, born in 1947, began his film career in Italy in 1969, made three Italian Westerns and is still alive?
Tom Betts, Bertrand van Wonterghem and George Grimes knew that it was Leonard Mann.

And now for some new brain teasers:

On the May 16th, 2024 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, David Letterman proclaimed what was his "favorite action film"?
Which Italian stuntman, actor and action director was born in Treviso April 25, 1937 and died on March 19, 2020?
By what name is Nick Anderson better known?

Name the movies from which these images came.


Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

 
Angel Rivera and Charles Gilbert identified last week's frame grab of Marilu Tolo and Mark Forest in MACISTE, GLADIATORE DI SPARTA, aka THE TERROR OF ROME AGAINST THE SON OF HERCULES.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?


No one has identified the above picture yet.
Can you name from what movie it came?


No one identified the  above photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

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I am interested in knowing what movies you have watched and what you enjoyed or not. So please send me an email at scinema@earthlink.net if you'd like to share. Here's what I watched last week:

Highly enjoyed:

Young Sheldon season seven (2024) - I've consistently enjoyed this CBS series, but the two episode series finale was an absolute delight.

Television Event (2020) - American-Australian director Jeff Daniels put together this excellent documentary about the making of, and the reaction to, the 1983 ABC-TV movie The Day After. The film follows ABC executive Brandon Stoddard's desire to make a TV movie about the effects of a Nuclear War, finding Edward Hume to write it and Nicolas Meyer to direct it. How the idea of the movie came to concern the Ronald Reagan administration, that was pushing to increase the U.S. nuclear arsenal because of a perception that the Soviet Union had a bigger one. And how the movie may have convinced Reagan to meet with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to discuss a reduction in nuclear weapons.

Enjoyed:

The Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek (2021) - 11 hour long episodes on the history of the Star Trek franchise until the cancellation of Enterprise, this series is a fun filled exploration filled with behind the scenes information frequently answering quesitons fans have always wanted answered.

Sex Before the Internet "Ron Jeremy" (2024) - No mention of ORGAZMO, though.

Susan Smith: Sex Behind Bars (2021) 

Mildly enjoyed:

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (2013) - Felicity Jones is heart-breakingly lovely in this film version of Clair Tomalin's book about the thirteen year secret love between Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens. The film is told in flashbacks 13 years after Dickens' death, when Nelly is married to George Wharton Robinson, played by Tom Burke, and they have a son. Her husband likes to brag about how his wife knew Dickens in her youth, which she tries to minimize. Reverend Benham, played by John Kavanagh, visits and is a fellow fan of Dickens. He sees that Nelly has a secret which troubles her. Eventually, in flashback, we see how Nelly met Dickens, played by Ralph Fiennes, as well as his good friend Wilkie Collins, played by Tom Hollander. As the director of the film, Fiennes sets a deliberate pace to the storytelling, and emphasizes the polite control everyone has over their emotions. So, the film is half done before Nelly and Dickens finally come together. Eventually, the memories drive Nelly to speak to the kind Reverend, and he reveals that he knows of her past with Dickens, of which her husband doesn't know. The film ends with Nelly resolving to leave the past behind and to dedicate herself to her husband and son. There is much to enjoy in this film, if you have patience because Fiennes keeps the drama low key. Not surprising, he gets solid performances from a cast including Kristin Scott Thomas, Joanna Scanlan of the 1997 version of Jane Eyre, Michelle Fairley of Game of Thrones, Perdita Weeks of the new version of Magnum P.I. and Amanda Hale of A Discovery of Witches. The script is by Abi Morgan who also wrote the movie THE IRON LADY. Reportedly there is no definitive evidence that Nelly and Dickens were lovers, and some assert that she was actually his illegitimate daughter, but that's not the perspective of this movie.

Did not enjoy:

KINTA 1881, aka FOUR DRAGONS (2007) - Touted as Malaysia's first martial arts action film, KINTA 1881 featured some very fancy camerawork from Jacky Tang under the direction of CL Hor. Even with a complicated flashback structure, this story was a throwback to the old Taiwanese kung fu flicks with poor Chinese laborours being abused by the bosses. However, now the setting was the Tin Mines of 1881 Malaysia and the heroic Chinese didn't kill the bosses in the end. I've only seen the English dubbed U.S. release of this movie. Did the original version feature that annoying "You gotta fight" song? Did the original version also feature all of that C.G.I. blood spurts, or was that added to the U.S. version? In the credits for this film, each of the main actors were listed with their competition titles. No such notation was made for the filmmakers.

PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT (1972) - The genesis of Philip Roth's novel was a satirical monologue he was writing in 1967 to accompany a slide show for inclusion in the avant-garde, risque theatrical revue OH! CALCUTTA!. The monologue never made it into the show, but it became a chapter sold to Partisan Review as "Whacking Off". Reportedly, Roth had writer's block on the novel because his 1963 divorce entitled his ex-wife to half of the royalties. In a 1968 car accident, the ex-wife died and Roth finished the novel. Defined as "Portnoy's Complaint: A disorder in which strongly felt ethical and altruistic impulses perpetually are warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature...", Roth's book took the form of a "lust-ridden, mother-addicted young Jewish bachelor"'s session with his psychoanalyst in "intimate, shameful detail, and coarse, abusive language." So, dispite being banned in a variety of countries, PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT was a best seller, even more than Roth's earlier collection GOODBYE, COLUMBUS. For me, confusion occurred because the movie version of GOODBYE, COLUMBUS was the feature film debut of television actor Richard Benjamin. I didn't see it until later, but I did see THE MARRIAGE OF A YOUNG STOCKBROKER with Benjamin, which again dealt with a young man's sexual dissatisfaction. When Benjamin starred in the movie version of PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT, I began to think it was the same movie as GOODBYE, COLUMBUS. I'm not a fan of GOODBYE, COLUMBUS - which made a star of Ali MacGraw, but it is not nearly as irritating as the movie version of PORTNOY. Screenwriter Ernest Lehman was celebrated for NORTH BY NORTHWEST, WEST SIDE STORY, THE SOUND OF MUSIC and HELLO, DOLLY! before he decided to try his hand at directing a movie version of Roth's novel. Did he really think his adaptation was funny? Reportedly the book was, but here a talented cast - including Karen Black, Lee Grant, Jeannie Berlin, Jill Clayburgh and Kevin Conway - are encouraged to be unsympathetically coarse. Few films about always being horny have been so unsexy. Many of the story elements in this project were done better the year before in CARNAL KNOWLEDGE, minus the Jewish mother and background. That Roth intended to have a slide show skit in OH! CALCUTTA! was interesting because CARNAL writer Jules Feiffer also worked on that theatrical production and he included a slide show about a character's sexual history in his movie. However, it was fun to hear John Carradine speak as the eternal judge that sentenced Benjamin to impotence for his mis-deeds - which also echoed the ending to CARNAL KNOWLEDGE.
 
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David Deal Enjoyed:

RING AROUND THE WORLD (66) - See The Eurospy Guide for s complete review of this Richard Harrison entry.

CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OPERA (36)

THE MURDERS CLUB OF BROOKLYN (66) - See the above guide for this Jerry Cotton entry.

NIGHT CREATURES (62)

OLD SHATTERHAND (64)

THE DIRTY GAME (65) - Again with the spies in the above book.

BLAZING MAGNUM (76)

AS IF IT WERE RAINING (63)

KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE (53)

TALL MAN RIDING (55)

THE FACE OF FU MANCHU (65)

WILD, WILD PLANET (65)

HERCULES VS THE MOLOCH (63)

THE QUILLER MEMORANDUM (66) - Ok, by now you know what book to refer to for this movie.

Mildly Enjoyed

BUT YOU WERE DEAD (66) - When his parents are killed in a car crash, a young man follows his mother's last wish and visits a local old count who has some history with the man's family. While there, he meets Veronique and falls in love. What he doesn't realize is the past is catching up to him in the form of this lovely ghost. An Italian modern Gothic with a confusing story, no star power and a leisurely pace. On the plus side, it has an ethereal quality to it and an interesting modern soundscape while, at odds with the goings on, is a curious element. For those who haven't seen every other Gothic available yet.

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Angel Rivera  Mildly enjoyed:

"YELLOWFACE:ASIAN WHITEWASHING AND RACISM IN HOLLYWOOD!" (2019)
A history of Asian stereotypes in Hollywood films, especially after Pearl Harbor with a number of Caucasian actors wearing makeup to let themselves look more "Asian"; instead of hiring Asian actors to play Asians. The documentary was made by two French female documentarians.

Did not enjoy:

"KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES" (2024)
The latest sequel to the rebooted "Planet of the Apes" franchise I found boring. I am a fan of the original "Planet of the Apes" (1968) and never really cared for any of the sequels with the exception of "Escape From the Planet of the Apes" (1971). Of the new series, the remake starring Mark Wahlberg was unnecessary. As John Huston said, "You only remake bad movies!"
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (2011) was interesting. Unfortunately the new sequel put me to sleep. With all the makeup effects seen throughout the film, it felt like a National Geographic special.

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Bertrand van Wonterghem Enjoyed:

Doeorak / Door lock (2018, Kwon Lee)

Geolkapseu / Miss and Mrs cops (2019, Jung Da-won)

Bimireun Eopseo / Frankly speaking – season 1 (2023) – episodes 2 to 4

Obituary – season 1 (2023 / 6 epis)

Gyeongchalsueop / Police university – season 1 (2021) episodes 1 & 2


Mildly enjoyed:

Sirènes (2023, Adeline Picault)

Argylle (2023, Matthew Vaughn)

Apache junction (2021, Justin Lee)

The brothers Sun – season 1 – episode 1

Did not enjoy:

Fung yu seung lau sing / The killer meteors (1976, Lo Wei)

Doctor Who epis “space babies” (2023, Julie Anne Robinson) & “the devil's chord” (2023, Ben Chessell)

Huo xing ren / Mars men (1976, Hung-min Chen)

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Charles Gilbert watched:


THE KING'S PIRATE (1967) Doug McClure and Jill  the presence of Torin Thatcher. With Miss America Mary Ann Mobley and Guy Stockwell.

THE MOB (1951) B&W. Upon botching an arrest of a crime lord, L.A. Policeman (Broderick Crawford) publicly and officially is terminated,  but actually gets an undercover assignment in New Orleans. Posing as a dock worker he makes acquaintance with Richard Kiley, who, he learns later is a special federal agent with similar assignment. They trade quips and bullets with underworld figures like Ernest Borgnine and Neville Brand.

TEXAS, ADIOS (1966) Franco Nero plays Texas sheriff Burt Sullivan whose younger brother Alberto del Aqua accompanies him to Mexico in search of their father's murderer. That happened when they were lads (flashback). Turns out the killer is the younger boy's father, the infamous Cisco Delgado (Jose Suarez), an unscrupulous but prominent landowner. He's also made enemies with local revolutionaries lead by Luigi Pistilli with Livio Lorenzon.

Hawaiian Eye  1963 television "Two Too Many"  S4E16. B&W. William Leslie guest stars as a building developer being framed for marital infidelity. Surprising how many scenes include Robert Conrad lighting up a cigarette.

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