Friday, June 18, 2021

Week of June 19 - 25, 2021


To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Which Italian director went from making his second Western to making a dramatic film featuring Richard Harrison?
It was Cesare Canevari.

Which Italian director made a Western in 1943?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which Italian director worked with Steve Reeves, Mark Forest, Gordon Scott, Giuliano Gemma and Ray Danton?
Angel Rivera knew that it was Giorgio Ferroni.

Which movie starring Gordon Scott and Rosalba Neri uses the same story as a play by William Shakespeare?

And now for some new brain teasers:

Which Italian actress worked with Gordon Scott twice, Mark Forest three times, Alan Steel twice and Kirk Morris once?
By what name is Tanio Boccia better known?
By what name is Adriano Bellini better known?

Name the movies from which these images came.

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

Angel Rivera, George Grimes and Charles Gilbert identified last week's frame grab of Mimmo Palmara in LE FATICHE DI ERCOLE, aka HERCULES.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Angel Rivera and George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Steve Reeves and Andrea Bosic in SANDOKAN LA TIGRE DI MOMPRACEM, aka SANDOKAN THE GREAT.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

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

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


THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (2014) - The on-screen romance between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone makes the two Marc Webb directed web-slinger flicks worthwhile. All the super hero stuff is okay, too. This film has too many undeveloped supporting characters and plots to be really satisfying, but the scenes between Garfield and Stone are splendid.

Orphan Black season two

Orphan Black season three

Orphan Black season four

Mildly enjoyed:

Hollywood Uncensored (1987) - Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Peter Fonda, Carroll Baker, Charles Champlin, Don Murray, Sheree North and others comment about movie censorship. This is not a documentary with much depth, but it is breezy and fun.

LA CHEVRE, aka KNOCK ON WOOD (1981) - This humorous buddy comedy was the first of three to pair Pierre Richard and Gerard Depardieu. It's not as hilarious as LE GRAND BLOND AVEC UNE CHAUSSURE NOIRE, written by Francis Veber but directed by Yves Robert, or as Veber's later LE DINER DE CONS or TAIS-TOI!, but it is fun.

A QUIET PLACE PART 2 (2020) - While this is a sequel, it pretty much repeats the beats from the first film, but without the details of the life created by the family. Thankfully, it does not have another sacrificial death at the end.

OCEAN'S THIRTEEN (2007) - I didn't much like any of the other "Ocean" films, but this had a couple of jokes that I liked. I liked the effort to "spike" the dice leading to a labor action at the Mexican factory inspired by a Zapata beer ad. There is little development of anything except complications on how to ruin Al Pacino's new casino.

Did not enjoy:

BELLA (2006) - The film starts with a disheveled Eduardo Verastegui sitting on a beach staring intensely at a little girl playing with other kids. Not surprisingly, the parents of the other kids are unnerved and call their children to safety. Obviously, Verastegui is traumatized by some past incident with a little girl. Naturally, we won't get that story resolved until the last part of the movie. In a flashback, we see that Verastegui had just signed a lucrative deal to play soccer, and with his brother Manny Perez, was going for a spin in his new car. Years later, Verastegui is working as a chef in Perez's restaurant. When waitress Tammy Blanchard gets into trouble for being late, Verastegui walks off his job to spend the day with her. Blanchard is pregnant and is considering getting an abortion because she can't even take care of herself. Eventually, Verastegui convinces Blanchard to have the baby, let him adopt her and at the end of the film all three are reunited. Mexican born Verastegui was a successful musician who became a popular telenovela star. Deciding to pursue an Hollywood career coincided with his rediscovering his Catholicism and becoming an anti-abortion advocate. So BELLA is a faith-based film with an anti-abortion message. During the presidency of Barack Obama, Verastegui accused the U.S. government of promoting abortion in Hispanic communities. Not surprisingly, Donald Trump wanted Verastegui to be a member of his President's Advisory Commission on Hispanic Prosperity. Mexican born Alejandro Gomez Monteverde directed the film and even found a part for his wife Ali Landry.

Cruel Summer season one (2021) 

Fear the Walking Dead season six (2021)

Gangs of London season one (2020) - If you like your crime dramas filled with graphic gore, this may please you.

INFINI (2015) - After seeing three of his movies, I can declare that writer/director Shane Abbess prefers unresolved endings. While the events shown seem to indicate an happy ending, the music by Brian Cachia remains ominous and star Daniel MacPherson remains as gloomily intense as always. There's an off-world mining operation - like OUTLAND - that is hit by a contagion which causes everyone to kill each other - like 28 DAYS. A military rescue team is assembled to go to the distant planet - like ALIENS, only they are sent by slipstream - kind of like Star Trek's teleportation. After nearly an hour of everyone chasing each other with murderous intent, our hero seems to communicate with the living organism of the planet that has been the contagion. He tells it that the effort to survive by activating the violence in people is not the best method and to try another way. This seems to work as every member of the rescue team is seemingly returned to normal and return to Earth safely. Before leaving the bad planet, MacPherson sees the liquid entities of the planet seeming to take humanoid form to watch the Earthlings depart, with one holding onto the note our hero's wife gave him before he went to work that morning. Abbess and editor Adrian Rostirolla seem drunk on using fast cutting to indicate mental confusion which soon becomes irritating. MacPherson, Grace Huang, Luke Ford, Bren Foster, Louisa Mignone, Andy Rodoreda, Richard Maait, Dean Kyrwood, Leah Cachia, Aileen Beale, Kathy Luu, Louise Dodge and Luke Hemsworth would reunite with Abbess to make THE OSIRIS CHILD: SCIENCE FICTION VOLUME ONE. Harry Pavlidis, Goran D. Kleut, Denai Gracie, Max Smidt and Richard Huggett are a carry overs from GABRIEL. Dwaine Stevenson, Paul Winchester, Brendan Clearkin and Kevin Copeland appear in all three Abbess films: GABRIEL, INFINI and THE OSIRIS CHILD.

THE SHEPHERD: BORDER PATROL (2007) - Israeli director Isaac Florentine gets into the Jean-Claude Van Damme business with this silly action flick shot in Bulgaria pretending to be the U.S./Mexico border. The first scene pretends to be in Afghanistan to introduce special operations soldiers Stephen Lord and Scott Adkins. Adkins job is to show that he can be a worthy martial arts adversary for Van Damme towards the end of the movie. Next thing we know, Van Damme is transferred from New Orleans police - thus explaining his accent - to the border patrol. Natalie J. Robb plays his new hard-ass captain who wants to know why. We keep seeing flash cuts of a beautiful young woman - played by Van Damme's real life daughter Bianca Van Varenberg - who we know will be the reason why. Near the end of the movie, it is not surprising to discover that she was Van Damme's daughter who died of a drug overdose - thus our hero's mission to get the drug smuggling villains. Following the DOG SOLDIERS scenario, the villains went bad because of their war experience - but they are supposed to be formidable because of their combat training. However, their efforts to turn smuggling into combat missions seem pretty reckless, though Florentine turns them into outrageous action scenes. The plotting is pretty standard with Van Damme's partner Gary McDonald turning out to be with the bad guys. The Chief of the Federales, Krassimir Gospodinov, seems to be based on Fernando Sancho's character in LA RESA DEI CONTI, wondering why the Americanos can't kill each other on their side of the border.


David Deal enjoyed:

TIME IS MY ENEMY (54) - Renee Asherson is surprised when her long thought-dead husband (Dennis Price) returns to disrupt her currently happy married life.  So she kills him.  Twisty Brit mystery is enjoyable, even if it all seems a bit coincidental.

VICIOUS CIRCLE (57) - Doctor John Mills becomes embroiled in international intrigue when he is framed for the murder of a Special Branch agent.  Complex British mystery that is nicely shot and well acted by a cast that includes Wilfred Hyde-White and Lionel Jeffries.



FORBIDDEN PHOTOS OF A WOMAN ABOVE SUSPICION (70) - This colorful fave is well served by Arrow's Blu-ray.




Mildly enjoyed:


Did Not Enjoy:

TIME LOCK (57) - A young boy is accidentally trapped inside a bank safe that won't open for several days; time enough to kill him.  British film set in Toronto is a procedural on getting the kid out.  They do.


Charles Gilbert watched:

HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER (1958) B&W. American International Pictures decides monster movies are passe', so they "can" veteran make-up artists Robert H. Harris and Paul Brinegar. Teenage werewolf and teenage Frankenstein actors Gary Clarke and Gary Conway become pawns for revenge.The last 15 minutes are in color.

THE LONGEST DAY (1962) B&W. Wondering why this was not in color. Actors are listed in the closing credits alphabetically except John Wayne who is dead last. Eddie Albert seems out of place in this.

SWORD OF THE CONQUEROR (1961) Jack Palance gets star billing with Eleonora Rossi Drago even though he's the villain to Guy Madison. His brother Ivan Palance costars.

What Happened to Otto Warmbier in North Korea? DW Documentary. Cincinnati college student was held prisoner by North Korea in 2017, released to diplomats, and dies six days later.

Return to Jonestown. Survivors return to the jungle in Guyana where almost a thousand cultists "drank the koolaid".

MH370 Situation Room. 60 Minutes Australia reporter Tara Brown interviews aviation experts about the missing plane with 239 souls aboard.

Lech Kaczynski: Air Disaster Claims the Life of Polish President.

The Hijacking of Flight 705. Wonder S03E03. Fed Ex crew leaving Memphis is attacked by a demented pilot on board as a single jump seat passenger. 


Angel Rivera enjoyed:

 "Tarzan, The Epic Adventures--episode #1--"Tarzan's Return"

"Superman & Lois"--several episodes.

Mildly enjoyed:



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