Friday, December 24, 2021

Week of December 25 (Merry Christmas) - 31 (Happy New Year's Eve), 2021


To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

By what name is Richard Stuyvesant better known?
George Grimes, Angel Rivera and Bertrand van Wonterghem knew that it was Mario Brega.

Which Italian actor died in Greece on December 6, 1994?
George Grimes knew that it was Gian Maria Volonte.

Which Italian Western star died in Miami, Florida, on March 22, 2017?
George Grimes and Rick Garibaldi knew that it was Tomas Milian.

In which Italian Western do we see our hero awaken from a nap by children setting fire to the hay on which he sits?
No one has answered this question yet.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Which Italian Western begins with the hero coming out of a makeshift grave?
Which Italian Western features a gang tearing up a cemetery looking for gold?
Which Italian Western begins with three men facing three coffins in which has been placed three wanted posters?

Name the movies from which these images came.

Rick Garibaldi identified last week's frame grab of Tomas Milian's arm in SE SEI VIVO SPARA, aka DJANGO KILL!, aka IF YOU LIVE SHOOT.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes, Charles Gilbert and John Black identified last week's photo of Mylene Demongeot in LA BATTAGLIA DI MARATONA, aka THE GIANT OF MARATHON.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Charles Gilbert and John Black identified last week's photo of Gerard Herter and Scilla Gabel in AGI MURAD IL DIAVOLO BIANCO, aka THE WHITE WARRIOR.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes identified last week's photo of Jackie Chan in BLEEDING STEEL.
Above is a new photo.
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:


Da Vinci's Inquest season six (2003)

AFTER TRUTH: DISINFORMATION AND THE COST OF FAKE NEWS (2020) - A chilling HBO documentary about how political operatives use lies to distort reality. Interestingly, this program was made before QAnon reared its ugly head.

FINDING STEVE MCQUEEN (2019) - Based loosely on the United California Bank burglary of March 24, 1972, this heist comedy features a wonderful romance between Travis Fimmel and Rachel Taylor which won me over completely. Mark Steven Johnson who directed the 2003 DAREDEVIL movie does a fine job here. Interestingly, Taylor was a cast member in the Netflix Marvel series Jessica Jones and The Defenders - which also featured Daredevil. Movie fans should get a kick out of all the dialogue featuring movie trivia while rock'n'roll fans may enjoy the vintage tunes being played.

Hawkeye (2021) - The Disney Plus series is splendid.

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War parts one and two (2019)


Mildly enjoyed:

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD (2019) - A reconciliation between a son and his father is a frequent element of faith-based movies, as it is here. Only in this film we don't have a minister - we have Fred Rogers, who was actually a minister but it is not mentioned in the film. To the credit of director Marielle Heller and writers Micah Fitzerman-blue and Noah Harpster, the film hits all of the right emotional buttons with the help of a strong group of actors. However, all of the recreations of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and the surreal dream sequences are really just window dressing on a rather ordinary familial melodrama.It is always nice to see Enrico Colantoni working.

PARIS CAN WAIT (2016) - One can't help but wonder if this narrative feature debut by Eleanor Coppola is at least partly autobiographical as our heroine is the wife of a busy movie producer. Diane Lane is as pleasure to watch as the wife needing to get to Paris becoming suspicious of the intentions of her husband's business associate, played by Arnaud Viard, who has agreed to drive her there. Most of the film seems a culinary travelogue across France, which works well for the warm and quiet character comedy Coppola is gently telling. 

Did not enjoy:

THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT (2021) - Which is worse? That this is another EXORCIST rip-off, with touches of THE DEVIL RIDES OUT, or that the filmmakers try to make us believe it is a true story? I know it's based on the Arne Cheyenne Johnson case, but still....

SCARY MOVIE (2000) - The promise that writer/director Keenen Ivory Wayans showed in I'M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA and THE FIVE HEARTBEATS is nowhere to be found in this unfunny mess of bad movie parodies of SCREAM, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, TITANIC, AMISTAD and THE USUAL SUSPECTS. Anna Faris is the only cast member to survive with a shred of dignity. Naturally, it was the biggest box office success for a black director for years.

SCARY MOVIE 2 (2001) - As bad as SCARY MOVIE was, it at least made sense. This sequel doesn't. If you like shit and blow-job jokes, you might find some of this amusing. It is bad enough that Anna Faris and Regina Hall are wasted, but it is criminal to waste Veronica Cartwright, Andy Richter and Natasha Lyonne.

SCARY MOVIE 3 (2003) - I'm not surprised to find that my sense of humor is closer to director David Zucker than to the Wayans brothers, and I got a few chuckles from this movie. Anna Faris has gone blond and she looks spectacular, but the proceedings are just as stupid. Mashing up SIGNS, THE RING, 8 MILE and THE SIXTH SENSE, with a touch of AIR FORCE ONE and THE MATRIX RELOADED was only rewarding at the box office.


Charles Gilbert watched:

DEATH IN SMALL DOSES (1957) B&W. Gem of a film about truckers abuse of amphetamines. Peter Graves goes undercover as a student driver to ferret out illegal suppliers. Chuck Conners is over the top with wise cracks and opposite sex innuendo. Mala Powers runs a boarding house for the truckers. Bloopers include inaccurate closeup of the stage Peterbilt Cabover as the drivers dialogue driving down the road. The oval badge emblem is missing  and the windshield on the real one is curved on the corners, not flat as depicted.

BARQUERO (1970) American western made to look Italian starring Lee Van Cleef and Warren Oates as Jake Remy. Remy and his gang (including Kerwin Mathews) pillage a small border town with plans to abscond across the river into Mexico. A protracted standoff develops when owner of the ferry (Van Cleef) obstructs their flight with help from crusty mountainman Forrest Tucker. Mariette Hartley has a small role.

Untouchables B&W tv episode "Mankiller" with Ruth Roman and Anne Helm.


David Deal Enjoyed:






SEVEN DEATHS IN A CAT'S EYE (73) - The Kino Lorber Blu-ray looks really nice.

Mildly enjoy:





Angel Rivera wrote:

'I had a Gordon Scott "Tarzan" double feature:
The aptly named, "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure"(1959) and "Tarzan, the Magnificent"(1960) which featured a bit of a moral lesson in that the cheating wife portrayed by the beautiful Betta St. John (who played a similar role in one of Gordon Scott's other "Tarzan" films, "Tarzan and the Lost Safari") gets eaten by a lion (off-screen of course) for her misdeed.

"Mighty Ursus" (aka "Ursus, Son of Hercules")(1961)(US debut 1962) which I saw as a kid in the theatres, but mostly remember the fight with the bull and the beautiful blind blond who lost her sight due to a blow to the head and then regains her sight with another blow to the head. Only this time I now know her by her name, "Doreide" as portrayed by Mary Marlon aka Maria Luisa Merlo.

"Fever Heat" (1968) Actor Nick Adams last role which was released posthumously. I remember going to see this film with my mother as we both liked Adams from his TV show, "The Rebel". I only remember it was about racing. So after finding it on YouTube and watching it I found it to be a nice little melodrama which takes place in the world of stock-car racing.

And last but not least, "Take a Hard Ride" a 1975 film directed by Anthony Dawson and starring Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, Jim Kelly, Catherine Spaak and Lee Van Cleef; as well as some other old Hollywood luminaries. A well made western filmed in the Canary Islands with fine performances by its cast.'


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