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My trade mark is I HATE movies made for idiots and teens, I hate manufactured products made for mindless audiences always in quest of always the same schemes. I crave for action films and series, that means violence, brutality but also emotion pulled by powerful characters who bring you such intensity in your blood, in your brain, in your soul, that you have war drums in your ears. I love unusual stories, I love being surprised. I can make the difference between a movie I love and a movie which is a good one. Or between a crap and a film I don't particularely like. I am not an intellectual, I am always lost in too much complex, complicated topics, but I am never puzzled in emotional lines. That's what I live for. Emotion and intensity. Suspense is emotion for me. Not complicated schemes.
The Pool (2018)
Hollywood in Bangkok
I nearly liked this movie after several minutes, because of the direting skills, cliffangers within cliffangers, suspense involving suspense, situatiuons that reminded me some FINAL DESTINATION FINALE series tricks, with the technical chain of events. That was smart and not clumsy at all. But it unfortunately had to have an end one way or another...Then there was the broad link with her baby to be born issue and the hero refusing to assume.... Oh my God...I did not deserve this kind of Hollywood industry crap, and cheesy bullsh.... WHY WHY WHY did that seemingly gifted director use those lousy matters into such a good B picture? WHY? Can anyone answer me? And the final scenes are absolutely unbearable...How can anyone survive after being underwater - of course without any equipment - and still being alive?
WHY always insisting to put a f...happy ending for idiots.
It's such a shame that Hollywood crap infects, contaminates in a scale far larger than the COVID, those foreign movie industries which certainly don't need this. Maybe that's the audiences fault, silly audiences who plebiscite those craps.
Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
Forget Heartbreak Ridge junk.
This is the best over the best of Clint Eastwood, a film director who gets better and better over the years. I have always preferred him as a film maker than as an actor; though I understand that many people love him, his presence...But I don't. He more or less always played the same kind of characters. This topic is also very close to the movie starring Tony Curtis: THE OUTSIDER (1961), about the Iwo JIma flag myth. No many folks have noticed it. This shows the true face of the ugly, disgusting side of the politics and human nature. I would say it is nearly anti American, which is, for a Clint Eastwood feature, a real surprise. Moving, poignant, so human story. Yes, the best of Eastwood.
Funny Games (1997)
Peter Collinson's DNA
I thought about some of Peter Collinson's features when I watched this one: PENTHOUSE, OPEN SEASON, though the latest was not a home invasion, but instead a home guest topic, where a bunch of hunters, human being hunters, abducted an illegitimate couple, brought them to a cabin in the woods, fed them like regular "guests" then hunt them down. The behavior of the hunters in OPEN SEASON was very similar to the ugly ones here, terrifying and gentle, kind and nasty, smooth and brutal. Gruesome atmosphere, not for the sissies. In PENTHOUSE, it was a genuine home invasion scheme, closer to this one however. Very delicate, disturbing, unbearable atmosphere for those no prepared. A real shock, but a so delightful shock. Forget super heroes junk. In this story, You can think about STRAW DOGS, Elia Kazan's THE VISITORS, with a zest of CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
The Penthouse (1967)
One of Collinson's best
We'll find another link of this scheme in Collinson's filmography by watching OPEN SEASON, FRIGHT, STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING which the story is not the same but the atmosphere, distrubing, nasty, making the audiences very uncomfortable. But if you have seen FUNNY GAMES - both versions - you'll also think about PENTHOUSE. Among the best home invasion topics films ever. But prepare not to watch this with the parents in law or the youngest in the family. Delicious, nasty, excellent, repugnant. A pure masterpiece.
A Little Trip to Heaven (2005)
Forrest Whitacker carries the film.
I will remind this grade B picture only for the presence of Forrest Whitacker, who is absolutely awesome here in this offbeat character. Do not miss the introduction of his role, aboard the bus. The rest of the story has a bit of FARGO for the atmosphere and also a slice of DOUBLE INDEMNITY, but only on the scheme. It is an anti hero story that may leave you a bitter taste in the mouth. But that's precisely the most delicious, because unpredictable.
Sensitive Italian drama
You can think about the French film NAISSANCE DES PIEUVRES, from 2007 and also speaking of synchronized swimming; female swimming. Not male as the garbage LE GRAND BAIN, showing men practicing this beautiful sport. But this film, now, is more social than a documentary about sport. Very. Close to a Ken Loach's atmosphere, though many films actually are. This teen girl taking charge of her little brother and daddy is moving. French films look nearly the same in the story telling and structure too..
Without Remorse (2021)
The worst of Sollima....
It is shameful that I am forced to put a rate - a minimum of stars - because this movie doesn't deserve any one. This is a disgrace for a gifted director such a Stefano Sollima, the son of the great Sergio, to provide such a crap, a straight to DVD product, though an agreeable time waster. I would have never bet a cent that such a great film maker would do this to us. I am not sure to remind it before supper, my brain.soft - hard - ware is programmed.to erase such junk stuff. Anyway with Tom Clancy,there is the eternal issue, the eternal good guys vs the bad guys. OK that's very accurate, documented, interesting for those craving for espionnage and strategy, intelligent world and action thrillers in the same time. But there are unfortunately too many clichés. Forgive me if I have.digressed a bit on Tom Clancy's books. I will only say I prefer Frederick Forsyth's ones, another master in the genre, but with not the same clichés.
The Great Waldo Pepper (1975)
Chivalry in the sky
I will always have a great tenderness for this movie, full of nostalgia and forgotten spirit, if you compare with the movies from now. This is not a great film, but a movie I simply love. Sometimes, we have the same kind of atmosphere as in GIPSY MOTHS; just replace.skydiving with stunt pilots. Characters are so sweet, attracting the most sympathy from the audience, a so moving spirit, so pure, in search of something lost or.unaittable. Or maybe not. Not all audiences can fully dive into the magic meaning of this feature. Typical of the seventies, hidden melancholy. A superb, terrific ending that haunts me since my childhood. A tale of knights of the air, in a quest of their Graal. If you are sensitive with chivalry spirit, and not only war chivalry, maybe this film is made for you. And I also found some tiny links in common with MOBY DICK story, though the story has nothing to do with it. Watch out for the final minutes, with Kessler character, the most fascinating of the film, a so moving character. I nearly weep writing about him. And in this feature, it is also emphasized the true nature of the humans, for instance after the plane crash, with the poor man agonizing...I am ashamed to belong to the human kind when I watch this. And you also have in this movie the elements which permit you to think that nothing can stop a movie or - flight- circus director to attract audiences, even risking the life of his actors or employees. And that's not a novelty.
The Dalton Girls (1957)
Not Johnny Guitar as a feminist western but....
This western belongs to the short list of westerns involving female gunslingers and duels between them. It is a lousy picture but excellent for me, very unusual for this kind of productions. There would have been more of them. The best example of what Grade B pictures could provide from time to time.
Johnny Guitar (1954)
Where is Barbara Stanwyck?
Of course, for any moviebuff, any western movie buff, especially any feminist in the action film genre, the absence of Barbara Stanwyck can be noticed. It would have been the prefect film for her, any role here - McCambrige or Crawford's one - would have fit Stanwyck like a glove. If you think about MAVERICK QUEEN, FORTY GUNS, CATTLE QUEEN OF MONTANA or THE FURIES, you'll see what I mean. But those four latest westerns are in a bit lesser scale than this one, which is a pure masterpiece. Ben Cooper's physique reminds me Audie Murphy, but maybe not the character though.
36 Hours (1964)
Unlikely but great.
This fantastic story seems very difficult to be believed in, maybe that's precisely for this reason that it's fantastic. Any movie buff has recognized the resemblance between this topic and a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE series episode. And I guess not only episode. Anyway, this espionage genre film is among the best ever, full of suspense, very easy to follow. The audiences are glued to their seats, wondering how the prisoner Gardner will find out the set up, the details that will wake his suspicion up. And also how the Nazis will obtain the information about the location of the D Day landing, and also the date. I enjoyed the sequence where Rod Taylor explains the prisoner - still unaware of the set-up - that after the war, the SS leaders were arrested and executed. Look out the SS' face, who is present in the room during the seance. ....
This film also explains very well the rivalry that existed in Germany, between the SS and the Abwehr and also Wehrmacht; a rivalry that finally lead to the German collapse. Hitler wanted tp prevent a plot against him, and in that purpose, he imposed the strategy : dividing for a better reign.
And I will finish by the irony: the prisoner tells - at first without his will - the truth about the landing place and the Nazis don't even believe him. But that's not that far from reality. During the war, in 1940, just before France invasion, a German pilot crashed in Belgium with a map aboard, a map where the Nazis invasion plans were fully explained. And of course, no Allies believed in that map, they instead thought it was a forgery.
Aus einem deutschen Leben (1977)
Unmissable for anyone interested in this period.
Such a shame that this masterpiece is not better released, at least in DVD all over the world. This is another point of view concerning the Holocaust. Forget any other material. I just found out that the Robert Merle's book was adapted for the big screen - or even small one. What a wonderful surprise for me. So interesting and distrubing to put yourself into Rudolph Hoess - do not confound with the Hitler's sidekick who flought to Britain in 1941 - Rudolph Hoess' head, the big executive of Auschwitz extermination camp who monitored it as a regular factory, with production goals, performances, to achieve, preserve or enhance,, the same with the work rate, pace, to increase. A man who was also a good family man, getting home every evening, as any normal worker or manager. This.contrast is the most disturbing for anyone. Anyone. There was no real hate in his behavior, only the taste of the.job well done. This film shows his story in a very accurate way. And WHO better than Germans can do this? Who? Russians, Americans, British?
LET ME LAUGH!!!!
When killers meet....
If you have any children, please, never show this movie to them. This is a genuine clumsy but terrific piece of work, gritty, gloomy, cruel and disturbing for those who watch it very closely. No humor but, I admit, many offbeat situations, unfortunately pulled by lousy, clumsy acting and directing. But here, forget any usual scheme, nothing, I insist, nothing is predictable here. The young boy character may haunt you for a long time after the watching, a long time, because this is a so nasty feeling that invades you then. The dog character, because it is a complete, fully depicted character, is also very interesting, captivating. I consider this feature as among the best and most interesting ever shown about dogs. CUJO or WHITE DOG and WHITE GOD are also excellent, but this one can easily stay among them.
A Prize of Arms (1962)
Best and underrated of the UK crime film industry.
Taut, sharp, fast, accurate and pulled by terrific acting and directing. Stan Baker has here a role very close to the one he'll have four years later in Peter Yates' ROBBERY. But the problem is,, as Lenny Maltin said in his dictionnary, the too much British accents, I could not understand each sentence entirely. I rarely had noticed this in any British film. But who cares, any one can follow this superb cime thriller where there is no good vs evil scheme. I highly recommend it. Unfortunately never shown in France since its treater relase in 1963, before I was even born. Abrupt ending.
A Score to Settle (2019)
Roaring Ten's for Nick Cage
In this gloomy, depressing crime drama, Nick Cage does his very best to save the ship. The story is against any hero picture depiction, on the contrary, don't expect any highlight. Nick Cage shows a character rarely played before, a character whose fate is already doomed in advance. Not for all audiences. But I like this kind of features, though not that good directed nor acted. Weak film making, lousy at many moments, with a ending that is more than inspired by ROARING TWENTIES finale, but Cage's character is not Jimmy Cagney.
La gomera (2019)
I love the aesthetics of this film, a movie highly influenced by SUBURRA, made by Stefano Sollima in 2015, where the topic - mafia - was also used and especially where the graphic lines were very close too. Look out for the both films endings. It needs to be watched several times, though, to be totally involved in this unusual and very surprising story.
The Deadly Trackers (1973)
Another ambivalent character for Richard Harris
As the role he will have several years later in ORCA THE KILLER WHALE, where his character hesitates between good and evil, provoking repulsion and empathy from the audiences, here, it is a bit the same. The sheriff seeking revenge against those who killed his family, this scheme had already been told many times before, unless here there is nothing really heroic; you would never watch such a movie in the forties and fifties, nor the eighties, nineties or two thousands. Never. Here, you may find some "good feelings" for the nasty character played by a surprising Rod Taylor, because of the link between him and his child. Then Harris can be seen not as the good one, see what I mean? And also what a surprise to see Al Lettieri as a sympathetic sheriff, probably his only good guy role in his whole career. Typical of the early seventies. For die hard moviegoers for this period.
Excellent revenge scheme
Typical of the seventies, the decade - with the late sixties - of the desperate, gloomy, melancholic stories, showing anti heroes, characters facing their doom, facing the.inevitable. In this register, Rod Steiger is at his best, the perfect role for him. Of course this topic would have never been made now. Dark, brutal, gritty and hopeless, exactly what I crave for. But this not DAY OF THE JACKAL, though the some lines may seem very close to the Fred Zinneman's feature.
The Jayhawkers! (1959)
A good try in the western genre.
I would say that this film is for Melvin Frank what THE TRAP was for his former buddy Norman Panama, both who earlier in their careers made comedies, only comedies, light ones. It could have been far far worse for those directors whose this was their first try in the western, crime, action genre. Of course, this is not John Ford nor Howard Hawks or even Delmer Daves nor hank Hathaway, ut Jeff Chandler is here and helps a lot. Good western.
The hitch hiker
This is a sensitive feature, a short one speaking of a young woman, left by her mate, who owns a car, without any driving licence, and asks some folks whom she meets.here and there to drive her anywhere. A young woman in search of something, maybe herself.... Not bad at all and the perfect scheme for a 14 minutes film.
This short film shows a young woman in her bathroom, reviving a.recent drama, the loss of her husband in a car crash. It is short but efficient, well done and acted. It also seems inspired by some kind of TWILIGHT ZONE scheme for the ending.
A Kiss Before Dying (1991)
A fully declared tribute to Vertigo
Despite the fact that this movie is a fairly good remake of the Gerd Oswald's among best work for the big screen, no one can deny that Alfred Hitchcock's VERTIGO shadow spreads all over the film. Twins sisters, the fall, many elements, including the scene when. Sean Young is watching precisely VERTIGO sequence of Kim Novak falling down the tower. More than obvious, isn't it? Many of the audiences may prefer Robert Wagner in the 1956 version another forever young actor on screen too, as Matt Dillon is and will remain, even at 90 years old, I am sure !!!! I nearly forgot the old house shown at the beginning of the film, which looks like the house of PSYCHO. Another tribute. One last thing I want to say, the last image of the film, just before the ending credits, with the young boy watching trains. Terrific, because that explains the evil lead character motivations, the genesis of everything.
The Trap (1959)
Good try from a comedy specialist
I would never have bet a dime on the fact that Norm Panama would have written and directed a crime drama, the same with Dick Quine giving us PUSHOVER, or the French director Cedric Klapish making NI POUR NI CONTRE BIEN AU CONTRAIRE. All of them also comedy specialist, ad pretty good ones. So back to this one, a kind of hybrid prodict, hesitating between western - settings and villains gangsters shown as like Indians- and crime drama, with a bit touch of 3.10 TO YUMA, pulled by convincing performances such as the likes of Richard Widmark and Lee J Cobb. Wirdmark could have made Cobb's character too, but maybe not Cobb, Widmark's role, though. Yes, it's a good film, but a bit predictable, unfortunately.
Thriller: A Good Imagination (1961)
Would have been exquisite with Vincent Price
I say Vince Price because this scheme of a murderer inspired by great notorious novels, legends or tales to commit murders will be used nearly one decade later in THEATER OF BLOOD, or even MR PHIBES two movies, but of course with more style and imagination, both starred Vincent Price at his peak. But this little story is rather amusing and pleasant. I don't know any of the actors nor the main actress, the not reader broad. The topic functions on the repetitive mode, you see the lovers one after theother, waiting for each one's fatal fate very soon after, wondering which book the cheated - or cheated to be - husband will use to get rid of him (the lover). Enjoy, you won't regret it.
Good but not excellent Tv anthology show.
Do not confound it with ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS and " " HOUR Tv series, from the nearly same period and also a famous, notorious Tv anthology too. In AH series, you always had a twist ending; here, not necessarily. Here, you may deal with "normal" long length features topics, with a predictable ending. But I admit that's not a criterion of quality. A twist ending story may be lousy and a classic ending may also "hide" a fantastic story. Anyway, I won't deny the overall quality of this TV show host by Boris Karloff., there are amazing, terrific episodes, as in ANY series. But I would prefer AH if I take some distance and see the overall show. And this series THRILLER also has the particularity of offer dramas, crime, thrillers, film noir, mystery, horror, and once or twice a bit sci-fi schemes. In AH I may remember that there was not as many lines of directions, it remained dramas and crime. But it sometimes had comedy topics, which is not here, as far as I remember.