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Il mattino ha l'oro in bocca (2008)
Youth of Marco Baldini
I entered the theater knowing nothing about this movie, and even not it was the true story behind the popular Italian radio show "viva radio 2" and its two hosts Marco Baldini and Rosario Fiorello.
While the first half is a boring picture of a common Florence's boy in the middle 80s, story gets shape in the second half for such a problematic youth our Baldini had while he could have been nothing but a shiny happy radio DJ. In defiance of his fortune and successes he fell in ruin several times gambling with horse races, incurring big debts mining his serenity and his abilities.
Good the performance by Elio Germano, who eventually takes the lead of the whole film, and his father for the small but relevant role. Unfortunately poor the direction, and it's a shame because with someone else this might have been a success.
Amore mio aiutami (1969)
A comedy about adultery
An average couple with a son is obsessed to be in vogue with their times cutting the bridges with the old-style relationships. Unfortunately, the wife falls truly in love with a friend, and after this the husband realizes not to be ready for such a "free" menage.
"Amore mio aiutami" is a comedy, yes, but it's rather a grotesque-comedy kind of movie. Monica Vitti is an extraordinary actress, but who knows her also knows she's got one of the worst voices in history. Sometimes she's dubbed but in this she maintains her original voice: hoarse, plaintive and boring, conferring an hilarious, additional accentuation to the whole film.
Thought it lasts two hours, it never annoys with empty scenes or holes in the script, and it's also impossible to summarize even the best scenes because it's a permanent mix between situation comedy and jealousy drama.
Even the meaning hidden in the film about the techniques to keep a wife need to be got in a comic way, consider it's a satire too, with its funny lining and its sagacious content.
The average side of America
I watched and loved the early (3) seasons of Roseanne either 18 years ago, and today when I'm lucky to get the re-runs on cable-TV. The Italian version supposed that Roseanne's birth name was Anna Rosa and Jackie's Giacomina, two sisters from Napoli who moved to U.S.A. to follow a marine named Dan whom Anna Rosa fell in love. Hilarious the dubbing with Neapolitan accent and the tales from their native city.
I loved the show until Darlene was the fussy sister and Becky the good one, and sometimes their roles were upside down, but since (about) fourth season many things changed.
Too much quarrels, too much malice in the family and outside brought the show in a wrong direction.
Anyway, the first episodes are so good that I think my full 8 rate is deserved.
The highest value of this show, I think, is to show the "average" side of America. Thought I've never been there, I bet the Conners are more probable than the Huxtables or the Camdens (for example...). In other words a very good series about a normal family facing day by day authentic life's big and tiny troubles.
The Fountainhead (1949)
The prize of borrowing ideas
The fact that Cooper and Neal fell in love on the set of this film probably improved the final result of this average (in the budget I suppose) film, but yet quite original in the script.
Instead of develop a sole story inside an environment (architect studios or a editorial office) the story grows on two binaries, similar and parallel, but goaling each one to explain how fundamental is to preserve an intellectual property (a project, a press campaign, whatever), carrying, yes, every responsibility, but eventually building a position thanks of being unconventional.
Either Peter and the editor couldn't make a step without a someone else's idea. The first got in troubles when he showed not to have enough influence and earned respect to impose his strict conditions, the second to start a campaign he finally felt by his own only, but not coinciding either his boss' tastes and part of the public opinion.
Interesting and with a smart ending.
[ My vote: 85/100 ]
Mio fratello è figlio unico (2007)
Two brothers, only sons of each others
The title was taken by a 70s song by Rino Gaetano, inexplicably missing from the soundtrack, full of the greatest tracks of Italian pop of those years though. The fingers by S. Petraglia and S. Rulli in the script are very strong. Four years ago Marco Tullio Giordana with The Best of youth (La meglio gioventù) came to birth their two-hands story about Italy between the 60s and the 2000s years, and some parallels can be found between this new script and the previous one, focusing Italy in the "boom" decade (1960s), until the middle '70s, digging and studying the political context with a typical love accentuation.
In those years the Christian-democratic party (DC) was the sole entity representing the nation. Nobody after De Gasperi had his charisma and his skills to continue his path. So, a lot of people found a good shelter in the extremist parties (communist, PCI or fascist, MSI). The two brothers here join those ideas, paying in the future years their terrible consequences (living from the inside the "lead years", the 70s as they're known in Italy for the miserable succession of criminal acts).
Elio Germano is stunning. He never picked prime roles, 'till now, and he showed absolutely good skills, as great was Scamarcio. He always played frivolous roles in teenagers' movies, but this time they gave him credit and he didn't disappointed even fussy viewers (like he didn't in Crime Novel or Texas). Two brothers taking two opposite ways in their lives, loving each others very much, but politically incompatible even when on the same side.
Scenes are often cut with sketches and jokes that lighten the tension of those rough political phrases (in both directions!), the violent segments and the plot. The ending is a memorable upside-down, touching and bittersweet, with an ultimate, definitive coming of age by Accio.
I hope it will do a great job at Cannes Film Festival in the -Un certain regard- section, and like La Meglio Gioventù it will win the top prize. It really deserve it.
Awful and overrated
First of all, it's not useless confronting X-Files with CSI, but to better understand we have to study the two decades when they've developed their success.
X-Files is the King of crime TV-series in the 90s (until the early 2000s), CSI is the 2000s corresponding. The technical abilities were different 14/15 years ago than now, so a greater dosage of paranormal activities and unsolved cases is justified either for entertainment, and for material difficulties.
Don't we forget the charisma inside the two starring actors. Nobody else could be Mulder and Scully but Duchovny and Anderson.
CSI are lame chronicle of infallible detectives that seem to know IN ADVANCE whatever they carry to the laboratory. Analysises and experiments seem a mere game to demonstrate they were right anyway two hours before and the coldness is punch in the stomach for the audience. Grissom, Willows and the other actors are detestable and quite unpleasant, even because you already know that no case is unsolved for them.
The "dark" atmosphere, the blood profusion, and the gruesome amusement is also something to be deprecated, considering the young audience watching this series. They paint the forensic job as a game, the corpses as a playground and violence as something ordinary. No. These are bad principles to pass at the new generations ! One of the worst TV-series and widely overrated by public.
A super deserved " 1 "
American History X (1998)
An earthquakes of thoughts
American History X is a literal "punch in the stomach" against racism and in-tolerances. I saw it twice to "correct" the impressions I had the first time I watched it, but still make me consider this movie good but not convincing.
The perfect script makes the dialogs fluid and entertaining, but also rich in the contents. Political debates seem real, as the director would deliver to us the "gross weight" of the words, confiding we'd make the right "tare" with our conscience. The boy Danny had a role I loved. He's probably the best actor in the movie, showing a teen-ager under the influences of a brother and mother with opposite minds, but (thanks to his age) both equally beloved, beyond political visions.
Derek's redemption is badly portrayed. There is not a single reason because he should change his life INSIDE the fascist club, unchaining brawls and wounding the boss. The "conversion" of his brother on the stands is too quick and widely unrealistic. Also, performances by Brooks and Suplee are really really bad.
The 2 hours go away rapidly when you like meaningful stories, but the shocking ending doesn't get a gram of relief. Probably it's a movie crafted for an American audience and something was lost in translation. Anyway, a minute after you've entirely watched it, an earthquake of thoughts invades your mind, with a unusual yearning to share and measure your own points of view with the others'. That's the best quality of American History X, inviting to take courage and sides on an argument, immigration and tolerance, concerning every single First World nation.
Love is out there, Nina !
'Amatemi' is an elegant, slow-paced movie about a 35 years old woman (Ferrari), stuck in an insignificant marriage without children. Taking a vacation from her job of speaker in a mall, Nina starts a new life surrendering to her repressed love temptations, picking up plenty kinds of lovers. Though I symbolized an articulated story about a woman playing with too much diverse men (with all the predictable complications) the narration is solid and linear because Nina becomes simply a hedonist, spending her free time living a lifestyle miles away her previous one. De Maria lingers just on his "muse", Ferrari, mildly on the man who probably is Nina's favorite, but delivers very little elements to draw the other figures playing ! He prefers empty sequences, wandering the city by night or at the discotheque, without dialogs or plot. When conclusions showed a banal, mathematical turn, in facts, I didn't feel cheated because the director amused to give the impression something dangerous could have soon occurred, thanks also to some misleading supernatural scenes. It's been something like a mastermind with a obvious but hidden solution.
Dragged by the marvelous notes by Riccardo Sinigallia (and his masterpiece song BellAmore, that closes this film), along with Italian pop music and sophisticated pieces at the piano, every sequence has a superb cinematography, dark and nearly chaste for the love scenes, as sex were still a taboo for a female audience (is it?), here elegantly pictured even when a bit mercenary. The title "Love me!" is a bit deceptive. Nina "begs" for love just one time, quickly persuaded it's the last !
Enduring Love (2004)
A feral love
The right way to watch a movie like Enduring love is to ignore what we're getting ready to watch. The weird and complex plot (taken by a previous novel) gravitates around the tragic death of a man fell by a red balloon and two of the people who tried to avert the accident, but it takes a particular sensitivity to appreciate this movie.
Screened at Venice 2004, Michell tried to explore a territory far from the cheap glories of Notting Hill, with a considerable outcome. He plays with us scattering false clues among the true ones, embodying Joe's point of view.
It's really hard to focus the real reason because Jed obsesses Joe, ruining his life at just one step from marriage. Joe, seriously upset for Jed's shadowing, has a bitter surprise too discovering how weak were his relations with the girl he was ready to wed, annihilating mutual trust and believing the wrong people.
Scenes are greatly filmed, with a stunning cinematography in the outside sequences, accompanied with a relaxing but sad soundtrack. There's a sound melancholy pervading the whole movie, involving us to the core of the story, at each level's disclosures.
Engaging but suitable for a restricted club of cinema-lovers.
Small productions and young directors make often a great pair to discover underrated cinema gems; like this! An unexpected good surprise that wrestles with the poor box-office gathered.
Walter (Carlo delle Piane) is a retired man who feels useless for his condition, but when he reads on a newspaper that statistically there's 1 worker for each pensioner he starts a weird chase to find "the one" who works for his pension.
After a long trip in the city, Walter chooses a thirty years old man, bachelor, extremely shy, with a boring life, named Piero (Pierfrancesco Favino). Helped by a little girl, the old man will spur the shy guy on to change his life.
Favino and Delle Piane couple is the power, the engine of the movie. Both great actors, perfectly embody new and old (actoral) school, two of the best in their generations. Anna Falchi has a marginal role, a "fil rouge" linking the audience and the story. Her confessions at the video-diary comment what happens her around (she's a neighbor of Walter), but adds some opinions too about women, love or off-topic life experiences.
Interesting the double role of the character "Piero", acted by Favino for the shy parts and by Valerio Mastandrea for the exuberant ones. Loneliness is a ghost of recent society that people (like here) have to fight day by day. Smart was the triple level on which the story develops, three confronting generations: the child, the boy & the girl, and the old man. Their approaches, with three (four) different knowledges for a common project was really a perfect idea onto invent a movie.
Extremely pleasant the soundtrack too, merely instrumental (strings and piano), nothing was disregarded at all by directors and the end was, yes, predictable, but satisfied me enough for its reassuring message.
A non-politically correct ending would have been just a useless false note, ain't I'm right ?
The worst episode
Every TV-Series has its bad episodes. I love this show, but I hope you'll agree with me saying this is the worst episode EVER !! Raymond has everything an average man with family needs: a lovely wife, a good work with a good salary and three awesome children; but NO. He's pessimistic and though he wins a prize as best journalist of the year (what??) he's still strong with himself. Something very very bad, to compensate, will surely happen soon.
An exhausting series of grumbles, with Debra saying he's smart, unique, good father, but NO. He's pessimistic and after something good, something bad is ready at the door. No wrangles between Marie and Frank, no funny sketches with Robert. Everything is focused on Ray and Debra.
Such retarded episodes shouldn't have been produced either. The prize as best journalist of the year should have took place in another context (considering average men don't win national prizes like that) with a more respectful way to receive it and towards his profession and colleagues. What should say Robert, uh ? An awful episode with a lame moral.
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
Three girls' best of youth
Lovely, delightful. These two adjectives are the best to explain what I feel every time I see Fried Green Tomatoes.
To be a man, FGT is an exciting voyage inside female minds. The cast is made essentially by female girls and women, with their insecurities and need to love. Kathy Bates is adorable, very far from the evil Annie in Misery !! She's a frustrated middle-aged woman, Evelyn, living with a careless husband, without directions and a reason to live. One day, at the hospice, she finds a nice old woman, becomes her friend and starts listening to a breathtaking story (in third person) about a simple restaurant at the train station where good girls served tasteful fried green tomatoes, in the 1930s.
It's more than just a gossip story. The simple, genuine youth of these girls is more enviable than millions others. Life was hard those years, too little rights for women were acknowledged yet, and this movie insists on this theme, but everything is balanced with a (even involuntary!) spontaneous humor, never fading inside pure feminism or inappropriate fields. Furthermore, the way it's edited, mixing the narrated story with amusing sketches of today (the scene at supermarket parking is memorable!), grows in us the same interesting of Evelyn in the story and the characters it's populated of. Nothing happens simplifying or sweetening reality, no, Avnet doesn't look for shortcuts. The story is essentially sad and has a surprisingly grotesque implications (do you know what I mean ?!) you'll never expect. Idgie personifies the will to live, beyond difficulties and odds, arousing then Evelyn's admiration. She realized to be a "Ruth" and wanted to become a "Idgie" with her husband, finding the strength to change.
Good for the whole family, I hope you'll find it great (and with a better soundtrack could have been greater) as it's for me.
The Wedding Planner (2001)
Same old story ! [3/10]
Every time you give credit to these kind of comedies 9 times over 10 you'll remain disappointed. You say yourself that probably they couldn't serve you the same soup as did several times ago. Another good reason can be J.Lo, which is a quite good actress, it's true.
To stay at home with your girl or your family it's probably a good choice (well, not for you, but for her), but there's a limit this film has overcome. Not a more predictable, nonsense story could have been invented. People in love at first sight, weddings crashing on the altar and runaways of brides. The script is stuffed with some comic gags (a bit vulgar, like the scene of the statue), and the eccentricities of Massimo and his family. At least they spared us the typical gay friend ! Too little to save the weak plot, clear pretext to give J.Lo a role and make a rich box-office.
The direction is decent (the budget was quite considerable!), as for the soundtrack and the two good starring actors. Surely, a classic in the genre, a must see for women on the point of wedding. Otherwise, it's a romantic, ordinary comedy for lovers only.
One of the funniest episodes
This episode is one of the best one ever made of "I Robinson", that's the name of the Series in Italy.
Vanessa founds a female vocalist band with her best friends, called "Le Ombrette". That's how I know it, I'm not sure of the English name (I think The Clairettes, in honor of Clair who supported them since the early steps). Their song "B-B-B-Baby" (or something like that!), was quite funny and entertaining, as funny were the moves they made to dance their tunes or the mocking jokes by Theo and his friend "Cockroach". Finally something different than the lame Cliff's speeches or the annoying troubles of Denise. Too bad they didn't carry on this idea for the future (just another episode, I think). Vanessa should have become a singer, why not ?
In case someone confused this episode with the one with Stevie Wonder, well, it's not the same (it was 1986's A touch of Wonder when Theo and Vanessa had a car accident with Wonder's Limousine and then he invited them at his Recording Studio).
The Cosby Show isn't the greatest TV-Series ever, but arouses in me a lot of records of my childhood, so I still watch it when it's possible.
Parenti serpenti (1992)
Poisonous but funny !
Monicelli always went beyond the Italian comedy genre. His movies mocked the worst habits living inside his characters, with grotesques but reflective stories in ancient and recent Italy. This one is probably his last masterpiece (he's 92 by now) and if you haven't seen it yet, go rent it ! A typical southern Italy family reunites in the native home in Sulmona (Abruzzo) for Christmas Seasons. Apparently everything goes marvelously: the parents, 2 sons and 2 daughters, 1 nephew and 1 niece, and 3 brother/sister in law (1 bachelor and 1 couple without sons). Spending just two weeks a year together they always pretended to love each other, acting like a model family. Getting old, the mother Trieste, thinking to his older, sick husband too, during the big Christmas lunch, decides to ask hospitality with ONE and just ONE of the sons. A tragedy.
Instead of the the idyllic family of the first half part, in the second the sleeping grudges and resentments came out explosively, discovering the painful realities about each one, the reasons for which they shouldn't take their parents at home, OK, but yet too weak to get out of the task. Thought it was a right, correct query nobody wants that burden inventing the weirdest excuses. The war burst on different fronts, reckoning every old rancor.
The perfectly built dialogues create a nice spectrum of the variegated accents of Italian language (north/south), as it could have happened everywhere. Either watching several times you can't find a hole in the script, thank overall to the skilled actors (Marina Confalone's plane sequence is excellent!). The hypocritical social substratum (typical of small towns) where that family grew up and blamed as vile for years, eventually permeated through them and led the dear offspring to that evil ending.
A trivia: Cinzia Leone was substituted for the last scene at the party having suffered a fit in the filming dates. She still carries the after effects of that time with a facial paresis.
The most poisonous dark comedy made in Italy in the last 20 years, and probably ever. I recommend it warmly to all of you !
When Dallas was aired for the first times in the 80s I was a child and I couldn't appreciate it yet. Since last September, when a satellite channel proposed again this Soap Opera, I had a small crush of it. I became fond of J.R.'s intrigues, his rivalry with Bobby and Cliff Barnes, the beautiful Pamela and nice Miss Ellie.
Dallas' strength is the plot. Not completely concerned about love and betrayals (typical but annoying), the Ewing Oil battles can move even the male audience transforming the Soap in a TV-series. Jim Davis' death (the mythical Jock, R.I.P.) put a lot of fuel in the "engines" with the legacy questions and relations getting worse. J.R.'s Machiavellian plans filled the script of amusing and caustic irony, always enjoyable.
The recitative level wasn't so great; all the actors, actually, had their height in this series, but the general quality is decent. Except for Ken Kercheval and Steve Kanaly, which proved to be good actors giving a great shape to their characters, challenging J.R. at any cost. Special mention to Charlene Tilton, which is really beautiful and should have had greater relief in the story.
Ending too late, in 1991 (2-3 years too many), the story was slowly plagued by script tricks and poorly credible deaths or departures, compromising its heritage made of several Emmys and 1 Golden Globe won.
6,5 / 10
Striscia la notizia (1988)
I don't like it anymore
"Striscia la Notizia" is possibly the most famous and lasting TV-show in Italy still living. Aired for the first time in fall 1988 as supplement of the 80s' comedy shows by Antonio Ricci, eventually resisted through the years, evolving, becoming a Cult for millions people. Initially it started as a parody of real bulletins, giving curious news or the facts translated in satire. Slowly, gathering a (unexpected I suppose) big success, maintaining the access time placing (moving from the second channel Italia 1 to the first Canale 5 in 1990), they dared a bit more, giving special prominence to injustices and wastes too, earning the trust of the public. Today they abused of the quite good successes obtained in the past (see Wanna Marchi case) and became a repetitive venting valve for municipal wastes or small single injustices anybody really cares.
In difficulties with audience they didn't spare hypocritical accusations in terms of intriguing against the challenging show that stole them precious share points, revealing their mean nature: instead of a fair competition they preferred discredit. With their beautiful valets called "Veline" they've cemented the myth of beauty in teenager girls, as only qualification to succeed. It's what this show became that I blame. Early editions, in facts, were quite entertaining, but now is an untouchable stronghold of power, living on old achievements. Furthermore, Striscia put upside-down TV-schedules, influencing negatively the other principal channels and the concept itself of prime-time (delaying the start to 21,30), forcing to watch a complete movie or show until midnight.
Little Quacker (1950)
The Tom & Jerry show marked my childhood more than the Japanese cartoons and maybe equally than Diseny's full-length's films. The Little Quacker is an episode belonging the "second" era, the Hanna & Barbera series, which is funny and amusing at the same level as the first. I couldn't choose the best one. Unfortunately is the third "era", with Chuck Jones in the 60s, that created rubbish episodes, often plagiarizing the old pearls.
This time (was 1950!) Tom steals an egg from a straw bed to prepare the breakfast, but when comes up a little duck he promptly opts for cooking him stuffed. Either Jerry and the duck won't agree Tom's idea.
The best scene was at the end, when the mother of the little duck calls a sinister fellow-duck named "Irven" after she knew what Tom did, to give him a lesson (and he'll get it !). These cartoons were made by few people (in the credits I counted 8 men) with big imagination and great ideas. I admire them. The fact, in the end, exist relatively few episodes (maybe 80-100 in 20 years) of T&J series preserved them through the decades as immortal, and I'm not joking!
Non aver paura (2005)
Powerful and emotional
"Don't be scared" is a thin, sadist thriller about a mysterious man threatening by phone a separated woman at the call-center where she works. He seems to know every move of the woman and her son, their schedules, their habits. The son, suffering his familiar condition, finds solace in imaginary friends isolating from reality.
Longoni tries to build a psychological thriller without explicit violence, as a mark of distinction from American crime stories. It resembles me 'Hide and Seek' with Dakota Fanning of the same year. Premises are similar, but the endings were very different ! For me he achieved his target successfully (critics wouldn't agree), dealing marginally (not superficially) the difficult sphere of pedophilia too. In general, the focus is on the damages a scattered family can cause, especially in regards of children.
Though the low budget limitations it doesn't seem a TV-movie. The recitative level was great thank to Morante and Boni at their ease in dramatic, hot-tempered roles. A final advice for those who have already seen the movie : don't feel disappointed of the ambiguous ending, it HAD to end like this !
A waste of time
For 21 years the artistic duet Massimo Boldi/Christian De Sica brought out a Christmastime movie, made with the same depressing formula of lowest level comedies. In 2006 they split with mutual accusations and an open challenge at box-office: Boldi's vs De Sica's film. While the first flopped with Olé, the second had a good (unexplainable) response from the audience.
Olé, actually, is a painful, silly comedy about a school-trip in Spain by an Italian high-school class, and their two professors: Boldi and Neapolitan actor Vincenzo Salemme, long time rivals for a colleague's love. At a museum they run into a group of American female students with a beautiful Arts professor (Daryl Hannah) and the two classes become friends, detouring to Ibiza.
I can't understand why Hannah embarked in such a disastrous project, but at least she was one of the few reasons to stay awake at theater. The second could be Natalia Estrada, the beautiful Spanish-Italian showgirl here as a paparazzi's victim celebrity.
The final scene is an homage to "The Graduate" with Boldi at Hoffman's place; director Vanzina wanted to put "Mrs. Robinson" song too, but for royalties impediments he couldn't. Also, the fire-walking scene quoted another great film, Monicelli's Brancaleone at the Crusades.
Olé could have been a good light movie without the trite gags about Viagra or the crappy, improbable situations; but there's little to laugh, in every sense.
Brucio nel vento (2002)
An enigmatic writer
Everybody who knew Italian director Silvio Soldini for his brilliant Bread and Tulips, with Brucio nel Vento (Burning in the wind) probably will remain disappointed with it. I mean, while the previous was able to "marry" quality actors with a popular, refreshing story, this time the spell was unable to occur for the weight of the story.
In a remote village of eastern Europe, the kid Tobias lives with his young mother, widow and also forced to prostitute herself for money. She does it with the elementary teacher too (and him for compassion, I think), but he was the first to understand Tobias is smart and needs an higher education. One night the child ran away from home (after stabbing her mother in the sleep, believing her dead) and traveling through Europe, year by year, growing and eventually settles down somewhere in Switzerland, becoming a workman with a dignified life: a simple home, friends but not a woman. Every night he writes, writes, pages over pages, addressing his words to a "perfect" woman he idealized. He's a wanna-be writer but nobody seem to notice his talent.
Soldini seems keeping to the rigid rules of sophisticated cinema, ignoring any cheesy approach to the audience. The narrating voice, long stares between the actors and fragmentary dialogs, everything through Tobias' mind. I'm not saying it doesn't worth the time spent, no, but reach the ending it's not easy. Settling the story in Switzerland, speaking about immigration, Soldini perhaps makes a reflection about the "state of the art" of integration (in Europe). Tobias seems bothered by the natives of the city where he lives, and prefers foreigner people to have good time, though everybody treat him with the best cordiality. So, was his little, artist's madness or a voluntary rejection towards western society ? At the end of the movie, in facts, you gathered so much hints, cues besides the solely story that a sensitive watcher cannot pass over. Ivan Franek was convincing and solid. The rest of the cast is quite undefinable, sometimes insipid and lost. Not even a delicate soundtrack, but a raw piece of cinema with open questions on the table.
To Be the Best (1993)
Mike Worth worths the movie !
To be the best is a little naive replica of Final Impact, this time all shifted as a Team of American kick-boxers training for the world championship. The script it's fairly poor and it seems written by unexperienced people, and thank to the so-so actors, the good Mike Worth was left alone holding up the shaky story. This time a dubious affair of bets and fixed bouts, but luckily without pretensions (the low budget prevented it).
Mehri seems to need Lamas for his charisma, while Martin Kove tries to be convincing as an upright coach of the team. No, he can't. He looks more a shrewish foreman than a mentor. Anyway, on the ring, the fighting scenes are memorable. Well choreographed they're pretty realistic and captivating. Mike Worth, Vince Murdocco, Steve Vincent Leigh were phenomenal. If just they showed more action and less chats this flick could have taken an higher vote.
Sad the choice to put a commentator during the fights. A real disgrace because an easy-to-find song under the FX would have been found even by a child, and all the work would benefited. As fighters the actors do a great job, and that's all I asked for this action movie. Again, the editor cut a lot of fights (condensing them in a big video-clip) to save time: but time for what ?! These are not mistakes attributable to money, and still they occur !
7,5 / 10
Final Impact (1992)
Brilliant kick-boxing movie
Final Impact is one of my favorite kick-boxing movies. We're talking about B-movies, I know it, but the 9 I gave wasn't out of place at all. I couldn't say how many times I re-seen this flick principally for the action scenes, stunning and entertaining, truly at Van Damme's level. Mike Worth is a tough guy and a good actor too. Don't you think he's quite underrated ?
The story was a pure cliché of the genre, the formula is the same of Karate Kid or the latest "kickboxer" episodes, but here was before it became rotten (mid 90s) and out-of-date. I hope many of you agree with me about the fantastic scene of the cumulative fights of the championship. Well shot, breathtaking edited, blow by blow in a whirling minute of action. It's a classic for these kind of movies, but even Bloodsport's or Kickboxer's aren't at this level. Probably just Mehri's next year "To be the best" (a must see movie) or Bloodsport 2 (another pearl). Gary Daniels was a great fighter and his two bouts against Worth are thrilling and cheesy. Too bad Ian Jacklin didn't have a role; we barely see him in the starting scene. He made a great job in other movies either as the bad or the good guy.
The DVD doesn't offer a thing. No extra scenes, rare material or interviews. I hope in the future (when perhaps, I hope, this genre will return mainstream) will be release a decent product, worthy to be called "DVD".
This film will please solely the genre lovers, but being so underrated seems just an average, meaningless clone.
The X Files: Redrum (2000)
Check your watch
This episode is one of my favorites. I love the entire series of X-Files just for the writers' audacity exploring the endless frontiers of sci-fiction (Chris Carter, a genius!).
*Redrum* combines Minority Report and Memento with sagacity, inserting various elements to reflect above. An innocent prisoner (charged of uxoricide) realizes to live his life backwards as Fate decided to give him "a second chance" to prove he's not guilty. Nobody believes him, obviously, but day by day he'll accomplish his task, anyway with a sour ending I don't want to reveal.
There's some violence and disturbing images which can frighten a lot, so it's not for everyone. Perfect, as always, Mark Snow's music and the well-written dialogs. John Dogget/Robert Patrick is great with Scully, and in the end he just profited of Duchovny's quarrels with production that keep him out of the set for a year, building a new real, convincing character.
**SPOILERS** Naturally the movie Memento came to my mind, but P. Dick's novel Minority Report too, about prevention of the crimes. In facts, prevent the crimes sometimes means just postpone them in the future (like Mr. Wells in this episode), so why should Destiny gift us such a precious opportunity ?
Just for a careless evening
Vanzina bros, Carlo the director and Enrico the writer, create another mean, shaky comedy for the masses, OK, but even without humor and valid sketches too.
Seen today it seems a new edition from Celebrity Survivor, since the cast was made by some of the most famous comedy actors in Italy: Greggio, Fassari, Gullotta, Scattini and many others. As survivors, on a desert island, they'll have to live like wilds renouncing at every comfort. The idea was great, to be honest, the cast too was interesting (every actor made good things on TV one by one, in the right shows) but was developed hurriedly without any grace.
The level is very very low; the choices to laugh are rare and embarrassing. Funny the political references, considering the tormented period (1994/95) in Italy, and the soundtrack made by the disco music played those years.
Overall, any try to defend Selvaggi is a desperate venture.