A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE/DUCK, YOU SUCKER!/GIU, LA TESTA!/ONCE UPON A TIME… THE REVOLUTION

1971; directed by Sergio Leone; written by Roberto De Leonardis, Sergio Donati, Sergio Leone, Carlo Tritto and Luciano Vincenzoni; 154 mins

[Spoilers.]

“And then, the people who read the books, they all sit around the big polished tables, and they talk and talk and talk and eat and eat and eat, eh? But what has happened to the poor people? They’re dead! That’s your revolution.” – Juan Miranda

About the only film I would say is a genuine underrated classic. Perennially lost amidst all of Leone’s other films, A Fistful of Dynamite (by which it’ll be referred from here on in because that’s the name by which I came to it) is the dirty, smelly, subversive cousin sandwiched in between golden children, Once Upon a time in the West (1968) and Once Upon a Time in America (1984). It’s historically all over the place, to say nothing of the lead actors’ accents. When it came out, it was too ambivalent in it’s politics for the cultural elite and too arty for the studios, both of whom butchered it in their own way. This review is of the 154 minute version… that’s very important! Not the 121 minute version or the 138 minute version which miss out very crucial character beats. Continue reading

THE GREAT SILENCE

1968; directed by Sergio Corbucci; written by Mario Amendola, Bruno Corbucci, Sergio Corbucci and Vittoriano Petrilli; 101 mins

[SPOILERO!]

Bleak is the word! In Sergio Corbucci‘s atypically snowbound Spaghetti Western, the faces are scarred and severe and the landscapes are endless and lonely. Filmed in the Italian Dolomites, watching it on a bitterly cold evening was perhaps not the wisest option as Silvano Ippoliti‘s bitingly beautiful cinematography is matched by Corbucci’s ice-cold outlook. Continue reading

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

1991; directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise; adapted by Linda Woolverton, Kelly Asbury, Brenda Chapman, Tom Ellery, Kevin Harkey, Robert Lence, Burny Mattinson, Brian Pimental, Joe Ranft, Chris Sanders and Bruce Woodside; 85 mins

In anticipation (for want of a better word) of Disney’s Emma Watson co-starring Beauty and the Beast, I caught up with the 1991 animated version, which I couldn’t remember whether I’d seen or not. Having now seen it, I think I did but it would’ve been 20 years ago or more. Is it the rediscovered masterpiece that people are saying it is? No, But it’s pretty damn good! Continue reading

A BAND CALLED DEATH

2012; directed by Mark Corvino and Jeff Howlett; 92 mins

Rock & Roll: that’s the thing most punk rockers seem to say when the subject is broached as to what makes them punk. They almost inevitably say they just wanted to make Rock & Roll music. That’s not the only connection this film has with the great pantheon of rockumentary filmmaking, though… Continue reading

T2 TRAINSPOTTING

2017; directed by Danny Boyle; adapted by John Hodge; 117 mins

21 years on and it’s funny that everyone’s so excited for the return of these most beloved and – truly – iconic movie characters… because they are psychos and junkies! I mean, for me, that’s my kinda characters but it’s not often that the national or international consciousness waxes positive on disreputable working class characters. Normally, they need to stay in line with projected middle class values or be validated by meeting a royal or some such shite. Not here. I mean, one of the film’s saving graces is that even despite having Oscars in his pocket, Danny Boyle hasn’t turned into a ‘respectable’ director so whilst there is melancholy and regret but still all done with Captain Big Bollocks on the accelerator! Continue reading

HEAD

1968; directed by Bob Rafelson; written by Jack Nicholson and Bob Rafelson; 85 mins

Experiencing Head with the sister-in-law is hard to explain. In so many ways. At this stage I haven’t done any research above and beyond watching the movie but I suspect that The Monkees may gotten involved with hallucinogenic drugs somewhere along the line in this motion picture venture. Continue reading