To call a film “explosive” which stars Edwige Fenech is one thing. To call a film “explosive” which stars Rosalba Neri is another. To call a film “explosive” which opens with Neri flinging dynamite around with all the glee and gesticulating of a silent film actor is a bad pun. To call a film “explosive” which stars both Fenech and Neri and features the aforementioned opening is the come-on of the century.
Steve McQueen stars as a San Francisco cop assigned to protect a witness against the Mob. Before the film winds to its thrilling conclusion on the tarmac of San Francisco International, viewers will marvel at McQueen’s casual cool and one of the best car chases in cinema.
Golden Buddha is tremendous fun and a real treat for fans of 1960s spy films despite there being no actual spies in the film. It’s still got plenty of intrigue and sneaking about, and the production is sumptuous. Fans of zany 1960s art direction will be in heaven.
Jazz on Film: Film Noir is a five-disc box set collecting together some of the seminal jazz soundtracks from noir cinema from the 1950s, exploring the evolution of the musical style from its presence as a scene in a movie to its integration into the scores themselves.
As with his previous film, Miraglia takes the modern setting integral to the spirit of gialli and dresses it up in a bit of old-fashioned Gothic spookiness by, once again, setting a portion of it in a moody Gothic estate full of dark secret passages and dungeon chambers.
Now that’s the life — where, during a mild bit of cat burglary, you sneak into a lavish hotel room via the window and find Kay Francis in a low-cut evening dress, relaxing languidly across the foot of the bed, waiting for you with a glass of champagne in her hand.
Sergio Sollima didn’t direct very many films. His career is split fairly evenly between theatrical and televised fare. Devil in the Brain is not what anyone would consider a technically outstanding movie, but it is solid in its craftsmanship.
While the Golden Bat is a lesser known Japanese super hero compared to the likes of Ultraman or Kamen Rider, he is no less a venerable one. The creation of one Takeo Nagamatsu, his origin dates back to the early thirties.
The character of the high-kicking female badass was fairly commonplace in Asian cinema by 1974. But in Bollywood, not so much. The 1974 film Geetaa Mera Naam puts just such a character front and center, talking tough, sticking it to the man, and dealing out whoopass to all comers without a thought of depending on male chivalry for her fortunes.
Dharam-Veer is a movie designed to thrill. In addition to the thrill of watching its spectacular musical numbers and beautiful stars, there is the singular thrill that comes from seeing combinations of color and fabric that will likely never be repeated in human history.
The world of Qurbani is one in which mechanic Bob Christo has a free standing brick wall in his auto body shop just so he can demonstrate the power of his fists to any doubter who happens by, and a hay stack sits at the end of a jetty for the sole purpose of having a speeding car suddenly burst out from underneath it.
Despite this pedigree, not to mention its commercial success, Mr. India still comes down on the slightly wilder and trashier side of Bollywood cinema. Still, just as one needs to seek balance in their overall cinematic diet, one’s experience of Bollywood can’t be all Guru Dutt and Mother India.
With her oversized, anime girl eyes, flitting, hummingbird like movements, and immovable mass of helmet-like hair, Vijaya Lalitha is a perfect human centerpiece for Doss’s cartoon world of over the top action and histrionics.
The Sister of Ursula is like watching a Jess Franco film without that director’s flare. Contemplate that one on the Tree of Woe. Sex scenes, the Italian coast, outlandish murders — everything about The Sister of Ursula seems to operate under the directive of “Well, this should be good, but we’re going to mess it up.”
In fairness, there does seem to be a genuine attempt to create an actual film here. Take the word “attempt” literally in this case. Moments of suspense and dread, though presented with apparent sincerity, are nonetheless clumsily presented few and far between.
Watching King Kong was like witnessing the moment of impact between all of those things that provide me with some of my most profound movie-watching pleasures. Had I known I could be watching films that combined wrestling, men in togas throwing boulders, giant monsters, and Kumkum dancing frenetically to catchy Bollywood music, I probably never would have seen Mother India.