The Dead Pool (1988 USA)

“If you wanna play the game you better know the rules, love.” So sayeth Harry Callahan. Thankfully, director Buddy Van Horn and his team knew how to end the franchise on a high note. This is just as good as its two predecessors. In fact, Sudden Impact and The Enforcer were both pretty lackluster to the point of being almost boring. At least this swansong for Harry has a high degree of pure 80’s trash going for it. You want rock music videos, silly accents, some amusing dialogue, Uzi machine guns ejaculating at glass elevators and even a high speed car chase that involves a toy? With The Dead Pool, you’ve got all that and more.
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Magnum Force (1973 USA)

Just in case the viewer gets carried away, or the protagonists on the screen, Harry earnestly repeats throughout Magnum Force that “a man’s got to know his limitations” and “there’s nothing wrong with shooting, as long as the right people get shot.” So bullets in bare breasts are acceptable, because the topless ladies in a swimming pool or nudes stoned at “$900 an ounce,” reinforce the morality: people who take off their clothes may have been asking for it. There’s also a gratuitous murder of a prostitute, climaxed with a shot of her killer’s face grinning through her spread legs. If that’s not offensive enough, in a dvd extra from the copy I have, shady-looking script writer, John Milius, suggests that Italians are not real Americans. [Read more…]

The Gauntlet (1977 USA)

This motion picture gets a bad rap for it’s implausible story line and outrageous shoot outs, but if you’re in the mood for that sort of thing, it’s a hard one to top. For the sixth time Clint Eastwood does his civic duty as the film’s director and leading man, here sharing the screen with live-in companion Sondra Locke. (This was before a real life drama where he changed the locks on the house they shared when she was away–years after this) The pasty Locke always struck me as a good looking woman, but only if you caught her at just the right angle. [Read more…]

The Good The Bad And The Ugly (1966 Italy)

Proof that the simplest ideas are the best ones. The plot is fairly simple: three men try to reach a buried fortune of Army gold coins while the American Civil War erupts around them. The story is even simpler and yet the audience gets wrapped around in it and those 180 minutes just seem to whip by so fast that when it does end, we’re craving for more. The film is also evidence that the Western cannot be a dying genre, for this landmark film from Italian director Sergio Leone has aged like wine. Time has done nothing to varnish its style and authority. Spaghetti Westerns, which are low in budget and oftentimes flamboyant and over-the-top, can be art too. I urge women to give this a watch too. It will put hairs on their chest. Its hypnotic. It’s operatic. It’s sad. It’s funny. It’s gritty. Its the Psycho of Westerns. [Read more…]

FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965 Italy)

dollars 1This would have to be in the Top Ten Coolest Movies ever and it contains the most spine – tingling musical score in cinema history. (Kudos to Ennio Morricone) Sergio Leone was a popcorn director – a visual stylist who always entertained first and maybe provoked a thought or two second. However, his films were never intellectual so when he added more depth the results became uneven. “For a Few Dollars More” is his best film. [Read more…]

Dirty Harry (1971 United States)

dirty_harry_contact-0-1080-0-0(This review is dedicated to the man over at https://millenniumdecay.wordpress.com/)  Firstly, what a penetrating musical score by Lalo Schifrin! One of the many great components of this classic movie. This is not fascism, more like realism. Throughout the 1960s violent crime had been spiralling out of control in America and the West, so by 1971 someone had to come up with an accurate portrayal of what the police have to deal with. Dirty Harry was the first film to deal with how supportive the law can be of criminals. [Read more…]

Where Eagles Dare (1968 Britain)

500px-Where_eagles_dare4This is typical Alistair MacLean, with all the plot twists and set ups that are completely unbelievable, but if you are not expecting anything more it is one of the most enjoyable action flicks of that era. The Ron Goodwin score, very Shostakovitch in tone, is one of the most exhilarating while the sullen dark cinematography adds the atmosphere. [Read more…]

Play Misty for Me (1971 United States)

play-misty-for-me-tcClint Eastwood’s debut as a director is very accomplished, skill-wise. Lots of inventive camera shots and segues to surprise the viewer. While Eastwood is rather flat as the disc jockey victimized by an over-zealous fan, it’s Jessica Walter who steals the picture in a fabulous performance as the sex-obsessed, frustratedly vicious sociopath, Evelyn Draper. [Read more…]

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