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Daniel S. "Daniel" (Geneva, Switzerland)

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Cat O' Nine Tails (Widescreen) [Import]
Cat O' Nine Tails (Widescreen) [Import]
DVD ~ James Franciscus
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 6.55
13 used & new from CDN$ 6.55

4.0 out of 5 stars BAVA LEGACY, Jan. 26 2002
Second movie of the "animal title serie" of italian director Dario Argento, the 1971 THE CAT O'NINE TAILS is a giallo, a term coming from the color of a serie of italian mystery books published in the early sixties. A special aesthetics, sex and gory murders characterize this peculiar genre.
Karl Malden, as a blind former journalist, does a terrific job in the movie that has some scenes worthy to appear in an anthology. I particularly liked the scene in the cemetery when James Franciscus is locked in a vault with a dozen coffins. Several years later, Dario Argento would have put some horror ingredients in the scene such as the resurrection of one of the dead but in THE CAT O'NINE TAILS, only the claustrophobic mood of the situation interested him.
I've also liked the artisanal special effects created by Argento which are, in my opinion, as scary and efficient as those generated nowadays by our beloved computers. The italian director shows with his technical skill that he is really Mario Bava's spiritual son.
Anchor Bay's DVD is superb with images without a single white or black spot and a sound that respects the interesting musical score of Ennio Morricone. Extra-features are, for once in an Anchor Bay DVD, multiple. French, italian and english versions, radio spots, trailers, recorded 1971 interviews of Karl Malden and James Franciscus and an indispensable video interview of Dario Argento and Ennio Morricone. A must.
A DVD zone WWF.

Ghosts of Mars (Sous-titres français)
Ghosts of Mars (Sous-titres français)
DVD ~ Natasha Henstridge
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 5.45
45 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars THE THINGS HIDDEN IN THE FOGGY VILLAGE, Jan. 13 2002
For most of today viewers, John Carpenter is no more than a name responsible for three or four successful B action-horror thrillers of the 70's and the beginning of the 80's. His last movies weren't blockbusters and have been appreciated only by a few faithful fans. We are not so many to have enjoyed VAMPIRES, a western set in New Mexico with ghouls as main characters, or even ESCAPE FROM L.A., more a satirical opus about today intolerant society than a pure action movie. I'm sure that John Carpenter will have its place in Movie History along with other thinking action movies directors such as Howard Hawks or John Woo.
Carpenter's last movie, GHOSTS OF MARS, has been violently rejected when theatrically released. Strange when one thinks that Carpenter has not lost his technical skill nor his sense of rythm. It's true that the themes found in the movie have already been treated in precedent Carpenter movies. So what! Everybody knows that a good author writes the same book his whole life long and the last Hitchcock movies are not very different from those he directed in the beginning of the thirties in England.
So we find in GHOSTS OF MARS the hidden enemy already seen in VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED or THE THING, an enemy who surrounders a little group of people trying to escape from a locked place, a situation found in almost all Carpenter movies. The only way to survive in a Carpenter film is to become an outlaw such as Snake Plissken in both ESCAPE movies because the system is often the enemy or, worse, doesn't help the Carpenterian hero in his tragic situation. These themes are, in my opinion, very interesting and justify their various reappearances in the director's filmography.
The DVD offers the always entertaining commentary of John Carpenter, this time with Natasha Hendridge, french subtitles, a video of the recording of GHOSTS OF MARS's musical score and a very interesting featurette about the shooting of the movie at night in the New Mexican desert.
A DVD zone your library.

Stepford Wives (Widescreen)
Stepford Wives (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Katharine Ross
Offered by BuyCDNow Canada
Price: CDN$ 113.95
9 used & new from CDN$ 39.95

4.0 out of 5 stars THE CYNICAL LAWS OF ROBOTICS, Jan. 7 2002
This review is from: Stepford Wives (Widescreen) (DVD)
The adaptation of Ira Levin bestseller required sensibility and a certain european touch in order to keep alive the strange mood of the novel. In my opinion, Bryan Forbes did a good job by directing Katharine Ross, Paula Prentiss and Nanette Newman with the much praised british delicacy.
The argument of the movie has lost a great deal of impact nowadays but I can imagine the reactions of our female companions in 1975 when watching the fate of the poor Stepford wives. However, one may still appreciate the cynicism of the movie and the performances of the feminine cast that is excellent.
As for the DVD, Anchor Bay has done another great job and presents apart of the trailer and a french dubbed version (very, very bad !), recent interviews of the cast including the producer and the director.
A DVD zone Asimov.

Grissom Gang [Import]
Grissom Gang [Import]
DVD ~ Kim Darby
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 72.95
8 used & new from CDN$ 49.07

4.0 out of 5 stars GANG BANG ( BANG ), Dec 6 2001
This review is from: Grissom Gang [Import] (DVD)
Another superb DVD has just been released by Anchor Bay : Robert Aldrich's THE GRISSOM GANG, adapted from James Hadley Chase's "No Orchids for Miss Blandish". Excellent movie but only the choice between the standard and the widescreen version and a scene access as bonus features. Extra meager. Sound and images more than OK for me.
Robert Aldrich is more known as a successful director of action movies like THE DIRTY DOZEN than as a sensitive observer of psychological dramas but with THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE, released in 1968 and THE GRISSOM GANG, Big Bob showed that a golden heart was beating under his elephant skin.
Don't get me wrong ! THE GRISSOM GANG is also a gangster movies loaded with machine guns duels and vicious killings but what's more interesting is the description of the relationship between Slim, the psychotic killer, and Barbara Blandish, the spoiled heiress. This unusual couple has to face a collection of secondary characters one will not forget so easily. For instance, Ma Grissom, played by Irene Dailey, a criminal genius and an overprotective mother, or Eddie - Tony Musante - Hagan, the archetype of the gangster of the 30's, so seductive but ready to kill anything that moves, even women, if necessary.
In the good guys section of the movie, there is someone who, in spite of his millions, could have been part of the Grissom gang : Wesley Addy, Barbara's father and often present in Aldrich's films, his attitude is one of the most disturbing seen in a movie.
All in all, an excellent addition to your library.
A DVD zone Bonnie and Clyde.

Kiss Me Deadly (Widescreen)
Kiss Me Deadly (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Ralph Meeker
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 38.08
9 used & new from CDN$ 3.28

5.0 out of 5 stars VA VA VOOM - PAOW !, Nov. 11 2001
This review is from: Kiss Me Deadly (Widescreen) (DVD)
Robert Aldrich's KISS ME DEADLY is one of these movies I watch every two or three years with the same pleasure. When I discovered it for the first time long ago, Film Noir meant Humphrey Bogart, Howard Hawks, James Cagney or John Huston to me. So imagine the shock KISS ME DEADLY gave me.
Everything was so innovative in this movie from the initial credits rolling backwards over Cloris Leachman running half-naked on the road and gasping in Mike Hammer's car with a quite erotic intensity. From the sadistic torture scene of Christina Bailey to the character of Maxine -Velda- Cooper who helps Mike Hammer to nail adultery husbands by seducing them. From the secondary characters so well written that it seems that they all have a tremendously important role in the story.
At last, the performance of Ralph -Mike Hammer- Meeker is so perfect that it's hard to imagine another actor in the role. I personally can't. And Nick Dennis, Mike Hammer's friend, whose onomatopeia are now part of Movie History. And, and...
OK ! check for yourselves if you still don't know this movie. Superb copy with various subtitles, the alternate ending and the original trailer.
A DVD zone your library.

Too Late the Hero [Import]
Too Late the Hero [Import]
DVD ~ Michael Caine
Offered by Banikanada
Price: CDN$ 34.98
8 used & new from CDN$ 27.84

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HOMAGE TO AN IMPORTANT DIRECTOR, Nov. 8 2001
This review is from: Too Late the Hero [Import] (DVD)
I've always liked the movies of Robert Aldrich and I bought TOO LATE THE HERO as soon as it was released on the DVD standard. Anchor Bay presents unfortunately only a trailer as bonus feature but the copy is alright.
Cliff Robertson is the Aldrichian hero by essence ; he is not a coward but he prefers to enjoy the Pacific beaches rather than to take part in combats. He's a pessimistic hero in a pessimistic movie. The initial credits set extremely well the tone of the film with these at first flamboyant american, british and japanese flags that become little by little less colourful, less arrogant until they finally fade into the dusty reality.
A DVD zone Big Bob.

Sweet & Sour Tears
Sweet & Sour Tears
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 116.95
3 used & new from CDN$ 109.43

5.0 out of 5 stars CONCEPT ALBUM, Oct. 23 2001
This review is from: Sweet & Sour Tears (Audio CD)
What a record ! You'll find in it the twelve songs recorded in 1964 plus seven extra songs whose theme is sorrow and tears. This CD is a must-buy for any music lover desiring to discover Ray - the Genius - Charles but still hesitating in front of the numerous compilations available.
The incredible thing about SWEET & SOUR TEARS is that, after having heard it, you could swear it's a compilation. But it's not. It's just one of the average recordings of a man who turned into gold whatever song he played, a man whose musical production during the fifties and the sixties is a unique and admirable legacy.
By the way, Ray is still alive and well. So don't miss him the next time he's in town. And dont' forget to take your children with you, they'll be hypnotized and will destroy your library to find the CD's of the Genius.
A CD zone essential stuff.

Sullivans Travels
Sullivans Travels
DVD ~ Joel McCrea
Price: CDN$ 36.72
16 used & new from CDN$ 22.99

5.0 out of 5 stars MASTERPIECE, Oct. 22 2001
This review is from: Sullivans Travels (DVD)
Lost in the autumnal DVD delivery, there is the Criterion release of Preston Sturges's SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS. Don't overlook this peculiar DVD, it will be one of the essential DVD releases of the year 2001.
Preston Sturges directed half of dozen masterpieces in the early forties in Hollywood and is considered now as the Father of the writers-directors guild. Nobody before him had the right to have his name printed before the title of the movie. Writer and director, Preston Sturges had a career à la Orson Welles : flamboyant but so short.
Enjoy the wonderful 76 minutes documentary "The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer" presented as a bonus feature of this release, enjoy the only opportunity to admire Veronica Lake on DVD, enjoy this festival of smart dialogs and comic scenes. In short, enjoy.
A DVD zone your library.

Roger Corman Retrospective, Vol. 1 DVD [Import]
Roger Corman Retrospective, Vol. 1 DVD [Import]
DVD ~ Susan Cabot
Offered by moviemars-canada
Price: CDN$ 11.23
11 used & new from CDN$ 11.22

5.0 out of 5 stars ONE FOR THE PLEASURE, Oct. 11 2001
If you have the chance to find and buy this DVD, you won't regret it. A volume 02 of this Roger Corman retrospective has already been announced, so let's just hope that Slingshot and the American National Film Museum will continue to release those little Corman goodies. Unlike Herschell Gordon Lewis who directed exploitation movies at the same period, Roger Corman had, and still has, a tremendous talent. His actors were credible and his movies had rythm.
So I spent three wonderful nights watching those little pearls. ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES, directed by Bernard L. Kowalski and produced by Roger Corman, is absolutely hilarious with those poor guys hidden under plastic trying to look like leeches and sucking the blood of Yvette Vickers in a Lolita role. BUCKET OF BLOOD, a satire of the beatnik circles of the late fifties, is, in my opinion, a collection piece. The first three minutes of the movie, with Julian Burton improvising poetry while a saxophone plays a solo, is unforgettable.
THE WASP WOMAN, released in 1960, concludes brilliantly this DVD presentation with the one woman show of Susan Cabot, in the role of an elixir of youth addict yearning for syringes filled with the royal jelly of a wasp queen. What a screenplay !
The copies presented here are rather good but unfortunately there are no bonus features with this DVD I will put with an immense pride on the shelves of my library.
A DVD zone connoisseur.

My Best Fiend (Widescreen)
My Best Fiend (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Werner Herzog
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 92.58
9 used & new from CDN$ 49.96

5.0 out of 5 stars AMARCORD, Oct. 9 2001
This review is from: My Best Fiend (Widescreen) (DVD)
For those of you who consider, like me, that Werner Herzog is one of the great filmmakers of the last 30 years, MY BEST FIEND is essential. Thanks to Anchor Bay, we've already had the chance to hear Herzog commenting AGUIRRE or NOSFERATU for instance. Now, we can apprehend the strange ties of friendship that existed between the visionary director and his favorite actor.
In this documentary, Werner Herzog returns to Germany for a visit to his own mother's appartment where he met Klaus Kinski in the mid-fifties. Kinski had already a strange behaviour then, living naked in a little room with dead leaves all over the floor. Next, Herzog takes the train to Peru in order to watch again the landscapes of AGUIRRE and FITZCARRALDO and to interview indian actors of these movies. At last, he comes back to Czechoslovakia where he directed WOYZECK and NOSFERATU in 1978-1979.
The movie also presents interviews of Claudia Cardinale (Fitzcarraldo) and Eva Mattes (Woyzeck), a "behind the screen" approach of AGUIRRE and FITZCARRALDO as well as Mick Jagger's performance in the role of Fitzcarraldo before Jason Robards's illness stopped the production.
A DVD for your library.

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