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  1. Moorman

    Shaft (1971)

    I went and saw a preview of The Super Cops. I think I will screen that one first and get back with a review. Thanks for the recommendations...
  2. Moorman

    Shaft (1971)

    I was referred to this film by CigarJoe after posting the Superfly (2018) thread. I've known about this film but I had never seen it before now. My reasoning being that there are very few films of the blaxploitation era that were actually pretty good or critically acclaimed. Gordon Parks was credited along with Melvin Van Peeples with creating the blaxploitaton genre, a subgenrie of the exploitation movies that came out in the early 70s. Shaft, along with 1972's Superfly ( by Gordon's son, Gordon Parks Jr.) were two of the critically acclaimed films of the genre. The screenplay for Shaft was written by Ernest Tidyman and John D. F. Black. Shaft was filmed on location in New York and features a extensive on location look of vintage New York during the early 70s. The films features Private Detective John Shaft ( Richard Roundtree) who is hired by local gangster Bumpy ( Moses Gunn) to locate his kidnapped daughter. The plot is pretty straight to the point but keeps you on your toes. I'm not going into it further to avoid any spoilers. Gordon Parks filmed this on location in Harlem, Times Square and Greenwich Village. The sets are authentic. The soundtrack is by Isaac Hayes who won a a Academy Award for Best Original Song for the theme " Shaft". The film was pretty good with my personal favorite elements being the camerawork and on location filming done by Urs Furrer and of course, the fantastic soundtrack done by Isaac Hayes. Its hard for me to get into this genre of film because of the obvious " exploitation" stereotypes, but this was pretty good. The acting could have been better with some of the lesser characters but it was ok. I rate it slightly above the IMDB rating of 6.6 and give it a 7 out of 10...
  3. Moorman

    Superfly (2018)

    Ok. I'll see if I can find it on Amazon. Thanks... Wait. Gordon Parks. I think thats the SAME director as the original Superfly. Definitely should be a good film...
  4. This is just another PERFECT film from Jean Pierre Melville. Gustave "Gu" Minda ( Lino Ventura) escapes from prison with two others. He is highly respected in the criminal world for both his ability and loyalty. He heads to Paris to visit his sister Manouche ( Christine Fabrega) who herself grew up as a criminal with Gu. The plan is to for her to use her connections to get Gu out of Paris. Gu needs money before he leaves and is tipped off about a big heist by a old friend named Orloff ( Pierre Zimmer). From there the plot takes amazing twists and turns until the dramatic final scenes. There is not a dull moment anywhere in this fantastic film. The great cinematography was done by Marcel Combes. The equally great musical score is by Bernard Gerard. The direction by Jean Pierre Melville as he always does is just perfect. I can't say enough about how great this director is. Just fantastic! You already know... 10 out of 10...
  5. Moorman

    Superfly (2018)

    I'm a huge fan of the original Superfly that came out in 1972. The original is about a New York city drug dealer named Youngblood who wants to make one last big score and get out of the game. The original Superfly was played by Ron O'Neal. The original is one of the VERY few blaxploitation films that is very critically acclaimed and has a cult following. A standout of the film is the soundtrack by Curtis Mayfield. The remake follows the plot almost exactly but has some major plot differents. The setting is moved to Atlanta to give it more of a modern Urban feel. In this one, Youngblood is played by Trevor Jackson. Any fans of Urban gangster films will see resemblences to the film " Belly" (1998) and " Shaft" 2008 which was another remake of a original, starring Samuel Jackson as Shaft. As far as the film itself, it was better than expected. The cinematography was gorgeous (Amir Mokri) with a soundtrack by Josh Atchley, which also featured several hip hop songs by the artist " Future". The plot was pretty good, THOUGH, contrived at times. The plot built up several subplots to a very good tension, but one of the subplots I felt was rushed to a ending at the end of the film. Overall, if you have nothing to do, its a kick back GOOD action gangster film that will surprise you. The 1990s featured a slew of films in the Urban gangster arena, but the genre has kinda been slow during the 2000s. This was a welcome return to those types of films. I rate it a solid 8 out of 10.... RON O'NEAL
  6. Moorman

    Out Of The Past(1947)

    Look. Mitchum is one of my favorite actors so I have a reason to want to overhype this film. I agree with it being overrated. I felt the plot was good all the way up until the cabin scene. It went downhill from there for me. It wasn't gritty or hard enough for me. It was contrived like you said. Its been a while sense I saw it but I would give it around a 6.5 or 7 out of 10...
  7. Moorman

    Le Samouraï (1967)

    I might have a favorite new director. I mean Jean- Pierre Melville is brilliant. I can see almost the entire Hollywood one man thriller being invented with this one film, Le Samourai. Alain Delon plays Jef Costello, a lone hit man. The beautiful Cathy Rosier plays pianist Valerie. This is a stylized COOL film. I can see where Michael Mann most likely got his entire way of making these films from Le Samourai. Henri Decae again does the cinematography for Melville. Francois de Roubaix does the excellent scoring for the film. I'm getting lazy. Most of you have seen the film.... another 10 out of 10....
  8. Moorman

    Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

    Another masterpiece by Jean Pierre Melville. Corey ( Alan Delon) is released from prison early for good behavior. A corrupt prison guard who knows him tips him off to a big jewel heist he could pull. Corey is released. At the same time this is going on another prisoner named Vogel ( Gian Maria Velonte) is being escorted to prison on a train by Inspector Mattei ( Andre' Bourvil) and escapes enroute. Vogel, knowing the police will set up roadblocks, coincidentally hides in the trunk of Corey's car at a roadside grill. Corey sees this happen and drives the car to a open field where he confronts Vogel. The standoff is intense at first but they decide to work together. I'm not going further into the plot for those who haven't seen this yet. Let me tell you though its a masterpiece. The heist itself is probably the best I've seen yet in film. I have to think on it but its definitely up there. One thing I'm noticing about the foreign films in all genres is they tend to be more grittier than their American counterparts. I first noticed this in the spaghetti western genre when they are played straight. Is this across the board in the foreign film noir, gangster genres? I don't know yet. Melville brought alone Henri Decae to again do cinematography. The soundtrack is by Eric Demarsan. Again, Decae does fabulous work here. The soundtrack is pretty good also. I have a couple of quibbles with the film that holds me back from a perfect 10 to a 9.5 I might revise that on a second watch... What the heck, this is a perfect film... another 10 out of 10...
  9. Moorman

    Bob Le Flambeur (1956)

    WHAT a film! My journey into foreign English subtitled films has lead me to Bob Le Flambeur. Lets get right to it. Bob ( Roger Duchesne) a former robber has gone straight for 20 years and is living as a gambler in the Paris district of Montmartre. Bob is living a lo key life but still garners the respect of the people who know of his past. One day he meets Anne ( Isabelle Corey) a drifter who Bob decides to rescue from a pimp he doesnt like name Marc. He does this by letting her stay at his flat and introduces her to his young protege Paolo ( Daniel Cauchy). Bob goes on a string of bad luck with his gambling and is made aware of a big heist that can be had at a casino named the Deauville by his safecracking friend Roger ( Andre' Garet). From here the plot takes off and goes off in a myriad of directions that keep you FULLY engaged. To avoid spoilers I will leave it at that. The film is directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. It was his fourth film and is known as being the precursor to the french New Wave film techniques. The film is soo influential that two versions of the American film Ocean's Eleven were influenced by it. The cinematography for the film was done by Henri Decae whose wartime military filming of documentary shorts helped influence the French New Wave style. The on scene shots are just fabulous. The gorgeous soundtrack is by Eddie Barclay and Jo Boyer. This is a great heist film and I'm gonna give it my rare perfect 10 out of 10. Its only my 6th film that I've given this to so far. I'm getting a better perspective now of classic films and noirs in particular and I will be revising some ratings of other films. This is a MUST have for your film library...
  10. Moorman

    Fallen Angel (1945)

    I'm thinking that the director and screenwriter took the novel as it was and put it on the screen. When you research it the book wasn't even published yet and the studio had already purchased the rights to the screenplay. The author of the book originally wanted to write screenplays but was better at writing novels.
  11. Moorman

    Fallen Angel (1945)

    Yes. I believe that she was playing a secondary character from the novel and thus she and the studio picked the wrong film to try and feature her. The director knew this also. I could be totally wrong but thats how I'm viewing this.
  12. Moorman

    Fallen Angel (1945)

    Stella. She is the narcissist that runs from man to man. This leads me to believe that this film was the wrong vehicle to try and showcase Alice Faye and the director knew it. The TITLE of the book and film is about Stella and the search for which of her lovers bumped her off...
  13. Moorman

    Beyond The Law ( 1968)

    I'm surprised that TCM has not done that already. This is taking nothing from Eastwood, but its Van Cleef who took those Leone Films they did together to ANOTHER LEVEL. Barquero to me is a underrated film over on the Leone Board. I think I remember now you putting it on your top western list. I love that film. Both Van Cleef and Warren Oates did fantastic work here. The film reminded me of High Plains Drifter. ( The premise of the protaganist helping the town fight off a gang). The town itself was laid out EXACTLY like the gold mining town I visited in Phoenix. Down to the slope of the Hill down the main street. The Magnificent 7 Ride is another one thats underrated. What threw me off here might surprise you. I thought the original Magnificent 7 was overrated ( I know I will get flack for that but I have a reason) and so I expected this sequel to be pretty bad. It was a pretty good film and I believe I have it on my list of DVDS to purchase.
  14. Moorman

    Beyond The Law ( 1968)

    I have seen Sabatha. I might review it here. It IS one of the best spaghetti westerns and yes, Van Cleef was excellent here. Like you pointed out, Van Cleef can play both good and bad guys and do both well. In fact, the film in this very thread is one in which he pulled off being both characters. " Death Rides a Horse" is a very underrated western in my opinion and one of the best of the spaghetti westerns. I've said that if Clint Eastwood had played opposite Van Cleef in that one then it would've been considered a classic up there with the 3 Leone films that Eastwood did. Its that good of a film...
  15. Moorman

    Beyond The Law ( 1968)

    The spaghetti western genre, when done right, I personally feel is the best of the western genre. ( Sergio Corbucci, Sergio Leone, Gulio Petroni, Sergio Sollima, Giancarlo Santi and others). Notice I said DONE RIGHT. For the most part spaghetti westerns come across as western spoofs to me. Beyond the Law had just enough drama going for it that I give it a pass and put it in a select few of the spaghetti westerns that I like. Beyond the Law is one of the many Van Cleef films that he had to make over in Europe due to the waning American western genre during the late 60s, early 70s. Its a shame because I truly feel he is one of the best if not THE best of the classic western genre actors and thats including Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. Its the nuances and realness of Van Cleef's character that comes across in his acting. I know I'm not alone in that sentiment. The plot centers around Lee Van Cleef as the leader of a 3 man gang of thieves. They decide to rob the town of Silvertown of its shipment of payroll for the miners. Antonio Sabato ( Ben) was charged with getting the payroll to town. As Ben comes to town and he finds out he was robbed enroute ( the money bag is empty that was locked in the stagecoach), the town turns on him and Van Cleef ( who has hung around because of further plans), likes the courage that Ben displays and takes up for him. This leads to a inner battle within Van Cleef's character as to whether he should totally leave his gang background or become one of the good guys. The look of the film was pretty good. The stunts were fantastic and the main theme song is very good, a trait of the best spaghetti westerns. The film was directed by Giorgio Stegani, music by Riz Ortolani and filmed by Enzio Serafin. Its a pretty good production. I rank this one a 7 out of 10...

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