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Michael Gerrard (Geneva)

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The Great Silence [DVD] [1968]
The Great Silence [DVD] [1968]
Dvd ~ Klaus Kinski

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and different, 29 Aug. 2010
The Great Silence is different than the usual spaghetti westerns. The first thing you notice is that it's set entirely in the snow. The snow makes for some wonderful scenery and landscapes. As for the plot, it revolves around bounty killers who are going too far, executing just about anyone. Klaus Kinski is as usual an excellent baddie, those eyes and that stare, you can tell his got no heart at all, he's as cold as the ice all around and what's more, he enjoys it. His performance is excellent as always. Opposite him is the hero, or perhaps we should call him an anti-hero as he's also a killer but one who you can feel for, if that makes sense. He's called "Silence" because as a boy his throat was cut making him mute. Just as with Clint Eastwood's man with no name saying little, Silence played by Jean-Louis Trintignant, acts through his eyes and his movements. That is underrated acting in my opinion. If you don't have words to rely on then you have to make the most out of the camera and every scene.

The ending of this film is dark and the whole film itself has plenty of violence in it, much more than just blokes getting shot, it goes a step further. It is stylized violence as is the trademark of a spaghetti western and the use of very bright red blood splattered on pure white snow gives it a certain additional shock factor. But by the violence of todays films it's not much of course, everything is relative. The violence and especially the dark ending are an integral part of The Great Silence. I enjoyed the story, the finale made it very different, there should've been a sequel, perhaps there was, I shall look around to see which Sergio Corbucci film came next! ;-)

As for the film making and the style that Sergio Corbucci used, I am in two minds. On the one hand the plot and acting is interesting. The setting is perfect in the snow. The movement of the camera sometimes and the cuts to very rough looking filming can become tiresome. Perhaps as a fan of the much slicker Sergio Leone my bias is showing? Of course the rough style also lends a charm to this film. For sure it is worth buying The Great Silence for your collection, you won't be disappointed.

The music is by Ennio Morricone. It is a wonderful tune, how Ennio Morricone is able to invent and reinvent music for these westerns is fantastic. There can never be anyone to rival him.

For the DVD itself I can say the Alex Cox interview is interesting but it's very short. The alternative happy ending is included. For the sound you can choose between Italian language with English subtitles or dubbed English. The subtitles are very clear, the producers had the good sense to put black edges around the white lettering - a must in a film with snow!

Valerio Zurlini Box Set: The Early Masterpieces [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Valerio Zurlini Box Set: The Early Masterpieces [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by M and N Media US
Price: £177.57

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two wonderful films, 20 May 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's called a "box set" but in fact it's a double DVD case with two great films and some passable extras. The two films are by Italian director Valerio Zurlini in Italian with English subtitles. The two films are different but they do explore similar themes. The main theme is that of a young man falling for an older woman, with forbidden love and coming of age mixed in. These themes are wrapped up in two completely different settings for each of these films. If you've seen a Felini film and think perhaps that's what you'll find here, then think again, these two films are thoughtful and intelligent, but they are not surreal. These are good honest dramas and will leave you with a very warm feeling inside. Zurlini has an excellent way with light and the camera. The black and white picture has been restored and the clarity on both films is excellent.

Violent Summer is the story of a 30 year old mother and widow of a war hero played by Eleonora Rossi Drago who meets a younger man, played by Jean Louis Trintignant. The settings 1943 Italy, in the last days of the fascists with political upheaval and the war getting closer. This is a serious film, with a real sense of change for the young kids going to the beach finding that the war is closer than they thought. But that's a side issue compared to the main characters and how they fall for one another which is believable. The performances are fantastic; you can see real emotion in the actors and actresses eyes. Sometimes little is said but movements and the eyes scanning one another is all that is needed to convey what you know they are thinking!

Girl with a Suitcase in some ways is more light hearted than Violent Summer. It's still very much a drama and an intense love story, but without the backdrop of war. Girl with a Suitcase is the story of a girl (Claudia Cardinale) spurned by her lover and left in a strange town alone. She seeks out the lover and in doing so comes across a young man played by Jacques Perrin. He has an innocence about him and on seeing the beautiful and ever smiling Maria (Claudia Cardinale) he can do nothing else but help her in any way he can. You can't help but understand him! Again in this film you find yourself watching the eyes of the performers, watching their movements, how they look at one another and this is what makes the film fascinating to watch. There is intensity and something very believable about the forbidden romance that grows. It really is amazing what can be said without words! Every frame that Claudia Cardinale is in she controls completely. Her expressions and attitude take over the screen.

If you wish to find a couple of hidden gems, dramas that will move you - then try this, you won't be disappointed.

Saturn 3 [DVD] [1980]
Saturn 3 [DVD] [1980]
Dvd ~ Farrah Fawcett
Price: £4.00

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy and excellent sci-fi fun, 2 May 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Saturn 3 [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
This film isn't to the standard of Alien or other sci-fi classics. But Saturn 3 is a good story that is creepy! Harvey Keitel is perfectly cast as the mad killer who visits a far off outpost. The robot he builds learns from Harvey Keitel's mind so it ends up pretty twisted. There's a fair bit of tension, mostly helped by the gripping music. You wonder what the whole point of this will be and what that robot might want with our Farrah...

Some might say the special effects aren't all that great, well they aren't brilliant, certainly Alien (made a year or two earlier) has much better effects. With Saturn 3 you wish they'd more of an effort on the spaceships for sure. The films ending is also a little flat. But the build up is good. I recommend this film to anyone who likes a simple sci-fi story and of course anyone who likes Farrah Fawcett!

Stranger Than Fiction [DVD] [2006]
Stranger Than Fiction [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Will Ferrell
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.06

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 14 Feb. 2007
I just saw this movie at the cinema. I didn't know what to expect but this film was a breath of fresh air. It is different! I walked out of the cinema actually thinking about the film I'd just seen. This was the best film I've seen a long while. I recommend it! No I won't say much about it, the synopsis above tells enough, it's better to see the film without knowing too much. I will say one thing, the graphics they use are clever and hook you early on. Later the story gets deeper and then there's no escape!


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does everything it is supposed to, 14 Feb. 2007
The plastic cover is hard, made of two parts, one for the bottom, one for the top. It fits the D900 perfectly. It just clips in place. You can use the phone without taking the cover off. It protects the screen very well, this is the most important thing. Recommended.

The Millionairess [DVD]
The Millionairess [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sophia Loren
Offered by ERIKSAN
Price: £4.73

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Sophia Loren!, 26 Jan. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Millionairess [DVD] (DVD)
Peter Sellers is an Indian doctor, very earnest and funny in a subtle way (not like Sellers in The Party). But Peter Sellers, although a genius, is not the star of this film. Sophia Loren steals the show as the spoilt millionairess who thinks she can buy everyone and everything. Can she buy Peter Sellers? Amazingly he resists her charms! Sophia jumps in the Thames, buys him a clinic, dresses in the most lavish and revealing costumes, but the poor Indian doctor holds out - well until the end of course!

It's an amusing and charming film. If you are a fan of Sophia Loren you will love this film. She is at her most glamorous and alluring.

The Professionals: Series 3 [DVD]
The Professionals: Series 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Larry Lamb

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great season!, 22 Jan. 2007
This season of The Professionals has a good selection of stories, some predictable and some clever. Most of all though, it's the interaction between the three main characters that's the best! Also, how they drive cars, the guns and the fights!!! Great entertainment, great pace, good stories and great characters. Forget modern stuff, be retro, watch The Professionals! Just try to stop yourself from humming the theme music!

The Professionals: Series 1 [DVD]
The Professionals: Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gordon Jackson
Offered by vicky's media 4 u
Price: £21.99

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still as brilliant!, 6 Aug. 2006
I remember The Professionals from my childhood. Just watching the opening credits is enough to take me back! The amazing thing is that it hasn't lost any of it's entertainment value.

The Professionals are three characters, Cowley, Bodie and Doyle. They are part of a counter-terrorist and counter-criminal team known as CI5. The stories are often based around finding a hitman or stopping some kind of terrorist attack. This gives The Professionals a relavence today. Indeed it also shows us that the world hasn't changed so much - apart from the TV being more entertaining back then!

If you've not seen The Professionals before, you like cop shows and you are not crazy about being politically correct, then you'll love this.

Wing Commander [DVD]
Wing Commander [DVD]
Dvd ~ Freddie Prinze Jr
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.06

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi war movie, 6 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Wing Commander [DVD] (DVD)
Many years ago I played the computer game 'Wing Commander' and it was interesting to hear of this movie! Yes it is based on the game but no that doesn't make it rubbish! I found it very entertaining and well made. Lots of British actors and a good script. The special effects sometimes were impressive, but other times were too obviously computer generated.

Essentially this is a story told from one side's point of view. It follows the exploits of two pilots and the others on the Tiger Claw starship. There are many similarities with war films. There's a scene where a destroyer is hunting them, they mustn't make a sound and everyone on the bridge looks at one another just like in one of those submarine war films. There's even a noise like a sonar beep!

There are a few tense scenes and lots of action. On the negative side, sometimes you go from a tense moment to an action one so quickly you forget what the plot is and why exactly they're there. But that's minor, overall any sci-fi fan will enjoy this movie. It's not the best, but it's certainly worth seeing.

Rubies and Rickshaws: Precious gems, precious love
Rubies and Rickshaws: Precious gems, precious love
by Vatsala Virdee
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romance with a sense of adventure, 14 Dec. 2005
Firstly I'd like to state that I know the author and have seen the book as it has grown and finally now as a published novel. I must be bias, but even so, I would like to briefly comment on this work!
Rubies and Rickshaws is an adventure romance set in Switzerland and most interestingly, the mountains of Kashmir. The story includes lost love, a splash of the erotic, a car chase, a landslide, exotic locations, beautiful people, and of course, a love triangle! But it is a little different than the usual because of how the story is told. It's done mostly using flashbacks, but don't be daunted by that, Rubies is an easy read. The flashbacks create an intriguing, unfolding story line where you are kept guessing. This makes you turn the page, eventually you are rewarded with the answers to the various plot threads.
In all its entertaining and a very enjoyable read that I'd recommend to anyone wanting to escape into a romantic fantasy. This is Vatsala Virdee’s first novel; let’s hope it is not the last.

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