Luciano Vincenzoni

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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Review


Essential
Positioned in history between the earnest majesty of John Ford's The Searchers and Sam Peckinpah's doomed cowboy dirge The Wild Bunch, Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is animated by the best those classic westerns have to offer. Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Western masterpiece is still committed to many of the basic conventions of the not-yet moribund genre, embracing the wide-eyed epicness of Ford's standard-bearer. But Blondie (Clint Eastwood), Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef), and Tuco (Eli Wallach), the respective title characters, occupy a brutal and complex moral world akin to Peckinpah, where women are beaten, crippled fathers are executed in their homes, and the ironically-named "good" guy earns his name for being only slightly less vile than the other gunslingers.

But Leone's mixture of seemingly incompatible elements is what makes The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly so great. Not only does he combine a Cinemascope-era outlook with an eye for grittiness, but he mingles tasteful realism with a flamboyant, self-conscious style. Freeze frames, intertitles, and point-of-view shots brilliantly co-exist with the meticulously appointed period sets and sweeping frontier vistas. This fusion, in addition to a surplus of creativity and lack of restraint, makes the third in the so-called "man with no name" series the crowning glory of his career.

Continue reading: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Review

Orca Review


Weak
Jaws may have had a profound effect at the beaches, sending vacationers out of the water in fear of their lives... but it had the opposite effect for the hack filmmakers of the world, sending them in to the water to make cheap knockoffs.

In addition to the Jaws sequels, Orca stands at the very nadir of these "nature's killers from the sea." In its opening scenes, Orca tries to tell us that Jaws was a wuss: A killer whale smashes into a great white shark, sending him shooting 20 feet into the sky and devouring him in a foaming mess of blood. Ooh, that killer whale's one to be reckoned with, ain't he?

Continue reading: Orca Review

Luciano Vincenzoni

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