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All reviews - Movies (7) - TV Shows (1) - Music (5)

Sistemo l'America e torno review

Posted : 2 months ago on 20 July 2017 04:50 (A review of Sistemo l'America e torno)

Paolo Villaggio is sadly gone last week...you know is my favorite italian actor, along with Ugo Tognazzi, but why Paolo is in this list ? Because in 1974 he and Nanni Loy made this heavy censored movie about a black basketball player, the late model/dancer/actor/singer Sterling St. Jacques.
Bonfiglio (Villaggio) was sent to attend to industrial business in the US by his employer, a wealthy Commendatore Brancia, italian for Commander, from Busto Arsizio, Lombardia. The figure of Commenda Brancia is losely shaped around Giovannino Borghi, Ignis Varese owner, Varese made 10 Euro Championship finals in a row, won 5 European Champions Cup, who was involved in basketball just for local rivalry against Cantù (2 ECCup) and Milan (3 ECCups, first italian team to won).
Already located there and invited to attend at NY's N.I.T., Bonfiglio is in charge of hiring player from fictional Washington University, Ben Ferguson (St. Jacques) for FRIGOR, another link to Borghi, the Brancia basketball team, which is in need of a typical 70's player, 20 or more points and 20 or more rebounds.
Bonfiglio must deal with italo-american Alex Borghi (Rizzo) Ferguson's agent, despite his hate for this person. Ferguson is available to join Brancia's team, but before leaving for Italy, he forces Bonfiglio to accompany him on a tour across the United States to settle some personal matters. During this journey, John discovers that the N.I.T. best player actually has not only the interest on basketball, but also in art, music, civil rights and politics. Sadly during the last game in Atlanta, home of the Hawks with Washington University versus Virginia Tech Ferguson was kill in a riot, his blood flood in the court.
The movie runs orignally for 112 minutes, but censorship cut short to 85...


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Drive, He Said review

Posted : 2 months ago on 20 July 2017 04:49 (A review of Drive, He Said)

Praying the God of orangeskinned ball...
A Jack Nicholson movie about love, basketball and Viet-Nam.
I have the movie poster in my room, the real movie title was Yellow 33, refers to a player when a foul is committed, the referee call the color of your shirt and your number.
This is a very in-deep basket mechanisms, technical and I love the live playing scenes, Nicholson loves basketball everybody knows, more than Anjelica Houston at the time.


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Semi-Pro review

Posted : 2 months ago on 18 July 2017 03:28 (A review of Semi-Pro)

For the people not involved in basketball Semi-Pro can be seen as a bad comedy, for the other is a mockumentary about the last days of ABA, American Basketball Association, before the merge with NBA, the team is slightly based on Virginia Squires and Ferrell's character mimic the great Rick Barry, everybody knows the weird style of Barry free-throw, and it's untouched record of 99.3%.
Why NBA try to constrict ABA :

1) Three point shot, only ABA had and it was copywrited, still today on All Star Game 3Point Contest the last ball, that worth double, on each field zones is a three colors ABA basketball.
2) Indiana Pacers, the state where basketball is a religion more than a simple sport had only a pro team...and it's an ABA team
3) San Antonio Spurs, founded in Dallas as Chapparals the relocated in SA, the Lone Star state had only a big franchise, and they're still a big franchise, Dallas waited until 1980 for the Mavericks.
4) New York Nets, later New Jersey latest Brooklyn, even Knicks was a big East NBA team, seconds to Celtics obvious, the Nets was the biggest team in ABA, 2 winning championships and first overall in selling tickets, and they got Doctor J...
5) Denver Nuggets, NBA wants to expand in the west, and surely Colorado was a good point, the other location was San Diego, but they hadn't financial strenght, as today...in 1978 they got the franchise from Buffalo Braves, changing the name in Clippers, after 6 years they relocated to LA...like Chargers, but they lasted more.
6) Kentucky Colonels, the Louisville team had financial strenght, a solid fan base, cable TVs, and a renewed Arena, why nobody remember the Colonels, ABA champ in 1975, the answer : Artis Gilmore
And that's why I don't like Bulls...Artis was the most dominant player in Center position in entire world, nobody can't stop him, Chicago wanted Gilmore, they promised him big amount of money, no Salary Cap in that era, so the Bulls put the veto on Colonels NBA join, the God of the orangeskinned ball punished them both, Bulls never won with Gilmore, Artis finished his career in my hometown team, I got his shirt...

Anyway Semi-Pro is good movie for basket fans, Harrelson over all, sometimes his character seems a clone of Hondo Havlicek, but this is a movie about basketball, so he's simply perfect !
Another perfect character is Vakidis by Peter Vasilevich Cornell, the name is for a baltic player, but the spirit is surely of the sovietic super center Vladimir Tkačenko, the first 7'4" at 76 Montreal Olympic in the Red Army of Marshall Gomelsky. For the numbers : Cornell was a pro-player and he's 7'...
A little to airy André Benjamin, his acting is similar to a modern pro, the movie lives in 1976, black athletes were extremely angry and politicized, anyway we must agree he's mainly a singer.

So, you try to have a different point of view on this movie, both on Will Farrell, here without his jazz flute, and the Chicago Bulls...
I didin't copy this piece, it's not a news item, it's just about conversations that I had with Artis, Mike D'Antoni and George Gervin.


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Saturday Night Fever review

Posted : 3 years, 5 months ago on 14 April 2014 02:09 (A review of Saturday Night Fever)

In the 70's New York Tony Manero is a young man of Italian descent who lives in Brooklyn.
Tony is an extrovert but impulsive and shallow, he works in a paint shop and attends a group of compatriots. Manero lives at home with his parents, a 7 months unemployed dad, a very religious mom, granny and a minor sister, his major brother, Frank jr, is a priest in crises for a lack of vocation. The gang together do not lose the opportunity to perform stunts, take advantage of their naive friend Annette and turn fights with rival gang, first of all the Puerto Ricans who beat hard their friend Gus. Tony has a single, great talent: dancing in the disco, where no rivals and earns the respect of his peers and the admiration of women, while not taking advantage of her sexually. In the dance school that he attended, Tony knows Stephanie Mangano, Italian/American like Tony, but also more mature and strongwilled. Stephanie lives in Manhattan and only goes as a journalist. Despite the differences in age and character, the two are approaching and begin a more or less regular attendance to participate in a dance competition disco 2001 Odyssey, in which Tony dancing on Saturday night. After various vicissitudes, the couple performs the memorable scene on the Bee Gees' song "More than a woman", icon of the same movie. Thanks to the sympathies of the audience the two snatch victory in the Puerto Rican, the most deserving couple. Tony, disgusted, refuses the prize dishonest and, realizing that his end is Stephanie, I'll demonstrate in a very brutal, but she more sober and judicious, unable to defend themselves and escape. Tony and friends, now drunk, promote yet another stunt on the Verrazzano Bridge, doing stunts between cables and pylons, but something goes wrong and the expense is the young Bobby, apparently the most balanced but marginalized by his Puerto Rican descent, for its economic well-being and because, in the general indifference, must soon marry his pregnant girlfriend. Tony helplessly the death of the boy, who falls into the river. Tragedy brings the protagonist to revise its superficial attitude towards life and so, having left the gang and after a night on the subway, he reaches Stephanie to her house to apologize, getting to her forgiveness, as long as you nurture a sincere friendship.

John Travolta as Anthony "Tony" Manero
Karen Lynn Gorney as Stephanie Mangano
Barry Miller as Bobby C.
Joseph Cali as Joey
Paul Pape as Double J.
Donna Pescow as Annette
Bruce Ornstein as Gus
Val Bisoglio as Frank Manero, Sr.
Julie Bovasso as Flo Manero
Martin Shakar as Father Frank Manero, Jr.
Nina Hansen as Tony's grandmother
Lisa Peluso as Linda Manero
Sam Coppola as Dan Fusco
Denny Dillon as Doreen
Robert Weil as Becker
Fran Drescher as Connie
Monti Rock III as the deejay
Ann Travolta as pizza girl
Helen Travolta as customer in paint store

Saturday Night Fever is poorly based on a journalistic investigation of the New Yorker magazine about the night life of poor communities subways, as opposed to the social life of the upper classes in Manhattan, the magnificent evenings in the historic temples of disco music as Studio 54.
The plot is, however, subject series, addressing youth problems are still present, such as migration, drug use in clubs, racism, that does not save the Italian/American protagonists, branded with the stereotypes of laziness and sloppiness and gang violence.
They are shipped to the history of cinema sequences of dances, enriched by the success of the 70's disco, among which the original songs by the Bee Gees, who found the film a new season of glory. A certain effect are some scenes filmed at the Verrazano Bridge.
Shooting in disco were carried out in a real club in New York, 2001 Odyssey, between July and August 1977.


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Eyes of Laura Mars review

Posted : 3 years, 11 months ago on 16 October 2013 05:33 (A review of Eyes of Laura Mars)

One of my favorites thriller movies was written by...guess who...John Carpenter ! Directed by Irvin "The Empire Strikes Back" Kershner and shooted in New York during the Fall/Winter of 1977. Barbra Streisand and Discomusic soundtrack, 70's high fashion, and a bunch of sexy top models, do you want more from this US Giallo flick ?
OK...no suspension dots...just for 3 minutes...plot is about :
Laura Mars (Faye Dunaway) is a well known and sought after fashion photographer who specializes in portraits of models, one of them is the stunnig Darlanne Fluegel, in erotic transparent clothes and makes extensive use of provocative and violent images for its own work. It is controversial because it can represent their models or fictional violence as victims of the same shows. This violence gives her paintings a special charm, but also attracts a serial killer, whose mercy they will. One night, Laura dreams that her agent (René Auberjonois) is murdered. The dream is bloody reality. It happened more murders, where they are the victims of their models or with their friendly people. Laura witnessed the murders with each time being they can see through the eyes of a serial killer as he commits his crimes. She is obviously connected telepathically with the offender, and haunted by visions of the bloody deeds. The photographer turns to the police, but you will not believe it at first given. Detective John Neville (Tommy Lee Jones) is suspicious of her at first, because some images are similar in Laura's photography book "The Eyes of Mars" (photos by Helmut Newton and Rebecca Blair) the police shooting of murders actually happened astounding. But Neville, who makes an emotional connection with the woman, soon realizes that she is not involved in the crime, but they just witnessed. Together they try to identify the murderer, not least because they have the fear that Laura could itself become a victim. Is suspected, among other Laura's ex-husband (Raul Julia), who is back in New York, and the chauffeur and gofer (Brad Dourif), who was once imprisoned. Finally, John Neville makes a shocking discovery that leads to the surprising end of the thriller soon...
3 mins are gone...so...go and watch it !

CAST

Faye Dunaway: Laura Mars
René Auberjonois: Donald Phelps
Tommy Lee Jones: John Neville
Raul Julia: Michael Reisler
Brad Dourif: Tommy Ludlow
Frank Adonis: Sal Volpe
Darlanne Fluegel: Lulu
Lisa Taylor: Michele
Rose Gregorio: Elaine Cassel
Steve Marachuk: Robert
Meg Mundy: Doris Spenser
Marilyn Meyers: Sheila Weissman
Gary Bayer: reporter
Mitchell Edmonds: reporter
Paula Laurence: auntie Caroline
Bill Boggs: himself


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Right Between the Eyes review

Posted : 4 years, 2 months ago on 12 July 2013 04:05 (A review of Right Between the Eyes)

In 1989, "Right Between The Eyes" was released through Johnny Z MegaForce and Atlantic.ICON third record was produced by Dan Wexler with radio personality Ed Trunk and Dan Zelisko. The music video for the song "Taking My Breath Away" was played on MTV´s Headbangers Ball in Europe and the US. First single had a slow performance, so Atlantic pushed out "Forever Young" as second single... What a pity !
They had stronger tunes as "A Far Cry" and "Double Life", those songs carried the ICON guitar riffs identity. Following the release of "Right Between the Eyes" and the supporting tour with Frehley's Comet, ICON subsequently disbanded.

Track listing :

1)Right Between the Eyes
2)Two for the Road
3)Taking My Breath Away
4)A Far Cry
5)In Your Eyes
6)Holy Man's War
7)Bad Times
8)Double Life
9Forever Young
10)Running Under Fire
11)Peace & Love


Band :

Jerry Harrison – vocals

Dan Wexler – guitars

Drew Bollmann – guitars

Pat Dixon – drums

Tracy Wallach – bass, backing vocals


Guest musicians :

[Link removed - login to see] - vocals on Two For The Road

Kevin Stroller - keyboards

Mark Prentice - Keyboards on Forever Young



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Icon review

Posted : 4 years, 2 months ago on 12 July 2013 03:55 (A review of Icon)

In 1984, ICON released their self-titled debut, with the help and production of Mike Varney. It included their biggest metal radio hit song : "On Your Feet", a music video was released to promote this song. Wexler and Aquilino deserved a great guitar working on "Iconoclast", great choruses on "(Rock On) Through the Night", "I'm Alive" and "Rock n' Roll Maniac". They spent the rest of 1984 touring with Heart.
Track listing :

1)"(Rock On) Through the Night" -(Dan Wexler, Stephen Clifford, John Aquilino) - 3:31
2)"Killer Machine" - (Aquilino, Wexler) - 3:31
3)"On Your Feet" - (Aquilino, Clifford) - 3:22
4)"World War" - (Wexler, Tracy Wallach, Clifford) - 4:30
5)"Hot Desert Night" - (Wexler, Clifford) - 3:49
6)"Under My Gun" - (Wexler) - 3:30
7)"Iconoclast" - (Wexler, Aquilino) - 1:26
8)"Rock n' Roll Maniac" - (Wexler, Clifford, Aquilino, Wallach, Pat Dixon) - 3:58
9)"I'm Alive" - (Wexler) - 4:08
10)"It's Up to You" - (Wexler, Clifford, Wallach) - 5:05


Band :

Stephen Clifford – vocals

Dan Wexler – guitars

John Aquilino – guitars

Pat Dixon – drums

Tracy Wallach – bass, backing vocals



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Night of the Crime review

Posted : 4 years, 2 months ago on 12 July 2013 03:50 (A review of Night of the Crime)

In 1985, ICON's masterpiece "Night of the Crime" was released, produced by Eddie Kramer and mixed by Ron Nevison. Most of the songs are credited to Bob Halligan Jr., the famous songwriter, who worked for Judas Priest, Kiss, Cher, Helix and B.O.C. among the others. Opening song "Naked Eyes" with Aquilino's guitar sinth riff quickly became an hair metal classic. But, unusually, Capitol wanted "Danger Calling" as first single, leaving anthemic "Rock My Radio", "Raise The Hammer" and my personal favorites "Whites of Their Eyes" and "Naked Eyes" as b sides with lesser airplay.
When the promotional tour of "Night Of The Crime" started, singer Stephen Clifford decided to leave the band for unknow reasons. Capitol contract rescinded in 1986.
2017 EDIT :

"Night of the Crime" was voted 3rd best AOR album of all time by [Link removed - login to see] magazine readers, behind multimillion selling classic albums by Journey and Foreigners.


Track listing :

1)"Naked Eyes" (Bob Halligan, Jr., John Aquilino) - 4:04
2)"Missing" (B. Halligan, Jr.) - 4:30
3)"Danger Calling" (B. Halligan, Jr., Dan Wexler) - 3:39
4)"(Take Another) Shot at My Heart" (D. Wexler, Stephen Clifford) - 3:23
5)"Out for Blood" (D. Wexler, J. Aquilino) - 5:40
6)"Raise the Hammer" (B. Halligan, Jr.) - 3:33
7)"Frozen Tears" (B. Halligan, Jr.) - 4:00
8)"Whites of Their Eyes" (B. Halligan, Jr., D. Wexler) - 3:43
9)"Hungry for Love" (D. Wexler, S. Clifford) - 4:17
10)"Rock My Radio" (D. Wexler, S. Clifford, Mike Varney) - 4:14


Band :

Stephen Clifford – vocals

Dan Wexler – guitars

John Aquilino – guitars, synthesizers

Pat Dixon – drums

Tracy Wallach – bass, backing vocals



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No Blade of Grass review

Posted : 4 years, 2 months ago on 6 July 2013 04:38 (A review of No Blade of Grass)

"The death of grass" in US "No blade of grass" is one my favorite novel from the british author Samuel Youd, under the name of John Christopher. Well-know for the "The Tripods" saga, Youd wrote several good novels as "The year of the comet" The world in winter" "The little people".
The 1970's adaptation, directed by magiar native Cornel Wilde (Kornél Lajos Weisz), yes the Academy Award actor, focused on a chinese virus strain has infected rice,wheat and barley crops causing massive famine and leaving world descending into anarchy. In a medieval England, engineer John Cunstance, played by british actor Nigel Davenport (the founding member of the English Stage Company), drove his family and friends in a journey of perils and pains, trying to reach John's brother's potatos farm.


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Shadow King review

Posted : 4 years, 2 months ago on 30 June 2013 04:14 (A review of Shadow King)


Shadow King (1991 Atlantic Records)
Foreigner has released three records only in 80's era, is not big problem when you sold 50 million albums in that decade...
So what's the story between mr Grammatico and mr Jones ?
Isn't the devil in mr Jones the problem, he's an elegant and modern producer, even replacing Ted Templeman on "Van Hagar" 5150, almost the perfect merging.
The "black swan attitude" of Lou Gramm is the cause, and "Long Hard Lock" is the effect. So he packed all his Foreigner stuff and created a new band with his studio pals from the same record, Bruce Turgon on bass guitar and Vivian Campbell.
Behind drumkit they placed Kevin Valentine, from The Cruisers, so the band can start working on "Shadow King" album : "What Would it Take" comes first, a dramatic number with a great guitar riff. "Anytime, Anywhere" is a 'in your face' shuffle, with an exploding vocal line, sometimes reminds me Priest's "Another Thing Coming", and probably Campbell played his best guitar solo in this album. At number 3, if you are in a recording band you know what I mean, there's another dramathic and anthemic song, Once Upon a Time, Lou Gramm scratchy voice at the climax, and the band is marching like a steamroller. Don't Even Know I'm Alive is a melancholic love song, with some lyricism from Gramm. " Boy" starts with Campbell tapping on the guitar fretboard producing a tubolar bells sounds alike, that's my favourite song, then playing a minimal rock chords under the vocal line and finally exploding in a power bridge that blows your speakers and pump your blood !!! With a great solo and a fine arpeggios as outro "Boy" is an AOR masterpiece.
So don't esitate, go to your fav record store and buy Shadow King, you'll say : Thanx Max ! Later...


Track listing :
What Would it Take (4:20)
Anytime, Anywhere (4:26)
Once Upon a Time (5:23)
Don't Even Know I'm Alive (5:08)
Boy (4:03)
I Want You (4:29)
This Heart of Stone (4:36)
Danger in the Dance of Love (3:57)
No Man's Land (4:12)
Russia (3:45)

Produced by Keith Olsen


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