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From the beginning I knew a prequel to the PINK PANTHER series would be an abomination. I did not, however, think it would be worse than I expected. I went to see the film because I am a fan of Steve Martin and his writing. His attempt at either imitating or recreating the Clouseau role (whichever it was) was, in the very least, a failed accomplishment. The beauty of the Sellers "Clouseau" was the subtlety that Sellers brought to the character. He was clumsy as opposed to stupid. The true humor in the originals is that Clouseau would solve the case, more or less, by accident through his faults. Thus when he received acclaim it was that much more humorous. Martin's "Clouseau" is stupid and vain and has no likable traits. He actually has some police skills that support him in the end, but are not in the vain of Clouseau. He is NOT Clouseau. Why would anyone wish to recreate a hero that was perfect?
Nowadays mostly regarded as the stillborn publicity stunt of compulsive agent provocateur Lars Von Trier, Puzzy Power was an off-shoot of his Zentropa production company which proclaimed to purvey more female friendly fornication fare with an earnestness as severe – and equally fake – as that of his previously implemented Dogme Manifesto which advocated a return to cinematic purity. Their first foray, the period piece CONSTANCE, mainly proved that its director (the far from female Knud Vesterskov) had no idea of what women actually desired from explicit erotica beyond hazy Mills & Boon type bodice-ripping. Vesterskov seemed marginally better suited to the label's sole yet maddeningly uneven gay release HOTMEN COOLBOYZ. With a whopping grand total of three (!) titles, Puzzy Power ultimately gave method to producer Peter Aalbaek Jensen's short-lived Innocent Pictures, perpetrator of Jessica Nilsson's distinctly underwhelming ALL ABOUT ANNA. Fortunately though, they did obtain the recipe right at least once, starting by bringing in a filmmaker of the appropriate gender, Lysbeth Lynghöft, who came from a theatrical background prior to landing a position at the Scandinavian branch of MTV. Rather a huge deal was created of the fact that PINK PRISON's main hero Mila was supposedly 36, therefore considerably older than the average female porn protagonist, never mind that she's played by an actress (Katja Kean) who's considerably closer to the glamorous stereotype and about half a decade younger ! A journalist cut photographer, she makes a wager with her amorous editor Yasia (Anders Nyborg) that she can secure an interview with the elusive Governor who runs the eponymous male prison. Denied entrance, Mila sneaks in through the air vent which effectively transforms the narrative into a variation on Alice in Wonderland as different archetypes tutorial her on her quest to meet the mysterious man in charge. Hand-cuffed by monolithic guard Alberto Rey, she's literally liberated by the prison's Chef (Mr. Marcus) who gently blows on an ice cube to reveal the little key that unlocks her shackles in a beguiling mixture of dream logic and matter of fact fairy tale quality unerringly real to its literary example. The sexual content – satisfyingly explicit whilst refusing to obtain bogged down by excessive genital close-ups – runs the gamut from the almost violently passionate grope with Rey to the tender lovemaking of Mr. Marcus with 9 AND A HALF WEEKS type meal play. Mischievously, the movie's initial erotic footage is of solitary Michael (American Marc Duran, also in Jacques Nolot's transgressive art house offering CHATTE A DEUX TETES, portraying the film's facsimile of the White Rabbit) intently caressing his muscular physique, immediately followed by a desperate albeit simulated man to man encounter straight out of Jean Genet, imagery clearly designed to reel in the female viewer while rendering her companion possibly queasy. Best of present would have to be Katja's blue-tinged shower room fantasy where she's presented with three seemingly disinterested platinum-topped beautiful boys, among them "Ray Sörensen" a/k/a Ronny Nielsen from Mike Beck's VIKING LEGEND and JANE BOMB, who grow increasingly animated through our heroine's insistent attentions. Not too surprisingly, the Governor turns out to be a woman, the sturdy Evil Eve, who was in Beck's SEXSEMESTERN. Applying a strap-on to the strapped down Mila, she ultimately ushers in Michael to deliver on the sustained feature-length tease. Every aspect of production has been handled with consummate care. The crystal-clear camera work makes compelling use of light and shadow and Nils Lassen's eclectic soundtrack can actually be enjoyed rather than endured. Reducing her characters to fictional figures coded by costume, Lynghöft has created sure not to tax her cast's abilities too much yet still accords them the attention needed to create them flourish as performers. Kean in particular, so often the prototypical ice goddess, rewards these efforts with a passion-filled tour de force that justifies and cements her superstar status.
Frustrating rendition of Mozart's masterpiece. The singers are all first-rate, and led by Lorin Maazel and the Orchestra of the Paris Opera. But the direction by Losey and his squad is unfocused, and seems to care more about making some confused socio-political commentary, and not so much about telling a clear story. (For just one example, what in the globe has Losey done to the sextet in Act 2? Does that stage create any sense?) In short, here you will search magnificent Mozart, and lousy Losey.
Mario Puzo wrote a masterpiece when he wrote The Godfather. Even though The Latest Don falls short of that designation, it is still a compelling and wonderfully entertaining read. The absolutes that were born in Sicily such as "omerta" continue into mid twentieth century America even as the Clericuzio family strives toward leaving behind the criminal empire they have embraced for years. Reaching legitimacy is created more difficult when some of the family members including one of the grandchildren obviously have no intention of abandoning the violence and criminality that is the family legacy. Even the more legitimate businesses of the casino and film investments are eventually touched by murder and mayhem even as the family reaches for respectability. Puzo's brilliance as a writer, his astute hero development and his ability to weave into this story believable narratives about all the characters that populate the pages of this novel create this a must read for fiction lovers and people who read also to understand various aspects of American culture. It may be fiction, but there is some truth here also.
This by far for me, was the best book I've read so far. If you liked the film The Godfather, you will lov e the Latest Don. Mario Puzo has once again written a book that I've read more than once. I would recommend this to all who loved the Godfather movies.
This is an extraordinarily amazing read by master author Mario Puzo. It is the story of the fictional Clericuzio Family--the latest amazing Mafia family in the United States. The Clericuzios at the height of the powers are dominant in gambling, drugs, and other similar rackets. But the family patriarch, Don Clericuzio, sees organized crime for the dead end that it is, and devises a plan for his progeny to eventually transition to, and enter into the "legitimate world." But his plan envisions this transition to occur on his own terms, so that when the Family indeed abandons crime, it will do so from a position of strength, entering the ordinary globe with wealth and ere are problems. Some members of the family are less than enthusiastic about abandoning the underworld, and this is the nexus of the story. Nephew Cross De Lena and Grandson Dante Clericuzio war what amounts to a secret civil battle within the Family, even as the legacy of earlier not good deeds by the amazing Don himself finally come home to roost. This is an entertaining and insightful story, well-written. It is equally amazing with beer and chips, or for a more introspective e book is not without faults. As an attorney, I can only say that Puzo's depiction of "California juries" as regards the insanity defense, is simply asinine, and shows either a contempt for the method things really are, or a easy disregard for facts in order to entertain. OK, I guess, authors are entitled to take liberties with the truth in order to entertain us, I just thought that this particular liberty was unnecessary, since the book seems authentic in so a lot of other ways. e novel's treatment of Hollywood is hilarious. Basically, Puzo depicts the struggles of competing studios, actors, and actresses in the entertainment globe as essentially a legalized mob conflict, without the guns. I don't know much about Hollywood, so I have no comment about this except to say that here Puzo was beautiful entertaining.Overall, this was an outstanding book that makes for an perfect read.
This is an extraordinarily readable novel. As always when writing about the Mafia, Puzo tells a amazing story. This is the story of the Clericuzio crime family and the long range plan of its ruling Don to join the legitimate globe and exit the Mafia, with the family wealth intact. This plan is fraught with peril and requires much bloodshed, setting the scene for the e Godfather dealt with the Mafia from roughly the 1930s through the 1950s. This novel is more contemporary and appears to be set in the 1990s. Mostly, the story has an authentic quality to it, and it moves along at a very brisk pace. Puzo's prose is clear and makes the book a pleasure to me of the sub-plots in the novel are just plain unrealistic. For example, he explains how a Hollywood attorney and a "California Jury" fails to convict a murderer based on a temporary insanity defense, and a few months later the perp is walking the roads a free man.... But hey, makes a amazing story, anyway. And create no mistake, this is a minor quibble--this is a amazing story.Puzo's portrayal of the film business as being essentially as brutal as the Mafia is hilarious. Is it real to life? I doubt it, but it sure is e Latest Don was created into a miniseries which is fairly faithful to the novel (Part 1 of the miniseries is, that is). If you have fun the novel, the DVD of the miniseries is a amazing entertainment value.
I realize that I gave this too a lot of marks, but if there's anything I have realized about cinema, it can best be said by a line that I watched, performed by Jean-Louis Trintignant, where he stated (and I paraphrase), something like, 'I can't remember the movie, but I can recall my feelings', and that sums up nicely why I feel the method I do about the movie. It's an interesting idea acted well by very amazing actors (a lot of people dismiss Marlon Brando's work here, but I don't think it's that bad, honestly). If anything, the issue here is the film doesn't know where to go after it's decent start.
**He who says every woman is a mystery to be solved.** One of the earliest movies for Johnny Depp and very surprising. Thematically, the movie is for the grown ups, but well created without too much sexual exploit. That means you can comfortably sit and watch with your family. This is not actually about Don Juan, but kind of 'The Fall'. I mean the flashback reveals everything and remains as a mystery. The story follows a man who himself declares the true Don Juan DeMarco, the greatest lover of the world. So he ends in a psychiatric centre for the treatment after trying to commit suicide. A doctor who is on the verge to retire set to treat him and when the DeMarco narrates his life story, the doctor too inspires to reinstate his romantic life. The remaining narration tells how they work out to solve the problem once for all. Not a masterpiece, but kind of interesting drama, particularly for how the movie characters were drawn. And the story was built cleverly, till the final stage by giving out the viewers a positive notice that worth living life to love and to be loved. So if you opt it for the title, not a poor choice, since the theme remains about the love, even the person you are looking for is not present. More like it is a metaphor, when it comes to the true Don Juan and the one in this film. Like people say god is everywhere, the love is as well and so the version/personality of Don Juan in every person. Johnny Depp was so good, an ideal person to play the title role. Marlon Brando was too great, in a easy way. The rest of the cast was not bad, but the entire movie focused on these two than anybody else. It's been nearly 25 years since it came out, but I feel a remake would be not a poor idea with changes in the script. Todays writer and directors are clever at doing that, but it should come from a huge banner with huge names. Maybe Johnny Deep to play the doctor in the modern version. I hope some filmmakers read this and consider that. Meanwhile, it is a worthy film, so it a try. _7/10_
**The best of the Panther films** As much James Bond movie as Pink Panther movie, this 1976 entry begins with _former_ Chief Inspector Dreyfus, (Herbert Lom) about to be released from the lunatic asylum and all is going well - until _Chief Inspector_ Clouseau turns up... Within minutes, the newly sane _former_ police commissioner Dreyfus is reduced to a _gibbering maniac_ - hell bent on destroying the globe unless the authorities deliver Clouseau to him. The following 90 mins consist of an inflatable Quasimodo hovering above Notre Dame cathedral, an absurd war with an 'oriental lunatic', killer battles at the Oktoberfest, a dentist with a plastic nose and the destruction of the United Nations building. Sellers and director Blake Edwards did everything right here. With a script this insane - they couldn't really go wrong.
Heller? Hell No! Heller in Pink Tights is directed by George Cukor and adapted to screenplay by Walter Bernstein from the novel "Heller With a Gun" written by Louis L'Amour. It stars Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn, Margaret O'Brien, Steve Forrest, Eileen Heckart and Ramon Novarro. Melody is by Daniele Amfitheatrof and cinematography by Harold Lipstein. In easy terms this is Cukor trying to be clever whilst doing his only Western film. Plot basically follows The Amazing Healy Dramatic and Concert Company as they represent civilisation and culture coming to the Wild West. It's part spoof, part period farce but always narratively shallow. The costuming and colour lensing are sublime, undeniably, but these can't compensate for such a turgid story being performed by miscast stars. Quinn called the picture unfortunate, Loren (looking painfully thin and sporting an unfortunate blonde mop on her head) was unhappy with the direction she received and serves solely as a clothes horse, while Cukor himself bemoaned cuts created by Paramount that further damaged what he thought was already a weak story. Receiving mixed reviews upon release, "Heller" was a box office flop, and really it's not hard to see why. Even if there's some value for Loren and Edith Head (costumes) fans. 4/10
Ralph Meeker looks great. He tended toward puffiness in the all too few films he created after the amazing "Kiss Me Deadly." Here he is trim and does a amazing job (with small to work with.) Keenan Wynn is all right. He played sidekicks -- sort of the Tony Randall of the 1950s. Jane Russell wears the title outfit. She got a poor rap as an actress. She was hilarious in "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" and very convincing in her adventure/thrillers with Robert Mitchum. Here she is OK. Her acting is OK, that is. But she's supposed to be a film star at her peak and this is a small hard to buy. I remember her TV ads in which she spoke of "us full-figured gals." These came a couple decades after "The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown." But the nightgown, and everything she wears, looks like a maternity frock. She looks huge here. In the beginning of the movie she wears a long blonde wig. It is monumentally unbecoming. She looks better when she takes it off. Still, the film is a disappointment. It's always a treat to see Meeker. And the supporting cast comprises familiar faces and is amusing. But the film is a misfire. Russell and Meeker have no particular chemistry. It isn't touching. And it isn't really very funny, director Taurog notwithstanding.