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kaream's reviews view profile

cut and censored  
on October 28, 2008 - 5:50 PM PDT
  of The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak (1984)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

This isn't a terrific movie to begin with, but note that this 88-minute version is missing nearly 20 minutes of the steamier parts from the original.
NO subtitles  
on September 13, 2008 - 12:04 PM PDT
  of La Ilusion Viaja en Tranvia/Nazarin (1953-1958)
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful

Aiee!! Two wonderful Bunuel films from his period of exile in Mexico, on a brand-new flipper disc (one on each side) put out by Lionsgate Home Entertainment, but exclusively for the Spanish-speaking market.

No subtitles (in any language), no Closed Captions, no extras.

If you're not fluent in Spanish, you're SOL. Bummer.
chopped copy  
on August 4, 2008 - 6:21 AM PDT
  of Malena (2000)

From the AMG blurb, above: 'Malèna was released in Europe at 106 minutes, while the American version was edited by ten minutes to tighten the pace and remove nudity and sexual material considered too strong for the U.S. marketplace.'

Actually, according to the entry at IMDb the original Italian release was 109 minutes, compared to this damn-near-Disneyfied 92 minute cut, so that's at least 16 minutes of film chopped out, no matter how you count it. Ever since the Weinsteins sold out Miramax to Walt Disney/Buena Vista in 1993 you never know who to trust any more. You can get some idea of what you're missing from this Miramax version of Malèna by checking unexpurgated scenes at

(Or, as of this date Amazon lists a 2-disc Korean all-region NTSC release of the uncut director's version, apparently with occasionally iffy English subtitles, for $140; some reviews there discuss the differences and explain how the cuts have damaged the sense of the film.)

I did like the movie, even in this chopped-up incarnation. Tornatore is an interesting director in everything I've seen of his, and Bellucci is stunning as always. But it just burns my butt that Disney is so uptight and so quick to take a hatchet to the more mature movies that they buy, instead of leaving them for a more responsible distributor.
both discs are needed  
on May 6, 2008 - 5:10 PM PDT
  of O Lucky Man! (Disc 1 of 2) (1973)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

Note that both discs are needed to watch the entire movie. Instead of putting the movie together on one disc and the extras on disc 2, the movie was split at a seemingly arbitrary point, and each disc also contains one or two extras.

Although the movie is a musical of sorts, with the band and their songs playing an important role, Mark Deming's AMG synopsis might be a little confusing in his reference to 'the death of Imperial Coffee's leading drummer in the North.' Here 'drummer' refers not to someone who plays drums, but is an obsolete term for a traveling salesman who 'drums' up interest in the product being sold.
where's the 'X'?  
on April 10, 2008 - 10:42 PM PDT
  of 99 Women (X-Rated) (1969)
7 out of 8 members found this review helpful

As the AMG synopsis suggests, this WIP is for camp value only. But where's the 'adults-only' X? Unless you have a fetish for gray shirts and bare legs, or a vivid imagination in interpreting not just soft focus but entirely out-of-focus, there's not much here that would rate even an R.
a terrible transfer of an important movie  
on April 4, 2008 - 2:57 AM PDT
  of Two Women (1960)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful

Sophia Loren won the Best Actress Oscar (IMDb says 1962, wikipedia says 1961) for her role as Cesira in this great film from De Sica.

But there is no decent transfer onto DVD in existence. This truly awful Madacy release is currently just about the only one available, so don't blame GC. And it's the only release I'm aware of that retains the original Italian soundtrack rather than being dubbed.

It's interesting, though, that this version is cut from 100' to 93'. I've also seen an English dubbed version on the Koch label, in a transfer only marginally better, that runs the full 100 minutes.

There's just one cut, starting roughly 45' into the movie, encompassing two sequential scenes. Following Michele and Cesira sitting in the dark talking about love, and Rosetta coming up to put her hands over her mother's eyes, the short version then cuts to Cesira and Rosetta talking in bed. The long version interpolates here a group of neighbors gathering together around a cook fire in a hut while Michele begins to read aloud from his Bible, and gets annoyed with the villagers for continually interrupting him and being obsessed with food and other possessions; Michele storms out and walks over to the cemetery where he is joined by Cesira, and he tells her that he loves her. There's no apparent reason for making this cut.

By all means give this important and stunning movie a try, but be aware that you'll need to be patient and forgiving of the transfer quality.

10 of 10 for the movie itself; 1 off for both the poor transfer and for the cut.
this is an outdated transfer  
on March 28, 2008 - 4:21 PM PDT
  of The Bicycle Thief (1948)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful

Vittorio De Sica's 1948 masterpiece 'Ladri di biciclette' has been known as 'The Bicycle Thief' in the US since it was first distributed here, but The Criterion Collection has recently issued a remastered version, with new and better subtitles, in a two-disc set with important extras.

Confusingly, Criterion chose to retitle their release as 'Bicycle Thieves', which is the correct translation of the original Italian title.

GreenCine does have the new two-disc Criterion set, which is by far the better transfer -- rent it instead instead of this older one.

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