Archive for November, 2012
Remember to breathe
A full plate can overstuff
But I loathe boredom
Look it’s Burt Reynolds! But it’s not a Cannonball Run or Smokey and the Bandit movie. Or even Striptease. This can’t be good. And it was not. No, no it was not. Here’s Navajo Joe and I really wanted to like it. I did. It’s another Sergio Corbucci film, with Ennio Morricone music and Aldo Sambrell. Aldo “He’s like in every Spaghetti Western” Sambrell! This guy!
And like I said a 30 year old heavily tanned or makeup-ed to pretend he’s a native Burt Reynolds is in it too. Watch and you’ll see both of his faces! This one:
And this one too!
That’s really it. He rides around bareback (take that as you will) and dishes out justice for some reason or another. I could tell you but why spoil the fact that the movie never really did. Sure there’s a group of banditos (hey look that Aldo Sambrell’s their leader!) and they’re in collusion with one of the townies and there’s a safe with a ton of cash and an Indian burial ground and of course a train but none of these things ever really come together to make up anything even close to resembling “good”.
Now, I didn’t say it wasn’t entertaining but it’s not good. Seeing Mr. Reynolds fling himself around off of hill and dale and horse in order to tackle and usually stab some miscreant or another was a lot of fun yet still not good. Bonus…the fact that the Morricone soundtrack (not one of his best by any stretch) but the fact the main theme, which consists of what I can only assume were extra pale faced actors hired to sound “Indian” chanting ‘Navajo Joe, NAVAJO JOE!!!’ can easily be heard over 82% of this movies’ total run time makes this wayward Western and instant sing-a-long. Plus there are three hot saloon girls and one hot Indian as well. I mean they’re all Italian right but three whores and a savage and all hot! Look here’s one of them now:
Well you can sort of see her getting dragged by…wait…it’s Aldo Sambrell again! Oh that Aldo! Now, even with all the horse leaping or rather leaping from horses and cool cowboy costumes and the 4 hot chicks this movie is still pretty hard to sit through. I’d go watch “The Mercenary” again right now but I’d be hard pressed to need to see Ol’ Joe ever again. Watch this nifty trailer instead and save yourself the hour and a half. It’s got it all. The scenery, the stares, that creepy make up and some solid though less sing-a-longy portions of the soundtrack. As for the full version? Only two in the chamber for “Navajo Joe”. If you’re a Burt Reynolds completionist then you have to do it. If not then your better off playing Red Dead Redemption for a bit with the original Broadway recording of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas playing in the background. Adios!
Slap and slam and skate
The bones rattle not the nerves
I love spaghetti Westerns. Why? Because, just like their namesake they’ve got balls and a lot of cheese. This week’s is so ballsy and cheesy I almost couldn’t stand it. Of course that could have been the exhaustion/whiskey combo too but no matter. What does and did and will still one day do, uh, matter, is “El Mercenario”! Or “The Mercenary” as we call it here in the states. Or “A Professional Gun” as this poster and assuredly most pretentious film critics called it. You could have also called it “Holy Shit is that Jack Palance?” from the first time he shows up on screen and you’re like “holy shit was that Jack Palance?” Because he was all young with curly black hair and didn’t look like most of the times I’ve seen him films. I was expecting this:
But I got this:
Call me pleasantly surprised. Even though he was a bad guy. Which didn’t surprise me at all. I always remember him being a bad guy. And no I never saw “City Slickers 2″ so yeah…always bad. Which is fine because that just means there has to be a good guy right? A hero to fight the bad guy and the whole Mexican army right? Or at least an anti-hero out to make a buck helping rebels fight off various indignities from the bad guy and the ever increasing advances of the Mexican army right? Well your in luck because “The Mercenary” features on helluva good foil for any and all of those. And here’s a pic:
Goddamn look at that mustache! I don’t think this guy ever did porn but you know that goddamn mustache was making a few on the side on weekends. The guy behind the ‘stache by the by is Franco Nero. And he is amazing. He plays Sergei Kowalski, a Polish soldier of fortune just trying to make ends meet during the Mexican Revolution. You might assume those “ends” would be the end of his dick and either end of whatever lady walked by and swooned but you’d be wrong. But don’t fret he’s still puts a dump truck full of ass into “badass” throughout the film even though he doesn’t really get it on with anybody. He actually helps the rebel leader Paco hook up with the girl of his dreams. That’s how cool Sergei is. He helps you get laid even going so far as to sacrifice a little of his dignity or mystique or whatever just to make you look good. Because really in the end we all know, you, me, Paco, all the Mexican army regulars, that horse in the picture and Jack Palance’s skull…we all know that Sergei would only have to do is bat that mustache and every skirt and pair of pants within 50 miles would drop. ALL OF THEM!
Man crush aside, I really liked “The Mercenary”. Great characters and a good pace. Honestly a lot of older film suffer from piss poor pacing and I can’t be bothered. And I try. I’m still wading through “Ambush at Cimarron Pass” if you doubt my sincerity or love for Clint Eastwood. Neither of which you should ever, ever doubt. But even without Eastwood this movie stands tall amongst the others in the genre. Now I won’t give away the ending or even any spoilery plot details. I’m never gonna ruin anything for you in these reviews. ‘Cause I’m not that kind of dick.
I am a dick, rest assured, just not that kind.
No I want you to watch these with wide eyed excitement and Westy wanderlust as I’ve done. However to sum up this fine film “El Mercenario”? You should el watch it. This picture might say it best:
Good great and grumbly God did Daniel Plainview and John Homes have sex and make this guy or what? And that screaming Mexican Paco (actually from Bridgeport, Connecticut)! And that rock so authentically Italian fake western! Guts and guns and girls…wait…no girls in that pic but Giovanna Ralli is in it and she is hot. That special boobs and bandoleers kinda hot!
Yeah, “The EL Professional Mercenario Mercenary” is most wonderful. Almost epic. Big scope and bigger performances packed into a film not many have heard of. So you can thank me pardner that now you have. 5 out of 6 rounds in the old cylinder for this one. I will watch it again. And then probably again and again. And the reason why I can sum up in two words: Must ‘Stache
It’s really come to this.
Twinky the Kid…the unions…high noon and a great deal of blood and/or creme filling to be spilled. I could debate you at length about all this but that would be pointless. I would win and you couldn’t convince me otherwise. No I’m not here to argue who’s right or who’s wrong in all this. I have eaten several Twinkies in the past two days though. Which if you know me is pretty shocking. I row 500m sprints or dead lift 300 pounds repeatedly and then flop my way into the kitchen for some Hostess with the most-est kinda treats. They weren’t amazing or terribly healthy (there is 1 gram of protein in there!) but it tasted like something that’ll soon be gone forever. Like it or not this world is changing for the better here and for the worse pretty much everywhere else. Money doesn’t grow on trees and “free” programs cost a lot of that non-tree grown money that has to come from somewhere and at the end of the day, or Friday morning when the decision on Hostess’ liquidation comes down, a little piece of yesteryear could end up face down in the dirt. Of course he’ll get a few shots off but the salve of unemployment will quickly bandage any injuries done to the other quick draw participants while Twinky may never be the same. Just imagine the solitary scream of Snack Towns hooker with a heart of gold rushing into the streets to cradle The Kid’s head as he leaves this cruel world. She’ll be covered in white goo and confusion yet far from an arousing German porn this will be.
No, there won’t be any sweet release here folks. Just pain on all sides. And this will be just one of the first salvos in the coming war. We will all need to give a little more and take a lot less over the next decade. We must learn to make do with what we have and not bitch about what we want. We must be thankful for the hearts of our loved ones beating next to us and not place undue importance on acquiring more and more and more especially at the expense of others. I will work towards better times but know they’ll be bitter ones before. We have too many hands and not enough handouts. I need to stock up on shotgun shells, ponchos…and Twinkies.