Archive for ‘Thriller’


5 (Cinque)

by Marianne Wi

Director : It is Francesco Dominedo first feature, he has previously appeared in a number of TV films here in Italy, will this film be his opening onto the International Film Festival Circuit? That is the million dollar question, as Italian films goes it is not bad, the editing is good, the camara work is well above average, usually the two immediate obstacles for success. The story line ? Well, there are so many sub stories going down, that you will need to be on full alert throughout. Matteo Branciamore (Manolo) was seen for the first time outside The Cesarone, he has turned ”BAD”. Also very good acting from the other 4, known for their TV work, so why am I not excited? Dominedo has tried to compete with the American Gangster Movies and although he often hits the spot, he fails overall possibly because of a low budget, it was released into only 5 cinemas in Italy so has not had a good start in life.

Cast: Matteo Branciamore, Stefano Sammarco, Christian Marazziti, Rolando Ravello, Alessandro Borghi, Lito Vitale, Massimo Bonetti, Angelo Orlando, Giorgia Wurth, Franscesco Arca, Francesco Venditti, Cladua Zanella, Loredana sofizi, Alessandro Tersigni.

Synobsis:  We find our group of 5 in Quarticcilo east, a Roman suburb that lends itself perfectly to petty crime. Our 5 friends have all been to the same correction center or ”riformatorio” reformatory center, where they have served time for their senseless crimes. Our little group grow up, get married leading lives of petty crime until they decide to hit the big time with a large robbery… it worked and there was a bonus in the shape of a briefcase…… belonging the The Russian Mafia in Rome… is all very much downhill from there, as the 5 begin their fight for survival.


Giallo, Yellow and Dario Argento

by Marianne Wi

Giallo directed by Dario Argento was released in 2009, however it is only now being distributed into the Italian Cinemas (01.07.2011). I am still sitting upright at my desk expecting the worst to happen, phobias of which I had non are forming in the grey matter as I type. Whooorrrr a too graphic yet compelling watch, if you like Argento it is certainly worth watching, yet it is not quite up to his usual high standard and I am at a loss to understand why it took 2 years to be distributed to the general public, it is already out on DVD so it seems sort off pointless now, Italian distribution has always been one of life’s great mysteries. Giallo, does have quiet moments and does not always flow as well as it could have done, the unbelievable sub-plot, one about the Inspectors early life as a killer, covered-up by a passing policeman did spoil an otherwise believable storyline.

Director : Dario Argento, certainly one of Italy top directors in the genre of movies is famous for them outside Italy too, you often find Suspira 1977 on a list of “Top Ten Horror Movies” of all time, watch Gaillo and you will be scared, do not be embarrassed just hide under the desk or where ever you feel safe…that said it is not Suspira, so do not hold your breath.

Cast : Adrien Brody, Emmanuelle Seiger, Elsa Pataky, Robert Miano, Valentian Izumi, Sato Oi, Luis Molteni, Taiyo Yamanouchi, Daniela Fazzolari, Nicolo Morselli, Gueseppe Lo Console, Anna Carello, Lorenzo Pedrotti, Farhad Re, Barbara Mautino

Synobsis : Woman get into Taxi and is not seen again before turning up dead and mutilated in a Square in Turin, there are at least 4 known cases of this type of murder, that is the story in a nutshell. We follow first a Japanese lady, then and American lady getting into a Taxi and later we see some of the mutilations being done by a sexual predator and sadist, I think you will agree that he is a real badass. Inspector Enzo Avolfi is on the case helped by the sister of  the American victim, there is a lot of blood and it takes awhile before we understand what Giallo is all about, it is all about the colour Yellow and nothing to do with a crime mystery as you might originally have suspected.

Out in the cinemas here in Italy on the 01.07.2011 and already out on DVD with English subtitles among others.

Giallo, Yellow directed by Dario Argento has a release date   14.06.2011


Sotto Il Vestito Niente – L’ultima Sfilata (Nothing under the dress – The Last Parade) Possible English Title

by Marianne Wi

Is it a thriller or a re-make of Detective Columbo Italian style ? I do not care, I am just so chuffed no actually I am “sotto shock” as they say; I can report that there was nothing funny or comic about this film, I even did one small involuntary jump in my seat at the sight of a spade….. Oh yes, this is a thriller. Shot in Milan where we mingled with the beautiful people nothing Prêt-à-Porter about this film all very much Huit Couture, well made with a solid storyline, great music and Richard E Grant, what more can you ask for?

Director: Carlo Vanzina has produced many film in Italy often comedy , few have made it abroad, I think this might with a shorter title.

Cast : Vanessa Hessler, Francesco Montanari, Richard E Grant, Giselda Volodi, Virginie Marsan, Paolo Seganti,  Claudine Wilde, Ernesto Mahieux, Mario Cordova, Alexandra Doetch, Vincenzo Zmapa

Synobsis : We have our scruffy detective with his equally scruffy side kick looking for a murderer, well actually more of a serial killer. We have 2 murders staged as suicide, a murder staged as a car accident and a throat cut murder, we have a knickers thief and a gay three way (not literally that would get this film banned). We have posh parties, we have drugs and lots of Champagne , fabulous clothing and beautiful people and a faithful husband too….. NICE ! The story line moves along nicely, I worked out the killer before the intervallo, perhaps too much time watching US crime series. Please give the lovely Francesco Montanari his own series and let him keep his sidekick too.


Il Padre e lo straniero, The Father and the Foreigner.

by Marianne Wi

So very exciting to see a film without a hint of comedy, Italy is churning out comedies as if the Italian cinema industry depended on them, we are mid February yet two local cinemas are still opening their doors daily to Xmas movies about Santa Gangs and a Xmas in South Africa.

The Father and the Foreigner is not a comedy, small mercies it is drama before turning thriller, it is already doing its rounds at the International Festivals and is now released nationwide here in  Italy.

Director: Ricky Tognazzi   is a prolific Actor and Director , well known here in Italy less so abroad. He comes from famous Italian Cinema stock his father being Ugo who in his time acted in over 70 films .

Cast: Alessandro Gassman, Amr Waked, Ksenia Rappoport, Leo Guillotta, Nadine Labaki, Emanuele Salce, Leonardo Della Bianca, Ilary Branco


Best Moment: Both shower scenes…..

Synopsis: A touching story about friendship between two fathers from very different cultures, both have handicapped sons, it turns into a not very believable spy combo halfway through though, never quite believable and a real struggling to keep engaged with. Gassman is appearing in most shots , often wearing very little ladies, just thought I would mention it, as he is rather gorgeous in a sort of Italiano stallion way.

Diego (Alessandro Gassman) is living in Rome with his Russian wife (Ksenia Rappoport) they have a handicapped son together. Diego has never really accepted Giacomino’s illness and is deeply tormented by his inability to love his offspring.

At the rehabilitation Centre where Giacomino (Diego’s son) attends for daily therapy, Diego meets Walid (Amr Waked), a very rich Arab businessman, who also has a severely handicapped son. They strike up a warm and deep friendship despite their many cultural and traditional differences. Walid philosophy “the destination is the destiny,” has a huge positive impact on Diego, who tries to re-kindle the love and passion he once had for his dishevelled wife ,whose love for their son has never faulted.

I really wanted to explore these two diverse characters deeper and was enjoying the film, I felt more than a little miffed, when I suddenly had to deal with Syria, terrorism, Belly dancers, the secret service and missing persons.

Walid disappears, and our spy story begins. Not wanting to be accused of giving the game away I will leave you to make up your own mind on this thriller finish.


This photo of Alessandro Gassman is not from the film,I just could not resist.  Italian Stallion or Gay Icon, who cares…. just  let me have pins like that in my next life  !


La doppia ora, The Double Hour

by Marianne Wi

Just the best Thriller to come out of Italy for many years. The film has everything you need from a Thriller and more , it is shot beautifully, great story line, unexpected twists  and even the editing ( often a painful subject) is done to perfection. Why have I not bothered to spread this news before I hear you say, well it is not a recent  film and I have just noticed that it is included in many International Film Festivals such as Palm Springs USA and Lotterywest (Perth) Australia.

Director : Giuseppe Capotondi, know in Italy for his videography work and commercials, this is the first feature film and I very much hope not his last it is awesome.

Cast : Filippo Timi, Kseniya Rappoport,Antonia Truppo,Gaetano Bruno,Fausto Russo Alesi,Michele Di Mauro,Lorenzo  Gioielli, Lidia Vitale.

Best moment  : The scene with the plastic sheet among many .

Excellent performances from both Filippo Timi and  Kseniya Rappoport  should have had an Oscar .

Synopsis :  Sonia from Eastern Europe  has recently moved to  Turin and is looking for a man, she signs up for a speed-dating service, and meets Guido , an ex-cop who is now working as a security guard. Sonia and Guido are attracted to each other and his near obsession with the double hour becomes apparent , it’s a sign of good luck and one should make a wish for sure.  (Double hour = the clock must show 12.12 or 20.20 if you see what I mean) A great thriller do not miss it.

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