Welcome to theBad.net Lee Van Cleef Blog! Here you will find information, photos, videos, and some of my opinions of the badman himself.

Many thanks to the wonderful members of theBad.net Lee Van Cleef Web Board for their contributions and continued enthusiasm!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Bad Man's River - Black and White Press Photos (part 2)

A continuation from a previous post

Click to enlarge!


 
 
 



 
 
  


 
 
 
 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Blu-ray Update: Kino The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Release


Update regarding the new blu-ray release of The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, to be released August 15th.

The below update covers extras as well what they are doing to make the US theatrical version more faithful to how it was presented originally (they are creating the 161 minute version from the 179 minute master)


Coming August 15th on DVD and Blu-ray!
Note: We're hoping to add one or two more extras
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (50th Anniversary Edition) - with reversible art

Special Features (Disc 1)
  • 4K transfer of the Original "161 minute" Theatrical Cut
  • New Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas
  • "Trailers From Hell" with Ernest Dickerson
  • M.O.S. Deleted Scene of Blondie in the desert finding skeletons
  • Newly Restored 2.0 Mono Audio
  • Trailers for Sergio Leone Westerns
  • Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • English DTS-HD MA 5.1 Audio
  • Animated Image Galleries

Special Features (Disc 2)
  • 4K transfer of the "179 Minute" Extended Cut
  • Newly Restored 2.0 Mono Audio
  • Audio Commentary By Acclaimed Film Historian Richard Schickel
  • Audio Commentary By Noted Cultural Historian Christopher Frayling
  • Leone's West: Making Of Documentary
  • The Leone Style: On Sergio Leone Featurette
  • The Man Who Lost The Civil War: Civil War Documentary
  • Reconstruction The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
  • II Maestro: Ennio Morricone and The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Original U.S. Theatrical Trailer
  • Original French Theatrical Trailer
  • English DTS-HD MA 5.1 Audio
  • Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • with optional English subtitles

Besides the color correction (removing the yellowishness) we also made the following corrections and adjustments to create our 161 Minute cut of the Theatrical version:
  • The “flip cut” transition/optical wipe from "Tuco talking to Blondie and taking a bite of his cigar to being hung" was restored to its original version 
  • The fadeout to black of the "gun shop owner with the sign in his mouth" scene is now a cut to exodus scene. 
  • The fadeout of the "Blondie passing out as Tuco is bringing him water" scene happens exactly 1 second later than how it was on old MGM DVD release of the Theatrical Cut. 
  • The dissolve from "night" scene to "coach arriving at the mission" scene now fades up from black 
  • The shot of the train leaving the station (with Tuco and Wallace on it) was supposedly longer in the US theatrical cut, before cutting directly to Tuco in the train and not dissolving out earlier to the early morning camp scene - Our 4K of the 161 minute cut matches the old MGM DVD of the theatrical cut exactly.


The blu-ray will also feature reversible artwork modified from original theatrical posters.  See below-






Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sad Hill Unearthed - Trailer

The trailer for Sad Hill Unearthed, a documentary on the cemetery film location from The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly has just been released.  It looks fantastic!
 
 
    
It looks like there are some great perks available to crowdfund this film to completion!

Read all about it at the link below-

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sad-hill-unearthed-the-documentary-film--2#/
 
 


Saturday, June 3, 2017

New Blu-ray Release Announcement - For A Few Dollars More


Kino Lorber just announce via Facebook that For a Few Dollars More will be rereleased and remastered from a 4k scan next year.

The release is a ways off, sometime in 2018 as the film elements are in Italy, and it will take a long time to remaster (per Kino)

Kino Lorber, has also put out Sabata, Return of Sabata, Barquero, Captain Apache, and Bad Man's River on blu here in the US.  Future releases include Death Rides a Horse, Fistful of Dollars and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

No word yet on any details or extras.

 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sad Hill Unearthed - Crowdfunding


Sad Hill Unearthed, a documentary about The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly's iconic finale location is now in post production. It looks like there are some great perks available to crowdfund this film to completion!

Read all about it at the link below-

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sad-hill-unearthed-the-documentary-film--2#/

 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mean Frank & Crazy Tony and Killing Machine streaming on Amazon Prime


Two new movies have been added to streaming on Amazon Prime, both of which are not currently available on DVD or blu-ray.

Mean Frank & Crazy Tony fares well in image quality, and at 95 minutes appears to be uncut!

1984's Killing Machine, is a full frame somewhat soft transfer, but still watchable. 

These movies (and many other LVC films) are available to stream free for Amazon Prime Members.



 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

5 Years of The LVC Blog!

It's hard to imagine that the blog has been active for 5 years this week.  It's even harder to believe that it's been over 20 years since I published the first website (and message board).  In these 5 years, the blog has received 250,000 visits!

When creating this blog I was thinking of it to be a supplement to the website thebad.net, yet it basically became the replacement as now, anything new on the blog is linked to the website.

The first few years of posting were fairly fast and furious, before settling into the weekly posts that are made now. 

I've enjoyed doing the many blu-ray reviews of the all the new releases that have come out in the past 5 years.  It's amazing to think about the amount of material that is now available in hi-def format. 

50+ individual location reports from my trips to Spain and elsewhere have been well received.  With a 3rd trip to Spain this fall, I am looking forward to doing a dozen or so more reports.

Below are the top 5 most viewed articles on the blog!


     Jun 13, 2014
 
     Jan 9, 2013
 
     Mar 1, 2014
 
     May 15, 2014
 
     Mar 8, 2014
 
 
Thanks for the great support over the years!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Films of Antonio Margheriti Candids

Here are some additional candid from what looks to be Codename: Wildgeese and Jungle Raiders.

Click to enlarge!







 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Death Rides a Horse Coming to Blu-ray (US)


More exciting blu-ray news!

Kino Lorber Studio Classics announced that Death Rides a Horse will be coming to blu-ray in the United States later this year.  Kino previously released Sabata, Barquero, Captain Apache, and Bad Man's River on blu here in the US, as well as the upcoming 2 disc 50th anniversary edition of The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly and Return of Sabata.

This will be the first US release of Death Rides a Horse.


Explosive Media, who brought us a FANTASTIC German blu-ray releases of The Big Gundown, Sabata, and The Return of Sabata, had previously released Death Rides a Horse in 2013 with many fantastic extras.  You can see my review here.


The Explosive Media version does have a significant framing issue the impacts the last 8 minutes of the film.  The entire end sequence was considerably zoomed in on this Blu-ray. More information on that here.

framing issue on Explosive Media blu-ray

However, Kino has confirmed on Facebook, that this framing issue has been corrected for their release!

Release date and extra features are TBD
 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Blu-ray Update: Kino Addresses "Yellow" in Upcoming The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Release

Today Kino Lorber Studio Classics issued an update to the "yellow concern" many fans expressed over their upcoming 50th Anniversary blu-ray, that is based off the same controversial 4k master used on the 2014 MGM blu-ray.

After our announcement of the Sergio Leone masterpiece, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, some fans shared their concerns regarding the "yellowishness" of the 4K restoration. We looked into this issue and here are some split screen of the before and after work.

https://www.facebook.com/KinoLorberStudioClassics/posts/1375772699146300

The above Facebook post will link to 6 comparisons, 3 of which I have also used below.

First I would like to applaud the folks at Kino Lorber for listening to the fan feedback.  Truly above and beyond what I see from other studios.  That being said, despite their best efforts, (in my humble opinion), it still does not do justice to this film classic.  I don't fault Kino for this, as I think they are doing the best they can with what they have to work with, which is a digital transfer supplied by MGM.  While they were able to peel some of that yellow back, the image is still dark and blacks are crushed.

Below are the comparisons Kino provided (top) and the previously released Mondo blu-ray (bottom)

Click to enlarge to get the full effect.  Note the images are compressed, so this is not a comparison of sharpness, but of color and contrast.




I understand this is a work in progress for Kino, who are understandably doing their best with what they have to work with, but when you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig.  The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly needs a new scan of the film, not just the tweaking of the MGM 2014 4k master.

I just hope one day someone, somewhere, can get this right for an English version of the film.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

LVC on Amazon Prime


Those of you who subscribe to Amazon Prime in the US will find a number of LVC titles streaming for free.  Some highlights include-

  • Day of Anger (HD Widescreen)
  • Death Rides A Horse (fullscreen poor quality print)
  • Grand Duel (HD Widescreen)
  • Commandos (partially cropped widescreen)
  • Blood Money (widescreen poor quality)
  • The Squeeze (fullscreen poor quality print)

However best of all they have two 80's action films not available on DVD or blu-ray in the states!
  • Codename: Wildgeese (Widescreen)
  • The Commander (Widescreen)

I'm sure this list is subject to change, so check back with Amazon Prime often!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Remembering Tomas Milian

This week marked the passing of Tomas Milian, best know to LVC fans as Cuchillo in The Big Gundown.  Tomas went on to star in several other Spaghetti Westerns including; Run Man Run, Face to Face, and Companeros.

Full article from Variety below-

Cuban-American Actor Tomas Milian, Italian Genre Movies Star, Dies at 84

ROME – Versatile Cuban-American-Italian actor Tomas Milian, known for the intensity he brought to disparate roles, whether in dramas by directors like Bernardo Bertolucci and Steven Soderbergh or as the Roman lowlife character that made him a household name in Italy, died Thursday. He was 84.
Milian died of a stroke in his Miami home, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

A Method actor who studied with Lee Strasberg, Milian played in about 120 movies during a career spanning six decades. Most of the films were shot in Italy, where he worked with directors Michelangelo Antonioni, Luchino Visconti and Pier Paolo Pasolini besides acting in Spaghetti Westerns, cop movies, and the franchise based on his Roman lowlife character “Er Monnezza” (“Mr. Trash”).

Later in his career, Milian moved to the U.S. where, among other films, he appeared in Sydney Pollack’s “Havana,” in Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad,” and played corrupt General Arturo Salazar in Soderbergh’s “Traffic,” a role for which he won a Screen Actors Guild Award, with the rest of the ensemble cast.

Born Tomas Quintin Rodriguez on March 3, 1933, in Havana, Milian was the son of a Cuban general who during the revolution was arrested and jailed, which prompted Milian to emigrate to New York, where he studied at the Actors Studio and became a U.S. citizen.

While working on Broadway, Milian was invited in 1958 to attend the Spoleto theatre festival and moved to Italy after being offered the part of a young Roman in Mauro Bolognini’s “The Big Night” (1959), which was based on a short story by Pasolini.

After landing more supporting roles in other Bolognini movies and in dramas by other Italian auteurs, Milian broke out as a Spaghetti Western star in pics including Sergio Sollima’s “The Big Gundown,” (1966) and Giulio Petroni’s “Tepepa” (1969), in which Orson Welles also starred. He transitioned during the mid-1970s to Italy’s so-called “poliziottesco” films – violent cop movies – most notably playing Roman police Inspector Nico Giraldi, a former thief, in the  Bruno Corbucci-directed “Nico Giraldi” franchise.

Later, Milian landed his first role in Umberto Lenzi’s hit series of “Er Monnezza” action comedies, which ran from 1976 to 1980 and made his popularity soar in Italy. Milian became an Italian citizen in 1969.

Though Milian’s distinctive Roman accent was mostly the voice of dubber Ferruccio Amendola, he always preferred to perform in Italian and often wrote his own Roman vernacular lines.

In 1980, he was awarded a Silver Ribbon by Italy’s national film journalists association for his supporting role in Bertolucci’s “La Luna.” He appeared in Antonioni’s “Identification of a Woman” in 1982.

After moving back to New York in the mid-’80s, Milian had an active career as a supporting actor, including in Abel Ferrara’s erotic thriller “Cat Chaser” (1989), Oliver Stone’s “JFK” (1991), and the 1992 CBS sitcom “Frannie’s Turn,” which bombed. His more recent roles include a prelate in “The Lost City” (2005), set during revolutionary Cuba, directed by Andy Garcia.

In 2014, Milian was given a lifetime achievement award by the Rome Film Festival.

He is survived by a son, actor Tomaso Milian, Jr.

http://variety.com/2017/film/global/cuban-american-actor-tomas-milian-italian-genre-movies-star-dead-dies-1202015438/




Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Return of Sabata Coming to Blu-ray (US)



Kino Lorber Studio Classics announced that Return of Sabata will be coming to blu-ray in the United States this coming May 9th.  Kino previously released Sabata, Barquero, Captain Apache, and Bad Man's River on blu here in the US, as well as the upcoming 2 disc 50th anniversary edition of The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.

Extra features include:
• reversible art
• trailer gallery


reverse art
 
 
Explosive Media, who brought us a FANTASTIC German blu-ray releases of The Big Gundown, Death Rides a Horse, and Sabata, had previously released The Return of Sabata in 2015 with many fantastic extras.  You can see my review here.


And if that was not enough, Adios Sabata is coming out as well on the same day! 











Thursday, March 9, 2017

New Blu-ray Release - 50th Anniversary The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly


This release comes from Kino Lorber, who also put out Sabata, Barquero, Captain Apache, and Bad Man's River on blu here in the US.

Full information below!  This will be the first Blu-ray release to feature the US theatrical cut of the film.  I am hoping beyond hope we get a better master than the yellow travesty MGM put out in 2014 that I reviewed here and here.  Updates to follow-

Coming this Summer on DVD and Blu-ray!
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1967) (50th Anniversary Edition)
Includes both Original U.S. Theatrical Cut, available for the first time in HD and the extended cut. 
Disc 1 
• 4K transfer of the Original U.S. Theatrical Cut
• New Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas
• “Trailers From Hell” with Ernest Dickerson
• Newly Restored 2.0 Mono Audio
• M.O.S. Deleted Scene of Blondie in the desert finding skeletons
• Trailers for Sergio Leone Westerns
• Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
• English DTS-HD MA 5.1 Audio
• AND MORE – to be announced

Disc 2: 
• 4K transfer of the Extended Cut
• Newly Restored 2.0 Mono Audio
• Audio Commentary By Acclaimed Film Historian Richard Schickel
• Audio Commentary By Noted Cultural Historian Christopher Frayling
• Leone's West: Making Of Documentary
• The Leone Style: On Sergio Leone Featurette
• The Man Who Lost The Civil War: Civil War Documentary
• Reconstruction The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
• II Maestro: Ennio Morricone and The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Original U.S. Theatrical Trailer
• Original French Theatrical Trailer
• English DTS-HD MA 5.1 Audio
• Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono



Saturday, March 4, 2017

DVD Review: Mexican Jackpot - aka Thieves of Fortune


As there is no blu-ray release of Thieves of Fortune, I have opted to give a DVD review of the latest version of this DVD on the market.

Thieves of Fortune was LVC's last film released (in 1990 after his death).  His role in the film is brief, and he is gone by the 18 minute mark of the film.  Overall this is a pretty terrible movie, and definitely not one worthy of being his last film role.

This DVD is sold under the name Mexican Jackpot, while in the actual film the title card reads as Chameleon.  In the US the film was released as Thieves of Fortune.

Unfortunately this DVD has only been available in Europe, and as such is region 2/PAL encoded (making it unplayable on most US DVD players)


VIDEO

Despite being a 2017 DVD release, this transfer looks to be nothing more than a poor VHS dub. My laserdisc of this film from the early 90's looked better than this!

Screencaps below-









AUDIO
German or English


EXTRAS
  • Trailer (looks like something they downloaded off YouTube of a television broadcast ad)

This film is really more of a curiosity for hardcore LVC fans.  I would only really recommend it for completists.

THE GOOD:
  • Low price

THE BAD
  • Region 2 PAL (UK) only

https://www.amazon.de/Mexican-Jackpot-Lee-van-Cleef/dp/B01N8PQQZP