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, 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