FilmJerk Favorites

A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| Sergio Leone |||
Sergio Leone

Leone’s career is remarkable in its unrelenting attention to both American culture and the American genre film, exploring the mythic America he created with each successive film examining the established characters in greater depth.

Only his second feature (a remake of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo), Leone's landmark "spaghetti western" caused a revolution and features Clint Eastwood in his breakthrough role as "The Man With No Name". This classic brutal drama of feuding families wasn’t the first spaghetti Western, but it was far and away the most successful up to that time.

Plot is of minimal interest, but character is everything to Leone, who places immense meaning in the slightest flick of an eyelid, extensively using the extreme close-up on the eyes to reveal any feeling, as demonstrated by Clint, who squints his way through this slam-bang sequel to A Fistful of Dollars as a wandering gunslinger that must combine forces with his nemesis to track down a wanted killer.

The final chapter in the groundbreaking trilogy follows Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach as they form an uneasy alliance to find a stash of hidden gold. Leone focuses on his central theme as they find themselves facing greed, treachery, and murder, showing that the desire for wealth and power turns men into ruthless creatures who violate land and family and believe that a man’s death is less important than how he faces it.

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American Gothic

By TheRealDickHollywood

November 23rd, 2005

Someone's at the door...
So you’re sittin’ at home this coming Thanksgivin’ weekend and you're tired of talkin’ to ya familia. You are stuffed from eating all that turkey and pumpkin pie. What are you going to do? What are you going to do! Well… You are going to follow your Uncle Dick Hollywood’s advice and head to the nearest dvd store to rent you some American Gothic episodes, just recently out for the first time on dvd and vhs tape. The entire 1st season, well actually the one and only season, of one of the best shows ever on television that was criminally overlooked by viewers when it first aired.


And all I have to say, is that it’s about friggin’ time! After ten years I finally got the chance to view one of my favorite series in its entirety. American Gothic was a genre show on Fox in season that ran from 1995-96. Back when The X-Files opened the door for innovative genre shows that were trying to be innovative and original. Such as Nowhere Man, Millennium, and this little devil of a show that I am reviewing here for you, my little pretties. Watching 22 episodes back to back to back, might not sound fun to most people, and they would be correct, because it actually is quite a pain in the ass, butt (misspelled on purpose) it is my duty as a reviewer for this fine film site, so when duty calls, Dick Hollywood is on the job.

In the small coastal town of Trinity, South Carolina there is an unspeakable evil, and that evil just happens to be Buck, Lucas Buck; the Sheriff of Trinity. Lucas Buck (brilliantly played by Gary Cole) and his deputy Ben (Nick Searcy) are dispatched to the Temple house and discover that Gage Temple (Sonny Shroyer) has killed his teen daughter Merlyn (Sarah Paulson). Since dad is in jail awaiting trial and Mrs. Temple (Tammy Arnold) committed suicide after the birth of her son Caleb, (Lucas Black, the youngest Temple), and now Caleb has nowhere to go, But Sheriff Buck has other plans for the boy. And what plans indeed. Now that was a typeful. (I just made up a word, isn’t that cool?)

Never had I seen before on television, when the show first aired and since, such a diabolical lead character. He was no hero. He was no anti-hero. He was just plain one bad mutha fucka (can I say that). When the show first aired I was only able to catch about six of the episodes, but they stuck with me for years to come. It aired again on the Sci-Fi channel and I was able to catch a few more there as well, but alas not all of them. Even without seeing them all it remained one of my favorite shows. Ten years later and it is finally released on DVD. It may have been a hell of a wait, but one well worth it. The episodes are presented in their original network airdates with the four never aired shows (I believe that they aired on the Sci-Fi Channel) placed at the end. I watched them in their original production order. The network executives decided to change the order for some strange reason, but you can go to americangothicdvd.com for the correct order. Well, watching them years later I started to get the feeling that maybe I was wrong about the show. That it just did not hold up now, but let me tell you, I must have been tired or something, because not only does it hold up, it downright blows away most television shows that have come out since it originally aired.

This show has got it all. Good vs. Evil, ghosts, witchcraft, bumbling deputies, dark humor, a sexy Femme Fatal, and of course Buck, Lucas Buck. It’s corny, scary, creepy, moving and funny. This show had it all. Creator/Writer Shaun Cassidy (yes of the “Hardy Boys”) knew that the show was going to be cancelled ahead of time, so he was able to write a conclusion and wrap the season up without a cliffhanger, but an actual ending. Well shoot, my fingers are tired. Just go and rent the damn thing why don’t ya!

-Extras:

The pilot episode has a commentary with Shaun Cassidy and one of the producers. Not really informative, but should be fun for fans of the show.

15 Deleted and Extended scenes with nothing-new here, watch’em if you must…

I give it a B for the “Buck” stops here!

My rating: B