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Excellent Italian Crime Movies,
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This review is from: Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection (Caliber 9 / The Italian Connection / The Boss / Rulers of the City) (DVD)
Wow. This set is wonderful. I love Italian movies, especially Italian CRIME movies and this one does not disappoint. Fernandao Di Leo knows how to film action (gunplay) scenes. It's better than most modern movies.
First up is CALIBER 9. It's about a guy who gets of prison and everyone wants to know where the money is. What money? Well, our guy Ugo says he doesn't know. No one believes him. Ugo doesn't care. He's a tough, quiet guy who is similar to Jason Statham. I won't ruin it for you but the end is pretty great.
Next is THE ITALIAN CONNECTION, about a small time pimp who gets in over his head and ends up getting a price on it. Then they hurt him in a way they should never had and well....it's revenge time. I liked this a bit better than CALIBER 9. What's unique is that there is a team of two hitman, one black and one white (Henry Silva and Woody Strode) and you can't help but realize that's where Tarantino got the idea for the hitmen team in Pulp Fiction. Great stuff.
Up third is THE BOSS with Henry Silva again. He plays a cold-blooded killer. Some of the parts are excellent but as a whole I'm not sure it's as good as THE ITALIAN CONNECTION.
Last is RULERS OF THE CITY (aka MR. SCARFACE which you can find on butchered public domain copies). Jack Palance is somewhat out of place as a crime boss in Italy. What separates this film from the others is that parts of it is quite funny. Our two "heroes" are somewhat bumbling. The last fifteen minutes or so is pure action with cars and motorcycle chases, shoot-outs, etc. Overall, pretty satisfying.
As a whole, this set is close to perfect. Di Leo is an excellent director and these films are entertaining as hell.
-Jordan Krall, author of FISTFUL OF FEET and SQUID PULP BLUES