Here’s the 2nd Trailer for Ghostbusters! Wake me when it’s over … actually, it’s not that bad…


Here’s the 2nd trailer for Ghostbusters, which is a marked improvement on the first trailer.  The jokes still feel weak but the ghosts are certainly effective!

I guess I should say more about this remake and the angry men who are upset about it and the pressure that I’m feeling, as a woman who loves movies, to give this film a chance but … bleh.  I’m already bored with writing about the Ghostbusters remake.

Here’s the thing:

Just because many of the remake’s critics are a bunch of misogynists, that doesn’t mean that the first trailer looked particularly good.

Just because the first trailer didn’t look particularly good, that doesn’t mean that the misogynists are any less idiotic, disgusting, tedious, or annoying.

I’ll see the film when it’s released in July.  If it’s good, I’ll give it a good review.  If it’s bad, I’ll give it a bad review.  And if I have anything else that I’d rather do that weekend, I’ll probably desperately beg someone else here at the Shattered Lens to watch and review the film so that I don’t have to.

And no matter what happens, I’ll end the night dancing.

But until then, here’s the 2nd trailer for Ghostbusters, which is better than the first (though you still have to wonder why the only black woman in the film couldn’t be a scientist as well)…

Film Review: Shadows in the Distance (2015, dir. Orlando Bosch)


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I know I already wrote about this film in one of my Amazon Prime experiment posts. For reasons that aren’t important, I am writing a long form review of this film. A bit of a fresh look.

Before anything, the movie starts with a title card saying something I’ve never seen on a movie. It says “Deposito Legal: V1912-2012”. From what I can gather online, this seems to essentially be a cultural preservation program by the Spanish government. Regardless, I’m not sure why it was necessary for it to be there at the beginning of the film along with the normal opening credits that you’d expect. Then again, this is a foreign indie movie from Amazon Prime so I guess I should be thankful there are even credits on this thing.

During the opening credits we get a kind of cool jazz sound that you might expect in a 90s late night cable movie or TV Show. Spicy City had one of these. Then we cut to a beach and meet one of our leads named Piero (Andrea Bruschi).

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If you like that shot, then you might actually enjoy this movie because he and the female lead will often stare at things. Sometimes they will even stare right at you. Cut to title card, then we find out where Piero works.

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I must admit that after the late night cable soundtrack over the credits followed by a guy on the radio, I was having flashbacks to Zalman King’s Pleasure or Pain.

Pleasure or Pain (2013, dir. Zalman King)

Pleasure or Pain (2013, dir. Zalman King)

However, this movie won’t be assaulting you with endless erotica. Instead, it will be assaulting you with endless art film cliches. Also, he really reminded me of DJ Fernando Martinez from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. You can take a listen below if the video is still up.

He also mentions that he is broadcasting from Berlin before cutting to some empty places to make sure we know some Antonioni things are going to be happening in this movie. Then we meet our female lead Andrea (Katrin Bühring).

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This should ring some French New Wave bells for me, but I just can’t think of any. No worries! I have plenty more. She’s on her way to the bookstore. She works there with her friend Marianne (Katharina Rivilis) that is most likely a lesbian and likes to stare and rub up against Andrea.

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This is when we find out she is involved with a guy named Oliver who is too busy to go and see French movies with her. You can’t really blame Oliver. She could be going to see Nouvelle Vague (1990). Apparently, someone ordered a book by Wilhelm Genazino because any movie with a lot of French New Wave references must include books. Now we cut to Piero making a call at a phone booth. He sets up a meeting before walking in front of what appears to be a rundown theater.

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After standing there, he turns and goes inside. He happens to show up near the beginning of Shoot The Piano Player (1960).

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Shoot The Piano Player (1960, dir. François Truffaut)

Shoot The Piano Player (1960, dir. François Truffaut)

That was François Truffaut’s second feature film. It’s the first scene between Charlie and Léna. A large part of the movie is Charlie trying to get over his past and open up to her. It’s also about pulp fiction gangsters riding around with a kid, which contains one of the most awesome insert shots of all time. One of the gangsters says, “If I’m lying, may my mother keel over this instant!”

Shoot The Piano Player (1960, dir. François Truffaut)

Shoot The Piano Player (1960, dir. François Truffaut)

No one else is in the theater except our two leads.

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I’m just going to assume that the ghosts from Good Bye, Dragon Inn (2003)…

Good Bye, Dragon Inn (2003, dir. Min-liang Tsai)

Good Bye, Dragon Inn (2003, dir. Ming-liang Tsai)

migrated to Germany in the past decade or so to haunt this theater. The two of them of course take notice of each other, but don’t say anything. By that, I mean they stare at each other before cutting to the final scene of Shoot The Piano Player after Charlie is back at the bar, finds a new barmaid working there since Léna was gunned down, and somewhat solemnly plays the piano while looking off into the space behind the camera.

We see them briefly on a bus before going home with Piero where he seems to have just records, some lights, and a mattress on the floor.

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Nice to know the Alain Delon spartan bedroom design caught on after Le Samouraï (1967).

Le Samouraï (1967, dir. Jean-Pierre Melville)

Le Samouraï (1967, dir. Jean-Pierre Melville)

Okay, to be fair, Bosch was probably thinking of the bedroom from The Mother and the Whore (1973).

The Mother and The Whore (1973, dir. Jean Eustache)

The Mother and the Whore (1973, dir. Jean Eustache)

Especially since that is considered to be the last film of the French New Wave, and we see a clip from the film that is considered to have given birth to the French New Wave later on in this movie.

He looks up to see a crack in his ceiling.

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Doctor Who

Doctor Who

We now cut to more empty spaces to remind us of Antonioni before going to a park. Andrea is talking about how she needs to go and take photos of an abandoned building so the movie can reference Red Desert (1964) and Blow-Up (1966) before it is turned into a shopping mall. They also complain about development in the city, which is followed by people doing annoying things in the park.

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Would have made my day if it were some people re-enacting Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968). Instead, it’s just some street performers waiting around for the ending of Nights of Cabiria (1957).

We then go to the title card with the camera panned left of the tower before we are back in the radio booth with Piero. He’s here to tell us that he has become obsessed by a guitarist that he hopes to get into the studio.

More scenes of outside including a shot to remind us this was probably shot in 2012.

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That, and multiplexes are destroying single screen theaters with disposable films like The Hunger Games (2012). We should be returning to get more and more out of films like Shoot The Piano Player. Or simply buy the DVD like I did, and save yourself the trouble of a theater. After convincing his boss that he should go and interview this guitarist, we cut to every conversation an art film like this must include. Luckily they remember to leave dialogue heavy conversations to Éric Rohmer films by ending it short so we can get back to Antonioni.

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Also, more of Andrea’s co-worker staring at her.

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Now Piero’s girlfriend breaks up with him via a shot through glass into a restaurant. Not sure of why they weren’t filming in the restaurant, but I think this screenshot sums up this whole girlfriend thing.

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We get the same scene with Andrea and her boyfriend, but they don’t breakup. Some more things happen, which has Andrea assaulted by jump cuts before she stares at the movie ticket. Then more outside Antonioni shots.

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Just assume that if I don’t show it, then you’re getting shots like the ending of L’Eclisee (1962).

L'Eclisse (1962, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

L’Eclisse (1962, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

L'Eclisse (1962, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

L’Eclisse (1962, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

Back in the plot of the film, Piero goes to the bookstore where she works. He’s looking for a book on the sea and Andrea brings him one that happens to be written by Marguerite Duras. That way I can show a screenshot of her film India Song (1975).

India Song (1975, dir. Marguerite Duras)

India Song (1975, dir. Marguerite Duras)

It juxtaposed cool imagery with sound that was played from a separate soundtrack which didn’t match what was onscreen even when people spoke to each other. I recall it being about trying to create a cultural island while trapped in another countries’ sea. Ties in with this film. They don’t actually acknowledge that they saw each other in the theater, but he makes note of her name before leaving. Then we cut so the movie can do a mini-version of Wavelength (1967) by zooming in on a picture of the sea, but this time with a platform at the center of it.

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Wavelength (1967, dir. Michael Snow)

Wavelength (1967, dir. Michael Snow)

Piero stares at the crack wishing Matt Smith would come and fix it for him before walking past some red neon lights to pose, then goes back to the mysterious cinema.

Back at the bookstore, an annoying customer comes in so that Andrea will also have a reason to return to the theater. First, she kindly lets them shoot some handheld camerawork on her while she walks to get on a bus. Sadly, she goes from one annoyance to another.

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That’s right, they are playing that movie.

Breathless (1960, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)

Breathless (1960, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)

However, he’s not there now probably because he thought they were going to be playing a better French New Wave film like The 400 Blows (1959). That’s why after more DJ and Antonioni, we cut to a tracking shot. You didn’t think you’d get away watching a movie comprised of art film cliches from the 1960s that built on and fought cliches of Old Hollywood to tie in with the film’s ambivalence about the interconnections of the modern world while fighting against the destruction of local culture without one of these, did you?

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I’m sure if they had held this shot a little longer than Jean-Pierre Léaud would have walked by Piero. It could have happened! He was waiting around on a bench in What Time Is It There? (2001).

What Time Is It There? (2001, dir. Ming-liang Tsai)

What Time Is It There? (2001, dir. Ming-liang Tsai)

Then Piero goes and stands against a wall.

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There isn’t even a clean white Antonioni wall to lean against anymore.

L'Avventura (1960, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

L’Avventura (1960, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

Also, he stands there so that I can embed Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal.

Cut to more buildings, then we see Andrea run into a telephone booth. Not for any real reason other than so Piero can also run in there like in Old Hollywood movies and they can have a moment. They are also there because in movies the rain conveniently stops after the scene has finished. Just like in Bicycle Thieves (1948).

Bicycle Thieves (1948, dir. Vittorio De Sica)

Bicycle Thieves (1948, dir. Vittorio De Sica)

The rain started so we could get this great scene with these guys. Then they turned off the rain machine so Antonio could spot the original international title of the movie and begin to chase him.

He tells her he has a radio program, they acknowledge each other’s existence, and their meeting in the cinema before parting ways. They are both not happy with it. He even takes a video of her walking away from him with his cellphone.

This is as good a time as any to mention that they keep switching languages in this movie to further the mish mash of cultures.

She goes home and we apparently need to see a shot of her head in the shower for a few seconds before she broods on the couch. Then we cut to Orlando Bosch’s Instagram feed…

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to tell us that Piero has finally decided to “travel” to see the musician he was obsessed with before meeting Andrea. He sees the musician playing and goes to sit on a fountain. If the ghost of Anita Ekberg isn’t in it, then I don’t care about this part of the film.

Back home, Andrea is smoking, like they both do in this movie, before she notices that Piero is on the radio.

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Now Piero runs down the street because he’ll be damned if Andrea is the only one who will do the Jean Seberg run at the end of Breathless in this movie.

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Oh, and immediately after posting that picture of Piero, I realized that actor Andrea Bruschi has the same first name as the female character his character falls in love with. Well played, Orlando. Well played. He should go on one of those movie game shows like the one in We All Loved Each Other So Much (1974) where one of the main characters lost because of a technicality over whether the question was asking about the character or the actor. It’s probably an easter egg about their interconnectedness. It fits since the next scene has Andrea staring at a candle before we are transported to the white dimension! Here they have sex before staring at us naked.

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I’m sorry, but I took one look at this and instantly thought of Black Love (1971).

Black Love (1971, dir. Herschell Gordon Lewis)

Black Love (1971, dir. Herschell Gordon Lewis)

Piero then talks more on the radio and I don’t care. We now go to Andrea walking across the streets before she goes into fast-motion. She does this so that I can include Kylie Minogue’s The Loco-motion.

During this fast-motion she appears to cross the same crosswalk twice. Could just be a similar looking one. I guess she is really out there hoping to run into him. She should have known that he would be standing in front of street art of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.

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Luckily he then walks by a building that says “Luka” on the side of it now.

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Lucky for me because I never have a good excuse to include a Suzanne Vega song in a review.

Or it’s supposed to be a reference to Luka from ER seeing as the character was from Croatia, ER is one of the most important TV Shows of all time, and Germany and Croatia have a history of relations so important that there’s even a Wikipedia article on it. Nah, I’m going with Suzanne Vega.

Then we cut to him at a record shop before settling on him at a bar. He meets some girl, there’s bad singing while they are drunk, he sleeps with her, and off he goes. I have no idea why that scene exists other than that it looks like they stumble onto the set of Before Sunset (2004) at one point. Doesn’t have anything to do with the movie either as far as I can tell, so onward.

Andrea now goes to abandoned buildings to take photographs…

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because there were no colorful looking factories to take pictures of.

Red Desert (1964, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

Red Desert (1964, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

Red Desert (1964, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

Red Desert (1964, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

Meanwhile, David Hemmings is back in the park from earlier taking photographs.

Blow-Up (1966, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

Blow-Up (1966, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

There is something noteworthy here because this film does love to use art film cliches. When she walks through the entrance of the globe I’m quite sure it does a temporal overlap twice so we see her enter it three times from three different angles. Also…

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Hemmings clearly beat Andrea to taking pictures here and left his calling card. I love how during that shot you can hear sound that I swear is like music Goblin would compose for one of Argento’s films. I only mention that since Hemmings was in Deep Red (1975).

We then go back to her place. We can see she uses a Sony Vaio computer. She uploads her photos to Facebook. The ghost theater has it’s own Facebook page. Most likely because Kino Intimes is an actual theater in Berlin that has been around since 1909. The scene is there so that she can notice a picture of the theater and remember the chance encounter.

She now turns to her creepy co-worker. She says she knows he hosts a radio show at midnight. She also gets a call from that long forgotten boyfriend of hers. She tells him she’s too busy for him. That’s when it’s time to go club dancing.

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Dancing and kissing your co-worker. She goes to the bathroom to try and cool off, but the jump cuts aren’t helping matters. Then suddenly we are back at the bookstore to find out that Angela was so drunk she didn’t know she had kissed Marianne, which as we all know is when to make your move.

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She’s says no thanks, but is clearly not happy. The jump cuts make matters worse for her though so after more Antonioni and Piero talking on the radio, she goes and has sex with her boyfriend. Then she immediately breaks up with him. She takes a bath and dunks her head underneath the water. This time we are transported to the black dimension for more of the living art exhibit.

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Realizing how stupid the shots were, she pulls her head out of the water and proceeds to start drinking. Once again, the jump cuts only make matters worse for her. Then it’s off to walking for Andrea. She walks through a tilt shift shot before settling on a bench.

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The Passenger (1962, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

The Passenger (1975, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

Back at the bookstore, Piero returns. He finally asks her out. They are going to meet on a bridge. It’s difficult to get dressed when jump cuts keep interfering. Anyways, as she is going to the bridge she is attacked by the Clockwork Orange gang because…

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Leos Carax already struck a claim on lovers meeting on a bridge many years ago.

The Lovers on the Bridge (1991, dir. Leos Carax)

The Lovers on the Bridge (1991, dir. Leos Carax)

As a result, they miss their meeting. Think he’s simply going to return to the bookstore under the assumption that something must have come up like a normal person would do? Are you crazy? When someone misses a meeting with you, then it’s time to brood in public and drive out into the middle of nowhere to stare into the distance naked.

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Andrea decides to stare into the candle, which in the past transported her to the white dimension. It doesn’t work this time so she runs back to the phone booth to feel it up. After Piero stares at the crack in his ceiling some more, he decides to not go back to the bookstore, but to also go and mope in the phone booth. Honestly, this is where the film should have quit while it was ahead. We could have just chalked him not sticking around, not returning to the bookstore, and her not looking up the radio station to two people who had a sudden connection, but were easily scared back into isolation. They had both returned to the place they shared a meeting, and would have never seen each other again. People do that kind of thing in real life. It’s not unrealistic. Unfortunately, the movie goes on for another 10 minutes.

We cut to Andrea and she tries calling the radio station where he works, but they moved. More jump cuts ultimately make this task impossible for her. She also has the painting of the sea the editing gave us the impression was at his place earlier.

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After she has a conversation with her creepy co-worker about love, we cut to what could have been, as they have a meeting on the bridge that never happened. We get some of that sweet 80’s music video black and white like in Simply Red’s If You Don’t Know Me By Now.

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Or if you can forgive some of the grain, then the black and white from Debbie Gibson’s Only In My Dreams. Black and white took the place of color in the 80s for dream sequences.

Again, it could stop here too, but it continues. Piero goes on the radio to say more dialog that probably ties in with the story, but I don’t care about. Both Andrea and Piero go to a train station and miss each other there because what would a movie like this be without a train scene with the characters missing each other?

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The big problem here is that the longer this missing each other and trying to find each other stuff goes on, you just keep wondering more and more why he doesn’t go back to the bookstore. He even returns to the movie theater, but apparently the bookstore is off limits.

Andrea is now bothered at the bookstore by a little kid and out of focus camera obstructions at the bottom of the frame…

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so she returns to the park from earlier. Those street performers finally have their time to shine, which culminates in tossing her a glass globe before running away. She goes home because that’s where the jump cuts live. They help her this time because she gets a call with an address of where Piero resides. Then it’s time for her to do the Seberg run.

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Breathless (1960, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)

Breathless (1960, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)

She arrives at his place and stands in his doorway staring. It cuts to the white dimension to show her naked, then back to him naked looking out his window. Then cut to the beach from the start of the film where he says, “I once dreamed she was coming to me and looked at me.” End of movie.

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So, what part was real? Any of it? Was this one of those movies with an unreliable narrator like this one.

Last Year at Marienbad (1961, dir. Alain Resnais)

Last Year at Marienbad (1961, dir. Alain Resnais)

Maybe he’ll return to the bookstore in a year to try and convince her they had a thing once while playing a symbolic game with her creepy co-worker.

If you feel like Monica Vitti looks here…

L'Avventura (1960, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

L’Avventura (1960, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

then I don’t blame you.

It’s obvious that Orlando Bosch put a lot of thought into making this movie, but he forgot a few things. The first is that it was 2015 when he released this movie. These art film cliches were old by the time The Lovers on the Bridge came out in the 90s after being filtered through MTV. I don’t care if they were metaphors for something else as one user review I read somewhere says. They are endless and really grate on the nerves. You stop caring what they could possibly be there for, and just want them to stop.

He also couldn’t have picked a worse 60’s art film director to focus on than Antonioni. Ingmar Bergman is even quoted on IMDb as not liking him, which of course is somewhat hilarious since he died on the same day as him. Even my first film class book makes special note about the criticism about his work: “All his characters live lives that are boring and empty, meaningless and sterile and that his films are accordingly boring, sterile and abstract.” A view I do not share. Antonioni just seems to be the trend these days so I’m guessing that’s why he went with it. I’ve seen it show up in many films of the past 25 years that cover similar themes to this film. You can even say that The Time Machine (I Found at a Yard Sale) (2011) tried to do the Antonioni thing.

It’s annoying and it has holes in the script when it doesn’t end at the right time. Just let this stuff go. All of these films are readily available if people want to revisit them. There’s no need to compile a best of collection. Leave them in the past, and move on. They are perfectly captured and preserved. I hope Bosch takes the talent he seems to have, and puts it into his own work, with his own style.

The Movie That Nearly Killed The Godfather: The Brotherhood (1968, directed by Martin Ritt)


Brotherhood_1968Once upon a time, Paramount Pictures released a movie about an Italian-American organized crime family.

It was a self-styled epic that used the Mafia as a metaphor for both business and politics.  The movie mixed scenes of violent death with family and community ceremonies.   The main mafioso was played by a famous actor who was a big box office draw in the 1950s and another character, a war hero who was initially reluctant to get involved in the family business, was played by an up-and-coming young actor.   The majority of the movie took place in New York but there were several scenes that were set in Sicily.

It may sound like The Godfather but actually, it was The Brotherhood, a film that flopped so badly that Paramount executives nearly passed on the chance to make a movie out of Mario Puzo’s bestselling novel.  According to Peter Biskind’s The Godfather Companion, Francis Ford Coppola frequently cited The Brotherhood as being exactly the type of movie that he did not want to make while he was directing The Godfather.

Kirk Douglas, who both produced and starred, plays Frank Ginetta.  Frank, an old-fashioned and honorable mobster, is hiding out in Sicily with his wife, Ida (Irene Pappas).  Frank knows that a rival gangster, Jim Egan (Murray Hamilton), has put a price on his head.  When Frank’s brother, Vinnie (Alex Cord), shows up in Palermo, Frank is overjoyed at first.  But Ida reminds him, “They’re going to send someone.”

Most of the film is taken up with flashback to Frank and Vinnie’s old life in New York.  When Vinnie returns from serving in the army, he marries Emma Bertolo (Susan Strasberg), the daughter of Don Bertolo (Luther Adler who, as a stage actor and director, served as an early mentor to the future Don Corleone, Marlon Brando).  Frank grew up idolizing their Sicilian father and, at first, he is happy when Vinnie announces that he wants to enter the “family business.”  But then Vinnie starts to side with non-Sicilian gangsters like Egan and Sol Levin (Alan Hewitt).

The scenes in Sicily work the best, with Frank unsure as to whether or not Vinnie has arrived to visit or to murder him.  But the scenes in New York are such a mess that it took me a while to realize that they were even supposed to be flashbacks.  It is hard to keep track of how much time has passed from scene to scene and Alex Cord and Kirk Douglas are two of the most unlikely brothers imaginable.

The main problem with The Brotherhood is that it is impossible to watch it without thinking about The Godfather.  The Brotherhood has much in common with The Godfather but it has none of its authenticity and does not come close to matching its epic scale.  Kirk Douglas tries his best and puts a lot of effort into talking with his hands but he is miscast from the moment he first appears.  Robert Evans once said that he chose Coppola to direct The Godfather because he wanted to “smell the pasta.”  The Brotherhood was directed by Martin Ritt and you never smell the pasta.

The Brotherhood is an interesting footnote in the history of The Godfather but ultimately, it’s an offer you can refuse.

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