Yakuza, The (1975, USA/JAP) C-112m. Scope *** D: Sydney Pollack. Starring Robert Mitchum, Ken Takakura, Brian Keith, Herb Edelman, Richard Jordan, Keiko Kishi. Solid action drama about Mitchum’s return to Japan and his involvement with businessman Keith, who asks his help in Yakuza (=mafia) matters. Not terribly exciting but an interesting, serious treatment of Japanese Yakuza morals. Robert Towne scripted with Paul and Leonard Schrader, whose first screenplay this was. Fast cuts are not entirely successful during the action sequences. One wonders if they should not have let another director with the initials S.P. direct. Usually shown in cut versions, the uncut running time is 123m.

Yami no Teiô Kyûketsuki Dorakyura (1980, JAP) C-89m. ** D: Akinori Nagaoka, Minoru Okazaki. Starring (the voices of) Stan Jones, Ted Layman (English version). Corny animated vampire horror about Dracula, who arrives in Boston and is mistaken for the Devil by a group of devil-worshippers. Some complications follow, but they are barely interesting. Animation is quite stylish but too static, it seems they saved a lot of time and money by just filming the stills most of the times (it was made for TV). Worth a look, but generally a bore. Also known as DRACULA: SOVEREIGN OF THE DAMNED, and TOMB OF DRACULA.

Yellowbeard (1983, GBR) C-96m. ** D: Mel Damski. Starring Graham Chapman, Peter Boyle, Cheech Marin, Thomas Chong, Peter Cook, Marty Feldman, Martin Hewitt, Michael Hordern, Eric Idle, Madeline Kahn, James Mason, John Cleese, Kenneth Mars, Spike Milligan, Susannah York, Beryl Reid, Ferdy Mayne, David Bowie. Incredible cast in comedy that attempts for some Monty Python lunacy. Chapman plays brutish Captain Yellowbeard, who learns he has a son and breaks out of prison to defend his buried gold loot. The map is tattooed on his son’s head! Some funny lines, but this is no LIFE OF BRIAN (1979). Feldman’s last film; he died during production.

Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold (1984, USA/SPA) C-93m. Scope D: Matt Cimber. Starring Laurene Landon, Ken Roberson, John Gaffari, Luis Lorenzo, Claudia Gravy. Aldo Sambrell. Obnoxious INDIANA JONES-ripoff, with blonde Landon and adventurer Roberson not the only ones going after the gold of mysterious Inka-like tribe. Poorly scripted, loosely acted, not recommended. Filmed in Spain. Alternative title: YELLOW HAIR AND THE PECOS KID.

Yeogo Goedam (1998, KOR) C-105m. ** D: Park Ki-hyeong. Starring Choi Se-yeon (=Choi Kang-hie), Kim Gyu-ri, Kim Min-jung, Kim Roe-ha. Korean ghost story about the spirit of a girl who is said to haunt the premises. Former student Choi, who has now become a teacher, is fascinated by this legend, until a colleague commits suicide. Poor pace takes all the potential out of this chiller. It’s still remarkable for kick-starting the horror craze in Korea, much like RINGU (1998) did for Japan. Some style to be found in death scenes. Followed by several sequels. Also known as WHISPERING CORRIDORS.

Yeogo Goedam II (1999, KOR) C-99m. **½ D: Kim Tae-Yong, Min Kyu-Dong. Starring Kim Min-sun, Park Yeh-jin, Lee Young-jin. In-name-only sequel to WHISPERING CORRIDORS about a female student who finds a diary telling of the love affair between two other students at her school. After one of them commits suicide, the girl suddenly starts feeling possessed by her spirit. Starts quite well, with an excellent score, but gets lost in standard plot. A 186m.( !) version has been released on DVD in Korea. Followed by YEOGO GOEDAM III (WISHING STAIRS).

Yoego Goedam 3: Yeowoo Gyedan (2003, KOR) C-97m. **½ D: Yun Jae-yeon. Starring Song Ji-hyo, Park Han-byeol, Jo An, Park Ji-Yeon. Third film in the Korean ghost school tetralogy, sometimes referred to as the WHISPERING CORRIDORS films.  A group of high school students hear about a legend that when you walk up the 28 steps of stone stairs near the school, a 29th step will appear and you will be granted a wish. Needless to say, this phenomenon is more curse than blessing. Aimed at teenage girls with (unnecessary) inclusion of ballet dancing scenes, but direction and especially photography are stylish, making this the best of the tetralogy. Followed by one more sequel, THE VOICE, also known as GHOST VOICE.

Yeux Sans Visage, Les (1959, FRA/ITA) 90m. **½ D: Georges Franju. Starring Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Edith Scob, Claude Brasseur. Scientist Brasseur has his secretary Valli lure beautiful young women into his house, so that he can find a donor for his daughter’s disfigured face! Ice-cold horror drama does not have the emotional impact one would like it to have. Slowly-paced, undramatic and rather predictable. Still, highly regarded by many.  Based on the novel by Pierre Boileau, Jean Redon and Thomas Narcejac. Screenplay cowritten by Claude Sautet, who was also assistant director. Score by Maurice Jarre. English titles: EYES WITHOUT A FACE and THE HORROR CHAMBER OF DR. FAUSTUS.

Yo Soy El Que Tu Busca (1988, SPA) C-87m. **½ D: Jaime Chavarri. Starring Patricia Adriani, Angel Alcazar, Ricard Borras, Toni Canto, Miriam de Maeztu. Disturbing psycho drama about a woman who has been raped and now sets out to find her perpetrator. Off-putting at first, but film becomes more and more fascinating as her motives become transparent. Subtle, interesting film with a flawed plot was made for Spanish television. Cowritten by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature Gabriel Garcia Marquez. English title: I’M THE ONE YOU’RE LOOKING FOR.

You Better Watch Out (1980, USA) C-95m. **½ D: Lewis Jackson. Starring Brandon Maggart, Jeffrey DeMunn, Dianne Hull, Andy Fenwick, Brian Neville, Joel Jamrog. Serious, disturbing horror thriller about Maggart, who, suffering from a childhood trauma, starts killing people in a Santa suit around Christmas time. Unrelenting, dark, difficult to watch and quite slow. Film could have used a more stylish approach. Inspired, perhaps, by Martin Scorsese’s TAXI DRIVER. Written by the director. Also known as CHRISTMAS EVIL and TERROR IN TOYLAND.

You, Me and Dupree (2006, USA) C-109m. **½ D: Anthony and Joe Russo. Starring Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson, Matt Dillon, Michael Douglas, Seth Rogen, Ralph Ting, Keo Knight. Engagingly silly comedy about newly-weds Hudson and Dillon, whose young marriage is put to a test when his buddy Wilson moves in “for a couple of days”. Predictably, this turns into chaos and sets their relationship at risk. Despite rather dumb premise, this is quite funny, mostly kudos to Wilson, who’s at his chaotic, comic best. Hudson is charming as ever.

Young Frankenstein (1974, USA) 105m. *** D: Mel Brooks. Starring Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn, Gene Hackman. Typical Mel Brooks spoof movie, about Victor Frankenstein’s grandson Frederick (Wilder), who refuses to have anything to do with the myth but gets the spirit, when he travels to his grandpa’s Transsylvanian castle one day. Mad, incredibly funny, a cult film. Try to see it in the original version.

Young Master, The (1979, HGK) C-90m. Scope D: Jackie Chan. Starring Jackie Chan, Wai Pei, Yuen Biao, Lily Li, Shih Tien, Wong In-Sik. Another one of Jackie Chan’s Do-It-Yourself projects. Eastern starts well, then gets absolutely dreadful: Orphan Chan leaves the martial arts school of his foster father, meets Yuen Biao on the way and shows off his well-known acrobatic skill. Perhaps martial arts comedies are a matter of taste. Apart from choreographing, Jackie even sings the title song this time (to be heard at the end)! Curiously enough, this was edited by Frank Urioste (BASIC INSTINCT).

Young Poisoner’s Handbook, The (1995, GBR/FRA/GER) C-99m. *** D: Benjamin Ross. Starring Hugh O’Conor, Antony Sher, Ruth Sheen. Delicious black comedy about wide-eyed young O’Conor, who develops a fascination for chemistry and subsequently begins to experiment with poison .... much to the chagrin of his family. O’Conor is perfect in the lead. A very ‘flavorful’ film with a twisted perspective. Based on a true story!

Young Tiger, The (1973, HGK) C-88m. Scope ** D: Wu Ma. Starring Meng Fei, Maggie Lee, Liu Chia Yung, Dean Shek, Mars. Barely okay contemporary eastern about young fighter Meng, who is wrongfully accused of murder and exacts revenge on real killers. Precious little action for a long time, the fight scenes are just okay. One wonders why such films are given deluxe releases on DVD (in Germany). Some sources wrongly list Jackie Chan as a cast member.

Yours, Mine and Ours (2005, USA) C-88m. Scope ** D: Raja Gosnell. Starring Dennis Quaid, Rene Russo, Sean Faris, Katija Pevec, Dean Collins, Tyler Patrick Jones, Rip Torn, Linda Hunt, Jerry O’Connell. Remake of a 1968 comedy starring Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball makes for fair entertainment, as widowed father of ten(!) Quaid hooks up with his high-school sweetheart Russo, who has eight kids. They move into a huge old house, but the kids just don’t seem to get along. Good for a few laughs, but script is weak, too one-dimensional, and the jokes clichéd and old-fashioned.

You've Got M@il  (1998, USA) C-119m. **½ D: Nora Ephron. Starring Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey, Heather Burns, Steve Zahn, Jean Stapleton, David Chappelle, Dabney Coleman. Sequel-cum-remake of SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE has Hanks and Ryan start romancing each other via e-mail without knowing each other personally. One day her existence as a bookshop owner is threatened by Hanks' Superstore across the street, and they become rivals à la Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Enjoyable romantic comedy works thanks to Ryan's radiant performance, until some odd, incredible twists pave the way for a happy-end. Predictable, extremely calculated (product-placement) and with an excessive use of oldies on the soundtrack.