Hitchcock: A Real Psycho Drama

by Ethan Alter November 23, 2012 6:00 am
<i>Hitchcock</i>: A Real <i>Psycho</I> Drama

So far Alfred Hitchcock biopics are batting 0-for-2 this year, with Fox Searchlight's anemic Hitchcock opening in limited theatrical release on the heels of HBO's crummy The Girl. Thanks largely to its skilled ensemble cast -- including Anthony Hopkins as Hitch, Helen Mirren as his wife Alma and Toni Collette as his long-suffering assistant, among others -- this film isn't quite as unpleasant and misguided as its small-screen predecessor, which strained to turn the Master of Suspense into one of the obsessive creeps that populated his movies. Hitchcock, which was directed by Sacha Gervasi (the guy who made that Anvil documentary a few years back), also deserves credit for paying more attention to its subject's formidable skills as a filmmaker, whereas The Girl seemed inordinately interested in his clumsy stalking of his leading ladies. Indeed, the narrative thrust of the movie concerns Hitchcock's own fears and doubts about his career as he seeks to reinvent himself in an industry that prefers the status quo. In a way, Hitchcock aspires to be another -- a self-aware portrait of an artist at a crossroads, unsure of which road to take next.

Trailers Without Pity: New Year’s Eve

by Ethan Alter December 2, 2011 12:55 pm
Trailers Without Pity: <i>New Year’s Eve</i>

Last year, Garry Marshall gave everyone another reason to hate Valentine's Day by releasing the all-star romantic comedy, Valentine's Day, in which a bunch of obnoxious Angelenos had a variety of misadventures in that crazy little thing called love. The improbable success of that movie convinced Marshall that he should ruin another holiday, so here comes New Year's Eve, in which a bunch of obnoxious New Yorkers have a variety of misadventures while the big Times Square clock ticks down to midnight. Jeeze Garry, why'd you have to go and mess with a holiday we actually like?

Ten Things to Remember About the Total Recall Remake

by Ethan Alter August 3, 2012 6:01 am
Ten Things to Remember About the <i>Total Recall</i> Remake

As I write this, it's been roughly 24 hours since I walked out of the Total Recall remake and damned if I can remember a thing about it. Actually, my memory started to fail me before the movie was even over; after a decent first half-hour, the Len Wiseman-update of Paul Verhoeven's enjoyably silly 1990 original grew less and less interesting. By the final act, I was so bored that I could barely remember what movie I was watching; based on what was happening onscreen, it may as well have been called Generic Sci- Fi Action Movie Starring Colin Farrell instead of Total Recall.

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