Sunday, November 27, 2011
I absolutely had to watch the fantasy movies next - Why, you ask? Because this list has...Christmas movies on it. And I cannot watch Christmas movies in a season that is not Christmas. That's wrong. So I'm watching the fantasy movies - I should be a good list - besides the Christmas movies, it also has a silent movie in it (Ooooo...) and a musical. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?
I can only hope that I get through this genre pretty fast - only about a year left, and nine genres to go.
#10 - Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - I love Indiana Jones - It's iconic, it's got wonderful atmosphere, it's fun and globe trotting and has great fight scenes and the best hat ever. Part of the fun of Indy though is that big chunks of it are very silly - which is fun, but does not a great movie make. It's really great entertainment, but only pretty good movie. B +. I've decided I'm going to start grading the movies in this post, to give it a more definite, determined feel. We'll see how it works out.
#9 - Rosemary's Baby (1968) - Rosemary's Baby is so slow - the whole movie is really just a woman being pregnant, which is boring - and suffers from bizarre 60's special effects like turning the whole screen red and making everything blury. Why did you do that, 60's? It does have some good imagery though - the raw meat, the wardrobe - and the premise is pretty scary. C +
#8 - The French Connection (1971) - This movie is probably more boring than Reds. Reds. I honestly don't think anything happened in this movie. I'm not even sure what it was about. I remembeer the DVD menue, but that's about it. D -
#7 - The Birds (1963) - This was probably the scariest movie of the whole set. Even though the actual bird attacks are pretty outdated and not that scary, the lead-up to them and the suspense is great. I didn't mention it in the post, but I absolutely love the scene when all the crows gather on the playground - it is one of the creepiest I've ever seen in a movie. I watched it four times. And now I always keep my eye on the birds. A -
#6 - Alien (1979)- I watched Alien way back in Science Fiction - good movie, not as scary as I thought it would be, nice special effects. A -
So the grading system doesn't work - They're all good movies, or they wouldn't be on the list, and the grades and up too close together to be interesting. Ah well, I'll think up another ranking method for the next genre.
#5 - The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - This is a great movie. It's disturbing and Amnthiny Hopkins is so, so good in it. He's really the reason it stands out - It's a very good movie on it's own, but Hannibal Lector makes it stand out.
#4 - North By Northwest (1959) - I really liked this movie - Cary Grant is great, the train motif is very nice, the crop duster scene is iconic for a reason - but it's not as mind-bogglingly amazing as the other Hitchcock movies I've seen. It's pretty wonderfully bizarre, though.
#3 - The Exorcist (1973) - Not nearly as scary as I thought it would be, which is sad. The special effects are pretty outdated and not a lot happens in it. It's boring and not scary - Not something that I look for in a movie.
#2 - Jaws (1975) - There are a lot of 70's movies on this list, aren't there? I really liked Jaws, even though the two halves are really different and the shark isn't that good. The suspense and the mood is really kept up the whole time, and the way they use the shark is really great. The "You're going to need a bigger boat" scene is really one of the best movie moments ever.
#1 - Psycho (1960) - This is a great, great movie. The acting's great, the imagery is great, the music is great. It was shocking and violent and scary when it was made, and it still is. This movie was way ahead of it's time, and people still don't make movies like it.
Friday, November 18, 2011
So Psycho is about a woman who decides to steal some money from her boss and run away to start a new life. She stops at a motel, has a conversation with the nice owner who's only a little creepy, and then gets killed. This was ground-breaking at the time: You didn't kill your star halfway through the movie in 1960 - or now, actually.
Psycho was shocking and violent and scary because it's a random murder out of nowhere in the middle of nowhere. It's a terrifying movie - I hate serial killers: They are my least favorite things. I do not like serial killer movies. And in this movie it is not even the scariest part. I accidentally ruined the end of it for myself months ago, and I seriously lost sleep over just the summary. The ending is so disturbing to me. I cannot imagine watching this movie not knowing how it ends - That would be awful.
The shower scene I had seen before, obviously, so that wasn't that bad. The other murder made me jump, though - I just comes out of nowhere - like all of the murders. I heard they had to shoot the shower scene something like 24 times. It looks really good, and it's no wonder it's such an iconic scene. The fact that it takes place in a shower is just weird and common enough to make it memorable and of course the music is great and terrifying. Bernard Herrmann wrote the music for this movie, and it's awesome - You've heard it. whether you've seen the movie or not. Fun fact - Bernard Herrmann also wrote one of the other most recognizable pieces of music in the Western world - The Twilight Zone Theme. Now you know.
So I was expecting Norman Bates to be really creepy, and he's not really. For most of the movie he isn't really creepy at all (Although he does have his moments), and I that just makes the end even worse. Anthony Perkins is really terrific - I've actually seen him in something before - In Evening Primrose, a musical about a tribe of people who live in a department store. I don't know, it was weird. But he was very good in it.
I liked the whole movie - it was creepy and unsettling and impeccably well made and I was entertained by the whole thing. The music was great, and the Alfred Hitchcock cameo was really hard to find - I had to go back and everything. It was definitely the best movie in this set.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
North By Northwest confuses me a little bit - I follow the characters and the overall plot, but I'm confused by the storyline. Cary Grant's character whose name I can't remember is suddenly being mistaken for a spy in an unnamed government agency, is blamed for the death of a man, and is forced to go on the lam - Which only rhymed by accident, by the way. I get all that. What I'm confused about is what Cary Grant is trying to do the whole movie, other than avoid being killed. I think he's trying to find the spy he's being mistaken for, but I'm just not quite sure.
I did like North By Northwest - It was a fun movie and it had a really cool, 50's spy atmosphere. Hitchcock, I've noticed, is really great at atmosphere. Cary Grant was good, of course, and Eva Marie Saint was really cool and icy and elegant. I liked the whole movie and I thought it was cool because they announced the Michigan railroad line in the train station. There was a really big train motif in this movie. I liked North By Northwest, but I wasn't quite as wowed by it as I have been by other Hitchcock movies.