Sunday, April 22, 2012

Reel News...Two Hitchcock Movies in The Works

      Its only fitting that I come across news of not one, but two Hitchcock films currently under production after returning from a screening of Psycho.  Its not breaking news of any sort, word has been out about both projects for a few months now, but new information has surfaced lately generating some buzz for the two upcoming movies.
      One is a biographical drama simply titled Hitchcock, which is set for a release sometime next year.  It will be based on the nonfiction book by Stephen Rebelo called Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.  The role of Mr. Hitchcock will be played by legendary actor Anthony Hopkins.  A new picture was released showing Hopkins in character as Sir Alfred, and I have got to say his look is spot on.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

After Thoughts...Let Me In [2010] (spoilers)


With its inclusion of vampires, a casual observer would probably just place this movie alongside the likes of the Twilight series and True Blood, not giving the movie another thought.  And with its release coming on the eve of so many other lackluster vampire flicks geared toward a primarily tween girl audience, many people may fail to notice the sophistication of Reeve’s film.  On top of that, the close ties this movie has with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet may also be missed.  In both stories, we have a young couple who try and love in each other under the most restrained and unforgiving of circumstances.  Their familial backgrounds squander any hope for friendship, let alone true love.  And despite these similarities, Romeo and Juliet and Let Me In each portray true love through two very different scopes, yet both can be called true love.
The love that occurs in Romeo and Juliet happens very suddenly in a “love at first sight” scenario.  Given their respective backgrounds, neither Romeo nor Juliet knew the other existed until the night of the Capulet party when Romeo first laid eyes on Juliet, which results in instant infatuation.  This sequence occurs in Act I Scene V at the Capulet house during the party of which Romeo attends without invitation.  When he first sees Juliet with Paris he is immediately struck by her beauty.  And for that matter, Romeo’s first comments about Juliet (although at this point, he doesn’t even know her name) are geared towards her gorgeous looks- “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright...Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear... Beauty too rich for use.”  He goes as far as question all of his prior judgments of love- “Did my heart love till now?”  Without evening talking to her, Romeo is certain he has found true love- mind you, all this happens within minutes of Romeo first laying eyes on Juliet.  As quickly as it all happens, Romeo’s infatuation with her turns into true love.  When discovering they are part of a long existing family feud, they defy their names and lovers.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Reel News..."To Rome With Love" First Trailer

      On the eve of his most successful box office feature, Midnight In Paris (2011), Woody Allen returns this year with the much-anticipated release of To Rome With Love, as it sits on a June 22 U.S release.  Originally titled The Bop Decameron, then Nero Fiddled and now To Rome With Love.
      It's hard to resist the temptation to compare it with his last production, which also had a European setting, far removed from Allen's beloved New York.  Yet, comparisons do not abound because the two movies really do not share much in common with each other.  Midnight in Paris gave a nostalgic glance at the charm and splendor that shined on any warm summer night in 1920s Paris.  The appearances of some of the elite artists as Picasso and Hemingway gave it an  unexpected  charm that propelled it to its own elite status on Allen's list.  Heck, even Owen Wilson was great.
      But from what we can see in the trailer, there appears to be no secret time traveling in To Rome with Love. It seems to evoke the more traditional obscure, yet witty comedy on which Allen has built his career.  Then again, watching the trailer didn't clarify what the movie is about; perhaps I was distracted by the immense star power of the cast. Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page and Greta Gerwig all make it into this movie.  Woody Allen's right there too, on the screen of his own movie for the first time since 2006's Scoop. But he doesn't stop there.  Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful) has a role too and it has been way too long since we last saw him on an American movie screen.
      The incredible success of last year's Midnight in Paris could either help or hurt To Rome With Love.  Surely, if it misses the mark, you can argue it was because of the high expectations set by the former.  Then again, Midnight in Paris' warm reception could be contagious.  And if success comes in pairs, then we can surely say that Allen has once again hit his stride in his 6th decade as a filmmaker.  Chances are we will.