Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Movie Review – Hitchcock

I was really looking forward to this movie coming out and it did not disappoint. I adore Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, and the amazing support cast definitely held their own up with these two outstanding actors.

The movie is about the making of the movie Psycho. It starts with the events that the original book was based on, then moves to Alfred Hitchcock, discovering the book, and trying to get the movie made. Until this point, horror movies were not his specialty, and the start of the movie follows Hitchcock as he tries to get a studio interested in funding the project.

In the end, he decides to take a massive risk, and mortgages his house to fund the making of the movie. His wife is there supporting him all the way.

What I liked:

I loved the dialogue and the casting. Anthony Hopkins (while better looking even in his “ugly” make up) did an incredible job mimicking the real Alfred Hitchcock. He was 100 percent believable as a vile tyrant, who was in love with the art of movie making. Hitchcock was a very complex man and Anthony Hopkins pulled the different facets together beautifully.

I loved the focus on the relationship between Alfred and his wife Alma (Helen Mirren). It showed a side of Hitchcock that was probably very rarely seen in the public eye. There was complications and difficulties, as with many “show bizz” relationships, and I felt they were played out beautifully.

What I did not like:

I thought the focus on the man himself was a bit sugar coated. While all I have are news reports and articles, by all accounts, Alfred Hitchcock was not a nice man. He was a womaniser who bedded many of his leading ladies – and rumours even suggest that this was a pre-requisite to becoming one of his leading ladies, he was cruel on set to cast and crew, he was tyrannical, and he was generally seen to be a bit crazy. This movie made him out to be a misunderstood softy with a few anger issues. It glanced over the relationships with the leading ladies, referring to them as mere “crushes” or “infatuations”. It focussed on an implied affair that Alma was meant to be having, however completely ignored Alfred’s outside dalliances.

Despite all this, I really enjoyed the movie. I see a lot of it as fictional rather than a true account of the man himself, but did enjoy seeing the process of how one of my favourite movies was made.

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who is a fan of Psycho or movies of this time.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Book Review - The Calling: A supernatural thriller, by Robert Swartwood

The day after 18 year old Chris's high school graduation, he awakens to discover his parents have been brutally murdered, and the killer is now after him. Shipped off to Bridport to stay with relatives he has not seen in 10 years while local authorities hunt down the killer, he slowly gets to know the Grandmother and Uncle he has been estranged from all these years. There he meets 10 year old Joey, a young man with very special gifts.

But the relocation has not fooled the killer and soon dreadful things begin to occur in Bridport. Chris starts investigating the history of the town, and discovers a series of awful truths that has brought an evil power to Bridport, one that has the power to destroy the lives of everyone it comes into contact with.

Soon it becomes clear that Chris shares more with Joey than he ever thought possible, and that the killer is beyond the skill of the local authorities to capture. Joey and Chris must face it - alone.

Despite the fact that this is a "young adult" novel, I really enjoyed it. The supernatural plot starts subtly, but grows as you learn more about Chris's family and their history.

I enjoyed the growth of Chris's character. Even though the book runs over the course of only a couple of weeks, he grows up a little bit more with every "encounter" and you can see him change from a reticent teenager to a strong young man.

The Calling was well written, with strong characters and good sub plots. The merging of the slowly revealed history of Bridport and Chris's family with the current happenings of the town give you a real insight into the characters, and how they have all ended up in Bridport at this exact time when evil asserts itself.

If you can move past the fact that the major players are teenagers, I strongly recommend giving this one a go.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

30 Movies and 30 Books

So, I haven't been here for a while. I have been mulling things over. What do I want to do with this blog? I don't really want to record the details of my life, partly because they are a little bit boring, partly because I don't want everything about me "out there". So the question becomes, what do I do with this little space of mine? Do I delete it, do I change it, do I just leave it as is?  


Time to evolve.


At the beginning of the year, I decided that I was going to watch 30 new movies and read 30 new books this year. I already watch a lot and read a lot, but I have found I am re-watching and re-reading quite a bit. Time to branch out. What better place to record these and even review some of these, that right here! I have already seen a few and read a few, so I will slowly start to update where I am up to.  


I will also continue to share photos as I take them. I recently upgraded my camera and am slowly learning the ins and outs of this new toy. One thing I do know, it takes amazing photos!  


Books read so far this year

Interview With A Vampire - Anne Rice

Cool Shade - Theresa Weir

Morning Cup Of Murder (A Lacey Steele Mystery) - Vanessa Gray Bartal  


Movies seen this year

Take Me Home - DVD

Hitchcock - Movie Theatre

Silver Linings Playbook - Movie Theatre

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters - Drive In


I will start doing reviews shortly. Would also love to hear your movie and reading recommendations and why you would suggest I read or watch something in particular.