Detour (1945)

This is the sort of movie that you would never think belongs on a blog like this.

The negatives are flipped, the fog machines corny.  The actors are transparent, their characters cliched.  The lighting seems artificial, the plot seems incomplete.  The whole thing is cheap in its production , even cheap in its quasi-Freudian metaphors.  It’s the sort of movie that a high-schooler may come up with in about a week. Continue reading

The 101 Greatest Film Scores

Lists, and not baseball, have become America’s favorite pastime, and for fifteen years now, I have been passing as much time as anybody I know.   Continue reading

The Greatest Plot Twists in Movie History

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In light of my recent mention of the “Rosebud” plot twist in my series of essays on Citizen Kane, I think I’ll have some fun and make a list of the greatest plot twists in movie history.  But, of course, before you read my list, you have to read my ramblings about the topic at hand. Continue reading

Psycho (1960)

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You’ll hopefully notice the patterns.  We’re on our third Hitchcock-Coppola-Silent Film cycle.  We also just did a ten-thousand word analysis (complete with pictures) on montage theory.  Now, we will do a review on the “mother” of all Hitchcock films, one that includes the “mother” of all film montages.   Why is Psycho the “mother” of all Hitchcock films?  For those who have seen the film, the use of that word as qualifier is perfect.  This is most famous Hitchcock, containing some of the most iconic images and characters and featuring the most recognizable music.  Is it the best?  No.  Vertigo is.  But this film is certainly among his best.  While most movie critics decry its popularity because, while it is definitely a five-star film, Hitchcock has other five-star films that deserve more credit—like Notorious, Rebecca, or Rear Window.  However, I think it deserves its place.  My mood often changes, and it is most appropriate to say these films are all tied for first; but if you made me pick, Psycho would have to follow Vertigo if only for its cultural clout and haunting storyline.  It sticks with you, perhaps more than any other Hitchcock film (except Vertigo, but that holds far too many trump cards, and if I keep bringing it up, it will succeed in boxing out Psycho from its own review).  The whole nature of the film is haphazard, like a good haunted house, full of eery sounds, precipitous pictures, and a whole bunch of mentally-troubled characters.  Its very origin cries out its rawness. Continue reading

Notorious (1946)

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In light of my most recent posts listing the best actors and acting performances in film, alongside a two-part page series on the analysis of acting, it is only timely to kill two birds with one stone.  Bird number one: write my next review–which is supposed to be on a Hitchcock film as the framework for my blog requires.  Bird number two: write a supplementary article on a superb acting performance within the context of a single film.  Stone number one and only: Notorious. Continue reading