CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
Cinema history has a few great double-up years: 12-month periods in which a classic filmmaker had not one but two great films. Mel Brooks may be the most notorious, releasing two of the best comedies of all time in 1974 (“Blazing Saddles” & “Young Frankenstein”) and Steven Spielberg has arguably done it a few times, inarguably in 1993 (“Jurassic Park” & “Schindler’s List”) and he would double-up again in 2002 (“Minority Report” & “Catch Me If You Can”) and 2011 (“Tintin” & “War Horse”).
CHICAGO – Few characters in the history of pop culture are as well known as Norman Bates. In fact, if you don’t know who (or where) the title of A&E’s new show, “Bates Motel,” refers to then you probably won’t enjoy it, presuming you have cable below the rock under which you live anyway.
CHICAGO – Did everyone know that the great Guillermo Del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) is an expert on Alfred Hitchcock? So much so that he wrote a book on the legendary director and was asked by The Criterion Collection to do a wonderful interview on Hitch’s 1934 version of “The Man Who Knew Too Much”? Del Toro wonderfully expounds on the film, offering his insight as to how the work that would be remade into a more popular Jimmy Stewart film in later years actually represents the perfect transitional piece from Hitch’s British period to his American one. It’s just one of several great special features on another stellar Criterion release.
CHICAGO – It’s that wonderful time of year when we look back on the 11 months that just sped by and try to capture what was best, worst, overlooked, and more. While most of these pieces will just make people disagree, our annual cavalcade of year-end features starts with a piece that you can use to do your holiday shopping!
CHICAGO – Seeing Kim Novak’s first appearance in “Vertigo,” that stunning shot of a green dress in a sea of black suits at Ernie’s, is something that every movie fan should experience in HD. And now they can on one of the fifteen discs included in the glorious “Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection,” the Blu-ray release of 2012.
CHICAGO – In this HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 25 pairs of run-of-engagement, guaranteed, anytime movie passes up for grabs for “Hitchcock” starring Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as his wife!
CHICAGO – The great director Alfred Hitchcock had morphed to legend rather than a man, so it’s interesting that two films have recently been released about his all-too-human foibles. The feature film, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as the director, gets inside the man’s relationships in “Hitchcock.”
CHICAGO – Sacha Gervasi’s “Hitchcock” (which we will review Wednesday) takes moviegoers back to the landmark year when the Master of Suspense reached the final peak of a career that spanned over five decades.
CHICAGO – Two of Alfred Hitchcock’s most respected thrillers were recently released on Blu-ray as something of a warning shot to the gigantic box set of 15 films being released by Universal next week. Warner Bros. still owns “Dial M For Murder” and “Strangers on a Train,” and so they are the latest classic films inducted into the HD catalog.
CHICAGO – Alfred Hitchcock is inarguably one of the most important and influential directors in the history of cinema. There’s no debate or controversy regarding his agreed-upon genius. However, fans of films like “Rear Window,” “Psycho,” “Vertigo,” and “The Birds” may not know that Hitch had a much darker side behind the camera.