Films

Posts about movie, actors, and film in general

Spielberg Knows What He’s Doing. You Don’t.

Okay, first off, that headline is needless antagonistic. I acknowledge it. Forgive me. I’m listening to punk as I write this. It just seems to fit my mood. Anyway, prompted by Steven Soderbergh’s interesting recasting of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the other day I was daydreaming and my mind wandered to action scenes in films, specifically why some sprawling action set pieces work and some don’t. The Star Wars prequels were at the forefront of my mind at the time, but it led to a train of thought that is relevant to action movies in general. Now keep in mind, I’m a big Star Wars fan, but not one of THOSE Star Wars fans. Saw the original in a shitty little theater as a…
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Saving Private Ryan on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

Watched Saving Private Ryan in honor of the 70th anniversary of D-Day yesterday. I still remember when I first saw this in the theater. I live in a retirement area with a huge senior population.When we went to see this the theater was full, and it was a sea of white heads in every aisle. My wife and I were some of the only young people there. It was harrowing. That opening sequence, no one had ever done anything like it before. For 20 minutes you’re assaulted with graphic violence and noise and fury that relentlessly pounded your senses. By the end of the sequence, you were out of breath and tired of being battered and just wishing for a break from the sensory overload. The result was that for the rest of the movie,…
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My new book comes out soon…

Hitchcock's Villains

… so that’s kind of cool. The follow-up to A Year of Hitchcock is due out in, damn, just a few weeks! Called Hitchcock’s Villains: Murders, Maniacs and Mother Issues, this collaboration with Jim McDevitt is a full exploration of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest villains, what makes them tick, the themes that drive the darkness in his movies, and of Hitchcock’s own psyche. I think it’s pretty great. This will be my fifth book, collaborative or otherwise, with a sixth hopefully coming out next year in ebook form via the Philadelphia Weekly. (That project is still up in the air.) The project has actually been in gestation for some time now, practically since A Year of Hitchcock was finished. Basking in the glow of finishing such…
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A Year of Hitchcock is on Kindle

I’ll be the first to admit that A Year of Hitchcock is not a cheap book. The (gorgeous) hardcover runs $40 to $50. Yeah, I’d love for you to buy one, but it’s not a small investment so I understand if you don’t. However, good news. Kindle version. And Nook version. And… It’s just $9.99. Yep, ten clams. That’s cheap. The book rocks. You should get it.

Hitchcock podcast in the final stretch

Well, we’re almost there. Way back in April 2009, Jim McDevitt and I started podcasting about Alfred Hitchcock. This should come as no surprise. We’re the coauthors of an awesome book, A Year of Hitchcock, which is, like, pretty good and stuff. The book was a serious but accessible look at the full body of work of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock. I like it. I hope you get it and like it, too. (Honestly, at this point I assume you all follow us on Facebook, anyway.) To accompany the book, we decided to do a series of light-hearted, casual podcasts that followed the book chapter-for-chapter, and sometimes veered off into interview shows, topical shows, and so on. To be honest, we started off kind of…
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