Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thank God Hitchcock Is Dead So He Can't Mess Up Any More Movies

I ask you, has anyone ruined more movies than Alfred Hitchcock?

Example 1: In the movie Rear Window, we find L.B. Jefferies held up in his apartment with a broken leg. Fortunately, he won't be too lonely since he has the love of Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly) to help him make a speedy recovery. Sure, he's not completely in love with her, but it's nothing a little tender loving care can't fix. A good start, right? One can only imagine where the movie goes next. A fun little soundtrack showing apartment shennanigans between the two. Maybe Lisa isn't a good cook but Jefferies eats it anyway because he doesn't want to hurt her feelings? And what kind of movie would this be if we didn't have a montage showing Jefferies' recovery every day. Maybe he lifts some household items like milk jugs or phone books to help strengthen his body while the time passes. Sounds heavenly, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, one Alfred Hitchcock didn't see things that way. He makes Jefferies and Fremont a little too curious for their own good. They begin watching their neighbors across the way and discover that there's maybe a guy who has killed his wife in the apartment and is trying to cover it up. Suddenly, the story takes an unexpected zag and starts focusing on this guy who we don't even know. Here I was, all settled in to enjoy perhaps one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time (Sleepless In Seattle being the best, of course) and then this happens. For the rest of the movie, I'm on the edge of my seat. I'm covering my eyes, I'm yelling at the TV. My heart is beating out of my chest. Who does Hitchock think he is manipulating me like that?

Example 2: North By Northwest could have been an instant classic. The film opens with an advertising executive Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) a hansom man with a personality to boot. He has a good relationship with his mother and then he gets on a train and falls in love with a beautiful woman named Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint). If Hitchcock would have left it right there, he would have had something. What's not to love about a romantic train ride? Maybe they stop and take in some local flavor? A quaint Italian restaurant where Roger feeds Eve every bite. The two get so caught up in the moment that they miss their train and have to call Roger's mother to pick them up. There's friction between Roger's mother and Eve but then the two end up becoming best friends. Am I the only one getting goosebumps here?

Of course Hitchcock messed this movie up too. He made it all about espionage and mistaken identity and large chase scenes. There was one scene in particular where Thornhill gets dropped off by a bus in the middle of several cornfields. One might think this was a great opportunity for Thornhill to get in touch with nature and for Hitchcock to capture some beautiful countryside (maybe like another fantasticly beautiful movie A Walk In The Clouds starring the great Keanu Reeves). But Hitchcock had to introduce a kamikaze crop duster into the picture and before you know it, there's a chase scene that I've never seen before. How am I to relate to a scene if I have no point of reference? Give me something I've seen a dozen times and you'll find yourself a happy moviegoer.

Example #3 From the title, The Birds suggests an interesting approach to capture the livliehood of one of natures forgotten creatures. It's true that we take birds for granted as they fill our air with beautiful melodies every day. And again, this is another wasted opportunity by Hitchcock to A) make a good movie and B) pay proper respect to our feathered friends. He is more interested in turning this into a horror movie of sorts. Instead of making them lovable, he makes them terrifying. And we have no idea why, which is another problem with this movie. Why can't he take a page from Rob Zombie's book and give us some back-story, so we don't have to use our imaginations so much. I mean, who's getting paid to make the movie here? Not me. All I can say is thank goodness Michael Bay is remaking this.

And if you believe any of this, shame on you.


sirj said...

i almost was going to kill this blog and you (not literally obviously) for this post, but then realized the graphic at the bottom...phew....i understand it all now!

Piper said...

Glad I got ya, but come on... I tipped my hat at least a dozen times in that post. I mean, Sleepless In Seattle? A Walk In The Clouds? A Michael Bay remake?

sirj said...

i'm just tired, sorry, i've been up since 4 am...so i'm the one with a "lazy eye" today.


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