Tag Archives: Simpsons

Grace, c’mere! There’s a sinister-looking kid I want you to see.

41. Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)

Ranking Hitchcock:

  1. Rear Window
  2. Strangers on a Train
  3. Dial M for Murder
  4. North by Northwest
  5. The 39 Steps
  6. Notorious
  7. Psycho
  8. The Birds
  9. Shadow of a Doubt
  10. Rope
  11. The Lady Vanishes
  12. Marnie
  13. Vertigo
  14. Rebecca

I have seen more Hitchcock than any other director, partly due to his having 13 films on the list, and partly due to the fact that he is consistently excellent. Even the stuff I didn’t like, it’s still interesting.

Anyway I like “Rear Window” the best for several reason. I am a sucker for Jimmy Stewart, I love how he can be the everyman, but on the other he can say the craziest shit and still seem perfectly normal(see “Rope” and the “moon beams” speech from “It’s a Wonderful Life“. That and how his voice cracks when he speaks. Just awesome. Plus Grace Kelly is straight ballin’. Seriously she is a candidate for most beautiful woman ever.

So basically the film combines Jimmy Stewart’s awesomeness and Grace Kelly’s hotness, throws in some Thelma Ritter sass, and to top it all off, one of the most suspenseful screenplays ever. A simply astonishing film.

Plus it was the subject of a fantastic Simpsons episode. Really what more can a film do to get in my good graces.

The only issue I have with the film is that nothing can really compare with the first viewing(I was swearing and almost in tears, tears of awesomeness). The end sequence is so suspenseful upon first viewing, that once you know how it ends, the film loses a bit of muster. I think all thrillers kind of suffer the same fate. It’s the price you pay for making a thriller with a suspenseful ending.

On filmaffinity.com I gave the film a 9/10, it’s about as close to a 10 as I can think of, and chances are it will become a 10 if I watch it again. Just a fantastic movie.

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At least it doesn’t have Sofia Coppola.

17. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)

My expectations were pretty high going into this one. A lot of people swear that this is best movie ever made, even better than the first one. I once heard someone describe it as having the best screenplay ever written. This film is so well-regarded it hurts. And unfortunately it was pretty underwhelming. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, because I did. It was good, just not Van Johnson good.

Most of the reviews I read offered much ballyhoo about the seamless transitions between Michael Corleone’s life in the present and Vito Corleone’s life in the past. But at times I found it very clunky. It would just sometimes happen out of nowhere, and there didn’t seem to be a connection between what was going on in past and present. Come on Coppola at least gimme some heavy handed symbolism man.

It seemed like it was almost an arbitrary decision to incorporate Vito Corleone’s story into the film. Somebody was probably like “hey lets get Robert De Niro to play that guy Brando played in the first one”. I think the Don Corleone sequences would have worked better in the context of the first film, as they would coincide with Michael’s own entry into the underworld.

I can’t help but think that Leone’sOnce Upon A Time In America” did the whole multiple time-frame thing so much better. Everything just went smoother, and being that it was only one character’s life being dealt with it just made more sense to tell his story with flashback sequences. Plus it has Robet De Niro too.

What I did like about the film was that it made me feel gangsta once again. It’s well acted and fast paced. Plus the sequence described below is pretty much the greatest shit ever:

Frank Pentangeli has made a deal with the FBI to testify against Michael, believing he was the one who organized the attempt on his life. At the hearing in which Pentangeli is to testify, Michael arrives accompanied by Pentangeli’s brother Vincenzo, brought in from Sicily, whose surprise presence causes Frank to recant his previous statements about Michael. When Pentangeli is pressed, he claims that he just told the FBI what they wanted to hear. With no witness to testify against Michael the committee adjourns, with Hagen, acting as Michael’s lawyer, loudly demanding an apology.

Vincenzo is pretty much awesome. He says nothing, does nothing but show up and look indifferent, and then he leaves. But he is so badass, the personification of intimidation.

On filmaffinity.com I gave the film 8/10 simply because I gave part 1 a 9, and I didn’t like this one as much. But really the only fault I have with film is just the clunkier aspects of the screenplay, which to be honest is a pretty small detail.

Hello New World.

1. Citizen Kane (1939, Orson Welles)

I first saw this film about 5 years ago in an intro film class I took at Mount Royal College. My response then was that I liked all the Simpsons references. I mean I could appreciate the technical qualities and all but I didn’t really get the hype so to speak. I did write a paper on it though, charmingly titled “Xanadu, There Were Monkeys There.” I think it got a B+.

Before re-watching the film last week, I was going to write that it may be a great film and all, but I don’t know anyone that actually likes it. But upon re-watching it with I guess more experience and my recently developed appreciation for classic Hollywood and Joseph Cotten, I genuinely dug the shit out of it.

The use of “Rosebud” is so simple but so ingenious. Everything that happens in the film can be traced back to an innocuous object that gets about a minute of screen time. But at the same time everything feels very natural in that the search for “Rosebud” isn’t really the focus of the story, but rather the means by which the story can be told. It’s just so well done, and I think that’s the greatness of the film. Visually the movie is great with tremendous set design, and great camera work, but it’s the restraint that Welles shows in keeping “Rosebud” in the background of the film that stands as his greatest accomplishment.

Plus it has those Simpsons references. I read a quote once from Matt Groening that pointed out that you could probably re-make Citizen Kane entirely using clips from “The Simpsons“.

On filmaffinity.com I gave the film a 9/10, meaning that it’s eminently re-watchable and grabbed me on an emotional level(which generally means I was talking to the tv, saying stuff like “that shit is tight” or leaves me feeling gangsta). I try and save 10’s for stuff that makes me wistful, contemplative, makes me cry or makes me wish I was in the film. Yes I am girly like that.