Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Hit, A Miss and A Surprise: My Movies This Week

I watched three movies over the course of Sunday and Monday. Two were Red Box rentals at my sister's, and one was the movie de jour on the Delta flight between Albuquerque and Atlanta.

One was every bit as good as I expected, one was a serious dog and the third was a pleasant surprise.

Let's get the dog out of the way first. I sort of blame myself. I didn't do much research when I rented "The Paperboy." For crying out loud, it was a $1.20 Red Box rental. How much research does one need to do not to feel gypped at $1.20? More than I did, apparently.

The red flag that should have been my first warning is that Matthew McConaughey is the lead. Perhaps the most overrated actor of his generation, I don't think old Matt has ever starred in a movie that's made money. I don't dislike him, but he doesn't bring much to the party.

For some reason, I had it in my mind this turkey had been nominated for an Oscar. After suffering through about 45 min of it, I turned to my sister and said, "I see why it was nominated; it's just a piece of celluloid artsy-fartsy crap. That is if your idea of artsy fartsy is Nicole Kidman peeing on a guy. Now that is art! All I can figure is that Nicole got out of bed one morning and decided 2012 was the year to torpedo her career.

I can't tell you how it ends or even how the first hour ends. We turned off the DVD player at minute 46 and turned on a rerun of "Raymond."

Enough said.  

It should come as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2. It was another Red Box rental. I know, it's not very macho to like vampires -- particularly the namby-pamby ones in Twilight.

But I do. I like the story, I like the actors -- especially Ashley Greene, who plays Alice -- and I like the Twilight mythology.

I only read the first book, but I've now seen all the movies. It was a fitting wrap to the series.

The movie I watched on my flight home was "Hitchcock." Never heard of it? I'm not surprised. It grossed a whopping $288,000 in its opening week, going on to gross $6 million in its first four months. Thank God they didn't have to pay to film any car chases or explosions.

As a kid, I remember Hitchcock's TV show, as well as the TV promos for "The Birds." I was too young to see "The Birds" or "Psycho" at the theater. I've since seen "Psycho" a dozen times and still like it a lot

"Hitchcock" covers Hitchcock's life for the period when he was making "Psycho." I found it fascinating. I didn't know any of the background or challenges he faced in making that film, or how close he came to losing nearly everything. It also didn't hurt that Scarlet Johansson plays Janet Leigh, and Jessica Biel plays Vera Miles.

Anthony Hopkins is a pretty good Hitchcock. Helen Mirren plays his wife.

The movie is based on Stephen Rebello's book, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.  It's now on my must-read list.

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