Showing posts with label anthony hopkins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anthony hopkins. Show all posts

17 June 2013

Hitchcock DVD Review

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To fans, admirers he is Alfred Hitchcock but to his friends, colleagues to them you called him 'Hitch' hold the cock. Based on Stephen Rebello's Alfred Hitchcock And The Making Of Psycho, Sacha Gervasi's Hitchcock attempts to deliver the master of suspense at crossroads whilst creating his horror masterpiece Psycho. A film that has a rare insight into the relationship with the only woman to steal his heart and most of all his confidant, his co-collaborator Alma Reville (Helen Mirren) his wife.

Hitchcock starts at the premier of the 1959 North By Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) is unnearved by a reporter who questions his ability at 60 to still produce the goods. With a new wave of filmmakers emerging could he still handle the pressure? Why not quit when he's ahead? Determined not to be pigeonholed  and not to become 'television show' Hitchcock searches high and low for that piece of magic to recapture his past glories delivering something fresh most of all something different.

It is thanks to the discovery of Robert Bloch's dark twisted Psycho Hitch finds himself a magical source, a novel based on the life of the infamous serial killer Ed Gein , but who'll support him?As ever Hitchcock's faithful agent Lew Wasserman but his support ended here as Paramount, the usual private investors all refused to support him forcing him to find the $800,000 needed to make the film in 30 days.

It's ironic you look at the relationship cinema has with Television now, the stigma of the reporter's TV comment  wouldn't raise an eyebrow when you see the likes of Steven Soderbergh's Behind The Candelabra only getting a TV S creening compared to cinema elsewhere. Even the likes of online with Netflix, Lovefilm, seeing someone like JJ Abrams, David Fincher direct tv amongst the cinema blockbusters wouldn't have been thought of in Hitch's time and now days the stress, pressure between the media are vitually the same.

Hitchcock is a film that really doesn't know what it really wants to be. Is it a Biopic? Soap style drama or comedy?If anything at times it's more like an extended Terry & June episode plenty of drama with a lot of comedy moments or was director Sacha Gervasi pulling off a McGuffin? What this film does do is capture a period of Hitch's career (Psycho era) rather than all his career and attempts to underline his fascination with Ed Gein. Hitchcock may not be a dark film tonely but it dips its fingers into that world nearly controlling his every move blurring reality  driving him into paranoia making him believe his nearest and dearest  was having an affair though we do see she was tempted on several occasions.

Anthony Hopkins may sound like the man nor a carbon copy lookalike of Hitchcock but what he does do well is capturing his personality, mannerisms, posture even his humour is near spot on too. The lack of delving into his past will frustrate some, even when they do in the briefest of moments to showcase his childlike, creepy voyeuristic tendancies is disappointing. In those scenes his fascination for blondes is touched going further into watching them from his peephole, a regular trait but not addressing the source which will annoy those thinking this is a 'biopic'.

Helen Mirren is personally the star of the show as Hitchcock's long suffering wife Alama. She is Hitch's rock, confidant, mother to his childlike traits most of all the driving force behind 99.9% her husband's success. Unaccredited but most of all deserving of the right to share in her husbands success which the film tries to attempt to fix, sort off. The fantastic chemistry between Hopkins and Mirren is one of the film's big selling points, compelling, funny and a distraction (in a positive way) as Hitchcock's family estate refused to show any of Psycho footage. This is also probably the reason why we see very little of James D'arcy who uncannily looks like a Anthony Perkins spitting image, Scarlett Johansson delivers a good astute performance as leading lady Janet Leigh.

Hitchcock may not be the perfect film nor totally satisfy the purists. At times it feels clumsy as if your been pulled in 2 different directions, so when it veneers one way just as the scene nears a conclusion it heads into something new making scenes feel incomplete. . As much as we've criticised the film, Hitchcock is still a highly entertaining film which captures the era very well, creating a stylish film. So when you have Hitch 'conducting' the screams of the people at the Psycho premier from behind the cinema doors, its certainly worth a look.


Paul Devine

Rating: 15
DVD/BD Release Date: 17th June 2013 (UK)
Directed by: Sacha Gervasi
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Danny Huston
Buy Hitchcock: DVD / Blu-ray (+ UV Copy)

Win Hitchcock on Bluray (ends 7th July - opens to a page)

4 August 2012

Fernando Meirelles' 360 Review

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Fernando Meirelles’ thoroughly impressed with his features City Of God, The Constant Gardner and the underrated horror gem, Blindness, however the director’s latest release – ensemble drama, 360, proves to be a far patchier affair than his previous work.

This drama centres on the lives of an array of interconnected people all of whom are at turning points in their lives. Based on a screenplay by Peter Morgan (Hereafter, Frost/Nixon), 360 takes us to several different countries and introduces us to an eclectic mix of characters from businessman, Michael (Jude Law), his wife (Rachel Weisz), a recovering sex offender (Ben Foster) and an older man searching for his missing daughter (Anthony Hopkins).

Meirelles’ feature should be an intimate and personal affair, after all we are shown these characters at crossroads in their lives. There are several fleeting moments when the director captures this perfectly (such as Hopkins’s turn as a father unsure whether to continue his search for his missing daughter) but for the most part, too little time is spent with each character to fully sympathise with their journey. This is partly due to an excessive amount of characters and trying to connect them often results in a clunky and uneven, patchwork-style narrative.

Had 360 devoted more time to less characters then it may have proved a more coherent and powerful piece. The opening promotes the theme that sex influences many of our decisions, which can be seen through Jude Law’s married businessman attempting to meet an escort, when on a business trip in Bratislava whilst his wife (Rachel Weisz) continues an affair with a young photographer. This segment also allows for some solid performances from Law and Weisz. However, as the connections become more and more contrived this message begins to lose impact bringing 360 to a standstill. Fortunately the appearance of Anthony Hopkins midway through the feature sparks some life into the tired, 360. The Welsh star features as a John, a man travelling to Arizona to identify the body of a young girl, who may be his missing daughter. On his flight John meets a young Brazilian girl, who reminds him of daughter and helps him decide whether or not to continue to his search. Hopkins truly dominates the screen with his heartfelt performance, particularly when his character delivers a touching monologue about his search. Meirelles’ handles the scene beautifully and this is without doubt, the highlight of a disorganised film. Sadly, 360 faces a rapid decline after this promising sequence with a formulaic and unconvincing pitfall featuring Russian gangsters bringing the film to a hault.

The conclusion of 360 tells us that we have come full circle, however, it is hard to agree with this as it seems the film stalled at 180 degrees. Despite a promising opening, 360 is a lifeless and tired film lacking in any distinct physical style or charm. The loose thread of human relations that connects it feels bogged down by too many characters and an unfocussed, clunky narrative. The performances prove to be the main highlight, most notably Hopkins’ thoroughly watchable turn.

Andrew McArthur

Stars: Jude Law, Rachel Weisz,Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Release: August 10th (UK)
Rating: 15 (UK)

2 July 2012

Win Win Lion Of The Desert & The Message On Blu-Ray

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Every epic movie lover's collection should include these two silver screen classics: Lion of the Desert and The Message (Anchor Bay). Both are available to buy on DVD and Blu-Ray for the first time on 2nd July and include legendary stars such as Anthony Quinn, Rod Steiger, John Gielgud and Oliver Reed.

To celebrate their release, we've got three copies of each to give away on Blu-Ray!

Lion Of The Desert - The year is 1929 and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini faces a 20-year-long war waged by Bedouin patriots who are resisting Italian colonisation and the establishment of “The Fourth Shore” – essentially a re-birth of a Roman Empire in Africa. Hoping to crush the rebellion, Mussolini appoints the ruthless General Rodolfo Graziani, a man who would come to be known as the “Butcher of Fezzan”. Leading the resistance is Omar Mukhtar, a teacher by profession but a guerrilla by obligation, one who has committed himself to fighting a bloody war than he knows cannot be won in his lifetime. As tanks and airplanes are deployed in the desert for the first time, the Bedouin realize their primitive weaponry is no match for the might of the Italian Army. But, driven by courage and inspired by their leader, they continue to fight on.

The Message - It is the 7th Century in Mecca, and powerful leaders are in conflict with Mohammad who attacks their way of life and the injustices it produces. Claiming to have seen a vision of the Angel Gabriel, Mohammad calls on the people of Mecca to cast aside the 300 idols of the Kaaba and to worship one God. Despite bitter opposition from the leaders of Mecca, Mohammad and his faithful followers meet secretly to listen to the revelations of the word of God. The leaders respond with persecution, forcing the Moslems to leave Mecca and take sanctuary in Medina. After receiving a revelation from God, Mohammad agrees to take arms against Mecca and battle until more people are converted to the emerging religion and ready to accept the prophet. At the Wells of Bedr the inexperienced Moslem troops are victorious but find themselves beaten at the Battle of Uhud and accept a ten-year truce, so that they can continue to spread the word of God…

For a chance to win these films on Blu-Ray answer the following question:

Q.Who is the former Middle East Dictator Who Financed Lion Of The Desert For $35million in 1981?

a.Saddam Hussein 

b.Muammar Gadaffi 

c.Ferdinand Marcos

Send your answer , name, address, to have your email to header As ‘Anchor Bay Films’. Deadline:July 22nd, 2012 (2359hrs) .

Terms and Conditions

  • This prize is non-transferable.
  • No cash alternatives apply.
  • UK & Irish entries only
    The Peoples Movies, Cinehouse and Anchor Bay UK have the right to alter, delay or cancel this competition without any notice
  • The competition is not opened to employees, family, friends of The Peoples Movies, Cinehouse, Anchor Bay UK employees
  • This competition is promoted on behalf of Anchor Bay UK
  • The Prize is to win LION OF THE DESERT, The Message on Blu ray, 3 winners
  • To enter this competition you must send in your answer, name, address only, Deadline July 22nd, 2012 (2359hrs)
  • Will only accept entries sent to the correct email (, any other entry via any other email will be void.
  • The Peoples Movies, Cinehouse takes no responsibility for delayed, lost, stolen prizes
  • The competition is opened to Aged 16  and over 
  • Unless Stated Please  Do Not Include Telephone Numbers, we don’t need them
  • The winning entries will be picked at random and contacted by email
  • By sending your entry for this competition you are confirming you have read and agreed to these Terms & Conditions.
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