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A film with a lot of potential that is just wasted because of really bad acting and Polanski's decisions to just throw out or alter a lot of the symbolic moments in the film. It's bad when a totally serious film is just hilariously funny after about 10 minutes.
There is no doubt that Alfred Hitchcock is a great director nowadays. However it's interesting to see, at his peak in 1959, how he couldn't get anything he wanted without making sacrifices. This is probably the best part of "Hitchcock", but also it's biggest set back as well. The most intriguing part (to me) is seeing him and the crew go through the making of "Psycho" and getting to see a lot of really well done representations of classic actors/actresses.
From Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock to Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, I'm happy to say the performances are strong. I also didn't expect myself to like Scarlet Johansson as Janet Leigh, but she is probably my favorite bit of the film. The problem with all of this, however, is you really need to be familiar with the source material. You need to know most of Hithcock's work, who these people are, and why they matter to get the most out of the movie. If you read most of the last paragraph as a blur, you should either avoid this film or brush up on some classics. It's not a deal breaker, but it's definitely fair warning.
Bigger problems start coming in as we discuss plot. Though Helen Mirren is great, Alma Reville wasn't that interesting of a person, nor is her relationship with Hitchcock and since there is a pretty big emphasis on it i.e. the whole friggin' movie, I can't help but knock it a few points. Aside from the decent middle, the beginning and end are pretty great. Both have comedic moments and really set a mood for the Hitchcock-ian style as well as the time period itself.
"Hitchcock" isn't a bad movie or a great one, it's just kind of there. I learned little from the movie itself and was really only entertained by the supporting cast. It has some Oscar-worthy performances and interesting back story on the making of a classic movie, but that's all she wrote.
PROS: Great cast and performances especially from Johansson, interesting representation of the era, fun beginning and end CONS: Mediocre middle, Alma Reville isn't very interesting, requires fair knowledge of the source material
At times brutal, at times boring, Killing Them Softly does a good job of entertaining, but never does a great job of it. The very obvious social commentary adds a needed layer of depth to the movie, but near the end it becomes overbearing. To the point where Brad Pitt is literally responding to Obama... it's ridiculous and the director is basically shitting out his political views at every fucking moment.
The best parts are the gangster dialogue and the brutality of the kills, it gets pretty intense at times and there are some good cringe-worthy moments, though we found it odd that Brad Pitt's character used like a whole clip on a victim at a time. The cast is great and all have good reason for being there besides James Gandolfini, who is a total waste of screen time.
This is a slow, gangster movie, if you have patience for it's good parts. It's worth at least one viewing, otherwise avoid.
PROS: The cast, good writing, brutal kills CONS: At times too slow, overbearing social commentary
The most fun I've had in the theaters since Expendables 2. Sure, it's geared towards the kiddies, however there is A LOT for video game fans such as myself to appreciate, from Metal Gear Solid to Mortal Kombat, it's all there and the homages are pretty great.
The cast is also awesome, especially Jane Lynch as the Call of Duty/Halo-esque battle hardened lieutenant chick. Though, everyone has their appropriate time to shine. The only real downside of the movie is the last quarter. Stuff gets slower and it's not as entertaining, at some moments, just plain meh, BUT it ends strong so there's that.
In the end, it serves as a great animated flick and an awesome tribute to us video game lovers out there. I'd say more, but you'd really have to see it for yourself. It's the only proper way to do this movie some justice.
PROS: Awesome video game references, cute and funny as hell, all around great cast CONS: Meh finale