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Tell No One Poster

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halfHarrison Ford had suggested the movie be titled “Moderately Disturbed,” as the movie did not have a frantic pace.  I couldn’t agree more.  Frantic plays like and update to ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ minus the kid.  Harrison Ford does a great job at playing lost and confused in a foreign country.  I like that with the bewilderment he is trying to hang on to anyone and does so with Michelle.  Although she worked against him through much of the film they both needed each other.  The progression of clues and discovery feels very natural but it takes forever to get there.  I like pacing and don’t see enough of it in today’s movies but speeding up some sequences could have helped.  The payoff in the end is satisfying but I am ready to move on to “Tell No One.”

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sjff_01_img0198For this extra cup I am accompanied by Slash, click here watch?v=SCplsXu1HRk and then continue reading.

Can you believe it! I had never seen these movies all the way through.  My years of listening to my father quote lines never pushed me to watch these films in their entirety.  Now, I have spent a week with the family and they pulled me in! What an epic tragedy… on two levels.  First, the story of the family and second, the making of the third movie.  The third part was not as bad as I was lead to believe, just unnecessary and a bit redundant after the second movie shows so well in Michael’s face where this family is headed that we don’t need to see it.

I am really in awe, that such a large complex story with such complicated characters could be told in 3 hours per film.  These were a fast 3 hours for me I was so in tune with what was going, ask my wife, co-workers, and unemployment officer.  So many names thrown around, quickly coming and going, and dying and yet I never felt like anyone was underdeveloped.  I credit the actors for this.  So much is told through facial expressions that dialogue is not needed to explain what characters are thinking and feeling.  And more importantly Coppola nd Puzo don’t insult your intelligence by filling in the blanks.  Like everyone else, more Sonny would have been nice. 1031423940l And why can’t Pacino act like this anymore.  Man he was good before he started OOOOAAAing all over the place.  Michael Corleone is smart with style, class and sophistication.  Unfortunately for him the family business was never those things and he could never will it to be.  He was doomed from the start and would never fulfill his own individual dreams.

Slash is probably finishing about now so move on to this piece, assisting me is Andre Rieu watch?v=9hQAO8QTnG8

And the music sums up everything else I have to say.  Enjoy.

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“A single crash of cymbals and how it rocked the lives of an American family.” So begins a fantastic Hitchcock thriller, “The Man Who Knew Too Much.”

It’s hard to know what approach an older movie like this will take when addressing a kidnapping plot-line… Will they tread too lightly? Will they soften the harsh elements?  Will the suspense hold up to today’s graphic stories?  Well, with Hitch behind the camera, you can be sure the story will have enough suspense to stretch from here to Marrakech… and the thrills will hold up to (and surpass) today’s standards.

At the beginning of the movie there is a light happy feel, the family is together and cheery and Dr. Ben is very… well, he’s very Jimmy Stewart.  The wife is immediately cautious, which leads us to feel the same way.  But as soon Ben gets the mysterious phone call in the police station, the whole feel of the movie changes.  This change is a switch from older Hollywood films to later films of the 70s… suddenly the charm and cheer are gone and we are met with fear and the possibilities of lives being lost.

The feeling we get in the detective’s office is disturbingly real.  The detective is quiet, cold, and threatening.  We are just as confused as the main characters and as fearful as well.  Soon, we see why this movie has been titled “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” Ben really does know more than he cares to know, though he surely wishes he didn’t know a thing.  The faceless enemy is using threats so Ben will keep his secret, while the police are using threats so he will tell them everything.  Ben and Jo simply want to find their child (by force or with money), they do not want to stop any murder or help either side… until they gain the upper-hand.

As the story unfolds, the tides begin to shift.  In the church scene, Ben and Jo suddenly have the power over their adversaries.  The kidnappers are suddenly fearful of what will happen to THEM.  I won’t go into any more detail as to what happens next, but the infamous opera scene is not to be missed… and the very last scene of the film (the final 15 seconds) is an unforgettably stylistic wrap to the whole film.

“The Man Who Knew Too Much” definitely deserves a full cup and does a great job of displaying all the chaos and turmoil a kidnapping holds… all while throwing in a classic Hitchcock style.

man1Alfred Hitchcock told Francois Truffaut that his 1934 version was “the work of a talented amateur and the second was made by a professional”. Nevertheless, Hitchcock preferred the earlier version, largely because it wasn’t so polished.

Now we all know too much.


changeling-movie-official-poster.0.0.0x0.400x594.jpeg A tie in to our current movie marathon holding us captive and that is about it.  Is the story engaging? Sure.  Is it produced well?  Sure.  But beyond that nothing new is brought to this genre.  I guess the trailer did its job.  I wanted to know what happens to her son and who the boy is that replaces her son.  We have all the answers by the middle of movie and the second half is her vindication.  Corrupt cops, a stint in a psych hospital, a paladin in the form of a poorly used Malkovich, blah, blah, blah.  I should have included this movie in my ‘What’s the Point’ unfiltered comments.

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1. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

2. Frantic (1988)

3. Tell No One (2006)

4. Taken (2008)

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It is refreshing to know that it is possible to make compelling movies that don’t rely on fast cuts and special effects.  Thank you Mr. Hitchcock.   And I love movies that essentially take place in a single scene.  12 Angry Men and Glengarry Glen Ross are examples.  I like these movies because it feels like the  filmmaking takes a backseat and the actors and story are center stage.  Again thank you Mr. Hitchcock for your talent and skill as a director.

The first thought I had, probably because it is in the first five minutes, is the meeting of classic Hollywood, or my stereotype of classic Hollywood, and new hollywood or what will become new Hollywood.  First we meet Constance Porter, played by famed Broadway actess Tallulah Bankhead,  who after the destruction of the ship is dry and put together nicely in the lifeboat.  Then comes Kovac, this dirty gritty character, that reminded me of Brando.  For some reason when I think of classic movies I think of actors all clean and well put together delivering lines and  never as dirty as Kovac.  And for the rest of them movie we see her character turned upside down and broken.  But this is not the point of the movie.  The point is the extreme scenario these characters are thrust into, the decisions they must make, and the good and evil that is revealed during their attempt at survival.  With World War II as the backdrop you learn a lot about human and civil rights.  When they encounter the German, Willy, the thought of many is to throw him overboard but one gentleman pleads they cannot because although he is the enemy we must uphold the law we are governed by.  Willy then proceeds to manipulate and direct the boat towards a German supply ship.  A mirror is also held up as they criticize the German and the Nazi party for their heinousness but no American notices their behavior towards George Spencer, the sole African-American on the boat.  I thought this was a bold move for the time of the film.  And we go on to watch all of the characters exposed and say things that come from deep within until they are eventually saved.  It is a truly great character study and it had me on board from the beginning.

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