Turner & Hooch directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Tom Hanks as Scott Turner is a comedy from 1989, it was a box office success an I could see why, the movie isn’t perfect but it is entertaining. Scott turner is a germophobic detective, his good friend is murdered and Scott is forced to live with his slobbery, destructive dog, Hooch, who also happens to be the only witness of the crime. At first, Scott is annoyed and regretful at his job of taking care of Hooch, but he learns to love him and Hooch even saves Scott’s life. Along the way, Scott, with a little help from Hooch, manages to find a lover of his own. The character arch of Scott from a strict perfectionist to a relaxed happy man is satisfying. It’s a nice movie to put on for when you’re bored and have nothing else to do. The soundtrack is some smooth jazz that somewhat fits into the film yet feels very out of place and too lengthy at some parts. The music made it feel too much like a little kid’s movie, which it probably is made to be, though it does have quite a few adult jokes in it. Most of the jokes were pretty funny, but there were a few that just didn’t land. It’s a little strange though, the murder of his friend is the best thing to have ever happened to him. The movie is structured well, and tells both the story of Scott and his personal life as well as his professional work and the solving of the murder, both of which Hooch plays a major role in. This movie was pretty good
North by Northwest is another film from the great director Alfred Hitchcock, and in this movie, he doesn’t disappoint. Long before seeing this, I used to think that this movie was a James Bond movie, and the opening title was visually pretty cool so one wouldn’t be blamed for making that mistake. This film is a lot like Vertigo in the sense that it’s about an innocent person dragged into a dramatic situation he had no part in. The story is about Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) and his kidnapping that created his sudden identity crisis leading to him being convicted of drunk driving, lying to a judge, and eventually even murder. He evades authority across the country and meets Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) who isn’t who she seems to be at first. You never quite understand the reason for Roger’s kidnapping, but either way, you feel bad for him as he was just misunderstood for the entire first half of the movie. many of the sets looked very modern and you likely wouldn’t be surprised if the sets were used in a newer movie. This movie was more humorous than Hitchcock’s other movies but the jokes don’t ever seem out of place and they fit into the plot and characters well, as in, a certain joke would make sense with the certain character who said it. There are also a whole bunch of great shots such as the scene with the cop duster plane chasing Roger just as one example. The soundtrack by Bernard Herrmann, a Hitchcock favorite, was great, as expected from such a respected music producer in the film industry. This isn’t my favorite Hitchcock film, but it is definitely up there. This film is superb.
Vertigo is personally my favorite film from Alfred Hitchcock, as it is with many other people. It’s a romantic thriller crime mystery movie. It can be so many categories at once, and yet, the movie perfects all of them. The movie starts with the origin of John “Scottie” Ferguson’s (James Stewart) fear of heights, and eventual diagnosis of vertigo. An officer falls and dies while trying to help Scottie up from the edge of a roof. John tries to rid of his vertigo head on yet fails at his attempts and instead, collapses into his ex-fiancée, Midge Wood’s (Barbara Bel Geddes) arms. Scottie is offered an assignment from an old college friend, Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore), to follow his wife because of her suspicious behavior in the past few days, Gavin believes she is possessed, at first skeptical, John accepts the offer. There are then scenes of John following Gavin’s wife, Madeleine (Kim Novak), and they provide confusing scenarios and actions by Madeleine that confuse the audience just as much as they seem to confuse Scottie. Hitchcock has a use of colors which provide a state of madness and confusion that perfectly reflect Scottie’s state of mind. Hitchcock also uses color in this film to provide beautiful shots such as the one in the picture here, even without much lighting, you can still invision her expression. James Stewart, a Hitchcock favorite, does a great job in his acting of making you feel pretty bad for Scottie. He was just a nice, honest man dragged into a dramatic headache that would have left him scarred for the rest of his life. The twist around the ending was so unexpected that it would even have M. Night Shyamalan shocked, but the twist makes everything make sense in the film and it changes your perspective of the film completely on a second viewing. This film is a complete masterpiece.
Ben-Hur is a movie based of the story of the book by Lew Wallace about an upper class jew, Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston), in Jerusalem and his journey from there to being a slave in the galleys and eventually to a very successful chariot racer. It’s a film about a person’s life over many years after some dramatic changes, similar to movies like Doctor Zhivago or Forrest Gump. I personally enjoy movies like this as they haven’t failed to disappoint for me. David Lean is especially keen with these movies and I was surprised to find out that he hadn’t directed this one. More about the movie, It’s one of the longest movies I have ever seen at 3 hours and 42 minutes long, but I wasn’t bored for a second. William Wyler does a spectacular job of making a very visual story that a deaf man could follow along with. Charlton Heston’s character of Judah Ben-Hur is performed in a way so that you feel for him and understand him and his motives. Stephen Boyd who plays Messala does a great job of being dislikeable. The movie was also easy to understand plot-wise, you don’t need to be a major nerd on the movie to know what’s happening. The cinematography was amazing, almost every shot, especially shots from the chariot racing scene, were memorable. There was a scene in which Ben-Hur is a slave being dragged across miles and miles of land to be sent to the galleys and they eventually get to a small village where there is a person who gives him some water even though the Roman guards told people not to give water to Ben-Hur specifically. The way that the scene is shot makes you feel like this person is going to be a major character, and the camera is about to show their face, but it just doesn’t. The viewer is desperate to know who it is but the film refuses to let them know, and the movie is arranged so well that everything else in it distracts you from the mystery of who this person is so it doesn’t bother you for the entire movie, potentially ruining the experience for yourself. This movie is a masterpiece.