Monday, January 14, 2013

DVD Reviews: Rear Window + Strangers on a Train

I start my on-campus classes tomorrow, as well as a new job at the library, so I won't be online nearly as much as I have been this past month. Don't worry, I'm still planning on posting a few times a week and I hope to comment back to everyone a day or so after they comment me. I don't want to get too far behind!

Rear Window

Movie review by Lauren

IMDB Summary: A wheelchair bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Review: I mentioned above that my on-campus classes start tomorrow, but I actually have an online class all about Alfred Hitchock. I'm a cinema studies minor (no that doesn't mean I'm a movie snob or that I even know a ton about films, but I love them!) so this is my last film class before I graduate in May. I've only seen about two Hitchock films in my life, so it's interesting to finally see some of these titles that I've heard about.

One such title would be Rear Window, and while I did enjoy it, it's a bit slow going. I liked James Stewart and his character is quite interesting, but it takes awhile before the main plotline to come into affect. For awhile, it's all about Stewart watching his neighbors through the window and enjoying but not wanting to marry his lovely girlfriend played by Grace Kelly.

Character-wise, Rear Window has some good ones. I really enjoyed Stella, who I assume to be the nurse or helper. She's quite an amusing woman, though, and it was enjoyable whenever she came onto the screen.

I guess my main complaint of Rear Window was the end. It was a bit more anticlimatic then I was led to believe...I mean, yes, there are some interesting moments, but it all seemed to be leading up to something that never quite came. It's a bit hard to explain, I suppose.

Would I recommened Rear Window? Yes, but be careful not to expect too much of a thriller.

Strangers on a Train

Movie review by Lauren

IMDB Summary: A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder...a theory that he plans to implement.

Review: I'd never heard of this Hitchcock film before but it was one that I highly enjoyed and would definitely want to watch again. Guy Haines (tennis star) and Bruno Antony (socialite) meet on a train. Bruno recognizes Guy and starts telling him what he knows of Guy's he's married but really wants to be with another woman and that he will be divorcing his wife soon. Bruno then goes on to talk about murder, mentioning how he'd like to kill his own father. The way to a perfect crime is to have no motive, Bruno tells Guy...which essentially boils down to "I'll kill yours, if you will mine."

Guy doesn't take Bruno too seriously, getting off the train and going back to his life. When his wife tells him she won't divorce him, though, he's angry...and Bruno isn't ready to let his plan die.

I won't go into too much detail but I really loved how surprising Strangers on a Train was throughout. The characters were interesting and shocking, and you can't help but shake your head at the psychotic nature of Bruno.

I really enjoyed Guy, though, because he never does exactly what you expect him too. When you think he's about to do something, he switches on you, and that's what had me most engaged.

Recommend? Definitely!


Bookworm1858 said...

I really like both of these films; the first because Grace Kelly's wardrobe is so amazing and the latter for its plot. I think I first saw it 3-5 years ago so it's definitely time to rewatch it in my book.

What other Hitchcocks are you watching? Have you see Notorious with Cary Grant yet? That's one of my favorites!

Erika said...

Rear Window sounds like such an awesome movie - I seriously want to check that out! :)

Jasprit said...

As soon as I read the summary to Rear Window it reminded me of the film Disturbia starring Shia labeouf, I went into that film with no expectations at all and it completely took me by surprise! And Strangers on a Train sounds like something that I would enjoy too! Thanks for introducing me to both films Lauren! :)

Liviania said...

Hitchcock! North by Northwest is my favorite.

And if you liked Strangers on a Train, I'd check out Throw Momma from the Train (a comedic movie) and "Dial M for Murder" from one of the Simpsons Treehouse Horror Specials. Both of them riff on Hitchcock's plot.

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Rear Window is one of my favs... never saw Strangers on a Train though, oddly enough.

Sam said...

I haven't watched either of these, but both sound interesting. I'll have to see if I can get my hands on Strangers on a Train. Glad you enjoyed it!

Medeia Sharif said...

I saw the first one, but the second one I've never heard of. I'm going to see if it's available on Amazon Instant Video...yes, it is.

Vegan YA Nerds said...

I haven't seen either of these, but both are familiar, especially the plot of Rear Window - shame about the end.

And Strangers on a Train must have been the inspiration behind that movie about hating/killing your boss? And three guys team up to kill each others bosses, it came out a couple of years ago

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I remember watching Rear Window years ago and liking it. Jimmy Stewart was pretty hot in his day. I have to laugh as I type this I am remembering this Saturday Night Live spoof on this movie that aired last winter I believe and the guest star was January Jones, you have to see it... too funny. Strangers on a Train, I have not seen but didn't it inspire that movie THrow Momma from the Train? Anyway good luck with the new semester. Sounds like the Hitchcock class will be a blast!

Brandi Kosiner said...

Hmm. I do my movies much like my books, they need to grab me right away, so will pass, but lovely review.
Happy reading,
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

LHughes said...

That sounds like such an awesome class!!! Do more posts on it! I'd love to hear all your thoughts on Hitchcock and his film-making!

I've seen Rear Window, and agree with you that it's one of Hitchcock's slower paced films. But I loved watching with other people who hadn't seen it and arguing over whether the neighbors were doing what Jimmy thought they were doing. And who hasn't spied on their neighbors before and formed theories about them... hehe. I think it's a universally appealing idea!

Haven't seen Strangers on a Train, but I'll have to check it out since you enjoyed it so much!

Really fun post!

Lauren @ Hughes Reviews