Murder

41R6QPRRLDL._SL500_AA240_Most probably won’t recognize this title at all. This film is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s very early movies, coming out in 1930. A murder has been committed and a woman has gone through trial and found guilty. Juror, Sir John Menier, not fully convinced of the verdict, takes it upon himself to investigate the mysteries that surround the murder.

The story is pretty good, but the movie moves very slow….I mean VERY slow. The Dialog is not real tight and at times seemed to have strangely long pauses between dialog. I have read that Hitchcock was experimenting with improvisational dialog, which accounts for the awkward pauses. Saying that this sound was very poorly mixed and different sound track seemed to be way out of whack isn’t fair, just because it is from 1930. But if you do watch it you will find yourself fighting  to get through parts of this film. At one point a conversation is happening and while pouring tea, the clanking and stirring of the tea is so load it is hard to hear the dialog. Another is a scene where a baby is crying during a key scene with revealing dialog, and the baby is…well…extremely loud. Loud to the point of being a form a birth control.

In my opinion, average movie fans can probably skip this one all together. Movie buffs and fans of Alfred Hitchcock will appreciate the certain aspects of the movie as it does reveal how Hitchcock grew from his early films. It is actually a decent story, if you can fight through the mentioned above.

The Singing Hot Dog

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Wonderland

Wonderland

To me the first viewing of this film was a little better than the second one. The first time around I was so taken by the story and the details of the murder I really wasn’t noticing other things. This movie is really just the stories of the two sides of a murder mystery. I wish the movie would have included a third point of view. Would have liked to have seen more from the detectives point of view and maybe even a more scientific point of view using evidence and forensics. Not to mention it would have given a bit more screen time to the great character Ted Levine. (“It rubs the lotion on it’s skin or else it gets the hose again.” Silence of the Lambs)

Without giving too much away, this is the true story of porn star John Holmes after the x-rated film business and in the middle of his heavy drug days, he gets accused of murder. The director does a great job with the overall look and feel of this film, with muted colors and film grain, adding to the overall character of the film. Also, a great soundtrack fits the tone perfect with the blaring of Bad Reputation by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Val Kilmer (Tombstone, Batman Forever) is good playing John Holmes, but the real surprise of this film is Lisa Kudrow (Friends) who plays estranged with Sharon. Also Carrie Fisher (Star Wars) in a nice bit part in the beginning of the film. 

We always hear of Hollywood sensationalizing violence in films. If you have this DVD you will see that this isn’t the case. They have included the complete police walk through of the crime scene, blood still on the walls, bodies still on the ground. This film actually toned it down, and I am glad they did. The crime scene was haunting to see and really didn’t want to see the way it happened. If you are a fan of true crime movies, or just good film making, this one is worth catching. Just be aware this is about an ex-porn star into every drug imaginable.