Tag Archives: hbo

Save it for the Birds

When an actor comes to me and wants to discuss his character, I say, ‘It’s in the script.’ If he says, ‘But what’s my motivation,’ I say, ‘Your salary.’ – Alfred Hitchcock

So last Saturday night I painfully sat through HBO’s The Girl, Tippi Hedren’s alleged account of her mental and sexual abuse from Alfred Hitchcock during the making of The Bird’s and Marnie – a borderline trashy gossip flick and a desperate attempt by Tippi to gain the spotlight one last time by accusing Hitch hindered her career even though he plucked her out from obscurity. But who am I to judge this supposed retelling of she said – he’s dead? Though I can’t see The Birds leaving her too traumatized as she went on to live with a houseful of live-in lions for her and her hubby’s flop Roar, putting all including her daughter at a serious risk of getting one’s head chomped the fuck off.

What I can say is that this made for cable movie was shot so bad that it belonged on Lifetime. This probably being the one reason Hitch is rolling in his grave. And I can’t imagine what Bernard Hermann must think of the atrocious score they laid under this turd.

The only inside story I came away with is that Tippi was a nickname given by her Grandfather. And that Toby Jones who plays Hitch, like his portrayal of Truman Capote to Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s, will once again root comparisons with the upcoming Hitchcock feature film with Sir Anthony Hopkins – which will undoubtedly steal all of Toby’s thunder, relegating him at best to an understudy, due to the fact that I can’t imagine how anybody could do worse.

 

As was well known Hitch was obsessed with blondes – The Girl prefaces with Hitchcock’s words; “Blondes make the best victims. They’re like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.” How this is equated with Tippi I don’t know, since I’m not quite sure she was a victim but a more or less a flirt and terrible actress. Unless you consider some fat old perv hitting on you, whom happens to be a genius – sexual assault? Instead, I always found Roman Polanski’s take a bit more haunting when answering Robert Towne’s (Chinatown screenwriter) question on why he changed his ending to a tragedy – “Because beautiful blondes die in Los Angeles.” At least Hitch didn’t rape Melanie.

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Pee Wee Takes Manhattan

The stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Broadway where Pee Wee Herman is making his New York debut at the Stephen Sondheim Theater providing us an intimate visit to the playhouse. Thank God they have a basement. But no need to worry if you miss it because it’ll soon be on HBO in the comfort of your toasty home rather than in an ice box.

The choreography between Pee Wee and the live puppets is action packed! And way better than Avenue Q. Paul Rubens, who hasn’t aged a day, is still our inner child, now and forever, reacquainting us with irreverent politico jokes and jack off jokes. So it only makes sense that the audience comprised of a crowd of 40 year olds.

Pee Wee may be a loner, a rebel and a guy not to get mixed up with but after all these years we still want to come over and play. Also CGI is nothing compared to the awesomeness of the Pee Wee magnets that I got. Infinity.

 

 

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Atlantic Shitty

Martin Scorsese and Sopranos screenwriter and producer Terence Winter both return once again to their crime genre beginnings and to further bank off the New Jersey TV trend, exposing it’s Guido and Guiette roots in HBO’s highly anticipated Boardwalk Empire. Only even with an Emmy Award writer this script isn’t half as exciting or entertaining as Jersey Shores’ GTL, fist pumping, and Situation commentaries.

Cued from the start with the dullest opening theme in HBO history of lapping waves, Atlantic City looks like a sound stage, even more so then Gangs of New York and dirty Cameron. Cast with a bunch of clean, stiff suited townies following their leader/treasurer Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), who’s keeping everyone’s mouth wet and taking cuts from every casino and taffy shoppe. His scrawny, corpselike appearance is hardly as intimidating as James Gandolfini despite the matching snaggle tooth, but even so, he’s got a a peanut gallery all laughing on cue and speaking in turn. It’s only his chauffeur Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt), a Leo DiCaprio wannabe, who feels he’s entitled to something more leading him to team up with Al Capone (Stephen Graham) and ambush the next booze delivery. Agent Michael Shannon stalks Buscemi, playing his mumbling crazy self while struggling Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald) shows Buscemi in a more humane light as she distracts him from his dead wife. Anyway, I wouldn’t trust any of these cats just as I wouldn’t trust a plank on this soot-free polished set. This spic and span cast is sleazier than Jersey Shore’s coked out Ronnie. By now we all know, no matter how close to “action” T-shirt time is there’s no way these boardwalk drunks, sequins and feathers, and sharp suits wearing shimmy shakers could look so flat and bland when it’s supposed to be the Jazz Age. The rise and fall of the gangster during prohibition has been a subject of numerous movies such as The Untouchables and the classic Once Upon A Time In America but this new HBO addition don’t seem to reveal very much besides showing that Scorsese is bone dry of ideas.

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