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roger1 (1480)


"Psycho" and "The YouTube Reactors" Covent Garden in "Frenzy" -- and "My Fair Lady" The Importance of Vietnam and the Draft to This Story "The Holdovers" Demonstrates "Alexander Payne's Personal Stylistic Touch." OT: PART TWO: Another Auteur Returns: David Fincher and The Killer Originally Intended For Redford and Newman "The Shining" Meets "The Apartment" Meets "Dead Poets Society" -- But Its Own Great Movie, Too Alfred Hitchcock and His Staged People in Groups The Killer and the History of Hit Man Movies View all posts >


Yes, the market itself was moved to Nine Elms (southwest London). The original Covent Garden still exists but it's more of a 'culture centre' (museums, restaurants, shops, street performances) now. -- Thank you for that knowledgeable information. On the basis of My Fair Lady and Frenzy alone, Covent Garden seems memorialized on film. I suppose other films have been set there. Plus -- with all of the reactors -- you get these "post mortems" of the films afterwords, which are usually along the lines of "Hey, that was a really good movie..I'm glad I finally got to see it," or "that was kind of a psychological mystery more than a horror movie" or (about North by Northwest) "that was a good mystery-type movie"(missing out on its espionage-based plot and its epic qualities.) In short, the "reactors" do us the great service of bringing classics forward for new generations to discover while at the same time rather trivializing these great movies into 1/3 the running time and some chit chat that doesn't go very deep after one has read the scholars on Hitch(Robin Wood, Donald Spoto with reservations, Raymond Durgnat, David Thomson with reservations). One thing the Psycho reactors prove: EVERY movie, no matter how old, MERITS a SPOILER warning -- entire new generations know NOTHING about the plot of Psycho -- the twist, the shower, even the staircase surprises. (Note: each of the Psycho reactor videos starts by sampling the reaction to come -- showing the reactor screaming suddenly and loud -- its ALWAYS turns out to be that they were screaming at mother coming out at Arbogast. Classic scene.) On the other hand,I wouldn't PUT a spoiler warning on everything. Just figure: any time you read one of trhese things are going to be spoiled. LIkely. Bottom line: reactors are great for bringing movies to new generations, but the movies deserve to be seen and savored on their own. And that Kat gal is pretty funny. Get her a sitcom already. And Cassie at Popcorn in Bed is America's sweetheart. Though I think she knows what she's doing with that title. Back at Cassie and Popcorn in Bed. Rather dutifully, Cassie has reactions to Psycho AND North by Northwest AND Vertigo. In order of release -- Vertigo, NXNW, Psycho -- I call these "Hitchcock's Big Three" and I separate them away from Rear Window because ALL three and ONLY these three -- have credit sequences by Saul Bass AND Bernard Herrmann. Herrmann did 8 Hitchcock scores, but Bass only did the Big Three and quit for some reason. Rear Window is years earlier than the Big Three(and looks it) and has no Herrman score and no Bass credits. Cassie also does Rear Window. And it keeps her in suspense. I skimmed all of Cassie's reactions to those Hitchcocks and...well, they're OK. After Vertigo delivered its walloping final seconds, Cassie just froze her face(on purpose) and the came stayed on her face for about 30 seconds to show us how SHOCKED she was by that ending. Cute. While it is DEFINITELY a "pro" that all these reactor shows have given Psycho and other Hitchcock's a new lease on life with a generation that never heard of them -- it is UNFORTUNATELY a "con" -- IMHO - that the treatment of these movies often can't avoid being DISREPSPECTFUL of the classic material. I mean, the movie is invariably edited down for time -- I think Psycho runs for a half hour in the "Cassie" version. That's bad. Dialogue patches cut in and out with edits. And the soundtracks are too low -- Herrmann doesn't get to envelope the films, you can't always hear the dialogue. And though the reactors honor these films, they can't help but discuss them in terms of "surface plot only" -- which doesn't help Vertigo seem like a classic at all. They can really only say things like "Oh, I guess he's going to go in that room" or "I wonder why she's doing that?" and suddenly great films become minor exercises in storytelling. CONT Kat praises Arbogast highly for his interrogration skills and as Norman keeps screwing up, her commentary goes like this: Busted...busted...busted..BUSTED! (Then about Arbogast): "This guy's good." And that has become a TikTok quickie, it came in after I watched the reactor. "Busted...busted..busted...BUSTED! This guys good." Arbogast has his own Tik Tok bit. Kat, being a comedienne at heart, does her reacting at the movie by constantly breaking the fourth wall and stealing us "side long glances." She occasionally bites down on her lower lip to create a scared or knowing effect. She has great big eyes to widen for comic OR terror effect, and an overly toothy but winning smile. HER reaction videos are indeed fun and funny. And a bit flirtatious. She knows her gig. And she was on my side when she reacted to "Alien," and noticed -- as I always have -- that it takes freakin' FOREVER for Harry Dean Stanton to walk around aimlessly in that room with wet hanging chains before getting killed. "GET ON WITH IT! she eventually yells. Hitchcock just had better, more concise timing. See: the Arbogast murder sequence. After Arbogast dies and they cut to Lila saying "I want to go out there," Kat jumps in: "No, sister...forget it. Cut your losses!" Funny. Kat notes how Hitchocck played her like an organ on the fruit cellar reveal: "I CALLED it! Well, actually I uncalled it when he carried her downstairs. I thought she was real." Ha. Meanwhile the woman who totally guessed that Norman was the killer, on a different reactor show, is named ...Selene. She just wasn't buying the twist. But would she have bought it in 1960? CONT Which brings me to ANOTHER woman doing the re-acting thing(though evidently right now only with horror movies.) Her program is called "Kat Hates Horror Movies"(I don't really think she does) and HER Psycho reacting is far more of a "stand up comedian's" take on the reacting job. She doesn't diss Psycho in the Mystery Science Theater tradition , but she follows it with a lot of snarky commentary and one-liners. "Kat" looks like a much prettier Kathy Griffin and shares some of Griffin's verbal style. The prettiness matters -- I think Kat is trying to get acting and stand-up gigs and wants to use these horror movie reactions as a calling card. In the early stretch of Psycho, Kat notes that Janet Leigh "never blinks," and hence, once Janet is dead on the bathroom floor, Kat wackily opines: "She's not dead, is she? She can't be dead. She never blinks anyway so that doesn't mean she's dead." Kat seems to believe that Marion is capable of life right up to the swamp burial -- before then she yells out to Norman -- "C'mon! Wake her up. SHAKE her!" I dunno -- does Kat REALLY think that Marion is still alive or just jivin' with us? Once Psycho reaches the Arbogast sequence, Kat opines on something I've always believed about the fear that gripped 1960 audiences about Psycho: she believes that Arbogast could get stabbed by mother ANYTIME once he starts pressuring Norman. Kat keeps nervously saying "I bet the Mother's gonna come behind him and stab him" even as Norman is right there in the office. And when Arbo enters the phone booth, Cat is worried that Mom may appear THERE. (Look behind you, look all around..BE ON GUARD!) she yells. One 1960 critic wrote of Psycho having an atmosphere of "unrelenting suspense" (is that the same as relentless?) and truly, once Marion is killed, the suspense is there ALL the time when Arbogast is there alone, when Lila explores the house alone, even when Sam AND Lila are in the motel. And "Kat" catches that here. CONT I looked at some male reactors: Two men with separate reactor channels, and ONLY those two men, tried to react at Frenzy, and both of them were rendered speechless by the rape-killing of Brenda Blaney which was pretty much edited down to nothing or kept blurry. Frenzy is NOT a good "reactor movie." I looked at some couples reacting. But yeah, its the women reactors who made the biggest impact. Two in the main, and a third who proved the big skeptic on Mother being the killer. The 'two in the main": "Cassie" on "Popcorn in Bed." She's an interesting dichotomy. Very pretty, very much in the "girl next door" way. Blonde and evidently doing her show from her home in Utah (Mormon, maybe?) As cute and fresh-faced as she is, she DID take on movies like Psycho and, I think , The Exorcist, and she does have to watch some naughty stuff and maintain her girl next door thing. (Her biggest exclamation is "oh my GOSH!"). But she also watches rom coms(she did "Fools Rush In" in honor of Matthew Perry) and..she watches tearjerkers and cries right along with them as we watch -- and hence try to stop crying ourselves. (She turned "Deep Impact" into a real sobfest.) "Cassie" is evidently getting more successful and has added elements, likely to protect herself. She has mentioned her kids on a few of these re-actions, so, guys -- she's likely married with children, don't even THINK about it. And she has added her (younger?) and equally blond sister to some of these reactions. One senses unseen parents saying "Cassie, you let your sister on there with you, be nice.") CONT This all happened around 2019. It looks like the acting roles dried up -- in the main -- for Huffman in the years since. Its not so much "the court of public opinion" -- its studio bosses not wanting to risk putting a disliked person in a movie. The "nature of the wrongdoing" has varied over the years, but the list of those who have lost work include Mel Gibson, Kevin Spacey(literally REMOVED from movie scenes and replaced by Christopher Plummer), Johnny Depp, Will Smith, and Alec Baldwin. Will any of them come back? Gibson has...but pretty much only in independent films and not at the money he used to earn. Still, Gibson is rich(from Passion of the Christ among other things), most ALL of those folks are rich. You can make enough money in Hollywood to never have to work again. Felicity Huffman's famous actor husband, William H. Macy, was complicit in this college scandal but not charged. He was "allowed" to stay on his streaming show "Shameless" and has landed some movies since this all occurred. Too good a character actor to pay the price? It was also one of those films where screenplay and acting came together brilliantly to tell a touching, heartfelt story about a lovable, ordinary guy who so many could relate to on many levels. Borgnine's portrayal of Marty was very deserving of him winning the Oscar, and I think that his performance brought the character so far into our hearts that it made the movie that much more deserving of the Best Picture Oscar. --- Agreed. We live in a cynical era now, but that story hit a lot of people where they lived. The pain of his speech to his mother about not wanting to go out to the dance hall: "Another night of heartbreak...being turned down...I'm just a fat, ugly man." The boredom of unmarried, plain men not having to do anything on a Saturday night("Whaddya want to do? I dunno, whaddya YOU want to do?" The VERY true element of his male friend "dissing" the woman as too ugly for Marty -- when really, he didn't want to LOSE Marty. Marty had to go against "what other people think" to realize that sometimes in love, you have to lower your expectations... and THEY lower THEIR expectations to love you. The truly heartbreaking scene where Marty stands up the woman and she watches TV with her parents and the camera moves in on her. You feel EVERYBODY's pain - the woman, her parents, even Marty's for doing this to her. The issue of dependence of aging mothers upon their adult children. Hitchcock took up this theme a lot, and even HIRED "Marty's mother" to play the mother of "Italian-American" Henry Fonda in The Wrong Man, the next year. There were a lot of realistic, painful human elements in the story of Marty. Its one of those Best Pictures driven by a great screenplay and great acting to carry it off. The reason "Marty" appears to be such a surprise win is perhaps because it's such a small, independent-type character driven film that usually gets nominated and even wins, say, screenplay awards but doesn't usually beat out the big dogs. "Breaking Away," "Sideways" and "Little Miss Sunshine" are three other examples that come to mind. --- In the 50s and 60s especially -- when movies were competing with the new invention of TV that was stealing much of their audience -- the Oscars often went to big, expensive, colorful productions that required lots of craftspeople and artists. Basically the winners were musicals -- An American in Paris, Gigi, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Oliver -- or epics -- The Greatest Show on Earth, Around the World in Eighty Days, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Ben-Hur, Lawrence of Arabia. But smaller dramas snuck in some years -- On the Waterfront, Marty, The Apartment(some comedy in that one.) The irony with Marty is that it BEGAN on that demon competitor to movies -- as a network television play -- but by converting it into a movie, it became something that could last forever. A small number of teleplays were made into movies. 12 Angry Men, while not a Best Picture winner, is the other "big one," I think. But also Patterns and The Bachelor Party and some others. I'm very much a bumbler when it comes to technology but I will take a look. . View all replies >