Hitchcock Exclusive: Why Hitch Had a Huge Year

Stephen Rebello is the author of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, and his book largely contributed to Hitchcock, one of the one-two punches audiences got this year that revived interest in the master of suspense. That film landed on screens merely weeks after The Girl premiered on HBO and suddenly 2012 became the year of Hitch.

Anthony Hopkins in Hitchcock
We caught up with Rebello for an exclusive interview to close the book on the year that spawned mountains of new interest in the man who gave us The Birds, North by Northwest (one of our Top 100 Movies of All Time) and numerous indelible classics. “There are so many Hitchcocks and I knew a few of them,” he said and laughed.

“What I mean, there are so many ways of looking at him through so many different prisms in which to look at his work and his life. There’s nothing definitive. Look at the numbers of books on him. Look at the great number of movie makers who talk about him and he is many things to many people. So, I’m excited that we’re a part of this new surge in Hitchcock interest.”

Hitchcock, Rebello said, takes audiences inside the world of a film master and shows why the filmmaker was given so much attention in 2012.

“This film provides an interesting view of Hitchcock in terms of the different methods to his madness. He could be cruel and kind. He could be a genius, but a genius who was unsure of himself. He could be enormously gracious and enormously focused on his own issues,” he added. “I think it’s amazing that there are many looks at him that are brought to bear this year. It’s a man who will never be pinned down. He can never be wrapped up in a neat little package.”

The focus of the film, and Rebello’s novel, was on a specific period of time: When he was making Psycho. “The book, and the film, is meant to be a fly on the wall. He never thought we’d be talking about that movie all these decades later,” Rebello said.

It’s hard not to notice that the heart of the film, and his book, is how Hitchcock’s wife Alma was integral to his success. “He was a genius who had a perfect collaborator in his life partner. She preceded him in the movie business. He often deferred to her about casting and material. She was extraordinarily brilliant and what audiences wanted. He trusted few people, but trusted her in every way,” Rebello said. “He would have been a great filmmaker without her, but he was a better human being and filmmaker because of her.”

Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins Hitchcock
is a fascinating look at a movie master and his muse, and that is why it was one of our honorable mentions in our Top 10 Movies of 2012. The film also shows an aspect of Hollywood that even the great Hitchcock was not immune to… its unfriendly relationship with the passage of time.

“Here was Hitchcock at a time in his life, age 59, hitting 60, top of his career, and yet dealing with a new generation of filmmakers nipping at his heels,” Rebello said.

Making Psycho after North by Northwest was a very unpopular choice. In fact, the couple had to mortgage their home to get the movie made… as shown in the Hitchcock trailer. “What was it like as he took a nose dive into a different kind of material? He put his own financing on the line, his reputation on the line. And who did he trust above all else? The answer was Alma.”

Top 13 Movie Moments of 2013: The Year on the Big Screen!

Goodbye 2012! We hardly knew ya. As the calendar switches from 2012 to 2013, Movie Fanatic recently looked back at the Top 10 Movies of 2012, and now we look forward. 2013 will feature the highly anticipated return of Superman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. It also gives us the world of Tony Stark, version 3.0, as Iron Man 3 seeks to capitalize on the success of The Avengers — which ruled the 2012 box office.

There is so much to get excited about for the cinematic year that will be beginning in the coming days. Where to start? Well, in honor of the 13 that anchors our new year’s moniker, we bump up our usual Top 10 in favor of the Movie Fanatic Top 13 Movie Moments of 2013.

13. Pain and Gain
You know what recent teaser truly captured our attention? It was of the utmost of surprises: The Pain and Gain trailer. The Michael Bay film looks to provide its action with a side dish of Mark Wahlberg’s impeccable comic timing.

Pain and Gain Poster

12. This Is the End
It is a modern day comic dream team that assembled to make the end of the world comedy This Is the End. Pineapple Express quotes wielders Seth Rogen, James Franco and Danny McBride reunite in an end of days cinematic comedy that throws caution into a disastrous wind storm of apocalyptic humor. From these guys, that will be a very good thing.

11. Thor 2: The Dark World
Chris Hemsworth and his alter ego Thor pick up where The Avengers left off with Thor 2. Where we go from there specifically, is as secretive as sequels come. Whether Loki is involved, has not even been hinted at. Movie Fanatic just knows that it is filming and judging by its first foray, this Thor franchise is one we plan on following for years to come.

10. The Wolverine
You-Know-Who is back sporting blades out of his hands once again in a Wolverine story that has compelled fans and even wider audiences since it was announced. When we saw The Wolverine first photo of Hugh Jackman, the X-Men character most likely to succeed suddenly seemed like someone we desperately wanted to check in with once again.

9. Pacific Rim
Guillermo del Toro directing again! After passing on The Hobbit franchise, Del Toro put his focus on producing movies like Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and the upcoming Mama. With Pacific Rim, the auteur has clearly crafted a world beyond our own that is bewildering us in the best of ways. Look at the Pacific Rim trailer and admit you’re not intrigued beyond belief.

Pacific Rim Comic-Con Poster

8. Kick Ass 2
We cannot believe that a sequel to Kick Ass was given a green light! If there’s a movie that deserves it, it is Matthew Vaughn’s opus to the superhero genre. Both stars Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Aaron Johnson are back and they are joined by Jim Carrey (check out this Kick-Ass 2 set video of Jim Carrey!). We could not be more thrilled that Kick Ass 2 is becoming a franchise.

7. The Wolf of Wall Street
Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese reunite for The Wolf of Wall Street and you know their collaborations always lead to fireworks. Remember The Departed and its Best Picture and Director honors? Mark Movie Fanatic’s word that this film will be front and center when we’re talking about the 2014 Oscars — especially given the ever-timely recent history of the storied institution that is Wall Street and its role in our collective financial woes.

6. Anchorman: The Legend Continues
It may have taken a long time, but like good scotch, the return of Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy will be worth the years. This is something that has been waited on by so many for so long, that the mere tease of an Anchorman 2 trailer caused a collective swoon among fans.

Anchorman 2 Teaser Poster
5. The Lone Ranger
Johnny Depp as Tonto? That’s where you had us! Then, we saw the first The Lone Ranger photos and even Armie Hammer was the embodiment of what is thought of when the phrase the Lone Ranger is mentioned.

4. Star Trek Into Darkness
As if we need a reason to put this puppy on this list! First, the mere idea that J.J. Abrams was back working on it got us too excited for words. Then, we saw our first images. Oh, boy. Then, Paramount caused a Star Trek universe collective earthquake that resulted from a simple, yet effective Star Trek Into Darkness teaser.

3. Elysium
The guy behind District 9 pairs with Matt Damon for a version of the future that is not too far off from our own. As the film’s stars, Jodie Foster and Matt Damon, told us in our Comic-Con Elysium interview, this movie will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

2. Iron Man 3
Tony Stark is back in business. Judging by the first full Iron Man 3 trailer, this is more Iron Man than Iron Man 2. And Ben Kingsley as Mandarin… nicely done.

1. Man of Steel
Surprised? Hardly! The return of Superman has to be the movie event of 2013. After Brandon Routh did a solid job in Superman Returns in 2006, yet it was perceived as a swing and a miss, fans of the Kryptonite-hating superhero have been waiting for his next chapter. Heck, even an origins story would be welcome just to get the Man of Steel back on the big screen. Want to get your heart racing? Check out this best of the 2013 early looks we’ve seen in this Man of Steel movie trailer.

Man of Steel Poster
Aptly called Man of Steel, the Zack Snyder-directed first chapter in what Warner Bros. hopes is their next big franchise arrives summer 2013 and we’ll be racing you to the front of the line!

Honorable mentions: After Earth, The World’s End, Oblivion, Gravity, Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters, Robocop, Oz the Great and Powerful, Fast and Furious 6, The Hangover 3, World War Z, A Good Day to Die Hard, Monsters University, Ender’s Game, RIPD and of course… The Hobbit: The Desolution of Smaug!

The Hobbit Finishes the Year on Top: Weekend Box Office Report

After yielding to two new releases on Christmas Eve, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is back on top for the third weekend in a row. The film took in $32.9 million in the final days of the year, reaching $222.7 million in total domestic ticket sales.

Cate Blacnchett Ian McKellen The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey

Coming in second place is Django Unchained. Quentin Tarantino’s new film grossed $30.7 million over the weekend, after opening in second place on Christmas Day. After being open for just under a week, Django has earned a total of $64 million.

Les Miserables, which opened in first place on Christmas, came in third place in its first weekend in theaters. Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, and Anne Hathaway earned $28 million, bringing its total one-week gross to $67.5 million.

The new film Parental Guidance, and the second-week film Jack Reacher fill out the top five. The family comedy and Tom Cruise action film grossed $14.8 million and $14 million, respectively.

Box office Top 10:

1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, $32.9 million
2. Django Unchained, $30.7 million
3. Les Miserables, $28 million
4. Parental Guidance, $14.8 million
5. Jack Reacher, $14 million
6. This is 40, $13.2 million
7. Lincoln, $7.5 million
8. The Guilt Trip, $6.7 million
9. Monsters, Inc., $6.4 million
10. Rise of the Guardians, $4.9 million

Stoker Poster Drops: Do Not Disturb the Family

The poster for the psychological thriller Stoker has dropped. Take a look:

Stoker Poster

Mia Wasikowska (Lawless) stars as India, a girl whose father died suddenly, leaving her mother, played by Nicole Kidman, emotionally unstable. When an uncle she’s never heard about, played by Matthew Goode before comes to live with them, India becomes infatuated with him, believing that he is not who he seems.

Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, and Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures) also star. Old Boy director Park Chan-Wook directs.

Stoker premieres March 1, 2013. Watch the Stoker trailer for a preview.

Allegiance Review: What Would You Do?

Allegiance is one of those films where the audience is cheering for someone to break the law. The drama asks many moral questions when it comes to loyalty to country, corps and kin.

Seth Gable Bow Wow Allegiance
After Lieutenant Danny Sefton (Seth Gable) is given a questionable transfer to a stateside battalion, his Army brigade looks at him with scorned eyes as they prepare to deploy to Iraq. It is 2004 and the war is raging and frankly, not going very well. In 24 hours, wheels will be up and the National Guard members will be off to war. We immediately learn that Sefton is not the only one looking to avoid battle. A medic, Chris Reyes (Bow Wow), has just found out that his son only has weeks to live and despite his request for a “compassionate” transfer, because of his in-demand skills, he must ship off to Sadr City in the heart of the fight for Iraq.

The medic decides to go AWOL and Sefton gets pulled into the effort.

Allegiance is a thriller on many levels, but where it triumphs most is by presenting how one arrives at the harshest of decisions. As teased in the Allegiance trailer, Bow Wow is astonishingly sincere as the soldier seeking to reunite with his son. It is through his performance that the audience has a vicious internal struggle as to what should happen in this situation. The film’s tagline expertly captures the spirit here with “The war begins before deployment.”

Filmmakers took a page from another film… one that gave us such inspiring Act of Valor quotes, and cast real-life National Guardsmen in many roles. That would explain how the reality quotient of the film is so high. You see, most of the people who signed up to be in the Guard spent one weekend a month training and never thought they’d see any battle, unless of course it was on our shores. Because the military was so stretched thin fighting two wars in 2004 with Afghanistan and Iraq, the National Guard was sent to combat zones for the first time since World War II.

Aidan Quinn Allegiance
As Lieutenant Colonel Owens, Aidan Quinn personifies the side of the argument that country and service come first and that is what you signed up for. But it is still difficult knowing the backstory of men who volunteer for the National Guard, the situation in Iraq in 2004 and the pull every one of us can identify with of having a family member in dire need of support.

Our Allegiance review commends Michael Connors, who wrote and directed the film. His first-hand experience with the issue is prevalent on each frame of film. The war veteran clearly saw these types of questions being asked by soldiers who thought they had only signed on to defend the homeland… not go to the most violent spot in the world. By framing his story around an individual who has already done several tours and has a child dying at home, a larger discussion about the role of the National Guard is brilliantly presented.

Allegiance is currently on VOD and out in New York City. The film expands January 4.