Rear Window (1954) With a couple of days left on the #Hitchcock50 course and my #SummerWithHitchcock project, I'm trying to rewatch some of Hitch's biggest hits and maybe sneak in one of his last films that I haven't seen (maybe Family Plot?). Rear Window, I hadn't seen in a while, but last night's rewatch reminded me how great it was, and maybe even pushed it a few notches in my ranking.
After an accident at work, photographer L.B. Jefferies (James Stewart) finds himself confined to a wheelchair and with nothing better to do than spy on his neighbors. When he sees and hears strange things, he starts suspecting that one of them (Raymond Burr) might've killed his wife. Jefferies tries to convince his girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly) and his nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter) about it, and although they dismiss his beliefs as pure paranoia, both of them find themselves quickly obsessed with finding out what really happened.
Rear Window is yet another example of Hitchcock at his pure best. The casting of Stewart is perfect, and his chemistry with Kelly, despite the age difference is great. And speaking of Kelly, she is gorgeous, but more important, has that playful charm that is perfect for the role. Ritter is also perfect as the cynical and sarcastic nurse, while Burr rounds out the cast in a role that requires him to use his physique instead of his voice.
Aside of the cast, the production, the set, Hitchcock's direction, and how he builds the tension, drawing us in the mystery, everything is perfect. I remember that my first watches of this, decades ago, didn't leave much of an impression, but another peek at this clearly puts it close to the top of my Hitchcock ranking. Grade: A
Finding Dory (2016)
Box office ranking: #25
Worldwide gross: $1,028,570,889
Finding Dory is set one year after the events of Finding Nemo. It follows the attempts of Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), the blue tang fish plagued with short-term memory, to try to locate her family after getting lost as a "child". With the help of Marlin (Albert Brooks), Nemo (Hayden Rolance), and several other creatures, she sets out to find her parents.
I wasn't a big, big fan of Finding Nemo, even though I liked it. To me, it was a babysitting film for when I took care of my nephew, which is why for years, I had only seen chunks of it. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I managed to see it whole. Finding Nemo is not Toy Story great, but it isn't Cars either. This sequel stays pretty much on the same level.
First, the animation is top-notch. Some shots, I had to look twice to confirm it was animation and not real. Second, the voice-acting is pretty good. And although DeGeneres is charming, Ed O'Neill steals the show as Hank, a cranky octopus that wants to go to an aquarium in Cleveland. I think he was perfect. I also appreciated the lack of a villain. I thought it was a fresh way to see the story unfold. Perhaps it was a tad overlong, but it sure had me smiling and/or chuckling most of the time.
Like I said above, I don't think it was a masterpiece, but if I have to find Nemo or Dory again, I won't hesitate much. Grade: B