A colleague of mine just returned from a Hawaiian vacation, rested and ready to gripe about the movie she saw on the plane going over.
It was “Legends of the Fall,” which was released Tuesday (see capsule review below). Her reaction: “It stunk” (or words to that effect).
But what do you expect? I won’t try to make a case for the film being great, because it isn’t. But let’s face facts: Watched at 30,000 feet from a cramped seat that unleashed children are kicking the back of, “Schindler’s List” might play like a comedy.
Some movies simply have to be seen on the big screen for them to work the way they’re meant to. This is one reason why movie theaters, once thought obsolete because of home video, won’t be dying anytime soon.
A Hitch in time
Recently voted by an international panel of filmmakers and critics as the best director of all time, Alfred Hitchcock is back in fashion. It’s only natural, then, that the British filmmaker should enjoy a resurrection of his work.
So thanks to MCA/Universal for releasing “The Alfred Hitchcock Collection,” which features 14 of his betterknown films. Priced at $14.98 each, the films are:
“Saboteur” (1942) “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943), “Rope” (1948), “Rear Window” (1954), “The Trouble With Harry” (1955), “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1956), “Vertigo” (1958), “Psycho” (1960), “The Birds” (1963), “Marnie” (1964), “Topaz” (1969), “Torn Curtain” (1969), “Frenzy” (1972) and “Family Plot” (1976).
Trekking the stars
Paramount is offering episodes 67-70 for “Star Trek: A New Generation” for the sell-through price of $14.95 apiece. The episodes include:
“Captain’s Holiday” - Picard (Patrick Stewart) has his vacation disturbed by a beautiful woman.
“Tim Man” - The Enterprise, having encountered a new life form, is confronted by the deadly Romulans.
“Hollow Pursuits” - Another adventure on the holodeck, but this time the Enterprise is threatened.
“The Most Toys” - Data (Brent Spiner) is thought lost after his shuttlecraft explodes.
LEGENDS OF THE FALL
Based on a Jim Harrison novella, this male-heavy story of Montana life succeeds because of the patient style of director Edward Zwick (“Glory”) and the glorious Alberta landscape that passes for Big Sky country. Screenwriters Susan Shilladay and Bill Wittliff should have cleared up some of Harrison’s more obscure notions of character motivation, but Zwick gives us enough to get by. Aidan Quinn, Brad Pitt and Henry Thomas portray the three sons of ex-Army officer Anthony Hopkins. Deserted by their mother at an early age, they all fall for the same woman (Julia Ormond), who though sworn to one, marries another yet can’t help but love the third. Stretching from the years before World War I through the initial stages of the Great Depression, the film is ambitious both in scope and quality. But while he flirts with cliche, from the Native American narration to the blood-is-thicker-than-water attitude, Zwick time and again saves things by simply forging ahead and relying on cinematographer John Toll’s camera. Rated R.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: What’s new to view Available this weekend: “Legends of the Fall” (Columbia TriStar), “Little Kidnappers” (LIVE), “Crazy Sitters” (New Line). Available on Tuesday: “Interview With the Vampire” (Warner), “Junior” (MCA/Universal), “Safe Passage” (New Line).