Monday Morning Movie Review: Ponty’s Top Ten Best Films: #5: Rear Window (1954)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly two months since Ponty’s #6 pick in our countdown of the Top Ten Best Films.  A combination of Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, and Ponty struggling through a gnarly sinus infection pushed back our foray into the halfway mark of his reviews until now.  We also went into reviews of two classic Christmas films across three different authors, but now we’re back!

I grew up in a house full of Alfred Hitchcock.  My mom has always been a big fan of the portly director, and issues of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine still clutter bookshelves and spare crannies all over my parents’ Queen Anne-style home (built in 1901!).

It’s a tad remarkable, then, that I have not (yet) considered any of the director’s films in my own list.  That is a massive oversight on my part.  Thanks for Ponty for expanding beyond my 1980s myopia with a classic Hitchcock gem.

As always, he delivers.  Just reading his review reminds me of how intense this thriller is—and makes me eager to watch it again.

With that, here is Ponty’s review of 1954’s Rear Window:

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Deep Water (2022)

Do you like psychological thrillers, Ana de Armas, and snails?  If so, you’ll love Deep Water (2022), the story of loveless couple Vic (Ben Affleck) and Melinda (de Armas) Van Allen.

The Van Allens live in an opulent Louisiana town, one that apparently is constantly hosting parties in a kind of never-ending Great Gatsby cycle of good times.  Vic designed the guidance chip in drones, and now lives in comfortable retirement with his insane wife and his precocious daughter, the latter of which sports the unfortunate name “Trixie.”

Melinda constantly and flagrantly carries on flirtations and affairs with younger men, often quite openly during the various high-life soirees the couple attends.  Vic begrudgingly allows his wife to carry on in this manner, even as his friends express concern.  His philosophy is to let his wife make her own decisions, a philosophy he also extends to his daughter (who opted to attend a—gasp!—public school, rather than a tony private one).

Of course, there’s only so much humiliation one man can take, and despite his Hosea-esque patience with his wife’s adulterous shenanigans, Vic finally—in his own, quiet way—snaps.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Wait Until Dark (1967)

A quick note of apology to Audre Myers, one of my regular readers:  Audre mailed me a DVD of the film Bell, Book, and Candle (1958) at the beginning of October.  I have been waiting for opportunity to watch it with my girlfriend, then was going to review it.

Well, it turns out when you live four hours apart from each other, your weekends get filled up pretty quickly with fun activities and/or family obligations outside of the house—or catching up on a shared television series.  Poor BB&C has fallen by the wayside.

As such, I’ve yet to watch what appears to be a wonderful film, sent by a very wonderful friend.  I do apologize, Audrey, but I will make time this week to hook up the Blu-Ray player and watch the film solo.  Expect a detailed, lovingly handcrafted review in one week!

As I’ve noted many times before, Shudder has some of the best (and so-bad-it’s-the-best) content of any streaming service I’ve ever encountered.  Something I appreciate about the service is that they don’t just stick to slashers, but really take an expansive approach to “horror” as a genre.  They go out of their way to deliver some excellent classics that probably don’t show up anywhere else.

One such film—one that I would not strictly classify as a “horror” film, but which certainly deals with a horrific scenario—is 1967’s Wait Until Dark, starring Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman living with her photographer husband in a basement apartment in New York City.  Hepburn’s character, Susy Hendrix, has only been blind for a year or so, the result of a tragic accident, so she is still learning how to attend to everyday tasks without sight.

That said, she is fairly capable, and manages well enough, though the film clearly demonstrates that she is vulnerable due to her disability.  The stage is set for conflict when Susy and her husband come into the possession of an old-fashioned doll.  Unbeknownst to them, the doll is filled with heroine smuggled from Montreal, and a trio of crooks are intent on recovering the stash.

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