The Birds

Diederik van Rooijen

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a lot of remakes and reboots dominating the box office. From Robocop to About Last Night and a few dozen in between, Hollywood’s going back through its greatest hits to slap a fresh coat of paint on old favorites. Not that this is any kind of new occurrence, but the frequency in which these films are getting remade seems to be just a bit more amplified lately. Added to the pile is Alfred Hitchcock‘s seminal classic The Birds, a long-gestating project that is finally getting off the ground after years in limbo. The Birds is the 1963 thriller starring Tippi Hendren as a woman on the run from hordes of terrifying and evil avian attackers, hellbent on taking down any humans in their path. Anyone even a little familiar with Hitchcock or cinema knows the iconic image of Hendren cowering in a phone booth as sinister birds crash into the glass around her. Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes — also consisting of Andrew Form and Brad Fuller — are producing the redo, and now the first wave in awhile has happened with the project with Dutch director Diederik Van Rooijen signing on to helm the film.

read more...

series-7-the-contenders

It’s too bad I already recommended The Running Man this month (for post-Ender’s Game viewing), because even more than the first Hunger Games movie it really fits well with the new second installment, Catching Fire. But that’s okay, you can still add that to this week’s bunch of movies to see. I just won’t include it below. The same goes for Battle Royale, the most obvious movie to highlight for being similar to this franchise, though that one does make more sense as something to recommend after the first movie. Should Battle Royale II: Requiem take its place now that we’re talking about The Hunger Games 2? I haven’t seen it and hear it’s really terrible and it doesn’t seem to coincide plot-wise, so no. Instead I’ve got 12 other movies better worth your time as you wait for the first part of Mockingjay to hit theaters and continue the abruptly halted narrative of the Hunger Games story. As usual, the list will probably involve some spoilers if you haven’t seen Catching Fire.  

read more...

Thanks to Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events, four classic films from Paramount will have a revival on big screens this fall. According to Aint It Cool, the roster includes The Birds, Frankenstein (paired brilliantly with Bride of Frankenstein) and To Kill a Mockingbird. Alfred Hitchcock’s flying creature feature hits on September 19th, the Boris Karloff-starring horror double play is on October 24th (awesome), and Robert Mulligan’s thoughtful take on Harper Lee’s Americana novel comes November 15th. Each will start at 7pm local time, but you’ll have to check local theater listings to see if they’re carrying the films. It looks like Universal’s 100th birthday has been one big present to us. This new trend of re-releasing classics is definitely one to celebrate.  

read more...

We rarely get to see movies being watched in other movies – probably because while it’s fun to watch films, it’s fairly boring to watch other people watch films. That being said – there are plenty of characters out there who would no doubt be a blast to watch movies with… Batman, for example. Anyway, when we do see a real life movie being watched in another movie it tends to be a film that most likely inspired the filmmakers either in their own upbringing or as a plot device in the film itself. Because of that one thing is certain – if you see a real movie being watched in the movie you’re watching, there’s a good chance that movie is awesome. Before anything though, I gotta shout out to Mr. Cole Abaius for coming up with the idea for this list. The man is a true demigod, and from what I hear the other half is pretty good too.

read more...

A remake of The Birds has been kicking around for some time now. As Platinum Dunes’ Brad Fuller tells us, the project won’t happen until it’s “cracked.” Remaking such a beloved film is a challenge, but finding new and original ways of showing birds attacking, and in a 21st Century environment, must make for an even bigger problem. As Fuller puts it, it’s a part of the reason why we have yet to see the remake get made. When I asked about the status of the film in a recent interview, Fuller said, “It’s interesting, because we have been developing that movie for five or seven years, and we haven’t cracked. You know, we’re not going to go out and just make a movie because we have a great title. We’re only going to make it if we feel like we thought of something that doesn’t exist. It’s a daunting and ongoing process. Frankly, I don’t even know what will happen with that. I hope we can crack it.” But just what does Fuller consider the essential element of “cracking it”?

read more...

We all know the basic staples of the approaching end of days – zombies, aliens, nukes, robots, viruses, asteroids, global warming – all those good things. When a movie uses one of these go-to death-day scenarios we can’t help but to shell out the cash to watch it all go to hell on the big screen. However it takes some real brainpower to pull away from these apocalyptic norms, and when a movie does come along toting some hip new way for us all to die – even if said movie doesn’t pan out – you have to respect their willingness to get creative. Here are some movies that took a chance and gave us an end we’d never see coming.

read more...

Universal Pictures will turn a century old on April 30, and in advance of their 100th birthday, the studio has trotted out a new (shiny!) logo that touts their triple-digit age. Why they didn’t get Willard Scott to do one of those Smuckers Jam birthday label shout-out things on The Today Show, I simply don’t know, but there’s still time! Of course, that new logo is neat and all (and, again, shiny!), but what’s most exciting about this news is the studio’s announcement that they will also celebrate their centennial with the restoration of thirteen of its most famous films. THR reports that the studio has restored All Quiet on the Western Front, The Birds, Abbott and Costello’s Buck Privates, Dracula (1931), the Spanish-language Dracula (which was filmed on the same set at night), Frankenstein, Jaws, Schindler’s List, Out of Africa, Pillow Talk, Bride of Frankenstein, The Sting, and To Kill a Mockingbird. The studio plans to release the restorations throughout 2012. Many of the restorations will be sold in “collectible book style packaging with memorabilia.” Moreover, Universal is reportedly quite happy with the work on previously damaged films, particularly when it comes to crisper sound in Frankenstein and “appalling graininess” in To Kill a Mockingbird. Also, fans of Out of Africa can breathe a sigh of relief – as “Meryl Streep loses a weird wobble in her walk possibly caused by projectors that enlarged the sprocket holes.” I wish it was Universal’s 100th birthday every day!

read more...

We continue our journey through a month of frightening, bloody and violent films. For more, check out our 31 Days of Horror homepage. Synopsis: Short version: Birds realize they outnumber humans about a million to 1 and decide strips of bread just aren’t cutting it any more. Worldwide attack ensues. Long version: Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), young, San Francisco socialite, stalks follows a potential boyfriend, the handsome Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), to his lakeside home in the Northern California town of Bodega Bay. There, Melanie meets his mother (Jessica Tandy) and young sister (Veronica Cartwright), and become acquainted with the small town. However, strange things are about to take place. Out of nowhere, the local members of the Avian 404 – read, the birds – decide it’s high time to turn their beaks and claws on the human population. Hitting sporadically and in large swarms, the birds begin attacking the fine people of Bodega Bay. The residents, some believing it to be a sign of the apocalypse, others not having a clue why this is happening, but all of them scared senseless, try to take refuge indoors. But it soon dawns on them that their only way of survival is to escape the town.

read more...

Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. You know what would sell the hell out of a movie? Alfred Hitchcock giving a nature documentary presentation about the nobility and history of our winged friends, and their relationship to human beings. Through dry positivity, it seems clear which side Hitchcock comes down on. We use them for hats, we kill them into extinction, we eat them and their unborn young. No wonder they hate Tippi Hedron. Check out the trailer for yourself:

read more...

As we all know, the world is going to end in 2036 after mankind’s preventative measures against global warming attract a meteor the size of Nigeria and pull it right down on top of New Italy. Yet, even though we’re armed with this powerful knowledge, we still lose our minds a little bit when we see signs of natural disaster right out of our religious texts. So why are we so concerned with the end of all things? NASA thinks movies are the culprit, an assertion that’s entirely correct.

read more...

Criterion Files

Every week in October, Criterion Files will be bringing you a horror movie from the archives of classic cinema or the hallways of the arthouse. This week’s entry takes a look at Alfred Hitchcock’s Hollywood debut, Rebecca (1940). While some would argue (and by “some” I mean Cole Abaius) that Hitchcock only made two films that could uncontestably be identified as horror – Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963) – Rebecca is an interesting point of inception for themes covered throughout the auteur’s American career and is a film that engages in literary forms of the horror genre. Especially when seen as a ghost story.

read more...

Platinum Dunes producer Brad Fuller took time away from talking about A Nightmare on Elm Street to chat with us about their planned remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.

read more...

Let me start with one very important commandment that must be obeyed in the world of film: Thou shalt not remake Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Gone With The Wind, 2001 a Space Odyssey (to name a handful of classic films) and anything directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Anything. Even if one day a reel containing a commercial shot by the man shows up, it cannot be remade.

read more...

This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we delve deep into the world of why The Oscars should nominate more populist best pictures. And we rob a bank.

read more...

hitchcock_birds

Once upon a time Daphne Du Maurier wrote a neat little short story about birds run amok called The Birds. Oh, how far we’ve fallen since then.

read more...

AlfredHitchcock

To movie critics (including myself): yer doin’ it wrong.

read more...

If it’s hot where you live, but you still feel like you haven’t gotten all you can out of summer and it’s relentless, unforgiving, soul-crushing heat, here are ten movies you can watch that’ll help change your mind and keep you indoors.

read more...
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3