Rebecca (2020) Review


By: Amanda Guarragi

Ben Wheatley’s Rebecca is a slow psychological thriller, with a love story at its center. Love can be masked in so many ways and people pay the price for being blinded by their partner. Love can also whisk you away into situations that you wouldn’t have ever imagined. Lily James and Armie Hammer are perfectly cast as Maxim de Winter and Mrs. de Winter, they had great chemistry to carry out this film to the very end.

The one thing that people seem to ignore, is that Armie Hammer has this air about him – as this tall, beautiful man, who any woman would instantly fall in love with. He has those features and utilized them as Maxim de Winter. What really worked, was the way Lily James played into his persona, she was infatuated with him. She wanted him more than life itself, you could see it in her eyes and the way her body moved with his. The infatuation and lust for Maxim was definitely felt, all thanks to Lily James.

I was more taken aback with James’ performance because of how physical and emotional it was. Her body language was really interesting to watch and you’re able to feel everything she was feeling. She truly gave such a strong performance and it was great seeing this side of her. She also went toe to toe with Mrs. Danvers (Kristin Scott Thomas), who also gave a fantastic performance. Women were at the forefront, whether it was the newlywed, the house manager, or the ex wife, the presence of a woman’s energy was always felt and it was great.

Courtesy of Netflix Film
(left) Armie Hammer as Maxim de Winter and Lily James as Mrs. de Winter

I’ve always been a fan of Ben Wheatley’s work and his direction for Rebecca was unique to his style. The only thing that may have been off sync for me, was the editing in this film. I felt like it jumped quite a lot and I understood the choices that were made but for some reason it didn’t translate well for me. The costume and production design, were probably my favourite aspects of the film because of how beautifully detailed everything was.

Rebecca has great performances, a strong score and a very interesting story with a twist ending. The most important thing about the film is how one perceives love as perfection. It seems that whoever falls in love (especially those hopeless romantics) have a skewed perception of the one they’re with. It doesn’t happen to everyone, majority of the time we can’t find that perfect person, but someone who comes close to the idea of perfection.

Make sure to check out Rebecca on Netflix October 21st!

The Haunting of Bly Manor Review


By: Amanda Guarragi

Here we are, in the month of October, or Spooky Season, as we have named it. Mike Flanagan takes his rightful place as King of the entire season. The Haunting of Bly Manor is beautifully adapted, from the stories of Henry James and it takes us, into the hearts of the characters, at Bly Manor.

Similar to The Haunting of Hill House, the writing is the strongest aspect of the series. Each episode is perfectly written, to allow the viewer, to connect the dots themselves, all while delivering a heartfelt story. You do not realize that you are registering the tiny hints, they have set in each episode, until it flourishes. This series will captivate you, from the moment it begins and you will get lost in Bly Manor until the end.

The series is deeply rooted in the idea of love and what it truly means to love someone. The extent you would go to for the one you love, how to properly love them and how valuable time with the one you love can be. This gothic romance shows the immense loss one can feel and how everyone grieves differently. It explains the many versions of love and the perception a person can project, for what they truly want.

The beauty of the series lies in the small details in each episode, everything is perfectly placed and the series is structured incredibly well. Both The Haunting series’ are brilliant pieces for Netflix, especially with Flanagan at the helm. He is incredibly gifted in telling these stories and showing audiences, what he wants them to see, through the lens. The framing composition, cinematography, lighting and camera movements, all come together to create, a perfectly splendid atmosphere for the characters.

Courtesy of Netflix
(center) Victoria Pedretti as Danielle Clayton

This was the first time, in a very long time, probably since The Haunting of Hill House, that I have been fully immersed in a series. The Haunting of Bly Manor has fantastic performances, from its cast, but Victoria Pedretti and Oliver Jackson – Cohen, continue to blow me away, with how talented they are. The entire cast is perfectly splendid and had wonderful chemistry together. You will remember their names and fall in love with their stories.

The Haunting of Bly Manor is beautifully haunting and rich in gothic romance conventions. The impending doom, that rests upon the roof of Bly Manor, is felt through every nook and cranny. Everything is perfectly crafted and it is one of the best series to come out this year. So settle in and listen closely, to a love story, that has many surprises and an ending so beautiful, that it will stay with you, long after you’ve finished.

2020 Films To Look Forward To…

As we enter the new year, it’s always good to check the films that already have some buzz surrounding them. Here’s a list of the films being released in 2020 that will definitely spark the media wires in the near future.

January 10th
1917
Just Mercy
Underwater
Like A Boss 

January 17th
Bad Boys For Life 

Dolittle 

January 24th
The Gentlemen 

January 31st
The Rhythm Section 


February 7th
Birds of Prey: The Emancipation of Harley Quinn 

February 14th
The Photograph 
Portrait of a Lady on Fire 
Sonic the Hedgehog 


March 6th
Onward 
The Way Back 

March 20th
A Quiet Place: Part 2

March 27th
Mulan


April 3rd 
The New Mutants 
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway 

April 10th
No Time To Die 

April 17th 
Trolls World Tour 
Antlers (limited)
Promising Young Woman (limited) 

April 24th 
Antebellum 


May 1st 
Black Widow 

May 8th
Legally Blonde 3 

May 15th
Scoob! 
The Woman in the Window 

May 22nd
Fast & Furious 9 
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run 

May 29th
Artemis Fowl 



June 5th

Wonder Woman 1984 

June 19th 
Soul

June 26th 
In the Heights
Top Gun: Maverick


July 3rd
Free Guy 

July 10th 
Ghostbusters: Afterlife 

July 17th 
Tenet 

July 24th 
Jungle Cruise 

July 31st
Morbius 


August 21st
Bill & Tedd Face the Music 

August 28th 
The Hitman’s Wife Bodyguard 


September 11th
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It 

September 18th 
The King’s Man 

September 25th
Last Night in Soho


 

October 2nd
Venom 2

October 9th 
Death on the Nile 
Respect 

October 16th 
Halloween Kills 


November 6th 
Eternals 

November 13th
Deep Water 
Red Notice 

November 20th
Godzilla vs Kong
Happiest Season 


December 18th 
Coming 2 America 
Dune 
West Side Story 

December 23rd
Tom and Jerry 


 

These dates are subject to change and there will possibly be new films added to the list. We have a great roster this upcoming year, so keep it locked on my twitter for more updates!

Doctor Sleep Review (Pre-Screening)

Mike Flanagan takes the same ambience that made The Haunting of Hill House a sensation and combined it with paying homage to Stanley Kurbrick.

Doctor Sleep is a mixed bag but that’s because Flanagan attempted to combine two styles into one film and that’s where the storytelling became interesting. It’s incredibly difficult to adapt a Stephen King novel AND make a sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed thrillers.

Flanagan KNOWS how to tell a story. The visuals that accompanied this bleak tale about death and the afterlife was definitely thought provoking but the editing made it challenging to feel for the characters.

I understood what Flanagan was trying to do in the first half of the film, by showing 3 different journey’s and having them link together in the middle. It was very choppy but then the radio connection between, Rose, Abra and Dan somehow made the story flow. Young Abra Stone was a powerhouse and Kyliegh Curran did a wonderful job! Her chemistry with Ewan McGregor was so heartfelt and natural. The standout was Rebecca Ferguson as Rose the Hat, her voice and physicality matched with her so well and made me want her as another villain.

The final act was where Flanagan made his mark. He was able to bring The Overlook back to the life in a very nuanced way. The placement of certain aspects from The Shining were utilized correctly and the payoff was strong. Flanagan used the score, characters and camera movements at the right moments in order to bring the audience back into Kubrick’s nightmare.

As a sequel and paying homage to Kubrick, Flanagan did a fantastic job.