Review: ‘Rebecca’ is a sumptuous romantic thriller and a great new adaptation

Armie Hammer and Lily James / Rebecca

“I don’t believe in ghosts.” This is the defiant declaration by the future Mrs de Winter as she heads toward her new life. She came to Monte Carlo as a ladies maid and is leaving as the future wife of a wealthy landowner, and her lady has warned her that she will be haunted by the ghost of her fiancés’ first wife. Ghost aren’t real in the literal sense but what she doesn’t realize is that we can be haunted by the departed none the less.

Rebecca is a new adaptation of the classic novel by Daphne du Maurier, which follows a young woman, after she spends a whirlwind summer with her handsome suitor, settling into her new life as Mrs De Winter, the lady of a large estate in 1930s England. While her summer was idyllic her new life quickly turns into something else as the memory of her husband’s first wife permeates every aspect of her new life.

Each day that passes the remembrance by all those around her –new friends, new family, and new staff– haunts her further and drives her slowly toward madness. Is that haunting simply because she was larger than life, or is it something more insidious?

The answer, of course, is something you’ll have to watch the movie to find out and that, dear reader, is something I recommend you do.

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Quick Reviews: ‘Shaun the Sheep’ and ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’

Shaun the Sheep / The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

I saw two movies this weekend! And I’m actually writing about them! Huzzah!

Shaun the Sheep

Would you like to have a delightful time at the movies? Then you should totally see Shaun the Sheep. In 90 minutes of beautifully stop-motion animation by Aardman –the folks behind Wallace and Gromit (among other things)– Shaun the clever sheep leads a flock of sheep on an adventure to the big city. It’s funny, sweet, and emotional and despite having no dialogue manages to have a pretty menacing villain, a pretty great central story, and a delightful musical number in the middle.

Sure, it’s a kids movie, but it’s a great kids movie and you should totally see it.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Would you like to be bored at the movies? Really? Why would you want that? To each their own I suppose. In that case you should totally check out The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Guy Ritchie’s update of the 1960s TV show. It’s not outright bad but it’s all style and no substance. Shallow is the word and since the main characters never feel like they’re in any real danger it’s hard to get excited during otherwise fairly well executed action sequences.

Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer don’t really have that much in the way of chemistry which is a problem too. Cavill in particular didn’t really work for me. Hos character is supposed to be cool as ice and aloof but many of his one-liners fell flat for me since he came off so detached. Hugh Grant is in it too but he’s famous enough that when he shows up in a seemingly innocuous role it’s easy to predict what’s going to happen next. His best one liner is spoiled in the damn trailer, and then at the end when they finally form U.N.C.L.E. he just says it and the screen goes black. It’s annoying because this movie really felt like it could have been a lot better but as is it’s just a sloppily handled bore.

Podcast Episode 50: The Last of Us, Forza Horizon, Deadpool, The Lone Ranger, Much Ado About Nothing and Yoga

Awesome Friday

This week on a very special Awesome Friday we’re joined by Debbie from Nirmala Living for a discussion of The Last of Us, the latest Forza game, the Deadpool game, The Lone Ranger and Much Ado About Nothing, as well as yoga, nutrition and probiotics. Yes, really!

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Review: The Lone Ranger

THE LONE RANGER

The Lone Ranger hasn’t been on screen in more than 30 years. I remember watching reruns of the 60s tv series when I was a kid, watching the masked man fight for truth and justice with his partner Tonto with the William Tell Overture playing in the background. This was a time when heroes could be heroes without being complicated.

So how does that translate into the current times of dark, gritty, rebooted superheroes? Meh.

It’s been a whole since I had such mixed feelings about a movie.

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Trailer: The Lone Ranger Super Bowl Spot

THE LONE RANGER

The 90 second spot for The Lone Ranger that aired during the Superbowl is now online. Hurray!

I’m going to go with my first instinct on this and say that despite the fact that it looks like it might be fairly predictable (do you think Armie Hammer might have been betrayed and left for dead and found and nursed back to health by Tonto who had previously been betrayed and then together they ride out to exact justice on the bad guys together and in the process much action and badass hilarity ensues?) I think that it might still be a whole lotta fun.

This about Pirates of the Caribbean here. The first one, not the rest of them. It’s that level that I’m talking about. If they hit that same mark this movie could be one of the top earners of the year.

And hopefully, just maybe, Johnny Depp will get to say “your argument is invalid“.

Official Synopsis from the YouTube video embedded above:

From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the filmmaking team behind the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, comes Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ The Lone Ranger, a thrilling adventure infused with action and humour, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes.

Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, a legend of justice — taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.

See what I mean about “probably predictable but likely still fun”?