Not technically a re-make of Alfred Hitchcock's first American film in 1940, "Rebecca" is based on the same 1938 Gothic novel by Dame Daphne du Maurier. Fans of the Hitchcock movie will quickly realize that A) Director Ben Wheatley is no Alfred Hitchcock, B) Lily James is good, but is no Joan Fontaine, and C) Armie Hammer is definitely no Laurence Olivier.
So if you're familiar with the film, it will fall short as an unworthy copy of the movie you know...and for everyone else who just learned a paragraph ago about Hitchcock's version, this "Rebecca" won't register as more than an empty drama.
Back at the 1968 Democratic Convention, anti-war protesters clashed with law enforcement over the Vietnam War. In a move that reeked of politics, several unattached and independent men were charged with conspiracy and inciting riots, despite none of them (or most of them) having ever met.
The "Trial of the Chicago 8" as it was called, received national attention and put the Vietnam War itself on public trial. In the new Netflix film, "The Trial of the Chicago 7," (streaming on October 16th), profound wordsmith, writer and director Aaron Sorkin ("The Newsroom," "West Wing," "Molly's Game") gives this dark moment in American history his usual insightful spin, mixing in humor to fill-in-the-blanks between moments of real outrage. It's a courtroom drama for sure, but what makes it special is that it's a courtroom drama from Aaron Sorkin.
The new Netflix drama "The Boys in the Band" might feel more like a stage play...that's because it basically is. With the entire cast of the Broadway revival reprising their roles on the big screen, "The Boys in the Band" stands as an engaging snapshot of the American homosexual experience.
Millie Bobby Brown owes a great deal to Netflix, and vice versa. As the break-out star of the hit "Stranger Things," the sixteen-year-old actress is now branching out into feature films...and as the young, adventurous "Enola Holmes," she might have just landed smack-dab in the middle of what could be a very popular movie franchise-in-the-making for the streaming service that helped catapult her career.
In recent years, there's this weird new category of films, where you find yourself giving sub-par movies a pass by admitting: "Well I'm glad I didn't pay for that in a theater, but you know, for a streaming release at home it's OK!"
That's not high-praise, but that's definitely where "The Old Guard" falls.
If you're American, it is very possible you have never heard of Eurovision. I admittedly never had until seeing this film. But to those in Europe, this would be a fascinating detail to discover, as Eurovision is every bit a part of Europe's pop culture as, say, NASCAR is in America. You may not watch NASCAR or be a fan of it, but you know it's there. Having been around for DECADES in Europe, Eurovision is a televised international song contest (think "American Idol" or "The Voice" only bigger) that averages roughly 200 million viewers per year.
Knowing that Eurovision is something that really exists may in turn be a fun fact for Americans to discover, however this inherent disconnect with an American audience makes the new Netflix comedy "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga" ("ESC:TSOFS") hard to grasp.
Leave it to Spike Lee to deliver a timely, deeply resonant - and dare I say -"masterpiece," at this precise time in American history. His latest joint, "Da Five Bloods" is also his best film in decades, and should be essential viewing once it hits Netflix this Friday.
Expectations were high while reviewing my first film since the beginning of the stay-at-home quarantine, and even though "The Lovebirds" is a mindless diversion, it still doesn't quite sing.
After successfully teaming up for "Patriots Day," "Deepwater Horizon" and "Lone Survivor" (we'll forget about "Mile 22" for now), actor/producer Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg finally release a dud with the Netflix action-comedy, "Spenser Confidential."
Two fantastic actors take on two amazing men, and the results are nothing short of miraculous. Too bad the film doesn't have faith enough to stay focused in the present.
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