Some thoughts on the pedestrian Ben Wheatley-directed “Rebecca” (hint: we did not like it all that much)

The legacy of a life cut short
Armie Hammer and Lily James
Directed by Ben Wheatley

The new Netflix produced “Rebbeca” is a film haunted by the very present ghost of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 Oscar-winning namesake, also adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 gothic novel. Armie Hammer, who is carving out an interesting career for himself and who can be great, is much too wooden in his portrayal of the dashing and wealthy heir Maxim de Winter. Maxim cannot overcome nor recover ... more >

COUNTERPOINT: “Hotel Mumbai” (and interview with filmmaker Anthony Maras)

"They decided en masse, without any organization, to remain to protect one another"
Armie Hammer and Nazanin Boniadi
Directed by Anthony Maras

In November 2008, ten devotees of the extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba staged a dozen terror attacks across Mumbai, resulting in over a hundred deaths. The final and most dramatic stage of the assault took place as the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, where several of the terrorists held the hotel under siege for three days, killing dozens in the process with automatic weapons and explosives while being ... more >

HOTEL MUMBAI, walking back uneasy to the scene of the crime

Film premiered at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival
Armie Hammer, Dev Patel and Nazanin Boniadi
Directed by Anthony Maras

“Hotel Mumbai” is based on real events that took place in November 2008, when ten members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani Islamic terrorist organization, carried out an insanely-bold series of attacks on Mumbai, starting from the rail station and making their way to the Taj hotel where a number of guests were staying, including American ones. A thriller directed by Anthony Maras and ... more >

J. Edgar

Who was the president behind closed doors?
Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer and Naomi Watts
Directed by Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood’s J.Edgar really threw me for a loop. I went in expecting a thriller along the lines of DeNiro’s The Good Shepherd but with more heft, because Hoover was such an enormous figure. Instead I got an epic love story between Hoover and his #2, Clyde Tolson. Whereas a movie like Brokeback Mountain was able to craft an engaging film around their romance, one the filmmakers didn’t dance ... more >