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June 19th - 25th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • Pacific Rim: Uprising:

    This sequel to the 2013 movie that told the story of gigantic creatures coming to our planet through a rift in time and space at the bottom of our deepest oceans was a big disappointment to me.  I saw it as a dramatically dumbed-down version of the original, making it little more than a Transformers iteration, without the detailed storyline.  Guillermo Del Toro wrote and directed the first one.  He was busy doing The Shape of Water for which he won Best Director and Best Picture and this movie suffered for it.  Steven S. DeKnight made his directorial debut here.  DeKnight is primarily a maker of TV series such as Smallville and Daredevil, and his small thinking shows in every character and every move in what has become a movie suited to the 12 - 16 year-old set with a stale seen-it-before storyline, and endless pounding action that takes forever to resolve itself.  John Boyega from Star Wars is the main character here, Jake Pentecost, whose father, played by Idris Elba, was the principal in the original.  Since the events of the first film when the Jaegers, the giant fighting machines of the humans, beat out the invading Kaiju, the Jaegers have fallen into disrepair, but surprise, the Kaiju are back and humanity is not ready.  It's a warmed over Transformers plot, you  can see every move coming in advance, and such dialogue as, "We're only gonna get one shot at this, so let's make it count," lends itself to the boredom that I felt.  Too bad - could have been a contender.  Rated 14A. 

     

  • Midnight Sun:

    he biggest draw in this movie that received very little Canadian distribution, despite being shot in Vancouver, is its star, Patrick Schwarzenegger, and yes, it’s THAT Schwarzenegger, son of Arnold, and of Maria Shriver in his first feature film.  He is grand-nephew of JFK, and has a lot of family that helped with his career. This film is based on a 2006 Japanese movie about a young woman who cannot expose herself to sunlight. Kate Price (Bella Thorne) is the young woman in question. She suffers from a rare genetic disorder that makes her allergic to sunlight to the extent that prolonged exposure could be fatal.  She falls for Charlie (Schwarzenegger) but does not tell him of her condition. The meet at night where she loves to play guitar and sing, and in one instance, they stay out too late as Charlie wants to watch the sunrise with her. He doesn’t realize the implications, and she runs home in a panic, but is just a few minutes too late. This is a three-hanky tear-jerker, just so you know, and is not terribly uplifting in its outcome.  Also stars Rob Riggle.  Rated 14A.

  • Unsane:

    This remarkably different film from director Stephen Soderbergh (Erin Brokovich, Oceans 11, 12, and 13, Magic Mike, Insomnia) will keep you guessing every step of the way.  Different because it was shot on an iPhone on a budget of $1.5 million; different because it takes British actress Claire Foy (The Crown) and places her in a distinctly American role, and different because, as an audience, we have no idea where this is going to land. Claire Foy is a woman named Sawyer Valentini, and we learn in the opening frames that she works in a bank where she is a very hard-nosed employee taking guff from no one.  We see her on a date which does not go well, and next she is in a mental hospital where she is interviewing and being interviewed, just, she says, for someone to talk to and for someone to listen.  A misunderstanding of the boilerplate forms that she fills out has her committed voluntarily for a 24 hour period.  She cannot believe what's happening when her cell phone and all personal possessions are taken.  Soon her 24 hour stay becomes a seven day stay - and there is an undercurrent that this may be an insurance scam where patients are kept as long as they have coverage.  Is Sawyer a misunderstood person, as she says, or is she something else?  We get clues for both sides.  And then she confronts what is her greatest fear, but is it real or is it a function of a perceived mental illness?  The feeling of helplessness that she has, as do we, becomes more and more prounounced when it becomes clear that she's not getting out easily, if at all.  The tension crackles, we struggle with who is sane and who is not, and even a small role by Matt Damon does nothing but to deepen the mystery behind this psychological thriller.  Rated 18A for violence and language, but for those who want a quiet barnburner of a frightening movie, this one is full value!


  • The Rift: Dark Side of the Moon (2016):

    This American-Serbian co-production has a budget so low that the producers can't seem to even show us how and where the Rift of the title began, and what it does, other than using some shimmery lighting that looks like some kid created using an X-Box.  The background music is horrible and does not fit the action of the movie at all, and the dialogue is so sparse that it's difficult to figure out the plot, but somehow it hangs together as a message that sci-fi movies can be made on a budget, and may actually get some followers, despite the 8% review on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning that 92% didn't like it.  An astronaut disappears into that rift on the dark side of the moon, but all the action takes place in a farmhouse and a dilapidated industrial site in Serbia.  American actor Monte Markham (The Second Hundred Years) has been recruited to add a familiar face to the proceedings, about an American military satellite which goes down in Eastern Europe.  Mostly, we just see people dying, but they don't seem quite dead.  You have been warned!!  Rated 14A.


     

     

    The Thirteenth Floor (1999):

    Another sci-fi film, sort of forgotten in the past - it was actually nominated for The Saturn Award for Best Sci-Fi film of the year .. it lost to The Matrix.  Craig Bierko stars as a man in 1990s Los Angeles who stumbles across a computer-generated project that has recreated the LA of the 1930s.  All the people who live there do not know that they are computer simulations - they think they are real people.  When the creator of the project (Armin Mueller-Stahl) turns up dead, this becomes a whodunnit .... and why?  Not bad at all - the 1990s special effects are actually far better than the 2016 effects in The Rift.  Rated 14A.



Graham Chittenden: Reluctant Adult:

 This Toronto standup comic, who was a writer on one season of the TV series Mr. D, has his first major spotlight here in a Cravetv original production. Chittenden takes on the most prevalent, but most difficult kind of comedy - observational humour about the world around him.  He has performed at Just for Laughs in Montreal, and works as a host and speaker freelance ... and now he has a big Canadian showcase.  Rated 14A.

New on AMAZON PRIME

Roseanne

If you missed the first two episodes that set the ratings world afire, you can stream the series from Amazon ... I was never a fan of the original series, but I have to admit that this one is a lot of fun ... very well-made, and a lot of laughs!