Jan 14th - 20th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil:

    It has been 10 years since the first Maleficent film lit up the box office, and the sequel has been of the same kind of financial success.  It's also a very, very good movie, in many respects a fairy tale geared as much to adults as to children, with a spectacular performance from Angelina Jolie who co-produced as well as starring, and a performance from Michelle Pfieffer as the evil Queen Ingrith that almost eclipses Jolie.  This film was released 60 years to the day from the time the original Sleeping Beauty was first seen by moviegoers.  It's live action, not animated, and it takes the Sleeping Beauty legend up a couple of steps, adding some story issues that may change the way we looked at the allegedly evil Maleficent way back then.  Much of the original cast is here, including Jolie, Pfieffer, and Elle Fanning as Aurora, Maleficent's Goddaughter.  She's all grown up now, and Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson) is proposing marriage and the opportunity to unite two kingdoms that have been at significant odds for generations.  The early scenes are pure fairy tale fantasy with a sun-dappled forest populated by fairies, gnomes, and all manner of woodland creatures.  Aurora is in her element here, and she is thrilled to say "yes" to the prince ... until he says that the next step is to have the parents meet one another.  Soon, the excitement of the day, and the meeting of the horned and big-winged Maleficent with her Goddaughter's soon-to-be human family, begins to go very wrong.  The king, Prince Philip's father, falls into a coma of sorts, and Maleficent is blamed for placing a curse upon him.  In no time, the plot thickens as it becomes clear that political ambition on the part of the Queen is more important than the marriage.  The special effects are amazing, the colour and light and darkness are all perfect, and as the story takes us into a very bleak setting, we wonder how this can ever be a good place again.  Too intense, I think, for kids much under 7 or so, but of course it depends on the kids ... excellent movie for adults for sure, and for children too.  Rated PG.

     

  • Gemini Man:

    Director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi) has chosen to take on the action-adventure spy genre, and he has added some very nice touches that make this one of the better Will Smith movies ever, and something that is more than a run-of-the-mill spy VS spy yarn.  Smith is Henry Brogan, age 51, and retiring after life as an assassin for the U.S. Government shadow agency.  He has had 72 kills, the ghosts of some of those hits haunt his dreams at night, and he knows it's time to get out.  But there is someone out there that doesn't want him just out.  They want him dead.  The title is something of a giveaway, and even though saying that Henry's would-be killer is a clone, a younger self, doesn't really spoil anything.  This is one of those spy films in which you really can't trust anyone - not the people for whom you work, and not the guy at the next table in a restaurant - nobody!  Henry lives in Georgia, and is planning to do some fishing during his retirement. He stops at the usual bait, tackle, and boat rental place on the pier where his boat is docked to find that the regular guy is gone, and in his place is a woman named Dani (Mary Elizabeth Winstead of such films as The Thing. Is she a new bait-and-tackle proprietor, or is she something else?  Henry trusts no one, so he expects the worst. The action is non-stop once the stage is set, and one of the finer things about this movie is that despite a lot of stuff blowing up, and a lot of chase scenes involving fast motorcycles, there is always time to develop characters.  Excellent action, a smart premise, and a good outcome make this one a good popcorn movie with something a little extra on the side.  Unfortunately, it bombed at the box office.  Rated 14A.  

  • Jexi:

    This “R” rated comedy isn’t all that funny – not to me anyway, as Adam Devine, as the lead character, a guy named Phil, works his way through a life that does not have much going for it.  Phil is an addict. Not drugs, not alcohol, but rather, to his cellphone. He can’t put it down, he does nothing without the phone up in front of his face, and what passes for a career is something to which he is also barely hanging on.  He writes top 10 lists for a Buzzfeed-type website. He has no other life at all – no friends, no girlfriend, noting but his phone. All of that changes when Phil is forced to upgrade his phone, to find that there is an AI presence in it called Jexi … sort of and Alexa but with heavy life coaching skills.  Soon Jexi is directing Phil’s actions, trying to help him get a life. Wanda Sykes also stars, Rose Byrne is the voice of Jexi, and Justin Harley, who plays Kevin on “This Is Us” also stars. Rated 18A for language and nudity.

  • AJ and the Queen (2020):

    From the producer of the TV sitcom "2 Broke Girls," this Netflix original comedy series has a similar element in that two very different personalities end up in business together.  Ru Paul of "Ru Paul's Drag Race" is the Queen of the title, while Izzy G, age 11, is AJ, an orphan girl who, through a complicated series of events, ends up travelling with the Queen.  "Travelling" might be a stretch ... they are touring the country in an aging RV,  they are perpetually strapped for cash, and they don't know what the next bend in the road will bring.  10 episodes are ready for streaming this week.  Rated 14A.

     

    Until Dawn (2020):

    You know those movies in which people have to spend the night in a haunted house, to see who survives the experience when morning comes.  And you know the TV series that have spun off that idea, reality shows in which ghost hunters stay in abandoned mental hospitals, haunted prisons, and haunted houses to see who survives.  But you haven't see this one yet, a Netflix original series from France in which select comedians agree to spend the night in a haunted house, with the cameras following all the action all night long, just to see who can make it until morning.  Rated 14A.

New on CRAVE

Astronaut (2019):

Angus (Richard Dreyfuss) is a lonely widower with little reason to live since losing his wife.  There is nothing that interests him, nothing that makes him feel that life is worth living ... until a billionaire announces a contest that will allow passage into space for three people, each of who has to qualify based on a number of hoops that have to be jumped through.  Angus, lying about his age, qualifies and looks to the dark of the place beyond earth's atmosphere to find some reason to exist.  His dysfunctional family is just one of the obstacles to his opportunity to fly in space.  Rated 14A. 



The Witcher (TV Series, 2019):

This Netflix original series is a sword-and-sandal thriller that follows Geralt of Rivera, a solitary monster-killer who roams the earth righting the wrongs created by monstrosities everywhere.  Henry Cavill stars as the title character, based on a novel series.  A second season has already been announced, so you can binge watch this one safely.  Rated 14A. 

 

New on AMAZON PRIME

Treadstone (2019, series):

The Treadstone project is the one that developed Jason Bourne as a super-spy. Now it turns its attention to something even more ambitious - creating unstoppable human assassins.  This CIA Black Ops organization has created these beings, who go about their day-to-day lives all around with world until they are activated to carry out various missions.  They don't know who they are, as their memories have been erased as well as all sense of conscience and all sense of right and wrong, making them diabolical killing machines.  Jeremy Irvine stars.  Rated 14A. 

 

New on DISNEY +

The Mandalorian, Chapter 6:

This Star Wars series made for streaming, is perhaps the most true and authentic spinoff that the franchise has offered in more than 20 years.  Taking place in the days of Jawas and Ewoks, it follows the adventures of a masked bounty hunter and his baby Yoda capturee across the galaxy.  The flavour is very much that of the Empire Strikes Back era, with outstanding special effects and a superb story.  Rated PG.