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July 17th - 23rd Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • Rampage:

    Dwayne Johnson stars as Davis Okoye, a primatologist, in this special effects extravaganza that combines all the elements of a King Kong-style monster-fest with some esoteric science, and a lot of military action.  The movie opens on a sophisticated version of the International Space Station, which we learn quickly is actually a privately-owned research lab in space where genetic experiments are taking place.  They go wrong, and soon everybody but one female scientist is dead.  The facility, along with the escaping scientist destructs, leaving trails of cosmic debris across the sky, with some landing in a San Diego wildlife park, others in the wilds of Wyoming, and yet others in the Florida Everglades.  Davis works with George, an albino silver back ape to which he has taught sign language.  Soon the ape, an alligator in the swamp, and a wolf in the wild have encountered the remains of the orbiting station, and they become practically invulnerable giants, with very bad attitudes, and a reason to converge on downtown Chicago.  I thought this was a serious action movie in the early going and it took some time to realize this was being played for laughs. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays a government agent, the evil corporate woman driving the desire to rule the world (Malin Akerman) and her dim bulb brother are cardboard cut-out characters, and much of the destruction of Chicago elicits chuckles along the way.  No real surprises here, but it's a fine popcorn movie, it will never win an Oscar for acting or Best Picture, but it's good fun, and much to my chagrin, I liked it.  Rated 14A.

     

  • Truth or Dare:

    This is a surprisingly good horror flick which was marketed as a spring break teenage raunch-fest but actually delivers far more substance than any of that.  A group of long-time friends, all in their final year of college, decide to go on just one more spring break caper, across the border to Mexico.  In a bar they meet another young man who befriends them, and when the establishment closes, tells them he knows an all-night place where they can keep partying.  It is an old, abandoned mission, and once inside, he suggests they play a game - truth or dare, which sounds somewhat lame, but he adds some enticing sidebars that make the drunk friends decide to participate.  It turns out that there is a demonic side to this, and once in the game, you can't get out.  And if you don't complete your assignment, you die.  For example, "tell the truth: what are your true feelings about Lucas?"  This is the question given to Olivia (Lucy Hale from Pretty Little Liars).  If she doesn't tell the truth, she dies.  If she tells the truth, she violates a lifetime friendship. Once out of the old mission, sobered up, and back home, they learn that the game has followed them... and soon, three are dead, each in a hideous way.  The premise is similar to the "Final Destination" movies, but the plot and details are far more complex.  How can they get the game to end before they are all dead?  Will the demon ever stop?  All the answers are surprising, well-executed, with an ending you will not see coming.  And that's the truth.  Rated 14A. 

  • I Feel Pretty:

    This could be a somewhat mean movie, and it might be somewhat cute and engaging, depending on just how you feel about body image.  Amy Schumer stars as Renee ... she is overweight, and to use a term generated towards her in the movie, she's ... well, dumpy.  Nothing much good happens to her - she works in a backroom job, she hasn't much of a love life, and she isn't all that thrilled with the way her life is going, placing most of the blame on her looks.  As an aside, Schumer's decision to make this film revolves around a previous casting director having told her she needed to lose weight for a role, her 2015 film "Trainwreck" with John Cena.  She did as she was told, but on reflection afterwards, felt that she didn't look all that good, because her body lost weight but her head was the same size, so as a thinner person, she felt that she looked funny with that disproportionately large head.  She decided to make a movie about a woman her own natural size, hence the story of Renee, who falls in the gym, hits her head, and when she comes to, thinks, when looking in the mirror, that she is gorgeous.  Schumer's character has a lot of parallels to Miss Piggy of The Muppets.  As for Renee, now that she thinks she is beautiful, she enters a bikini contest, gets a new job with her cosmetics company, now working the front reception desk instead of the web department in the basement, and she has a boyfriend - all of that because she really, really believes.  Of course there comes a time in the story when she has to face the facts, but it's handled with a deft hand and a wink of an eye ... making this rom-com a pretty reasonable story.  Rated 14A. 


  • Tau (2018):

    This Netflix original film is a natural extension of where we are going as a society with Alexa and other such digital tools to help with our smart houses.  Maika Monroe (Independence Day: Resurgence, The Fifth Wave) is a woman named Julia in a near future society in this sci-fi thriller in which Julia is imprisoned in a smart house.  Death is just around the corner if she doesn't get out, and her only hope would seem to be hacking into the home's master computer program that controls everything.  Saying, "Alexa, let me out," does nothing to help in her quest.  Ed Skrein (Deadpool) and Gary Oldman also star in this futuristic thriller.  Rated 18A. 


     

     

    Within (2016):

    This horror-thriller was originally titled "Crawlspace," and even though it has every cliché that exists in this genre, it's still good for a bunch of make-you-jump moments.  Michael Vartan (Alias, Bates Motel), is John, a widower with a teenage daughter and a new wife who buys cliché number one: a nice house in a nice area that is priced so far below market value that he can afford it.  Of course, they aren't in the house more than a few days before they (particularly teenage daughter Hannah played by Erin Moriarty) begin hearing strange noises and notice odd things happening.  Turns out that all the kids in the neighbourhood know that - cliché number two - a family was murdered in that house - and that strange things abound.  Even though you can see the scares coming, still makes you jump.  Rated 14A. 



Witch Hunt (1995):

You can find this very interesting film squirreled away in Crave's "Hidden Gems" section.  Dennis Hopper stars as a private detective in the 1950s, but it's not the '50s that you may recall ... in this era, everything is as it was then, except for the fact that everybody uses magic.  As private eye H. Phillip Lovecraft, a tip of the hat to sci-fi/horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, we meet then one man who does not (and maybe cannot) use magic.  Hired to find why a young starlet's (Penelope Anne Miller) career has stalled, Lovecraft's lack of magic might just be the edge he needs.  Dennis Hopper, when making the talk show rounds promoting this movie, said at the time that it was the strangest movie he had ever been in.  Rated 14A.

New on AMAZON PRIME

What Dreams May Come (1998)

There is a bitter irony to this Robin Williams film in which a man, now dead in a car accident, searches heaven, earth, and hell looking for his wife who had predeceased him.  She is nowhere to be found until he begins his search of Hell.  The entire film takes place in the afterlife as Chris Nielsen (Williams) searches endlessly, and finds all kinds of people from his previous life who had passed on, including his two children.  Why can he not find his wife until he looks in Hell?  Because she committed suicide and there is a very special place for such deaths.  Robin Williams himself committed suicide 16 years after he made this film.  The special effects and the colour are quite spectacular, and it still holds up as an amazing piece of sci-fi-fantasy.  Rated 14A.