Sept 21st - 27th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  •  F9: The Fast Saga (2021):

    This ninth film in the Fast and the Furious franchise has a bunch of things wrong with it, mostly in its science, and that does not matter one little bit, because it's not supposed to be a documentary but rather a piece of thrilling entertainment, and it's all of that and more. Vin Diesel is back as Dom Toretto, as are many of the original cast including Ludacris as Tej, Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, Tyrese Gibson as Roman, Jordan Brewster as Dom's sister Mia, and return trips by recurring characters played by Charlize Theron (Cipher) and Kurt Russell (Mr. Nobody). Added to the cast, and heading up the backstory, is John Cena who is Dom and Mia's younger brother Jakob. The movie opens on a racetrack with Indy-style cars where the Torettos worked in the pits for their father, Jack (J.D. Pardo). Something seems to go awry during a pit stop and in the next scene Dad's car is flipping end over end as it ignites in mid-air in a spectacular blazing crash. Younger versions of Dom and Jakob, effectively played by Vinnie Bennett and Finn Cole respectively, struggle with their father's fate. He is dead on the track, Dom comes to blame Jakob for what happened, and they become estranged for many years. Next it's on to the actual plot with high-end characters who could have stepped out of a James Bond movie, plotting to overtake the world's satellites and wage war from space on the planet ... or hold it for ransom. The action is frenetic with signature chase scenes on motorcycles, in classic American muscle cars, and all manner of military hardware blowing things up, and ramping up the body count. The objective for Dom and his crew is to stop the bad guys from taking over the world, especially when we learn that Jakob has a big role to play on the side of darkness. Cipher, Theron's character, isn't in the movie all that much, but she is a box office attraction, so there she is. The action is thrilling, the story, as simple as it is, spins out effortlessly, and a good time is had by all for two hours and 23 minutes. Stay for the credits because there's a scene that sets up the next movie. ... and enjoy this one on the big screen ... I cannot imagine seeing it any other way. Believe or not it has a PG rating with nary and "F" bomb, a couple of curse words, and a level of violence that is so unrealistic as to be both inoffensive and safe for younger viewers. Excellent film!!!

     

  • Cruella (2021):):

    This live-action prequel to the "101 Dalmatians" Disney movie offers up the backstory of the person who would become Cruella DeVil, the villainous woman from the 1961 animated movie, which got a live action version in 1996 with Glenn Close in the role of Cruella. Just as Disney had done with "Maleficent," we have an origins story here that explains the life and the motivation of the person who would grow up to become one rumoured to have made fashion apparel out of spotted Dalmatian hides. Two things to note - first, this is not your Grandma's Disney film. It has a dark side to it that makes it inappropriate for young children, carrying a 14A rating as opposed to the "G" rating that the first Dalmatians movie carried. Second, it is controversial in its themes and its positioning and may be offensive to some people. I thought it was an exceptional movie that was unpredictable, that featured outstanding costumes of an Oscar-nominated turn, with a soundtrack from the '60s and '70s that made its London setting a proving ground for songs from The Zombies, ELO, and The Clash among others. We meet young Estella and her loving mother, who are forced to flee their home with finances pressing in on them like a metal crusher in a wrecking yard. Her mother is sweet and caring, and en route to London, where the little girl's dreams of becoming a fashion designer reside, mom meets her death, and Estella feels that it's her fault. Now an orphan alone in the city with only her dog, she falls in with a couple of boys who are learning the pickpocketing petty crime trade. As time passes, Estella grows and matures, and now, in the person of Emma Stone, gets a low-level job working in a department store with a famous fashion department. Although she is cleaning bathrooms, at least she is close to the design world. When fashion maven, The Baroness, delightfully and evilly played by Emma Thomson shows up, Estella gets her chance to work for a real designer, and the plot is now afoot. How Estella becomes Cruella is part of her descent into wickedness still in the company of her pals, now much more accomplished thieves than they were in the beginning. The presentation reminds me of the audacity of a Tim Burton film with director Craig Gillespie (Fright Night) breathing life and wickedness into his characters at every turn. Not everyone is going to like this movie, especially, I think, Disney purists, but I found it a different slice of the movie experience with a certain charm that isn't to be dismissed. Rated 14A.

  • Mare of Easttown (2021):

    Although not a movie, this six-part mini-series from HBO almost broke the internet when it streamed its final episode. So many people signed on that the servers in many American cities couldn’t handle the load. Kate Winslet is superb as Detective Mare Sheehan in a small Pennsylvania town that is host to a missing persons case that morphs into a whole lot more as she begins her investigation. Winslet is exceptional in this role, a worn out, used up woman who has seen better days, struggling with family issues, police issues and personal issues as she works her way through a case which, like an octopus, has tentacles that reach everywhere in the community. Jean Smart is outstanding in her role as Mare’s mother, and the supporting cast allows its star to shine in a different kind of most unglamorous way. A very good binge-watch, with rumours of a sequel in the works. There are more red herrings than the contents of a trawler’s net as we sift through who may be implicated and who may be ordinary. Rated 14A.

  • Schumacher (2021):

    If you are a Formula One racing fan, the name says it all. This documentary looks at the life of Michael Schumacher who won a record total of seven World Driver's Championship titles. Starting out on the go-cart circuit as a child, the German born driver moved up the ladder quickly, and by his early 20s was driving for Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari, and Mercedes. He was controversial in that two events that decided the world driving title involved incidents with other drivers, Damon Hill in the 1994 Australian Grand Prix, and Canadian Jacques Villeneuve in the 1997 European Grand Prix. Both incidents were collisions, and both determined the winner of the race and of the championship. The documentary takes us around the world with stops at F1 races in such places as Italy, Spain, China, and even Montreal. Rated PG.


     

    Prey (2021):

    This German thriller tells the story of a group of young men, all good friends, and all celebrating a pre-wedding bachelor party weekend. They are hiking in the woods when they hear gunshots, and assume that they have come across a hunter, or hunters, and get closer to take a look at what game is being stalked. Turns out that the guys are themselves the game, and they are the hunted. A thriller in which someone is after them for reasons they cannot imagine, and it's clear that survival is not a given. Rated 14A.

New on CRAVE

The Croods: A New Age (2020):

Seven years ago DreamWorks Animation introduced us to the Stone Age family, the Croods.  They were an appealing bunch, with a Neanderthal sense of humour that appealed to both kids, who loved the cartoon aspect, and adults who found the dialogue particularly smart.  This sequel, which consistently brought families into those few theatres in the US that were still open during the height of the Pandemic, brought in audiences to the tune of about $2 million a week, even though it was available on Premium On Demand for much of that time.  Now available on Crave for no additional fee, we are allowed to see just how clever this new story is.  It’s a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses theme as the father Grug (voice of Nicolas Cage) runs into the Betterman family headed by Guy (voice of Ryan Reynolds).  It seems that the Bettermans are a step ahead of the Croods in everything that occurs.  Also includes a voice cast with Cloris Leachman, Emma Stone, and “Game of Thrones” star, Peter Dinklage.  Rated PG.

 

New on AMAZON PRIME

Everybody's Talking about Jamie (2021):

Based on the stage production in London's West End, this is the true story of Jamie Campbell, who, as a teenager in Sheffield, England, had an unusual goal ... to become a drag queen. The stage play, a musical that had several show-stopping numbers, inspired a documentary in the UK called "Jamie: Drag Queen at 16." The movie explores Jamie's younger life when he was bullied and beaten, but turned to tables on those who gave him trouble, and ended up very famous, and very rich. Newcomer Max Harwood plays the title character, and Richard E. Grant ("Gosford Park") co-stars.

New on DISNEY + /Star

Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11:

Not every first responder who rushed towards danger to try to save as many people as possible was a man. In fact, many of the women who worked as paramedics, police officers, ER doctors and nurses, and firefighters were of a female persuasion, and this decade-old documentary tells their story. Soledad O'Brien, former CNN anchor, is the host here as she looks at actual footage, conducts interviews with those who were there, and offers a perspective that can only come from the ones who were first in line. Rated 14A.

New on Apple +

The Beatles: Get Back (2021):
Originally slated for release last year to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' Abbey Road album, Covid issues forced the date back, and ultimately created a window for a streaming release rather than a theatrical one.  Director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings" trilogy) does some of the same movie special effects magic here that he used on his World War I documentary "We Will Not Grow Old" which allows us to see the never-before-released footage from hundreds of hours of filming, in an entirely new light.  The focus of the documentary is around the recording of "Let It Be," and it offers its share of surprises for Beatles fans and for those who wish they could have been there.  Rated PG.