May 11th - 17th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  •  The Mauritanian (2021):

    I paid almost no attention to this film until Jody Foster received the Best Actress in a Drama Golden Globe last March. A grippingly true story, the bulk of the production money came from the UK, and having watched this exceptional tale of a man confined to Guantanamo Bay's prison for more than 15 years for his alleged role in the events of 9/11, it's easy to see why American money was not a significant part of the production companies involved. Jody Foster is outstanding as Nancy Hollander, the Washington, DC lawyer who takes on the case of Muhammadu Slahi played to perfection by French national, and Algerian actor Tahar Rahim. You may remember the story from the news of the day in the months following 9/11 as Slahi and many of Arab extraction were imprisoned in Cuba without charges and facing torture of every sort at the hands of American interrogators. It is clear from the way the story is laid out here that it did not matter if Slahi was guilty or if he was not - all that mattered is that he was an Arab, and that if he could be waterboarded, beaten, sleep-deprived, and threatened with the lives of his mother and family, into confessing, that's all that mattered. Benedict Cumberbatch is completely believable with his deep South American accent as Stuart Couch, the military prosecutor given the job of eliciting a conviction regardless of actual guilt. Both a courtroom drama and an exceptional legal case with all kinds of credible roots, this film makes stunning revelations in terms of the treatment of people by America, simply because of their heritage. Stick with it throughout the credits to see the real people played by the actors, and watch the following revelations as to what happened after it looked like Slahi might be found innocent. Excellent film! Rated 14A.

  • The Marksman (2021):

    Although somewhat formulaic, it really doesn’t matter because this film features Liam Neeson doing all the things that we just love to watch. He is Jim Hanson, a former Marine Corps Scout Sniper, a Vietnam War veteran, and a guy you just don’t want to cross. Living on the Arizona-Mexico border, he reports illegal crossings to the authorities because it’s the American thing to do. One day he sees a mother and son coming through the area, he calls the authorities, and realizes too late that the pair are being pursued by Cartel bad guys. In the ensuing dust-up, the mother is shot and dies from her wounds, but not before telling Hanson where her family is located in Chicago, and extracts an end-of-life promise that he will get the boy there safely. The Cartel doesn’t see it as being that simple and soon they are in pursuit of both Hanson and the boy, and as I said earlier, you don’t want to cross Liam Neeson’s character. This thriller gave me all that I expected from this genre, and all that I expected from Liam Neeson. Good movie! Rated 14A.

  • Land (2021):

    Robin Wright, formerly married to Sean Penn, makes her directorial debut here, and stars in this story of a woman who faces unspeakable tragedy in her life, and chooses to disappear off the grid in the Rocky Mountain country of Wyoming. Life isn’t easy there either, and she comes face-to-face with death and is spared only by the actions of a passing hunter. So begins her work to transition back into the world of the living, but her inability to cope with the reality she left behind makes the unforgiving wilderness that she has chosen even more difficult to survive. Also stars Damien Bichir in what at times is so bleak that it just seems that all is lost. Rated 14A.

  • Jungle Beat: The Movie (2020):

    Based on the TV series of the same name, which consists of 10-minute-long episodes focusing on the adventures of jungle animals, this computer-animated feature is pretty much strictly for kids of any age.  The premise has all the animals waking up one morning to an amazing revelation:  they can talk!  Able to talk and to understand one another, it seems like the dawning of a new day for the elephants, monkeys, rhinos, ostriches, and giraffes who are the key players.  But there's a catch.  The reason they can suddenly talk, is that earth is being invaded by aliens, the first of which has crashed his ship on our planet, and more specifically, in our jungle.  His name is Fneep, and he's not much of a conqueror.  He is homesick, and is surprised to learn that the animals are prepared to band together to help him find his way home.  Simple, but young kids will like the colourful antics!  Rated PG.


     

    Monster (2018):

    Although this film was completed and released at a film festival in 2018, it had no wide release until Netflix signed on as the key distributor, and is debuting it this month.  A strong cast includes John David Washington (son of Denzel, star of "Tenet" and "Blackklansman"), and Oscar-winner and one-time American Idol finalist Jennifer Hudson.  Based on the best-selling book by Walter Dean Meyers, it tells the story of a young man from Harlem who is described as "likeable" and "smart," 17-year-old Steve Harmon (Kelvin Harrison, Jr. of "Trial of the Chicago 7"), who is a gifted student at a prestigious film school.  His world, and that of his family, are turned upside down when he is charged with felony murder.  The story follows his journey through the court system and faces the very real possibility that he could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.  Co-produced by John Legend, it also stars Jeffrey Wright ("Westworld") as young Steve's father, who grapples with a future for his son he could never have imagined.  Rated 14A. 

     

    The Woman in the Window (2021):

    An excellent cast shows up in this crime drama in which Oscar-nominee Amy Adams is a psychologist named Dr. Anna Fox who has mental problems of her own.  She has agoraphobia, fear of the outdoors and of large spaces, and has confined herself to her home.  She has befriended a woman, a neighbour whose brownstone she can see from her window, and begins to believe that the woman has gone missing, and may be a victim of foul play.  Unable to take action, or to go outside to investigate, Dr. Fox searches for ways to get to the bottom of the mystery.  Oscar-winner Gary Oldman and Oscar-winner Julianne Moore also star, along with Anthony Mackie (Falcon and the Winter Soldier) and Wyatt Russell.  Rated 14A. 

New on CRAVE

Tenet (2020):

The last big-screen movie to arrive in Canadian theatres last year, and now available on Crave, in some respects this film embraces the small screen.  While the movie theatre experience is essential to appreciating what the producers put forward here, the extremely complicated story, which uses time inversion as its key plot device, sometimes begs for the opportunity to pause the movie, to roll it back a minute or two, and to watch again what happened in order to better understand the complexities of time and the way it is featured here.  Written and directed by Christopher Nolan and starring John David Washington as a secret agent known only as "The Protagonist," it is his job to thwart a Russian threat led by a man who may have mastered some of the vagaries of hiding things in time.  It requires a couple of viewings at least to really "get" it.  Rated 14A.

 

New on AMAZON PRIME

Saint Maude (2020):

Available earlier this year on demand, Amazon now offers this horror-drama for now additional charge.  The central character is Maude (Moffydd Clark) who is a nurse with hospice skills, caring for Amanda Kohl, a retired dancer (Jennifer Ehle) whose body has been ravaged by cancer.  Maude has a fervent Christian belief that grows exponentially as she cares for her patient - the belief that Maude, and only Maude, can save the soul of her dancer from eternal damnation, as well as the belief that malevolent powers of darkness are closing in on both of them.  There are elements here of "The Exorcist," and similar films in which satanic threats to our immortal souls rear up and create chaos.  The horror builds here frame-by-frame as Maude becomes more and more fervent in her belief that only she can save her patient, but her own dark past is also revealed leading us to wonder just what the real threat might be.  Rated 14A.  


New on DISNEY + /Star

The Alligator People (1959):

If you want a good, old fashioned "B" horror movie of the type that populated drive-in theatres and second-run movie houses in the '50s, you may find this feature as cheesy as a wheel of cheddar, but with a certain panache that allows you to sit back and say, "yep, the sure don't make them like that anymore."  Beverly Garland, already a movie veteran, was still some years away from becoming the new mom on "My Three Sons," and a recurring character on "Gunsmoke," and "Mannix" when she signed on to be Joyce, the new wife of a man named Paul Webster (Richard Crane).  The newlyweds are travelling across the country by train when Paul gets off at a station stop to use a payphone.  The train pulls out without him, and Joyce is alone.  For years she searches for him, finding herself eventually, by accident, at a research facility in Louisiana where she learns that experiments were being done on humans and alligators, and that her husband Paul was now more alligator than man.  Some of this will make you laugh out loud, although that was never the intent of the movie makers.  Rated PG.