Oct 19th - 25th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  •  Old (2021):

    M. Night Shyamalan, still looking, I think, for a movie with a payoff like that of his first film, "The Sixth Sense" (1999), offers up a story for which he wrote the screenplay, based on a graphic novel, and he directs with the same hand that worked so hard to keep us from guessing where "The Sixth Sense" would go as it headed towards its ending. The title gives away the most important plot point, as did the trailers, so I give away nothing by telling you that several people, all of whom found the resort online, end up at a high-end vacation facility in an unnamed location, actually shot in the Dominican Republic. They are waited on hand and foot, the key players, a family of four that include Mom and Dad, Guy and Prisca played by Luxembourg's Vicky Krieps and Mexico's Gael Garcia Bernal, and their two young children, Trent and Maddox. At the beginning of their first full day at the resort, the manager tells them about an activity for which they have been hand-picked - a journey through the jungle, and to a slot canyon that opens on a spectacular, hidden beach that will be all theirs. They can't resist, and soon, the resort bus, driven by the Director, M. Night Shyamalan himself, wends its way through isolated country, to let them off, offering directions, and saying that the bus will be back at 5:00 p.m. to pick everyone up. There are a handful of other guests that make the trip, and it doesn't take long before the first one of them shows up dead. They have no idea what happened, but within an hour, strange things begin to happen, and soon, there is another death. The children appear to be aging at an accelerated rate, as are the adults, and each one that has a medical condition finds the symptoms exacerbated by the situation. What is going on? Where will this end? The director does a good job of keeping things a secret, and the camera virtually narrates the movie, keeping us on a short leash, and only allowing the viewing audience to see what he wants it to see. I wondered where this would end, and if it was going to be one of those things that falls apart because an ending can't be figured out, but Shyamalan does a credible job of keeping us guessing and of wrapping things up with a sensible conclusion. A good thriller with an interesting premise. Rated 14A.

     

  • Snake Eyes (2021):

    You don't have to know much ... or for that matter, anything, about the "G.I. Joe" franchise based on the Hasbro action figures and subject of previous movies, that starred Channing Tatum and later Dwayne Johnson in the title roles, with Ray Parks playing Snake Eyes each time. In this origins story, a prequel to the movies from 2009 and 2013, Snake Eyes is now Asian, played to perfection by Henry Golding ("Crazy Rich Asians"), and unlike many pure action films, there is actually a story here. We meet the boy who will become Snake Eyes in a remote cabin in Washington State, played here by the B.C. coast, with his loving father - a father who is clearly part of some kind of undercover operation and is targeted by persons unknown. The boy, maybe nine years old, sees his father murdered and sees the cabin burned to the ground. He tries to rush the bad guys, but they laugh him off, and then try to kill him before he escapes into the woods. Next, we find him as an adult, a tough, ninja-trained fighter who drifts from place to place looking for the man who killed his father. Driven by nothing more than revenge, Golding's character falls in with a group of gun smugglers, and then changes allegiance to a Yakuza group, and then shifts his loyalties back again, always looking for his father's killer. There are some great snake scenes as he is placed into a pit of giant pythons as part of a test of character, and the action of course, is relentless - in fact, I found myself with "ninja overload" by the hour-and-30-minute mark, not realizing there was still more than a half-hour to go. The characters are strong and motivated, the scenes shot on location in Japan are spectacular, and the overall look and feel is not yet that of a "franchise" picture, but that is sure to come in future instalments. Rated 14A.

  • The Protege:

    When you see the talent behind this crime action thriller, it's easy to see why it is so entertaining, and such a good ride. The writer is Richard Wenk, the same man who wrote both Equalizer movies, one Jack Reacher film for Tom Cruise, and the reboots of "The Mechanic," and "The Magnificent Seven." The director is Martin Campbell, known for his direction on such films as the Bond movies "Casino Royale," and "Goldeneye," as well as "The Legend of Zorro," and the superb Jackie Chan thriller, "The Foreigner." The cast is equally superb, with Samuel L. Jackson who needs no introduction, Michael Keaton, equally well-known, and Maggie Q ("Live Free or Die Hard," "Mission Impossible 3," the "Divergent" series, and the "Fantasy Island" movie. The action begins even before the opening credits, in Vietnam in 1991 when a young girl whom we later learn is named Anna, seems to have dispatched a number of very bad men. She is discovered at the scene by Moody (Jackson) who happens to be a hitman. He takes her under his wing and becomes her caregiver and her mentor, teaching her the ways of survival in the contract killing business. When it appears that Moody has been murdered, Anna goes out seeking revenge. She feels some responsibility, as key people in her life have met their demise in a matter of days because of her quest to find the identity of a man who did wrong to her family when she was young. Enter Rembrandt (Michael Keaton) who seems connected to all of this. Like Anna, he is smart at every level, and the two embark in a cat-and-mouse game with automatic weapons instead of mousetraps, and with us not being sure as the action progresses, just who is the cat and who is the mouse. There are some James Bond-like settings with wealthy people dressing up in their exclusive ballroom best, and every scene is designed to keep us pressing the panic button as the tension mounts. An excellent film, well done and fully engaging. Rated 14A.

  • There's Someone Inside Your House (2021):

    This Netflix original is a horror-thriller with a strong, youthful cast, and an horrific premise that leads them into the worst of all outcomes. Sydney Park from "The Walking Dead," is part of the graduating class of her high school, who learns that each of the class members is being stalked by a masked assailant bent on revealing their darkest secrets before murdering them. Only the class misfits seem to have the tools and the will to put a stop to the killings. Based on the best-selling thriller by Stephanie Perkins, it also stars Canada's Sara Dugdale ("Supernatural") and Quebec's Theodore Pellerin ("Boy Erased") and Kayla Heller ("Superman & Lois"). Shot on the BC Mainland and in Manitoba. Rated 14A.


     

    A Tale Dark & Grimm (2021):

    The story of Hansel and Gretel gets a new treatment here as the book by Adam Gidwitz comes to life in animated form. The brother and sister start off on their usual adventure in the woods, but rather than just winding up at the home of the woman who wants to cook them alive in the oven, they stumble into a number of Brothers Grimm fairy-tale settings, dealing with the dark and mysterious forces that sometimes rule the world. Yes, it's a little twisted and a little gory, but at the end, it's a heartfelt tale that will work for many kids if they aren't too young. Voices of Missy Pyle and "Spider-Man's" Tom Hollander star in this Netflix original along with the voice of Adam Lambert. Rated PG.

New on CRAVE

Safer at Home (2021):

Although most of us hope to see the end of the Pandemic sooner rather than later, that's not the vision of this low-budget thriller in which it looks a year into the future, to 2022, with the Pandemic raging at levels never before seen. Set in Los Angeles, where martial law now rules, the focus is on a group of friends who meet for a Zoom call for an online party. As things progress, they all agree to take a designer drug at the same time, but an unforeseen accident interrupts the fun, and soon they are trying to help one of their friends who faces an horrific outcome if they don't save him. Rated 14A.

 

New on AMAZON PRIME

The Mad Woman's Ball (2021):

This Amazon studios original based on a best-selling French novel, tells the story, at the turn of the 20th Century, of a young woman named Eugnie who has a very specific psychic gift - she can both see and talk with the dead. That should be enough to help her to win friends and influence people, but in the late 19th Century in France, such things were frowned upon, and Eugenie, when her "gift" or "curse" is discovered by her family, has her father and brother escorting her against her will, to a mental asylum, a place from which she will never leave. Or maybe she will. An understanding and caring nurse who befriends the young woman soon comes to learn that she is not mad, but rather is gifted, and promises to help her escape. A series of tortuous events occur, each one possibly the thing that will bring the entire escape plot crashing down around them. Rated 14A.

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.