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Apr 25th - May 1st Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • La La Land:

    Here you are:  the Best Picture Oscar for 2017.  Oooops!!  No, it’s not, but it’s still a very strong, innovative movie that has revived the Hollywood musical in such a fashion that it’s not only up to date, with an appropriate tip of the hat to the old days, but it doesn’t have any predictability about it.  Oscar-nominated Ryan Gosling is a piano player in a little jazz bar who longs to own his own place so that he won’t have to take orders from anyone about what to play and how to play it, while Emma Stone is a wannabe actress heading out on auditions every chance she gets.  They meet in a most unusual, but very “Hollywood” fashion, they become a couple, and they wonder if there is room in the relationship for two potential careers, although neither one has anything remotely close to making it in showbusiness during the early going. Big production numbers, complex characters, and the constant wonder as to how this will all turn out dog almost every scene.  Gosling learned how to play piano for this role, practicing until his fingers bled … and accomplished pianist John Legend, who ends up in a band with Gosling’s character, had to learn how to play guitar.  Rated 14A.

  • Underworld: Blood Wars:

    Kate Beckinsale is back for the fifth time as the Vampire Selene, and this time she is being hunted not only by the arch-enemy Lycans, the werewolves, but many of her own people have turned against her as well.  It’s all about the blood, and it’s all about Selene’s daughter who is part Vampire and part Lycan.  Both sides want her for her blood which could provide a significant edge to the ones that prevail, as the daughter’s rare genetics give her both shape-shifting abilities, as well as the power to walk in the sunlight, something that has kept the Vampire clans in darkness for generations.  The special effects are okay – mostly CGI, and pretty obvious, but the action and a strong story cover up any flaws there.  Beckinsale has confirmed that she will do one more Underworld movie to wrap up the series – when that might be is up in the air, as this one took five years to show up.  Good film though! Rated 14A.

     

  • The Daughter:

    Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush is the best reason to try this small movie about a family drama concerning a man who returns home after an absence of many years, only to learn that the family secret he had been trying to outrun is still right there, threatening everyone who comes into contact with it.  Shot in Rush’s native Australia, it also stars Anna Torv, another Aussie best-known to audiences here for her role as Olivia Dunham on all six seasons of the sci-fi series “Fringe.”  Based on the Ibsen play, “The Wild Duck,” there is dialogue aplenty, which may put some viewers off if they were expecting an action film … but there is a lot of drama to be had if you’re patient. Rated 14A.

  • Source Code (2011):

     This very fine sci-fi film didn't get the notice that I thought it deserved first time around.  Jake Gyllenhaal is an army captain named Colter Stevens, or so he thought.  One moment he is flying his helicopter on a mission in Afghanistan, and then next he is on a commuter train headed for downtown Chicago.  The woman sitting across from him refers to him by name as her colleague, a teacher named Sean Fentress.  He determines, upon looking in a mirror that he is indeed another person, but he is completely puzzled.  Eight minutes later, as the train pulls into the station, a terrorist bomb explodes destroying everything, and suddenly he is the captain again, and he's in an experimental capsule in a research facility.  Colter learns that the explosion is to be followed by another, much more violent one, and that he is able to be sent into the body of another person on the train for eight minutes to determine what happened and who's responsible ... and minutes later, he's back on that train.  I liked the concept - Michelle Monaghan also stars.  Rated 14A.



    Warm Bodies (2013):

    Since we have seen just about every conceivable permutation and combination of the walking dead, of zombies of all sorts, some that shuffle, and some that run, it's a real treat to get a zombie movie that is different.  Nicolas Hoult is a zombie known only as "R."  When he sees a number of his confreres trapping a young woman in her car in a parking lot, with one thing in mind, and that's to put the chomp on her, he veers of in another direction, and he saves her from the bloodthirsty hordes.  Seems that not every zombie is condemned to do the shuffle forever, and he might be different ... and there might be a cure.  Teresa Palmer plays the girl, Julie, and she warms up to R as it is clear that he likes her, not in a bloodthirsty way.  She wants to take him home to meet her dad, played by John Malkovich, and things don't go terribly well.  A dramatic sci-fi story with a comic twist, this one is good fun!  Rated 14A.

     

The Laramie Project (2002):

In 1998, a young college student, openly gay and full of potential for a bright future, was found at death's door, tied to a split-rail fence in the chill of the night.  He died six days later, at the age of 21, having been beaten and tortured by two fellow students.  A hate crime by definition, this movie is the story of what happened that night, and what happened in subsequent days and weeks in Fort Collins, Colorado. An excellent cast plays out the story like a murder procedural, including Camryn Mannheim, who is gay, Laura Linney, Peter Fonda, and Frances Sternhagen.  The good that came from this terrible story is the legislation that now exists nationwide in the States that punishes such crimes with dramatically more severity.  Rated 18A.