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August 15th - 21st Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • Alien: Covenant:

    This is the second prequel to the movie Alien from 1979 in which Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) was almost the last one standing while the crew of her ship, the ore-carrier Nostromo, were taken out one-by-one by a vicious alien creature that appeared to have lured the crew to the surface of an uncharted planet.  Director Ridley Scott initially said that Covenant would be the second of three (following Prometheus) prequels that would take us to the place where the Nostromo crew met its tragic events that left most dead.  Now Scott says he may make yet another sequel.  Doesn’t matter.  This movie has everything you want and need from a movie of this genre – the original Alien shows up, but there are also some permutations we have not previously seen.  This time it’s Daniels (Katherine Waterston) who is the strong female lead, the woman who takes on the worst of the worst as her mates are killed off one at a time.  But there’s much more than just blood and death – we get some story background on the original people, the “Builders” who may have been the first victims of the bizarre creature and its spawn.  Michael Fassbender also stars.  Excellent sci-fi thriller.

     

  • The Wall:

    John Cena, former WWE star, and now a TV reality show host, is one of two American Marines pinned down against a shaky wall by a Middle Eastern sniper that seems to have their number.  This low-budget film did not get a lot of distribution, but it’s fine for what it is – an action-thriller with a countdown clock attached as we try to determine whether one or both Marines will die, whether they will somehow get the sniper, or whether or not the cavalry will arrive at the last moment. Based on writings by Nicholas Irving, a former US Army Ranger sniper, and author of the book “The Reaper,” Irving worked as a consultant on this film to make certain that what happened could really have happened, and what came into play was as realistic as possible. There are just three characters in the movie – Cena, his mate played by Aaron Taylor Johnson (Avengers: Age of Ultron), and the sniper.  I felt that the payoff here, with an ambiguous ending, was a let-down, but overall, not a bad film. Rated 14A.

  • Everything Everything:

    Maddie Whittier (Amandla Stenberg) is a young woman who has never been outside her home because of a rare illness that has her stay indoors breathing filtered air, and simply observing the world around her, not participating in it.  When she sees the house next door with new owners, the young man, Ollie (Nick Robinson) catches her eye.  Eventually, they begin a social media relationship on e-mail and text, but soon it’s much more than that, as Maddie begins to fall for Ollie.  There can be no relationship beyond what they have now – they cannot be in the same room as one another because of Maddie’s isolation.  But some things are more important, and Maddie decides, against all medical and parental advice, to make a run for it.  Not bad overall, with some good performances by Stenberg and Robinson. Rated 14A.

  • Hacksaw Ridge (2016):

     Desmond Doss is the real-life WWII medic, a conscientious objector based on his Seventh Day Adventist faith, who, well-played by Andrew Garfield, endured enormous resistance in just trying to do his part.  Doss refuses to kill people, but wants to serve.  He is branded a coward, a whack-job, and worse.  Eventually he finds himself at the Battle of Okinawa where he becomes the first non-combatant to win the Medal of Honor.  An excellent film, with many of the originally-portrayed people shown over the closing credits.  Rated 14A.

     

    Snowden:

    In 2013, CIA contract operative Edward Snowden went public with what he knew - that the United States was spying on everyone - ordinary citizens, foreign nationals, regular cell phone users, and allied world leaders.  Charged with treason, he remains a fugitive to this day, living in Russia.  This remarkable treatment of Snowden's motivation and underlying purpose should be enough for the US Government to clear his name, but so far that is not to be.  A superb cast with Joseph Gordon-Levitt perfect as the title character, Oscar-winner Melissa Leo as documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, and Nicolas Cage as an early mentor.  In the closing credits, watch as Gordon-Levitt as Snowden is replaced by the real Snowden - the difference is barely discernible.    Rated 14A.

Interstellar (2014):

 It's a tired and dying earth sometime in the near future, where global warming has taken its toll.  Almost everyone still alive on the planet is immersed in the business of farming, to provide much-needed food in this devastated, dust-bowl world.  Matthew MacConaughey is Cooper.  He's a farmer with two kids, a deceased wife, and a father-in-law (John Lithgow) who helps with the youngest daughter, Murphy, played by Jessica Chastain as a grown-up, and McKenzie Foy as a 10 year-old.  Murphy says she has a ghost in her bedroom, and that might just be true.  On strange instructions from the unseen entity, Cooper finds his way to a secret underground facility to learn that NASA is still functioning, and that a trip to the stars is in the works in an effort to save humanity.  Soon he is the pilot of an interstellar spaceship heading for a wormhole near the orbit of Saturn, that will propel him and his crew ... somewhere.  Lots of tips of the hat to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and some very smart sci-fi.  Rated 14A.

 

New on AMAZAON PRIME

Area 51 (2015):
This horror-thriller from Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity) follows three friends, all conspiracy theorists who believe that there really is a UFO under wraps in Nevada's Area 51, and they set out to prove it.  The now-standard found-footage technique shows us what they uncover, which appears to be far more frightening than anything they could have imagined.  For reasons not yet explained, this movie sat on the shelf for six years before being released.  Alien intervention, perhaps.  Rated 14A.