Jan 21st - Jan 27th Downloads
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    Tom Hanks is excellent here as the captain of the hijacked Maersk Alabama, a container ship taken over by Somali pirates in the seas off the horn of Africa.  The action, dialogue, and realistic setting make this an outstanding thriller.  The star performance comes from Barkhad Abdi who plays the head Somali pirate with chilling accuracy.  Abdi had never acted before, and prior to this gig he was driving a cab in Minneapolis.  A good chance to see an Oscar-nominated film before the Awards show. Rated 14A.


    Directed by Woody Allan and starring Cate Blanchett who gives an exceptional performance, this movie, despite its Golden Globe and Oscar buzz, really didn’t work for me.  Blanchett is a bipolar woman who struggles with her relationships, leaves her New York home, marriage, and business (both of which were failing) behind, and moves in with her estranged sister in San Francisco.  Completely in denial about how her life has spiralled, she gives a great performance, but in the end, there is no redemption, no real payoff.  Woody Allen also wrote the script, Alec Baldwin co-stars. Rated 14A.   


    The second in a series of movies based on a fake trailer that was part of Quentin Tarentino’s “Grindhouse” movie, we have Danny Trejo back as the Mexican Federale who now has to inflict pain and suffering on the bad guys on the American side of the border.  As much as I liked Tarentino, as much as I admire Trejo, this one just reached too far, passing camp and moving to “ridiculous.”  Too bad! Rated 18A.

  • Bless the Child (2000): 

    An excellent horror-chiller that was much-overlooked when it first came out.  Filled with omens and signs of the end times, we see Maggie (Kim Basinger), a hard-headed, practical woman who works as a nurse, finds herself forced to take on responsibility for her young, autistic niece when the child is abandoned by Maggie's sister, Jenna (Angela Bettis).  Eight years later Jenna is back along with a strange new husband, asking for the child ... but much more is at play here as Maggie learns that literally hundreds abandoned children, all with the same date of birth, are being amassed for reasons of devil-like proportions.  Rated 14A.


    I’m Not There (2007): 

    Seven years have passed and I’m still not sure about this film.  Six different actors play a different spin on Bob Dylan as each phase of his life plays out.  The music, if you’re a Dylan fan, is excellent, but Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan, easily the best of the bunch, still doesn’t really fit.  An interesting curiosity piece for sure!  Rated 14A


    GI JOE: RETALIATION (2013):   

    Channing Tatum wasn’t yet a big star when this film, which sat on the shelf for more than a year, was made … but as its release date approached, he had become a breakout hit, so additional scenes were shot to give him a bigger part.  You can tell that there’s a bit of a splice-and-tape job going on in this action-adventure thriller that also stars Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson.  Rated 14A.   


EASY RIDER (1969): 

The late Dennis Hopper co-wrote (along with Peter Fonda) and starred in what is surely the classic road picture as two guys hit the roads of American on their choppers.  Watch for a supporting role by music producer Phil Spector.

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