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Dec 27th - Jan 2nd Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • Snowden:

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt is exceptional in this story of whistle-blower Edward Snowden, a brilliant technology expert who was contracted the National Security Agency (NSA) in a number of key positions before he was 30 years old.  A deadly accurate portrayal of the events that led to Snowden’s exile in Russia are deftly handled by director Oliver Stone, who gives us keen insight into the dirt that has been foisted upon the American public by its spying watchdogs, whom Snowden revealed, were mostly just regular citizens.  The NSA was tracking e-mails and cell phone conversations routinely, often with no motive at all, other than curiosity.   His decision to g public with what he knew, by talking to the press, has made him a hero to many, and a man guilty of espionage by the US Government.  At the end of the film, Gordon-Levitt’s comments dissolve into similar dialogue from the real Edward Snowden, and the similarity is remarkable. Rated 14A.


     

     

  • Morgan:

    Although it was released a couple of weeks ago, this one is worth mentioning because of its quiet approach to artificial intelligence.  Kate Mara stars as a key person in a corporation that is perfecting AI in androids.  After an incident in which an AI named Morgan, kept in isolation in a remote facility where she is being studied, goes berserk and stabs one of her care-givers in the eye with a fork, Lee Weathers (Mara) shows up to determine what went wrong.  As Morgen (Anya Taylor-Joy) settles down, she (it) shows remorse for her behaviour, and is smart enough to know that if she doesn’t make this right, the scientists will shut her down.  But the AI’s temper gets the better of her again, and yet again, and soon she is a target, with Lee Weathers tasked with the extermination.  Interesting twist ending that you may see coming, but over all a pretty respectable sci-fi tale. Rated 14A.

  • When the Bough Breaks:

    A better than average horror-thriller, despite a storyline that will make you think you know how it’s all going to end, this one stars Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall as a pair of highly successful lawyers who are having difficulty conceiving a child.  They turn to a surrogate (Jaz Sinclair) who seems perfect for the task, but soon it’s apparent that she has a major fixation on Chestnut’s character, attempting to seduce him when his wife is on the road, and showing up at his place of business with similar intentions when she is home.  Clearly a woman with major mental health issues, she begins to wreak havoc on the family, now threatening the life of the unborn baby as well as her employers.  A good kick at the end makes the story a worthwhile endeavour.  Rated 14A.

  • Criminal (2016):

    I liked this sci-fi adventure that offers up a very different Kevin Costner, who plays Jerico Stewart, a hardened murderer serving a life term for a variety of crimes, and looking a lot like a guy who is doing exactly that, complete with the tattoos and spiked hair of a hardcore convict.  Ryan Reynolds is Bill Pope, a CIA undercover agent and a family man who is hot on the trail of those who have hijacked ICBM codes and plan to start WWIII when he is killed in pursuit of the bad guys.  No one knows what Pope knew about who the perpetrators are. The sci-fi twist comes when Pope's memories are downloaded into the mind of Jerico, the ideal subject because the experimental procedure only works with a specific kind of mind - the mind of a psychopath.  We get a great chase movie with some interesting twists as Pope's personality intrudes on the mind of the career criminal.  Gary Oldman and the ubiquitous Tommy Lee Jones also star.  Rated 18A for violence.


     

     

    Earth To Echo (2014):

    This story of three boys in their very early teens who find a series of encrypted messages that lead to a stranded alien who just wants to go home, will remind many of ET, as the storyline is similar.  Don't let that stop you from enjoying this family-oriented story as the boys take on the establishment, meaning the road construction company that is decimating their neighbourhood, forcing their families to move, thereby splitting up the fast-friends-trio.  Echo, the little alien, is far cuter than ET, and the smart-phone technology that wasn't even thought of in ET's day is everywhere here, with the boys virtual wizards with the ways and means to help Echo communicate with home, and get himself (itself?) back where he belongs.  Rated PG. 

     

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997):

Pierce Brosnan is at the top of his game as Agent 007 here in what was originally supposed to be a thinly-disguised version of media mogul Rupert Murdoch wanting to take over the world's communication systems.  The bad guy here is Elliott Carver (Jonathan Pryce) who has already figured out how to write tomorrow's headlines today, and who has it all wrapped up, except for the fact that he needs China to complete the collection.  The body count, at 197, is the highest ever for any Bond film, and Michelle Yeoh is the Bond Girl of the moment in this one.  It's dated, but setting that aside, it's still a fine 007 adventure. Rated 14A.