Feb 26th - March 5th Downloads
& DVDs
  • Coco:

    This visually stunning animated feature from Disney Pixar set box office records in Mexico, and it did very big business north of the border too.  You don't have to have Spanish blood coursing through your veins to get the story, but it doesn't hurt.  It's the story of Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez), a young Mexican boy who harbours a secrete.  He has a guitar, and he loves to play.  His absolute musical hero is Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt) who, unfortunately, is deceased.  The reason that Miguel has a secret is that music is banned in his family and to even hum a tune is forbidden.  It's an ancient issue that the boy does not understand.  Four generations of his family live under one roof, and when Miguel's guitar secret is discovered, he takes off on his own.  On the Mexican holiday, the Dia del Muertos - the Day of the Dead - the dead go from their land of lights and colour, into ours ... and through an accident of magic, Miguel is thrust into the land of the dead where the story's true roots begin to show.  It's a tale of the connections that ancestors have to the living, about why one must remember their forbears, and about the pursuit of a dream without regard to the opposition.  When Miguel encounters his musical idol in the land of the dead, some very interesting connections become apparent.  Children will love the music and the colour, and adults will revel in the magnificent storytelling with a real point to it.  Rated G. 


  • Murder on the Orient Express:

    I desperately wanted to love this movie, given the source material the exceptional cast, and the triple-threat of Kenneth Branagh who produced, directed, and who stars as Agatha Christie's amazing Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot.  That's what I wanted ... but I only ended up liking the movie, didn't love it.  There have been many iterations of the story which was published in the 1930s and featured a murder on a train which, in this movie is travelling from Istanbul to Paris and then on to London.   Branagh is amazing as Poirot, and he's worth the price of admission alone.  A dozen major characters populate the cars on the train and are germane to the essence of the murder - Johnny Depp is Edward Rachett, an unsavoury American with gangland ties, and he is joined by characters played by Josh Gadd, Michelle Pfieffer, Dame Judy Dench, Penelope Cruz, and Willem Dafoe among others.  Each character is introduced to us briefly before the train departs, and we get the flavour of the times with excellent dialogue, much of it lifted word-for-word from the novel.  On the second night, with the impressive steam locomotive labouring up steep mountain passes and impossible tunnels and trestles an avalanche knocks the engine off the tracks leaving everyone stranded for the moment.  The murder occurs, and for most of the rest of the film, we watch the master detective put the clues together to determine who did what to whom, and why.  The concerns that I had with the production revolved around the relatively poor CGI work.  I would just get into Poirot's marvellous deductions, and then we would find ourselves outside the train, with fake snow, fake tracks, fake tunnels, fake everything, and it was so very obvious. It's a good movie, it's worth seeing, but the look of it is just a little too cheesy.  Rated 14A.

  • Darkest Hour:

     Gary Oldman has an Oscar nomination based on his portrayal here of Winston Churchill, when, at age 65, he became the British Prime Minister in 1940, a time when Sweden, Denmark, and France had fallen to the advancing German armies, or were about to fall, along with The Netherlands and Belgium.  Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) was his predecessor and had been following a path of appeasement and diplomacy, believing that Britain should surrender to Germany and get the best deal that it could from Hitler.  Most of the opposition government was of a similar belief, and this story of one politician's struggle to do what is right for his people, is a challenging tale that cannot help make one think of the current American situation.  Churchill was unfiltered and would say anything at any time, he could be a loyal friend or a bitter opponent, sometimes to the same person on the same day.  The story takes place during May when the British Expeditionary Force of some 300,000 men, virtually the entire British Army, was trapped on the shores at Dunkirk, awaiting annihilation by the Nazis.  King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn) was wary of his new Prime Minister and admitted to being somewhat afraid of him.  Every performance stands out here, and the production values and lighting are such that I came out of the theatre feeling that I had been enveloped in cigar smoke the whole time, so complete was the illusion that it was 1940 and we were right there.  I didn't see Gary Oldman even once throughout the film ... only Churchill, not an act, not a characterization ... but the real man, Winston himself.  Rated 14A.

  •  Altered Carbon:

    This mind-bending sci-fi series is a Netflix original that is set 300 years in the future, and bases most of its action and intrigue on the fact that digital technology now allows one person's mind and consciousness to be swapped into another body almost at will.  This offers an interesting new outlook on crime and punishment and also makes for a very seedy, but highly profitable sex industry.  The good news is that the show is truly original and very wierd in its dystopian San Francisco setting ... but the bad news is that it moves very slowly, one of the challenges that we have seen in other made-for-Netflix shows.  It's almost as though they just don't want us to get to the good stuff.  Rated 18A. 



    Sharknado Five:

    Global Swarming:  Ian Zering is back as Fin, for the fifth time, and Tara Reid is once again his wife April.  This time the damage has already been done, and it's about to get personal.  Much of the United States lies in ruins after the most recent sharknados that seem to have impacted everyone everywhere.  Their son is now trapped in a Sharknado that has international implications as it heads out across the ocean, picking up more sharks every moment, as it sets its sights on Europe.  As usual, everyone wants a part in this movie ... watch for Clay Aitkin, Charo, Samantha Fox, Olivia Newton-John, Downtown Julie Brown, and Margaret Cho to name just a few.  Rated 14A.


This sci-fi series from the American cable channel Starz has its third and fourth  episodes, and again. like Altered Carbon from Netflix, has an interesting premise but a very slow start.  It focuses on a government bureaucrat (J.K. Simmons) who learns that he has a counterpart in a parallel world, and that part of his job has always been to guard the comings and goings of those from the other side.  Too much dialouge though, and not nearly enough action.


First Flights with Neil Armstrong (1991)

Although this series is 26 years old, and Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, has been dead for five years, aviation buffs will want to catch each season of the three that Amazon is offering, in which Armstrong introduces specific eras in aviation, and sometimes flies the planes that he is profiling, from the old "Jenny" biplanes that delivered the mail in post-WWI America, to the first jet trainers such as the T-33 Silver Star that set the tone for the jet age.  I know it's a specific market, but if you like planes, you'll love all of this!