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May 1st - 7th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • 12 Strong:

    This outstanding film, based on actual events, is, despite being a Jerry Bruckheimer production (The Transformers movies, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Armageddon) an unerringly factual presentation.  It tells the story of the deployment of a team of 12 Special Forces Green Berets immediately after the events of 9/11 - a team that was involved in a covert operation against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the details of which have just recently become declassified.  Chris Hemsworth is Captain Mitch Nelson who leads the group into unknown territory to meet with a tribal warlord in the northern part of the country, General Dostum (Iranian-born Navid Neghaban) to tactically attempt a major move against a Taliban leader.  Supplied with horses by their new allies-of-the-moment, the soldiers fight against overwhelming odds in territory that is not far removed from the Stone Age.  The General explains, in one key scene, just why the enemy is so willing to die on the battlefield, and why they have no fear of death.  "You come from a country," he explains, "where this life is preferred to the next because it is so rich ... while our people believe that next life is far better than the this life, so they are happy to leave it."  The action scenes, which are relentless, demonstrate the challenges of the American elite force.  Perhaps the best depiction of Desert battle ever released on film.  Excellent movie, with no sugar coating.  Michael Shannon and Michael Pena also star.  Rated 14A.

     

  • Winchester:

    This one plays out like a classic ghost story, and that's just what it is.  Helen Mirren is exceptional as always as Sara Winchester, heir to the Winchester Repeating Rifle fortune, who believed totally that her mansion was haunted by spirits of those killed by her family's invention, the rifle that changed the course of the Civil War for the North, and which became the signature firearm for the opening of the West.  Located in San Jose, CA, the Winchester mansion is a tourist attraction to this day, and is now owned by Lionsgate Studios.  The house has staircases that go nowhere, doors that open into walls, and many, many rooms that are barred by barricades each of which has 13 nails, designed to keep the spirits in check.  Dr. Eric Price (Jason Clarke) has been contracted by the Winchester Rifle company, to produce a report that says that Sara Winchester is not mentally capable of dealing with her 51% of the company.  He has been offered a handsome sum of money to report on her lack of fitness.  Dr. Price spent five nights in the house, during which he was impacted by poltergeist activity, was exposed to demons wanting to take over in this world, and fought to retain both his sanity and that of his subject.  This is a near-perfect ghost story in which the scary parts are not graphic and bloody, but rather are delivered by those things that go bump in the night.  Sara had been building and rebuilding the house for more than 20 years, believing that, if it made no sense inside, the spirits would be confused and would not make it to the outside world.  Some great make-you-jump moments populate this Australian-American co-production in which mood is everything.  The Victorian era home was a perfect place to set the mood, with its heavy draperies, its low lighting, and its odd inhabitants.  The mansion has 161 rooms, including 40 bedrooms, 47 fireplaces, and 10,000 panes of glass.  There have been many Haunted America visits to the house by various ghost hunters over the years ... so far, nothing definitive, but this is a very fine ghost story, and Helen Mirren is worth the admission all on her own.  Rated 14A.


  • Peter Rabbit:

    Well, they are all here from the Beatrix Potter stories.  We have Peter, the main character, wearing a smart jacket, but no pants, and his siblings, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail.  Mr. McGregor (Sam Neill) is the farmer whose garden they wish to raid at will for the choicest and most succulent vegetables, running the risk of the wrath of McGregor, and we have Rose Byrne as the farmer tenant, who is somewhat disposed towards the rabbits.  What I don't recall in any of the original source material for this animated and live-action rendition, are toilet jokes and recurring gags that play closer to the Three Stooges rather than to the tales of Beatrix Potter.  That won't matter for the target audience here, children from six or seven, up to their preteen years - they will root relentlessly for Peter and his friends and family, and will cower in mock fear as Mr. McGregor comes close to bringing all the fun to a halt.  There is a nice subtext in the dialogue between the major characters with some social commentary involving everything from chickens to the French that adults will find appealing and clever, but which will go well over the heads of the kids in the audience.  Voices are provided by James Corden as Peter, Margot Robbie, Sia, and many others.  Rated G.


  •  The Nice Guys (2016):

    A most interesting detective movie.  Set in Los Angeles, and reminiscent of TV series in the '70s such as Starsky and Hutch, The Rockford Files and Mannix, we have Russell Crowe has a private detective, very tough, and one who acts first, acts questions later, and Ryan Gosling as a much gentler kind of private cop.  They meet under difficult circumstances, which leave Gosling with a broken nose, despite the fact they are actually both working on the same missing persons case.  There are tips of the hat to The Waltons, and to all things '70s here as the two settle on a rocky sort of partnership.  Good fun!  Rated 18A.


     

     

    Lost In Space (Season 1):

    Released on April 13th, all 10 episodes of season one of this remake of the 1965 series that coined the term, "Danger Will Robinson," are now available for binge-watching.  The basic concept is the same - a family, part of a group of space colonists - hits a rift in space and time and ends up on an alien world with alien enemies.  They just want to get back home, but that's not so easy.  Whereas the original was campy and cute, a product of the '60s, this is a more grown-up version.  Parer Posey is a gender-bender version of Dr. Smith, and 12 year-old Maxwell Jenkins, who had a recurring role on Chicago Fire, is the new Will Robinson.  Rated 14A. 


Elvis Presley, The Searcher:

This new documentary on The King of Rock 'n' Roll looks at the musicianship of Presley, a person who could not read music, and whose instrumental skills were all self-taught.  If you thought you knew all about Elvis, who died in August of 1977, you may want to think again when you see the depth and the breadth of what writer Alan Light has unearthed.  Rated M.



New on AMAZON PRIME

Roseanne

If you missed the first two episodes that set the ratings world afire, you can stream the series from Amazon ... I was never a fan of the original series, but I have to admit that this one is a lot of fun ... very well-made, and a lot of laughs!