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July 10th - 16th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • A Quiet Place:

    John Krasinski has done a masterful job of directing what is easily one of the most frightening sci-fi horror films ever.  He stars as well, along with his real-life wife Emily Blunt, as a couple with three young children in a world that we learn initially is 89 days after an event that has introduced an alien species to our planet, which is methodically eliminating every living thing in the rural farming area where the family lives.  We don't get much backstory, only that the creatures appear to be blind, are heavily armored, and hunt by sound, which means that everyone must be deathly quiet every moment.  A tragic event occurs, we next move forward about one year, and not much has changed, with the exception of the wife and mother being pregnant.  There is virtually no dialogue in the movie, with everyone communicating via sign language.  The horror, as it builds, surrounds the extreme challenges of staying quiet, especially with the children ... and how will they survive when the baby arrives, because even the sound of a sneeze can bring the hideous creatures on them?   This is not a blood and guts movie, and it's not a monster film ... it begins with a deep sense of foreboding, which grows minute by minute until you squirm from the tension and the fear.  As with any well-crafted horror film, it's what you don't see, and what you imagine is coming, that creeps you out more than some of the actual action, and that's how deft Krasinski's direction is.  He never tips his hand, he never allows us to see what's around the next bend.  This is a clever, well-made piece of film that is perfect for those who like their fears to build until they just can't stand it.  Rated 14A.

     

  • Chappaquiddick:

    In July of 1969 while the entire world was watching Apollo 11's progress towards the moon, another story was kept off the front pages.  It was at exactly this time that Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Martha's Vineyard, leaving an up-and-coming political aide, Mary Jo Kopechne to drown while he was much more worried about his political future and his image than he was in attempting to rescue the young woman who reportedly lived for 25 minutes in an air pocket in the upside down Oldsmobile.  This portrayal of those events features an outstanding performance by Jason Clarke who disappears into the role and becomes Kennedy.  Kate Mara is equally outstanding as the young woman who might still be living today had the Senator's selfishness and ego not taken the place of any kind of honesty or nobility.  The movie opens up all kinds of questions, 49 years later, and it offers some interesting answers too.  For example, fake news is not relegated to the Donald Trump era - watching Kennedy's powerful politicians and lawyers spin the event in such a fashion as to make it appear that the Senator was the victim, not the young woman, speaks to today's world as well as to that one in the '60s.  Bruce Dern plays Kennedy patriarch Joe with great finesse even though he doesn't say a word as Joe had a stroke some months before his death.  Using documents of the day to make the film, and avoiding speculation or any political leanings, this is an excellent slice of where we have been.  Rated 14A.  

  • The Leisure Seeker:

    A great cast takes on the realities of aging in a comedic and touching way.  Donald Sutherland is John Spencer. He has Alzheimer’s. His wife is played by a nearly-unrecognizable Helen Mirren.  Her name is Ella, and she is undergoing cancer treatment. Knowing that their days are numbered, they decide to throw caution aside and head south from Boston, to the Florida Keys, leaving their disease-ridden lifestyle behind, in the search for something that gets them away from the day-to-day grind of simply waiting to get worse and then die.  The Leisure Seeker of the title is the RV that will take them away to the sunny, semi-tropical south. Along the way they meet some remarkable people, they have some very close calls, as neither is a terribly good driver, and they develop the understanding that life is short, it’s fragile, but it’s to be enjoyed. A romantic comedy with some serious undertones.  Rated 14A.


  • Bullet Head (2017):

    Three hardened and committed criminals (Adrian Brody, John Malkovich, and Antonio Banderas) are on the run from the cops, who are closing in.  They are trapped in a huge warehouse with lots of places to hide, except there's one thing that is more a concern than the police - a brutal trained-to-kill mastiff dog is also after them ... makes a junkyard dog look like a Yorkshire Terrier.  The movie has a dark overtone as it is shot largely in the warehouse, and because it was filmed in Sofia, Bulgaria, that darkness is ramped up a few notches.  Directed by Paul Solet, only his second project and the low-end location budget makes it look somewhat cheap ... good drama though.  Rated 14A.


     

     

    Ghostbusters (2016):

    The failure of this movie to make good at the box office should not be taken as a criticism of its worth.  A remake of the original that starred Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Harold Ramis, and Rick Moranis, we get the gender switch-up in which the key roles are played by Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and a particularly stand-out performance from Kate McKinnon as a welding-torch-wielding woman who has no fear of anything.  Once again, ghosts are appearing in New York, and it's up to these ladies to do what's necessary to eradicate the spirits from the city.  Watch for cameos from some of the original actors, as well as a bust of the late Harold Ramis on a shelf in an office.  Not sure why this one bombed at the box office ... maybe it's one remake that should have been left unmade, but I liked it just fine.  Rated 14A.



Life Sentence

This is a TV series that began earlier this year on the CW Network, and is available for binge-watching this week.  It's the story of Stella (Lucy Hale), a young woman who gets a terminal cancer diagnosis and decides to make the best of the time she has left by living a life of wild abandon.  Ooops ... the diagnosis is reversed, and now, with no illness, she has to work her way through all the choices she made when she was walking on the wild side.  The series was cancelled earlier this month, so one season is all we get.

New on AMAZON PRIME

What Dreams May Come (1998)

There is a bitter irony to this Robin Williams film in which a man, now dead in a car accident, searches heaven, earth, and hell looking for his wife who had predeceased him.  She is nowhere to be found until he begins his search of Hell.  The entire film takes place in the afterlife as Chris Nielsen (Williams) searches endlessly, and finds all kinds of people from his previous life who had passed on, including his two children.  Why can he not find his wife until he looks in Hell?  Because she committed suicide and there is a very special place for such deaths.  Robin Williams himself committed suicide 16 years after he made this film.  The special effects and the colour are quite spectacular, and it still holds up as an amazing piece of sci-fi-fantasy.  Rated 14A.