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August 7th - 13th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • Life of the Party:

    Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone scripted this comedy about Deanna, mother of a college-age daughter (Maddie, played by Mollie Gordon).  Deanna (McCarthy) gets dumped by her husband on the day that Maddie returns to college to finish her senior year.  Deanna's husband Dan (Matt Walsh) says, immediately upon dropping off their daughter, that he wants a divorce and that his marriage needs an upgrade.  Deanna is floored, but by the end of the week she decides to go back to school to her daughter's college, and finish her own senior year, as she had been forced to drop out 20 years earlier because of her pregnancy.  That's the set-up, and the movie plays out like a series of scenes from a sitcom ... a funny sitcom to be sure.  McCarthy's slapstick comedy is broad and sometimes a little on the blue side, but she is perfect at this, since she wrote the part for herself.  What follows are all things you might expect - alcohol, marijuana, liaisons with very young men, and trouble with some of the in-crowd girls who don't think that somebody's mother belongs in college.  There are two well-crafted reveals that betray the skill of McCarthy as a writer, and hubby Falcone who directed with a deft hand.  If you like Melissa McCarthy's work, you will be more than happy with this film which has a lot of laughs, and is a perfect girls' night out, or a mother-and-daughter experience.  It's a little naughty, but not so much so as to be off-putting.  Rated 14A. 

     

  • The Book Club:

    This is a girls-night-out movie that will have many of the men in their lives left on the fringe, just as the men in this movie find themselves lesser beings.  A strong cast of friends who belong to a book club, consists of Jane Fonda (Vivian), Diane Keaton (Diane), Candice Bergen (Sharon), and Mary Steenburgen (Carol).  It is decided that the book for review, for discussion, and for total immersion on this occasion will be the notorious 50 Shades of Grey.  Three of the four leading women are Oscar winners, and that shows as the story plays out with a clear and present sense of change as the ladies discuss the material in the R-rated book, and realize in turn, just how it applies to them in their lives.  Vivian (Fonda) has been footloose and fancy-free, dating and sleeping with a variety of men over a period of years, while the other three struggle with a ho-hum marriage, widowhood, and an endless divorce.  Each reads the book, and each sees herself represented, and each wants to make changes in their lives before it's too late.  This is a romantic comedy that is entirely concerned with sex, so those whose sensibilities might be bruised by such talk may want to either avoid it altogether, or be very careful with whom you see it.  The sense of sisterhood that is exhibited by the cast here is palpable - each character is real and the audience quickly forgets that they are movie stars ... they are just ladies of a certain age who are trying to make the best of the years they have left.  Among the men in their lives is an Oscar winner too - Richard Dreyfuss.  Andy Garcia and Craig T. Nelson also star. 

  • On Chesil Beach:

    Rounding out this trio of female-leaning films is an awkward romance set in 1962 and based on Ian McEwan’s best-selling novel. Saoirse Ronan is the female lead, Florence, and writer McEwan crafted this part specifically for her.  She was the lead in one of his previous works that made it to film, “Atonement.” Here, Florence and Edward (Billie Howie) are lovers in Dorset in the UK, the place where Chesil Beach is found. This is the story of their courtship, and of the societal restrictions that British social culture placed on young people in relationships, showing, in some respects, that the early ‘60s were not that far from the Victorian age.  Emily Watson and Simon West play Florence’s parents whose expectations of the couple’s behaviour can lead only to disappointment and regret. Rated 14A.

  • How it Ends (2018):

    This Netflix original is a sci-fi thriller in which Will (Theo James from the Divergent series of movies), a father-to-be with a pregnant wife (Vampire Diaries Kat Graham), is suddenly thrown into chaos as a cataclysmic event occurs that changes the world as we know it.  Big cities are left in ruins, all power is gone, no cell phones work, communications systems including radio and television are gone, and there seem to be no rules.  He has to travel cross-country to get to he expectant wife, not an easy task as martial law seems to exist in some places while totally anarchy takes over elsewhere.  If you wanted a location that looked like the end of the world, what would you choose?  This film was shot in Manitoba, largely in Winnipeg and environs, and some of the soldiers seen working roadblocks are actual Canadian Forces troops.  Rated 14A. 


     

     

    Suicide Squad:

    Huge at the box office worldwide, this Marvel Comics feature has Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) at the head of a top secret government project to overcome an enormous force bent on world domination.  Her solution is to make deals with large numbers of incarcerated anti-heroes and could-have-been superheroes, all in one kind of restraint or another.  If this disparate gang of talented but mostly evil individuals fail at the task, it is their failing, and if they succeed, it’s the brilliance of Waller’s strategy.  A problem with the movie is that it takes on far too many characters, trying to acquaint us, on some level, with each, and then moving on to the next too quickly.  Highlight of the bunch is Margot Robbie as Harley Queen, the baddest of the bad girls, and other powerful baddies including Deadshot (Will Smith) The Joker (Jared Leto), and Panda Man (James McGowan).  Once the action picks up, it’s non-stop, with lots of things blowing up. Rated 14A.



David Bowie:  The Last Five Years (2017):

Prior to his untimely death, Bowie, the Man Who Fell to Earth, participated in the making of a documentary about his final years on the planet - he may have known that, but the filmmakers did not - as they track the making of his two final albums, The Next Day (2013) and Blackstar (2016), as well as the Broadway musical Lazarus, with music and lyrics composed by Bowie.  The theme of Lazarus was inspired by the Walter Tevis novel and the 1976 movie, The Man Who Fell to Earth in which Bowie starred.  Rated 14A.

New on AMAZON PRIME

Battalion (2018):

Here's a hint .. if you are going to produce a sci-fi movie about an alien invasion that the US Marines take on face-to-face, might be a good idea to get some Americans
to play the Marines instead of a group of Aussies who spend more energy struggling to put on and American accent than they do fighting the baddies, who look like they were created by a little kid with a box of crayons and a scanner. So this is a warning, not a recommendation. The premise is just fine, but the film, shot entirely in Australia, pretending to be such places as Los Angeles and New York, just doesn't work on any level, so if you value your time, you may not want to get caught up in this alleged action thriller, hoping that it's going to get better. It does not. Rated 14A.