Dec 25th - 31st Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • Life Itself:

    Written and directed by Dan Fogelman, the talent behind the hit TV series "This Is Us," we begin with Samuel L. Jackson as the narrator, using his trademark language around matriarchal profanity, attempting to tell the story of a couple who have just fallen in love ... but when he sees where the story is going, Jackson quits and walks off the job, leaving the narration to an unidentified female voice.  The problem in the early going, as we look at the life and romance of a young couple, Will and Abby, in NYC, is that Will (Oscar Isaac) is a self-absorbed jerk, and Abby (Olivia Wilde), is almost as flaky.  They are madly in love, but a tragic event involving the pregnant Abby changes everything.  The story jumps around a great deal, leaving us a little unsure as to just who is who, and why Will is talking to a psychiatrist (Annette Bening) in most scenes.  Told in a series of chapters, as if paging through a book, we eventually realize that this is a story of unconnected lives that intersect in different ways, and by the time we get to chapter three, and meet characters played by Antonio Banderas (Mr. Saccione) and Sergio Peris- Menchato as Javier, we begin to feel that we finally have some sensible people to follow.  Life continues to happen, however, and yet another love story starts to unravel.  To offer more detail risks spoiling what becomes an increasingly complex and endearing series of events, so I will simply say, get through chapter one, don't check out, and stay on for a beautiful story.  Excellent performances by Mandy Patinkin and a nice turn by Olivia Cook as Dylan, daughter of Will and Abby.  I hated this film in the beginning, tolerated its middle, and loved the final act.  Rated 14A.

     

  • The Predator:

    I was terribly disappointed in this sci-fi thriller based on the original film from 1987 that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jessie Ventura as a pair of special forces soldiers who encounter an alien hunter in the jungle that has the ability to become invisible, and which is a highly-tuned killing machine.  I thought the original, and its follow up, Predator 2 with some cast changes three years later, hit all the marks, making for an excellent experience as the concept was sharp and the stories were straight up.  Now we have director Shane Black (Iron Man 3) who co-starred in the original, deciding that a fifth movie in the series was needed.  It is full of problems.  First and foremost is the language and the lack of likability of  most of the major characters.  Second is that the story, which is muddy and difficult to follow, gets in the way of the franchise's roots.  Filmed in and around Vancouver, the best thing about the movie is the performance of young Jacob Tremblay (Room), as Rory who is now 12 years old.  His mom and dad are divorced and with his Asberger’s  Rory struggles with being different. An alien spacecraft crashes and Rory quickly adapts to a helmet and weapon from within.  Dad has been arrested by the US military - we really don't get why that is - and finds himself in the company of a group of ex-military misfits whose main claim to fame is talking dirty.  Add a female biologist (Olivia Munn) whose dirty talk rivals that of the men, a shady military commander (Sterling K. Brown) and a lot of special effects that are largely unexplained, and we have a story that barely manages to make sense, along with characters who just aren't believable, with the exception of Jacob Tremblay's.  Sad commentary when a 12 year-old out acts and outplays the likes of Thomas Jane (The Punisher), Jake Busey (son of Gary who was in an early Predator film) and the previously mentioned Miss Munn).  Shane Black not only directed, but co-wrote the script, so this mess is entirely his responsibility.   Rated 18A for language, violence, and sheer stupidity.

  •  White Boy Rick:

    The title character, the real-life Richard Wershe, Jr. (Richie Merritt), becomes a very young informant for the FBI and helps bring some bad drug people to justice.  His father, Richard, Sr., (Matthew MacConaughey) is horrified when he learns the depth of his son's involvement with law enforcement and organized crime, and is even more devastated when Richard, Jr. is charged with a number of major drug crimes and is sentenced to life in prison  Authentic locations and real people's lives bring an air of authenticity to the story.  Rated 14A.

  • Roma (2018):

    Directed and written by Oscar-winner Alfonso Cuaron (The Shape of Water), this Netflix original tells the story of life in a middle class family in Mexico City in the 1970s.  Because such film festivals as the one in Cannes refuse to recognize made-for-Netflix movies for awards, this one was also released to theatres on a limited basis so it could qualify.  In order to elicit the kind of chaotic surprises in his cast, the director only shown the script pages for the day's filming on the morning of the shoot, as he wanted the sense of fear, dread, and shock to be as real to the actors is it was to the characters.   Rated 18A.

     

    Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018):

    This Netflix exclusive opened in select theatres just a week ago, and now you can watch it at home on TV.  A much darker version of the Rudyard Kipling story than the Disney versions, this one tells just one of the many tales that make up "The Jungle Book."  The director is Andy Sirkis, who played the motion-capture Gollum on Lord of the Rings, as well as Caesar, the lead in the new Planet of the Apes movies, using the same technology.  Here, his voice actors who are CGI creations, have to act out their parts as well.  Benedict Cumberbatch is Shere Khan, the tiger, Christian Bale is Bagheera the panther, and Cate Blanchett is the voice of Kaa the snake.  A live-action Mowgli is played by Rohan Chand in this shot-in-South Africa feature.  Rated 14A. 

Krypton (2018) TV Series:

Set on the planet Krypton more than 100 years before baby Kal-El was rocketed to earth where he became Superman, we see the background history here that led to those events.  The House of El has been in disgrace because of the political event that saw it stripped of its wealth and prestige, leaving Sig-El (Cameron Cuffe) to work through the challenges.  Sig-El would become Kal-El's grandfather.  Made for Syfy network in the US, this one aired on Space here earlier this year.  All 10 episodes are available, and it has been renewed for a new season which will appear in 2019.


New on AMAZON PRIME

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot (2018):

Based on actual events, Joaquin Phoenix stars as John Callahan, a young man severely injured in a car accident in which he was the impaired driver.  His alcoholism led him to that place, where he emerged a quadriplegic, and it appeared that his life was pretty much over.  While in rehab, he found that he had an ability to draw editorial cartoons, and with the help of his girlfriend (Rooney Mara) and his sponsor (Jonah Hill), he learns that perhaps there is a life worth living after all.  Set and shot in Portland, OR, home of the real-life John Callahan.  Rated 14A.