Jan 8th - 14th Downloads
& DVDs
  • Hell Fest:

    A masked serial killer unleashes his worst on an amusement park - he stalks his victim, slashes, slices, and dices them, and hangs them up, literally, in the House of Horrors where other patrons think it's all part of the act, just another prop.  It is fine for what it is - played to a late-teen-early-twenties crowd just in it for the blood and the guts, of which there are plenty.  Hell-Fest is the name of the theme park, and we are introduced to a half-dozen girls in their late teens or early 20s, looking for what such girls seek … guys in their late teens or early 20s.  The park is designed to provide scare after scare, and one of the problems is that this gets old very quickly. Far too much time is spent on giving back stories to the characters, most of whom are going to become just so much shredded flesh anyway, that it hardly seems to have a point. Targets are selected, one-by-one to become the next victim, as we find that a masked killer is afoot – not Leatherface, and not Michael Myers, but the same idea. If you have seen the "Scream" movies, you have pretty much seen this one.  For those looking for a big scare, it will work ... a slasher movie at every level.  Rated 18A for violence.


  • Mid90s:

    Jonah Hill makes his directing debut in this small film set in 1990s Los Angeles, focused on Stevie, a 13 year-old who is having a challenging summer.  There is trouble at home, but that’s nothing new, and there are people at a skate-shop who might be new friends for the making, or they might be something just a little different.  Director Hill also wrote the script for this story in which young boy named Stevie (Sunny Suljic from “The House with a Clock in its Walls), struggles at home with a co-dependent mother, a bullying older brother who beats him mercilessly, and a domestic situation that leaves him feeling unwanted and unneeded.  At school it’s not much better, with the higher-income kids from better families treating Stevie as if he were invisible. When he happens on the skateboarding community though, things seem to change, as the people that he meets there are interested in just two things – boarding, and people who board. In order to get with that program, Stevie needs the money to buy a board … which is steals from his mother, and that offers up interesting consequences.  The examination of this boy’s psyche as he tries to find his place in the world is realistic and believable. Not my cup of tea, but an excellent film for those who like a remarkable coming of age story. Rated 14A.

  •  What They Had:

    Utility actress Elizabeth Chomko (The Mentalist, Common Law) wrote and directed this film festival project which is, on many levels, an art house movie that actually belongs in larger venues.  It’s a theme that has been explored in many ways before, where an older couple faces the struggle wrought by Alzheimer’s when it’s introduced into their family. Here, in an excellent cast that includes Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Robert Forster, Blythe Danner, and Tessa Farmiga, we see Brigit (Swank) being called back to her hometown by her brother Nicky (Shannon) when her mother Ruth (Blythe Danner) wanders off into a blizzard on Christmas Eve, making it clear that the family will have to make some difficult choices around her ongoing care.  Robert Forster is Ruth’s husband of more than 50 years, and the two are still as much in love today as they had been in the very beginning … but, says the adult children to Dad, it’s not safe for her to be at home any longer … she needs the care offered by a nursing home. The story evolves, offers some great warmth and humour, but also the challenges of people facing the mortality of those whom they love when health issues begin to manifest themselves. An excellent story, well-acted and well-written. Rated 14A.

  • And Breathe Normally (2018):

    This Netflix original was produced in Iceland, is subtitled, and may not be everyone's tumbler of ice, but it tells the gripping story of two women from different worlds - a struggling Icelandic mother, and an asylum seeker from Guinea whose lives collide in an unusual fashion, and who must somehow manage to communicate and to understand one another in order to thrive.  Rated 14A. 


    Lionheart (2018):

    This is the first Netflix original to be commissioned from the country of Nigeria, although the theme could place the story elements anywhere in the world.  A young woman named Adaeze (Genevieve Nnani  sees her father's business take a serious hit when Dad is felled by a serious health problem ... but in a shocking turn of events, Adaeze learns that Dad has appointed his ne’er-do-well brother to run the business along with his daughter ... and she then learns that the business is in serious financial shape.  She must somehow make way with her uncle and cousin in order to save everybody's bacon.  Rated 14A.

Star Trek Short Takes: The Escape Artist:

While we wait for the new season of Star Trek: Discovery, the producers have been making available small, short and very well-produced vignettes using background characters from the series.  This weekend it's the return of Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson), causing major troubles as usual.


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.