Jan 22nd - 28th Downloads
& DVDs
  • First Man:

    I wasn't sure initially just what audience this film was designed to play to ... I am a lifelong space buff, and found the realism here around much of Astronaut Neil Armstrong's earlier life and aviation and space exploits riveting,  but I had a lot of background going into the film.  What about those who think they are going to see an action-packed movie about the frontiers of space?  That is not what this movie is.  Ryan Gosling plays Armstrong with a cool detachment, as was the case for the real man who approached every problem as if it had only one solution, and that was an engineering one.  Claire Foy (The Crown) plays his wife Janet, mother of his three children, with little emotion, offering the subtext that Armstrong family life was not particularly happy.  It was unspoken, but clear that there was not much affection - and in fact, they divorced in the early 1990s.  There are scenes in the movie reminiscent of, and offering a tip of the hat to, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and others that take a clinical look at the early space pioneers, helping us realize that they launched into the unknown in what amounted to little more than boilerplate and screws, with the creaking and groaning under stress of takeoff creating an unreal sense of dread.  Most of the story showcases Armstrong, who had always been a reluctant hero, and who spent most of his waking moments working.  Recapturing the look and feel of the sixties by using yellowed film that at times seemed to be shot with a super 8 camera, we are further pushed to the understanding that what was viewed then as high-tech, is in our world primitive.  This depiction is accurate, insightful, well-acted, and in the end, very touching.  Rated 14A. 


  • The Hate U Give:

    Based on the YA novel of the same title, written by Angie Thomas, this is a story not based on actual events ... but it could have been.  Starr Carter, brilliantly played by Amandla Stenberg, is an African-American teen, living in a largely Black neighbourhood, while attending a posh, mostly white high school.  She lives in two worlds, one that depicts her roots at home, the other that offers a future that may not be available otherwise.  Everything changes when her friend-since-childhood, Kahlil (Algee Smith) is shot and killed by a white police officer who thinks the young man may be reaching for a gun, but in fact, it's nothing like that at all.  The finely nuanced performances by Russell Hornsby as Starr's dad, and Regina Hall as her mom are exceptional in this coming of age movie that requires so much struggle to determine what world Starr is actually a part of ... and what she should tell about what she saw.   A very well-made film that will resonate with teens and with their parents as well.  Rated PG.

  •  Johnny English Strikes Again:

    Rowan Atkinson, known to many as Mr. Bean, stars as the British spy Johnny English in the third movie in the series that began in 2003.  The most obvious question, is why bother?  There are a few funny bits, but not nearly enough to justify the time spent on this movie as now-retired spy, Johnny English, is called out of retirement by the British Prime Minister (Emma Thomson) to help solve a cyber-crime that has revealed the identities and locations of all of Britain's MI7 operatives.  If you liked Atkinson's alter-ego Mr. Bean, you may pine for him here ... and in a scene in which Johnny English pretends to be a French waiter, you may long for Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau.  Olga Kurylenko also stars.  Rated 14A.

  • Girl (2019):

    This Netflix original is the 2019 Oscar submission by Belgium for Best Foreign Film.  Based on actual events, it's the story of a child, born a boy, but identifying as female, who, by the age of 15, is convinced that becoming a ballerina is the only thing that will make life worth living.  500 performers between the ages of 14 and 17 were auditioned, but none could be found from that group - they were boys and girls, they had to be able to act and to dance, but no one fit.  And then the director discovered Victor Polster who turned out to be a match for what she was looking for. The perception of gender is the key to this story.  Rated 14A. 


    Close (2019):

    Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) stars in this Netflix original in which she plays a bodyguard and counter terrorism expert assigned to protect Zoe, a wealthy heiress, isn't fussy about the job, and Zoe doesn't like the arrangement either, until a violent kidnapping attempt sends them on the run.  Eoin Macken (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter) co-stars in this taught thriller.  Rated 14A.  

Our House (2019):

The Canadian television premier of this spooky horror film features a young genius named Ethan (Thomas Mann from Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) who, while tinkering with an electronic device, accidentally invents an amplifier that brings life to all the spirits of loved ones living in his house.  But it also brings life to something far more sinister.  Once unleashed, nothing will ever be the same again.  Rated 14A. 



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.