Feb 12th - 18th Downloads
& DVDs
  • Bohemian Rhapsody:

    This film chronicles the years that the rock band Queen met, worked with, and eventually separated from front man Freddy Mercury.  I found it an exceptionally good story, and the Hollywood tweaks that made it more dramatic in some parts, were no more or less than for any other similarly-themed films, whether it be those on such celebs as Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, and the Four Seasons.  Don't allow any of that to put you off seeing what is a spectacular rendition of the times, of Queen, and of course, of Freddy Mercury.  We watch the one-time baggage handler from Heathrow airport move from those humble beginnings in London, to fronting Live Aid, the most watched music event ever, with and audience that numbered in the billions.  Golden Globe winner Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) is Oscar material here as he disappears into the persona of Mercury transforming himself from Farrouk Balsara, his given name from his immigrant parents, to the character he created for himself, piece by piece.  One of things that I appreciated, in addition to the spectacular soundtrack, is the fact that Mercury's sexuality, his drug use, and his other excesses, are alluded to, but not dwelt upon. Those subtleties make this a much more palatable story.  It has great dramatic moments, and it lets us in on the creative process that the band used to come up with such hits as We Are the Champions, Another One Bites the Dust, and We Will Rock You.  Mercury died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1991, six years after the final event in the film, the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium ... but he lives on through his music, and also through this excellent portrayal.  Rated PG.


  • At Eternity’s Gate:

    Willem Dafoe won the Best Actor award at this year's Venice Film Festival, and was a Golden Globe nominee for his tortured portrayal of Vincent Van Gogh, the Dutch artist who lived with mental illness and in poverty during his short life.  A complete unknown, but within a decade of his death, he was hailed as the greatest Dutch painter since Rembrandt.  I did not feel as if I had been to a movie, but rather that I sat through, in part at least, a lengthy art appreciation class which was literally, in places, akin to watching paint dry.  The movie is as artsy as they come, with lengthy discourses between Dafoe's Van Gogh, and his friend post- impressionist master, Paul Gauguin. The disjointed camera work frequently goes from looking at what the artist is doing, to becoming the artist, looking through his eyes.  Van Gogh fell into mental illness and was placed in an asylum on more than one occasion, and he continued to paint during those times.  Although the movie began as slow and plodding, overtime it became an interesting portrait of a man in great emotional pain, a complex person who suffered at every level, and who never enjoyed what he would become had he lived long enough. Interesting, and very different experience for this one.  Rated 14A.

  •  Tyler Perry's Nobody's Fool:

    Many of these Tyler Perry movies inevitably do very well at the box office, but are not always released in Canada at the same time as the American release. That was the case here as Tiffany Haddish starred as a young woman released from prison who learned that her sister was in a relationship with someone who may not be at all what he appears to be. With just one exception, Tyler Perry movies have been rated PG or 14A, but this one is 18A for language and sexual situations.  And unlike most Tyler Perry movies, it was a box office bomb which did not do enough business to make its money back.  Whoopi Goldberg and Missy Pyle also star.  Rated 14A. 

  • The Umbrella Academy (2019) (Series):

    This Netflix original series has all ten episodes available this weekend in a show that seems designed to create the next big thing in the superhero genre.  Netflix has relied upon Marvel for its people with special abilities, but now it is branching out on its own when a band of superheroes lose their adoptive father, and all come back together when Dad's passing is the catalyst for a major threat to the world.  Ellen Page (Juno, Flatliners) stars along with Mary J. Blige, Robert Sheehan (Mortal Engines) and Tom Hopper (Game of Thrones).  Based on the comics books of the same title.  Rated 14A. 


    The Breaker Upperers (2018):

    Already a successful movie in New Zealand where it was produced, this little ensemble comedy tackles a big topic - that of how to break up with someone with whom you decide is so, very over.  Can't do it yourself?  Call the Breaker-Upperers and they'll do it for you, leaving you to pursue other interests without the trauma and baggage that often goes with a break up.  A romantic comedy, it has been acquired by Netflix for release under its "Original" banner.  Rated 14A. 

Slender Man (2018):

This horror-thriller has its basis in fact as it tells the story of a group of friends, girls in their teens, who decide that they will prove that the Slenderman, thought to be a fictional internet-spawned killer, doesn't really exist.  We have seen this theme before with similar groups of girls trying to disprove that Ouija Boards really work, or that the cabin in the woods isn't really haunted.  When one of them disappears, things change dramatically.  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.