April 2nd - 8th Downloads
& DVDs
  • Bumblebee:

    At the risk of sounding sexist, I do not think this prequel to the Transformers movies could have the heart, the soul, and the feelings that it exhibits, had it not been scripted by a woman, Christina Hodson.  Steven Spielberg is still the executive producer, Michael Bay produced but did not direct, and a new cast led by the remarkable Hailee Steinfeld, combines action sci-fi with a story that is satisfying at every turn.  It's 1987, and on the home planet of Cybertron, the Autobots led by Optimus Prime are losing their war with the Deceptacons.  At the crisis, a young, yellow-hued Autobot named B-127 is sent to earth, to hide out, to protect the planet, and to provide a safe haven for the surviving Autobots.  In his alter-ego of a yellow VW Beetle, he is acquired by Charlie (Steinfeld) who is challenged with having lost her beloved dad to a heart attack, and who does not fit in with her mother who already has a new boyfriend, and with her little brother who seems to have moved on too.  When she discovers that her car is a shape-shifting robot, and that the Deceptacons are on the way, it's Beauty and the Beast, or King Kong and Faye Wray all over again as she teams up with the misunderstood giant alien to save the planet.  Lots of action, but plenty of feeling in what is, to me, the best Transformers movie yet.  Rated PG. 


  • The Mule:

    Leonard Sharp (Clint Eastwood) was, at the age of 90, a man who had spent 10 years running drugs for a Mexican cartel.  Clint Eastwood both directed and starred.  Based-on-actual-events, the 90 year-old Sharp was a gifted horticulturalist but a bad businessman. A WWII veteran, he spent far more time with his failing businesses than he did with his family from whom he became estranged for having missed too many birthdays, too many anniversaries, and ultimately, even his own daughter's wedding.  He was offered a chance at some quick, easy money and Sharp agreed to drive his pickup truck across the border with "something" in the bed, along with his horticultural supplies.  The money made a huge difference in his life, and he had himself convinced that it was a one-time thing.  Problem is, you don't decide when to quit the cartel - it decides for you, and soon he was making trip after trip, ferrying drugs wherever he was directed.  The amounts of cocaine increased geometrically, as did the risk.  An intervention by Federal Drug Enforcement Agents led by Bradley Cooper changed everything.  Great portrayal by the 88 year-old Eastwood, I thought it was an excellent nail-biter, liked the characters, and will only caution sensitive viewers about some strong language, some nudity and some sex scenes that are brief, but that got the film an 18A rating.  Also stars Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia, and Diane Wiest.

  • Vice:

    This is a political thriller that focuses on the American condition, offering up the story of just how Dick Cheney came to be the American Vice President under George Bush.  Christian Bale, as is so often the case, disappears into the identity of the character he plays, and we see Cheney in flashbacks as a younger man, and later in his White House years, running the show, even though Bush was the President ... but according to the narrative here, one agreed upon by many observers, Bush was the President in name only ... Cheney made all the big decisions.  As much as Bale is amazing in his portrayal, both Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, and Tyler Perry as Colin Powell, are disappointing because they are recognizable actors first, and characters in the movie second.  The story is narrated both on and off camera by a person unknown to us who promises to "explain later," and when that explanation comes, it's a shocker of amazing proportions.  Produced by Brad Pitt's Plan B productions.  Rated 14A.

  • Traitors (TV Series 2019):

    This Netflix original series is both set in, and shot in, The United Kingdom and focuses on the years immediately following the end of WWII, which ended in 1945.  Feef Symonds (Emma Appleton) is a British civil servant who is recruited by the United States to spy on her own government.  In the post-war world, Communism was the next big thing of which the world was afraid, and the way the stage was set for this next phase of world events plays out here.  Six episodes ready for streaming.


    Kubo and the Two String (2016):

    This Oscar nominee for Best Animated Film has a lot to offer in terms of its story, its characters, and its logistics.  Done in stop-motion animation, and containing the largest stop-motion character ever created, it's the story of Kubo, a young boy seeking a suit of armor worn by his late father, in order to defeat an evil spirit.  Features the voices of Charlize Theron, Matthew MacConaughey, and Star Trek's Mr. Sulu, George Takei.  Rated PG. 

White Boy Rick (2018):

The true story of Rick Wershe, Jr. (Richie Merritt) who became an undercover informant for the FBI in the 1980s, and managed to end up with a sentence of life in prison as a result.  His father, Rick, Dr. (Matthew MacConaughey) intervenes to try to save his son's future.  Bruce Dern also stars.  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.