June 25th - July 1st Downloads
& DVDs
  • The Hummingbird Project:

    There are some good things to say about this techno-thriller, but most of them are about the casting, and not many are about the story, which labours a great deal, and which won’t really be of interest to those who don’t get the combination in today’s world between the stock market and how transactions happen.  The project of the title is all about getting a high-speed fibre optics cable from one side of the United States to the other, with technology in place that will not allow the signal to degrade. The point of this is to be able to make stock market transactions, based on milliseconds, quicker than the next guy. Trading has become a lighting-swift business, and a trending action requires a fast reaction … fastest guy wins.  Jessie Eisenberg stars here as Vincent Zaleski who, along with his cousin Anton (an almost unrecognizable Alexander Skarsgard) thinks they can get this done and make trillions of dollars as a result. Eisenberg is at his best here, but his character is very much like that of Mark Zuckerberg, whom he portrayed in “The Social Network,” or of magician J. Daniel Atlas, his character in the “Now You See Me” movies. As Vincent, he is fast-talking, quick-thinking, and always the smartest guy in the room.  There are some tense moments as the big money people and those who have to sell their rights for the cable to pass under their respective properties get uppity, but it’s a slow burn, and that’s the biggest thing wrong with this film. It really doesn’t get where it’s going, and it seems to take too long to get there …. Wherever that might be. Rated 14A.


  • The Aftermath:

    Kiera Knightly stars in this post-World War II drama as the wife of a British Colonel, assigned to oversee post-war reconstruction in Germany, which seems like something of an adventure, but not to the remaining Germans, particularly the one who had occupied the house they now live in.  Jason Clarke is the husband, with the movie based on the book of the same name. The film did not get wide distribution, so most theatres didn’t wind up showing, especially considering that the blockbuster” Avengers: End Game” was released the very same weekend.  Knightly and Clarke are Rachel and Lewis, and Rachel’s excitement about living in Germany in a position of some substance is shattered when she learns that the stately mansion that Lewis has rented, comes with its previous owners, Stefan (Alexander Skarsgard again) and his daughter Frieda. Rachel isn’t happy to be sharing the home, and Stefan isn’t happy to have the British couple in residence. The story slowly devolves into something of a soap opera along with the usual long camera shots and artistic appreciation of the period in terms of furniture, settings, and behaviours … until Rachel and Stefan fall into a fast and furious affair.  The outcome here wasn’t terribly satisfying, some of the performances with fine, others wooden, and it’s for Kiera Knightly fans mostly. Rated PG. 

  • Maze:

  • Based on actual events, this set-in-Ireland prison escape film spins out the story of a prison break in 1983 in which 38 IRA inmates, all convicted of terrorism, broke out of jail and set their sights on freedom.  The kind of freedom they wanted was the type that would allow them to continue their dogged pursuit of the rights of the North as opposed to what they have viewed for generations as British Tyranny. The mostly Irish cast consists of accomplished performers, most of whom have names not recognised by North American audiences, which is a plus, because it gives the film an even more authentic feel.  Also, it was shot on location in a prison that had been decommissioned just months before, making it feel like a tense and complex documentary. For those who read the book upon which the story is based, there will be some disappointment, as key characters are gone, and some of the actual plotting and scheming has all but disappeared, but the heart of the story makes for a good thriller, with the understated conflicts boiling over at surprising times.  Rated 14A.

  • Beats (2019):

    This Netflix original stars Anthony Anderson as a once-on-top-of-his-game music manager who has had a massive fall from grace.  He meets a talented young musician – a prodigy actually - with demons of his own which include the recent loss of his sister, and a persistent agoraphobia condition that makes leaving the confines of his home difficult.  It appears that there may be a way for each to help the other, but first they have to overcome the circumstances that have paralyzed them. Rated 14A.


    Answer for Heaven (2019):

    This Netflix original series has twist we have seen before, and it remains to become evident as to whether or not it can overcome that familiarity.  It’s the story of a fallen angel who believes that he was wrongly exiled from Heaven … and as his penance, must work and live with a crime reporter to whom ratings are more important than the truth.  Rated 14A.

The Old Man and the Gun:

Robert Redford said of this film, that it was his last, and that he wanted to go out with style and class.  He does all of that here as Forrest Tucker, a real-life bank robber who was such a gentleman during his holdups, that those whom were robbed felt that it was almost okay.  At the age of 70, he escaped from San Quentin and went on another long string of heists, leaving it to a detective (Casey Affleck) to try to catch him. Excellent, but very quiet film that is a great character study.  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.