Aug 27th - Sept 2nd Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • The Secret Life of Pets 2:

    The first movie in this set was in 2016 and featured the lives that pets lived in New York City while their owners were away at work just as the original Toy Story took us behind the scenes to learn what children's toys did when no one was looking.  In the first movie, the lead character was Max (originally voiced by the disgraced Louis CK, now by Patton Oswald), a dog owned by young, single Katie (Ellie Kemper), who, in this movie, has married and has a child.  They take a family trip to the country where Max meets a farm dog named Rooster (voice of Harrison Ford), a tough old farm dog who views Max as something of a sissy.  This is a kids' movie in every way.  The characters are funny, albeit predictable in their actions, and Kevin Hart, who voices Snowball, the Rabbit, something of a villain in the first film, now something of a bunny superhero this time, steals the show. While Max and his family are plodding around the farm, doing farm stuff, Snowball is helping a small dog named Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) try to rescue a tiger from a circus run by an evil Eastern European bad guy.  Back at the farm, Max just wants to meet a nice lady doggy and have a family, just like Katie has done, while Snowball is a wrecking machine as he moves through his paces to save the circus animal.  Criticism of the film has come from some interesting quarters where it is suggested that there isn't enough inclusion in the families involved, that getting married and having kids isn't necessarily how everyone should act, and from Rooster, Harrison Ford's farm dog, that males cannot be sissies.  I worked at finding that kind of relevance in this movie, but still ended up with a kids' film that they will like, and that will live on for many, many plays when it comes out on DVD.  Trying to read anything else into this animated adventure would be like trying to psychoanalyze Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story.  Rated PG.

     

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters:

    This is a sequel to the Godzilla movie from 2014 and will set up its own sequel for Godzilla VS King Kong due out in 2020.  I have to tell you though, that after struggling through two hours and eleven minutes of poorly lit, low-definition mindless monster action, I can honestly say that I longed for the days of the Japanese Godzilla movies where the monster was a guy dressed up in a suit where you could see the zipper up the back, and stomped on Matchbox cars in the miniaturized streets of Tokyo.  It's pointless to outline the plot, because each set-scene is just another excuse for a monumental battle - Godzilla VS Rhodan; Godzilla VS Ghidora; Godzilla with a little help from Mothra.  This is the first feature film for Millie Bobby Brown, the exceptional young actress who plays Eleven on Stranger Things, and I feel badly for her here, given not much else to do but scream and run.  Her scientist parents are played by Vera Farmiga and Kyle Chandler, and they work hard to basically yell and scream a lot, and run.  I found that the 3D was cumbersome and did nothing to advance the look of the movie, and that, in fact, it only made the already-too-dark setting darker.  This is a sequel to 2014's Godzilla movie in which San Francisco was essentially destroyed, making it the first American-made Godzilla movie to have a sequel, and it's a big set-up for next year's Godzilla VS King Kong.  Three characters from the 2014 movie appear in this one, and they clearly did so for the paycheque, not that there's anything wrong with that.  In the closing credits, I noticed that it said Godzilla was played by "himself."  I don't think so!  Normally I would say, of a PG-rated action-horror-thriller such as this, to be careful with younger children.  No such disclaimer here - they have all seen worse on the playground.  Rated PG.



  • The Sun Is Also a Star:

    Based on the best-selling YA novel by Nicola Yoon, this story is a semi-autobiographical look at a pair of immigrant teens and their outlook on love.  Charles Melton (Riverdale) is Daniel Bae, of Korean heritage, and he is artistic, a young poet at heart.  Yara Shahidi is Jamaican-born Natasha, with a bent for the hard sciences, believing that love is just a made-up thing.  Each has a family struggle at the centre of this story- Daniel's parents want him back in pre-med, setting his course on becoming a doctor.  Natasha's parents, and herself as well, are just 24 hours away from being deported when Immigration officials found that the restaurant in which her father worked had hired him nine years earlier as an undocumented immigrant.  Daniel bets Natasha that he can get her to fall in love with him within the time she has left in New York City - just one day.  Will the poet in him overcome the scientist in her?  Will her family have to scoop her up and have her deported along with them?  A charming story with an interesting outcome. Rated 14A.
  • Hyperdrive (2019 - series):

    This Netflix original series is all about serious car racing - not Formula One, not Indy cars, and not NASCAR .... but rather the hottest street racers from around the world congregating on a facility strewn with obstacles that make it the deadliest road course in the world.  Filmed in Kodak Park in Rochester, NY.  Rated 14A.

     

    American Factory (2019):

    Another Netflix original, this one a movie, could have been scripted by those watching Donald Trump's trade negotiations with China.  Set in the very near future, the Chinese appear to be saviors of American jobs when they set up a huge auto plant in the heart of America, creating new jobs for more than 2,000 workers.  Soon, however, once the new barons of industry have foothold in U.S. industry, the clash of cultures, and the clash of Asian technology VS American values changes everything.  Rated 14A.

The Mule (2018):

Clint Eastwood is superb in this story of an eighty-something aged man whose love for agriculture and for his landscaping business transcends everything, including love of family.  Given a chance to make some quick money, which he badly needs, by just making a little delivery from one side of the Mexican border to the other, he soon finds himself caught up in the heart of the actions of a major drug cartel.  Rated 14A.

 

New on AMAZON PRIME

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.