Sept 24th - 30th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • Awake:

    Good cast for a movie with a director known only for a handful of Eastern European projects (Alexsandr Chernyeav), and a writer with no screen credits at all (Elana Zeltzer). They have somehow managed to recruit accomplished TV and movie actor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Vikings, Dracula, The Tudors), and a daughter of Clint Eastwood (Francesca), and William Forsythe (The Man in the High Castle, Boardwalk Empire).  Rhys Meyers is John Doe, a man who wakes up in a hospital bed with no recollection as to how he got there, and no understanding as to what might have happened to him, especially when he learns that he is accused of having committed as series of murders, and that the police have him right where they want him. With all of that happening, there’s only one plot device that is going to work here …. John Doe has to flee, to go on the lam, and to try to put together the pieces of his forgotten life, while also trying to stay a step ahead of his pursuers.  A lot of this we have seen before, but there’s just enough that’s out of the ordinary to keep us sort of engaged in the film. One thing that’s clear though, is that Francesca Eastwood, despite her genetic predisposition towards stardom, really doesn’t live up to the family name with her performance here. Shot on location in the small town of Guthrie, Oklahoma gives the film an authentic look. Rated 14A.

     

  • Shaft:

    Sometimes a lot of bad things in a movie just don't matter if the chemistry is right.  The bad things in this latest iteration in the Shaft franchise revolve largely around dreadful language, with a lot of words and expressions that were actually new to me; for that reason it has an "R" rating in the US (but is 14A here).   The good stuff includes great chemistry between the actors, despite some clunky scenes, and a story, while not sophisticated, gets you exactly where you want to go.  Jessie T. Usher is John Shaft, Jr. who, unlike his namesake granddad, is not a cool private eye, but rather is a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, working as an analyst for the FBI.  There have been several iterations of the Shaft brand, and now Samuel L. Jackson is John Shaft II, father of Jessie's character, and son of the original Shaft.  Shaft II is also a private investigator.  Dad and Junior have been estranged since Junior was still in diapers.  After years of no contact, Shaft, Jr.'s closest friend's untimely death requires that the high-tech Shaft Junior seek out his father to help solve the mystery.  Richard Roundtree, the original Shaft, also makes an appearance in the later frames, and at age 76 he looks just great. If you can get through the language and graphic dialogue, which seems to dissipate as the film rolls along, this is a great tip of the hat to the original genre that spawned Shaft - John Shaft.  Rated 14A.

  • A Score to Settle:

    Not a particularly good movie, this Nicholas Cage vehicle about a wrongfully imprisoned mobster has one big thing going for it – Nicholas Cage!  His character is Frankie Carver, released from prison after doing 19 years of hard time on charges that were all a set-up, having been framed somewhat willingly by his former gang members.  He’s not out because his sentence is up – he’s out because he is terminally ill and has been paroled as a humanitarian act. Frankie isn’t all that interested in humanitarianism though … he wants nothing more than revenge.  But there’s another piece to this – a son who is now an adult and Frankie is torn between telling his son the truth about his life, and letting the revenge go, or in trying to do both before he meets the Grim Reaper. Not a very good movie, but Cage is at his best here and does a fine job – sort of back to his “Con Air” days.  Rated 18A.
  • Criminal (2019):

    This Netflix original series travels to four different countries to look at the techniques used by detectives to interview suspected criminals.  Each segment takes place within the confines of the interview suite as detectives use cunning and psychology to attempt to crack each case. 12 episodes in all, it will be a feast for law-and-order buffs.  Rated 14A.

     

    Atomic Blonde (2017):

    Charlize Theron stars as Lorraine Broughton, and undercover MI6 agent with two significant missions.  One, she must investigate the death of a fellow agent in Cold War Berlin during the 1960s, and two, she must find a list of double-agents that has fallen into the wrong hands and could cause great harm to her country.  Theron is the real thing in the action scenes, having teamed up with the martial arts trainers that prepped Keanu Reeves for the John Wick movies. Her fight scenes were so intense that she chipped two teeth in the process.  Also stars James McAvoy. Rated 18A.

The Lego Movie 2:  The Second Part (2018):

If you liked the adventures of Emmett, an ordinary Lego person working construction in the first movie, who became “The Special,” then you’ll like the continuing adventures.  It’s been five years since everything was awesome, and now Lego Duplo invaders from space begin wrecking the known world. Voices of Chris Pratt, Maya Rudolf, and Will Arnett back again as Batman.  Rated PG

 

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.