Oct 15 - 21st Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • The Art of Self-Defense (2019):

    Jessie Eisenberg stars in his first comedy in three years in what is said by the producers to be a comic remake of “The Karate Kid.”  Written and directed by Ryley Stearns, who has very little experience behind the camera. Although billed as a comedy, I couldn’t find a lot funny here, as the movie has a very grim, dark side.  Eisenberg plays a character named Casey who is an accountant, lives alone with his dog, and doesn’t get out much. One night, after a restaurant dinner, Casey stops at the pet store to get food for his dog, and on the street, he is mugged by a pair of bikers who leave him unconscious.  Because of his injuries, he is given as much time off from his job as he needs in order to recover. He walks by a dojo where self-defense is being taught by a sensei played by Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle, Selma). Casey asks if he can try out the martial arts being taught, and is offered a free lesson the next day.  What follows is a spiralling series of events that sees Casey make every mistake imaginable when trying to learn Karate, and a mood of black humour that falls over everything like a dark cloud with a pink lining. Casey becomes fearful of the world outside and finds it difficult to do much more than see revenge against those who wronged him, but he remains too timid.  Until he isn’t. Imogene Poots co-stars as one of the instructors at the dojo, and Steve Terada (“22 Jump Street”) also weighs in with a good performance. On odd film that I found difficult to really like, it will appeal to those who like the kind of dark humour that gets people through difficult situations. Rated 14A.

     

  • Crawl:

    This has all the elements of a horror thriller with better style and credibility than Sharknado, with the action of Snakes on a Plane without Samuel L. Jackson, and with that "what's that in the water?" fear-building of "Jaws."   A very small cast that has considerably more CGI 'gators than it has people, has the heroine, a young woman, and championship swimmer named Haley (Kaya Scodelaria) of the Maze Runner movies, trying to find her father who seems to be missing as a massive Florida storm heads towards its peak.  She finds herself at the family home, which is flooding inch by inch, spotting her Dad's truck outside in what was once the driveway.  Dad is played by BC native Barry Pepper, and he is trapped in the muddy, scary, ugly crawlspace under the house.  Huge alligators have made their way in through a damaged drainpipe, he has been ravaged by their teeth and claws, and has found a little nook where they can't get at him.  When Haley arrives on the scene, it's up to her to save Dad, who is mortally injured ... as well as his dog, Sugar.  As the storm builds, and water levels increase, Hayley is attacked by a gator in the basement trying to get to Dad, and most of the next hour is spent in or under the water trying to get out of the crawlspace.  A little help arrives on one occasion, but that's it for the helpers as they are soon just so much alligator lunch.  Shot in Serbia, and looking nothing at all like Florida, it really doesn't matter, because we are concerned only with getting Hayley and Dad out of danger, but of course, at every turn, there is another set of dangers.  I found it just fine, for what it is ... a scare-fest that could go either way.  Rated 14A.

  • Stuber:

    As buddy cop shows go, I wish this one would.  It doesn't have much going for it.  I have only seen actor Kumail Nanjiani in one other movie, 2017's "The Big Sick," in which he played an Uber driver.  In this action-comedy, he stars with WWE star Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), and his character, Stu, is, guess what?  An Uber driver!  Stu, the Uber driver, hence "Stuber."  Much of the action here is lost on BC movie-goers because it's really just a prolonged promotion for Uber, how it works, and what kinds of funny things can happy when you use this mode of transportation.  One of the funny things is that your ride can be commandeered by the police, in this case a detective named Vic (Bautista) who has just had Lasik surgery and can't drive. Nanjiani saves what there is to save of this movie with his well-defined portrayal of a driver desperate to keep his five star Uber rating, Bautista is a stereotypical tough-guy cop, and the supporting cast, while highly respected as actors, really doesn't have much to do with what the script provides, including Mira Sorvino and Betty Gilpin.  A lot of thoughtless action fills in for what the script doesn't give us for story, and at the end of it all, a weak romantic link finishes things off with a small flourish.  Rated 14A here, R in the U.S.
  • The Laundromat (2019):

    This Netflix original has an exceptional cast and a based-on-fact story that has all the intrigue of an international spy thriller.  Based on the non-fiction book, “Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation,” it has a sterling pedigree: Steven Soderbergh directed, while Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman star.  Sharon Stone and Antonio Banderas are also on the docket as Streep’s character, Ellen Martin, newly widowed, investigates an insurance fraud that leads to Panama. Rated 14A.

     

    Living with Yourself (2019):

    This Netflix original series stars Paul Rudd as a man who undergoes an experimental treatment to improve his life, only to find out that a duplicate of him, a doppelganger, has been created and is attempting to take his place.  He now must compete for his job, his wife, and his very life. Rated 14A.

Happy Death Day 2U (2019):

This is a sequel to 2017’s “Happy Death Day,” in which a young college student named Tree (Jessica Rothe) lives the same day over and over again, Groundhog Day- style, always ending with murder at the hands of a masked killer.  She figured a way out of that, but now finds herself back in the cycle, only this time, dying is getting harder and harder, and if she can’t find a way out, one of these deaths will be final. A great sense of humour and a smart story.  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.