Dec 24th - 30th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • Judy:

    Renee Zellweger's performance as Judy Garland during the final year of her young life, is Oscar-nomination material.  Far more than just an impression of the star, Zellweger seems to have crawled inside Garland's skin, and especially with her amazing range of facial features, has communicated a pitch-perfect performance.  The story toggles back and forth between Garland's trip to London, England, necessary to try to help sort out her significant financial problems, and her early years working as a contract performer for MGM, where she was badly mistreated by studio head Louis B. Mayer.  She was 16 when shooting The Wizard of Oz, and studio bigwigs, forcing her to work 18 hour days in order to bring the picture in on time, were feeding her pills to stay awake, pills to stay asleep, and pills to curb her appetite so she could continue to play the little girl, Dorothy.  That behaviour, forced upon her during those early studio years, was the beginning of a long, slippery slope into drug and alcohol dependency.  This film is not a biopic, but rather is just a slice of the star's life in her final year with a significant backstory that helps us understand the life that she lived, five times married, and a career in which she made millions and millions of dollars, but had little to show for it after husbands, managers, and various hangers-on stripped her of all that she had, ending her life with an unintended drug overdose in England at the age of 47, in a rented house.  The story is a modern tragedy.  Her estate amounted to just $40,000 dollars, with all those other millions just gone.  Her film career, which, as an adult, includes such titles as "A Star Is Born (1954),  Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Easter Parade (1948), and much later, her own TV variety show on CBS had its ups and downs too.  Renee Zellweger did all her own singing for the film and is releasing the soundtrack album under her name, while Liza Minnelli, Garland's daughter has gone on record saying that she is not happy with the project or the fact that at no time was she contacted by Zellweger or the filmmakers.  Both Liza Minnelli and her half-sister Lorna Luft are portrayed here by actors - Minnelli by Gemma-Leah Devereaux and Luft by Bella Watson.  Zellweger received rave reviews when the movie opened at the Telluride International Film Festival.  The short take from me is that it is an amazing movie, very sad, somewhat depressing, but a must-watch!  Rated 14A.

     

  • Abominable:

    From Dreamworks Animation and its co-producer, Pearl, a China-based production company, this just happens to be the third movie in 12 months that features the Yeti (Abominable Snowman) or its cousin Bigfoot.  Set in China, we are introduced to a teenage girl named Yi (voice of Chloe Bennett from Agents of SHIELD), who finds a magical Yeti on the roof of the apartment building in which she lives, in Shanghai.  Why she is on the roof to begin with is a plot point that sheds light on the sadness in Yi's family, following the loss of her father.  Yi is instantly likeable, and it's clear, given her even demeanor, that she is going to help the Yeti, who belches a lot, by the way - kids in the audience seem to just love bodily function noises -  get back home where it belongs.  With the help of her friend Jin (voice of Tenzing Norgay Trainor, who is the grandson of Tenzing Norgay, the Sherpa who summited Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953), they have to stay a step ahead of an animal collector named Burnish (Eddie Izzard) and a zoologist named Dr. Zara (Sara Paulson) who feel that the Yeti needs to be put on display for the public to see, and for science to study.  As the chase goes on, we are exposed to some of the most beautiful animation imaginable, making us feel, at times, that the trip to Mt. Everest is the real thing, not just a cartoon animation.  From the creators of Shrek and Madagascar, Abominable is perfect for even the youngest of children and it works for their adult companions too. it is scripted by Jill Culton who wrote both Monsters Inc. and Open Season.  Audience reaction on opening night was exceptional, with the movie getting an "A" rating from Cinemascore which polls those exiting the theatre at film's end.   Rated PG.


  • Rambo: Last Blood:

    It isn't Shakespeare, but if you like a good revenge movie where a lot of stuff blows up, where the dialogue is simple, and the plot is no more complex than "you did me wrong and you're gonna pay," this one gets the job done.  Sylvester Stallone wrote the script in which an older and more gentle John Rambo is raising his 17 year-old niece, Gabrielle, on his ranch in Arizona, not far from the Mexican border.  When she is kidnapped by a Mexican sex slave operation, the bad guys learn quickly that they have messed with the wrong family.  It is somewhat predictable, but not always, somewhat violent, but not always, and somewhat angry, but not always.  If you like the Rambo franchise, and I do, you'll get your money's worth.  Rated 18A for violence.

  • Fast & Furious Spy Racers:

    This Netflix original series has recruited top talent for its animated features that focus on a group of teens that infiltrates a world-class spy ring and uses fast cars and smart strategies to save the world from those who would take away the status quo.  Vin Diesel executive produces, and Netflix has teamed up with Dreamworks, Steven Spielberg's company, to do the animation, which does not look "cartoony" at all, but rather walks so close to realism that it's difficult to tell at a glance that it isn't live action.  Rated PG.

     

    Lost In Space, Season 2:

    It has been more than a year-and-a-half since we saw the Robinson Family on their new planet.  The first season of 10 episodes played to mixed reviews, and it has taken almost two years to get season 2 up and running, but it's all here.  The family has barely survived the events of the last episode of season one, they have lost their spacecraft, and new and more frightening things lurk behind the scenes of this shot-in-BC project.  Fans now have 10 more episodes to follow.  Rated 14A. 

New on CRAVE

The Two Popes (2019):

Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce star as Pope Benedict and Pope Francis respectively in a true story that goes behind the walls of the Vatican and reveals perhaps the most important transition of power and influence in 2,000 years.  Asking Pope Benedict (Hopkins) for permission to retire, the future Pope Francis is instead plunged into a series of events that concern a secret that could rattle the faith of the one billion Catholics worldwide.  After a brief theatrical opening, the film has been distributed exclusively by Netflix.  Rated 14A.

The Witcher (TV Series, 2019):

This Netflix original series is a sword-and-sandal thriller that follows Geralt of Rivera, a solitary monster-killer who roams the earth righting the wrongs created by monstrosities everywhere.  Henry Cavill stars as the title character, based on a novel series.  A second season has already been announced, so you can binge watch this one safely.  Rated 14A. 

 

New on AMAZON PRIME

The Kill Team (2019):

This is an Afghan War story that could be based on actual events.  A young infantryman, Andrew Briggman, views the behaviour of his commanding officer, Sgt. Deeks (Alexander Skarsgaard) as being well beyond the bounds of acceptable military behaviour.  He faces the moral dilemma that most whistle-blowers face ... is he right or his he wrong.  If he says nothing, does it make him complicit?  And if he speaks out, it could mean his life.  Rated 14A. 

 

New on DISNEY +

The Mandalorian, Chapter 6:

This Star Wars series made for streaming, is perhaps the most true and authentic spinoff that the franchise has offered in more than 20 years.  Taking place in the days of Jawas and Ewoks, it follows the adventures of a masked bounty hunter and his baby Yoda capturee across the galaxy.  The flavour is very much that of the Empire Strikes Back era, with outstanding special effects and a superb story.  Rated PG.