Jan 28th - Feb 3rd Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • Countdown:

    This horror-thriller is somewhat derivative, but that doesn't stop it from being an entertaining thriller.  It is similar in structure, to the Final Destination movies in which characters cheat death, but death comes after them anyway, making certain that everyone ends up deceased by various means.  The production values, acting, and general flow of this film are first class, and the premise is almost believable..  It begins with a group of teens talking about a new app for their phones called Countdown.  It's supposed to tell you when you are going to die.  They dare each other to download the app, and most find that they are going to live into their 80s or 90s ... except for Courtney, who has just one night left.  Shrugging it off as a gag, she leaves a party late at night, and also leaves her boyfriend's car because he is too wasted to drive.  She gets the sense that she is being followed home, seeing dim shapes in the gloom and the darkness, and breathlessly gets into her house where she hears ... something.  Well, Courtney is dispatched quickly and violently.  Cut to a hospital where Quinn (Elizabeth Lail from Once Upon a Time) has just received her RN designation, a little party is held for her, and people are jokingly downloading the Countdown app.  Turns out Elizabeth's says she has just three days to live.  What follows is a pulse-pounding race for a solution as Quinn and her friend Matt (Jordan Calloway), who also has just days to live according to the app, bounce from an IT expert who hacks the app, to a priest who says it's not his field, to another priest who knows all about demonic activity.  The countdown is on and the mix of dark humour and actual terror make this a fine chiller, as we wonder if Quinn and friend can possibly find a way out.  Rated 14A ... no blood, no guts, but a lot of make-you-jump moments.

     

  • The Addams Family:

    All of your favourite characters show up in this feature - Gomez (voice of Oscar Isaac), Morticia (Charlize Theron), Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz), Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard) and more.  This is an animated version of the stories that most people know from the television series that ran from 1964 to 1966, and you may be somewhat surprised to see that many of the characters here are not like their TV versions.  That's because The Addams Family was a cartoon in the New Yorker Magazine beginning in the 1930s, drawn by cartoonist Charles Addams, and this version is much closer to the original look of the family than the later movie and TV iterations.  In many respects, it's an origins story, with the family leaving "the old country" in Eastern Europe, to settle in New Jersey, which, not coincidentally, is where creator Charles Addams lived.  They set up housekeeping in an abandoned asylum, and it seems to fit the ghoulish group perfectly ... that is until there is some commotion in the neighbourhood, and we learn that a TV Home Improvement show fronted by Margaux Needler (Allison Janney), decides to turn the entire area into a planned community.  The Addams residence is, as she puts it, "off brand," and it has to go.  There is a lot of graveyard humour here, the animation is superb, and the story is tight, wrapping up in just 87 minutes, completing the first law of showbusiness, which is "leave them wanting more."  Whether you are a nostalgia buff longing for the original TV series, or a fan of such newer animated features as Hotel Transylvania, you'll get a pleasant enough experience here.  Rated PG. 

  • Harriett:

    Most Americans, and a good number of Canadians, know that Harriet Tubman was a woman who did a lot of work in the 1800s to help free slaves, and to improve the lot of Black people and women in her community, but most don't know the length and breadth of her real story.  Harriett Tubman (Cynthia Erivo) was born into slavery in Maryland, she escaped in 1849, but immediately went back to secure her family.  Over a period of years, she made 13 trips back to the South, rescuing some 70 people, and setting up the Underground Railway. What makes this film work, in addition to Erivo's fine performance, is the fact that much of its horrors are implied and not shown graphically, as they were in "12 Years a Slave."  The treatment of her family, and the horrors that she endured, are etched into her countenance, and as such, seem even crueler, more frightening, and more inhuman that seeing the acts themselves.  The film also draws some interesting lines around freedom ... many of the Black people portrayed here are free, many born that way, which is why Harriet's focus on righting the wrongs of a terrible and wretched practice, that of slave ownership, is even sharper.  Tubman was later active in the American Civil War as an armed scout and a spy, and was a key player after the War in the women's suffrage movement.  Also stars Jennifer Nettles as a fiercely cruel matriarch who ruled her slaves with a hand of iron, and Vondie Curtis-Hall.  Rated 14A.

  • Pandemic:

    How to Prevent an Outbreak (2020):  This Netflix original documentary takes six episodes to explain just how a regular flu virus could be the one thing that ends civilization for all humankind.  Each episodes shows us another step in the mutation process that can take an ordinary-seeming illness into something that becomes unstoppable.  Most don't realize that hundreds of Canadians die of influenza each year, and that the numbers worldwide are in the millions.  And that's just the ordinary flu.  Hang on for a rough ride.  Rated 14A. 

     

    October Faction (TV series, 2019):

    Another Netflix original series, this one is based on a comic book that features a retired monster hunter and his family.  The family is odd and the casting is even odder.  Included in this tight little unit are a person who kills just for fun, one who is a witch, and another who is a warlock.  Shot in Cambridge, ON with a largely Canadian cast, we'll see such venerable domestic actors as Megan Follows, Wendy Crewson, and Stephen McHattie.  Six episodes in all.  Rated 14A. 

New on CRAVE

Star Trek: Picard(TV series 2020)

This new Star Trek version created for the CBS streaming service, All Access, stars Patrick Stewart in the continuing adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise, those events that happened well after the end of the original series.  Look for a number of Next Generation characters to appear, including Mr. Data (Brent Spiner), Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), and William Riker (Jonathan Frakes).  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

Treadstone (2019, series):

The Treadstone project is the one that developed Jason Bourne as a super-spy. Now it turns its attention to something even more ambitious - creating unstoppable human assassins.  This CIA Black Ops organization has created these beings, who go about their day-to-day lives all around with world until they are activated to carry out various missions.  They don't know who they are, as their memories have been erased as well as all sense of conscience and all sense of right and wrong, making them diabolical killing machines.  Jeremy Irvine stars.  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.