March 24th - 30th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • The Grudge:

    As much as I like a good horror-thriller-chiller, this movie is just one Grudge too many.  That isn't to say that it fails to do its job, which is to scare the "yell" out of you every chance it gets.   It is based on a Japanese horror film called "Ju-On," which, roughly translated, means "curse" or Grudge. The premise is that when a murderous, traumatic death occurs in a home, the evil curse remains there, and anyone who enters will be haunted by all manner of hideous creatures bent on doing fatal harm ... which of course, creates a whole new set of Grudges because of the traumatic death at the hands of the original Grudge.  The issue with this new film is in the franchise itself, which, to say the least, is in something of a jumble. The original Japanese film came out in 2002, and it was seen on our shores that year too. The following year, 2003, the Japanese released a sequel, also exported to North America. Because of the low budget and relatively strong box office for the two Japanese films, American movie-makers decided to get in on things and in 2004, Sarah Michelle Geller starred in the U.S. version, which was essentially a remake of the first Grudge movie, with Geller's character an American nurse working in Tokyo.  The Grudge got her. Two years later, the US released Grudge 2 in which a young woman is sent by her mother to retrieve her sister who is missing in Japan, and the Grudge gets exported to American shores. In 2009, the action moved to Chicago where the Grudge from the previous American movie now resides. And this year, we get a film which is neither a reboot nor a sequel, but rather ties the first American Grudge movie to itself, and we now have all that mayhem taking place in a small city in Pennsylvania. A young woman who had been working for a Japanese family comes home to River Crossing, PA, and she brings that baggage with her ... what follows, as we watch a recently widowed young mother, who is a cop, trying to solve the case, is a series of incidents where horrible creatures come out of nowhere to scare her - and the audience - before doing what Grudge's do ... and now it's on the loose and headed for ... well, maybe us right here in B.C.  Although set in Pennsylvania, it was shot in Winnipeg, a pretty scary place unto itself ... so it's already in Western Canada. Who's next? Betty Gilpin, John Cho, and horror movie regular Lin Shaye star in this supernatural thriller. It is one of very few horror films to get an "F" rating from Cinemascore, which interviews patrons leaving theatres on opening night. Rated 14A here, R in the States.

     

  • The Song of Names:

    This interesting tale of one of the many results of the Second World War in terms of people and families torn asunder as the German War Machine trundled across Europe is an interesting concept, but doesn’t quite pull off its intent.  It’s the story of two boys, Martin, a Londoner, and Dovidi, his adopted brother who is, at the age of nine, already a violin virtuoso. As the boys grow up, their characters are played by adults, eventually by Tim Roth as Martin and Clive Owen as Dovidi.  At the age of 20, Dovidi was set for his first significant recital, when he failed to show up, and was never seen again. His disappearance rocked the family, and ultimately pulled it apart. We cut to Martin, now in his 50s, hearing a young violin student play, and realizing that only one person could possibly have taught the boy – Dovidi.  This event began the long trail of endless searching on Martin’s part, for his one-time brother. The various pieces in this story, directed by Quebec’s Francois Gerard, don’t quite come together. Rated 14A. 

  • Clemency:

    This film, a psychological excursion into the price that a prison warden pays for exercising the death penalty, was largely shut out of theatres during December, its original release date.  Praised by critics and reviewers almost universally, it couldn’t find space for screening because of all the big Christmas movies last December, and ultimately just sort of disappeared … until now.  Alfre Woodard is the warden. Her name is Bernadine Williams. She has sent a good number of people on death row to their eventual demise on her orders, and each one weighs more heavily on her conscience than the one before.  The movie won several awards at film festivals around the U.S., but has remained relatively obscure despite sharp direction, and excellent cast, and a gripping story. Rated 14A.

  • Dare Me (TV series, 2020):

    Peter Berg's filmmaking tends to move towards action/adventure in such films as Lone Survivor and Battleship, but here he takes on what some might say is an even more dangerous group of people - girls and young women who participate in competitive cheer-leading.  It delves into the denizens of a small town and profiles the characters who will do anything to succeed in the cutthroat world of cheer.  Produced by the USA Network, it is being distributed exclusively by Netflix.  Rated 14A.

     

    Self Made:

    Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker (2020):  This Netflix original casts Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer in the title role, a biopic about a woman who built a hair-care product empire entirely on her own, and became the first self-made female millionaire.  Executive produced by LeBron James.  Rated 14A.

New on CRAVE

The Dead Don't Die (2019)

A great cast in yet another zombie film, we start out with two police officers (Bill Murray and Adam Driver) in search of a missing chicken, and a series of comedic events that make this one of the best, and funniest zombie movies ever.

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

Run the Race (2019):
This sports drama focuses on the world of high school football, and puts a good cast together was we watch two brothers, Zach and Dave Truett (Tanner Stine and Evan Hoffer) take two very different approaches to the competitive life on the gridiron.  Mario Van Peebles, Mykelti Williamson, and Francis Fisher co-star as the adults who try to bring some resolution to the brothers’ conflict. 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.