May 11th - 18th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  • Fantasy Island:

    If you remember the popular TV series that ran from 1977 to 1984, in which Ricardo Montalban played the slightly mysterious Mr. Roarke, who made fantasies come true, you will quickly learn that this movie is not your daddy's Fantasy Island. The big house with the tower, where Tattoo rang the bell and exclaimed, "The plane, the plane," has been recreated in Fiji, where this horror adaptation of the much tamer TV series was filmed.  The original was all done at Queen Anne Cottage in Arcadia, CA.  And where we saw a variety of guest stars arriving each week to fulfill and often romantic fantasy, we now get a collection of people who arrive on the plane, who think they know what they are getting ... but they are wrong.  Not to offer a spoiler, I can tell you this, because it was in the trailer - a young woman named Melanie (Lucy Hale of Riverdale, Pretty Little Things, and now Katy Keene) has a fantasy of getting even with a girl who tormented and bullied her in high school.  That's why she's on the Island, wanting to fantasize about getting back at the bully.  She finds herself in what amounts to a torture chamber, with the now-adult former classmate tied to a chair, and Melanie, believing it's a CGI or holographic depiction, begins the torture, first with water, and then with electricity ... but she realizes quickly that this is not fake - it's real, and it's her real former classmate ... and part of the deal with Mr. Roarke (Michael Pena) is that you must complete your fantasy ... Melanie doesn't want to kill the woman, she just wanted to have fun, but the entire scenario turns into a holy horror.  At the same time, three other sets of guests who arrived on the same plane, are finding that what they thought they were getting wasn't exactly what is being delivered ... in the words of one shadowy character, "watch out ... people die here."  What ensues is a series of adventures, each one going south in the worst of ways, as we try to figure out who is doing what to whom.  It has one of the most delightful surprise outcomes, and for a Blumhouse horror film (Get Out!), it offers a perfect movie experience with lots about which to think!  Rated 14A here, "R" in the U.S.

     

  • Birds of Prey:  And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn:

    Based on the superhero comic book, Margot Robbie stars in an origins story that is somewhat revamped and changed from what comic book fans may know.  Margot Robbie produced the movie, and was the first to pitch it to the studios.  We first saw Robbie as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad in 2016, which was a DC Comics extravaganza, and you'll find that this Harley is quite different than that one.  The film was written by a woman (Christina Hodson: Bumblebee; Unforgettable) and it was directed by a woman (Cathy Yan in her first full-length movie).  It was decided, by Robbie and her production team, that this Harley Quinn would be more about character and her bizarre nature than it would be about an attractive superhero-type.  The women responsible for the look and feel of the visuals did not want their characters to be eye candy, but rather to be tough-and-terrible, raising havoc with the bad guys who cross their paths.  We learn from the outset how Harley Quinn came to be, what she was like as a child, how she got a PhD in psychology, and how her life became insane when she began her romantic involvement with The Joker.  As the opening credits finish rolling, she and Joker have split, and she is taking it badly, drinking excessively and just being a bad person all around.  The bad language is pervasive here, but nothing we don't see every day in R-rated movies (14A in BC), and Harley is soon involved in taking on a gang that is after a huge diamond that everyone wants.  Ewan McGregor is the bad guy here, running the East Side of Gotham City with an iron hand.  Much like the Batman TV series from the '60s, we are constantly reminded that this is a comic-based story, with action stopping repeatedly when new characters are introduced so that we can get a sketch as to who the person is, what their grievance is, and what their relationship to Harley might be.  It takes a little time to get used to it all, but it's a novel and entertaining way to keep us involved, without having to say, "Who is that guy?"  There are a good many fight scenes well-choreographed, some excellent chase scenes, and one particular set piece where Harley is on roller skates being pulled along at high speed by a motorcycle ridden by a key female character.  It's clear that the stage has been set for a sequel, and at this point it appears that the movie is the first part of a trilogy.  I felt that it was clearly made to appeal most to Millennial audiences, but that it is clever, quick, and smart, with a story that transcends most audience categories.  Rated 14A.

  • The Photograph:

    An odd sort of romantic drama aimed on its release at a Valentine's Day audience, this is the story of a young woman named Mae (Issa Ray), estranged from her late mother, a famous photographer, and the male journalist, Michael (Lakieth Stanfield) assigned to cover the mother's career and passing.  It turns into a series of intertwined stories past and present, all connected to pictures the mother has taken.  There are two love stories here.  One is the slow, smouldering tale that begins with Mae and Michael, while the other slips back n time to New Orleans in the 1980s where we gain insight into Mae’s mother and what kind of life she led.  Each story is riddled with truth, with thoughtfulness, and with reality.  Mae’s initial challenge as she faces her feelings for Michael and her issues with her late mother, asks the question, “am I becoming my mother?”  A good question for many to ask.  Rated 14A.

  • Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (2011):

    If you have young kids around the house because of the current crisis, this is a movie that may be just right for them ... "them" being those between, I would say, five and maybe 10 or 11.  It isn't one of those movies that adults are going to say, after all is done, "that was good!"  In fact, when the film appeared in theatres, it was widely trashed by critics.  Problem is, those critics weren't 10 years old, which is what it helps to be to get value from this movie.  Based on the "Judy Moody" series of books by Megan MacDonald, the stories follow the adventures of Judy, a grade three student who sees the world just a little differently than other kids.  When school lets out for the summer, Judy decides to have the most wonderful summer of her life, but it gets spoiled right off the bat when her parents have to go away to help another family member, and she and her brother Stink are left in the care of Aunt Opal (Heather Graham).  Things go from bad to worse until Judy decides to hook up with her brother in a search for Big Foot.  A frenetic, high-energy romp ensues, that will likely irritate adults, but charm and indulge youngsters.  Rated PG on Netflix.

     

    All the Bright Places (2020):

    Based on the best-selling novel by Jennifer Niven, this Netflix original film stars Elle Fanning as Violet, a young woman who falls in love with Theodore (Justice Smith), who has a significant amount of baggage, both physically and emotionally.  A romantic drama, it also stars Luke Wilson and Keegan-Michael Key. 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.