June 30th - July 6th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  •  Force of Nature (2020):

    Mel Gibson stars in this heist movie with an interesting backdrop.  He replaced Bruce Willis in the lead role, in this shot-in-Puerto-Rico story of a criminal gang that plan a major heist against the backdrop of a hurricane-in-the-works.  Why the criminals have chosen this building at this time is unknown, but there is another agenda in the works, as a cop takes it upon himself to evacuate those still in the building to get them to safety from the storm.  This action-drama has two levels – one that focuses on the cop working with the residents, and one that has the cop realizing that something bad is afoot with the crooks.  There is a good deal of violence, and a lot of profanity, which is just par for the course with this kind of film.  It wasn’t a popular project for the locals, who felt disrespected that a film about a hurricane and its affects would be shot in a place that hadn’t yet recovered from its last real hurricane.  Kate Bosworth and Emile Hirsch also star.  Rated 18A.

     

  • Four Kids and It! (2020):

    A family fantasy-adventure, set in England, finds a family with four kids, all of different backgrounds, combing the beach and having a great time with their parents at a distance.  Behind an outcropping of rock, they discover a floppy-eared creature that has some magic about it.  Unknown to the parents, the kids learn that the happy little guy is magical, and has the power to grant wishes.  They choose such kid-like choices as being able to fly, being popstars, and becoming adventuresome rock climbers, but as always with magic, there is a catch.  They learn almost too late, that at day’s end, with the sun going down, whatever power they have selected stops suddenly.  Which means, if you were flying, you fall, if you were climbing, same thing, and if you were in a dangerous spot, it becomes even more dangerous.  Matthew Goode and Paula Patton star, along with the voice of Sir Michael Caine.  Rated PG.

  • Corpus Christi (2019):

    Set and shot in Poland, with mostly Polish actors, there is a very strong story behind this film.  Inspired by a true story, we watch Daniel, a young man sentenced to hard labour for a violent crime, who finds God and religion in prison.  He is so inspired, that he pledges, on release, to live his life for God and for God alone.  Nice idea, but because Daniel is a convicted felon, he is not deemed worthy for admission to any seminary or training program.  Rejected time after time, he leaves to build a life in a small town, and, after telling just one little lie, he is soon the priest of the most significant church there.  Initially, the people love Daniel, but his inconsistencies begin to trouble some of his parishioners. Most of the flock love their new leader, but some, not so much.  As that is playing out, Daniel is becoming aware of a dark secret the town has been hiding.  This was Poland’s submission for the Best Foreign Film Oscar at the 1999 Academy Awards.  Rated 14A.

  • Lenox Hill (2020)(TV series):

    Although it's not fiction, this new medical documentary series may help fill the gap that medical television junkies miss at this time of year when such shows as New Amsterdam, The Resident, and Chicago Med are either in reruns, or gone altogether for the summer.  This eight episode Netflix original series takes us inside New York's Lenox Hill hospital and into the lives of four doctors who will be profiled in a most intimate and unflinching way.  We will watch as they struggle with their professional and their personal lives, as well as learning how they cope with the difficulties of dealing with bad news for the families they support through their efforts.  The doctors are two brain surgeons, an Emergency Room physician, and a chief resident OBGYN.  As well as the insight into these doctors lives, we also get a significant look into the lives of the patients they treat.  Complex, fascinating and emotional - those are words that describe where this journey will take us over eight episodes.  Rated 14A. 

     

    Da 5 Bloods (2020):

    This brand new Spike Lee joint produced for Netflix, tells a Vietnam War story from the perspective of today's world rather than the trauma on the battlefield and in the jungles so many years ago.  An excellent cast is headed up by Delroy Lindo, Clark Peters, Norm Lewis, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr. Their characters are Paul, Otis, Eddie, and Melvin, part of an African-American unit that lost their squad leader (Chadwick Boseman) during a firefight in one of those events that highlighted the abject immorality of that war.  The four men get together, along with the son of their fallen leader, and travel back to Vietnam, with a dual purpose.  One is to find the remains of their squad leader, to help bring closure to his son, and the other, a little more covert, involves rumours or truth of buried treasure.  The battles now are psychological and against nature, the jungles and the rain, rather than with an often unseen enemy.  Rated 18A. 

New on CRAVE

Laurel Canyon (2020) (Part 1)

For those who lived the pop music of the '60s, or for those who wonder how the base of pop music that exists today was built, this exceptional documentary is just perfect.  Laurel Canyon was, in the days of the early-to-mid '60s, a part of greater Los Angeles that attracted musicians from all over the world.  It was, then, a cheap place to live, with rental houses available at bargain basement rates, and no shortage of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.  It was a place where Eric Clapton first met Joni Mitchell at a barbecue put on by Mama Cass Elliot.  It was a place where The Beatles schmoozed with one of their idols, Little Richard, and it was a place where Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young hung out together, wrote music together, and played what would become the hits of the century in their Laurel Canyon backyard.  Mama Michelle Phillips speaks candidly in an interview recorded last year as to how her inability to be with just one man hurt her then-husband John beyond belief, but ... he knew what he was getting, she says.  Interviews with Linda Ronstadt, Don Henley, and Jackson Brown are included, and there's a great look back at other Canyon denizens such as The Doors' Jim Morrison, and singer-songwriter Carol King.  Rated 14A.  Part 2 will be released next week.

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

Equilibrium (2002):

This is an outstanding film that has had very little distribution over all these years.  It stars Christian Bale in an oppressive sci-fi future in which all forms of feeling are illegal.  The movie reminded me a lot of The Matrix when I first discovered it, many years ago, with martial arts scenes that are almost beyond belief, even judging against today's available technology.  The cast also includes Sean Bean (Game of Thrones), Dominic Purcell (Prison Break), Taye Diggs (Chicago), and William Fichtner (Blackhawk Down).  The complexity of the story, and the special effects combine to make an outstanding movie that has been largely known only to action-adventure fans that may have encountered it on DVD.  The reason it received no release or distribution in North America is that its European release (it was shot in Germany) made a pot full for money, and the distributors did not want to run the risk of turning a money maker into something less if it didn't do well in the US and Canada.  They should have done it - would have just added more to the profits.  Excellent film!  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.