July 14th - 20th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  •  Body Cam (2020):

    This supernatural thriller, based on a police procedural story, stars Mary J. Blige as s police officer who is witness to a grisly death which is captured on her body cam.  In something that could have been ripped out of the current headlines, a Black youth is murdered, and a group of police officers works to cover up their part in the killing.  That part that isn’t in today’s headlines, is that those officers are now apparently being haunted by the young man’s spirit.  It appears that each will pay a price based on the horror that now stalks them.  Blige, whose character Renee, was not involved in the killing or the cover-up, but she knows, based on her body cam footage that there is far more going on here than a simple murder and a cover-up, and she sets out, using standard police procedures, to determine just who and what is haunting whom.  Rated 18A.

     

  • Castle in the Ground (2019):

    This Canadian-American co-production could also have been torn from the headlines of the day, as it addresses an issue that is killing more people that anything but the pandemic.  Henry (Alex Wolff) is a feet-on-the-ground young man who has his act together, until the untimely death of his mother.  Devastated by the loss, he falls into the company of the next door neighbour, a charismatic, outgoing woman who at first seems only to want to help him with his grief, but as time progresses, seems more interested in getting him hooked on opioids in order for her to have company in her addiction. It debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, and has two strong females in key roles, American Imogene Poots, and Guelph, ON native, Neve Campbell.  Rated 14A.

  • VHYes (2019):

    If ever there was a vanity project, this has got to be it, although it has an interesting premise in a retro sort of way.  Mason McNulty plays 13 year-old Ralph, a creative young kid who, despite the digital age in which we live, finds his creative choice VHS tape and a Sony Betacam.   Deciding that he is a budding filmmaker, he goes to work capturing a number of things from his world in tape, editing in-camera, and producing what he feels will be a very strong piece of entertainment.  The problem is just where he got the tape on which to create his masterpiece – it’s the VHS tape of his parents’ wedding in their pre-Ralph days, and each minute of his creation destroys another minute of his parents’ past.  As I looked down the cast list, I wondered how a little movie such as this would garner stars that include Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon.  Easy once you look at the youthful and inexperienced director … it’s Jack Henry Robbins, son of Tim and Susan.  Rated 14A.

  • Cursed (2020) (TV Series):

    This Netflix original walks us through another iteration of the Arthurian legend, once again offering up the man who would be King as someone just out of his teens, and seeking his way in the world.  The story is told largely from the viewpoint of Nimue (Katherine Langford), the mystical young woman who will one day become The Lady of the Lake.  Arthur is on a search for two things - one, the magical sword, Excalibur, and two, the Magician, Merlin, who will factor into his future.  King Uther, Arthur's father, is more evil here than we have seen him in previous versions of this legend, and here, our young Arthur is more mercenary than he is Knight or Prince.  The world in which this takes place is populated by mystical creatures, some friendly, some not so much, with a much harder edge and a darker sense of purpose than one might expect.  The series was created and written by Tom Wheeler and Frank Miller, based on their graphic novel of the same name.  Miller also created such graphic novels as "Sin City," and "300," as well as having scripted two "Robocop movies, numbers 2 and 3.  Rated 14A. 

     

    Fatal Affair (2020):

    Also new on Netflix is this dark, frightening relationship story in which Nia Long stars as Ellie, a woman who has a dalliance with a old friend named David (Omar Epps) works to get her marriage to Marcus (Stephen Bishop of "Criminal Minds") back on track, promising Marcus that nothing happened and that it was a mistake to see her old flame - and that it was accidental too.  Things seem to be getting themselves sorted out when David raises up to change things yet again.  Ellie realizes that he is not a stable person, and the threats he begins making have the possibility to destroy everything she knows and everyone she loves.  Ellie is no wallflower - she is a lawyer, she's tough and smart, and she has to go head-to-head with David in order to end the threats, which could just as easily end her and Marcus.  This is a much darker movie for director and writer Peter Sullivan, whose stock-in-trade previously has been lightweight TV movies such as "Christmas Hotel," Christmas Princess," and 92 other similar films. Rated 14A. 

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

Vivarium (2019):

This sci-fi horror thriller will make anyone looking to buy a new house think twice.  Gemma and Tom (Imogene Poots, Jesse Eisenberg) are a young couple just trying to get ahead.  They want to buy their first house, and they visit a real estate agent named Martin, who asks if they have ever considered the new development called "Yonder."  Never heard of it, they say, and soon they are on their way, following Martin's car into a development in which all the houses look alike.  Martin takes them to Number 9, tells them to look around, and then let him know how they like it.  After their own tour, they try to find Martin, but he seems to have disappeared.  They wait, but he doesn't return, so they get in their car and leave.  The development is like a big maze, and after driving through turn after turn, they find themselves back at Number 9.  They try again.  Same result.  And again.  Same.  On their next return to number 9, they find groceries that have been left for them, and they decide to eat, sleep, and get out in the morning.  In the morning, Tom goes up on the roof to get a better look at the lay of the land.  The houses, all identical, seem to go on forever.  And the mystery is just beginning when an infant shows up.  A very strange and somewhat disturbing story that should get the attention of most sci-fi fans.  It got mine!   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.