May 4th - 10th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  •  The Little Things (2021):

    In this new Denzel Washington movie Washington is a character named Joe Deacon, a deputy sheriff from Bakersfield in central California, who has to make a business trip to LA on an errand to pick up evidence in a case. The movie moves slowly, and it's clear to us as Deputy Joe walks into the offices of the LAPD that he has been here before. It takes us time to piece together the fact that Joe used to be a police detective there, and that something big happened that sent him off to the north of LA to continue his police work in a lesser capacity. Denzel is overweight physically here, and his character seems to have the weight of the world on his shoulders as well. He walks into a situation in LA where a serial killer is at work, and a detective named Jim Baxter (Oscar winner Rami Malek) is the lead on the case. We learn that everyone knows Deputy Joe from his years on the job in LA, and we learn further that he left, badly damaged, going through both a divorce and a triple bypass at the same time. He worms his way into Baxter's case because it seems to tie in with investigations from years ago, and they settle on a prime suspect played by Jared Leto who got a Golden Globe nomination for this role. While I would pay money anytime to watch Denzel Washington, I found this movie to be a hodgepodge of clues and no-clues, with an ending that forced me to go to Google to try to figure out what it meant. Rated 14A.

  • Judas & the Black Messiah (2021):

    The multi-Oscar-nominated film is based on facts and spins out the intense story of Bill O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield of “Knives Out”), who, in the late 1960s at the age of 17, was caught in an attempt to hijack a car in Chicago. FBI agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons) makes a deal with Bill: the carjacking charges will be dropped if he works for the Bureau as an informant. The mission is to infiltrate the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, to get close to its leader Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya). As Bill develops a relationship with Hampton, and relays information on the organization’s business activities to the FBI, it results in Hampton’s arrest, conviction, and imprisonment, and it provides a move for Bill into a key role withing the Bureau. When Hampton is released from prison while appealing the charges, word comes down to Bill that J. Edgar Hoover wants Hampton “neutralized”) and that it’s Bill’s job to do the deed. An intense series of events follows that make the viewer wonder which organization is more crooked – the Black Panthers or the FBI. Rated 14A.

  • The Virtuoso (2021):

    This neo-noir action movie is dripping with suspense and tension as a professional assassin (Anson Mount) is directed by his mentor (Anthony Hopkins) to do a job by taking out a very specific target. What the assassin knows is that his target will be in a rustic diner at precisely 5:00 p.m. The assassin has a lot at stake – he must do this job quickly and efficiently in order to satisfy a huge debt, and he takes his cool, professional demeanour into the eating establishment at the appropriate time. The problem: the place is full. And it’s full of any number of people who could be his target, a hitman who has gone rogue. Looking at the array of possible suspects includes the local sheriff, and the assassin has no description, no name, nothing … and he has only minutes to make his decision and do the job. An excellent thriller. Rated 18A.

  • Jupiter's Legacy (2021)(TV series):

    Superheroes have been a part of our world since the 1930s in comic books and later in radio, television, and movies.  This series, based on the graphic comic books by Mark Miller, takes that premise and expands it into a place and a time where these superheroes are now part of the old guard, revered for their exploits and for their bravery.   It's time for a new generation of heroes to protect humanity and the planet, and they choose to do so with care and with respect.  Of course for every hero who wants to do good, there is a villain or two with other ideas.  Shot in Toronto, the series stars Josh Duhamel, as a hero known as "The Utopian," and a raft of multigenerational characters with such names as "The Union," "Brainwave," Skyfox," and "Lady Liberty."  Rated 14A.


     

    Monster (2018):

    Although this film was completed and released at a film festival in 2018, it had no wide release until Netflix signed on as the key distributor, and is debuting it this month.  A strong cast includes John David Washington (son of Denzel, star of "Tenet" and "Blackklansman"), and Oscar-winner and one-time American Idol finalist Jennifer Hudson.  Based on the best-selling book by Walter Dean Meyers, it tells the story of a young man from Harlem who is described as "likeable" and "smart," 17-year-old Steve Harmon (Kelvin Harrison, Jr. of "Trial of the Chicago 7"), who is a gifted student at a prestigious film school.  His world, and that of his family, are turned upside down when he is charged with felony murder.  The story follows his journey through the court system and faces the very real possibility that he could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.  Co-produced by John Legend, it also stars Jeffrey Wright ("Westworld") as young Steve's father, who grapples with a future for his son he could never have imagined.  Rated 14A. 

     

    The Nest (2020):

    This film looks, at every turn, like it has possibilities.  The casting is excellent with Jude Law in the lead role as Rory O'Hara, a British businessman who leaves the old sod for America where he makes a mark for himself in a successful investment firm.  There is an ominous sense of "what next" when he decides to go back to the UK for the opportunity of a lifetime, his chance, he tells his wife Allison (Carrie Coon from The Avengers), to hit it big once and for all.  Their children, particularly the teenage daughter, want nothing to do with moving away from friends and from school, but there is no choice.  When Rory moves them into a huge 300 year-old manor house on a large piece of property, it looks like one of those, "uh-oh - what's in that house?" movies, but it's not that.  In fact, it's not really anything.  We learn, as the layers are peeled back, that Rory is not quite what he seems to be, that Allison is not quite as cooperative as we thought, and that this family is headed for big trouble.  Does not end well, in my opinion - a weak script left me wanting more.  Rated 14A.

New on CRAVE

Tenet (2020):

The last big-screen movie to arrive in Canadian theatres last year, and now available on Crave, in some respects this film embraces the small screen.  While the movie theatre experience is essential to appreciating what the producers put forward here, the extremely complicated story, which uses time inversion as its key plot device, sometimes begs for the opportunity to pause the movie, to roll it back a minute or two, and to watch again what happened in order to better understand the complexities of time and the way it is featured here.  Written and directed by Christopher Nolan and starring John David Washington as a secret agent known only as "The Protagonist," it is his job to thwart a Russian threat led by a man who may have mastered some of the vagaries of hiding things in time.  It requires a couple of viewings at least to really "get" it.  Rated 14A.

 

New on AMAZON PRIME

Breach (2020):

Bruce Willis continues his career-threatening descent into low-budget action movies once again, this time playing a grizzled older janitor on an interstellar spaceship known as "The Ark."  Earth, as usual in sci-fi pictures these days, is facing an extinction level event which will destroy all life on the planet.  300,000 humans are selected to travel to a reachable planet they have dubbed "New Earth."  Some of these passengers are legitimate survivors with skills that will be in demand when their destination is reached, while others are stowaways and ne'er do wells.  Much of what we see was shot on a soundstage in a studio in Atlanta, GA, and doesn't look much like sci-fi at all as the infighting, alliances, and differences between various factions are magnified and threaten the mission.  Added to all of this is a cosmic terror that wants to use the spaceship as a weapon.  Rated 14A. 


New on DISNEY + /Star

South Pacific (1958):

I don't recall this, the highest grossing movie of 1958, ever coming to television in an uncut, commercial-free version.  Based on the book by James Michener, and having replaced the entire cast that first appeared on the Broadway stage, with just one exception, that of Juanita Hall who plays Bloody Mary.  Watching the film today is a great exercise in trivia, as many of those performing had not yet hit their stride in terms of recognizable roles.  Ray Walston (Luther Billis) was still five years away from landing his signature role as Uncle Martin opposite Bill Bixby in "My Favourite Martian''.  France Ngyuen (Liat) had not even learned to speak English yet, when she appeared in South Pacific, a decade prior to her marriage to actor Robert Culp, and 35 years before playing the mother in the movie "The Joy Luck Club."  Ron Ely (Navigator) was eight years away from becoming one of television's best-known Tarzans, and Doug McClure in a bit part as a pilot in hospital eight years later would become a TV staple in such series as "The Virginian," and "Checkmate."  Also, if you watch closely, you'll see author James Michener in an uncredited role as a missionary.  Rated PG.