July 13th - 19th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  •  Mortal Kombat (2021):

    Both a remake and a reboot of the franchise based on an ultra-violent video game. In the early frames we see an idyllic setting where Hanzo (Hiroyuki Sanada of "Avengers: End Game," and "47 Ronin") is fetching water for his wife and two children when they are accosted by Bi-Hahn, later to become known as "Sub-Zero." Hanzo hears commotion at his home, drops his water buckets, and runs to the aid of his family, but it is too late. His wife and son are both dead, covered in ice. He isn't aware that their baby had been hidden under the floorboards by his wife before she was attacked. Hanzo fights Bi-Hahn in a tremendous display of martial arts and wire work. Hanzo is defeated, Bi-Hahn disappears, and the opening credits begin, sending us into the present day where an MMA fighter, Cole Young (Lewis Tan of "Deadpool 2"), is taking a beating in the cage. Once the characters become established, a flash of lighting and a peal of thunder reveal gods and demi-gods appearing to Cole where he is told of a prophecy - those evil factions from "Outworld" are about to enslave earth and all of its population, and that a team of combatants must be assembled in order to save the planet. What ensues is fight after fight with natural and supernatural enemies, special effects that just won't quit, and the clear sense that all is lost unless Cole can find his own true power. I give nothing away by telling you that Cole is part of the direct bloodline to the infant fathered by Hanzo and hidden under the floorboards many centuries ago. Although very violent, with some unsavoury language, this remains an excellent barnburner of an action movie that is easy to recommend. Rated 18A.

     

  • Wrath of Man (2021):

    Jason Statham action-thriller was directed by Guy Ritchie ("Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," "Snatch") and is only the second Guy Ritchie movie set outside of the UK. The story jumps around in time, but we are first introduced to "H," Statham's character who is applying for a job as an armoured truck driver after the opening scene in which a robbery occurs at the truck company. He barely passes the requirements, his shooting skills and physical fitness just on the right side of the borderline, but he's in. We learn, through flashbacks, that "H" suffered a terrible loss at the hands of the organized criminals that have been conducting the heists, and now he is out for revenge. Scott Eastwood (son of Clint) is one of the gang members who is a loose cannon and we just know that when showdown time comes, it's going to be his character, Jan, and "H" squaring off. There is a full ration of action with a high body count as the bad guys plot the heist of a lifetime by going right into the armoured truck compound for a $200 million payday, and it's there that the final standoff occurs. Jeffrey Donavan ("Burn Notice") is the gang leader, a former Afghanistan military veteran, with his crew, all former soldiers from his unit. We know what we are getting from a Jason Statham movie, and we know what Guy Ritchie offers up, so just sit back and watch the action - there is a lot of it to take in! Rated 18A for violence and language.

  • Separation (2021):

    This horror-chiller tells the story of an 8-year-old girl named Jenny (Violet McGraw) whose life takes a desperate turn in a New York City townhouse shared by her lawyer mother (Mamie Gummer, daughter of Meryl Streep) and her artist father (Rupert Friend). Their lives are forever changed when a hit-and-run accident kills the mother, leaving father and daughter to try to rebuild their lives after the tragedy, but soon another challenge arises in that mom’s father (Brian Cox) decides to sue for custody of Jenny. As the level of conflict ramps up, Jenny takes refuge in her only true friends, her collection of puppets, but as things progress it seems as if some of the puppets have lives of their own, and that they are bent on murder. Combine that with the apparent ghost of her dead mother, and other creatures coming from the darkness, and we have a true chiller. Rated 14A.

  • Fear Street: Part 1: (1994):

    This is the first of three interconnected horror stories that are closer to "Stranger Things" than they are to the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" as the author of the originating material is R.L. Stine of "Goosebumps" fame. As a result, the protagonists are young people living in the idyllic-sounding town of Shadyside, a group of teens that discovers that the strange and terrifying events that have plagued their town for several generations, all seem to have a common ancestor, a blood connection that goes back some 300 years. There is a lot here that is scary, and there are some bloody scenes to remind us that this isn't just YA material, but rather has much bigger teeth. Next Friday and the following one we will see the release of Part II, 1978, and Part III, 1666. The story in each timeline is separate, but connected in a most unusual and frightening way. That's on Netflix, rated 14A.


     

    Major Grom: Plague Doctor (2021):

    If you want to try a departure from the norm, here's a crime-and-punishment thriller from Russia, a Netflix original, that actually demonstrates that no one country seems to have the market cornered on corruption and evil-doing, as well as the vigilante aspect of revenge. Grom is a police major, who is known throughout the city of St. Petersburg as a cop who is hard on criminals and a law enforcement officer who sees only black and white, no shades of grey. If you break the law in his town, he comes down on you like a freeway overpass struck by a semi. When the Plague Doctor shows up, things change. The masked and costumed avenger (a small "a" avenger) goes after criminals who had escaped Grom's reach because they were not found guilty, despite evidence that they were bad to the bone. Those who used position and corrupt relationships to avoid punishment are now in the line of fire, and Grom seems powerless to do anything. This is the first Russian movie inspired by and based on a comic book series - the plague in question is the "Plague of Lawlessness" that is sweeping the land. Rated 14A.

New on CRAVE

The Croods: A New Age (2020):

Seven years ago DreamWorks Animation introduced us to the Stone Age family, the Croods.  They were an appealing bunch, with a Neanderthal sense of humour that appealed to both kids, who loved the cartoon aspect, and adults who found the dialogue particularly smart.  This sequel, which consistently brought families into those few theatres in the US that were still open during the height of the Pandemic, brought in audiences to the tune of about $2 million a week, even though it was available on Premium On Demand for much of that time.  Now available on Crave for no additional fee, we are allowed to see just how clever this new story is.  It’s a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses theme as the father Grug (voice of Nicolas Cage) runs into the Betterman family headed by Guy (voice of Ryan Reynolds).  It seems that the Bettermans are a step ahead of the Croods in everything that occurs.  Also includes a voice cast with Cloris Leachman, Emma Stone, and “Game of Thrones” star, Peter Dinklage.  Rated PG.

 

New on AMAZON PRIME

Dom (2021) (TV Series):

This is the first Amazon original series to come out of Brazil, and it's unique for its prolific location shooting, which offered up 164 different locations in its first season alone. A parallel story of a father and son who find themselves on opposite ends of the law despite having more in common than differences between them. Pedro is the son. From a good home and a good family, he finds his way into an addiction to cocaine in his teen years which eventually results in his becoming the leader of a notorious criminal gang. Pedro's father Victor also has an interesting journey as a teen, but for him, a discovery on the ocean floor leads to his becoming a member of crime enforcement after reporting what he had found rather than trying to capitalize on it himself. Their two lives mirror each other and at times blur the lines between right and wrong. A very interesting series that is very distant from any American crime-and-relationship stories. Rated 14A.

New on DISNEY + /Star

The Owl House (2021)(TV Series):

This animated series debuts its second season this week on Disney +.  It's a fantasy story with some sci-fi overtones about a teenage human girl named Luz who, on the way to a detention summer camp for alleged misbehaviour, accidentally stumbles into a portal to another world, one of magic and witchcraft.  During season one, Luz became set on mastering witchcraft by serving as an apprentice to a woman of magical abilities in a place called The Owl House.  As season two opens, three separate storylines converge as Luz has supporters who want to help her to go back home to the human realm, while she works to support and help her friends in the Owl House.  A third season of three 90-minute specials will appear next spring and that will round out the life of the series.  Rated PG.