July 20th - 26th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  •  Spiral (2021):

    This ninth chapter in "The Book of Saw," is connected only tenuously to the previous films, but it's all about the horrific, bloody torture deaths at the hands of a maybe-or-maybe not mad person, and the body count is high. This instalment stars Chris Rock as a Pittsburgh police detective named Zeke Banks. In the opening scene, we see a cop chase a purse snatcher into a manhole, he is grabbed from behind and regains consciousness hanging by wires that allow him the flimsiest of toe-grips on a stepladder, with a device around his face that is poised to lop off his tongue. The dialogue that sets up this first horrific scene is similar to that of previous "Saw" movies, although it is not delivered by "Jigsaw," who was played in the previous movies by the late Tobin Bell. This time the voice says, "do you want to play a game?" It lays out the brief ground rules - a subway train is just seconds away ... the cop/victim can jump off the stepladder, thereby lopping off his tongue, but he will avoid the train ... or he can take instant death now, his choice. We glean something about the cop's background that makes this an act of revenge. And here comes the subway train around the bend! As Zeke Banks is investigating the crime scene, we learn that he is on the outs with most of his confreres because he turned in a dirty cop some years ago, and was shot in the back by other members of the force for his trouble. One by one cop after cop becomes victim after victim - you don't get too close to characters in a "Saw" movie, because most of them don't last too long. This film, like its predecessors, is profanely violent. I did not like the way it ended, and I did not like the turn played by Samuel L. Jackson as Zeke's retired cop Dad ... but you get exactly what you expect from one of these. Rated 18A.

     

  • Dream Horse (2020):

    This is the wonderfully true story of a racehorse named Dream Alliance that came into the life of bartender Jan Vokes (Tony Collette). Responsible for the breeding of the steed in a small Welsh town, and with no real experience with racehorses, Jan convinces her reluctant husband, along with an increasingly growing number of townspeople, to chip in what they can by way of investment in the horse, to help get it into the bigtime of racing. The area is not a wealthy one, and it takes real grit for people to kick in what they can afford, but the risk pays off as Dream Alliance rises through the ranks of racing to compete in the Welsh Grand National. Despite its very humble beginnings, the horse becomes something special, not only in terms of its performance on the track, but for what it has done for the townspeople. Rated PG.

  • Die in a Gunfight (2021):

    You won’t have to look too far into this crime-romance-drama to find its author, even though he is not listed in the credits. William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is the source material as the story revolves around two families, the Rathcarts and the Gibbons, bitter rivals who each control media outlets and publications in New York City. Each family’s teenager, Mary (Alexandra Daddario) is the daughter of the Rathcarts, and Ben (Diego Bonita) is the son of the Gibbons, had a tremendous attraction for one another that both families did everything possible to make it stop. Initial success fell by the wayside as the pair, now older and somewhat wiser, pick up their romance and defy their powerful families. A hitman is hired, lines are drawn that help determine who is supporting whom, and soon, at a wedding, the bullets begin to fly. An interesting treatment of an ages-old story, it also stars Travis Fimmel (Vikings). Rated 14A.

  • The Last Letter from Your Lover (2021):

    An interesting romance set in two different timelines has a journalist, Ellie Haworth (Felicity Jones) in 1965, discovering a series of letters that appear to be at the heart of a forbidden love affair. Jennifer Sterling (Shailene Woodley) is one-half of the affair, the wife of a wealthy industrialist, and Anthony O'Hare (Callum Turner), a journalist assigned to covering the husband, appears to be the other half. While Ellie becomes more and more entranced with what she learns about the decades-old romance, she finds herself in the beginnings of her own love story with her assistant, a keen archivist who is helping her to track down the letters. Older versions of the original lovers are played by Ben Cross and Diana Kent as the story plays out. 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

Jolt (2021):

Kate Beckinsale is Lindy, an attractive woman with an unusual occupation. She is a bouncer in a high-end club, and she also has serious anger management issues. She loses her temper often, and employs the martial arts skills that made her a great bouncer, but her behaviour has become more and more bizarre, and as part of managing her intense anger, she wears a vest which gives her a serious jolt of electricity whenever she begins to lose her temper, the set up for her next rampage. The first guy she has ever fallen for turns up murdered, and Lindy goes on an anger-fuelled rampage to get revenge, while the police are after her as the prime suspect. An excellent cast also includes Susan Sarandon, Bobby Cannavalle, and Stanley Tucci. Rated 14A, R in the States.

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.