Oct 5th - Oct 11th Downloads
& DVDs
 
  •  Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (2021)):

    A follow-up to 2019's "Escape Room," which made $150 million on a $9 million budget, two of the survivors from that adventure, Zoey Davis (Vancouver's Taylor Russell) and Ben Miller (Logan Miller) find themselves in an even more elaborate situation this time. In the first movie the escape scenarios were life-or-death, and there were a few deaths. Same thing here as Zoey, one of two survivors from the original film, and Ben, the young man that she saved in that movie, are struggling with their experience, Zoey is seeing a psychologist to help get over the trauma of all the death around her, and she feels a need to return to New York City where the experience happened, but is frightened of flying. She convinces Ben to travel by car with her so she can find the people who put her through that terrible encounter, and bring them to justice, since neither the police nor her shrink seemed to believe her. Once in the Big Apple, they find themselves on a New York subway with a handful of other passengers, when the car is detached from the rest of the train, and something sinister seems about to happen. Turns out that the other four on that train are also survivors of the escape room, and now they are being tested with an even more outrageous series of events from which they must escape or die. The story here is tightly wound, there are no stereotypical characters as we usually find in similar films, and as the escapes become more and more elaborate and we wonder if anyone will ever get out of this alive. The violence quotient is relatively low - this is no slasher movie - and the story endows the characters with some intelligence, and it expects the same from its audience. Well done, and well worth the trip to the theatre. Rated 14A.

     

  • Space Jam: A New Legacy:

    This sequel, 26 years in the making, is not a very good movie, according to the critics, and I would be one of those ... but the target audience for this PG-rated combination of live action and cartoon characters from Looney Tunes isn't movie critics, but rather is a group between, I would say, eight and 14 years old, with a sprinkling of older teens who are big basketball fans making up the balance. LeBron James is the star here, and his son Dom (Cedric Joe) is a video game maker who gets trapped in cyberspace by a nasty villain, and can't get out unless a basketball game is played and won by his side. Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and Lola Bunny all factor in as major characters. It's good fun for kids, but most adults will see it for what it is - an artificially-created story designed to showcase product placement and to sell everything from sneakers to jerseys. Rated PG.

  • Six Minutes to Midnight (2020):

    I have always loved a good spy thriller, and recognize that the ones based on fact and actual events can have a tendency to be a bit dry. Not so with this little gem which is based on actual events and which gives us very believable spies who look nothing at all like 007. It's August of 1939, 17 days before the outbreak of WWII. Augusta Victoria College at the seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea in Sussex County is the setting. It's a finishing school for girls, and most of them have been sent to England from Germany, the daughters of high-ranking Nazi officials. The Party faithful are hedging their bets in the belief that those in British Government who have espoused the policy of appeasement will prevail, and that Germany and the UK will coexist in some kind of uneasy alliance. Having their girls schooled in the English language and in British culture will make the daughters ideal ambassadors when the time comes. Mr. Miller (Eddie Izzard who co-wrote the script along with director Andrew Goddard of "Downton Abbey" fame) is a new English teacher in the school, replacing a predecessor who disappeared mysteriously. The school is run by Miss Rocholl (Dame Judi Dench) who prides herself on the work she does with the young ladies, and even engages in some "Sieg Heil" moments with them, explaining to Mr. Miller that it just means "Hail Victory," and there is nothing wrong in that. The girls' adult liaison is Ilse Keller, a young woman with history at the school. Soon we learn that Mr. Miller is not what he appears to be, and ultimately is arrested as a German spy, and he is on the run. No one seems to be what they appear to be - not Miller, not the Captain from Military Intelligence (James D'Arcy), and not even the local bus driver played by Jim Broadbent. The action is low-key, the story is thoughtful and true, and the outcome is surprising. Easy to recommend this fine little movie. Rated 14A.

  • Diana: The Musical (2021):

    This Netflix production features the entire cast of the Broadway musical, recorded on the Broadway stage without an audience, having been done during one of the few preview performances last year before Covid shut down production. It's the story of the princess trapped in a loveless marriage, challenged by a family that by and large treated her poorly, and having to deal with, in her words, "three people in this marriage, so it's a little crowded." There is no date set for the show's return to Broadway, and its producers hope that this Netflix production will catch the attention of the public who will once again want to see the show's live version. Jenna De Waal plays the lead as Diana, Roe Hartrampf is Prince Charles, Erin Davie is Camilla Parker Bowles, and Judy Kaye appears as Queen Elizabeth. The production carries a 14A rating as it has some suggestive scenes and occasional harsh language.


     

    The Guilty (2021):

    This film starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a 9-1-1 dispatcher opened in theatres just 12 days ago, and here it is on Netflix today. Gyllenhaal's character is named Joe Baylor, and he is a police officer who has been demoted to the incoming call dispatch desk. Taking place in real time over the course of a single morning, he tries to save a woman who appears to be in grave danger, but as the call progresses, it becomes clear that something very different is afoot, and he will have to save himself before saving anyone else. The entire movie takes place with the viewer watching Joe at his computer screen - no car chases, no foot chases, and a cast that includes the voice of Ethan Hawke, and a number of other voices, but very few people show up. 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

The Mad Woman's Ball (2021):

This Amazon studios original based on a best-selling French novel, tells the story, at the turn of the 20th Century, of a young woman named Eugnie who has a very specific psychic gift - she can both see and talk with the dead. That should be enough to help her to win friends and influence people, but in the late 19th Century in France, such things were frowned upon, and Eugenie, when her "gift" or "curse" is discovered by her family, has her father and brother escorting her against her will, to a mental asylum, a place from which she will never leave. Or maybe she will. An understanding and caring nurse who befriends the young woman soon comes to learn that she is not mad, but rather is gifted, and promises to help her escape. A series of tortuous events occur, each one possibly the thing that will bring the entire escape plot crashing down around them. Rated 14A.

New on DISNEY + /Star

Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11:

Not every first responder who rushed towards danger to try to save as many people as possible was a man. In fact, many of the women who worked as paramedics, police officers, ER doctors and nurses, and firefighters were of a female persuasion, and this decade-old documentary tells their story. Soledad O'Brien, former CNN anchor, is the host here as she looks at actual footage, conducts interviews with those who were there, and offers a perspective that can only come from the ones who were first in line. Rated 14A.

New on Apple +

The Beatles: Get Back (2021):
Originally slated for release last year to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' Abbey Road album, Covid issues forced the date back, and ultimately created a window for a streaming release rather than a theatrical one.  Director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings" trilogy) does some of the same movie special effects magic here that he used on his World War I documentary "We Will Not Grow Old" which allows us to see the never-before-released footage from hundreds of hours of filming, in an entirely new light.  The focus of the documentary is around the recording of "Let It Be," and it offers its share of surprises for Beatles fans and for those who wish they could have been there.  Rated PG.