Dec 14th - 20th Downloads
& DVDs
  •  Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021):

    Unfortunately, most of the carnage in this sequel to 2018's "Venom" is the result of a terrible script and a cast of characters who simply did not allow me to care for them on any level. I am in the distinct minority here, in not liking this film, because it was not only huge at the box office, but exit interviews with patrons on opening night via Cinemascore gave it a resounding B+. The same survey with critics had the movie at just 59% satisfying, meaning that most reviewers hated it, and most viewers loved it. The original had a great backstory and offered up a truly original concept where a journalist/reporter Eddie Brock, (Tom Hardy) who's hot-headed approach to stories was both his greatest strength and is most crippling weakness, became host to an alien symbiote, part of an otherworldly race moving through the galaxy looking to conquer new worlds, largely for the supply of their favourite foodstuff, human brains. The sybiot who takes the name Venom, also takes a liking to earth and decides to become its protector. The sequel assumes we remember all of this, which I did not, and it gives us the first two acts in which Venom and Eddie, occupying just one body, that of Eddie, fight like the Odd Couple that they are, and looking, far too often, like characters from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" The story goes nowhere until we finally learn that a serial killer named Cletis Cassady (Woody Harrelson in another of his crazy-person roles, and sporting a bad hairpiece) is about to get the death penalty for his crimes. He wants Eddie, who's stories about the killer put him on the death penalty radar in the first place, to come to the execution. Long story short, Cletis gets his own symbiote, one who "likes" earth for its easy meals, and the showdown comes as the two destroy the city of San Francisco trying to kill one another. Nothing here we haven't seen many times before in Marvel Comic Universe action sequences. Even though it's just 90 minutes long, it felt like an eternity. And here's a timesaver for you, should you choose to see the film out of loyalty to Marvel titles: yes, sit through the first of the credits, about two minutes, to get a final revealing scene ... but don't sit through the next ten minutes of credits as I did, waiting for something more. Nothing to see here! Rated 14A.


  • The Card Counter (2021):

    Director Paul Schrader ("American Gigolo," "Patty Hearst") also wrote the screenplay for this story of William Tell (no, not that one!) played by Oscar Isaac, a former military guy who has a grudge against a commanding officer in his past, and, in the company of a loose-cannon- young man named Cirk (Tye Sheridan), sees a way to get even. The two go on the road hitting small casinos at first, and later moving on to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, a chance for a big score, and a chance at both revenge and redemption. A dark character emerges along the way though, who threatens to upset the applecart completely. Tiffany Haddish also stars in an action-drama that won't be everyone's cup of gruel as it is very bleak in parts, but has some redeeming qualities. Rated 14A.

  • The Mitchells VS the Machines (2021):

    This new animated feature from Sony Pictures Animation, the people who brought us "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," and "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," was to be in theatres last year, but was stalled by the Pandemic. Sony sold the distribution rights to Netflix, and here it is, a critically-acclaimed movie about a dysfunctional family that goes on a most unusual road trip. The Mitchells are Rick and Linda (voices of Danny McBride and Maya Rudolph) who have two children, a little boy named Aaron voiced by the movie's director Mike Rianda, and a leaving-for-college daughter named Katie, voiced by Abbi Richardson. Katie has been obsessed with digital media all her life, making little movies with her iPhone and writing little scripts, and when the movie opens, we learn that she has just been accepted at the film school of her choice in California. She is thrilled, and is all set to go, when her father changes things up on her. The morning she is leaving, to fly across the country to embark on her new life, she learns that Dad has cancelled her plane ticket, and is going to have one last family vacation, by driving from the east coast to the west coast with many stops along the way. Katie is devastated. It will mean that she will miss orientation, miss meeting her dorm roommates, and miss all the social parts of school that she has been dying to experience. In the middle of this road trip, the premier digital company, here called "Pal," but very obviously Apple, introduces its new software and hardware that will change the world - literally. An Artificial Intelligence that has grown out of the equivalents of Siri and Alexa is taking over the world using a vast army of robots, imprisoning humans and exterminating them. All of this plays out well, with a great sense of humour and lots of sight gags. My only complaint is that Danny McBride, as the dad, Rick Mitchell, is just another cartoon father who doesn't get it. He makes Homer Simpson look like a Mensa candidate. I found it hard to buy yet another TV or movie dad who was essentially an idiot. That aside, good movie! Rated PG.

  • Tick, Tick ... Boom (2021):

    This Netflix original marks the debut of Lin-Manuel MIranda as a director, spelling out the answer to the question, "what do we do with the time we have?" The story follows Jon (Andrew Garfield) who is a promising young theatre producer on the cusp of his 30th birthday. He waits on tables in New York City while waiting for what he hopes with be his big break, but pressure is everywhere in his life - pressure from his girlfriend who wants to leave New York and the arts community behind, pressure from his best friend who has just left the arts community for the financial security of a real job, and the pressure of an artistic community being ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. What does he do? Where does he turn? Stars include Vanessa Hudgens, Joel Grey and Judith Light based on the story by the late Jonathan Larson ("Rent"). Rated 14A.


    Robin Robin (2021):

    This stop-motion animated film from the UK tells the story of a little baby robin who rolls out of her nest onto the ground, and who is saved, and then raised by a family of mice. As Robin gets older, she begins to realize that she is not a mouse, and that maybe she doesn't really belong with this family. A heart-warming story with an excellent message that both children and parents will enjoy. Gillian Anderson ("The X-Files") provides one of the major voices in this British made film. Rated G.

New on CRAVE

Star Trek: Discovery:

The long-awaited return of what has become the most complex and most thrilling of all the "Star Trek" iterations returns on Crave with season four. Set in a time 900 years after the events on the original Starship Enterprise, Sonequa Martin-Green is back as Michael Burnham, along with most of the regular cast including Anthony Rapp as Paul Stanets, Doug Jones as Saru who appeared to leave the Discovery for good, to go back to his home planet at the end of the last season; and Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilley. Tig Notaro will continue to make guest appearances as Jett Reno.



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

The Beatles: Get Back (2021):

Acclaimed director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) has been buried in archival footage of the Beatles' final days - film and audio tape that remained undiscovered and unplayed for 50 years. He has threaded this into a three-part production that follows the 1970 production of the album "Let It Be" which had the working title "Get Back." Each episode is two hours long and will be rolled out one part at a time on November 25th, 26th, and 27th on Disney +. Jackson has spent three years on the project, and will be using some of the special effects he developed for his landmark WW1 production of "They Shall Not Grow Old."

New on Apple +

Tom Hanks stars in this tale of a post-apocalyptic world in which Tom Hanks, an ailing inventor, is the title character and last man on Earth. His biggest concern, as he faces his ultimate demise, is that his trusted and beloved pet will be left alone to fend for itself. The dog, a mutt that looks a lot like Tramp from Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" will need companionship and caring, and to that end, Finch builds a robot with artificial intelligence. Once completed, the mechanical android, Finch and the dog, set off on a cross-country journey just to see what's out there. A product of Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, it was originally destined for theatres, but was purchased by Apple and will appear on that platform. Rated 14a.