Dec 21st - 27th Downloads
& DVDs
  •  No Time top Die (2021):

    The 25th James Bond movie in the series that began with "Dr. No" in 1962 brings much of what we know about 007 full circle. The look and feel of this film, which I enjoyed immensely, differs a great deal from what we have come to expect in a Bond movie. The most obvious difference is apparent immediately, when the big special effects-laden opening just doesn't happen. Instead we see a mother and her young daughter in a house in the winter woods in Norway setting the scene for what could be a domestic character study, and which does not bloom into full-blown action, but rather carries with it a quiet and unsettling feeling that would be more a part of a horror film. None of that lasts, of course, but when we finally get to see Daniel Craig's James Bond, in what Craig has intimated is his final turn as the spy licensed to kill, he is with a woman, Madeline, played by French actress Lea Seydoux, whom we first met in this same role in 2015's "Spectre." Romance is in the air and we are a full 18 minutes into the movie before anything resembling patented Bondian action sequences occur. I liked the pacing of this kind of start to the story that has more layers than most Bond pictures. Yes, there is still the megalomaniac (Rami Malik) who wants to control the world in an act of blind revenge, Q (Ben Wishaw) has offered up some interesting gimmicks to make Bond more effective in tight situations, and M (Ralph Fiennes) is still a stuffy bureaucrat. Added to the mix is Bond's old friend from the CIA, Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), and a turn by arch-enemy Ernst Blofeld now played by Christoph Waltz, one of at least six actors to have taken on the role, and one of the first not to have the signature Persian cat on hand. We have the usual characters who are more than what they appear to be, and we have Bond on the brink of death, failure, and disaster many times over. As the action gets into high gear with the usual motorcycle, SUV, Aston Martin, and helicopter chase scenes, it becomes clear that this is a movie of surprises, of secrets told and of lies dispelled, and layers of storylines that are peeled back one after another, each revealing new data and new facts that change the way we look at what is spinning out. For much of this movie, Bond is retired from his role as an apex spy, and there is a new 007 who has replaced him, a woman named Naomi played by British actress Lashana Lynch. She may or may not be the real thing, and that's the case with many of the characters introduced in this spellbinding thriller that takes its time to get going, but thrives and arrives in most surprising fashion. Excellent film with a difference for a Bond movie. Rated 14A.


  • The Many Saints of Newark:

    I was disappointed in this "Sopranos" prequel, and felt that the way the film was promoted was somewhat deceptive. Michael Gandolfini, taking on the role of Tony Soprano as a teenager, was the big hook to draw audiences in, as his late father, James Gandolfini, played Tony Soprano, the gangland boss, on the TV series for eight seasons. The problem with the movie for me, was that we really didn't get much of Michael Gandolfini - the first half of the film was a younger version played by another actor, and by the time we got to the teen years for Tony Soprano, we were too embroiled in the characters and politics of the gangs of New Jersey to have much room for what little character development there was for young Tony. I also struggled trying to remember all the original characters in this prequel world where they were very young, and all played by different actors. It was like trying to keep score without a scorecard to guide me. There were lots of mob hits, there was plenty of violence, a lot of sexual situations, and the kind of language one would expect from a bunch of mobsters, but what was missing was the promise of real insight into what made Tony the man he became ... and that was missing here. Audience exit interviews via Cinemascore showed that theatre-goers didn't like it much either, with a rating of C-. Rated R in the US for language, sex, and violence, it carries a 14A rating in Canada.

  • Fortress (2021):

    Bruce Willis once again plays a retired cop in the seemingly endless stream of direct-to-video movies that are now his stock-in-trade. No longer the headliner with a big cast and a big screenplay, this one is standard video fare, with a limited script and what looks like about two days’ work for Willis. Here, he’s a retired officer who stands in the breach with his son, as a group of criminals try to do their best work, with revenge the price of admission. Nothing stands in their way … except Robert (Willis). Living in a top secret compound for retired military officers with spy credentials, the bad guys want in, and the good guys want them kept out. This is said to be the first in a trilogy of “Fortress” movies. Rated 18A.

  • 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.



Being the Ricardos (2021):

Opened in theatres selectively last week, and now here it is streaming. Aaron Sorkin both wrote and directed this film which also messes with a classic - but it's a classic relationship and not a classic movie or TV show. Sorkin gives us his spin on what happened during the lives of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz when they faced a major personal and business crisis that threatened both their marriage and their business. Nicole Kidman plays Lucy, with Javier Bardem as Desi, her Cuban-born husband. Desi struggled with alcoholism for years, and Lucy struggled with his macho ways and difficult attitudes when it came to their business, Desilu Studios, which essentially created the sitcom as we know it today, and which also created the ability to show reruns, which is where the real money is. J.K. Simmons plays William Frawley, who was Fred Mertz on "I Love Lucy" and Nina Arianda plays Vivian Vance, who was Ethel. Rated 14A.

New on DISNEY + /Star

Encanto (2021):

This animated feature about a town in Colombia where everyone has a special magical or superpower, except for one little girl, opened in theatres two weeks ago and begins streaming on Disney + today. Little Mirabel is the girl with no powers, and none in the town of Encanto can find a way to help her. When things change, and those with powers become powerless to save the day, Mirabel steps forward. Great movie for kids of all ages and for parents too. Rated PG.

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.