Feb 15 - 21st Downloads
& DVDs
  •  Eternals (2021):

    This new entry from the Marvel Comics Universe (MCU) has the stamp of its director, Oscar-winner Chloe Zhao (for "Nomadland" last year) all over it. Here, she has produced the most diverse and most inclusive Marvel film ever. The movie opens with a brief crawl, "Star Wars"-style, that describes the main elements of the story - the Eternals are a group of god-like superbeings sent from their home planet of Olympia by a Celestial named Arnishem who is arguably God with a capital "G" as we are told he created the sun and much of the known galaxy. He sends the Eternals to Earth 7,000 years in our history, to protect it from a gaggle of evil creatures called Deviants that want to take over the planet. When the action begins, we are propelled through space and time making various stops along the way in Earth's history - the Eternals are commanded not to interfere in human development except where Deviants may exist. To that end, we see them helping humankind with technology, but becoming alarmed when things, such as guns, and later the atomic bomb, are used against fellow humans. The movie is visually stunning at 2 hours and 37 minutes, doesn't drag at all. The characters are superb, with Angelina Jolie as Thena, a warrior goddess, Richard Madden (Rob Stark from "Game of Thrones") as Ikaris, who can fly and who can focus cosmic energy through his eyes to eradicate all comers; Kumal Nanjiani ("The Big Sick") is Kingo who can project cosmic energy projectiles from his hands - and who, in present day scenes is a Bollywood star); and Lauren Ridloff ("The Walking Dead") who possesses super speed, and is the first deaf Marvel superhero, to name but a few. We have a gay man as part of this group, as well as a transgender person, there are Asians and South Asians, and in those scenes from the present, there is a love affair between a mere mortal (Kit Harington from "Game of Thrones") and Sirsi, the Eternal goddess who possesses the ability to manipulate matter, and is played by Gemma Chan ("Captain Marvel", "Crazy Rich Asians," and "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit"). There is a lot to take in here but we get a very realistic band of superheroes. Stay seated for the entire credits for two key scenes that set up the next film in the series, one at about two minutes in, and one when the final credit has rolled. Excellent movie, rated 14A.


  • The Beatles: Get Back:

    Director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) uncovered more than 50 hours of previously unseen film that was shot during the making of the Beatles' Documentary "Let It Be" from 1970, a film that presented a relatively negative version of the last days of what had once been The Fab Four. That movie focused on the breaking up of the band and pointed at John Lennon, his relationship with Yoko Ono, and differences with Paul McCartney, as the reasons for the demise of the group. In this series of productions, three, two-hour films, we get a different spin on all of that. I am a major Beatles fan, played in a band back in those days when, just to get a gig you had to have at least a dozen Beatles tunes in your repertoire, so I looked forward to this series of films with great anticipation. I was disappointed in one major respect - yes, there are hours and hours of never-before-seen footage, but much of it is just downright boring. We see the boys, and their various hangers-on working through writing and recording a dozen songs for the "Let It Be" album, and much of it is of interest, I think, to musicians who watch the chord selection and different iterations of the various songs with interest, but Jackson's film, in the interest of authenticity, gets very draggy. I loved it, but have to admit that sometimes I just wanted to yell at the television and say, "for crying out loud, just get on with it!" Rated 14A.

  • Settlers (2021):

    This sci-fi film is basically a western at heart, although, rather than settling in the old west, the people here are colonizing Mars. It’s a cold, bleak world and early on we get the sense that someone or something wants the settlers gone. Danger lurks over the horizon, and we see and sense it through the character of Remmy, a young girl played first by Brooklynn Prince, and later as a more grown-up version by Nell Tiger Free. It doesn’t take long for us to forget that we are on Mars, but all the tension and drama that the director could have and should have wrung out of this concept just doesn’t seem to work, and the story drags like a newspaper bundle too heavy for its carrier. When we finally get to the issue of what’s out there, and what it all means, I had already stopped caring, and even as we headed for the ultimate outcome, it was too late for me. Rated 14A.

  • Tall Girl 2 (2022):

    For the audience, primarily tween and teen girls, this sequel to 2019's "Tall Girl" Netflix-distributed film about Jodi Kreyman (Ava Michelle), always the tallest girl in her high school, is a must watch. In the first movie, Jodi slouched her way through school trying to make herself look less tall and less awkward, but by the end of the movie, she had figured out the path to personal and interrelationship success. In the new film, she has gone over the top and her newfound popularity has begun, because of her behaviour, to alienate those around her. Rated PG.


    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

Pillow Talk (2022) (TV Series):

Not to be confused with the warm and fuzzy Rock Hudson/Doris Day movie from 1959, this one shares the same title and the same bedroom idea, but it is far more explicit. Debuting this weekend, this Crave original is based on a French language series currently on Crave. The new one follows four real-life couples who play fictionalized versions of themselves as well as one set of roommates. Set entirely in bedrooms, this ten-part comedy is described in publicity releases with such terms as "raw," and with unexpected drama and intimacy. Rated 18A.



I Want You Back (2022):

This is not the life that a pair of thirty-somethings envisioned when they are dumped unceremoniously by their respective partners. Peter (Charlie Day from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") and Emma (Jenny Slate from "Parks and Rec") have had their life partners move on, and they are devastated. They both felt that they were in a good place, that the road ahead was sunny and bright, and that their futures were secure. And now this ... and even worse, a quick check shows that their partners have moved on, and that Peter and Emma are stuck. They see only one solution - sabotage the new relationships of their partners, get them back, and carry on as before. Not so simple to achieve in real life! Scott Eastwood (Clint's son) and Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin") play the opposing partners. Rated 14A.

New on DISNEY + /Star

Sneakerella (2022):

This is a Disney twist on the Cinderella story making it almost unrecognizable. First, it's set in the present, and second, the setting is New York City. Thirdly, the main character is a guy not the young princess-to-be from the original story. Chosen Jacobs, best known for his role in both of Stephen King's "It" movies, is El, a struggling young man from Queens who works as a stock boy in a shoe store once owned by his late mother. He has a great talent for designing sneakers but has no opportunity to pursue that aspiration because of the cruel store owner who is his stepfather, and constant beating down from his two step brothers. El finds himself falling for a fiercely independent girl named Kira King (Lexi Underwood). Turns out she is very big into the sneaker culture, and that she is falling for El as well. Also, she is the daughter of a basketball legend and sneaker designer named Darius King. Things look challenging until El's fairy godfather makes an appearance with a little magic dust, soon he can see a future in the design business. Rated PG.

New on Apple +

The Tragedy of MacBeth (2021):
This one opened in limited theatrical release two weeks ago and is now available on the Apple + outlet. Denzel Washington stars as the man who would be king at the ambitious urging of his wife, Lady MacBeth (Francis McDormand). The unusual casting is a direct result of the film's director, Joel Coen who also shares a writing credit with the Bard himself, William Shakespeare. Filmed in black-and-white, and done completely on soundstages, with no exterior scenes at all, we see the prophecy of the three witches off the top, that drive the action for MacBeth to become a murderer in his quest for power. Rated 14A.