April 19th - 25th Downloads
& DVDs
  •  The Batman:

    This bleak, murky version of the story of the Caped Crusader takes place in a seedy, uninviting Gotham City during the formative time of the crime fighter's early days. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) isn't Police Commissioner yet, Robin the Boy Wonder is years away from becoming a part of the story, and Paul Dano is a far more malevolent Riddler than anything we have seen in previous Batman stories, whether they be on the big screen or in comic book form. In this version of the DC universe, Bruce Wayne is not the highly regarded man-about-town that he has been in previous versions, and as Batman, James Pattison, for me at least, was too weak an actor to make me believe any of it. Wayne's late father was implicated in organized crime, something that is hinted at in this story, and again, a premise that flies in the face of all that has come before. The highlight is Colin Farrell, completely unrecognizable as The Penguin, and all the work involved in trying to get me to like Cat Woman (Zoe Kravitz) was for nought as I just couldn't warm up to her character. The movie is too long by at least a half-hour as it struggles to set up the next sequel, one that I hope will have a more believable and likeable Batman. It began streaming on Crave on Monday. Rated 14A.


  • The King's Daughter (2022):

    This film was completed in 2013, and was not released, for a variety of business reasons, until now, so if you think that Pierce Brosnan looks younger than his years, you're right ... this is how he looked almost a decade ago. A very odd pairing of historical fact and complete fantasy provides this story of Louis XIV (Pierce Brosnan), who really existed, in a quest for immortality, which may or may not have been true, by stealing the life force from a mermaid, which is definitely made up for the movie. It doesn't matter that it's made up, because the film is presented as a fairy-tale, it's voiced by Julie Andrews as the narrator, and the visuals, the costumes, and the sets are fabulous. Reviews have not been good, perhaps because this isn't a critic's movie, it's one geared to adult audiences - adults who still believe in a little bit of magic and in the thought that things work out in the end for good people. Based on the 1997 novel "The Moon and the Sun," by Vonda McIntyre, this fantasy plays out with the Palace at Versailles as its backdrop, before filming moved to Australia for the spectacular seascapes involving the mermaid. The king has had the mermaid captured and she must be put to death at the moment of a coming solar eclipse so that the life force moves from the sea creature from Atlantis, to the King, guaranteeing him immortality. The wild card in this is Marie, a young woman who has grown up in a convent, and is summoned to the palace at the request of the King. We learn soon enough that she is the illegitimate daughter of the monarch, and that her mother died in childbirth. She has a distinct affinity for the sea, and when she learns of the mermaid's captivity, the wheels begin turning to set her free, much to the chagrin of King Louis. There are all the expected plot contrivances involving the King's Priest (John Hurt) and the sailor who captured the mermaid at the King's behest, Yves de la Croix, who falls in love with Marie, not knowing she is the king's daughter. Beautiful visually, nicely put together, and a real, honest-to-goodness fairy-tale, but not for younger children because of the violence quotient. Rated PG.

  • Cyrano (2022):

    I really struggled during the early going of this version of the story of Cyrano de Bergerac, the real-life French author, poet, and playwright who lived from 1619 to 1655 in Paris, a scant 36 years during a time when the life expectancy was about age 40 for males. Starring Peter Dinklage (Tyrian Lannister in "Game of Thrones") in the title role, the story is based on the 2019 stage play which ran off Broadway for about a year, and which also starred the diminutive Dinklage. The story has been told on film and on stage in many ways over the years, and this one is quite traditional. Cyrano loves Roxanne (Hayley Bennet of "Hillbilly Elegy" and "The Magnificent Seven'') but he has never expressed his feelings to her. In many versions of the "Cyrano" story, his reticence is because of his inordinately large nose, and the feeling that with this physical issue, she could never love him. This time Cyrano’s nose is fine, but because Dinklage is a Little Person" he feels that she could never be attracted to him. He learns that Roxanne also has a secret love, and hopes that somehow, it could be himself, but alas, it is Christian (Kelvin Harrison, Jr. of "The Trial of the Chicago Seven"), newly recruited to the King's Guard. She wants Cyrano to let Christian know of her interest, and she wants him to write to her, as she is an incurable romantic, and wants to be wooed with words. Christian is not an articulate young man, so Cyrano writes the words, Christian signs the letters, and soon, love is in the air. France is at war with Spain at this time, and both young men are called up to the front lines, because Roxanne has another suitor, De Guich (Ben Mendelsohn) an aristocratic military may who wants her hand, but finding out that she loves Christian leaves him no choice but to send him into battle and certain death. My problem with the movie, especially in the early going, was that it was clearly a stage play with the camera often focused only on the stage, but without the ambience of a live theatre setting, it really didn't work as a technique. Also, it's a musical with no recognizable songs, which made it drag. Eventually it picks up, and becomes the tragic romance with comedic overtones that we deserve. Rated 14A.

  • Rescued by Ruby (2022):

    This Netflix original was shot in Victoria and in Vancouver, and features a cast of mostly born-and-raised-in-B.C. actors, with two Americans sporting distinctly British Columbia roots. Grant Gustin (Barry Allen on "The Flash") stars as Dan, a state trooper whose dream has always been to join the K-9 rescue team, but he has never had anyone in the police organization believe that this is where he belongs. It isn't until Dan comes across a down-on-its-luck rescue dog named Ruby that things begin to change, as one underdog helps the other. It had always been Ruby's desire to find a home and to be a working dog, and when chance brings them together, everything changes. Scott Wolf also stars - an American actor who has been working on the Lower Mainland for several seasons of "Nancy Drew," and of course, Grant Gustin's "The Flash" was shot entirely in B.C. as well. 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.



Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls (TV Series) (2022):

Lizzo, who was born Melissa Vivienne Jefferson in Detroit 34 years ago was raised in Houston, TX and in the space of her relatively short life has founded and fronted five different hip hop groups beginning with "The Chalice," then "Grrrl Prty;" followed by "The Clerb;" "Ellypseas;" and finally "Absynthe." She received 8 nominations at the 62 Grammy Awards, the most of any female artist, and won in four categories including "Best Solo Pop Performance." This series focuses on Lizzo's hunt for a number of tough, confident, and talented young women to join as dancers on her upcoming world tour. In addition to composing music and performing, she has also become an actor with both voice credits and acting credits on her resume. Her words to live by, as exhibited in this Amazon Original series are the following: "The space I'm occupying isn't just for me. It's for all the big Black girls in the future who just want to be seen. Rated 14A.

New on DISNEY + /Star

Cheaper by the Dozen (2022):

This Disney streamer is a remake of a 2003 Steve Martin/Bonnie Hunt film of the same title, which was itself a remake of the Clifton Webb/Myrna Loy classic from 1950. Paul and Zoey Baker (Zack Branff, Gabrielle Union) have a blended family that consists of 10 children, and mom and dad make 12. In this version, the family is multi-racial, and the story hangs on the challenges that exist when so many people live together and try to help out with the family business as well as trying to work on each one's own individuality. Previous versions of this story had 12 kids plus the parents, and in each case, the parents were mom and dad to all of them, whereas this remake focuses on the backgrounds of the blended individuals and their differences as well as their common ground. 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.