April 26th - May 2nd Downloads
& DVDs
  •  Moonfall (2022):

    This sci-fi thriller, definitely a "B" movie, was released to theatres in the U.S. in early March, and has finally shown up on a streaming service available to Canadians. When I say "B" movie, I don't mean it as a bad thing. The term comes from the filmmaking of the 1940s and '50s when there were major studio blockbusters being released, and in those days, every movie was a double feature, with the "B" movie having second billing. Such stars as Lucille Ball came up in that system, as did eventual "Dynasty" star Joan Collins, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Mickey Rooney, who eventually made the "A" list along with Tyrone Power and James Cagney. We don't have the double feature system any longer, and now "B" movies tend to be those made to go direct to video, and sometimes, like "Moonfall," have a theatrical release with mid-range stars and somewhat outrageous plots. That's the story here as Halle Berry plays Jacinda Fowler, a former NASA astronaut who worked on a Hubble Telescope Space Shuttle repair flight with a colleague named Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson), who ended that mission in disgrace when his co-astronaut on the repair mission was part of an even that sent him flying off, untethered, into the void of space. Harper survived, but was blamed for the tragedy, lost his job, went through a divorce, and when we meet him, is a man struggling to make a living giving science lectures to young students at the Griffith Park Planetarium in L.A. We learn quickly that the moon is coming out of its orbit and it will break up as it crashes into the earth, creating a life-ending event for our planet. Jacinda, who works for NASA, and who is given the job of being its head as this event unfolds, has an idea, in the vernacular of "B" movies, that "is so crazy, it just might work." She recruits the disgraced Harper, along with an internet conspiracy theorist named K.C. Houseman, played by John Bradley who was Samwell Tarley on "Game of Thrones," and soon they are in space on the Shuttle, trying to find out what is going on inside the moon that has caused all of this. In true "B" movie style many unbelievable things occur - a carload of family members of those on the Shuttle, watch the liftoff from the safety of their Jeep, as tidal waves pound Cape Canaveral narrowly missing the ship which gets away just in time, and they then head for Colorado, a 28-hour drive at best, where they arrive in just a couple of hours. There are many nonsensical issues such as this, but it's a "B" movie, not a documentary, and I found the whole thing good fun. Rated 14A.


  • Superintelligence (2020):

    This Melissa McCarthy romantic comedy-drama was directed by her husband Ben Falcone, who also co-stars, and was written by Steve Mallory who also wrote the McCarthy vehicle "The Boss," and it is, in my opinion, one of the better creative partnerships for this kind of film. The theme is one that isn't new - and Artificial Intelligence that has been lurking in everything from our microwave ovens to our digital TV sets, which just happens to have the voice, and sometimes the visage of late-night talk show host James Corden - is deciding whether or not to end the world and get rid of humanity. Filmed mostly in Seattle, at Microsoft and at Google among other locations, the movie is visually exceptional making the Emerald City sparkle with a life of its own. The AI picks on Carol Peters (McCarthy) as its subject to help decide whether humanity stays or whether it goes. There are some great sight gags as it insinuates itself into her life, giving her a mission that it wants completed to help determine the fate of our world. She is to get reacquainted with her ex named George (Bobby Cannavale) with whom she had a bad breakup a couple of years earlier. The AI will watch what happens, and make decisions based on the outcome. George, it turns out, as Carol accidentally-on-purpose bumps into him in a supermarket, is about to embark on a year-long fellowship at a university in Ireland in just three days' time. Coincidentally, that's just how long the AI has given Carol to complete her mission. Along the way the FBI gets involved, as well as the American President (Jean Smart) and the military, and they lean on Carol to help them and betray the Corden-like AI. A woman of her word, she sticks with the program. It plays out like a complex rom-com with a sinister backstory, and was, for me, one of the best McCarthy movies yet - it's very PG - not offensive, no bad language, and love scenes that are brief and in blurred-focus, so it's a film that you can watch with most family members without fear of inappropriate scenes or language.

  • Gasoline Alley (2022):

    Vancouver-born Devon Sawa stars along with Bruce Willis in one of Willis’s final movie roles since announcing his departure from acting for health reasons. Sawa stars as Jimmy Jayne, proprietor of a Los Angeles-area tattoo parlour which lies in the seedy, underbelly of the city. He is approached in a bar by a lady of the evening, denies her services, and gives her a lighter from his Tattoo business, Gasoline Alley. That provides a clue to the disappearance and murder of three women, with Jimmy as the key suspect because of the lighter as evidence. He now has little choice but to fight his way through the underworld of LA, enlisting the help of a couple of police detectives whom he is not certain are straight on are on the take. Willis, in a brief role here, largely to be able to put his name on this direct-to-video movie, is one of the detectives. Luke Wilson also stars. 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.