May 24th - 30th Downloads
& DVDs
  •  The Batman (2022):

    Two things: First, this new entry into the DC Comics Universe with a remaking of "The Batman" is generating huge box office numbers and critical praise. Second: it will not be everyone's favourite version of the story of Bruce Wayne aka the Caped Crusader. You will have to put me in the latter camp. It's a demographic thing. This bleak and dark story seems directed at a generation who had never heard of such descriptors as "Stately Wayne Manor," - Bruce Wayne's home, and a Gotham City that was progressive and clean, the opposite of what we see in this film. Robert Pattinson was, to me at least, too weak an actor to carry off the role of the crime fighter who turned to justice for all when his parents were murdered in an alley outside a theatre. Here, the wealthy Wayne legacy is besmirched by intimations of corruption when Bruce's late father was running for mayor of Gotham, which is itself, not a city in which many would want to live. It is dark and evil, it always rains, and crime, both organized and random rules the thinly disguised version of New York City. Shot mostly in the UK, this is a pre-Robin the Boy Wonder Batman, and it's a time when Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) is not yet Police Commissioner. Much of Gotham City knows little or nothing about the Caped Crime Fighter whose alter ego of Bruce Wayne is not the respected heir to the Wayne fortune, but rather is a somewhat suspicious, shadowy creation himself. Colin Farrell has completely disappeared into the persona of Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin, and offers the only glimmer of humour in this dank and gloomy depiction of rampant crime. There is a scene in which he is handcuffed and leg-cuffed, and where Batman has to quickly respond to another emergency in the subway where Cobblepott, bound at the ankles with chains, tries to walk and succeeds only in looking like ... well, a penguin. At just five minutes short of three hours long, I found several spots that director Matt Reeves ("10 Cloverfield Lane") could have ended all this, but in the relentless hunt for "The Riddler" (Paul Dano), here a serial killer right out of one of the "Saw" movies, it continues to march on in the perennial darkness. Good movie? Yes, well-made and thrilling in places, but not my Batman. Rated 14A.


  • Umma (2022):

    Umma is the Korean word for "mother," and that's exactly what Amanda, played by Sandra Oh, Ottawa-born actress ("Grey's Anatomy," "Killing Eve") is to her teenage daughter Krissy (Fivel Stewart). They live in relative solitude on a desert-like farm in Arizona where they keep bees and sell the honey. We slowly learn, in this horror-thriller, that something is not quite right with Amanda. The home in which they live has no electricity in operation. Candles and kerosene lamps provide light, there is no phone, Krissy has no electronic devices, and it seems that, at her age, approaching the time to think about college, that she wants change. That change happens in a big way when Krissy encounters a man on the road as she rides her bike into town. He is driving, and he asks for directions in Korean, a language that Krissy does not speak. Cut to the farmhouse, and the man arrives there to chastise Amanda. It is her uncle from Korea, and he brings news that her mother has died, and that he has her few remaining possessions and her ashes in an old suitcase. He is a mean man, obviously Amanda's mother's brother, and she asks him to leave and to never return. But now, with the remains in Amanda's house, she begins to hear her mother's voice. Their relationship was terrible, with Umma being a cruel woman and Amanda leaving to pursue life in another country. Her mother never forgave her for leaving, and now Amanda does not want her own daughter to leave to go to college. Amanda is turning into her mother in more ways than one. Not a slasher film of any sort, this is a haunting of insidious proportions that makes for a most interesting film. Rated 14A.

  • X (2022):

    This slasher-horror film will definitely not be everyone’s cup of plasma, but for those who long for the days of the old “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” genre, it will be a blood feast. The “X” of the title refers to the rating of the movies being made by a group of young filmmakers. They are led by porn star Maxine (British actress Mia Goth) who believes that this project is her ticket to the top. They seek out a remote, private location for their shoot, and settle on a farmhouse in rural Texas that is owned by an old couple, and which is perfect for their needs. The couple is accommodating, believing that the group is just there to make an ordinary movie. When they learn the nature of the adult picture, they feel differently, and now begins a cat-and-mouse game in which the filmmakers are taken out one at a time in a most bloody fashion. Jenna Ortega (“Jane the Virgin”) and Brittany Snow (“Pitch Perfect”) also star. Rated 18A.

  • Stranger Things: Season 4 (TV Series) (2022):

    The horrors of The Upside Down continue to haunt the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, while the original cast returns intact, with the kids who fought those horrors now in high school and facing their own challenges. When season three ended, we were in the midst of the Battle of Starcourt, the mall which became the focus of the bizarre creatures focused on destroying humans. Town Sheriff Hopper isn't in Hawkins when the action opens. He was captured and is the focus of interrogation somewhere on Russia's Kamchatka peninsula by both human dangers and those more out worldly. A good part of the start to this season, which will come in two parts separated by one month's time, has the pals, the kids, including Eleven, Mike, Dustin, et al off on separate missions of a sort, really the first time in their young lives that they haven't been a tight group. Rated 14A.


    Operation Mincemeat (2021):

    This film, based on actual events in WWII, was released by Warner Bros in the UK theatrically, and is being released by Netflix in North America. Colin Firth stars in this ingenious story of an espionage operation in 1943 that turned the tide of the war when a pair of British operatives used a combination of a corpse and false identity documents to deceive the Germans at a critical point when a huge build-up of troops was set to quash the allies. It tells the story of those who fight in the shadows, and whose true exploits are sometimes unknown and lost in the fog of war and the mirage of history. Rated 14A.

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

Obi-Wan Kenobi (TV Series) (2022):

Disney has chosen to release this series on the 45th anniversary of the premiere of the first Star Wars film, "Episode IV: A New Hope." Ewan McGregor plays the Jedi master of whom Princess Leia says, in that first movie, "help me Obi-Wan ... you're our only hope!" The events in this series take place 10 years after the action in "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith." It was in that film that Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, went to the Dark Side. In this series, Christensen returns to play Darth Vader, while Obi-Wan, exiled to the desert planet of Tatooine, works to protect young Luke Skywalker while evading the Empire's Jedi hunters at every turn. 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.