June 21st - 27th Downloads
& DVDs
  •  The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022):

    Only an actor with a massive ego would allow such a title for a film in which he stars, essentially, as himself ... and that massive ego here belongs to Nicolas Cage. This bizarre, and unbelievable screenplay has Cage playing himself, or at least a version of himself, in a series of events that are all just about one thing - Nicolas Cage. By the time we reach the end, it's a spy thriller and a chase movie, but the first two acts are almost unfathomable. We meet Cage, playing himself, preparing for an audition for a movie, and tearing up the scenery with his screentest. Alas, despite his serious financial problems - he is $600,000 behind in his rent - the director loves him, but has decided to go in a different direction. At the insistence of his manager and agent (Neil Patrick Harris), the beleaguered Cage agrees to take a personal appearance gig on the Spanish Island of Mallorca where a wealthy businessman named Javi (the Mandolarian's Pedro Pascal) is a rabid Cage fan. Before he departs, we see the interaction between Cage's teenage and his ex-wife, both fully believing that everything Cage does is all about Cage and not anyone else, as the ego continues to thrive and grow. Finally, on the Island, things begin to turn into a movie - Javi may be an international drug smuggler, and a pair of CIA agents led by Vivan (Tiffany Haddish) on the case recruit Cage to collect some evidence on Javi. Now it's a spy thriller - Javi is not what he appears to be, there's a teenage kidnapping afoot, and ultimately, when Cage's own ex-wife and his daughter arrive on the island, everyone is in danger. The language is atrocious, but the violence quotient is minimal, and as Cage begins to believe that maybe he should become a spy, the double-agent business throws a wrench into things. I hated the first 45 minutes, tolerated the next 15, and enjoyed the final hour. Rated 14A.


  • Cinderella (2021):

    This Netflix retelling of the classic story about the young woman with the cruel stepmother and the two wicked stepsisters has been reworked into a live-action musical, produced by James Cordon who was also responsible for the story. It was an amazingly pleasant surprise that really set me back. I was expecting, at best, kid stuff, and at worst, a musical experience somewhat like "The Heights," or "Hamilton," neither of which I enjoyed. That was not to be so! When the first song appeared, it was surprisingly familiar, and as the story played out, the musical production numbers, woven into the story like the fabric of the dresses that Cinderella (Cuban-born Camila Cabello of the singing group Fifth Harmony), designed and sold in the town square. Shot at Pinewood Studios in London, England, the cast is perfect, with Idina Menzel ("Frozen") as the cruel stepmother, British actor Nicholas Galitzine is the handsome prince, Pierce Brosnan is his father, the pompous King Rowan, and his mother the queen is played by Minnie Driver. In a smart casting move, Tony Award-winning singer Billy Porter is the fairy godmother, so over the top as to almost be the show stealer. Back to the music for a moment, production numbers and set pieces include music from Janet Jackson, Madonna, and Queen, with a level of energy from the cast that will keep a smile on your face. Although the story is traditional, it departs from earlier animated versions by making Cinderella a woman who wants much more than to just be the wife of a prince - she wants to design clothes and make that her business, while the prince himself is concerned about the stereotypical life that his father sees for him. Watch for producer James Cordon as the voice of one of the mice who is turned into one of Cinderella's footmen. Great for young or old, this is a marvelous production with a great outcome. Rated PG.

  • The Cellar (2022):

    Calgary-born Elisha Cuthbert (“24”) is the star in this horror-thriller shot and set in Ireland, in which a family moves into a new house, only to find, almost immediately, that their young daughter, who went down to look at the cellar, has disappeared down there. The house and the situation should have been the tip-off that something was askew, but clearly the people in this film don’t watch horror movies – when you can get a spectacular home in the suburbs for almost no money at all, the buy of a lifetime, rest assured that something is wrong. In fact, the daughter Ellie (Abby Fitz) is the victim of something more than just being lost in a cellar. Soon it become obvious that there is another presence in the house, and it is the epitome of evil. Challenged by the loss of their daughter, the couple, Kiera (Cuthbert) and Brian (Eoin Mackin) face this horrific new situation drenched in fear and dread. A very serviceable thriller. Rated 14A.

  • 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.