July 5th - 11th Downloads
& DVDs
  •  Downton Abbey: A New Era (2022):

    Seldom would I say that a movie smacks of perfection at every level, but this sequel to the 2019 original, itself a spinoff of the TV series that began in 2010 telling he sprawling saga of the Crawley Family from the turn of the 20th Century, through WWI and beyond, should satisfy even the most discriminating fan. With one exception, all the characters still alive during this story, set in the 1920s, make an appearance, and fit with the viewer like lost family members to be embraced after a long absence. All of the opulence, the wonderful dialogue, and the oh-so-proper mores and habits of the Crawley family are in full view, and it's a sumptuous and delightful experience. The Downton movie from 2019 in which the king and queen of England visited the palatial and stately home left many observers feeling like it had missed the mark, and in comparison, to this near-masterpiece, it did. The difference is in its director. Michael Engler, best known for "Sex and the City" directed the first Downton movie. He was replaced for this one by Simon Curtis ("Woman in Gold") who in real life is married to Elizabeth McGovern who plays Cora Crawley, wife of Robert, the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville). Engler has captured the essence of each character and has built in the requisite growth in their attitudes and in their lives accounting for the passage of time between stories. There are two distinct plots afoot here. One is that a motion picture company approaches the Granthams asking to use their home as a set for a feature film. There is resistance initially, but the fees that the producers will pay for the trouble are substantial, and could provide much-needed revenue to do major repairs on the roof and other parts of the structure, so an agreement is reached. The actors and crew shake things up as the staff and family work to accommodate this new breed of performers. The second has Violet, the Countess Dowager, inheriting a villa in the South of France on the death of what appears to be a long-ago lover who has never forgotten her, which has some of the family travelling across the Channel to view the property. Both stories mesh like the fine gears in a classic timepiece offering a beautiful outcome, closing the door, hopefully, to any further sequels, as the story ends perfectly and completely. Rated PG.


  • Memory (2022):

    Liam Neeson, who said two years ago that he was all done with action movies, continues to buck that trend with this piece that is consistent with similar roles in the past. Neeson is often a former special forces operative or some other kind of ex-spy, now having to use his skills to save a family member or some other person in crisis. All the crisis stuff exists here, but this time Neeson's character, Alex Lewis, is a veteran hitman, working for many different organizations as a freelancer. It's time, he feels, to leave that business behind, as he begins to struggle with his ability to remember details. We learn early on that his older brother is in the late stages of Alzheimer's and it appears that Alex may be slipping down that same slope with the beginnings of memory loss. When a Mexican cartel boss calls him in for a job that requires the clinical expertise for which Alex is famous, to dispatch some enemies of the organization, Alex tells him that he won't take the job, that he is done. He offers no explanation, other than to say it's time to quit. He is told, coldly, that no one quits - and that the job is on. It's a three-part killing, the first part the easy dispatch of a bad guy, but when Alex finds that his second victim is a 13-year-old girl, he refuses to comply, as children are off-limits for his brand of death-on-demand. That does not sit well with the Cartel bosses, and now Alex is a target. At the same time, looking at a much bigger picture, an FBI agent, Vincent Serra (Guy Pearce) is on Alex's trail too, for previous murders. Despite the fact that reviews for this movie have been relatively poor, I liked it - I thought that Neeson was excellent at being an older guy at the end of the line rather than the perennial action hero. Playing a man his actual age, and struggling with the memory loss that makes getting his jobs done smoothly, added a level of tension that makes this a gripping story. There are many characters involved in targeting Alex and we get the feeling early on that this cannot end well. Nothing is predictable and every plot twist leaves us guessing what will come next as the usual stereotypes and story devices don't exist here. Rated 14A.

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022):

    This extremely odd, and highly original movie was a box office sleeper, having stayed in the top five movies for months before slipping off into the world of DVD and On Demand releases. In short, it’s about “verse-jumping,” or having the ability to move from one infinite universe to another. The protagonist here is Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) who runs a failing laundromat, manages a failing marriage, and deals with a failing relationship with her daughter, and her father who has just immigrated from China to the U.S. On top of all that, she is being audited by the tax department and her husband, a wimpy sort of guy, is surreptitiously trying to divorce her. In the midst of all this chaos, Evelyn learns that she can move from this version of herself to other versions in other universes. In some places she is a rock star, literally, and in others she sees raccoons governing the activities of humans. Behind all this is a sinister presence that could change everything for all humanity. A most bizarre film, but for sci-fi fans, it does the trick, although there is an ”R” rating on it for good reason.

  • The Sea Beast (2022):

    Screenwriter Chris Williams, responsible for writing such popular Disney movies as "Mulan," "The Emperor's New Groove," and "Moana," jumps ship here to sign on with Netflix Animation, which produced and distributed this cartoon adventure in a mythical age where monsters routinely plied the seas. The story is about a girl named Maisie Brumble (voice of Zaris-Angel Hator), who stows away on the ship of the greatest of all sea monster hunters, Jacob Holland. The monster hunters are the most celebrated of all adventurers and Maisie idolizes him. When she is discovered on the ship, Jacob now finds himself with an ally he wasn't planning to have join him as he sails into one of the most dangerous parts of the sea. Rated PG.


    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.