Nov 1st - 7th Downloads
& DVDs
  •  Honk For Jesus, Save Your Soul (2022):

    This independent production, co-produced by its star Sterling K. Brown (Randall on "This Is Us"), from rookie writer and director Adamma Ebo, might have been a good idea in someone's mind, but it left its path early on and never got back. Brown is Lee-Curtis Childs, who along with his wife Trinitie (Regina King) were TV pastors of a mega-church in Atlanta, GA, where they flaunted their designer clothing, their fleet of Ferraris, Bugattis, and Lamborghinis, and a lifestyle akin to that of royalty. That life came to an end when a scandal closed their church. The movie picks up as a "mockumentary" with a film crew following Lee-Curtis and Trinitie some years later as they prepare to reopen their church and overcome the events that closed it in the first place, by claiming to have been saved and put back on the path of righteousness. So, it's a Jim and Tammy-Faye Bakker kind of thing, and as we see the action through the eyes of the documentary film makers, we begin to grasp some of what it was that Lee-Curtis did to go so badly astray. There are huge cash settlements, non-disclosure agreements, and a level of arrogance from the pastor that he "deserves" all the gifts and opulence that he once enjoyed, which includes a trip into a huge walk-in closet to view his collection of Prada suits. The problem with the film, which is rife with bad language from both church leaders, and has one protracted sex scene between them that is completely inappropriate, is that its ending is completely ambiguous. Investing two hours into a story that has no apparent conclusion is the worst kind of audience abuse there is, and I am sorry that I took that journey. Hard for me to recommend this film. Rated 14A.


  • Dark Winds:

    This new series that began streaming last week is one of the most unique and original pieces of television drama that I have seen in many moons. Executive produced by Robert Redford and Game of Thrones George R.R. Martin, and based on the novels of Tony Hillerman who wrote about Native Americans in a fashion not before seen, we are whisked into Navajo country in the Monument Valley desert area near the Utah border with Arizona, circa 1970 as a pair of tribal police officers work on a murder investigation. The authenticity is outstanding, as language, customs, and interaction with those off the reservation all smack of the kind of reality that makes you taste the desert sand while watching the characters step away from stereotypes and act like real people. The two officers are Joe Leaphorn (Zach McClarnon who is of Lakota blood), and Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon whose mother is of the Hualapai Nation of Arizona). There are some strong Canadian connections to the story as well. One of the languages spoken by some of the characters is Athabascan, originating on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, just south of the NWT. Also, a major character, another member of the Navajo Police Force, is Bernadette Manuelito played by Edmonton native Jessica Matten who is a direct descendant of Cuthbert Grant, the first Metis leader of Canada. As the Tribal police work their case, there is standard grunt work in tracking down leads, in eliminating suspects, and in following the money - in this case, money from a bank robbery that has found its way to the reservation - and there is also a touch of the supernatural as Ada Growing Thunder (Indigenous actress Amelia Rico), said to be a witch, seems to have been able to get inside the mind of Bernadette. The police work is challenged by the spiritual beliefs of both the officers and their quarry, and nothing that happens is predictable. I found this a most enjoyable series and hope to see it continue with the kind of drama and characters that make for an excellent experience.

  • Rubikon (2022):

    This sci-fi adventure has no recognizable stars, unless you are familiar with the film and television market in Austria, but it contains a theme that has become increasing more relevant since the challenges with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s the year 2056 and all opportunities to find an inhabitable planet for Earth’s population have failed as the planet plunges ever-more-deeply into the climate change crises. When an unforeseen tragedy occurs and a fatal mist envelopes the planet, astronaut-scientist Hannah has a hard decision to make. Only one space station remains, Rubikon. Hannah and her partner know that an oxygen-producing algae has been developed there, and she must decide to try to bring it back to Earth and risk death, or to remain in the station and survive that way. On arrival, she and her partner find that a pair of Russian scientist-cosmonauts are on station, and they must figure out a way to make a truce or allow the home planet to die. Rated 14A.

  • The Good Nurse (2022):

    Inspired by actual people and events, this is the story of ICU Amy Loughran (Jessica Chastain), who struggles in silence with her own health secret as she works with patients in the worst moments of their own lives.  Amy has a serious heart condition, she's a single mom, and the fate of her young daughter depends on her ability to work, to remain as healthy as possible, and to keep the secret that would likely cost her job if word got out.  Life has been difficult for her, but things seem to take a positive turn when a new nurse signs on at her ICU, working the same shift.  His name is Charles Cullen (Eddie Redmayne) and he and Amy develop a strong working relationship and a strong friendship as well.  She entrusts Charles with her secret, and he seems both sympathetic and caring.  Something has changed in Amy's unit however.  The death rate is up dramatically, and Amy has to face the hard fact that Charles may be the reason that patients are dying at unprecedented levels.  Her choice is to remain silent, to preserve her own secret, and to accept Charles' help and support, or to find the evidence as to what's really going on, and bring that to hospital authorities.  Her own life is now on the line as well as the welfare of her daughter.  Rated 14A. 


    All Quiet on the Western Front (2022):

    WWI was a long, long time ago, having ended in 1918, but its stories remain as relevant today as when they were told during the heat of battle.  Based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque, it follows the lives of some young German idealists who, their flames fanned by the State propaganda machine, sign up to fight against what they believe to be a monstrous enemy that deserves to be subjugated and put to death.  Actor Daniel Bruhl is Paul Baumer, who, along with his friends Albert and Muller, enthusiastically enlist fuelled by patriotism and in the strong belief in the just cause for which they fight.  Everything changes on the Western Front when the horrors of trench warfare become a reality, and when it becomes evident, piece by piece, that the cause for which they fight is neither noble nor just, but rather is dictated by the needs and desires of politicians safely ensconced back home in Germany.  Even though the date of the truce that will end the war has been announced, Paul and his surviving friends are ordered to continue to fight by the top brass so that Germany will have gone out on the offensive.  Rated 14A. 

New on CRAVE

The Serpent Queen (2022) (TV Series):

The only snakes and serpents in this historical drama are of the human variety as we get an eight-part series based on Leona Friede's book "Catherine de Medici, Renaissance Queen of France." Samantha Morton ("Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them") plays the title role here. She was queen of France by marriage to King Henry II for a dozen years and became one of the most significant political voices of her generation. After the death of her husband, she continued to become increasingly more influential, pulling the strings on the reigns of her subsequent sons who had no idea of the extent to which they were being manipulated. For most of the 16th century she was the most important woman in Europe, and was known for her ruthlessness and for her ability to make ground-breaking decisions with no concern for the human price. Rated 14A.



My Policeman (2022):

In 1950s London, we become acquainted with a young police officer named Tom (Harry Styles), a teacher named Marion (Emma Corrin), and a museum curator named Patrick (David Dawson). The morals and the conduct of those days is significantly different than what is acceptable in today's world, and the relationship between the three, in those early days not long after WWII, evolves into and emotional firestorm in which alliances are made and lost and regrets hang heavily in the air as the trio struggles with their respective relationship issues. Then, a flash forward to the 1990s, and our trio come together again, still full of remorse and hurt from the events of the past, but they feel they have one last chance to heal the wounds that still fester, and to heal the damage that was near fatal at a psychological level. A character study with a level of intensity that may be too strong for some viewers. Rated 18A.


New on DISNEY + /Star

Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation (2022):

A little late for summer vacation with kids all back in school now, this may be a Disney marketing ploy to get the youngsters back in front of the TV after a summer in which viewing typically dips. Disney's ownership of the "Star Wars" franchise has allowed for a lot of latitude as Finn, the young Lego man who starred in the previous Lego movies, has arranged a surprise vacation for his friends aboard the "Halcyon," a Galactic Star Cruiser. Things go sideways quickly when Finn is separated from the group, and he encounters three spirits in which The Force is strong - Obi-Wan-Kenobe, Anakin Skywalker, and Princess Leia, all of home tell their own stories of vacations gone wrong. Shelby Young voices Leia, "Star Wars" veteran Matt Lanter is Anakin, and another "Star Wars" animated series veteran, James Arnold Taylor is Obi-Wan. There are some other voices that you'll recognize too, if you are a fan of the genre. Billy Dee Williams is Lando Calrissian just as he was on the big screen, and Anthony Daniels, the original robot voice of C3PO shows up to do the chores here. Rated PG.

New on Apple +

Causeway (2022):
This Jennifer Lawrence-starring vehicle features a now-standard theme with a twist. There is no end to movies about American military personnel returning home after tours of duty in such places as Afghanistan and Iraq, and facing the challenges of returning to a regular life after all that they had seen and all that they had done in the service of their country. Same story here, except the soldier is Lynsey, Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence's character, who cannot effectively cope with coming back home to New Orleans and picking up life as it was before. Brian Tyee Henry ("Bullet Train") also stars. This movie was completed in 2019, but has been sitting on the shelf since then, and has a theatrical as well as an Apple + release. Rated 14A.