Dec 6th - 12th Downloads
& DVDs
  •  Amsterdam (2022):

    This movie is so loaded with talent, that it amazes me that I had such difficulty watching it. Written and directed by three-time Oscar nominee David O. Russell ("Silver Linings Playbook," "American Hustle," "The Fighter,") who has amassed an amazing cast, I found myself staring at the screen for long moments wondering what all these talking heads were doing. Like much of Russell's work, it features dark characters with shadows of mental illness lurking about like Halloween goblins, and in the end, it turned out to be a serviceable story, but it took a long, long time to get there. Set in the 1930s, between World War I and WWII, it tells the story of a true event, with a lot of made-up characters. I can't tell you what the event was, because that would be a spoiler, but as the plot lurches and groans toward that outcome, we are given a peculiar character study that often falls into the category of "who cares?" The talent is enormous. We have Christian Bale, nominated four times for Oscars, and having one for "The Fighter," a David O. Russell project; two-time Oscar nominee Margot Robbie; Primetime Emmy nominee Anya Taylor-Joy (for "The Queen's Gambit"); three-time Primetime Emmy winner Chris Rock; Primetime Emmy winner Mike Meyers; Primetime Emmy and Grammy Award winner Taylor Swift; Oscar winner and Primetime Emmy winner Rami Malik; and two-time Oscar winner Robert DeNiro. With all those amazing performers involved, this should have been full of action, thrills, and high adventure, instead, for the first half-hour, with one brief exception for Taylor Swift's character, it's all just talk. There is a lot of bouncing back and forth between the 1930s present, and the war years that brought the main characters together, with a time spent in post-war Amsterdam that is the reason for the title. Much of what follows is the introduction of endless numbers of characters who come and go. What's lacking is a script that keeps us in the moment ... there was far too much character development of characters that did not need it, and when the final "secret" is revealed, this turns out to be an "art" film that may attract some Oscar nominations, but its entertainment value is marginal. Rated 14A.


  • Clerks III (2022):

    In 1994 Kevin Smith wrote and directed a little film that developed a huge cult following, and later became even more widespread. It was about two guys, slackers at heart, who were clerks in a convenience store. Dante and Randal (Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson) spent most of their time annoying customers, talking about movies, and playing hockey on the roof of the store. 28 years later they are back, and writer/director Smith, who played the character Silent Bob in all the "Clerks" iterations has taken a slice of his own life, and written it into the script where a heart attack comes into play. Smith had a massive coronary in 2018, one from which 80% of those afflicted do not return. Since that time, luckily surviving the event, he has made major lifestyle changes, and has lost 75 pounds, evident when we see Silent Bob in this movie. The storyline here has the two guys, Randal and Dante, now in their 50s - they were in their 20s in the first movie - deciding to make a movie about the convenience store that started it all. That store still stands in New Jersey, and is still owned by the same family, who happily made it available as the location for this latest move. Rated 14A in BC, "R" in the US.

  • Medieval (2022):

    Well, here's the problem with this historical tale about Czech national hero Jan Zizca who, in the 15th century was said to have never lost a battle: most of the players here talk far too much and say far too little. The battle scenes which capture us right off the top, are superb, if you like the flailing chains, swords, and pole-axes that were stock-in-trade on the battlefields of the day. Ben Foster plays Zizca as a wild man on the battlefield who has no concerns about anything except devastating his enemies. Unfortunately, to advance the plot, it takes a lot of talking heads to help us understand the politics of the age. There are two Popes at this time in Europe - one in Rome and one in France. Zizca, early in his career, is shown working as a mercenary for Lord Bores (an oddly-cast Michael Caine), and he clanks his way onto the battlefield to put to death anything that moves, as long as it is the enemy. Once the battle is done, there are lengthy explanations as to what is going on politically, what is motivating this battle, and which factions are next. When the fight is on, this is a gripping action-thriller ... but when the talk begins, it turns into a yawner. We have those who sit on the throne, those who want the throne, and those who want anyone on the throne put to death. Shot entirely in the Czech Republic, I think this is a far more meaningful story if one understands the history to which it speaks, but to go to an action film for a history lesson really didn't work for me. Rated 14A.

  • The Swimmers (2022):

    Yusra and Sara Mardini are a pair of Syrian sisters who, in 2015, fled the civil war in their home country to find themselves on a rubber raft in the middle of the Aegean Sea with a number of other refugees who had fled to Lebanon, then to Turkey, and ultimately to Greece when the overloaded raft ran into trouble. The two sisters, along with another two people who could swim, were responsible for saving the lives of all on board. One year later, Yusra was competing in the Olympics in Rio as part of the 2016 Refugee team. This dramatic biography was shot on location in all the places that the girls had fled, hidden in, and looked for salvation in before becoming heroes. Rated 14A.


    Slumberland (2022):

    A good cast shows up for this adventure story that will appeal to children 8 or 10 and up. Based on the comic book series "Little Nemo in Slumberland '' by Winston McClay, we follow the adventures of a tweenage girl named Nemo and her eccentric companion Flip (Jason Mamoa) who come together after Nemo's father Peter (Kyle Chandler goes missing at sea. Set in the Pacific Northwest, but shot in Toronto, we follow Nemo as she is sent to live with relatives in the big city, a place foreign to her after the coastline life she had been living. While struggling in a new school with new people all around her, Nemo finds a secret map which hooks her up with Flip, and begins a challenging journey through lands of dreams and nightmares that she believes will help reunite her with her lost father. Rated PG.

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

Disenchanted (2022):

Amy Adams and much of the original cast, including James Marsden and Patrick Dempsey, show up 15 years after the movie "Enchanted" graced the big screen and was a blockbuster hit bringing in more than $350 million. In that film, Princess Giselle (Adams), living in an animated fairytale land, was just biding her time and singing her songs while she waited for Prince Charming. He showed up in the person of Prince Edward (Marsden) and the day before their marriage, a tragedy befell the princess. At the hands of an evil hag (Susan Sarandon), she was dumped into a well, which was actually a conduit between two worlds, the animate land of Andalasia, and now, the harsh, racaus world of New York City, complete with honking taxis and frenetic pedestrians. There she met a divorce lawyer named Robert Philip (Dempsey) and eventually fell in love, married, and lived happily ... well, not quite ever after. As this new story opens, it is 10 years later and Giselle and her husband are moving to the suburbs with their child and new baby in tow. On arrival, it's clear that something isn't quite right as their new home in Monroeville seems to be under the control of Malvina Monroe (Maya Rudolph) who is not what she seems. As Giselle struggles with this new twist, she makes a wish, wanting everything to be a perfect fairy-tale. The spell backfires and it turns both her live-action world and the animated world of Andalasia upside down. There are more songs in this sequel than in the original, a good account given by Idena Menzel who once again plays Nancy. Rated PG.

New on Apple +

Spirited (2022):
Just when you thought you had seen every possible variation on the Dickens classic, "A Christmas Carol," from the Muppets to George C. Scott, to the Alistair Sim version from 1951, along comes a truly different twist. Set in the present day, the star here, the Scrooge of the story, is a character named Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds). As expected, he is a miserable soul given to creating chaos and grief all around himself through his thoughtless, sometimes mean, stingy mannerisms. As Christmas Eve approaches, Briggs is visited by the first of three ghosts, this one being the spirit of Christmas Present played by Will Farrell. Each Christmas Eve, this spirit seeks out a wretched person to reform, and this time it's Briggs. Unlike Dickens' original story, Briggs turns the tables on the ghost and soon has Christmas Present examining his own past, present and future, completely forgetting the original mission. This is the first version of "A Christmas Carol" told from the perspective of the spirits themselves, Past, Present, and Future, and it's clear that they picked on the wrong Scrooge this time. Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer also stars, as does Sunita Mani from the series GLOW, as the spirit of Christmas Past. An interesting spin on an old classic, and a musical version at that. Rated PG.