Jan 3rd - 9th Downloads
& DVDs
  •  Black Adam (2022):

    This new film is, in the final analysis, just another superhero action-adventure which can be viewed on two levels: one, it's a lot of stuff getting smashed and blown up by costumed crusaders that may or may not be familiar; or two, it is in inside look at a DC Universe that has been skirted around in such films as "Suicide Squad," and TV series including "Super Girl." In either case, you'll get your money's worth, but the film is a lot more meaningful if you know your DC Comics heroes, and the group here that makes up "The Justice Society of America," which years later grew into "The Justice League of America." This movie belongs to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in every way. As the titular character, he was imprisoned for all time after leading a revolt almost 5,000 years ago in a country we take to be ancient Egypt. The issue back then was the search, by an evil ruler, for a mineral called "Eternium" which would grant him great powers. The discovery of the element and the subsequent dispatching of all who could oppose him, led to Black Adam's imprisonment for all eternity. Cutting to the present day, the search for a crown made of Eternium is on led by archaeologist Adriana Tomaz (Sara Shahi), who, while under fire, accidentally reads a spell that awakens Black Adam who arrives to dispatch almost every enemy ... but he is not all that good a guy himself, seeking revenge against all who imprisoned him, and their future generations as well. I was disappointed in the special effects - often it was clear that a model of a city about to be destroyed was created with relatively bad CGI. In all of this, the evolution of Black Adam as played by Dwayne Johnson was a cut above because some humanity was written into the character, and his interplay, particularly with Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan) was outstanding, something that sets this movie apart from many such thrillers. Keep watching throughout the credits for one more key scene about three minutes in. Rated 14A.


  • Prey for the Devil (2022):

    This is a thoughtful, more grown-up version of movies in the genre led by "The Exorcist. Here, we are introduced to Sister Ann, a nun played by Ontario's Jacqueline Beyers. Sister Ann heeds a call from the Catholic Church which tells us that incidents of demonic possession have increased dramatically, and that new training locations have been opened to train more priests in the work of exorcism. The Church does not allow nuns to participate in exorcisms, but Sister Ann, a nurse, is allowed to sit in on one of the early orientation sessions which leads her and the team of priests to a child named Natalie who is possessed and exhibiting devilish behaviour. Natalie is in the custody of the Church, in a large old building in Boston that houses both the teaching facilities and a number of patients struggling with either mental illness or demonic possession. We learn from one of the priests leading the training early on that "demons are the Devil's foot soldiers" and Sister Ann feels a strong pull towards helping, but is told that her role as a nurse is help enough. Actress Beyers' portrayal of the assertive nun is perfect, demonstrating both a passion and a desire to help, along with an obedience that keeps her on the side-lines ... until something happens with Natalie, who responds positively and favourably to her presence. Scenes typical of the genre follow, with the young girl going through grotesque contortions, climbing the walls and ceilings, and emitting evil every time she speaks ... but soon, the girl seems to be exorcised. It is here that Sister Ann's obedience begins to flag, and along with a priest in the exorcism class named Father Dante (Christian Navarro), they sneak into the Church archives and learn secrets about possessed people that have not been shared. Father Dante's sister is demon possessed and he wants Sister Ann to help. She goes to his home, she does her best, and at the end of the evening, it appears that the demon has been exorcised ... but by next morning Dante's sister is dead, having taken her own life. The darkness and the real creepiness of the look of this film comes from its location shooting in Sofia, Bulgaria, standing in for Boston, and the story is deeper and richer than most movies of this genre. I liked it, and it is set up for a sequel in the spookiest way imaginable. Rated 14A.

  • On the Line (2022):

    Mel Gibson stars in this direct-to-video dramatic thriller as radio host Elvis Cooney. He takes calls from listeners but everything changes when he gets a call from someone, who says on the air, that he has kidnaped Elvis’s family and that they will die if he doesn’t do some specific things. It seems that Elvis has only one course of action to save his wife and children, in that he must guess the identity of the caller, and attempt to use that information to determine where he might be. We that set-up, it looks as though we might be in for a good ride, but alas, the plot, Gibson’s portrayal of the radio host, and the script begin failing us at every turn. This is not a satisfying film, unless you are a hopeless Mel Gibson fan. William Mosely also stars. Rated 14A.

  • The Pale Blue Eye (2022):

    An excellent cast shows up for this dramatic thriller with horror overtones. It is 1830 at the West Point Academy, and a young cadet is found swinging from a rope on the edge of the parade grounds. Suicide isn't that unusual in this environment, as cadets are expected to be perfect in every way and they have a code of silence and one of honesty that can be harsh and unforgiving. The next morning when officials visit the room in which the body has been kept, they find that the heart has been removed from the cadet's cadaver. A world-weary detective is hired by the Academy to attempt to get to the bottom of what is now at best, a murder, and at worst a Dr. Frankenstein-like event. The detective is Augustus Landor (Christian Bale) and he finds it impossible to crack the code of silence that the cadets exhibit. He decides to get one of their own to help him, a cadet named ... ready for it? .... Edgar Allen Poe, played by Harry Melling from the Harry Potter movies. Robert Duvall and Gillian Anderson also star. 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.