Movies at a Glance & New DVDs



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6 UNDERGROUND  (2hrs 8min)  **  Director Michael Bay is best known for his big budget, high concept, excessive special effects action films but is held in low esteem by. His latest effort wont change that.  An unnamed do-gooder American miniature magnets billionaire the critics (Ryan Reynolds) faked his own death so he could resurrect himself as a Ghost leader known as One to form a vigilante squad to liquidate terrorist leaders that governments would avoid antagonizing. He then approached five others to copy his lead by faking their deaths, Ghost Two being French spy Camille (Melanie Laurent), Three is hitman Javier (Manuel Garcia-Ruffo), Four is thief Billy (Ben Hardy), Five is doctor Amelia (Adria Ardona), and Six is parkour expert Dave Franco. their first target is the lawyer of four generals of the brutal fictitious middle-Eastern regime of Turgistan and his location is Florence in Italy. They plan to topple Turgistan's government and replace the ruthless General with his imprisoned brother Murat. Then follows indiscriminate ludicrous gory violence with killings, explosions and chases around the world. Visually stunning, if you turn your brain off, you might enjoy this. (Netflix)
AFTER LIFE  Season 2  limited series *** ½  Multi Award winning English writer, director, actor and producer Ricky Gervais became successful by co-creating, the BBC mock-documentary 2001 sitcom The Office.  He is now the creator, executive producer, director, and writer for the British black comedy-drama series After Life, where he plays Tony Johnson, the dour, depressed, suicidal head of “Feature Stories” at the failing local newspaper The Tambury Gazette. In the two seasons of 6 half-hour episodes, mourning Tony tries to adapt to a normal life on the death from breast cancer of his beloved wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman). Tony doesn’t care whether he lives or dies and so he says and does anything he wants while everyone around him accepts that and attempts to make him a happier person. A variety of strange characters intermingle in his daily life and they are brilliant. It’s a funny oh-so-British dramady with entertaining oddball characters and sharp, clever, controversial dialogue which is typically Gervais (he hosted last year’s Oscars). It’s a must-see. Give it a try. (Netflix)  Confirmation: There will be a 3rd Season.
BECOMING (1hr 29min) ** ½ The well-meaning documentary is partially based on the bestselling memoir of former First Lady of the United States, Michelle LaVaughn Obama, by director Nadira Hallgren who followed her on the 36-city book tour and includes footage from her talk shows and behind the scenes life before and after the White House. Over photos and video clips, Michelle introduces her family and her early days on the south side of Chicago including high school where her guidance counsellor didn’t think she was smart enough to go to Princeton U, which she did and then on to Harvard Law School and as a lawyer for the law firm of Sidley Austin. Quizzed on her meeting Barack, she describes the amusing account of their first date (“he was late!”), and I wish there had been similar revealing stories.  That led on to their time in the White House with their two daughters, and now to her passion on talking with young people and women of colour “This is totally me, unplugged for the first time.” These are the weakest sequences in an otherwise vastly entertaining mini-biography of “the most popular woman in the world.”  (Netflix)
BEN PLATT: LIVE FROM RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL (1hr 25 min) ***  Ben Platt is an American actor, singer, songwriter who started his theatrical career when a child and has since appeared on Broadway in The Music Man, the Book of Mormon and Dear Evan Hansen for which Platt won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.  Last year his debut album Sing to Me Instead was released and now The Radio City event, the last on his tour, was sold out. Platt has captured a 20-something enthusiastic fan base, and from the loud, singalongs, numerous standing ovations and tumultuous applause you would think this was an Elton John concert.  The Special is a must see for anyone with an ear for mainly slower contemporary ballads. In addition to the music, charismatic Platt is forth-coming and candid with very personal stories starting with his Jewish childhood and the anxiety of coming out at 12, and being rejected by a boy in Tel Aviv and, since then, other men. “This year is the first time I’ve gotten to come up on stage as myself, and be myself.” Only 26, Ben Platt is very definitely a name to watch. (Netflix)  
DOLEMITE IS MY NAME (1hr 58min) *** Essentially for, by and with blacks, the motherf***** word is in every sentence. Production values are high, including performances, direction, camerawork, set design and score, with a strong comeback performance by Eddie Murphy as filmmaker/comedian Rudy Ray Moore portraying outrageous flamboyant character Dolemite on stage and in blaxploitation films as from 1975, utilizing sex, violence and drugs to shock and provoke audiences. In 1973 Los Angeles, Moore was a struggling singer in a record store, having problems getting his music played. At night as MC at an African-American club he created an alter-ego the “baddest motherf***** ever” called Dolemite, decked out in gaudy pimp outfits, and he was a hit. Crude, foul-mouthed records of his stage act led to him creating his own cheap, bawdy film which in turn became hugely successful blaxploitation films. He persuaded lonely, downcast, ex-back up singer Lady Reed (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) to join him on stage and then recruited writer (Keegan-Michael Keya), a former actor D’Urville Martin  (Wesley Snipes) as director and inexperienced UCLA students as technicians for his chaotic raunchy films. (Netflix)
EXTRACTION (1hr 57min) ** If you’re bored being isolated at home contemplating the quiet, this may be your fix…a brutally violent, well choreographed action packed thriller in exotic locations featuring action star Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake, a haunted black market veteran mercenary, hired at an enormous fee for a suicide mission to rescue the kidnapped teenage son Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) of a Mumbai imprisoned Indian drug kingpin. Ovi is held for ransom by Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli), Bangladesh’s most affluent, powerful drug lord.  Rake frees Ovi but every road and bridge out of Dhaka is blocked and the chase is on. In just two days, we witness a never ending loud, bloody carnage, hundreds die and our battle scarred wounded hero miraculously escapes extermination, or does he? The humour is non-existent, which is where Hemsworth excels. The gory violence is repetitive and unoriginal and the pacing uneven. Visually it’s stunning, the photography excellent and the action well staged  It’s not a bad film and if you want mindless action, you’ll enjoy this ride. (Netflix)
A FALL FROM GRACE (2hrs) ** ½ Producer/director/actor Tyler Perry’s fans will be deliriously happy he has made his debut on Netflix. The story is pedestrian and predictable but the twist at the end is actually thrilling.  Jasmine (Bresha Webb), living with police officer husband Jordan (Matthew Law), works in a Virginia public defenders office under manager Rory (Tyler Perry). She is assigned a case in which the accused, Grace Waters (Crystal Fox), has pleaded guilty to murdering her husband, art photographer Shannon (Mehcad Brooks), but the body was never found. Rory insists it’s open-and-shut but Jasmine wants to try the case although it would be costly if she loses. She coaxes Grace to tell her story. Following her divorce, Grace’s best friend Sarah (Phylicia Rashad) introduced her to Shannon and the courtship led to marriage. Eventually Shannon’s behavior became erratic and when money went missing from her accounts she was fired. Then her identity and social security were stolen and her home had been mortgaged. When Shannon admitted to the theft and flaunted a new girlfriend, Grace beat him with a bat and dragged the body down into the basement. Doubtless, Tyler has a winner for his followers! (Netflix)
HOLLYWOOD  Limited Series (7 episodes, each 45 minutes) ***  What an interesting concept on 1940s Golden Age of Hollywood, blending fact and fiction and spotlighting specific personalities in each episode. Most characters are fictional while others are real-life, such as Rock Hudson, Chinese star Anna May Wong, renowned agent Henry Willson, director George Cukor, GWTW star Vivien Leigh, Production Head Dick Samuels, and first black Oscar winner, Hattie McDaniel. A group of non-professionals dream to make it big in their chosen fields of performing, screenwriting and direction,  At the Golden Tip Gas Service Station, the congenial owner hired attractive young men to work for him, using his business also as a high end brothel especially for wealthy straights and gays, the latter including Rock Hudson. Main fictional characters are handsome Jack (David Corenswwet) and black Camille (laura Harrier), wannabe movie stars, black gay writer Archie (Jeremy Pope), and half-Asian budding director Chris (Raymond Ainsley). Predatory gay agent Willson (superb Jim Parsons) is naïve Rock Hudson’s (Jake Picking) cruel Svengali. Fascinating especially for those who remember the 40s!. (Netflix)
INHERITANCE (1hr 51min) *** What an engrossing little thriller this is and it builds towards a justified and satisfactory ending.  Opening in NYC in 2008, the ultra wealthy Monroe family lived in a luxurious mansion and had powerful political clout. When patriarch Archer Monroe (Patrick Warburton) died in a car accident, and in his will he  bequeathed to his wife Catherine (Connie Neilson) sole control of the family estate, to congressman son William (Chase Crawford) $20 million and to Lauren (Lily Collins) $1 million. In addition his personal lawyer Harold (Michael Beach) gave Lauren a a key to a concealed bunker in the woods and a thumb drive with further information.  On opening the bunker, a long passageway led to a dark room and a dishevelled man (unrecognizable Simon Pegg) who had been kidnapped, chained and manacled by Archer for 30 years. On each visit to him, Lauren is shocked to discover he knows all the darkest secrets of the Monroe family, including Archer’s mistress (Christine DeRosa) who acknowledges his relationship. But is this man who he says he is and what would happen if she freed him?    
(NOTE: From May 26: EST and VOD (English Version), July 7 - DVD and Blu-ray)
NEW: JEFFREY EPSTEIN: FILTHY RICH  *** Season 1. Limited Series.. Documentary. The core of these four episodes is the testimony of a handful of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s survivors who along with countless other women when they were generally young teenage girls, or even younger. to be paid $200 to “massage” him which led inevitably to fondling and rape. (How would a teenager know how to massage?)  The girls were told to undress before going into the room which seemed odd but they were mostly poor and the promise of more $ was tantalizing. And if they recommended other girls for the job, they were paid a further $200 per person. Epstein would ask about their personal lives, their hopes and dreams and in some cases, with his wealth and power, he paid for their tuition wherever it was in the world but they would pay him back with service. No one ever complained that he was rough or violent although they all admitted they knew what they were doing was wrong. He kept tabs on them and they knew they were being followed and spied on. The documentary takes us through his childhood as the older of two boys in a working class Brooklyn Jewish family. Intelligent and ambitious, he became acquainted with and impressed Alan Greenburg, executive officer of Bear Stearns, who got him a job as assistant to a floor trader, but he progressed to options trader, advising the bank’s wealthiest clients on tax strategies. Four years later he became a limited partner. He then founded his own consulting firm which assisted clients in recovering stolen money from fraudulent brokers and lawyers, and from then on business boomed and his wealth increased immensely  He attended Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, inviting models to his New York city home and hiring them as assistants. For tax advantages, he based his company on the island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, reducing federal income taxes by 90%! He had luxurious homes in Palm Beach in Florida, New York, New Mexico, Paris and his own private orgy island, Little St. James in the US Virgin Islands. His close Brit friend and procurer of young girls, Ghislaine Maxwell, told a friend that the Island estate was completely wired for video, and the staff monitored private moments via pinhole cameras throughout every room in the mansion. The documentary goes into details of his 2008 conviction of procuring for prostitution a girl below age 18 for which he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, but, as you’ll see, it was a sweet deal. On July 6, 2019, Epstein was arrested again on sex trafficking charges, a conspiracy to traffic minors for sex. His Manhattan townhouse revealed evidence of trafficking, CDs and thousands of photos of mostly under-age females, fully or partially nude. Episode 4 covers the trial, the subsequent verdict and his mysterious death on July 23 2019.  And of course Prince Edward, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Alan Dershowitz and Ghislaine Maxwell now are in denial about their friend, Jeffrey Epstein.  (Netflix)
JERRY SEINFELD: 23 HOURS TO KILL (1hr) *** (Stand Up Special) This is the show every Seinfeld fan has been waiting for and from the reaction of his audience to every single word of his observational stand-up comedy special and his take on everyday life, it is perfect … and without the use of profanity and Trump jokes!  Opening with a James Bond plunge from a helicopter into the Hudson River to get to the theatre, for an hour he effortlessly covers a multitude of subjects starting with this ”Hyped up not necessary special event put together so we could kill some time,” and our addiction to texting; our reliance on cell phones; “sucks” and “great” are closely related (e.g. ice cream falls off a cone onto the ground and that sucks, but you say “Great!”); gluttony in buffets, especially from those struggling with “portion control;” gaps under toilet cubicle doors; hotdogs at baseball games; ending with relationships between husbands and wives and arguments about “the tone of my voice, I thought it was a marriage, apparently it’s a musical!” and  “What else is annoying in the world except everything?” For all Seinfeld fans, this is a must see. (Netflix)
THE KING (2 hrs 20min) ** ½  Based on several plays of William Shakespeare’s Henraid, it was re-written by Australians director David Michod and filmmaker Joel Edgerton. The meticulous production is sumptuous early 15th century, but the dialogue is ponderously dull.  Slight, delicate Timothee Chalamet as King Henry V was not the right choice, while Sir John Falstaff (Edgerton) is serious and silent here in comparison to his comic Shakespeare creation. When brother Thomas (Dean-Charles Chapman) and estranged dad Henry 1V (Ben Mendelsohn) died, rebellious, drinking and carousing son Prince Hal on his ascension to the throne changed his ways, becoming responsible but surely. The arrogant Dauphin of France (Robert Pattinson) sent an assassin to kill him, failed and taunted him into war. Vastly outnumbered by the French, the Duke of Dorset (Steven Elder) recommended retreat but Falstaff forecasts heavy overnight rain which would cause the French in heavy metal armor and on horseback to be bogged down in mud, trying to avoid English lethal long-bowman’s accuracy. The battle of Agincourt is well directed and choreographed in this otherwise overrated bland screenplay. (Netflix)
THE LOVEBIRDS (1hr 28min) ** It’s hard to believe this lame, poorly written, totally disposable romcom was destined for a theatrical release when the pandemic hit, theatres closed and so Netflix added it to its mediocre collection. On the plus side are the performances from attractive, charismatic comedic duo Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae as aspiring documentarian Jibran and advertising rep Leilani who initially are madly in love. 4 years later, the couple’s passion has lessened and petty bickering has taken over. They trade barbs throughout the 90 minutes, some funny but the majority fall flat.  When out driving, a bike messenger smashes into their windshield. When they check, he takes off in a panic. A stranger (Paul Sparks), claiming to be the “police,” commandeers their car to chase the cyclist, hits him again and runs over his body deliberately. Seen by passers by, the couple flee and spend the rest of the time trying to prove their innocence. (Netflix)
NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS. (1hr 35min) *** ½ What an absolute gem from screenwriter, producer and director Eliza Hittman this is!  It’s the simple uncomplicated story of two teenage close cousins, journeying from Pennsylvania to New York City for an abortion. The dialogue is sparse but the outstanding debut performances of Sidney Flanagan as moody loner Autumn and Talia Ryder as supportive Skylar, speak volumes. At a small town high school’s talent show, teenager Autumn is singing when a boy yells out “slut!” In her bedroom she checks out the bump on her stomach and is distraught. Being in Pennsylvania, Autumn would require parental permission for an abortion, so she has to book an operation secretly in New York City. They steal enough money to cover the abortion and transportation and catch a bus where friendly Jasper (Theodore Pellerin) chats them up, giving Skylar his phone number. At the Brooklyn clinic, their planned brief stay is lengthened by the pregnancy being further along than anticipated, which meant staying two days without money for accommodation and food.  Although bleak, this is an extraordinarily honest and emotional film with wonderfully natural performances. (AT HOME ON DEMAND)
THE OCCUPANT (1hr 43min) Spanish. ** ½ Middle aged Javier Munoz (Javier Gutierrez) was once a popular, successful advertising executive but now, out of work for a year, he is applying for a job and being interviewed by two younger managers who are unimpressed by his “new” ideas, really rehashed from his past, and he is rejected. In their luxurious apartment, wife Marga (Ruth Diaz) is concerned they can’t afford their present lifestyle and must downsize to cheaper accommodation. Their teen son Dani (Cristian Munoz) is distressed he will be ridiculed at the new school.  Javier, finding spare home keys in the car, lets himself into their old apartment while owners Tomás (Mario Casas) and Lara (Bruna Casí) are at work and daughter Monica (Iris Valles) at school. He goes through their belongings, hacking into their computer.  His suspicious former gardener notices Javier’s regular visits to the building. When Javier discovers Tomas is a member of the AA, he joins and gradually befriends Tomas. He forms a plan to infiltrate and destroy the family and get back into the apartment. The ending is convoluted and flawed. Still, it’s reasonably entertaining. (Netflix)
THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF (1hr 42min) *** Documentary. On April 20th 2015, two of struggling Czech artist Barbora Kysilkova’s large canvasses were stolen off their wooden frames from a group show at Galeri Nobel in Oslo, Norway. Two thieves were caught on surveillance cameras and identified, and one of them, heavily tattooed career criminal and heroin addict Karl-Bertil Nordland, with a passion for art, appeared in the court in November. “I stole it because it was beautiful.” Desperate for answers about the theft, Barbora sought out and befriended the thief. He was so drugged up, he didn’t know what became of the paintings!  At the court house she oddly requested him to sit for a portrait to which he agreed and the two formed an improbable intricate relationship and an inextricable platonic bond that would forever link these two lonely souls. After their fourth meeting, Norwegian documentary filmmaker Benjamin Ree followed Bertil’s and Barbora’s lives and their unusual story with a camera. (Available to rent or own across all digital and on-demand platforms)  
SELF MADE: INSPIRED BY THE LIFE OF MADAM C.J.WALKER  (Limited mini-series) ** ½  Based on the biography On Her Own Ground by A’Leila Bundles, the great-great granddaughter of Madam C J Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, political and social activist. She is the first female self-made millionaire in America, making her fortune by developing and marketing a line of cosmetics and hair-care products for black women. In Louisiana, Sarah (Octavia Spencer) was a washerwoman who earned a pittance doing laundry. Traumatized, she was losing her hair when an acquaintance, wealthy light-skinned antithesis Addie (Carmen Ejogo) used her magical hair-grower formula and miraculously restored her hair, but didn’t want Sarah’s help in selling the product. “Even in your Sunday best you still look like you just stepped off the plantation.” Married tentatively happily to Charles James.Walker (Blair Underwood), ambitious Sarah with her own formula goes into competition, moves into heavily black populated Indianapolis and, even with back-stabbing Adele in competition, her rags to riches story sees her eventually opening salons and even a factory, but not without heartbreaks and political upsets along the way. Spenser’s feisty performance makes this soapy melodrama worth seeing, but for ladies only. (Netflix)
SERGIO (1hr 58min)  ** ½  Based on the true story of Brazilian Sergio Vieilo de Mello, the United Nations Special Representative in Iraq in 2003 who had worked on United Nations humanitarian and political programs for over 35 years,. In 2003, terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi of the al-Qaeda jihadists, ordered the bombing of the U.M. headquarters in Bagdad which wounded over 100 people and killed 22, with wounded de Mello (Wagner Moura), trapped under rubble in the basement of the Canal Hotel alongside associate Gil Loescher (Brian F. O’Byrne),. Interspersed copious times are sequences from action in Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia and finally Iraq.  Separated from his first wife with whom he had two sons, the emphasis is on Sergio’s relationship with Argentinian co-worker Carolina Larriera (Ana de Armas), In his 4 month assignment, accomplished De Melo, with his personal assistant Gil Loescher (Brian F. O’Byrne), was insistent that his mission was to facilitate new elections leading to Iraqi sovereignty, and negotiate an American troop withdrawal, much to the irritation and opposition of U.S. envoy Paul Bremer (Bradley Whitford). The pacing is slow, making it a far from compelling film with no real story. (Netflix)
SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL (!hr 51min) ** Mark Wahlberg has come a long way from being popular singer/rapper of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch in the early 90s. Then came the movies and in 2017 Mark was the world’s highest paid actor!  Mark, 48, is a charismatic, successful musician, actor, TV executive producer and a savvy businessman. Why would he jeopardize his career with this mediocre action-comedy ... perhaps delusions of a franchise?  Former Boston detective Spenser (Wahlberg) has completed 5 years in prison for the brutal assault of his Captain, John Boylan (Michael Gaston). On release, he is met and taken to the home of his buddy, boxing MMA coach Henry Cimoli (Alan Arkin), and finds he is sharing a room with Henry’s massively intimidating MMA protégé, Hawk (Winston Duke). When Boylan and another officer are killed execution-style, and then a respected cop is also murdered, Spenser’s suspicions are aroused. He turns freelance investigator with Hawk as his partner, and on their list are corrupt cops, equally dirty business investors and machete wielding Dominican street gangs, in a convoluted conspiracy at the casino construction project called Wonderland, naturally involving drugs. There’s nothing original here, including the endless fist fights, but Wahlberg is always watchable. Disappointing! (Netflix)
TAYLOR SWIFT: MISS AMERICANA (1hr 26min) *** ½ This is documentary filmmaker Lana Wilson’s look at the career of the 30 year old award winning singer / songwriter.  At 13 she started to write and sing her own songs and at 15 she signed a Country Music record deal, the youngest person to write and perform a #1 single on the Country Charts.  Her second album won her 4 Grammy awards and youngest Album of the Year winner. She had extraordinary pop chart success and endless sold out shows and awards. “A nice girl smiles and waves and says thank you. I became the person everyone wanted me to be.”  At 2009 VMAs accepting Best Female Video Award, she was interrupted by rapper Kanye West and the conflict escalated on social media. A backlash led to her disappearing from the spotlight. It was then she broke her silence on politics, having always been told,  “Don’t force your politics on people,”  “I feel good about not being muzzled anymore.” .She’s beautiful, genuine, intelligent and articulate and it’s easy to like her. The special is uneven but a must see for her fans. (Netflix))
TIGER KING: MURDER, MAYHEM AND MADNESS (True-crime mini-series of 7 – each approx 45min: Season 1 plus an additional #8 The Tiger King and I)  *** What a bizarre but strangely compelling documentary!  It’s a fascinating look at wild animals like tigers and lions being petted like household animals by their volatile “colourful” owners. The owners are gay, polygamist Joe Exotic (Joseph Maldonado-Passage) of the private Greater Wynnewood Animal Park, Oklahoma, and his deadly rival, animal activist Carol Baskin of the Big Cat Rescue in Florida, whose millionaire husband “disappeared” under mysterious circumstances. Joe is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for 17 counts of animal cruelty and for conspiring to murder Baskin. Other eccentric characters include former cocaine drug lord Jeff Lowe; animal trainer for films Tim Stark with the Wildlife in Need zoo; and “Doc” Antle, booking young women as tiger trainers in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Filmmakers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin took 5 years to create this riveting, weird and complex docu-series which is far more than just breeding wild animals from birth. Each of these outlandish eccentric characters has been involved and continues to be in illegal, bad, messy things. Curious?  Try binge viewing. (Netflix)
THE TRIP TO GREECE (1hr 52min) ** ½ We followed popular British comic performers and co-writers Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as fictionalized versions of themselves through the Lake District in England (2010), Italy (2014) and Spain (2017) on their culinary tours, stopping at luxurious hotels for fancy meals while arguing about democracy and history, movies and personalities, tragedy and comedy, bickering and mocking each other while continually interspersing their conversation with impressions of celebrities, by now excessively repetitive. The scenery and photography are breathtakingly beautiful including Delphi’s Temple of Apollo, the Ancient Agora of Athens, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, the Island of Hydra, the Caves of Diros, Nestor's Palace, Niokastro Fortress in Pylos, and Ancient Stagira. This 6 day trip, starting in Turkey and continuing through modern Macedonia and Greece, waqs commissioned for an article in which they retraced the steps of Odysseus, a legendary hero in Greek mythology. The constant petty arguing is exhausting for viewers but Brits will understand the one-upmanship game being played non-stop by these two blokes. (Available to rent or own across all digital and on-demand platforms)
UNCUT GEMS (2hrs 15min)  ** ½  Adam Sandler gives the performance of his career as he yells his way throughout two hours, with the f word in virtually every sentence.. In 2012 New York City, Howard Ratner (Sandler), a jeweler and a sporting events gambling addict, struggles to pay massive debts, including $100,000 owed his loan shark brother-in-law Amo (Eric Bogosian), always accompanied by henchman Phil (Keith Williams Richards)  Howard owns a Gems and Jewelry store that includes his young mistress Julie (Julia Fox) who he intends to marry after Passover following a divorce from Dinah (Idina Menzel).  Howard receives an uncut black opal embalmed in a rock from Ethiopia, and wants to sell it for a million to solve his debt problems. Basketball superstar Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics wants to borrow it for luck to that night’s game and in return leaves Howard his Celtics championship ring as collateral. Howard sneakily pawns the ring and places a bet on Garnett to win. He does, and the gang comes after Ratner for the money owed. Frankly I found it monotonous and overly long. (Netflix)
THE WILLOUGHBYS (1hr 32min) *** Animation. A sarcastic talking stray blue tabby Cat (voice Ricky Gervais) is the narrator of this inventive computer animated comedy about the family of selfish spindly Father and heartless Mother Willoughby (Martin Short, Jane Krakowski) who are so obsessed and engrossed with each other that they resent their four clever children, Tim (Will Forte), Jane (Alessia Cara) and the creepy twin boys Barnaby A and B (Sean Cullen) who stay out of their neglectful parents’ way. An abandoned baby is left outside their home and the parents refuse the children’s re-entry till they find a home for her. They leave her with a kindly candy factory’s owner, Commander Melanoff (Terry Crews) and scheme to orphan themselves, presenting enticing world-wide travel brochure of perilous exotic locations for the parents. They succeed but first hire an eccentric, unconventional Nanny (Maya Rudolph). When the travel money runs out, the house is sold and demolished and the kids sent to foster homes. What can Nanny do? It would be a spoiler for me to go any further.(Netflix)
THE WRONG MISSY (1hr 30 min) ** Following a break-up, bland likeable banking exec Tim Morris (David Spade) his a blind date with plain Jane Missy (comedienne Lauren Lapkus), and he soon realizes that this Missy is not for him. She is obnoxious, loud, vulgar and crude, and in an effort to escape, he gets stuck climbing out of a toilet window. Three months later at the Airport he meets former beauty pageant winner Melissa, also called Missy (Molly Sims). They mistakenly switch identical bags, and discover they have everything in common. His loan company office is headed for a luxurious corporate retreat in Hawaii and he texts Missy suggesting she joins him on the flight for fun in the sun. Problem is he texts the wrong Missy and has to spend the week with aggressive party-animal Missy botching up everything, embarrassing Tim in front of his boss and office staff. It’s tediously annoying and the sequences are endless, but Lapkus shows promise. (Netflix)

                                                              NEW DVDs....

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday June 2
ROBERT THE BRUCE Angus Macfadyen, Anna Hutchison, Zach McGowan, Gabriel Bateman, Jared Harris
ROGUE WARFARE: THE HUNT  Will Yun Lee, Jermaine Love, Rory Markham, Bertrand-Xavier Corbi, Katie Keene
WATCHMAN (HBO) Jeremy Irons, Regina King, Lou Gossett Jr., Tim Blake Nelson, Don Johnso,  Frances Fisher

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday June 9
CORPUS CHRISTIE; Playing with Redemption Bartosz Bielenia, Aleksandra Konieczna, Eliza Rycembel, Tomasz Zietek
THE HUNT  Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholtz, Ethan Suplee, Emma Roberts, Wayne Duvall, Justin Hartley
THE OUTSIDER  Ben Mendelsohn,  Jason Bateman, Julianne Nicholson, Mare Winningham, Paddy Considine
WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS  Alexandra Daddario, Keean Johnson, Maddie Hasson, Logan Miller, Johnny Knoxville

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday June 16
IMPRACTICAL JOKERS  Paula Abdul, Joe Gatto, James Murray, Brian Quinn. known as The Tenderloin.
THE QUARRY. Shea Whigham, Michael Shannon, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Bobby Soto, Bruno Bichir
THE LODGE Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Alicia Silverstone, Richard Armitage, Daniel Keough

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday June 23
PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE  Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino
THE POSTCARD KILLINGS Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Famke Janssen, Cush Jumbo, Joachim Król, Denis O'Hare

NEW DVDS... starting Tuesday June 30
BUFFALOED  Bannor Michael MacGregor, Brian Sacca, Jeffrey Katz, John Finemore, Mason Novick, Zoey Deutch
FORCE OF NATURE  George Furla, Luillo Ruiz, Mark Stewart, Randall Emmett, Shaun Sanghani
LAST MOMENT OF CLARITY  Samara Weaving, Carly Chaikin, Zach Avery, Brian Cox, Udo Kier

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday July 7
BLOOD AND MONEY  Tom Berenger, Kristen Hager, Mark Sivertsen, Paul Ben-Victor, Erica McDermott
INHERITANCE Lily Collins, Simon Pegg, Connie Nielsen, Chace Crawford, Patrick Warburton, Mike Beach
THE TROLLS WORLD TOUR  Animation  Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Ozzy Osbourne