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Movies at a Glance & New DVDs


 
 

  

   MOVIES AT A GLANCE
     New Reviews every Friday!

For NEW DVDs click HERE                                                                          

THERE ARE 2 NEW REVIEWS THIS WEEK:  MIDWAY and on Netflix THE KING.

BETWEEN TWO FERNS: THE MOVIE (1hr 22min) ** Anybody seen actor / comedian Zach Galifianakis’s parody talkshow Between Two Ferns?  When comedians Will Farrell and Adam McKay “discovered” Zach’s weird Emmy-winning streaming video web series Between Two Ferns with Zach conducting fake awkward and ridiculous interviews riddled with insults with high profile celebrities, they uploaded it to their comedy video website Funny or Die. A disastrousn interview with Matthew McConnaughey comes to an abrupt end when a broken ceiling pipe leaks into the set, causing volumes of water to gush into the studio, almost drowning McConaughey. Stupidly funny!  With the studio closed, Zach and team are forced to go on the road to tape celebrity interviews in two weeks if he still wants the new TV network show. They include Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Keanu Reeves, Tessa Thompson, David Letterman, Tiffany Haddish, Jon Hamm, Rashida Jones, Benedict Cumberbatch and Hailee Steinfeld. Unfortunately the low brow jokes become tiresome very quickly. Best parts are the bloopers with the closing credits. (Netflix) 
CLIVE DAVIS: THE SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES (2hrs 3min) *** ½  Anyone interested in popular music from the 60s onwards will enjoy this musical journey through the life of amazing record executive / producer Clive Davis who, with no knowledge of music, became the world’s most successful hitmaker. A Harvard Law graduate, he has been an A&R executive, a record producer, president of Columbia Records and when he was fired he founded Arista Records, Bad Boy and J Records. His first signing was with Brit folk singer Donovan, but when he attended Monterey Festival he immediately signed Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company, Santana, Chicago, Billy Joel, Blood Sweat and Tears, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen. Then followed Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Patti Smith, Carly Simon, Grateful Dead, the Kinks, Lou Reed, Barry Manilow, Kenny G, Alicia Keyes … the list is endless. His biggest selling artist was Whitney Houston, and he goes into detail in his support of her from teenager to her untimely death. Endless music clips, archival photos, interviews and statements compliment Davis’ narration. What a fantastic tribute!  (Netflix) 
DOMINO  (1hr 29min)  * ½  Formerly great director Brian DePalma has bombed again. Passion in 2012, with a $25 million budget, made $1 million. In 2007 Redacted grossed less than $1 million. Even with Game of Thrones stars, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Carise Van Houten as well as Emmy Award winner Guy Pearce, DePalma disappoints, along with Norwegian Petter Skavlan’s script. Set in June 2020 in Copenhagen, police officers Christian Toft (Coster-Waldau) and Lars Hansen (Soren Malling) apprehend murder suapect and member of ISIS, Tarzi (Eriq Ebouaney), who kills Hansen and escapes. Wounded Christian notices Tarzi is apprehended by suited guys. CIA’s  Martin (Guy Pearce) has kidnapped Tarzi’s family bribing him as a double agent to track down the head of an ISIS-linked cell, financing and filming terrorists’ attacks across Europe. Christian’s surprising new partner Alice (van Houten) was Hansen’s secret mistress. They discover ISIS intends to use suicide missions to blow up celebrities at a film festival and then a crowded bullring in Spain. What a disastrous uninspired mess!   (Netflix)  
DOWNTON ABBEY (2hrs 2min) *** ½  Millions who enjoyed the television period drama series from 2010 to 2015 will love the feature film. Returning in their roles is the majority of the original cast led by Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) wife Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), Lady Mary (Michelle Dochery), and Lady Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith) with the location again Highclere Castle. The plot, by series' originator / writer Julian Fellows, is set in 1927, featuring a surprise overnight stay from King George V and Queen Mary. Although Barrow (Robert James Collier) is now Butler, Mr Carson (Jim Carter) is temporarily back for the occasion. Guest Lady Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton) has an inheritance issue with the Dowager, but her “maid” Lucy (Tuppence Middleton) finds romance with Tom Branson (Allen Leech) who foils an assassination attack. Mrs Hughes (Phyllis Logan) is married to Carson, and Lady Edith Crawley (Laura Carmichael) continues to clash with the Dowager. Bates (Brendon Coyle) and Anna (Joanne Frogatt) prevent a royal servants’ attempt to take over Mrs Patmore’s (Lesley Nichol) dinner plans  Lots of upstairs downstairs shenanigans!  (Intl Village) 
FALLING INN LOVE (1hr 38min) * ½ Apart from New Zealand’s scenery, this is a predictable, dull and phony romcom. In San Francisco Gabriela (Christina Milian) is jobless as her design firm has folded, as has her relationship with Dean (Jeffrey Bower-Chapman). She pours her problems into an online competition to “Win an Inn” in New Zealand and, unsurprisingly, she wins. But she is shocked (but we aren’t ) that The Bellbird Valley Farm, situated in NZ’s picturesque North Island, is a crumbling, rundown disaster. Among the local townfolk is handsome, single Jake (Adam Demos) who keeps popping up everywhere she goes (guess where that will end), Shelley (Claire Chitham) a shrubbery-shop owner, Charlotte (Anna Jullienne), uptight B&B owner, and two married gays (Blair Stran, Daniel Waterson) who run the local café … and bleating goat Albert which appears in-house regularly. Her plan is to renovate, sell and return home. She accomplishes everything except the last item. The insipid dialogue’s awkward and there’s minimal chemistry between the couple. (Netflix)
FRACTURED (1hr 40min) ** ½ Roy Monroe (Sam Worthington) is a recovering alcoholic and his marriage to Joanne (Lily Rabe) is on the rocks although it’s not really noticed by their 6 year old daughter Peri (Lucy Capri). They are on their way home from an argumentative Thanksgiving dinner with her parents when they pull over at a pit stop. Wandering off on her own, Peri is traumatized by a menacing dog and falls backwards into a construction site, injuring herself. Roy throws a rock at the dog and falls in as well resulting in a head wound when a distraught Joanne joins them. They drive to the closest rural emergency where Roy signs in while Joanne and Peri are taken down for a CT scan. Roy passes out in the waiting room and on asking at the desk about his family, he is told he came in alone. Apparently none of the staff saw anyone except for him. Hospital In house cameras indicate he was alone. Is Ray is experiencing visual hallucinations from psychological trauma resulting from the incident … or is he a murderer?  (Netflix)
HARRIET (2hrs 5min) *** Born into slavery in Maryland, courageous Mindy (Harriet) Trubman escaped to freedom in Philadelphia in 1849, returned to free her family and  became the most famous “conductor” on the underground railroad. This is the biographical film about a slave-turned-abolitionist who led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom, helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for the raid on Harper’s Ferry, and later was an armed spy for the Union Army. When her plantation boss refused to acknowledge a legal document from his grandfather that her family should have been freed a decade go, she was put up for sale and decided to make a break and gruelling walk 100 miles north across the border to Philadelphia in free Pennsylvania. Pursued by armed men and dogs, she made 12 more rescue missions, each time it becoming more difficult with slave owners determined to stop the flow. This unique history of a genuine black American heroine is engrossing and worth seeing. (Intl Village)
THE HIGHWAYMEN (2hrs 12min) *** This has been in development by writer John Fusco since 2005 initially as a Paul Newman and Robert Redford project about a couple of retired Texas Rangers who were hired to apprehend notorious criminals Bonnie and Clyde. Texas governor "Ma" Ferguson (Kathy Bates) disbanded the Texas Rangers to introduce a new younger generation of law enforcement officers and high on their wanted list was trigger happy, wild and young Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow whose crime spree started in 1931 ending in 1934, killing 9 lawmen during that time. Unable to apprehend them and stung by bad publicity, Ma called out of retirement and gave "highwaymen" status to former Ranger Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner) and Manny Gault (Woody Harrelson) and the overly long film follows their exploits in tracking down and eventually killing the celebrated murderous wild and young couple. Much of the film relies on the officers' chemistry, including a lot of dry humour, and director John Lee Hancock made the perfect choice of old pros Costner and Harrelson. (Netflix)
HUSTLERS (1hr 47min)  ***  The movie is about a team of strippers and former strippers who band together to turn the tables on former Wall Street clients. The true story is based on New York magazine’s 2015 article “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler. Dorothy aka Destiny (Constance Wu) is a novice when she joins the exclusive strip club Secrets in New York City. Queen bee Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) gives a dazzling, electrifying, sizzling acrobatic performance at the pole and she give pointers to Destiny who also gets erotic lap-dancing tips from Diamond (Cardi B). All the strippers are closely supportive of each other. Following the Wall Street crash, stripper club business is down so Ramona, Destiny, Annabelle (Lili Reinhart) and Mercedes (Kiki Palner) come up with a new scam. An unsuspecting former client is taken to a bar, plied with spiked chemical cocktails and, when drunk, they take his corporate card and wrack up huge charges. Ladies will love this! (Scotiabank Theatre)  
I AM MOTHER (1hr 55min) *** ½  Here’s a film with three female characters (actually two, as one uses a woman’s voice) confined to a vast automated underground repopulation facility in a post apocalyptic world following an extinction event. It was designed by humans to repopulate the earth in case of emergency. There are over 63,000 frozen embryos on the site although the current human occupation is zero. 13,867 days later, a life-size droid picks an embryo, pops it into a biomedical Instant Pot and, 24 hours later, baby is born.  Mother (voice of Rose Byrne) raises the girl as her Daughter (Clara Ruggard) and her upbringing is that of a regular child. Mother explains that a virus decimated humanity leaving just them and therefore it isn’t safe to leave the facility. What happens when a severely wounded Woman (Hillary Swank) knocks on the door begging to be let in and teenager Daughter is conflicted when told a contradictory story from Woman about the world outside. Intriguing!  (Netflix)
IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON (1hr 55min) ** For 30 minutes, the psychological science fiction mystery thriller is engrossing, opening with the results of a terrorist bombing in 2024,  Then back to 1988 Philadelphia, a concert pianist, a bus driver and a fast-food cook, suddenly bleed to death as their brains liquefy. Police officer Lockhart (Boyd Holbrook) discovers punctures on the victims’ necks. A dying victim tells Locke and Detective Holt (Michael C. Hall) that her assailant was a hooded young black woman, They locate her from security cameras and discover that, although she dies accidentally on train tracks, she mysteriously returns every nine years. As predicted by the girl Rya (Cleopatra Coleman), Locke’s wife has a daughter but dies at child birth. It’s 1997 and Locke, now a detective, is on an identical case and retrieves the killing isotope gadget. Rya is traced to an airfield where she accidentally kills Locke’s partner and warns Locke not to follow her. The repetition becomes tedious after five similar time periods and, although there is a twist at the end, who really cares. (Netflix) 
IN THE TALL GRASS (1hr 30min) ** ½ "After hearing a young boy's cry for help, a brother and sister venture into a vast field of grass in Kansas but soon discover that there may be no way out."  Based on a novella by Stephan King and son Joe Hill, Vincenzo Natali should have adapted and directed a shorter film. Pregnant Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) and brother Cal (Avery Whitted), driving to San Diego, pull up beside fields of tall grass opposite an old church. Becky hears a distraught young boy, Tobin (Will Buie Jr.) and his mother Natalie (Rachel Wilson), calling for help and, curious, they are lured into the grass, become separated and lost. Tobin’s father Ross (Patrick Wilson) shows up looking for his son while Tobin finds Cal and shows him a mysterious ancient rock. When Travis (Harrison Gilbertson), father of Becky’s baby, finds out that the siblings have not shown up at their destination, he looks for them, finding their car by the church, and he enters the grass searching for them.  But then a car arrives at the church and it’s Ross, Natalie and Tobin who chase after their dog heading into the field at the sound of Travisl voice calling for Becky!  Intrigued?  It gets really convoluted with excessive repetition. (Netflix)
JOJO RABBIT (1hr 48min) *** ½ What a captivating satirical black comedy this is with screenplay and direction by New Zealand’s Taika Waititi. Based on Caging Skies by Christine Leunens, the 1940s-set story of brainwashed 10 year old Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) a loyal Hitler Youth whose mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson), was hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin MacKenzie) in their home behind a false wall. Jojo is fiercely patriotic with an imaginary friend Adolf Hitler (Waititi) with whom he converses regularly. He and tubby buddy Yorki (Archie Yates) attend a Hitler Youth Training camp run by Nazi Captain Klenzendorf (Sam Rockwell) with assistants Finkel (Alfie Allen) and Fraulein Rahm (Rebel Wilson). To pass “the test,” Jojo must kill a rabbit and, when he can’t, he runs off with the boys calling him Jojo Rabbit. There’s lots of dark funny stuff as well as the macabre, such as bodies hanging in the town square (“they did what they could”). The casting is perfect. Davis is superb, and all this is highly original and entertaining. (Intl Village, Park Theatre)
JUDY (1hr 58min) *** In 47 year old movie icon Judy Garland’s (Renee Zellweger) last year, she headlined at London’s Top of the Town nightclub in 1969, hoping to revive a stagnant career. Throughout her career at MGM, she was psychologically abused by boss Louis B. Mayer for being short, fat and ugly but admitted she has an extraordinary voice, and she was forced to take daily barbiturates and exist on a meagre diet. She had 5 marriages and 3 children, and at this time she was trying to gain custody of the youngest but had to leave them temporarily with their dad,, ex-Sid Luft (Rufus Sewell), as she was penniless and essentially homeless. Physically and mentally depressed, she accepted the London offer for the money, but she was on pills and booze, and the nightclub’s management had problems getting her on stage sober nightly. Lonely and insecure, she married her 5th husband Mickey Deans (Finn Wittrock) who offered her a promising money-making scheme so she could regain her kids. With numerous career flashbacks, the film is uneven and bland in spite of the songs which are sung by Zellweger, giving a great performance with an adequate voice. (Intl Village)
NEW: THE KING (2 hrs 20min) ** ½  Based on several plays of William Shakespeare’s Henraid (“Henry IV, Parts I & II” and “Henry V”) it was then re-written by two Australians, director David Michod and  filmmaker Joel Edgerton and the result is a solemn flat confusion. Let’s start with the positives. The meticulous production in every respect is lavish and sumptuous early 15th century period, both outdoors and indoors. The main elongated battle scene pertaining to Agincourt is extremely well choreographed and brilliantly directed. Performances are generally solid but I’m not convinced that the decision to go with slight, delicate Timothee Chalamet in the lead role of King Henry V was the correct one. A better choice would have been Tom Hiddleston whose sharpish features resemble Henry V’s.and who portrayed Henry V for the BBC in 2012. And what happened to the Sir John Falstaff character, played by Edgerton, so serious and silent here compared to his trusty comic creation courtesy William Shakespeare. We are first introduced to young rebellious drinking and carousing Prince Hal, although firmly pacifist, on a battlefield strewn with Scottish dead and dying before going into a meeting with other nobles giving his overbearing estranged aging dad Henry 1V (Ben Mendelsohn) a piece of his mind. Following the deaths of his farther and younger brother Thomas (Dean-Charles Chapman), on his ascension to the throne Prince Hal changed drastically to a responsible but surly monarch.  The French, headed by the arrogant, flamboyant Dauphin of France (Robert Pattinson), son of King Charles V1 (Thibault de Montalembert), have utter distain for the English (“I enjoy to speak English – it is simple and ugly”) and send an assassin to kill Hal, taunting him into war. The pacing due to the script is tediously slow as is the lead up to the great battle with the vastly outnumbered English army facing the Dauphin’s massive army and the Duke of Dorset (Steven Elder) recommending retreat and Falstaff forecasting heavy overnight rain in which case the French in heavy metal armour and on horseback would be slipping and sliding in the mud and trying to avoid English lethal long-bowmen’s accuracy. And he was correct and Charles V1 offered his daughter Catherine (Lily-Rose Depp, Johnny’s daughter) for marriage as part of the peace offering (no chemistry here). Sorry but I don’t think Chalamet with his pudding bowl haircut is credible in the part and that affects the whole movie. (Netflix)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMJnsTx-TBg         
THE LAUNDROMAT (1hr 36min) ** Director, photographer, editor Steven Soderbergh has gathered an impressive cast including Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas, Sharon Stone, David Schwimmer, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeffrey Wright, Will Forte and James Cromwell for his biographical comedy-drama. Documents containing personal financial information about wealthy individuals and public officials had previously been kept private. While offshore business entities are legal, some of the shell corporations were used for illegal purposes, including fraud, evasion of tax and international sanctions, till 2016 and the Panama Papers.  Crooked firm founders, Jurgen Mossack (Oldman) and Ramon Fonseca (Banderas), explain the scam (“tax avoidance is not tax evasion”). A New York widow (Streep), curious about a meagre insurance payout, discovered a West Indies building full of P.O. boxes, with millions of files linking offshore tax schemes to the world’s wealthiest. The contract was with a dubious cheap insurance company fraudulently sold to another company, and these were shell companies that didn’t exist. Based on actual secrets, the Panama Papers reportedly revealed Donald Trump’s name 3,450 times! (Netflix)   
THE LIGHTHOUSE (1hr  50min) *** ½  His career in film from 2007 has been as a director of theatre productions in New York and a film production designer until 2015 when he directed and wrote The Witch, a period supernatural horror film which captivated critics, reviewers and audiences, as with a budget of $4 million it grossed $40 million. I didn’t see that but I have seen his followup co-written with brother Max which is duplicating the rave reviews of his debut effort. The sparse moody 1890s story is filmed in black and white and sunlight never penetrates the dark lowering clouds as the lighthouse is covered in a hazy mist with violent black waves lashing against the rocks with the blaring foghorns breaking the eerie silence, apart from the seagulls. Two obstinate, lonely lighthouse keepers Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe) and Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) on a remote New England rock gradually lose their minds as the relief ship never comes.  Gripping and riveting, it’s an exceptional production in all aspects, (Intl Village, Fifth Avenue)
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL (1 hr 58min) *** ½  Let’s introduce the main characters in Walt Disney’s dark fantasy adventure, the sequel to the 2014 box office hit: Prince Phillip of Ulstead (Harris Dickinson) is the son of human King John (Robert Lindsay) and treacherous Queen Ingriff (Michelle Pfeiffer), who has proposed to Aurora (Elle Fanning) of the supernatural Moors (CG creatures) whose godmother is Maleficent, Protector of the Moors (Angelina Jolie). She is angry at news of her adopted daughter’s decision. At a disastrous engagement peace-making dinner, the two opposing Queens snipe at each other, the King falls into a coma and Malificent, blamed for that, is wounded by an arrow as she flies off, She is nursed back to health by, like herself, winged, horned Dark Fey population who hide from humans deep in the bowels of the earth, Warmonger Ingriff is determined to kill all the fairy-tale creatures with a deadly poison, which leads to the final battle with flying creatures being dissolved by the iron dust balls. Superbly animated, this is fun for the whole family. (Intl Village, Metropolis)
NEW: MIDWAY (2hrs 18min) *** Many of you will remember the 1976 drama of the same name with an incredible cast including Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford, Robert Mitchum, Robert Wagner, Cliff Robertson, Tom Selleck, the list goes on and it ended up being the 10th most popular box office film of that year. Master of disaster German director Rolamd Emmerich and screenwriter/novelist Wes Tooke are hoping lightening will strike twice and there’s no doubt Emmerich’s forte is in epic realistic action films, here you can add World War 11 historical accuracy, with an enormous amount of massive blowups. At $100 million it is the most expensive independent film ever made but his films have made $1.2 billion globally. This version is told by the leaders, sailors and aviators, both American and, to a lesser degree, Japanese, who fought the iconic naval battle of Midway in 1942, sticking as close to the facts as possible, including the major real-life personalities involved. The film starts with a cordial meeting between US Naval Intelligence Officer Edwin Layton (Patrick Wilson) and Imperial Japanese Naval Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (Etsushi Toyowaka) leading to Japanese fighter planes attacking and destroying the unprepared American navy in Pearl Harbour. This is where director Emmerich is in his element and devastatingly brilliant. Admiral Chester Nimitz (Woody Harrelson) put his faith in Leyton’s hunch that the Japanese were planning something bigger,  a surprise attack on the tiny Midway Atoll much like they did at Pearl Harbour, pushing their forces closer to an eventual invasion of the west coast. Although American forces were outnumbered by the Japanese four aircraft carriers to their three, 150 support ships to America’s 50, an impossibly heroic strike by the US fighter pilots turned the tide on the battle and dealt an enormous blow to the Japanese navy by sinking all four of their carriers. But part from the action, the remainder makes it far from a perfect film.  The worrying wife-at-home (Mandy Moore) subplot is as expected and adds absolutely nothing to the overall story.  Still, if you like old school war epics, you’ll enjoy this, and, since I do, I’m giving it a thumbs up! (Scotiabank Theatre, Metropolis)   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWar5xfq5Mw
MISSION OF HONOR
(HURRICANE) (1hr 47min) ** ½  Here’s a long deserved but little known story of Polish fighter pilots who, following the Nazi invasion of Poland and the collapse of France in WW11, made their way to England and volunteered for the RAF (British Royal Air Force). The Brits were dubious about accepting them although they were suffering heavy losses of their own pilots and planes. This is the story of 303 Squadron, initially a Bomber squadron but the Poles had astonishing success and they were promoted to Fighter squadron, piloting Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft. They proved to be the most efficient RAF fighter unit at that time. Their leader was Jan (Iwan Rheon) and their Squadron leader Canadian RAF pilot John Kent (Milo Gibson, son of Mel) dubbed Kentowski. With a small $10 million budget, the numerous CGI aerial battle effects are adequate.  At war’s end, Polish pilots were told they must leave England. Many who returned to Communist-occupied Poland were persecuted, imprisoned or sentenced to death. (Netflix)  
MURDER MYSTERY (1hr 37min) ** Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston are together again in a comedy mystery. Pity the film isn’t near the standard of the gorgeous European locations. Police officer Nick Spitz (Sandler) and wife Audrey (Aniston) fly to Europe for their long delayed honeymoon’s 15th anniversary. On the flight she meets billionaire viscount Charles Cavendish (Luke Evans) and he invites them to join a party on the family super yacht in Monte Carlo, which includes Cavendish’s ex-fiancee Suzi (Shiori Kutsuna), his cousin Toby (David Walliams), actress Grace Ballard (Gemma Arterton), Colonel Ulenga (John Kari), bodyguard Sergei (Olafur Darri Olafsson), Maharajah Vikram (Adeel Akhtar) and Grand Prix driver Juan Carlos (Luis Gerard Mendez). Their host, billionaire Malcolm Quince (Terence Stamp), announces he has a new will eliminating all of them, and then the murders start. Sorry, this is tedious, boring and dull. (Netflix)
PAIN AND GLORY (1hr 53 min) *** ½  Internationally renowned, award winning filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with an exquisite autobiographical drama Dolor y Gloria.  Aging Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas) is a Spanish film director who retired after his last film Sabor 32 years. He uses painkillers for his physical and mental ailments. As a child Salvador (Asier Flores) and his poverty stricken parents (Penelope Cruz, Raul Arevalo) moved into a cave home. Salvador taught a young illiterate painter (Cesar Vincente) to read and write and in exchange the man whitewashed and tiled their home. Salvador became a film director and years later when his classic film was being re-screened by the Cinemtheque, he renewed his relationship with the estranged film’s star Alberto (Asier Etxeandia) and offered him a confessional monologue Addiction for the stage about his three year relationship in the ‘80s with Federico (Leonardo Sbaraglia. In the audience was Frederico who traced down Salvador and to say any more would be a spoiler. Not perfect but close and definitely one of the Best Films of 2019.  (Fifth Avenue)
PARASITE (2hrs 12min) *** ½  Sub-titled. South Korean director Bong Joon-ho and his satirical black comedy thriller won the Palme d’Or major awards, involving two contrasting families: the Kims, poverty-stricken con artists, and the Parks, vulnerable, wealthy upper class. When a student friend suggests Kim’s son should temporarily take over his lucrative job of teaching English to the Parks’ daughter, that leads to the scheming Kim family getting both chauffeur and loyal housekeeper fired while dad and mom replace them and his sister is given the job of teaching art to the Park’s son. When they leave for a brief holiday, the Kims make themselves at home, contemplating life as permanent residents. The sacked housekeeper makes an unexpected return, saying she left something in the basement. That turns out to be her husband, living in a hidden secret furnished bunker for years. They panic when the Parks phone that they are returning home immediately and the culprits are forced to hide. To go any further would necessitate revealing plot spoilers with multiple twisted grisly blood splattered revelations and reversals. The film is overlong with later slow elongated scenes. There’s enough here to recommend it. (Intl Village, Fifth Avenue).
THE POLITICIAN. TV series  Season 1. Episode 1 of 8. “Pilot” ** Is this supposed to be political satire?  If so, the humour is missing entirely. It has a remarkable cast including Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, Zoey Deutch, Bob Balaban and Lucy Boynton. Payton Hobart (Platt) is an ambitious teenager who plans on going to Harvard and, since age seven, becoming President of the United States. But first he intends to become Student Body President of elite Saint Sebastian’s government. Son of a cocktail waitress, he is supported by his ultra-wealthy adoptive mother Georgina (Paltrow) and father Kenton (Balaban). Payton’s opponent for Student Body President is handsome River Barkley (David Corenswet) with whom he has an ambiguously sexualized relationship and whose scheming girlfriend Astrid Sloan (Boynton) is Payton’s rival. Payton’s running mate is Infinity Jackson (Deutch), mistakenly convinced she has cancer, and her grandmother and caretaker is manipulative Dusty Jackson (Jessica Lange). Each instalment apparently will tackle a different electoral race over the course of Payton’s career. His first shock is that his interview for Harvard has landed him on merely their “waiting list!”  Quelle horreur!  Not on my must watch list! (Netflix)) 
THE RED SEA DIVING RESORT  (2hrs 10min) ** Inspired by true events in the early 80s of a real life rescue called Operation Brothers, Mosad agents took thousands of  Jewish-Ethiopians from detention centres in Sudan, transporting them to Israel.  Ethiopia’s civil war forced Jews to flee to neighbouring Sudan but Sudan was an enemy country to Israel. Ari Levinson’s (Chris Evans) audacious plan was for the Israeli government to lease an abandoned Red Sea beach resort from the Sudanese government as a cover for extracting groups to the beach where Israeli Navy Seals would then transport them to Israel. Once approved by supervisor Ethan Levin (Ben Kingsley) and spy agency chief Barrack Isaacs (Mark Ivanir), Levinson chose his team: Sammy Navon (Alessandro Nivola), Rachel Reiter (Hayley Bennett), Jake Wolf (MiHuiseman) and Max Rose (Alex Hassall). When large numbers kept disappearing periodically from the Refugee Camp, suspicious Sudanese Colonel Ahmed (Chris Chalk) sensed a problem, and when the inmates refused to collaborate, he shot them. With a bland script, lethargic pacing and minimal action, the end result is hugely disappointing.  (Netflix) 
WOODSTOCK: THREE DAYS THAT DEFINED A GENERATION (1hr 46 min) ** ½  Documentary. Marking the 50th anniversary, I had hoped for a mix of the preparations behind the scenes of the event situated on Max Yasgur’s 600 acre farm at Bethel, New York, as well as the best of the concert which boasted 32 acts over the 3 day weekend, August 15 – 18 1969, but no such luck. Instead we get an in depth explanation with archival footage of the creation, the planning, the building and organizing of the concert, and what music we hear briefly is covered with voiceovers and comments, as well as numerous crowd shots.  We get stories of toilet problems, food and water shortages, drugs readily available, medical casualties (like rat bites 11) - the U.S. Army supplied 45 doctors - fencing problems, security, chaotic power lines, the torrential rainstorm on the second day … you get the gist.  Without any major incidents and no arrests, it was an intoxicating mix of free love, drugs and rock ‘n roll. Groovy!  (Netflix

                                                           
                                                              NEW DVDs....


NEW DVDs ... stat\ing Tuesday November 12
47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED  Sophie Nélisse, Corinne Foxx,Sistine Rose Stallone,,John Corbett, Nia Long
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1To-sXORfoI
AFTER THE WEDDING  Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Billy Crudup, Abby Quinn, Will Chase, Alex Esola

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22pa0wpGa9Q
THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2  Animation Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Peter Dinklage
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDj8Y2K0ODA
BRIAN BANKS  Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear, Sherri Shepherd, Melanie Liburd, Tiffany Dupont, Dorian Missick
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii5HG0G-Bi0
THE FAREWELL  Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen, Lu Hong, Jiang Yongbo, Gil Perez-Abraham
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgJT_9IGqsA
GOOD BOYS Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Will Forte, Stephen Merchant
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrE_ujzCm-E

NEW DVDS... starting Tuesday November 19
AMERICAN DREAMER.  Jim Gaffigan, Robbie Jones. Isabel Arraiza. Tammy Blanchard. Alejandro Hernández
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuYUBK2_p9Y
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT  Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir, Nell Williams, Dean-Charles Chapman, Hayley Atwell
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmmHvnS0IKM
COLD WAR Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, Borys Szyc, Agata Kulesza, Cédric Kahn, Jeanne Balibar, Adam Ferency
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMqZ9qWD8xs

DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD  Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña, Eva Longoria
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksj69JaBrAo

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday November 26
ANGEL HAS FALLEN Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith, Nick Nolte, Danny Huston, Piper Perabo 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBhNlO4fJ7M
DON'T LET GO  David Oyelowo, Storm Reid  Byron Mann,  Mykelti Williamson, Alfred Molina, Bryan Tyree Henry
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB-_oNDH0d8
OFFICIAL SECRETS. Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode, Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans, Conleth Hill
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pP4zhzIyTUA
WHERE' D YOU GO, BERNADETTE Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer, Billy Crudup, Laurence Fishburne

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqnroADyAqQ

NEW DVDs ... startting Tuesday December 3
BUTTONS: A CHRISTMAS TALE Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, Jane Seymour, Robert Redford, Kate Winslet
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIbGnzzAiLw
THE PARTS YOU LOSE  Aaron Paul, Scoot McNairy. Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Danny Murphy, Darcy Fehy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j9BgCd-1FU
READY OR NOT  Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O'Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, John Ralston
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOEhbaKNvoY

NEW DVDs .. starting Tuesday December 10
FREAKS  Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Grace Park, Amanda Crew, Lexy Kolker, Ava Telek, Aleks Paunovic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEEVk3jkyFc
HUSTLERS  Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo , Cardi B, Usher
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcHXMubAwIU
IT: CHAPTER TWO  James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4_NFYeXVCU
LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE Documentary. Linda with Bonnie Raitt, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tSrSXhd1Y8
ONCE UPON A TIME ... IN HOLLYWOOD.Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning, Al Pacino
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q55A7ZQ7uf8