Movies at a Glance & New DVDs



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AMERICAN FACTORY ( 1hr 55min) *** Documentary. This is the first film distributed by former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Gronnd Productions, In December 2008, the General Motor Moraine Assembly Plant in Dayton, Ohio closed down, leaving over 2,000 unemployed Then in 2014, a Chinese company under billionaire Chairman Cao Dewang bought the abandoned property and reopened it as Fuyao Glass America for manufacturing windshields and auto glass, one of the largest auto glass producers in the world, Cao imported a core team of 260 professionally trained Chinese workers from its headquarters to work with 1,000 plus American workers. The documentary covers living and working conditions, safety concerns, lower wages, and the Americans demanding a union, much to Cao’s annoyance. Towards the end, it becomes apparent that Cao will eventually replace workers with machines  The filmmakers took three formative years to shoot from boardroom to factory floor including intimate interviews with both Chinese and Americans. It’s an exceptionally surprising and compelling documentary. (Netflix)
NEW: BEFORE YOU KNOW IT (1hr 38min) ** Meet New York City’s dysfunctional Gurner family. 30 something lesbian Rachel (co-writer, director Hannah Utt) lives with her cantankerous father Mel (Mandy Patinkin) and “a little fuzzy upstairs,” wanna-be actress, older, extrovert sister Jackie (co-writer Jen Tullock), single mother to her 12 year old smart tomboy daughter Dodge (Oona Yaffe) in an apartment under a small family-owned theatre in the Village. Mel is an annoying failed playwright, famous for a play way back in 1971, just one out of fifty which he has written, directed and starred in.  Rachel is the level-headed, intelligent, controlling stage manager who appears permanently morose. She has yet to find a partner though she has near misses. Their community theatre has a sign outside stating it is Available for Short Term Renting. A minor argument between Mel and Rachel on stage for Mel’s latest play “The Way I See It” causes him to have a heart attack and he dies unexpectedly while rehearsing the death scene.  A meeting with accountant Charles (Mike Colter) to hear Mel’s will has them shocked as, when asked about their mother, the immediate response was that Mel informed them she was dead … but not so.  Apparently the building was co-owned by Mel and his far from dead wife Sherrell (Judith Light), now a well known daytime soap-opera actress working in the City. The daughters immediately trace their mother to the Manhattan TV studio where they find her on set complaining about the script to Time Will Tell.  Initially shocked by the disclosure of her unexpected adult daughters, Sherrell is impressed and enthusiastic with Rachel’s suggested changes to the script and she immediately bonds with her, thus creating sibling rivalry. When Dodge accidentally gets locked out of their apartment, Charles takes her to his home where she meets and quickly befriends his single-parented teenage daughter Olivia (Arica Himmel).  Alec Baldwin has an unnecessary walk on role as Peter, the psychiatrist who Dodge develops a childish attachment to while seeing him about her unhappy family’s on going problems. Bluntly, none of the characters are particularly likeable and very little really happens in the occasionally funny but uneven story or the many sub-plots, although it is billed as “a comedy film.” I expect audiences attracted to the film will be predominantly female. (Vancity Theatre).
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, Fifth Avenue) 
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)
NEW: 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, with the adults leaving Peri in the car. Bored, she gets out of the car and goes exploring the construction site when a stray dog menacingly approaches her, forcing her to back away from it.  Terrified she screams and Roy comes to the rescue, picking up a rock to hurl at the dog.  He does and Peri backs up and falls into the adjoining concrete pit, hurting her arm, with Roy also falling, receiving a severe head wound. Disapproving Joanne finds them and Roy drives them to the Emergency in a rural hospital where he checks in and they head downstairs for a CT scan while he, exhausted, passes out in the waiting room. Upon awakening, he checks at the desk for Joanne and Peri, and is told they had never been admitted. From then on the twists and turns come fast and furious and Roy getting more panicky as the hours go by and he searches the whole building. He won’t accept no for an answer and eventually the cops are called in. The questioning becomes very repetitive with arguments between Roy and staff members. With asked to give details, he mentions his first wife’s name and not Joanne’s and they question his alcoholism. She apparently died from an accident. Then a psychiatrist is introduced (“The mind can sometimes create an alternate reality, a false reality, to shield itself from trauma”) and a paranoid Roy goes ballistic and steals a gun. He has jumped to sinister conclusions, convinced there has been foul play. He is determined to find his family at any cost. 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)
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! (Fifth Avenue, Scotiabank Theatre, Metropolis)  
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)
UDY (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, Fifth Avenue)
NEW: LUCY IN THE SKY (2hrs 4min) ** ½  Catchy title, eh, but it has nothing to do with the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” The film is apparently loosely based on astronaut Lisa Nowak’s criminal activities around her romantic involvement with fellow astronaut William Oefelein. ”The premise of the plot is that there is a longstanding idea that astronauts begin to lose their grip on reality after being in space for an extended period of time,” and that has been denied by retired astronauts. We’ll just have to take their word for it as most of us will never experience outer space travel. The “inspired by true events” film is directed and co-written by Noah Hawley (Fargo, Legion) in his directing debut which ponders what it means to return to mundane Earth after the profound impact of travelling in space. The facts: Lisa Nowak is a former NASA astronaut and qualified as a mission specialist in robotics at Johnston Space Station. She flew on Space Shuttle Discovery in July 2006 (“I never felt so alive”). Married to Richard Nowak and with a family of three (in the film just one niece), Lisa had an affair in 1996 with test pilot instructor and former NASA astronaut on one spaceflight, recently divorced William Oefelein. Unknown to Lisa, he was also having a more serious affair with Air Force captain Colleen Shipman which came to a head in 2007 when a distraught, unraveling Lisa discovered his infidelity and attempted to kidnap her. Arrested, she was charged with attempted kidnapping, burglary with assault, and battery at Orlando Airport and in 2009 she agreed to a plea deal.  In the film Lisa is reserved Lucy Cola (Natalie Portman), the dutiful wife of devoted, religious, ultra-square NASA PR Drew (unrecognizable Dan Stevens - Downton Abbey), with adopted niece Blue Iris (Pearl Amanda Dickson) and chain smoking grandma Nana (Ellen Burstyn). Lucy explains her feelings from space, “You go up there, you see the whole universe and everything down here seems so small.” Once back on Earth, she craved to go back up and finds life difficult. When Mark (John Hamm) invites her to go bowling with the other astronauts, that’s followed by beers and chasers and before you know it she’s all over Mark and she’s “working late.” Then along came Erin (Zazie Beets) and we’re into soapy suds melodrama. Portman is terrific. Should make back its $27 million budget easily. (Intl Village)
NEW: 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 King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingriff (Michelle Pfeiffer) and he is engaged to be married to Queen Aurora (Elle Fanning) of the supernatural Moors (CG creatures) whose godmother is Maleficent, Protector of the Moors (Angelina Jolie) who is angry at the news of her adopted daughter’s choice. This adventure takes place 5 years after the previous film, and scheming Ingriff plans to divide the fairies and the humans which means that places Aurora and Maleficent on opposing sides. It’s interesting seeing the two Queens sniping at each other during the disastrous engagement celebration dinner, supposed to be peace-making but ending in a fight when Ingriff insults and accuses her guest, and John becomes the victim of a mysterious curse. When she flies off, Maleficent is wounded by a crossbow’s arrow from Ingrith’s supporter Gerda (Jenn Murray) and nursed back to health by the oppressed similarly winged, horned Dark Fey population who hide from humans deep in the bowels of the earth, waiting to fight for their rights.  Treacherous Ingriff seizes power and fans the flames of distrust between the fairy and human kingdoms, even turning demure Aurora against her fugitive godmother. Let’s pause briefly to mention Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville are back as the three digitized pixies Knotgrass, Thistlewit and Flittle, Chiwetal Ejiofor plays outcast leader Conal, a horned winged Moors creature, and Sam Riley as shape shifting Diaval, while Ed Skrein is vengeful Borra, Maleficent’s raven trained humanoid.  Ingrith recruits dwarf Lickspittle (Warwick Davis) to produce a deadly formula to poison all the Moors fairies and creatures. Maleficent and her tribe are sensitive to iron and what could be better for Ingriff that watching winged fairies dissolve in midair thanks to clouds of iron dust. Much time is spent in the visually stunning and entrancing magical homeland of the Moors and the dark fey creatures, which will amuse the kids. Of course there will be a showdown with warmonger Ingrith madly preparing to eradicate the rebels with just 3 days before the royal wedding. st. Be prepared that this is far darker and more violent than the first film and may affect younger kids. The big battle happens 20 minutes before the ending and it is brutal with a lot of flying creatures being dissolves by the iron dust balls. Yes, there is a happy ending and yes box office success is inevitable and yes, although it’s overloaded with characters, I enjoyed it!. (Intl Village, Metropolis)
MATTHIAS AND MAXIME (1hr 59min) * ½  In French w English sub-titles. It’s 10 years since Xavier Dolan’s I Killed My Mother’s successful debut and, now at 30, Dolan has received worldwide acclaim and awards for the majority of films in which he has been involved.  The film follows a group of rowdy close friends, mainly men who set out for a boisterous weekend of smoking pot and having fun in the fall countryside. Maxime (Xavier Dolan) and Matthias (Gabriel D’Almeida Frietas) reluctantly agree to participate in a students’ film but then are informed they are required to kiss. Although they’ve known each other since childhood and are both single and straight, the 30 year olds are not attracted to each other. Matthias is a corporate lawyer happily dating and Maxime, working at a bar, is about to leave Montreal for a two year visit to Australia, happy to get away from a nagging, ex-addict mother (Anne Dorval), constantly demanding money and attention.  The kiss stirs something inside them they had never contemplated before.  (Intl Village)
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)
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)) 
RAMBO: LAST BLOOD (1hr 29min) *** This is the 5th in the hugely successful Rambo franchise, every one a guaranteed money maker and Sylvester Stallone is a master at knowing what the public wants.  Here’s the gist of this story. John Rambo (Stallone) lives a quiet life on a remote horse ranch in Arizona with old friend Maria and her granddaughter Gabriela, when she persuades friend Giselle to take her secretly to estranged father Miguel in Mexico. The town is run by a brutal cartel and after Miguel tells Gabriela he doesn’t want her around, she is drugged, kidnapped and taken to work in a brothel.  Rambo goes in search of her but is stopped, severely beaten and left to die by the cartel, except that has been observed by a stranger Carmen (Paz Vega) who takes Rambo home to patch up. On recovery, Rambo goes in search of  Gabriela, destroying cartel members, finding and taking her home. Knowing they’ll come after him, he builds massive elaborate booby traps to destroy every one of them. To go further would be a spoiler to the exhilarating bloody brutal finale. (Intl Village)
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) 
WHERE’S MY ROY COHN? (1hr 37min) *** ½   Documentary. That’s from manipulator Roy Cohn’s protégé Donald Trump.  Cohn loved power, lacked ethics and empathy, was ruthless, tough, mean, vicious, tactless and impatient. Born in 1927, Cohn graduated from law school and at 21 was admitted to the bar. At 23 Cohn played a prominent role in the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg trial and their conviction and execution. FBI ‘s  J. Edgar Hoover recommended Cohn to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Committee investigating nationwide Communist subversion. Closet–gay Cohn suggested handsome bachelor David Schine as chief consultant in the disastrous 1964 Army-McCarthy hearings which led to McCarthy’s downfall. In private practice as a feared legal attorney, his crooked clients included the Mafia, Fred Trump and real estate developer son Donald who was a good student but without the brains. Cohn’s advice was attack, don’t settle, don’t apologize, don’t leave a paper trail, don’t keep a calendar, lie loudly and frequently, never admit you’re wrong, get off issues and create phony issues, attack the government and the press, they’ll quote whatever you say, so leak to them, manipulate the system and always claim victory. Now compare that to Trump!   (Intl Village)
WOODSTOCK: THREE DAYS THAT DEFINED A GENERATION (1hr 46 min) ** ½   Documentary. Marking the 50th anniversary, I 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 ... starting Tuesday October 15
THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots, Steve Terada, David Zellner
CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET?Alexandra Daddario, Tyler Hoechlin, Kimiko Glenn, Laverne Cox, Sunita Mani
CRAWL  Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark, Colin McFarlane, Ross Anderson, Ami Metcalfe.
THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (Netflix) Michiel Huisman, Elizabeth Reaser, Kate Siegel, Timothy Hutton,
MARIANNE AND LEONARD: WORDS OF LOVE. Documentary on Leonard Cohen's life from the 1960s on.
NIGHT HUNTER  Henry Cavill, Ben Kingsley, Stanley Tucci, Alexandra Daddario, Minka Kelly, Nathan Fillion
STUBER. Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Mira Sorvino, Karen Gillan

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday October 22
THE LION KING. Animation. Donald Glover, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, James Earl Jones, Seth Rogen
STRANGE BUT TRUE. Amy Ryan, Nick Robinson, Margaret Qualley, Blythe Danner, Brian Cox, Greg Kinnear

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday October 29
THEM THAT FOLLOW Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert. Jim Gaffigan, Thomas Mann, Lewis Pullman

NEW DVDs ...starting Tuesday November 5
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried, Gary Cole, Kathy Baker, Martin Donovan
FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW  Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Helen Mirren
THE KITCHEN  Melissa McCarthy, Domhnall Gleeson, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss, James Badge Dale, Common
OPHELIA  Daisy Ridley. Naomi Watts, George MacKay. Clive Owen, Tom Felton. Sebastian de Souza
PAVAROTTI (Documentary) Ron Howard's facinating film includes performamnces, rare clips and interviews.
SCARY MOVIES TO TELL IN THE DARK  Zoe Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Austin Abrams

NEW DVDs ... stat\ing Tuesday November 12
47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED  Sophie Nélisse, Corinne Foxx,Sistine Rose Stallone,,John Corbett, Nia Long
AFTER THE WEDDING  Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Billy Crudup, Abby Quinn, Will Chase, Alex Esola
THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2  Animation Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Peter Dinklage
BRIAN BANKS  Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear, Sherri Shepherd, Melanie Liburd, Tiffany Dupont, Dorian Missick
THE FAREWELL  Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen, Lu Hong, Jiang Yongbo, Gil Perez-Abraham
GOOD BOYS Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Will Forte, Stephen Merchant
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, John Hawkes, Thomas Haden Church, Bruce Dern

NEW DVDS... starting Tuesday November 19
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT  Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir, Nell Williams, Dean-Charles Chapman, Hayley Atwell
COLD WAR Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, Borys Szyc, Agata Kulesza, Cédric Kahn, Jeanne Balibar, Adam Ferency

DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD  Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña, Eva Longoria

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday November 26

ANGEL HAS FALLEN Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith, Nick Nolte, Danny Huston, Piper Perabo
DON'T LET GO  David Oyelowo, Storm Reid  Byron Mann,  Mykelti Williamson, Alfred Molina, Bryan Tyree Henry
OFFICIAL SECRETS. Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode, Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans, Conleth Hill
WHERE' D YOU GO, BERNADETTE Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer, Billy Crudup, Laurence Fishburne

NEW DVDs ... startting Tuesday December 3
THE PARTS YOU LOSE  Aaron Paul, Scoot McNairy. Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Danny Murphy, Darcy Fehy.
READY OR NOT  Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O'Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, John Ralston

NEW DVDs .. starting Tuesday December 10
FREAKS  Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Grace Park, Amanda Crew, Lexy Kolker, Ava Telek, Aleks Paunovic
HUSTLERS  Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo , Cardi B, Usher
LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE Documentary. Linda with Bonnie Raitt, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris