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Movies at a Glance & New DVDs


 

  


                                                                     MOVIES AT A GLANCE.

For NEW DVDs click HERE                                                                           

THERE ARE 2 NEW REVIEWS THIS WEEK:  MAMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN, MARY SHELLEY.

HEREDITARY
(2hrs 7min) *** This is one of the scariest supernatural horror films I have seen in ages. This is writer/director Ari Aster’s first feature film and it is a stunning success. When “secretive and private” grandma Ellen Taper Leigh passes away at 78 following dementia, the family consisting of her daughter Annie (Toni Collette), her husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), pothead teenager Peter (Alex Wolff) and seriously creepy 13 year old daughter Charlie (Millie Shapiro) are there for Annie’s eulogy at the funeral service. Annie insists Peter takes Charlie with him to a high school party and a horrendous accident occurs of the way home. Following a séance, a deeply grieving Annie receives instructions how she can communicate with loved ones souls, and all hell breaks loose, affecting the whole family. Collette’s performance is flawless but it is Asher’s remarkable debut that is truly commendable. (Intl Village)
INCREDIBLES 2  (1hr 46min) *** Animation. Following 14 years since the brilliant ‘not based on anything’ original, writer/director Brad Bird’s sequel takes place immediately after the last narrative left off and introduces us again to the Parr/Incredibles family consisting of Bob Parr/Mr Incredible (Craig T Nelson), wife Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell), son Hash (Huck Milner) and wildly funny baby Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile). Although the “Super Relocation” program is dead and the Incredibles jobless, super-hero fan & telecommunications CEO Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his ambitious inventor sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener) plan to restore support of the Supers, using Elastigirl and her powers as their crime-busting star, leaving Bob looking after the kids. The problem is a new cyber villain, Screenslaver, with computer screens and goggles turning innocent people and Supers into obedient hypnotized drones. Next victims will be world leaders. Although visually stunning, the long and over-stuffed epic may be a bit heavy for younger fans. (Intl Village, Scotiabank Theatre, Metropolis) 
LEAVE NO TRACE (1hr 49min) ** ½  In a vast forested park outside Portland, Will (Ben Foster) and his 13 year old daughter Tom (Thomasin McKenzie) live a secluded life. PTSD-afflicted Will has taken his daughter out of school to join him live an antisocial life with illegal parkland squatting, knowing that forest rangers and police scour the parks regularly. They subsist on berries and wild mushrooms but on occasions cross over a bridge to buy minimal groceries and visit a VA hospital for Will’s medications, selling them to the homeless. When caught, they are brought back to civilization, interviewed by understanding social workers and given a basic cabin on a Christmas tree farm in which to live a regular life, connecting daily with caring rural co-op people. This has appeal for Tom but not restless Will. He misses his privacy and, when he packs to leave, will she obediently follow?  Foster and McKenzie’s charismatic performances are impressive. (Intl Village)
NEW: MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN (1hr 54min) ** ½  It’s 10 years to the week of the original movie’s release with a budget of $62 million and which grossed $615.7 million! That was based on the musical of the same name and featured its biggest asset, the infectious music of Swedish supergroup ABBA. Hardly surprising that there is a combined follow-up prequel and sequel with many of the original cast and which told the story of how free-spirited Donna (Meryl Streep) came to be on the Greek island of Kalokairi (actually filmed in Croatia) and was determined to find out which of the charmers Irish-American architect Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Swedish travel writer Bill (Stellan Skarsgard)  or British banker Harry (Colin Firth) fathered her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried). Five turbulent years later, Sophie along with husband Sky (bland Dominic Cooper) are preparing for their hotel’s grand re-opening a year after mom’s death  Sophie is stressed out and misses mom  With the arrival and help of Donna’s exuberant closest friends, emotional Rosie (Julie Walters) and sex starved Tanya (Christine Baranski), Sophie relives Donna’s (a terrific Lily James) past, going back to the beginning in 1979 with her Oxford graduation, her move to the island broke and how she bought into the villa, her close friendship with Brits Rosie (Alexa Davies) and Tanya (Jessica Keenan Wynn), and her flirtatious month with Sam (Jeremy Irvine), Bill (Josh Dylan) and Harry (Hugh Skinner). Without mom’s assistance, Sophie has raised a daughter, and here we are at the opulent opening party and guess who shows up … Ruby (Cher), her blonde-wigged estranged grandmother who is greeted by an old flame, Fernando (Andy Garcia), now the manager of the newly renovated Bella Donna Hotel .. Sounds like a cue for her to sing and dance (awkwardly) to “Fernando?” While on that subject, ABBA’s music also includes Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, Waterloo, The Name of the Game, Super Trouper, Knowing Me Knowing You, I Have a Dream, One of Us and 9 lesser known songs, and I assume they were from 8 studio albums. With less of a storyline than the first, the cast give their all in performances and most of the choreography is improved, directed by Ol Parker (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) . Meryl Streep’s ghost shows up for about 5 minutes towards the end and Cher gets 2 songs also at the end.  Obviously the sequel is the result of the massive financial success of the original and, although unnecessary, doubtless it will appeal to its fans. Whether you have the time of your life, dancing queen, is another matter.(Fifth Avenue, Intl Village)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xR97bPNsNLM
NEW: MARY SHELLEY (2hrs 1min) *** Mary Woolstonecraft Godwin (Elle Fanning) was as English novelist, short story writer and dramatist, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein which at age 18 she wrote.  She had an interest in ghost stories and scientific discoveries and was an avid book-reader, longing to become a writer. Her famous parents were political philosopher William Godwin (Stephen Dillane) and her mother, the forward-thinking feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (she wrote The Vindication of the Rights of Woman) who died days after giving birth. Godwin remarried and her stern stepmother Mary Jane Clairmont (Joanne Froggatt) had a daughter Claire (Bel Powley) who became Mary’s close friend. While visiting friends in Scotland, Mary met handsome 21 year old English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Booth) and there was instant attraction.. Back in London, Shelley became a protégé to Godwin and his relationship with Mary blossomed till she was accosted by Shelley’s abandoned wife Harriet (Ciara Charteris) and child.  Shelley claimed his was a free spirit and wouldn’t be tied down by marriage. Godwin disapproved and Shelley scandalously suggested Mary should move in with him along with Claire, but the trio was broke and had to keep moving. Shelley's bi-sexual poet friend Lord Byron (Tom Sturridge) invited them to stay at his Lake Geneva chateau and Claire, pregnant with Byron’s baby, was shocked when he declared total disinterest. Here Byron made his famous rainy-night challenge to his guests to each write a ghost story, and Mary started to write her macabre Gothic novel, Frankenstein, a story of a deranged scientist and his misunderstood monster, a metaphor for her own alienation and pain. During this time Mary was pregnant and their infant daughter tragically died. She became aware of Shelley’s unfaithful nature, experiencing extreme loneliness and abandonment when he would disappear for long periods, returning drunk. Mary struggled to get her book published but the literately elite believed it was written by Shelley and not by a woman. She eventually succeeded, dedicating it to her father and publishing it anonymously until it was re-issued. This is Saudi Arabia’s first woman director Haifaa Al-Mansour’s debut in an English-language film not told before now, with Fanning doing a competent job, supported by a solid English cast. The gorgeous production is reminiscent of the classic Merchant-Ivory films. (Intl Village)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1Kh_xL2zfY
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (1hr 45min)  ** ½  This is by far the most original, outrageous, weirdest and strangest satires I have seen in ages and I bet it will become a cult favourite.  Permanently broke young black Cassius “Cash” Green (Lakeith Stanfield of Get Out fame) gets a job at a telemarketing company.  He is told that with telemarketing success promoting Worry Free Living for free meals and a dormitory bed he could become a wealthy “Power Caller,” promoted to the inner sanctum of Worry Free’s  coke-snorting eccentric CEO Steve Life (Armie Hammer). .Activist girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson) and his co-workers try to dissuade him to no avail. Cash gets advice to use his cultivated “white” voice to talk to customers, and incredibly it works!  Director/writer Boots Riley piled on the surreal, fantastic, crazy, amusing images. It’s difficult to keep up with him and I expect this will have limited mainstream appeal to other than the young. (Fifth Avenie) .
THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS  (1hr 36min) *** ½ Documentary. This is the compelling true story of rare identical triplets separated at birth and adopted by three different families in a secret scientific experiment. Bobby Shafran, Edward Galland and David Kellman were born on July 12th 1961 to a teenage mother and were adopted from Louise Wise Services, a NY City-based adoption agency placing Jewish children with Jewish families but in different environments. The triplets and their adoptive parents knew nothing about their other siblings, and foster parents were told that the frequent tests their child was required to undergo were part of a routine scientific study concerning “nature versus nurture,” “We felt like lab rats.” The triplets eventually met and started up a business together but that failed and one committed suicide. The remaining two were determined to get details of their initial separation and regular tests. (Fifth Avenue)
WHITNEY (2hrs) ****  Documentary. Recommended  Director Kevin Macdonald has created a superb biography in this intimate portrait of vocalist Whitney Houston with . interviews with family, friends and colleagues, unseen film of Whitney from childhood throughout her life, intimate photos, rare concert and backstage footage. She started young in a junior gospel choir, strongly supported by mother Cissy and family.  In the 80s she was a model and a singer. In 1983 Arista Records’ Clive Davis signed her to a contract. From 1985 till ’87, she had 7 consecutive #1 singles, helped by MTV. She became a superstar in 1992 with I Will Always Love You from the Kevin Costner  movie The Bodyguard. She married R&B singer Bobby Brown and they had a daughter. But while her career flourished, his didn’t and he took to booze and dugs and eventually the pressure and stress on her took its toll “due to family matters.”  (Intl Village)
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (1hr 34min) *** ½  Here’s a certainty for next year’s Best Documentaries and, for countless fans who grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood between 1961 to 2001, this is a “must see.” Morgan Neville’s marvellous documentary includes a ton of memories. Fred Rogers was primarily an educational television personality, catering to pre-school children’s programming, but he was also a musician, writer, producer, puppeteer, and before that an ordained Presbyterian minister!  From Pittsburgh, Rogers moved to Toronto in 1961 to work on a 15 minute series titled Misterogers airing on CBC for about 4 years, and the show incorporated set pieces created by CBC designers and later used on his US shows, such as the castle and the trolley. In 1966 Rogers acquired the rights to his program from CBC, moved the show to Pittsburgh TV and renamed it Misterogers Neighborhood. Rogers spoke directly to the viewer on various issues while interacting with his regular and drop-in friends. Above all, he wanted to "help children through some of the difficult modulations of life." (Intl Village).

                                                        
                                                    
NEW DVDs

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday July 17
BLUMHOUSE'S TRUTH OR DARE  Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Nolan Gerard Funk, Sophia Taylor Ali
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mljg0BA9Hvo
DISOBEDIENCE Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola, Anton Lesser, Alexis Zeggerman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEVonh8bjC0
FUTURE WORLD. James Franco, Suki Waterhouse, Lucy Liu, Milla Jovovich, Jeffrey Wahlberg, Snoop Dog.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFl4vMAxKNo&vl=en
I FEEL PRETTY  Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, Tom Hopper, Naomi Campbell, Lauren Hutton
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I2JrgIQuyE
ISLE OF DOGS (animation) Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avteeoh9LzY
RAMPAGE  Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6E8DWTPjcs
SUPER TROOPERS 2  Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Linda Carter, Rob Lowe, Brian Cox, Will Sasso
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2ehN-WeGAo
YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE. Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, John Doman, Alessandro Nivola
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8oYYg75Qvg

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday July 24
DREAM BIG: ENGINEERING OUR WORLD Documentary celebrates human ingenuity behind marvels big & small.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huVNsT8BIM8
READY PLAYER ONE  Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance, Letitia Wright
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJZ4ic21Qr0

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday July 31
FINAL PORTRAIT  Geoffrey Rush, Armie Hammer, Clémence Poésy, Tony Shalhoub,  James Faulkner
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3iFt_lOxIw
KINGS Halle Berry, Daniel Craig, Lamar Johnson, Kaalan Walker, Rachel Hilson, Isaac Ryan Brown
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1PI2rE63xY
THE MIRACLE SEASON  Helen Hunt, William Hurt, Erin Moriarty, Danika Yarosh, Nesta Cooper, Berkley Duffield
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WyHB9D2Su0
OVERBOARD  Eugenio Derbez, Anna Faris, Eva Longoria, John Hannah, Josh Segarra, Emily Madison.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TPJyx2Xljg
TULLY Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, Ron Livingston, Elaine Tan, Emily Haine, Colleen Wheeler
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTMJxP4Y2M8

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday August 7
BREAKING IN  Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Seth Carr, Ajiona Alexus, Levi Meaden
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVmy5YsLtFM
LIFE OF THE PARTY Melissa McCarthy, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen, Molly Gordon, Jacki Weaver
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QDSp_vmgWM
MARROWBONE  George MacKay, Charlie Heaton, Anya Taylor-Joy, Mia Goth, Matthew Stagg. Kyle Soller
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsiSsgXXFVs
ON CHESIL BEACH  Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Anne-Marie Duff, Adrian Scarborough, Emily Watson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8syIkHjunWs
THE RIDER  Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau, Cat Clifford, Lane Scott, Derrisk Janis, James Calhoon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5A9Lp5oOHw

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday August 14
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwievZ1Tx-8
BAD SAMARITAN  David Tennant, Robert Sheehan, Carlito Olivero, Kerry Condon, Jacqueline Byers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef4bYRfwgQ0
HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES  Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Ruth Wilson, Matt Lucas, Nicole Kidman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnDyjAcofio

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday August 21
BLEEDING STEEL Jackie Chan, Show Lo, Nana Ouyang, Erica Xia-Hou, Callan Mulvey, Tess Haubrich
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhZNuEZDswM
THE FIRST REFORMED  Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric the Entertainer, Victoria Hill, Michael Gaston
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ6xeRGCcLs
GOD'S NOT DEAD: A LIGHT IN DARKNESS  David A.R. White, John Corbett, Shane Harper, Tatum O'Neal
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxJ2CIe-7I4
SHOW DOGS  Will Arnett, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Shaquille O'Neal, Omar Chaparro, Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcJjUSzgxCE

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday August 28
AMERICAN ANIMALS  Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Jared Abrahamson, Blake Jenner, Ann Dowd
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuTuKLE3tZ0
BOOK CLUB Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDnOubrC_gU
MARY SHELLY Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, Maisie Williams, Stephen Dillane, Tom Sturridge, Joanne Froggatt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EQEDha0GgY
RBG documentary.The unique journey of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pop culture icon.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biIRlcQqmOc
TAG  Ed Helms, Jake Johnson,  Rashida Jones, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Lil Rel Howery
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PVq9WGsS0E
UPGRADE  Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Richard Anastasios, Rosco Campbell
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hTLGlgZ4Z8
WOMAN WALKS AHEAD  Jessica Chastain, Ciarán Hinds, Sam Rockwell, Michael Nouri, Michael Greyeyes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFFwknK6iUI

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday September 4
ADRIFT  Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Hawthorne, Jeffrey Palmer, Grace Palmer, Neil Andrea
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXHh_1E_Zwo&vl=en
BEAST Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, Geraldine James, Olwen Fouéré, Tim Woodwar, Charlie Palmer Rothwell
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFJWtg057U8
WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (documentary) An intimate look at US favorite neighbor: Mister Fred Rogers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhwktRDG_aQ