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Movies at a Glance & New DVDs


 

  

                                                                     MOVIES AT A GLANCE.

For NEW DVDs click HERE                                                                           

THERE IS 1 NEW REVIEW THIS WEEK:  BOY ERASED

BEAUTIFUL BOY (1hr 52min) ** ½ Paramount acquired the rights of two books by David Sheff and his son Nic who are the subjects of this film about drug addition from the perspective of a young meth addict Nic (Timothée Chalamet) and his doting dad David (Steve Carell) who finds himself helpless to stop his son's downward piral. Crystal meth and methamphetamine abuse is a global problem with close to 25 million abusers.. Author David and his second wife Karen (Maura Tierney) live happily with his 18 year old son Nic by former wife Vicki and his and Karen’s two adorable younger kids  David is particularly proud of Nic getting accepted to multiple colleges. But a bored, experimenting Nic tries marijuana, followed by cocaine, pills and eventually crystal meth. Unfortunately the is vastly uneven and the flashbacks are unnecessary The repetitive narrative becomes annoying (collapse/rehab/ recovery/relapse). . On the plus side are the dedicated performances by Carell and Chalamet, their scenes together are riveting. (Intl Village)
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (2hrs 14min) *** The biopic of British rock group Queen earned unanimous praise for Rami Malek as lead singer Freddie Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara. Early in life living with his parents, Freddie was a luggage handler in Heathrow. He formed a close relationship with Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) – they were engaged briefly - and they remained friends till his death. He was a fan of the group Smile: guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee), drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), bass player John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello), and became their lead singer, naming the group Queen. They sold their van to afford recording a successful album and Elton John’s manager John Reid (Aiden Gillen) booked them on a US tour. In 1974 they attained international success with albums Sheer Heart Attack and A Night at the Opera featuring Bohemian Rhapsody. The band’s popularity continued through the ‘90s but soured when Freddie’s change of attitude caused a rift over years till their highly acclaimed reunion for 1985’s Band Aid. The second half basically without music has long dull sequences and Freddie’s homosexuality is played down. Good but not great. (Fifth Avenue, Scotiasbank Theatre, Metropolis)
NEW: BOY ERASED (1hr 54min) *** ½  At the core of this sensitive compelling drama is the heartless controversial Conversion Therapy Program, “the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual's sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions. There is virtually no reliable evidence that sexual orientation can be changed and medical bodies warns that conversion therapy practices are ineffective and potentially harmful.” The film is based on Garrard Conley’s “Boy Erased: A Memoir” recalling his youth as the only child of fundamentalist Arkansas parents, Marshall (a paunchy Russell Crowe) and Nancy (a gorgeous Nicole Kidman). Character names have been changed. At 18 while in college, Jared (Lucas Hedges) was reported as being gay to his father who was about to be ordained as a Baptist minister. He was also the owner of a Ford dealership which Jared would inherit. At the pulpit, Marshall would preach that we are all imperfect but faith can cleanse and make us whole.  They are well-meaning and love their son but Jared was given the choice of being disowned and having to leave family, friends and church, or to attend the church-supported gay conversion therapy, totally lacking in compassion and tolerance as he found out, and guaranteed to cure him of his homosexuality. “God will not love you the way that you are.” He agreed, wanting to be normal and to fix whatever problem he had for being attracted to other boys. At the Love in Action boot camp for LGBT teenagers, Jared is forcefully raped by his roommate Henry (Joe Alwyn) who then informed Jared’s parents. He dissected his homosexual thoughts and wrote the names of people, like Henry, who interested him in a “Moral Inventory”. The self anointed head therapist is Victor Sykes (Joel Edgerton, also director, writer and producer) whose aggressive assistants are all supposedly former homosexuals who miraculously cured themselves through willpower!  We become privy to some of the authentic abusive techniques used by the so-called councilors and your feelings will depend on your thoughts of conversion therapy. The students are forced to beat a doubting boy with a bible to cast out demons and a young woman is told to rate the male students as to how masculine they are! Towards the end, loving mother Nancy apologized to Jared for conforming to Marshall and backed him as a gay, while Jared calmly informed Marshall what a father/son relationship will have to look like in the future, or else. Strong performances and a timely subject!  (Fifth Avenue)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM_XbohOz7Q 
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? (1hr 47min) *** Leonore Carol "Lee" Israel was an author, known for her involvement in literary forgery. Alcoholic, unkempt, abrasive Lee (Melissa McCarthy) was a self destructive freelancer who wrote biographies in the ‘70s of screen celebrities. When her writing career finally failed, she was broke and living with her sick cat in a grungy apartment. Her agent Marjorie (Jane Curtin) refused to forward her money, suggested sobering up and finding a job. At her frequented bar she met genial gay hustler Jack Hock (Richard E. Grant). She discovered 2 letters from actress Fanny Brice in a library book, stole and sold them to friendly, lonely bookstore owner Anna (Dolly Wells).  That started a lucrative new hobby of typing and signing forged, fictitious letters by deceased celebrities, but spiced up to get higher prices from the dealers. When reports of her forgeries grew, Jack took them to interested bookstores, but eventually she was caught. The dark comedy has great performances and is worth seeing. (Fifth Avenue)
COLETTE (1hr 51 min) *** ½ From Burgundy, France, Gabrielle Collette (Keira Knightley) in her late teens was courted by author/publisher and critic Henry Gautier-Villars or Willy (Dominic West). When he proposed, although senior by 15 years, she accepted and they moved to Paris when she was 20. Willy lived extravagantly and his philandering life included affairs with other women. While he struggled with a new book, he suggested that she should try her hand at writing her schoolgirl stories. The books in the “Claudine” autobiographical female-oriented series were phenomenally successful in France and Willy bought Colette a remote country house so she would keep on writing undisturbed.  But Colette surprised him with her sexual interest in other women, some she shared with Willy! Co-writer/director Wash Westmoreland’s sumptuous Merchant Ivory-like production is complimented with a tour-de-force performance by Keira Knightly. (Intl Village)
CRAZY RICH ASIANS (2hrs) *** ½ The coloured film is based on a popular satirical novel by Singaporean-American author Kevin Kwan whose intent was to introduce a contemporary Asia to a North American audience while the story was loosely based on his own upbringing in Singapore, whose most eligible bachelor Colin Khoo (Chris Panf) and fashion icon Arimenta Lee (Sonoya Mizuno) are being married in the Wedding of the Century. Nick Young (Henry Golding) is Colin’s best man and he has invited girlfriend NYU economics professor Rachael Chu (Constance Wu),l to the wedding and to meet his family, although she doesn’t know it is one of Singapore’s richest. Nick’s protective, highly critical dragon-lady mom Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) is convinced Rachael is a gold-digger and she’s rallied supporters to break up the relationship. Supporting Rachael is former NYC friend Peik Lin Goh (Awkwafina), daughter of weird nouveau riche parents (Ken Jeong, Koh Chieng). One gigantic luxurious party follows another and, in between, are subplots involving scheming, feuding, story twists and revelations of secrets. (Intl Village)
FREE SOLO (1hr36min) **** Documentary. Recommended. Free Solo describes climbing without the use of any rope or other kinds of protection, wherein a fall could result in a serious accident or death. The climber performs alone, relying entirely on their ability. We follow climber Alex Honnold on his two hour and fifty minute ascent of the 2,224 foot Regular Northwest Face route of Yosemite’s Half-Dome, normally demanding multiple days. Alex made international news with the first and so far only solo free ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite, captured on film and documented by climbers / photographers Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelyi. The 33 year old holds the fastest ascent of the Yosemite triple crown, an 18-hour 50 minute link-up of Mount Watkins, The Nose and the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome. It’s a beautiful, breath taking, absorbing yet stressful film to watch. As Alex says “Anyone can conceivably die on any given day.” (Scotiabank Theatre).
HALLOWEEN (1hr 49min) ** This is the 11th installment in the Halloween film series and the 1978 original slasher horror film, the story of serial killer Michael Myers (Nick Castle)as he stalks and kills on Halloween. Michael was committed to a sanitarium for the murder of his older sister Judith. 40 years later and as a direct sequel to the original film, he escapes to stalk and kill the people of the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. His target is survivor Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), unaware that she is his sister who is suffering from PTS. She lost custody of daughter Karen (Judy Greer) at an early age and rarely sees her teenage granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).  Laurie’s property is heavily fortified with guns, security systems and death traps. It’s unsurprisingly uneven, over the top campy, with clunky dialogue, every murder is predictable, and it’s not particularly scary. Can Laurie and her family escape Michael this time?   (Scotiabank Theatre, Metropolis)
HUNTER KILLER (2hrs) *** The screenplay is adapted from Firing Point in which a rogue Russian admiral kidnaps the President with the aim of pushing the world to the brink of war. Only an untested submarine skipper and a Navy SEAL team can stop him. A hunter killer submarine dives below the Polar ice cap and minutes later there is an almighty explosion and it vanishes. Rear Admiral John Fisk (Common) must send another submarine to investigate and his choice is unconventional newly promoted Commander Joe Glass (Gerard Butler). Simultaneously, Lt Bill Beaman (Toby Stephens) and a small Navy SEALS team spy on an active Russian marine base and witness the Russian President (Alexander Diachenko) taken prisoner in a coup by the megalomaniac Defence Minister anxious to start a war with the US. Glass discovers another sabotaged sunken Russian sub and three survivors, including Captain Sergei Andropov (Michael Nyqvist) whose help he needs in saving the Russian President. (Intl Village, Metropolis) .
JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN. (1hr 29min) ** English (Rowan Atkinson) is a bungling, accident prone, retired secret agent.  When a cyber attack from an unknown entity has revealed the identities of all of Britain’s top agents at M17 and. with the impending G12 meeting in Scotland, MI7 chief Pegasus (Adam James) insists a substitute must be found immediately. English is brought of out retirement and together with his sidekick Angus Bough (Angus Miller) they embark on an adventure starting in France where a suspicious super yacht is moored, belonging to Jason Volta (Jake Lacy), an ambitious master hacker Silicon Valley billionaire, also watched closely by Russian operative, Ophelia (Olga Kurylenko). The UK Prime Minister (Emma Thompson) has met Volta, promoting a system that would improve data management,  and, in spite of English’s doomed efforts and following further cyber attacks, she recklessly invites Volta to attend the event where he reveals his self serving plan of extorting full control of G12 countries’ data. Dated corny slapstick stuff! (Intl Village, Metropolis)
MID90s  (1hr 24min) * For those into skateboarding and who don’t mind hearing the f word in every sentence, you may enjoy actor/comedian Jonah Hill’s debut as writer/director of his coming-of-age comedy/drama. The storyline is simple. 13 year old Stevie (Sunny Suljic), bullied by his antagonistic older brother (Lucas Hedges) and with a single caring but ineffectual mom (Katherine Waterston), desperately wants to join a aimless gang of skateboarding teens, Ray (Ba-kel Smith), F***shit  (Olan Prenatt) and Fourth Grade (Ryder McLaughlin), while he is an ambitious novice. To prove himself to the others, Stevie starts smoking, drinking, is given speed and has his first sexual intercourse, much to the gang’s amusement. The partying and drug use gets worse and there is a car crash with Stevie ending in hospital. This doesn’t have enough story or standout performances to make it an obvious success. (Intl Village)
THE OLD MAN & THE GUN (1hr 33min) *** In 1981 70 year old real-life character Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford), a career criminal and prison escape artist, escaped from San Quentin and continued to elude and baffle the authorities with a string of robberies across the southwest states. Each time, Tucker would saunter nonchalantly into a bank nattily dressed and politely requested to see the manager, quietly brandished a gun or indicated he had a gun, and walked out with a satchel of cash and without a shot being fired. Occasionally his accomplices were pensioners Teddy (Danny Glover) and Waller (Tom Waits). Following an escape, Tucker helped retired widow rancher Jewel (Sissy Spacek) with her broken down pick-up while the sirens went blaring by. Over a meal they clicked and he admitted his profession, although she really didn’t believe him. Texas detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck) was assigned the thankless job of apprehending the gang. Mature audiences will enjoy Redford’s low key final film. (Intl Village)
SMALLFOOT (1hr 49min) *** Animation. What a fun movie this is, although slightly on the lengthy side, especially for its target audience of youngsters.  On a icy snowy mountain top high above the Himalayas in the clouds lives a colony of huge, shaggy yetis, raised to believe there was nothing below. The dubious laws of the huge shaggy Yetis are inscribed in old stones looked after by Stonekeeper (Common). Migo (Channing Tatum), son of gong ringer Dorgle (Danny DeVito) is being trained to take over dad’s job when he accidentally catapults past the gong plunging to earth where he encounters a smallfoot, TV personality Percy Patterson (James Corden). With Migo’s contradictory statement to the stones’ belief that humans don’t exist, Migo is banished for lying about seeing a Smallfoot and he sets out to prove that there really are humans. The slapstick comedy kept the preview audiences laughing throughout, and yes, I was truly entertained. (Intl Village, Metropolis)
THE SISTERS BROTHERS (2hrs 1min) *** This black comedy Western, meticulously photographed, will please fans of early classic western.  In 1851 Oregon and California, contract killers Eli Sisters (John C. Reilly) and brother Charlie (Joaquin Phoenix) are ordered by their mobster boss, the “Commodore” (Rutger Hauer), to hunt down chemist Hermann Kermit Warm (Riz Ahmed), accused of stealing a unique toxic invention he concocted for revealing gold hidden in riverbeds.  Too much time is spent establishing their characters as they set out from Oregon on horseback on their long journey to the California gold fields. Meanwhile a private detective John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal) sent ahead has been assigned also by the Commodore to track down Warm and deliver him to a location for the Sisters Brothers. Eventually the four will meet up and the brothers get involved with Warm’s excessive chemical formula in the river, but with disastrous results. Reilly steals the show. (Intl Village)
A STAR IS BORN (2hrs 15min) *** First made in 1937 with Janet Gaynor and Fredrick March, remade in 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason, then in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. Here is A Star is Re-Born, a heavy on original music version of the tragic story of a popular country-rock star who meets a young unknown singer/songwriter, propels her into stardom while falling in love with her. Jackson Maine (Bradley Copper) is a hugely successful country music superstar who gets personal support from his older brother/ manager Bobby (Sam Elliott), acutely aware of Jackson's battle with drink, hidden from the public. When Jackson hears waitress Ally (Lady Gaga) singing her own songs, he invites her on stage with him and that’s the start of a romance that leads to marriage. A smarmy English producer/manager (Rafi Gavron) persuades her to change her image and to go solo and she out-does Jackson. The underwhelming melodrama is tired, overly long with 20 songs. Enjoyable but not great. (Fifth Avenue, Scotiabank Theatre, Metropolis)
WHAT THEY HAD (1hr 38min) *** ½  Elizabeth Chomko is a playwright, theatre and television actress and this is her first attempt at writing a screenplay and directing a film, and the result is brilliant. A dysfunctional family gets together and squabbles when aging Ruth (Blythe Danner) wandered off in her dressing gown on a cold, snowy Christmas Eve from the condo she shared with her caring husband Burt (Robert Forster). Their bar owner son Nick (Michael Shannon) phoned sister Bridget (Hilary Swank) in California who flew in with her sullen daughter (Taissa Farmiga) and they gathered at the hospital where Ruth was taken to be checked over. Short tempered, frustrated Nick suggested that Ruth, suffering from Alzheimer’s, should be placed in a care facility and that Burt, with a heart condition, could be provided close-by two bedroom assisted living. But Burt was in complete denial about Ruth’s problems. The perfect cast actually feels and acts like a real family, thanks to the intelligent, razor sharp, amusing, volatile and realistic dialogue. This is especially recommended for adult audiences. (Intl Village)


                                                  NEW DVDs

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday November 13
ALPHA. Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Leonor Varela, Marcin Kowalczyk, Jens Hulten
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V4x0jCB0Xs
THE CHILDREN ACT.  Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Fionn Whitehead, Ben Chaplin, Jason Watkins
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQAxFkpIVMU
JULIET, NAKED. Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Chris O'Dowd, Megan Dodds, Johanna Thea, Lily Newmark
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5ptDYpOSd4
JUSTICE LEAGUE: THRONE OF ATLANTIS. Rosario Dawson, Nathan Fillion, Christopher Gorham, Matt Lanter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70r9NfZcGJw
THE MEG.  Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Cliff Curtis, Robert Taylor
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhJhgi3S0go
MILE 22.  Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais, Ronda Rousey, John Malkovich, Sam Medina, Carlo Alban
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6KDMhI9RAM
PUZZLE.  Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan, David Denman, Bubba Weiler, Austin Abrams, Liv Hewson, Helen Coxe
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfvnCmJyBR0

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday November 20
CRAZY RICH ASIANS. Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina ,  Michelle Yeoh
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14ZHRBfpeNg
KIN. Jack Reynor, Zoë Kravitz, Carrie Coon, Dennis Quaid, James Franco, Myles Truitt, Gavin Fox, Michael B Jordan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEVj2J6Zo8
LITTLE ITALY.  Hayden Christensen, Emma Roberts, Alyssa Milano, Danny Aiello, Jane Seymour, Andrea Martin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pH4RfCIQnxQ

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday November 27
BLUE IGUANA. Sam Rockwell, Ben Schwartz, Phoebe Fox, Peter Ferdinando, Peter Polycarpou, Simon Callow
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0L290ZVs88
THE LITTLE STRANGER  Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter, Charlotte Rampling. Josh Dylan, Liv Hill
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPDA7Z1c-Eg
SHARP OBJECTS (HBO)  Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Henry Czerny, Matt Craven, Elizabeth Perkins
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqlu5G2WTe8

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday December 4
A.X.L (A robotic military dog)  Alex Neustaedter, Becky G., Alex MacNicoll, Dominic Rains, Thomas Jane
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwRGurIh4QM
DOG DAYS. Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Adam Pally, Eva Longoria, Rob Corddry, Tone Bell, Michael Cassidy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA_khn8cuq0
THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS.  Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, Elizabeth Banks, Brian Henson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkCfws0jtVA
McQUEEN. Documentary. Extraordinary life, career and artistry of visionary designer Alexander McQueen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKwCd6WLPdE
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT. Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiHiW4N7-bo
POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD. Documentary. A personal journey w the Pope's ideas and reform message.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fluWdi-k0FY