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Giant creatures get the attention, the screens and the crowds this week. Look further down though for some worthy films that will leave a much smaller footprint. And notice that one is on CRAVE where I also want to direct your attention, if you haven't already gone there, to a series called The Regime. I rarely write about series but I'll mention this one because it is so well done. It's also timely (for the parallels you can detect about the modern world) and highly cynical (about that modern world and the behaviour of governments).

Kate Winslet plays the head of state in a country in Middle Europe that is under pressure by the United States trying to control its cobalt mines. Kate wants a deal with the Chinese but is warned they're even more of a controlling threat. She's a hyprochondriac and a narcissist and to safeguard her and eternally monitor the humidity of the air around her, she hires a colonel (Matthias Schoenaerts) to follow her everywhere. She manages to destroy the sugar beet industry though and that brings on a rebellion.

It's a terrific series highly effective in mocking bureaucracy, leaders and the motives behind their policies. Hugh Grant appears in a small role and Andrea Riseborough in a big one. Four of the six episodes are already up, number 5 starts Sunday and the final next week. Highly recommended.

And elsewhere we have ...

GODZILLA x KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE: The name doesn't mean much. What new empire? What's the x all about? Don't be misled by these mysteries or the presence of good actors, Rebecca Hall, Dan Stevens and Brian Tyree Henry. This is a follow-up in a long chain of these movies, a sequel to the one three years ago and sadly inferior to an unrelated one that recently won an Oscar for special effects. Effects are what you come to this one for though. You want and get the two monsters beating each other up and smashing buildings galore as they do it. The story is manufactured to bring them from one battle to another as quickly as possible.

That said, it is also unecessarily contorted and nonsensical at times. Godzilla and Kong divided up the world a film or two ago. Godzilla rules above ground (he sleeps in the Colosseum in Rome) while Kong is underground in Hollow Earth.

Courtesy of Warner Brothers

Our human characters detect signals from down there and go to investigate, taking along a young girl who is said to be the last survivor of a primitive tribe that lived on Kong's Skull Island. Godzilla heads to the Arctic to face a big monster up there, and inexplicably re-appears from there to get into battles at the Pyramids and in Rio. Kong, who has more of a personality than anyone else in this film, longs to meet others like him and be part of a family. He finds others when a second level below Hollow Earth is revealed. But there's also an even bigger ape down there who controls the place. The story gets more preposterous as too many elements are written in. Kong gets a tooth pulled and then an implant. Then a prosthetic arm. The two creatures become allies at one point. There's even a return of yet another monster (an insect) from the Japanese film world that Godzilla came from. He was once a metaphor for fears about the atomic bomb. Not anymore. He's just a big dumb brute. Enjoy the action. (in theaters) 3 out of 5

THE TRUTH vs ALEX JONES: This is a must see, an important film. Partly that's because it exposes details we may not have picked up in an outrageous media episode: the abuse Alex Jones inflicted on parents who lost children in the Sandy Hook School shooting. He said it didn't happen; it was a hoax and the parents who went public with their grief were actors. Absurd, yes, and costing him over $200 million in court-awarded damages. He declared bankruptcy, hasn't yet paid and still broadcasts on his InfoWars site. This is a current offering up there: “EXCLUSIVE: Feds using total solar eclipse hysteria to practice Martial Law Ahead of Election.”

Courtesy of HBO

The film has astounding examples of the vile messages the parents got from people who believed what Jones told them. I'm not going to quote them here but they're extremely harsh and threatening, but unfortunately typical of some of the traffic on social media these days. We hear a very chilling phone message and several parents recount, some in tears, the abuse that came at them.The Jones site meanwhile found minor glitches and boosted them into proof of a hoax. A former school security official helped in that and others at InfoWars repeated and amplified the claims. Parents sued, in two courts, and the film takes us right into those trials giving us close-up views of the witnesses, a grousing Jones (“the biggest show trial in US history”) and a judge who scolds him. (Familiar, eh?) The film's real value is that it asks: how could so many people believe fake information and conspiracy theories. It doesn't have the answer, but the question is key. (an HBO film streaming on CRAVE) 4 ½ out of 5

CLUB ZERO: Speaking of false information, this little film looks at it through the influence of cult leaders. Austrian writer-director Jessica Hausner used the fairy tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin as inspiration for a highschool teacher played by Mia Wasikowska. She teaches healthy eating, calls it “conscious eating” which is good for the environment, for our health and is free of pressures to consume coming from the industrial food industry “and their lobby.” That proves relevant to her students and they happily agree.

Courtesy of Sphere Films

At first it merely involves eating slowly and therefore less. We get scenes in the school dining hall as some comply and one boy, notably, is seen with a high pile of food on his plate. The teacher ups the goal and promotes a “plant-based mono diet.” Again she's followed. Then she mentions a special exclusive cadre of people who don't eat at all. It can be done, she insists and offers a goal of joining in. Parents complain; they can't get they teens to eat much, or later, not at all. There's a very gross episode in one dinner scene. The film stops being realistic around that time and focusses on its metaphoric study of cult leaders and the damage they do. It's a stretch and plays out very slowly. (In theaters) 2 ½ out of 5

AUTUMN AND THE BLACK JAGUAR: Need a movie for the kids during spring break? This one could be perfect. The girls especially will delight at the connection the young Autumn makes with a jaguar, originally when it was just a cub, later when it is full-grown and she is 15. It's amazing how they got her to interact so closely with the animal, which is real not a computer creation. It took months of training, apparently.

Courtesy of Photon Films

The film has a strong environmenal message about threats to the Amazon, to Indigenous people there and the trade in exotic animals carried on by poachers, which is third only to drugs and arms in illegal trafficking. Autumn who lived there as a child and befriended the baby jaguar. returns on her own to save the animal from the poachers. She's played as a teen by Lumi Pollack and at age six by Airam Camacho, endearing at both ages.

Her mother was an animal protection activist and was murdered. Dad won't go back despite a letter he received, and Autumn found, from an Indigenous elder telling of a projected dam project that could wipe out a community. Autumn's biology teacher doesn't want her to go but ends up following anyway. She's way too excitable and that creates weak spots in the film which is otherwise effective as a youthful lesson in safeguarding the natural world. It's a France-Germany-Canada co-production and the director, Gilles de Maistre from France, specializes in eco-films like this. A previous one, Mia and the White Lion also showed a girl's bond with a wild animal. (In theaters starting April 2) 3 ½ out of 5

SOMEONE LIKE YOU: If you're in the mood for a romance like Nicholas Sparks writes, try this. It's just as heart-warming and sentimental and adds a little bit of faith-based content to the mix. It's from a best-selling novel by Karen Kingsbury and, as a movie, something of a family project. She produced and fiananced it herself through a company she started, wrote the screenplay and that's her son, Tyler Russell, who directed it. Another child has a small role in it and her sister helped produce it. That's fitting because family is the heart of the story too … though not in an uncomplicated way.

Courtesy of the distributor, Fathom

Architect Dawson Gage (Jake Allyn) is in love with London Quinn (Sarah Fisher). An ominous bit of dialogue warns: “If you love deeply, you're going to get hurt badly.” Yes, despite “God's kindness” and after a happy walk in the woods, she's run down by a pickup truck. Dawson is heartbroken but there's hope. He's told that she had been conceived through in vitro fertilization. There's was a second embryo and it was adopted by a another couple. Can he find them and her? It takes some work and some luck but yes he does find Andi Allen who lives not too far away, in Birmingham (he's in Nashville). She just got a job watching over the kangaroos at the zoo and she's just as cheerful and smiley as London was. Sarah Fisher, a Canadian actor known from a DeGrassi TV series, plays both women but gets across a few subtle differences. There's melodrama too because her parents regret having never told her she was adopted and London had agreed to donate a kidney and will Andi agree to do that too? Stick around. (In theaters across Canada starting April 2) 3 out of 4