Archive for April, 2017

CHECK IT OUT: RICHARD’S “HOUSE OF CROUSE” PODCAST EPISODE 97!

Welcome to the House of Crouse. When Terry Jones announced, ‘I’ve got dementia. My frontal lobe has absconded,’ I immediately thought back to discussing the legacy of Monty Python with the comedy legend. He’s a lovely man and I wanted to share a few minutes of that talk with you. Then “Degrassi: Next Class” screenwriter Courtney Jane Walker swings by to talk about how she finds inspiration everywhere from court rooms to the subway. Finally, we go long with “American War” author and former war correspondent Omar El Akkad. The Washington Post called the novel “poignant and horrifying” and El Akkad is a fascinating conversationalist. It’s all great stuff so c’mon in and sit a spell.

IFOA: RICHARD In Conversation with Joel Thomas Hynes Wednesday May 3, 2017!

Interview: IFOA Weekly

Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre

235 Queens Quay West
Toronto M5J 2G8

Cost: $10, Free for Supporters and Students

Join film and television critic and author, Richard Crouse, as he interviews award-winning multidisciplinary artist Joel Thomas Hynes about his new book We’ll All Be Burnt In Our Beds Some Night. Do not miss the opportunity to see them both on the IFOA stage!

We’ll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night is the story of one man’s kicking-and-screaming attempt to recuperate from a life of petty crime and shattered relationships, and somehow accept and maybe even like the new man emerging from within, the one he so desperately needs to become.

Joel Thomas Hynes is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist from Calvert, Newfoundland. He is the author of numerous acclaimed works, including Down to the Dirt, Right Away Monday, Straight Razor Days, God Help Thee: A Manifesto and Say Nothing Saw Wood (adapted for film under the title Cast No Shadow and nominated for four Canadian Screen Awards). Also a musician, Hynes writes and directs for film and theatre, and works as an actor in television and film. He has performed in productions including Down to the Dirt, The Book of Negroes, Rookie Blue, Republic of Doyle, Eyewitness and, currently, Orphan Black and Frontier.

NEWSTALK 1010: INFO ON THE RICHARD CROUSE SHOW FOR APR 22, 2017!

Check out the Richard Crouse Show on NewsTalk 1010 for April 22, 2017! This week Richard welcomes An American Dream writer and director Ken Finkleman.

Here’s some info on The Richard Crouse Show!: Each week on The Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favorite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Richard also lets you know what movies you’ll want to run to see and which movies you’ll want to wait for DVD release. Click HERE to catch up on shows you might have missed! Read Richard NewsTalk 1010 reviews HERE!

The show airs:

NewsTalk 1010 –  airs in Toronto Saturday at 6 to 7 pm. 

For Niagara, Newstalk 610 Radio – airs Saturdays at 6 to 7 pm 

For Montreal, CJAD 800 – Saturdays at 6 to 7 pm 

For Vancouver – CFAX 1070 – Saturdays 6 to 7 pm. 

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY APR 21, 2017.

Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies,  “The Lost City of Z,” starring Charlie Hunnam as an obsessed Amazonian explorer, the unforgivable “Unforgettable,” the wild and wooly “Free Fire” and the rom mon “Colossal” starring Anne Hathaway as a woman whose drunken stumbling has far reaching effects.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS & MORE FOR APR 21.

Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, “The Lost City of Z,” starring Charlie Hunnam as an obsessed Amazonian explorer, the unforgivable “Unforgettable,” the wild and wooly “Free Fire” and the rom mon “Colossal” starring Anne Hathaway as a woman whose drunken stumbling has far reaching effects.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL SHOW WITH RICHARD CROUSE ON MOVIES!

Richard sits in on the CFRA Morning Show with host Bill Carroll to talk about the weekend’s big releases, “The Lost City of Z,” starring Charlie Hunnam as an obsessed Amazonian explorer, the unforgivable “Unforgettable,” the wild and wooly “Free Fire” and the rom mon “Colossal” starring Anne Hathaway as a woman whose drunken stumbling has far reaching effects.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

Metro In Focus: “Colossal” may have the year’s strangest premise

By Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

“I understand some people are angry at the silly elements of the film,” says Colossal director Nacho Vigalondo, “but I’m a comic book guy and those are for me a way to re-enact the golden age of comic books on screen. I’m OK with superhero films not being afraid to be silly sometimes.”

His film may have the year’s strangest premise. He takes a basic rom com format—woman in trouble returns to hometown and strikes up a friendship with a former schoolmate—and turns it upside down. And inside out. And flips it on its head. He simultaneously reinvents and destroys the form in a movie that might be best referred to as a rom mon.

“Colossal is an original idea,” he says, “and you have to be careful with original ideas. A movie doesn’t make it on originality alone, you need something else.

“If you were writing this film as a romantic comedy and you are in the third act of the movie and suddenly you have opposing monsters in it? That is impossible. You have to do it the other way. I started with a silly and dark premise of this woman affecting the monsters on the other side of the world but it didn’t become a real film until I found the characters.”

Anne Hathaway stars as Gloria, an unemployed Manhattanite who fills her days—and most nights—with booze. As her life falls apart she returns to her small hometown a broken, drunken wreck. On home turf she reconnects with Oscar, played by Jason Sudeikis, a childhood friend, now owner of the local bar and possible love interest. So far it sounds like the set up for an unconventional rom com.

She takes a job at the tavern, earns some spending cash and access to after hours booze. Then things take a weird turn.

One afternoon she wakes up with the forty-ounce flu to the news that a giant monster has attacked Seoul, South Korea. It soon becomes clear to Gloria that she is somehow related to the mysterious attacks. It sounds outrageous, like the ramblings of a drunken sot, but when she takes Oscar to the sandbox in the local playground, the monster suddenly appears on the other side of the earth, mimicking her every move. When her actions cause havoc in Seoul she is forced to confront the monster within, her addiction.

Colossal is the kind of script most Rom Com Queens would toss in the trash by page 11. Hathaway, however, throws herself at it, relishing the off kilter and dowdy character. This may be a monster movie, but the real monster is her alcoholism not the foot stomping Kaiju.

“When Anne Hathaway said she wanted to play this role that was probably the biggest turning point in my whole career. If I had a list actors in mind I would have been the crazy guy on the block. Let me put it to you this way. Let’s fanaticize, if this movie becomes an Oscar winner for Best Picture, that would be a lesser jump than these actors wanting to be in this film.”

Colossal isn’t exactly a monster movie or a Jennifer Aniston-esque rom com. It is something else, something original and that is its beauty. It’s a reinvention, for both Gloria and its genres.

COLOSSAL: 3 ½ STARS. “the strangest rom com ever made.”

“Colossal” may be the strangest rom com ever made. Director Nacho Vigalondo has taken the basic format—woman in trouble returns to hometown and strikes up a friendship with a former schoolmate—and turned it upside down. And inside out. And flipped it on their head. He simultaneously reinvents and destroys the form in a movie that might be best referred to as a rom mon.

Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, an unemployed Manhattanite who fills her days—and most nights—drinking. When her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) kicks her out of their apartment she returns to her small hometown a broken, drunken wreck. On home turf she reconnects with Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), a childhood friend, now owner of the local bar. She takes a job at the tavern, earns some spending cash and access to after hours booze. So far it is the set up for an unconventional rom com.

Then things take a weird turn.

One afternoon she wakes up with the forty-ounce flu to the news that a giant monster, an enormous Kaiju, has attacked Seoul, South Korea. It is worldwide news, but it soon becomes clear to Gloria that the mysterious attacks are somehow related to her early morning stumbles as she comes home from the bar. It sounds outrageous, like the ramblings of a drunken sot, but when she takes Oscar and her bar friends to the sandbox in the local playground, the monster suddenly appears on the other side of the earth, mimicking her every move. When her movements cause havoc in Seoul she is forced to confront the monster within, her addiction.

“Colossal” is the kind of script Katherine Heigl or Drew Barrymore or any other Rom Com Queen would likely toss in the trash by page 11. Hathaway, however, throws herself at it, relishing the off kilter and dowdy character. This may be a monster movie, but the real monster is her alcoholism not the foot stomping Kaiju. Hathaway embraces Gloria’s faults, working through issues—both physical and metaphysical—creating a character we’ve never seen in a rom com before.

Sudeikis begins the film as a typical rom com suitor, a nice guy who’s there for the woman he loves. When his affection isn’t returned things take a turn, allowing Sudeikis the opportunity to explore his dark side. Put together Gloria and Oscar are the Bickersons with a destructive (literally) edge.

“Colossal” isn’t exactly a monster movie or a Jennifer Anistonesque rom com. It is something else, something original and that is its beauty. It’s a reinvention, for both Gloria and its genres.

THE LOST CITY OF Z: 2 ½ STARS. “imagine James Mason and Gregory Peck in the leads.”

“The Lost City of Z” is an epic true-to-life tale of adventure and intrigue. Based on the book of the same name by David Grann it stars Charlie Hunnam as a determined explorer who obsession with the Amazon led to his mysterious disappearance.

Hunnam, who will soon be seen playing another legendary character in “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” is Colonel Percy Fawcett, a man convinced of the existence of a lost city deep in the Amazon. When he discovers pottery, evidence of an advanced civilization in the region, he is ridiculed by the scientific establishment who hang on to old-fashioned ideas about indigenous populations. “Your exploits have opened every door for you,” he’s told, “but keep your ideas to yourself. It is one thing to celebrate the people it’s another to elevate them.” At a boisterous Royal Geographical Society meeting he says, “If we can find a city where one was for not to be able to exist we could rewrite history,” only to be drowned out by dismissive chants of, “Pots and pans! Pots and pans!” from his peers.

Determined to prove his theory he returns, aide-de-camp Corporal Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson) and crew at his side only to be side-tracked by James Murray (Angus Macfadyen), a fellow explorer unfit for the journey.

Fawcett doesn’t give up despite Murray’s lawsuits, family trouble, his resignation from the Royal Geographical Society and World War I.

His search for the Lost City of Z provides the subtext for the movie. As much as this is an adventure tale, it’s also the story of a man desperate to not only prove himself personally and professionally. Personally he was, as the mucky mucks say, “unwise in his choice of ancestors.” Professionally he needs to prove to his British countrymen that the forgotten South American civilization were not “savages,” but people who have tamed the jungle and created empires.

His third and final try is a stripped down affair with son Jack (Tom Holland) in tow.

Traditionally made, “The Lost City of Z” feels old fashioned, as though you could almost imagine James Mason and Gregory Peck in the leads. It takes us back to a slower time, a moment in history before there were Starbucks on evefy corner and movies had to have gotcha moments woven throughout. It throws the modern adventure movie playbook out the window. There is no timetable for the action, no crash-and-burn scene every 10 minutes, just a story of survival and class warfare.

For much of the running time that’s OK. Director James Gray takes his time laying out Fawcett’s obsession, allowing us to get under the skin of a man with much to prove. It begins to feel overlong at the hour-and-a-half mark during a scene, wedged between the second and third explorations were a psychic goes on at length about the importance of Fawcett’s work and we still have WWI and the third expedition to go! It is the movie’s “dropout moment,” the scene that loses the audience and the film never recovers.

It’s a shame because “The Lost City of Z” is a handsome movie, ripe with subtext and solid performances. It’s also self indulgent, in need of one of Fawcett’s jungle machetes to chop it down to size.