A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Paddington 2,” one of the most entertaining movies of the year, the train terror movie “The Commuter” and the family drama “Happy End.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at “Paddington 2, a movie Richard is already calling one of the best of the year, Liam Neeson’s long journey home in “The Commuter” and the ironically titled family drama “Happy Ending.”
The last time we saw Paddington, the cuddly, orphaned teddy bear voiced by Ben Whishaw, left Peru armed only with a “worrying marmalade problem” and his distinctive red hat. Arriving at Paddington Station in London he was adopted by the Brown family after an uncomfortably close scrap with a crazed taxidermist.
“Paddington 2” finds the bear settled in to a comfortable life with the Browns—Mary (Sally Hawkins), Henry (Hugh Bonneville) and kids Judy (Madeline Harris) and Jonathan (Samuel Joslin)—and trying to save money to buy his Aunt Lucy (voice of Imelda Staunton) an antique pop up book of London for her birthday. When the book is stolen from Samuel Gruber’s antique shop Paddington is accused of the crime, wrongfully convicted and jailed. While the bear languishes in prison the Browns attempt to prove Paddington’s innocence. “Paddington wouldn’t hesitate if any of us needed help,” says Henry. “He looks for the good in all of us.” One jailbreak later Paddington is also on the case, convinced he knows who took the book but can he solve the case before Aunt Lucy’s centenary celebration?
With his red hat and blue duffle coat Paddington is almost un-bear-ably cute. Gentle and good-natured, he’s at the very heart of the movie. Instead, it’s a good old-fashioned romp with larger-than-life characters supplied by Hugh Grant, in a fun pantomime performance and Brendan Gleeson as Knuckles McGinty, a hardened criminal whose bluster disguises his warm heart.
Mostly though, it about the bear. With soulful eyes, good manners and large doses of slapstick—he’s a furry little Charlie Chaplin, excelling in physical humour with lots of heart—he’s a joyful presence. Without an ounce of cynicism “Paddington 2” transmits messages of tolerance, friendship and loyalty but never at the expense of the story. Those characteristics are so central to Paddington’s character that the movie positively drips with not only the sticky sweet smell of delicious marmalade (the bear’s favourite snack) but emotional depth as well.
Add to that a delightful ode to Chaplin’s trip through a factory machine’s cogs in “Modern Times,” some expertly delivered belly laughs and you have one of the most entertaining films likely to be released this year.
“Paddington 2” isn’t just a kid’s flick, it’s a film for the whole family; it’s one of those rare movies for children it doesn’t just feel like an excuse to sell toys. #paddingtonpower
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about “Paddington 2, a movie Richard is already calling one of the best of the year, Liam Neeson’s long journey home in “The Commuter” and the ironically titled family drama “Happy Ending.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies, Matthew McConaughey in “Gold,” the Oscar nominated “The Red Turtle,” “Trespass Against Us” starring Michael Fassbender and Germany’s entry for Best Foreign Film, “Toni Erdmann.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Erin Paul to have a look at the big weekend movies, Matthew McConaughey in “Gold,” the Oscar nominated “The Red Turtle,” “Trespass Against Us” starring Michael Fassbender and Germany’s entry for Best Foreign Film, “Toni Erdmann.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Morning Show with host Bill Carroll to talk about the weekend’s big releases, Matthew McConaughey in “Gold,” the Oscar nominated “The Red Turtle,” “Trespass Against Us” starring Michael Fassbender and Germany’s entry for Best Foreign Film, “Toni Erdmann.”
For the second time in a year Brendan Gleeson and Michael Fassbender play father and son on screen. Recently Fassbender’s daddy issues with Gleason in “Assassin’s Creed” came to an abrupt Oedipus-esque end. “Trespass Against Us” once again pits them against one another, this time with Irish accents and an anti-establishment attitude.
Gleeson is Colby Cutler, the patriarch of a band of Irish outlaws, including son Chad (Fassbender). They live on the fringes of society, sequestered away in a fleet of trailers in the country. Colby’s influence over the clan is complete. His children are home schooled, taught flat earth nonsense and the ways of thievery.
Chad and Colby butt heads as the son tries make a better life for his wife (Lyndsey Marshal) and children by putting crime and his father’s domineering influence in the rear view mirror.
Before walking the straight and narrow Chad attracts the unwanted attention of the police when he agrees to the proverbial one last job, the robbery of a well-known local judge.
Other than deep seeded daddy issues and a seemingly unattainable desire to do better Chad, as played by Fassbender, doesn’t bring much to the story except for the actor’s charisma. He, and everyone else, are archetypes, done before and done better in other family crime films.
Despite being based on a real life crew of sibling lawbreakers, there’s nothing distinctive enough, or the sympathetic enough about the lot of them to maintain interest
A couple of quirky, pulse racing the action sequences—Fassbender hides under a cow!—inject some spunk into what otherwise is a lifeless affair.