Posts Tagged ‘Tom Cruise’

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 2017.

Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the drug addled biopic “American Made,” the real-life-royal dramedy “Victoria & Abdul” and Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in the late-in-life love story “Our Souls at Night.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS & MORE FOR SEPTEMBER 29.

Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at the Tom Cruise War on Drugs movie “American Made,” the real-life-royal dramedy “Victoria & Abdul” and Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in the late-in-life love story “Our Souls at Night.”

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 drug addled biopic “American Made,” the real-life-royal dramedy “Victoria & Abdul” and Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in the late-in-life love story “Our Souls at Night.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

CTVNEWS.CA: “THE CROUSE REVIEW LOOKS AT “AMERICAN MADE” & “VICTORIA & ABDUL”!

A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the Tom Cruise War on Drugs movie “American Made,” the real-life-royal dramedy “Victoria & Abdul” and Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in the late-in-life love story “Our Souls at Night.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro in Focus: Hollywood is the winner of the ‘war on drugs’

By Richard Crouse – In Focus

The “war on drugs” is one of the longest battles in American history. In 1971 President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse “public enemy number one,” vowing combat against drug producers and dealers.

Forty years and many billions of dollars later the Global Commission on Drug Policy stated, “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.”

Last year, writing in the New York Times, Mexican journalist José Luis Pardo Veiras echoed those sentiments. “Drugs continue to stream north to the United States, the great user, and firearms enter Mexico in return, where they kill thousands.”

The fight has been a failure for everyone except Hollywood, which has consistently mined the war on drugs for stories and colourful characters. This weekend Tom Cruise stars in the latest tale from the war on drugs, American Made, the real-life story of Barry Seal, adrenaline junkie and TWA pilot.

The story begins with Seal being hired by the CIA to take reconnaissance photos of Soviet-backed insurgents in South America. His life quickly spirals out of control as he becomes a courier between the CIA and Panamanian CIA informant General Manuel Noriega while also working as a cocaine smuggler for the Medellin Cartel.

Drug cartel stories are tailor made for the movies. Populated by bigger-than-life characters like the wealthiest criminal in history, the so-called “The King of Cocaine,” Pablo Escobar, the stories have it all: glamour, drama, moral ambiguity and the primal clash of good and evil. Here are three films with three very different approaches to the war on drugs.

One critic described Sicario as a “French Connection for the drug-fuelled Mexico-US border war.” Starring Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin, it’s a drama about an idealistic FBI agent working with an elite task force to stem the flow of drugs between Mexico and the United States. It’s gritty and certainly not a feel-good movie about winning the war on drugs. Instead, it’s a powerful look at a seemingly unwinnable battle and the toll it takes on its soldiers.

Savages is an over-the-top Oliver Stone movie that sees Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch as drug dealers and two thirds of a love triangle with a California cutie played by Blake Lively. Their product, a potent strain of legal medical-grade marijuana, earns the attention of a Mexican Baja drug Cartel boss (Salma Hayek) who’ll do anything to create a “joint” venture, including kidnapping and murder.

Savages, at its black-hearted best, is a preposterous popcorn movie that sees Stone leave behind the restraint of movies like W and World Trade Center and kick into full bore, unhinged Natural Born Killers mode. It’s a wild, down ’n dirty look into the business of drugs and revenge.

Smaller in scale is End of Watch. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña play patrol cops in Los Angeles’s tough South Central neighbourhood. A routine traffic stop turns into something bigger when they confiscate money and guns from a cartel member. “Be careful,” they’re warned by a senior officer, “You just tugged on the tail of a snake that’s going to turn around and bite you.”

These movies and others, like Code of the West and The House I Live In, prove the winners of the war on drugs are filmmakers.

AMERICAN MADE: 3 STARS. “Echoes of ‘Top Gun’ hang heavy over Cruise.”

The War on Drugs is one of the longest battles in American history. In 1971 President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse “public enemy number one, “ vowing combat against drug producers and dealers. Forty years and many billions of dollars later the Global Commission on Drug Policy stated, “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.”

The only winners in the drug wars appear to be filmmakers who have mined a rich vein of stories from the decades long battle.

This weekend Tom Cruise stars in the latest tale from the War on Drugs, “American Made,” the real-life story of Barry Seal, adrenaline junkie and TWA pilot. The story begins in 1978 with Seal mentally on autopilot and looking for thrills. Caught smuggling cigars into the United States, the CIA senses his potential and hires him to take reconnaissance photos of Soviet-backed insurgents in South America.

“The work is covert,” says his recruiter, Agent Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson). “If anyone finds out about it, family, friends, your wife, that would be a problem.”

What begins as a safe and profitable adventure takes a dangerous turn when he becomes a courier between the CIA and Panamanian CIA informant General Manuel Noriega. Next he signs onto an even more dangerous assignment, running arms to the contras in Nicaragua in their battle against the communist Sandinistas.

“Is this legal?” he asks. ”It is if you do it for the good guys,” says his Agent Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson).

Seduced by the money and the excitement he also takes gigs as a cocaine smuggler for the Medellin Cartel. “I’m working for the CIA, the DEA and Pablo Escobar,” he boasts. He sees himself as “just gringo who always delivers,” but his convoluted work life and allegiances make him a person of interest not only to everyone from Pablo “The King of Cocaine” Escobar to the DEA, the FBI and even the White House.

Drug cartel stories are tailor made for the movies. Populated by bigger-than-life characters like the wealthiest criminals in history like the Medellin Cartel members, the stories have it all—glamour, drama, moral ambiguity and the primal clash of good and evil. “American Made” has all that, although played in a lower key than movies like “Blow” or “Cocaine Cowboys.” It has a lighter touch—it’s not too violent and, oddly for a drug dealer movie, has no scenes where anyone actually samples the goods—which keeps things moving along at quite a clip but sheds next to no light on its characters, its go-go 80s setting or the political mess that turned into the Iran-Contra affair.

Echoes of “Top Gun” hang heavy over Cruise as the cockpit king Seals. He’s all teeth and grins, a charmer who can talk his way through almost any situation. He has nerves of steel and high-flying greed, a combo that should give us a compelling anti-hero but instead Cruise plays him as a decent guy who “didn’t ask enough questions.” Didn’t ask enough questions about the personal toll his work running guns and drugs for a cartel. Didn’t ask enough questions about human trafficking. He didn’t ask questions because he was greedy. He liked the suitcases of cash and fancy cars his job provided. If the movie had allowed Cruise (or vice versa) to actually explore Barry’s dark side the film might have delivered more of a punch.

There’s more character work in any episode of “Breaking Bad” or “Narcos” than “American Made’s” entire 115 minute running time but Cruise’s movie does have a sense of humour about itself that makes for an amiable, if not memorable, watch.

CJAD IN MONTREAL: THE ANDREW CARTER SHOW WITH RICHARD CROUSE ON MOVIES!

Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the Tom Cruise War on Drugs movie “American Made,” the real-life-royal dramedy “Victoria & Abdul” and Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in the late-in-life love story “Our Souls at Night.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

CTVNEWS.CA: “THE CROUSE REVIEW FOR ‘THE MUMMY’ ‘MEGAN LEAVEY & MORE!”

A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “The Mummy,” “Churchill” and “Megan Leavey.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY JUNE 9, 2017.

Richard and CP24 anchor Nathan Downer have a look at the weekend’s new movies, “The Mummy,” “Churchill” and “Megan Leavey.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!