Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’


Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 4.06.55 PMRichard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s big releases, the comedy of “Keanu,” the maudlin humour of “Mother’s Day,” the kid’s sci fi of “Ratchet & Clank,” the punk rock fury of “Green Room” and the b-movie action of “Precious Cargo.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 4.01.33 PMRichard and “Canada AM” host Beverly Thomson kick around the weekend’s big releases. They find out if “Keanu,” the kitten caper movie from Key & Peele is worth a look, if “Mother’s Day” is more than a Hallmark card come to the screen and if “Ratchet & Clank’s” good messages for kids make it a good movie.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro: Julia Roberts’ work shows she likes biting into meaty roles

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By Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Julia Roberts is one of the biggest female movie stars of all time. With a career box office north of $2 billion she, and her megawatt smile, were the stuff of blockbusters throughout the 90s and early 2000s. She was everywhere, and then, somewhere around the time Jennifer Lawrence was celebrating her thirteenth birthday Roberts stepped away. Not completely, but she jumped off the Hollywood treadmill, doing what movie stars who have nothing left to prove do.

That is, whatever she wanted. She stayed out of view, voicing a couple of animated movies and popping up in the occasional film, some high profile—like the ensemble of Ocean’s Twelve—some not—like Fireflies in the Garden—but the days of solo Pretty Woman-esque success were, by her own choosing, behind her. By and large her choices became a bit more eclectic as she relied less on the famous smile and more on flexing her acting muscles. Since 2004’s Closer her filmography has been splintered between crowd pleasers like Eat Pray Love, dramas like August: Osage County and misfires like Secret in Their Eyes.

This weekend she’s back working with the director who helped make her famous starring in Mother’s Day, her fourth collaboration with filmmaker Garry Marshall. The pair make a movie roughly every ten years, from 1990’s Pretty Woman to Runaway Bride in 1999 to 2010’s Valentine’s Day to this year’s entry, and their combo usually delivers big box office.

In between her the commercial films she makes with Marshall, Roberts makes a movie a year and while they haven’t always connected with audiences many are worth a look.

Duplicity is a romantic comedy about espionage. Imagine if Rock Hudson and Doris Day starred in Mission Impossible. Instead you have Roberts as an experienced CIA officer looking for a change and Clive Owen as a charming MI6 agent. Both left the world of international intrigue for the infinitely more profitable task of corporate security. Together they launch an elaborate plan of corporate dirty tricks to steal a top-secret formula that will revolutionize the cosmetics industry. Roberts and Owen are witty and charming and Duplicity, with its entertaining performances and stylish look, is a bit of fun despite its convoluted story.

August: Osage County, an all-star remounting of Tracey Letts’s hit Broadway play, gives Roberts her juiciest role in years. As Barbara she’s a bit of an enigma. She’s a jumble of mixed, complicated emotions, capable of both great kindness and compassion but able only to express herself through tough love. When she explodes she lets loose a lifetime of rage stemming from her mother’s (played by Meryl Streep) mistreatment. When they go head-to-head it is the clash of the titans and an unforgettable scene.

Finally, there’s Larry Crowne, a boomer comedy aimed at audiences with memories long enough to remember when gas only cost 54 cents a litre, none of your neighbours had foreclosure signs on their front lawns and Tom Hanks and Roberts ruled the box office. It’s an uplifting comedy about middle age, brave enough to tackle modern problems like downsizing and foreclosure, but non-challenging enough to weave all the bad stuff into a pseudo romantic comedy. Hanks and Roberts cut through the material like hot knives through butter and Julia treats audiences to one of her trademarked laughing scenes.

MOTHER’S DAY: 2 STARS. “emotional resonance of a Budweiser Clydesdale ad.”

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Does Garry Marshall work for Hallmark or does he just love holidays? In the last few years he has turned his lens toward “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve,” movies that bundle stars of dubious box office power in big, glittery packages to celebrate the holidays with all the joy and emotional resonance of a Budweiser Clydesdale commercial.

This weekend he casts his maudlin eye toward “Mother’s Day,” a look at mother’s and daughters featuring a Holiday Parade Womb Float.

Marshall continues with the scattershot story telling of his other holiday movies, presenting the story montage style. It’s as though he’s surfing the net, jumping from site to site, looking for something interesting to rest on. Three stories randomly dovetail together with contemporary motherhood as the glue that binds them.

Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) is a divorced mother of two whose kids like her ex’s much younger wife (Shay Mitchell). Sandy’s gym is run by widower Bradley (Jason Sudeikis), a guy with kids of his own who dreads Mother’s Day. Then there’s Kristin (Britt Robertson), a young woman searching for biological mom, Home Shopping Network star Miranda (Julia Roberts). The final flower in the Mother’s Day bouquet is Jesse (Kate Hudson), an overstressed mom who, along with her doctor husband Russell (Aasif Mandvi), is trying to deal with an unexpected visit from her squabbling, judgemental parents (Margo Martindale and Robert Pine).

There’s more—it’s a Gary Marshall All-Star-Holiday-Extravaganza so there’s always more—like Jesse’s gay sister Gabi (Sarah Chalke), Timothy Olyphant as Sandy’s former flame and a Jennifer Garner cameo—which I suppose is appropriate because the holidays are supposed to bring everyone together are they not?

“Mother’s Day” is filled to over flowing with faux heart warming moments, like a Lifetime movie on steroids. It hits all the emotional hot buttons—a dead wife who also happens to be a veteran, abandonment, first love, an awkward dad, kids growing up too fast—and tops off the whole thing with two, count ‘em two, dewy-eyed American sweethearts, Roberts and Aniston. To avoid troubling the audience with actual human emotions Marshall runs the whole thing through The Sitcomizer™ to ensure maximum blandness and erase the possibility that viewers will see something they haven’t already witnessed a hundred times before.

None of that would matter much if the movie was funny but real laughs are scarcer than last minute Mother’s Day brunch reservations. A likeable cast is wasted on a movie that panders to greeting card sentiment and slapstick.

The best part of “Mother’s Day” is that it puts Marshall one closer to running out of holidays to cinematically celebrate. What’s next? Hug Your Cat Day starring Courteney Cox and Luke Perry?


Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.18.15 PMRichard and CJAD Montreal afternoon show host Andrew Carter talk about the weekend’s five big releases, the comedy of “Keanu,” the maudlin humour of “Mother’s Day,” the kid’s sci fi of “Ratchet & Clank,” the punk rock fury of “Green Room” and the b-movie action of “Precious Cargo.”




Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.18.57 PMRichard and CJAD Montreal morning show host Andrew Carter kick around the weekend’s big releases. They find out if “Keanu,” the kitten caper movie from Key & Peele is worth a look, if “Mother’s Day” is more than a Hallmark card come to the screen and if “Ratchet & Clank’s” good messages for kids make it a good movie.



A time-travelling Colin Farrell riding a magic flying horse? No thanks

winterstaleBy Richard Crouse & Mark Breslin Reel Guys – Metro Canada

SYNOPSIS: Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes the romantic time travel tale of Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), a turn-of-the-last century burglar who comes across the love of his life while robbing a mansion he thought was empty. Beverly Penn (Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay), the beautiful-but-doomed daughter of a wealthy newspaper tycoon, is a precocious and philosophical young woman with just months to live. He wants to save her, but first he must save himself from evil crime lord Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), a brutal man who wants Lake dead. Then, in a twist suggested by the Brothers Grimm, he finds himself thrust one hundred years into the future with only the faded memory of Beverly and a white guardian angel horse as company.


Richard: 1 ½ Stars

Mark: 2 Stars

Richard: Mark, I am not a cold-hearted man. I like love stories as much as anyone and, as a fan of Say Anything, almost well up whenever I hear Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes, but the sledgehammer romance of Winter’s Tale left me feeling bruised rather than buoyed. The mix of metaphysical romance, magic realism and demonic revenge is a strange stew that worked well in the book by Mark Helprin but seems to have lost something in the translation to the screen. I feel the sight of Colin Farrell flying above New York on a winged Pegasus is best left in the mind’s eye.

Mark: Richard, sometime in the Eighties, I was dating a girl who gave me a copy of the book, which she said was the “greatest novel of all time.” I read about a third of it, tossed it on the floor, and subsequently broke up with her. So obviously the story, with its magic/tragic, hocus/pocus view of romance isn’t for me. This is not a poorly made movie. It’s lovely to look at, has some fine acting, and has a lot of good dialogue mixed in with the bad. But Richard, there’s a magic horse in it. That horse will separate those who will be enthralled by the film from those who think it’s embarrassing hooey. Guess which group I fall into?

RC: I’m with you on the Pegasus and it is a credit to the charm of Colin Farrell and Findlay that the romantic side of the tale comes alive at all. The first meeting between Peter and Beverly, over a cup of tea, is simple, effective and bristles with starry-eyed tension. More of that and less of the magic horse and I might have bought into the story. As it was I felt like I was strapped to a chair and force-fed all the Valentine’s Day episodes of “Touched by an Angel.” What did you make of Russell Crowe? He seemed like he was having fun with his demonic gangster routine, but did it work for this movie?

MB: Yes, Crowe is one of the things in the movie that worked for me. It was the casting of his boss that was ridiculous, a preposterous cameo that threw off the already precarious balance of the film. When he came onscreen, there was no turning back from its silliness. But even if I accept the movie on its own ridiculous terms, it still has a major problem. It’s like a two act play, but the two halves don’t cleave together. The second act, which happens in present day New York, feels rushed and arbitrary. At least the first act takes some time building characters and mood. What did you think of the female lead, Jessica Brown Finlay?

RC: She’s beautiful, a little frail and doesn’t get buried by the schmaltz. I thought she was nicely cast.

MB: As was William Hurt. Always nice to see him working again.