Archive for January, 2017

THE ACTION ELITE: Richard talks The Cineplex Flashback Film Fest

From “Well I’ve been a film critic in Toronto for more than 20 years and for the last 5 or 6 years I’ve been working with Cineplex on different projects. Throughout the year they’re showing a lot of older films and I would do little promo videos for them or I would do an interview with someone. We showed Pan’s Labyrinth a couple of years ago and I interviewed Guillermo Del Toro so we put together a night where we showed a 25-30 minute interview I did with him about making Pan’s Labyrinth and then showed the film…” Read the whole thing HERE!

GEEK CHIC ELITE: RICHARD ON THE 2017 Flashback Film Fest, FEBRUARY 3 – 9.

Richard chats with Geek Chic Elite writer Jeff Fountain to talk about the Cineplex Flashback Film Fest.

From “The Flashback Film Festival (formerly The Great Digital Film Fest) runs from Feb 3rd to 9th and is Canada’s only coast-to-coast film festival. Cineplex Events had put together a lineup of 17 memorable films that have a little something for everyone. Recently, we had a chance to talk to Richard Crouse, film critic and curator of the Flashback Film Festival about the movies selected for this year’s festival and why it is such a popular event for movie fans of all ages…” Read the whole interview HERE!

GEEK HARD: RICHARD ON THE 2017 Flashback Film Fest, FEBRUARY 3 – 9.

Richard joins the Geek Hard podcast to talk about the Cineplex Flashback Film Fest.

From This week, we’re flashing back to films from last week and long past. Don’t miss this Friday’s show as Andrew and Mr. Green gear up for the Flashback Film Festival (brought to you by Cineplex). Coming to 24 cities across Canada this February, the festival celebrates some fan favourite films from the past by giving you a chance to see them up on the big screen once again. To help you get ready, the guys will be chatting with Richard Crouse, who curated this year’s lineup. Richard is a well known film critic and author who’s put together a mix of big action, smart drama and heartwarming films from the 80s and 90s for fans to enjoy, including the likes of Bladerunner (The Final Cut), Fight Club, Jurassic Park, The Princess Bride and more!

Read more HERE! Listen to the whole thing HERE!



Welcome to the House of Crouse. Today around the old HoC we’re thinking locally but acting globally. Joyce A. Nashawati’s pre-apocalyptic film “Blind Sun” sets xenophobia and alienation against the sunny backdrop of Athens, Greece. Jamie Kastner’s documentary “The Skyjacker’s Tale” tells the story of Ishmael Muslim Ali an American convicted of murdering eight people in the US Virgin Islands who hijacked an American Airlines plane full of passengers to Cuba on New Years Eve 1984, and got away with it. Until now. Great stories, so come on in and sit a spell.


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.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


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.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

BNN: ‘Gold’ movie not exactly high grade says Richard Crouse

From The film ‘Gold’ starring Matthew McConaughey hits the big screen. It tells the tale of a third-generation prospector who does everything to strike gold, literally buying a ticket to Indonesia to meet with a gold miner who has a lead on a mine. Richard Crouse, film critic, joins Commodities for a look at film.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro Canada In Focus – Resident Evil’s teaching moment

By Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Since 2002 Milla Jovovich has played a genetically altered zombie fighter with telekinetic powers in six Resident Evil films.

Like the undead fleshbags who populate these based-on-a-videogame movies, you can’t seem to kill this franchise, although the title of this weekend’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter seems to indicate the end is near.

But just because the Resident Evil movies aren’t Shakespeare doesn’t mean we can’t learn something from them. Here’s what I took away from Jovovich and Company in the last 13 years:

1. The undead have really, really bad aim.

2. No matter what stunt she has just performed, whether it’s plummeting 19 stories down an abandoned mine shaft, or battling legions of bad guys, Mila’s hair will, at most, only look slightly tousled, as if Vidal Sassoon had just finished running his magic fingers through her locks.

The amount of rainfall in the future makes Vancouver look arid.

To act in one of these movies you must perfect one of two facial expressions: a. steely determination, or b. uncontrolled rage (which can be alternated with a sadistic smile if necessary).

5. Characters will say, “What the hell is going on here?” when it is quite clear what the heck is going on.

6. Most of the people to survive the deadly plague that destroyed most of humanity look like Abercrombie & Fitch pinups.

7. Why take the stairs when you can drive a Rolls Royce down an escalator?

So there you have it — lessons learned.

Despite legendary director Jean-Luc Godard’s claim that, “All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl,” both of which are amply on display in the Resident Evil movies, they still feel more like a videogame projected on a big screen than a movie.

But who cares what I or other film critics think? These movies have been phenomenally successful and for over a decade have proven to be critic-proof. Roger Ebert placed Resident Evil on his most hated films list in 2005 and called its sequel, “an utterly meaningless waste of time,” adding, “Parents: If you encounter teenagers who say they liked this movie, do not let them date your children.”

Leonard Maltin added to the pile on calling Resident Evil: Apocalypse “tiresome” while Dark Horizons said the third movie, Afterlife was, “perhaps the first 3D motion picture to simulate the experience of watching paint dry,” and yet the splatter flick went on to gross $300 million worldwide.

Critics aside, others in the film biz love the movies. Avatar director James Cameron called Resident Evil his biggest guilty pleasure and the Ontario Media Development Corporation acknowledged the Toronto-shot Afterlife as the most successful production in Canadian feature film history.

Bottom line is that in total, the series has grossed almost $1 billion — a feat recognized by the Guinness World Records Gamers’ Edition who called the Resident Evil films “the most successful movie series to be based on a video game,” awarding them with the record for Most Live-Action Film Adaptations of a Video Game.

Metro Canada: directors’ bonded by shared love for horror genre

By Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

Joyce A. Nashawati’s pre-apocalyptic film Blind Sun sets xenophobia and alienation against the sunny backdrop of Athens, Greece. Dearest Sister is Mattie Do’s story of Laotian lottery ghosts and communication with the dead.

They’re two very different films but are bonded by the directors’ shared love of the horror genre, their global outlook and the streaming source Shudder, which will feature both films exclusively in Canada.

“I always adored genre films and watched them closely,” says Nashawati on the line from Tokyo where she is researching her second film. “Films that are not totally subjected to realism; that play with what cinema can do with the imaginary. Also, because they come from darkness, I think they play with the conscience of the spectator. They give and take things, which is kind of playful.”

Mattie Do, the first female Laotian director to make a full-length feature, was born in Los Angeles, but now lives in a country that didn’t even have movie theatres when she moved there in 2010.

She admits “our film growth is rocky,” but adds, “people outside may see it as challenging to work in a developing country with no infrastructure but at the same time no one here tells me what stories I have to make. When I walk into the Department of Cinema, they know who I am because we have so few filmmakers in the country but it is easy for us to sit down and have a very adult discussion. Whereas if I was facing down some board of directors I might not be able to have the creative control I do here.”

A global perspective comes naturally to Nashawati who grew up between Beirut, Accra, Kuwait and Athens.

“My past was very global without being a choice,” she says. “Blind Sun was made by someone who is Lebanese, with a French producer, you’re watching it in Canada and we’re now talking while I’m in Japan. This is the way things are today. It is exciting. It is interesting that it is (happening) when politics is going the opposite way and closing things.”

The pair have very different styles — Do’s film is a slow burner, Nashawati’s a nightmarish thriller — but both agree modern technology has made it possible for them to turn their wild visions into movies.

Nashawati thinks it has never been easier to make films, even if you’re “someone who is outside the circle of filmmaking or someone who isn’t from a bourgeois background.”

“If you adore filmmaking today,” she says, “this a great time to know you can actually make a film and it can be shown.”

Do says foreign directors are given a big leg up by streaming services like Shudder who are able to take chances on offbeat films.

“With Shudder I feel people can explore more different tastes and sub-genres of genres. If I described Dearest Sister, a Laos film about a lottery ghost and a girl who is going blind, would you pick up a ticket for that movie? Maybe not. But if you could sit in the comfort of your own home, pick up your remote or your computer and say, ‘Look at all these movies. That’s random, there’s a Laos movie. What’s Laos like?’ You can just click on it. It feels like a safe investment.”

Dearest Sister is streaming now. Blind Sun will be available Feb. 9.