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THE MEG: 3 STARS. “dialogue that would make Roger Corman blush.”

“The Meg” stars Jason Statham. There’s a giant shark. Its tagline is “Pleased to eat you.” There is no need for a review. You know exactly what you’re getting into here but, because I am paid by the word, here we go.

Based on the book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten, “the Meg” sees action-man Statham play Jonas Taylor, a rescue diver who must face his fears to save the crew of a marooned deep-sea submersible from a fate worse than sharknado. Think Quint from “Jaws” without the expressive range. Years before Taylor narrowly escaped being eaten by a 70-foot shark, the Carcharodon megalodon—“Meg” for short—a 100,000 pound, prehistoric great white thought to have been extinct for about 2 million years. Now it appears the giant beast is back and hungry for the crew trapped inside the submersible. Hired by Chinese oceanographer (Winston Chao) Taylor must not only save the stranded sailors but also make sure the Meg doesn’t eat the world… or something. “Man versus Maggie isn’t a fight,” he grunts, “it’s a slaughter.

“The Meg” tries to take all of the thrills of Shark Week and compress them into two hours. It almost gets there but not quite. There are some silly thrills but humungous squids, scientific mumbo jumbo and b-movie dialogue that would make Roger Corman blush buffer the excitements.

“The Meg” is ridiculous. Start to finish. It’s a giant shark story that plays like a watery “Valley of Gwangi.” The key to its ridiculous effervescence is twofold. First, the aforementioned giant shark. Second, Jason Statham, the po-faced hero who, deep down, knows this is silly but is too stoic to admit it to himself or to us. Some people are method actors, relying on past experiences to create their performances. Statham simply glowers. He’s an actor whose dead-eyed stares make up 95% of his method. Running, punching and blowing up sharks comprise the other 5%. Range? He don’t need no stinking range, he just needs to save the world or at least whatever is in peril. A reassuring presence, he’s exactly the same in every movie regardless of the plot. No surprises, just extreme machismo with a side order of sentimentality. Here it works. He’s like a silent movie star, easy to read and fun to watch and without him “The Meg” wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.

“The Meg” has a few scenes that’ll make you chew your popcorn a bit faster and doesn’t skimp on the silly. In fact, there probably won’t be a more hare-brained underwater adventure this year until “Aquaman.”

Cineplex: Richard & Tanner Zipchen talk Flashback Film Festival.

From cineplex.comThe TerminatorBack to the FutureMonty Python and the Holy GrailShaun of the DeadThe Big LebowskiThe Iron Giant. All classic movies with one thing in common: they’re coming back to the big screen! For one week only from Feb. 2-8, select Cineplex theatres are hosting the Flashback Film Fest, a once-a-year festival that offers you the chance to revisit fan favourite movies, all for a special lower ticket price. If you’ve been yearning to see your favourite classic movie on the big screen, or to introduce a friend or family member to a film that spawned a generation of catchphrases, now’s your chance!

To gear up for this event, we asked film critic Richard Crouse and our own Pre-Show host Tanner Zipchenwhat movies they’re most excited to see in this year’s FBFF. Watch the video HERE!


Cineplex Events today announced that the 9thannual ‘Flashback Film Fest’ is back to provide another dose of nostalgia-inducing cinema. Canada’s only coast-to-coast film festival will offer action, sci-fi and comedy favourites curated with the help of renowned film critic and host of Pop Life, Richard Crouse. Guests will have a chance to see their favourite cyborg assassins, bumbling ex-cons, time travelling teenagers and more when they return to select big screens in 27 locations and cities across Canada from February 2-8, 2018.

Please click here to view this year’s ‘Flashback Film Fest’ trailer.

“This year’s line-up is made up of timeless films that are sure to evoke the same excitement the audience felt the first time they saw them in theatres,” said Brad LaDouceur, Vice President of Event Cinema, Cineplex. “The ‘Flashback Film Fest’ is a part of our ever-growing Event Cinema programming that offers guests a chance to get up close and personal with acclaimed stage productions, iconic works of art, highly-anticipated sporting and concert events by heading to their local Cineplex theatre.”

“We are living at a time when there is an amazing appetite for 80s and 90s pop culture and we had that in mind when selecting the films for this year’s ‘Flashback Film Fest’,” said author, film critic and host of Pop Life, Richard Crouse. “Many of today’s successful films and TV shows are either influenced by or pay homage to films included in the festival’s line-up. I’m really looking forward to celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Big Lebowski because if there’s ever an opportunity to see ‘The Dude’ back on the big screen, fans should abide.”

The 2018 ‘Flashback Film Fest’ line-up includes:

  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) *43 year anniversary
  • Drunken Master (1978) *40 year anniversary
  • WarGames (1983) *35 year anniversary
  • Dune (1984)
  • Gremlins (1984)
  • The Terminator (1984)
  • A View to a Kill (1985)
  • Back to the Future (1985)
  • Raising Arizona (1987)
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day 3D  (1991/2017)
  • The Big Lebowski (1998) *20 year anniversary
  • The Iron Giant (1999)

Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s Cornetto Trilogy:

  • Shaun of the Dead (2004)
  • Hot Fuzz (2007)
  • The World’s End (2013)

Tickets for festival films cost $8.99 per admission, $7.99 for 3 or more films, or the ‘Flashback Film Fest’ pass, perfect for film fanatics, which allows access to all 15 films for a price of $5 per admission, or $75 total. For the full festival schedule and to purchase tickets when they go on sale Friday, January 12, visit​.

Cineplex: Tanner Zee & Richard Crouse predict Awards Race winners!

From “For movie lovers, February should be officially changed to Oscarary because it’s that special time of year for us! The nominations have been announced, we’ve debated and speculated, and now it’s time to make our predictions! Our very own Tanner Zipchen and film critic Richard Crouse sat down together to discuss the nominees’ chances in each of our favourite categories: Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Picture, and Best Animated Feature!”

Watch all the videos HERE!

Watch Best Picture video HERE!

Watch Best Animated Movie video HERE!

Watch Best Actress video HERE!

Watch Best Actor video HERE!

Cineplex: Flashback Film Festival – Richard Crouse’s Picks!

The Flashback Film Festival is happening Feb 3-9th, 2017. For the festival lineup and tickets, go to 

The 2017 Flashback Film Fest Line-up includes:

  • Air Force One (1997) *20 year anniversary
  • Blade Runner – The Final Cut (2007) *10 year anniversary/35 year anniversary of original
  • Blood Simple (1984)
  • Fargo (1996)
  • The Fifth Element (1997) *20 year anniversary
  • Fight Club (1999)
  • The Fugitive (1993)
  • Groundhog Day (1993)
  • Heat (1995)
  • Jurassic Park (1993)
  • Legend (1985)
  • The Princess Bride (1987) *30 year anniversary
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • The Running Man (1987) *30 year anniversary
  • Shallow Grave (1994)
  • Starship Troopers (1997) *20 year anniversary
  • Trainspotting (1996)

Tickets for festival films cost $7.99, $6.99 for 5 or more films and new this year film fanatics can buy the “I Want It All” pass for $69.99 allowing them access to all 17 films for a price of $4.11 per admission. For a complete list of show times, or to purchase tickets, visit .

Participating theatres include:

British Columbia

  • Cineplex Cinemas Langley
  • SilverCity Victoria Cinemas
  • The Park Theatre


  • Cineplex Odeon Eau Claire Market Cinemas
  • Scotiabank Theatre Edmonton


  • Scotiabank Theatre Winnipeg


  • Cineplex Cinemas Regina
  • Scotiabank Theatre Saskatoon and VIP


  • Cineplex Cinemas Courtney Park
  • Cineplex Odeon Devonshire Mall Cinemas
  • Galaxy Cinemas Waterloo
  • Galaxy Cinemas Guelph
  • Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
  • Cineplex Cinemas Scarborough
  • SilverCity Newmarket Cinemas
  • Cineplex Cinemas Ancaster
  • SilverCity London Cinemas
  • Cineplex Odeon South Keys Cinema
  • SilverCity Sudbury Cinemas
  • SilverCity Thunder Bay Cinemas


  • Cinéma Banque Scotia Montréal


  • Cineplex Cinemas Trinity Drive
  • Scotiabank Theatre St. John’s
  • Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane
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Check out the new Cineplex newsletter at Richard writes about the 2oth anniversary of one of the most popular movies of all time.

“These days Hollywood routinely thinks in terms of billion dollar grosses. That’s billion with a b. In 2016 the movie biz broke records, raking in north of $11.4 billion and in the last two years eight movies have cracked the billion-dollar threshold.

“In 1990s, however, those numbers were a rarity. Jurassic Park stomped all over its competition in 1993 but it took the story of a sinking ship to float to the very top of the box office. For a good chunk of the Clinton years (Bill, not Hillary) Titanic, James Cameron’s lush romance-disaster, celebrating its twentieth birthday at Cineplex in February, was, as Empire noted, “the planet’s favourite film…” Read the whole thing HERE!

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!