Archive for the ‘Film Review’ Category

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL MORNING SHOW MOVIE REVIEWS!

Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including he animated “The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild” on Disney+ and two on VOD, the shoot ’em up “One Shot” and the grim “Two Deaths of Henry Baker.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE SHOWGRAM WITH DAVID COOPER: DOES RICHARD CROUSE LIKE THESE MOVIES?

Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the animated The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild on Dinsey+, the shoot ’em up “One Shot” (VOD) and the western noir “Two Deaths of Henry Baker” (VOD).

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE ICE AGE ADVENTURES OF BUCK WILD: 3 STARS. “good messages for kids.”

For better and for worse the “Ice Age” franchise seems to have been around longer than the actual Ice Age. With the latest entry, “The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild,” starring the voice of Simon Pegg on Disney+, number six in the series, the movies are starting to show their age. The characters and the voice work are still fun, but the animation doesn’t have the same pop as the earlier movies.

The action begins in Snow Valley, home of unruly possum brothers Crash (Vincent Tong) and Eddie (Aaron Harris). The possums are restless, bored with life in the sleepy, icy dale. They want to experience the world, away from the over-protective eyes of their make-shift family, woolly mammoths Ellie and Manny. “It’s time for us to move out and make our mark on the world.” By fluke, they wind up in the Lost World—“We came here to live a life of adventure.”—a massive underground cave and land of danger that might be too extreme, even for them.

As Ellie and Manny fret—“If we don’t find them, I’m going to kill them,” says Manny.—an unlikely “superhero” comes to Crash and Eddie’s rescue, a one-eyed weasel named Buck Wild (Pegg). Together they form a team to defeat the dinosaurs who live in the Lost World. “It’s time to get buck wild.”

For better and for worse the Ice Age franchise seems to have been around longer than the actual Ice Age. With the latest entry, number six in the series, the movies are starting to show their age.

“The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild” has a distinctly direct-to-streaming feel about it. The above the title voice cast from the other films—Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Queen Latifah—are gone, replaced with soundalikes. Not that young kids will mind, or even notice. But older kids who grew up watching these movies—they’ve been around for twenty years—may feel this one isn’t a movie as much as it is an inexpensive, extended version of the television series that was spun off the films.

Like all the “Ice Age” movies, this one has good messages for kids about the importance of family—”The only thing that stays the same is the love we have for one another. That’s the thing about a herd, you’re a part of it, even when you are apart.”—and embracing change—“Change is scary but it is the way of the world. It can help us grow into the people we’re meant to be even if that takes us to new places.” Nothing ground breaking, just solid morals from a story that should appeal to kids who haven’t already heard those platitudes a hundred time over.

ONE SHOT: 3 STARS. “wall-to-wall video-game style gunplay.”

The title of “One Shot,” a new action movie starring Scott Adkins, Ryan Phillippe and Ashley Greene Khoury, and now available on VOD, is a double entendre of a sort. The adrenalized action heroes at the heart of the film have one shot to quell an attack, and director James Nunn has cleverly filmed all the action in “real time,” using camera tricks to make it look like this was shot in one, long continuous take.

The story begins with a squad of Navy SEALs led by Lt. Blake Harris (Adkins) airlifting junior CIA analyst Zoe Anderson (Khoury) to a remote Guantanamo Bay-esque prison to a “United Nations of terror” suspects. Anderson’s job is to extract Amin Mansur (Waleed Elgadi), a British national who pleads his innocence, but is suspected to be a mastermind of a 9/11 style dirty-bomb attack on all three branches of the American government.

Deputy Site Manager Tom Shields (Phillippe) stalls the prisoner’s release, inadvertently allowing time for the ruthless terrorist Charef (Jess Liaudin) and his insurgents to overrun the place, freeing captives and trying to kill Mansur before he can spill the beans on the plot to bring down the government.

“One Shot” isn’t about the characters, political subtext or even the siege story. It’s all about the “one shot” gimmick, wall-to-wall video-game style gunplay and a sense of urgency.

For the most part the gimmick works, although, if you’re like me, you’ll be taken out of the story as you try and see where the subliminal edits are. It’s a distraction that fades as the running times passes because director Nunn choreographs the action expertly, creating a sense of unpredictable immediacy. You never really know who is around the next corner or hiding behind a pile of sandbags. It’s edgy you-are-there filmmaking, aided by cinematographer Jonathan Iles, that makes the generic story and stereotyped characters somewhat interesting.

The relentless violence, however, becomes tiering after a while. The first gunshot happens around the 19-minute mark and the bullet ballet continues pretty much nonstop for the rest of the running time. There are breaks in the action, usually as someone tends to a wounded person, but they are few and far between.

“One Shot” is a b-movie with efficient brutality and some edge-of-your-seat scenes, but the script is as riddled with clichés—”Sometimes it is harder to save a life than it is to save one,” intones Anderson when the going gets tough.—as the characters are with bullet holes.

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY JANUARY 21, 2022.

Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including new Ethan Hawke thriller “Zeros and Ones,” the psychological drama “Marionette,” the return of ray Donovan in “Ray Donovan: The Movie” and the Shudder Canada’s “The Last Thing Mary Saw.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL MORNING SHOW MOVIE REVIEWS!

Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the new Ethan Hawke thriller “Zeros and Ones,” the psychological drama “Marionette” and “Ray Donovan: The Movie.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE SHOWGRAM WITH DAVID COOPER: DOES RICHARD CROUSE LIKE THESE MOVIES?

Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the Ethan Hawke arthouse thriller “Zeros and Ones,” the psychological thriller “Marionette” and the return of Ray in “Ray Donovan: The Movie.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE LAST THING MARY SAW: 3 STARS. “Repression covers the entire film like a shroud.”

“The Last Thing Mary Saw,” a new film about sexual repression, and now streaming on Shudder Canada, is more about mood and atmosphere and the toll that fear takes on people than it is about horror.

When we first meet Mary (Stefanie Scott), she is blindfolded, blood tickling down her cheeks, under interrogation regarding her grandmother’s (Judith Roberts) “sudden departure.”

Suspected of being a witch, one of her captors assesses the situation. “It is not our responsibility to give the devil a chance to repent. He must perish with her.”

Sombre and creepy, it is just the beginning of Mary’s unsettling journey.

Jump cut back in time to 1843 in rural Southold, New York. Much to the horror of her devout parents, Mary is having a love affair with Eleanor (Isabelle Fuhrman), the family’s maid. “Our daughter’s ears are deaf to the Lord’s preachings,” her father tells the soon-to-be-gone the family matriarch. “She continues to engage in acts with the help.”

Instead of sending the maid on her way, it’s decided the young lovers will be subjected to “corrections,” a torturous religious punishment wherein they are forced to kneel on grains of rice and recite Bible passages. “Mary and the maid played dangerous games and were punished accordingly.” Unsurprisingly, the rudimentary conversion therapy doesn’t work, and Mary and Eleanor continue to clandestinely see one another.

When they are discovered, lives are shattered as a mysterious character named The Intruder (Rory Culkin) enters the story.

“The Last Thing Mary Saw” isn’t particularly scary in its violence or visuals, save for a deeply unpleasant dinner scene, but it is chilling filmmaking. First time director Edoardo Vitaletti calibrates each scene, including a long, virtually silent middle section, for maximum discomfort.

Repression covers the entire film like a shroud, as Mary and Eleanor attempt to live their lives away from the fear and religious fervor spawned by Mary’s pious parents. Human nature is the boogeyman here, not Mary’s alleged witchcraft.

The forced clandestine nature of their relationship is enhanced by Vitaletti’s shadowy, candle lit photography. It is restrained and sophisticated throughout, etching some unforgettable images in the viewer’s imaginations.

On the downside, the restraint, while moody, feels as though the movie is holding back, stopping just short of fully embracing its horror elements. This straightforward, serious treatment undersells the creepy elements that could have made the story as memorable as the images.

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL MORNING SHOW MOVIE REVIEWS!

Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the animated sequel “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania,” the home invasion thriller “See for Me” and the dystopian drama “Mother/Android.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!