Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Old” (in theatres), the action flick “Jolt” (Amazon Prime) and the dramatic coming of age story of “Beans” (in theatres).
Richard joins Jay Michaels and guest host Deb Hutton of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush to talk about the pirate who invented the Pina Colada and some movies, “Old” and the rock and roll biopic “Creation Stories,” to enjoy while sipping one of the creamy drinks.
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Akshay Tandon chat up the weekend’s big releases including the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Old” (in theatres), the action flick “Jolt” (Amazon Prime) and the dramatic coming of age story of “Beans” (in theatres).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Andrew Pinsent to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Old” (in theatres), the action flick “Jolt” (Amazon Prime), the rock ‘n roll biopic “Creation Stories” (VOD), the dramatic coming of age story of “Beans” (in theatres), and the throwback skateboarding movie “North Hollywood” (VOD) with Vince Vaughn.
They grow up so quickly. That’s what everyone always says when you have kids. That old axiom comes to horrifying life in “Old,” the new film from director thrill meister M. Night Shyamalan, now playing in theatres.
Gael García Bernal and Vicky Krieps are Guy and Prisca Capa, parents to 11-year-old daughter Maddox (Alexa Swinton) and six-year-old son Trent (Nolan River). They are headed for divorce but before the ink dries on the legal papers, they want one last three-day family vacation at a fancy resort. “Can you believe I found this place on-line?” says Prisca, taking in the beautiful hotel.
Despite tension between mom and dad, the kids have fun, and when the resort offers an invitation to visit an exclusive beach, they eagerly accept. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” purrs the manager.
Coming along on the day trip is an assortment of other guests, including high strung cardiothoracic surgeon, Charles, (Rufus Sewell) and his family, rapper Mid-Sized Sedan (Aaron Pierre) and long-married couple Jarin (Ken Leung) and Patricia (Nikki Amuka-Bird).
A shadow is cast on the day of sun, surf and sand when a dead woman washes ashore on the beach. Trying to call for help, the panicked vacationers quickly realize they are alone, isolated, with no cell service or anyway to get back to civilization.
When the mysterious body decomposes right in front of their eyes, wounds heal instantly and their kids begin to age two years every hour, they realize, in a masterstroke of understatement that “there’s something wrong with this beach.” “It’s hard to explain,” adds Guy.
Is it mass hysteria or is something more sinister happening?
Based on the graphic novel “Sandcastle,” by Pierre Oscar Lévy and Frederik Peeters, “Old” has an intriguing premise, one that could sit on the shelf comfortably next to the “Twilight Zone” box set. But the ain’t-it-funny-how-time-slips-away premise is almost undone by painfully bad dialogue and the strangely muted reactions of most of the characters. When your six-year-old grows up and has a baby in a matter of hours I would expect some deep introspection alongside shrieks and confused looks. Instead, this group is unusually accepting of the beyond strange situation.
Having said that, Shyamalan is a stylist who creates arthouse horror in “Old.” He effectively builds tension—most of the movie is as taut as a tightrope—and finds interesting ways of showing, not telling, the character’s physical changes like blindness and hearing loss. In addition, the really terrible stuff is mostly off screen, an old school Val Lewton technique, that allows the audience to imagining things much worse than he could show us.
Beyond the horror are poignant messages about embracing the time we have and that a life that whips by without memories or experiences, is time wasted. As time passes, the movie suggests, leaving things unsaid and undone are the greatest crimes in the timelines of our lives.
“Old” is melodramatic and has a protracted ending that wraps things up without providing much satisfaction but Shyamalan provides enough thrills to make it time well spent.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel to talk about the big releases in theatres, including “Independence Say: Resurgence,” with Jeff Goldblum, “The Shallows”with Blake Lively, “Free State of Jones” with Matthew McConaughey and the weird and wonderful “The Neon Demon.”
How to describe director Nicolas Winding Refn’s “The Neon Demon”? You could use five dollar words like transgressive and hallucinatory. Or make comparisons to “Mulholland Drive” and “The Eyes of Laura Mars,” but none of that really comes close to capturing the nervy essence of what Refn attempts here.
Elle Fanning stars as the underage, somewhat naive model Jessie. An orphaned teen from a small town who’s been in Los Angeles “for like, a minute” scores a shoot with a hot shot photographer (Desmond Harrington). “She has that thing,” says her only friend, a makeup artist named Ruby (Jena Malone). Jessie’s fresh-faced appeal opens doors in the industry—Alessandro Nivola plays a big time designer who gives her the closing spot in his show even though its her first trip down a runway—but earns the ire of established models like Sarah and Gigi (Abbey Lee and Bella Heathcote) who she is replacing. “What does it feel like to walk into a room and it’s like the middle of winter and you’re the sun?” Sarah asks the new girl.
Refn, who also wrote the script, has pulled off something quite extraordinary here. He has made a movie that visually mirrors his subject. Setting the film in the vacuous world of fashion allows him to indulge his filmic sense while mirroring his visual ideas in the script. When the designer says, “True beauty is the highest currency we have,” he may have been talking about the fashion biz or Refn’s style of composing gorgeous images that accompany the film’s performances. I say accompany because there is a chilly disconnect between the story, which, true to its subject, is kind of hollow, and striking images on the screen. To reinforce that notion Refn even has a character say, “Beauty isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
A gutsy late movie turn toward necrophilia, horror and violence, while heart pounding and jarring, mostly draws the film even further away from any kind of traditional structure, although does graphically display how far people will go to capture the true essence of beauty.
“The Neon Demon” is a tone poem. The cast is terrific, especially Fanning in a role that requires steely determination and vulnerability, Keanu Reeves fans might get a kick out of seeing him go down ‘n dirty as a scummy motel manager and fans of “Mad Men” will enjoy seeing Christina Hendricks back at work, but this is a film more about feel than narrative and is the very definition of a “not for everyone” movie.