Posts Tagged ‘Abigail Breslin’


Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including “The Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater,” the gritty family story of “Lorelei” and the inspirational sports flick “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”

Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 38:17)


Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Angie Seth chat up the weekend’s big releases including “The Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater,” the gritty family story of “Lorelei” and the inspirational sports flick “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


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 Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater,” the gritty family story of “Lorelei” and the inspirational sports flick “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards 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 Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater” and the gritty family story of “Lorelei.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

STILLWATER: 3 STARS. “a strong start is let down by the film’s final act.”

“Stillwater,” the new Matt Damon movie now playing in theatres, uses the bones of American exchange student Amanda Knox’s story as a starting point to tell a story of a father determined to prove his daughter’s innocence.

Damon embraces the role of Oklahoma oil rigger Bill Baker, a MAGA man whose wraparound shades are almost a character of their own. He’s rough ‘n’ tumble, prays before every meal and spends every dime he makes visiting his daughter Allison (Abigail Breslin) in prison in Marseille, France. She’s serving a nine-year sentence for the murder of her lover; a crime she says she didn’t commit.

Allison usually treats him with casual offhandedness—he wasn’t around much when she was a kid, and when he was, he was drunk—but this time is different. She hands him a letter, written in French, which he does not understand, with new evidence that she hopes will exonerate her.

When their Marseille-based lawyer tells Bill the letter and the new info is not enough to get a new trial, he launches his own investigation. Serving as translator is Virginie (Camille Cottin), who, along with her young daughter Maya (Lilou Siauvad), help him make his way through Marseille and provide the closest thing to a family he has known since his daughter went to jail.

“Refugees, zero waste,” says Virginie’s friend of Bill, “he’s your new cause.”

“Stillwater” is two-thirds of a good movie. The screenplay, co-written by director Tom McCarthy with Marcus Hinchey, Thomas Bidegain and Noé Debré, darts back-and-forth, shifting focus between the various storylines. In the film’s first hour or so, the story skews toward Allison, Bill’s bumbling investigation into the new evidence and his burgeoning relationship with Virginie and Maya. But just as the story should heat up and head toward thriller territory, McCarthy suddenly veers away from Allison’s predicament. Abruptly, “Stillwater” becomes   more interested in a presenting a character study of Bill, a man of few words and even fewer motivations. Damon is compellingly watchable in the role, giving Bill a deep inner life that isn’t always apparent on the surface—I guess still waters really do run deep—but the film feels sidetracked by the diversion.

“Stillwater” is wonderfully shot and the father-daughter relationship that develops between Bill and Maya is touching and authentic feeling but is let down in the film’s final act.


Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 11.43.59 AMRichard’s CP24 reviews for “Hot Pursuit,” “Maggie” and “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” with anchor Rena Heer.

Watch the whole thing HERE!



Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 9.42.42 AMRichard’s “Canada AM” film reviews for “Hot Pursuit,” “Maggie” and “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belife.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


MAGGIE: 2 STARS. “makes Romero’s zombies look like speed demons.”

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 1.39.13 PMI’ll save some of you from having to read this whole review. If the idea of Arnold Schwarzenegger and zombies turns your crank, read on. If not click through to the next review.

It’s a bit disingenuous to call “Maggie” a zombie movie. The word is never used in the film—instead they’re called necroambulists and “the infected”—and the body count is low. In fact, “The Walking Dead” usually features more carnage before the opening credits than in the whole of “Maggie,” but at its diseased heart it is a zombie movie, but one that takes a different tact than most others.

Here director Henry Hobson, who designed the title credit sequence for “The Walking Dead,” concentrates on one Midwestern family dealing with the stark reality that their daughter Magie (Abigail Breslin) is infected and soon some difficult choices will have to be made. The family’s doctor (Jodie Moore) presents father Wade (Schwarzenegger) with three viable options: send her to quarantine to die, administer a painful cocktail of drugs or… make it quick. Wade, who rescued his daughter from a medical facility, doesn’t want her to be taken to quarantine but can’t bring himself to do what must be done.

“Maggie” shatters several preconceptions. First it reconsiders what a zombie film can be. The gore happens off screen leaving time to concentrate on the psychological aspects of seeing friends and family change into something beyond their control. It’s a metaphor for disease or perhaps a comment on assisted suicide, or both. What it isn’t, exactly, is a horror film.

Those expecting Schwarzenegger to make “Total Recall with Zombies” are also in for a surprise. Here the larger than life actor tones it down, embracing the character actor phase of his career with an understated performance that relies more on his expressive face than his physicality to get the point across.

Breslin is also interesting as a young woman whose body is changing into something she can’t control. Stoic and sullen, occasionally she allows a hint of the pre-infected teenager she was show through and those moments are heartbreaking.

For all its angels, however, glacial pacing and Hobson’s love of intense close-ups bedevil the movie. This is an intimate story, so to a point the up-close-and-personal photography makes sense, but the director never met a close-up he didn’t love and over uses them throughout.

“Maggie” is a dark and gloomy piece of work with revelatory performances but plodding pacing that make Romero’s zombies look like speed demons.


kit_kittredge_an_american_gIt’s common place for movie characters to make the leap from screen to store shelves. Almost every movie this summer has a spin-off of some sort available for purchase at the local Toys ‘R’ Expensive, but it’s rare that movies hit the big screen with a line of toys already in place. The new film starring twelve-year-old Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, takes this backward approach. Inspired by the successful line of wholesome American Girl® dolls, the movie brings to life Kit Kittredge, a plucky depression-era girl who dreams of being a newspaper reporter.

Breslin plays the living doll in this Nancy Drew-esque family-friendly story. Set in Cincinnati (the movie was actually shot in Toronto and Tottenham, Ontario) just as the Great Depression starts to take hold, when we first meet the Kittredges they are a comfortable middle class family. Nine-year-old Kit’s (Breslin) dreams of being the next great newspaper writer are delayed, however, when her father suddenly loses his job and their comfortable existence is changed forever. Dad (Chris O’Donnell) moves to Chicago to look for work while Mom (Julia Ormond) ekes out a living running a boarding house. When a string of “hobo” crimes touches their lives Kit uses her reporting skills to make sure the police arrest the right people.

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl could have been an orgy of product placement for the American Girl® line, but thankfully it is more than that. Definitely aimed at young kids, I’d say the ten and under crowd, its gentle humor, graceful pacing and colorful characters should keep growing minds engaged. Beyond the pure entertainment of the story though, is a timely message about how people respond to economic hard times and the pluck required to deal with a “foreclosure” sign on your front lawn.

Its values are as old fashioned as the story. It teaches tolerance, friendship and the power of hard work, but Canadian director    Patricia Rozema (Mansfield Park and I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing) never allows the movie to become preachy. Her steady hand ensures that the heavy messages presented here are almost subliminal; that they work to serve the story instead of vice versa.

At the heart of the movie is Breslin in the lead role. Her fresh-faced naturalistic performance should click with young girls looking for a pre-tween role model who saves the day. She ably supported by an interesting cast of old pros including Stanley Tucci as an itinerant magician, flapper Jane Krakowski and Joan Cusack as a mobile librarian and newcomers like Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s daughter Willow Smith as a child hobo.

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl will likely have little or no appeal for the young boys in the house, but should be a hit with ten and under girls.