Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including the mighty monster mash-up of “Godzilla Vs. Kong,” the family drama (with horses!) “Concrete Cowboy” and the charming quirkiness of “French Exit.”
Richard joins Ryan Doyle and Jay Michaels of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show to talk about Winston Churchill’s connection to the classic cocktail The Manhattan and the mighty monster mash-up of “Godzilla Vs. Kong.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the mighty monster mash-up of “Godzilla Vs. Kong,” the family drama (with horses!) “Concrete Cowboy” and the charming quirkiness of “French Exit.”
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 mighty monster mash-up of “Godzilla Vs. Kong,” the family drama (with horses!) “Concrete Cowboy” and the charming quirkiness of “French Exit.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the mighty monster mash-up of “Godzilla Vs. Kong,” the family drama (with horses!) “Concrete Cowboy” and the charming quirkiness of “French Exit.”
“There can’t be two alpha Titans,” says Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), and yet, here we are with “Godzilla Vs. Kong,” a mighty monster showdown now in theatres and Premium Video on Demand.
The sequel to “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and “Kong: Skull Island,” dispenses with a whole lotta plot rather quickly to make room for the main event, a cage match between the two Titans.
That’s not a spoiler; it’s an inevitability. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Before the crash-bang-boom of the movie’s climax, the story begins with Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) pitching an idea to Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir), the big thinking, but possibly evil Elon Musk-esque CEO of Apex Cybernetix. Lind is convinced that solutions for the planet’s energy problems lie in the unexplored Hollow Earth, a subterranean world deep within Earth’s core. Long believed to be the natural home of King Kong, Lind proposes transporting the giant ape from Skull Island to act as a tour guide.
Meanwhile, there’s trouble in Pensacola, Florida. Godzilla has re-emerged with a grudge against Apex. As he lays waste to the company’s research facility a CNN headline screams, “Godzilla is no longer a saviour.”
Inside the plant nosy podcaster Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) works feverishly to expose Apex and their plans for world-domination. He’s aided by Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) and Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison), teen do-gooders who are convinced there is something twitchy causing Godzilla’s recent erratic behaviour. “There’s something provking him that we’re not seeing,” she says.
That’s a lotta plot and I haven’t even mentioned Jia (Kaylee Hottle), the youngster who teaches Kong sign language or the new creatures from Hollow Earth.
“Godzilla Vs. Kong” may be jam packed with up-to-the-minute references about podcasts and genetic memory, and hot button notions about big bad corporations and conspiracy theories, but make no mistake, at its giant heart, this is an old-fashioned creature feature.
Hall and Skarsgård et al. acquit themselves well enough to keep the action moving along, but this movie belongs to the big guys, Kong and Godzilla. The quaint days of actors in rubber suits playing movie Kaijū are gone, replaced by CGI beasts who battle on land, underwater and under the Earth’s crust. There’s nothing particularly organic about them, unlike Willis O’Brien’s original stop-motion Kong or Haruo Nakajima’s lumbering Godzilla, but “Godzilla Vs. Kong” manages to inject some personality into its leading men.
They are a classic big screen match-up. A furry Redford and Newman. A monstrous Bonnie & Clyde. Kong is the Woody to Godzilla’s Buzz Lightyear. The giant ape is introspective, soulful while Godzilla is decisive, quick to action. Together they are a fearsome yet kitschy kaiju duo who deliver the battle scenes that provide the payoff after the first reel’s exposition and plot dump.
It’s fun and franchise fans will get a kick out of the action but “Godzilla Vs. Kong” doesn’t have the social subtext of other films in the series. There is talk of the end of the world but metaphors on the devastating effects of nuclear weapons or the exploitation of nature for personal gain are buried underneath the rubble left behind by the final showdown between the titans.
For a movie about two heavyweight creatures “Godzilla Vs. Kong,” with its big battles and “Guardians of the Galaxy” style soundtrack—”The Air That I Breathe” by The Hollies and the like decorate the score—feels surprisingly lightweight.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the college comedy “I Used to Go Here” starring Gillian Jacobs, the psychological thriller “She Dies Tomorrow,” the crime drama “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” the kid’s fantasy “The Secret Garden” and the biodoc “Howard: The Howard Ashman Story.”
“She Dies Tomorrow,” a surreal new horror film on VOD, is a timely and unsettling story where the fear of death is passed from person to person like a virus.
The story begins with Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil), once a joyful young woman looking forward to setting up her newly purchased home. But now it’s a job that comes with no joy as Amy is gripped with deep, soul-shredding anxiety. For some reason she is convinced she will die the next day. Not by suicide or illness, just death. “There is no tomorrow for me,” she says. She’s so convinced of her inevitable fate she changes her voicemail message. “There’s no need to leave a message.”
Seeking a connection, she invites her friend Jane (Jane Adams) over. Jane swings by and after some awkward conversation about death leaves, also consumed by thoughts of her own, impending passing. As Jane moves through the night, visiting a doctor (Josh Lucas), her brother (Chris Messina) and friends (Olivia Taylor Dudley and Michelle Rodriguez) she leaves an existential trail of fear with everyone she meets.
Directed by Amy Seimetz “She Dies Tomorrow” is not a regular horror film. It’s an experiment in atmosphere building aided by a premise that feels very timely in the midst of a pandemic.
Questions are asked—What is this virus and how is it transported?—but no answers are provided. The film requires you to accept the situation and feel the anxiety of something that may or may not be real. For Seimetz’s characters the dread is palpable, forcing them to examine their choices, in relationships and life, and re-evaluate in whatever time they have left. In this time of real-life uncertainty Seimetz paints a vivid picture of mortality on a countdown that, while speculative, feels rooted in recent headlines.
Fittingly “She Dies Tomorrow” has a hallucinogenic, experimental style. Throbbing, flashing swaths of colour fill the screen as the virus—or whatever it is—attaches itself to a new host. It’s trippy, slightly psychedelic and may test the patience of less adventurous viewers but in a time where COVID-19 has spread worldwide, bringing with it angst and unease, a movie that examines human behavior in the face of transmittable trauma is, perhaps, a nightmarish artistic inevitability.