Posts Tagged ‘Alexander Ludwig’


Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the Netflix animated movie “The Willoughbys,” the Netflix doc “Circus of Books,” the high school crime drama “Selah and the Spades” and a pair of big screen movies coming to VOD, “Bad Boys for Life” and “Run This Town.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL: 2 STARS. “puts a spin on the usual football flick.”

20140411_094622_DeLaSalle04112014If you are a football fan, specifically of the American high school game, then “The Streak” is something you’re likely familiar with. From 1992 to 2004, under the guidance of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur and assistant coach Terry Eidson, the De La Salle High School Spartans from Concord, California won 151 consecutive games, smashing all records for any American sport.

It’s a great story that the film “When the Game Stands Tall” uses as a starting point. We join the Spartans as their record-breaking sprint to the history books comes to an end. During the 2003 post season Coach Ladouceur (a very low key Jim Caviezel) suffered a heart attack and a popular student was senselessly gunned down. The following school year, in September 2004, they lost their first two games in “the biggest upset in high school football history,” according to one commentator. Their biggest problem isn’t the other teams, however, it’s a lack of teamwork. “We got lost. Caught up in the glory.” Can the Coach convince them that it’s not if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game that counts?

“When the Game Stands Tall” puts a spin on the usual football flick by adding in faith-based subtext about the power of positivity. It’s not about playing a perfect game, the guys are told, but handing in a “perfect effort.” Coach Lad, who still trains the De La Salle High School Spartans to this day, is an inspirational figure who turns young lads not just into champion football players, but into men.

The underdog aspect of the story doesn’t quite gel. Two defeats don’t exactly make the Spartans the Caltech Beavers who had an impressive run of 207 loses on the gridiron. When the embark on their inevitable climb back up the ladder one announcer calls it “one of the greatest comebacks in football history.” Really? Try telling that to the Caltech Beavers.

The football scenes, however, are effective, exciting and feel genuine. The spirit of the players feels a little over blown as done some of the dialogue. “The only way I’m going off this field is on a stretcher,” says quarterback Chris Ryan (Alexander Ludwig) before winning one for the Gipper… er… I mean Coach Lad.

For football fans “When the Games Stands Tall” brings a famous story to life. For the rest of us it plays like an after school special with better production value.

Cato from Hunger Games ‘not your everyday villain’ RICHARD CROUSE METRO Published: March 20, 2012

Alexander-Ludwig-Cato-The-Hunger-Games-Movie-PosterAt six-feet, two-inches with all-American good looks (even though he was born in Vancouver), Alexander Ludwig doesn’t look like a super villain. But to fans of The Hunger Games he is the baddest baddie of them all, Cato, the brute from District 2.

“He was born and raised a killer and that’s all he knew how to do,” says the 20-year-old actor.

“But he’s not your everyday villain. There’s a lot more substance and depth to this guy. You can tell he’s had a tortured life.”

Trained as a killer, Cato has spent his whole life preparing for his turn in The Hunger Games, a kind of murderous reality show.

“I’m playing the most feared guy in the arena so I didn’t know how I was going to be received by everyone else in the cast,” he says of his co-stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. “I was cautious about it, but everyone was amazing.”

One thing is for sure; he made an impression on one stunt man.

“I hit a stunt guy across the face with the butt end of a rubber bat when I was filming,” he says, “but once you do that you have keep going because they’re going to kick your ass if you don’t. ‘What are you doing? That was the perfect sell because you actually hit me.’ I felt so bad.”

He says that despite the movie’s dark subject matter and the odd bruised stunt man, the mood on set was light.

“It is important to have contrast when the material is so dark. There’s all this tense energy and right after they yell, ‘Cut’ you can breathe.”

He’s also breathing a little easier now the movie is done and fans have embraced him.

“I have been so, so happy about the way I have been received because it could go either way,” he says.

“Everyone’s been very excited to see me and meet me. No one has said, ‘Screw you, Cato!’ I hope it stays like this. Everyone likes being liked and I chose this role knowing that it could go the other way.”

“I’m just riding this crazy experience. You really can’t think about it because you don’t know what to expect. Every day is a new experience.

I walked out of my hotel room this morning and there were fans outside. I can’t believe this is happening to me. It’s wild.”

SIDEBAR: “Everyone’s been very excited to see me and meet me. No one has said, ‘Screw you, Cato!’ I hope it stays like this. Everyone likes being liked and I chose this role knowing that it could go the other way.” Actor Alexander Ludwig, on playing the evil Cato in The Hunger Games.