Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the family drama “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix), dark satire “Promising Young Woman” (in theatres) and the documentary “The Dissident” (VOD/Digital).
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Anita Sharma to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the intense drama “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix), dark satire “Promising Young Woman” (in theatres) and the documentary “The Dissident” (VOD/Digital).
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 intense drama “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix), dark satire “Promising Young Woman” (in theatres) and the documentary “The Dissident” (VOD/Digital).
It would be easy to suggest that “Promising Young Woman,” a new drama starring Carey Mulligan, is simply a “Falling Down” for the #MeToo era but it is much more than that. It has elements of that but it is also an audacious look at rape culture and male privilege that weaves dark humour and revenge into the ragged fabric of its story.
It’s difficult to talk about “Promising Young Woman” without being spoilerific but here goes: Mulligan is Cassandra, a thirty-year-old drop out from medical school. She lives at home with her parents (Clancy Brown and Jennifer Coolidge), works at a coffee shop with her best, and only friend, Gail (Laverene Cox). “If I wanted a house, a career, a yoga class and a boyfriend my mom could brag about I’d do it,” she says. “In ten minutes. But I don’t want it.”
At night she hits the clubs, pretending to be intoxicated, waiting for men to approach her. Just when they think she is at her most vulnerable, she “comes to.” “What is this?” says one of the “nice guys” who tries to take advantage of her. “Are you some kind of psycho? I thought you were…” “Drunk?” she says, finishing his sentence.
At home she has a notebook, filled a list of the men she has encountered and the several names in store for a “day of reckoning.”
There’s more but one of the pleasures of “Promising Young Woman” is in its ability to surprise and shock with the story’s twists and turns. There is a lot in play here. The action here is fueled by Cassie’s trauma but writer-director Emerald Fennell keeps the action off kilter with the introduction of dark satire, revenge, an exploration of toxic masculinity and even some rom com-esque scenes. The culmination of all these disparate components is a film with a strange tone but a clear-cut point of view. It’s social commentary as art and it works.
Mulligan appears in virtually every frame, navigating the story’s left turns and holding its centre no matter what is thrown at her. The sense of loss that drives her is always present—she even wears a broken heart pendent—even when she is in control, steely-eyed and ready to rumble.
“Promising Young Woman” is occasionally rough around the edges structurally but despite its flaws is compelling and surprising.
Richard joins CP24 anchor Jee-Yun Lee to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” the creepy kid movie “The Prodigy” and the Taraji P. Henson comedy “What Men Want.”
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the pure pop art blast of “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” the creepy kid movie “The Prodigy” and the icy story of survival “Arctic.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia McMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the sensory overload of “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” the silly fun of “What Men Want” and the revenge flick “Cold Pursuit.”
Richard has a look at “Cold Pursuit” and the Liam Neeson controversy, the outer space Lego adventure “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” the creepy kid movie “The Prodigy and the supernatural comedy “What Men Want” with Taraji P. Henson with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
My desire to see 2014’s “The Lego Movie” was on par with my wish to step on a Lego brick in my bare feet. How could a movie starring plastic, singing mini figs possibly appeal to anyone who graduated Saturday morning cartoons decades ago? But I’m a professional so I put my bias of toy story movies aside and went to the screening.
Later, as I left the theatre humming “Everything is Awesome” I was own over. Directors and co-writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had pulled off something great, they made a movie with wide appeal using the Legos as a muse to do what the bricks have always done, light imaginations on fire.
Question is, five years later will everything be awesome in the sequel “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”?
The last movie ended with the revelation that the movie’s Lego Land frenetic action had actually taken place in 8-year-old Finn’s (Jadon Sand) imagination. The new one focuses on Finn’s sister Bianca (“The Florida Project’s” Brooklyn Prince) disrupting her brother’s carefully built world of fancy with her Duplo-Block creations.
In the make-believe world Duplo aliens, led by shape-shifting villain Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) declare war on Bricksburg. Fast-forward five years. Optimistic construction worker Emmet (Chris Pratt) and Master Builder Lucy’s (Elizabeth Banks) home is now a smoking ruin called Apocalypseburg where if you show any weakness you will be destroyed. Dave is now called Chainsaw Dave and Sewer Babies live under the streets.
When Lucy, Batman (Will Arnett), Unikitty (Alison Brie), Benny (Charlie Day) and MetalBeard (Nick Offerman) are kidnapped and transported to the Systar System by General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) Emmet and intergalactic archaeologist / Snake Plissken look-a-like Rex Dangervest (Pratt again) set off to rescue them. “Don’t worry Lucy,” says Emmett, “everything will still be awesome.”
“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” is a pure pop art blast as though designed by kids. A mix of non-sequiturs, silly jokes, attention deficit editing, CPDs (Convenient Plot Devices) and music it zips along but isn’t as awesome as the original. The first film was a powerhouse of imagination and adventure. “The Second Part” has its moments—like the “Catchy Song” sequence—but feels like a dim bulb that doesn’t burn as brightly as it once did.
Like the first film the mayhem of Lego Land is tempered with real life lessons. In this case it takes an existential turn in the last third, expanding the mini fig story to shine a light on the fraught relationship between Finn and Bianca and their struggle to find a way to play together. When they learn to be kind and tolerant of one another their lives improve, as do those of their plastic figures.
“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’s” convoluted third reel paints the screen with too much frenetic CGI action but maintains the lesson of the first film, that NOT putting away childish things, like Lego blocks, is the key to making everything awesome, no matter what age. That the message doesn’t feel like a commercial for the brightly coloured blocks is a pleasant plus even if the movie feels like diminished returns.