Richard joins the hosts of NewsTalk 1010’s “The New Rush” with Reshmi Nair and Scott MacArthur for a new segment called “Entertainment Court.” Each week Richard serves as the judge, Reshmi and Scott the jurors, and we render a verdict on the week’s biggest pop culture stories.
This week we ask, is Johnny Depp’s career over? Have we forgotten how to tell a joke? Is the Met Gala out of touch?
Two “Aquaman” villains for the price of one! Richard sat down with Patrick Wilson, who plays King Orm in the film and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II who plays Manta to talk about why it’s great playing villains. Is it just that they win all the fights (except for the last one)? Click HERE to find out!
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 Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns,” Natalie Portman in “Vox Lux” and Jason Mamoa as the underwater monarch “Aquaman.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Lois Lee to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ness of “Mary Poppins Returns,” the Transformers prequel “Bumblebee,” the underwater adventures of “Aquaman” and Natalie Portman as a pop star in “Vox Lux.”
‘Tis the season for big budget Hollywood entertainments. “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Bumblebee” and “Welcome to Marwen” are all large dollar enterprises with hopes of raking in even larger box office cash. Add one more to the list. ‘Tis also the SEA-son for “Aquaman,” the sixth instalment in the DC Extended Universe.
Jason Mamoa plays Arthur Curry, the half-human, half-Atlantean superhero also known as Aquaman. With his father Thomas (Temuera Morrison) working hard at the lighthouse and his mother Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), Queen Of Atlantis, feared dead, he is an outcast reluctantly drawn into some crazy underwater action by kingdom of Xebel warrior princess Mera (Amber Heard). Just so we’re clear,” he says. “I’ll help stop this war then I’m done.”
Together they hunt for the mythical Trident of Atlan, an all-powerful weapon that can only be used by the true King of Atlantis. It’s hidden in the deepest, darkest part of the ocean and is the only weapon that can put an end to Arthur’s half-brother King Orm’s (Patrick Wilson) reign of terror and vendetta against the good people of earth. “The war is coming to the surface,” shrieks Orm, “and I am bringing the wrath of the Seven Seas with me!” With the fate of the world at risk Arthur teams up with Mera; high tide or low tide, they’ll be side by side.
Let’s face it, the character of Aquaman is ridiculous. The son of the sea, protector of the land talks to fish, rides dolphin jet skis and was a running joke on “Entourage.” “Aquaman, baby!! It is Spiderman… underwater. Boooom!” Director James “Furious 7” Wan has crafted a film that embraces some of the kitsch aspects of the character while form-fitting the story to sit alongside other DC superhero flicks like “Wonder Woman.”
From an octopus drummer to a dress featuring a collar of iridescent jellyfish the spirit of Hanna-Barbera’s TV cartoon “Super Friends” is very much alive in “Aquaman.” Add to that the usual save-the-world superhero plot and some big action and you have a DC movie that is equal parts peculiar and pleasing.
At the centre of it is Mamoa, a hulking presence with a light touch. The “Game of Thrones” veteran is comfortable in the action scenes but also seems in on the joke. Less comfortable is Willem Dafoe as Aquaman’s mentor, and speaker of endless pages of expoisition. Heard, as an underwater being who, inexplicably, is also a master of woodwind instruments, is a good foil in the buddy action comedy she and Mamoa have going on. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta is a suitable villain in a silly suit who I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of in the inevitable sequels.
“Aquaman’s” biggest achievement in a world crowded with superhero movies is its sheer size and spectacle. Wan decorates every frame with eyeball entertainment that grasps the sublime and the silly of the “Aquamen” origin story.
Richard’s “Canada AM” reviews for the new releases “In the Heart of the Sea” with Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in “Carol,” Eddie Redmayne in “The Danish Girl” and “Youth” with Michael Caine!
As Caitlin Jenner graces the covers of magazines and films her own reality show, “The Danish Girl,” takes us back to a time when doctors prescribed “treatment for perversion” for transgender pioneer Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne).
Based on David Ebershoff’s 2000 novel, when we first meet painter Einar Wegener (Redmayne) it’s the mid-1920s and he’s married to struggling portraitist Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander). They’re happy and supportive, but a shift occurs when he dresses in female clothing to pose for one of Gerde’s paintings. It’s a playful moment and they even create an alter ego for the model, Lili Elbe. For Gerde it’s a lark, for Einar a revelation. Years of confusion come into sharp focus as he realizes he was born into the wrong gender and takes extreme steps to become the person he knows he should be. “It doesn’t matter what I wear,” he says, “it’s what I dream, they are Lili’s dreams.”
Health professionals suggest locking him up and electro therapy to “cure” him. “Do you keep a lock on your wardrobe?” asks one doctor. “You must not encourage this kind of behaviour.” Hope for the life she always dreamed about comes from a German sexologist who offers risky experimental sex reassignment surgeries. “God made me a woman,” says Lili. “The doctor is healing me of the sickness that was my disguise.”
“The Danish Girl” is Redmayne’s movie. It’s a delicate, studied performance but one that reveals the character’s inner strength. Lili lives in hope, hope for the life she was meant to live, hope that she will get to live it. Redmayne is sensitive and sensual as he sheds Einar’s affectations to become Lili.
Vikander has a less showy role, but holds the screen as the film’s emotional core, a woman who valued her relationship regardless of the changes that came her way.
The film itself hits the emotional notes, but feels a bit too glossy overall. Director Tom Hooper’s camera caresses every scene, luxuriating in the finely wrought period details giving a “Downton Abbey” sheen to the whole thing when a more raw approach would have lent some urgency to the story. The quietly melodramatic presentation showcases the actors but lessens the story’s impact.
“The Danish Girl” is a zeitgeisty movie that gives a “Masterpiece Theatre” veneer to a timely and important story.
A late career make over as an action star with a particular set of skills worked for Liam Neeson, so why not for Kevin Costner. In “3 Days to Kill” Costner gets his Neeson on, starring in a Euro-thriller with unusual bad guys, a daughter and lots and lots of gunfire.
Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) has a lot going on. After five years of dangerous undercover work away from his family he has been diagnosed with a terminal disease. He opts to spend his final months making amends with his estranged wife (Connie Nielsen) and daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) in Paris. His plan is disrupted when a mysterious CIA femme fatale (Amber Heard) turns up with an offer he can’t refuse. In exchange for an experimental drug that could save his life and a lump sum of cash he must go on a wild shooting spree in the City of Light, exterminating a very bad man called The Wolf (Richard Sammel) and his brutal enforcer The Albino (Tómas Lemarquis). Ethan is a family man and contract killer.
Unlike Neeson’s “Taken,” which reveled in its trashiness, “3 Days to Kill” isn’t cheeseball enough to provide the same kind of down-and-dirty fun. Director McG has pitched the movie as an uneasy mix of sentimentality and ultra violence. When Ethan isn’t ramming people with his car or grilling their hands in a sandwich press, he bonding with his daughter, trying to make up for lost time. He teaches her dance, ride a bike and even cuts a torture session short so he can have a meeting with her school principal.
There are some outlandish plot points—for instance, looking for advice about his daughter he goes to the home of a man he has just finished torturing to ask advice from the man’s teenaged girls—and the tone is jokey but unfortunately only about half the gags actually hit home.
Costner has a world weary, easy charm here that helps sell the humor and he appears comfortable with the action but “3 Days to Kill” is a little too generic overall to score with audiences who embraced Neeson’s leap into the action fray.