Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including “Spiral,” the next chapter of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams Netflix thriller “The Woman in the Window,” the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “Spiral,” the Chris Rock reboot of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams thriller “The Woman in the Window,” the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison and the trippy folk horror of “In the Earth.”
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 “Spiral,” the Chris Rock reboot of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams thriller “The Woman in the Window,” the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison and the trippy folk horror of “In the Earth.”
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 “Spiral,” the Chris Rock reboot of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams thriller “The Woman in the Window” and the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison.
In adapting “The Woman in the Window,” a new thriller starring Amy Adams, now streaming on Netflix, director Joe Wright borrows liberally from the Hitchcock playbook, paying visual tribute to everything from “Foreign Correspondent” and “Psycho” to “Vertigo” and, of course, “Rear Window.” There are so many Hitch lifts in the look of the movie it makes Brian DePalma’s myriad Hitchcock homages look like petty thievery.
Adams plays child psychologist Anna Fox who lives alone in a rambling brownstone on 124th Street in Manhattan. Agoraphobic, she gets panic attacks at the idea of going outside, let alone actually stepping over her front threshold to the big bad world. Her only regular contact with the outside comes with her weekly visit from her therapist (Tracy Letts) and a downstairs tenant (Wyatt Russell).
When her new neighbors from across the street drop by unexpectedly, she reluctantly lets teenager Ethan (Fred Hechinger) in for a get-to-know-you visit. A day or so later Jane (Julianne Moore) swings by to chat, ask nosy questions and have a glass of wine.
After the visits Anna becomes voyeuristically invested in their lives, watching them from the safety of her apartment as they go about their day to days lives, exposed by two large windows that showcase their living areas.
One night, after mixing wine with her anxiety medication, she witnesses what appears to be an ugly domestic dispute that turns fatal. Trouble is, no one believes the “drunken, pill popping, cat lady.”
Question is, did she really witness a murder or was it a hallucination?
Anna is a classic unreliable narrator, a character whose credibility is questioned at every step of the way. Adams keeps her interesting, bringing a human face to trauma, anxiety and grief. We’re never sure if what we’re seeing is filtered through a haze of medication or actually happening and while Wright finds flashy visual ways to portray this, it is Adams who connects emotionally.
There are moments of supercharged filmmaking in “The Woman in the Window” but the tonal shifts and pacing get in the way of making this edge of your seat viewing. Director Joe Wright brings his trademarked visual style to illustrate Anna’s anxiety. Unusual angles and lurid colours illustrate Anna’s disconnected moments, wide shots of her empty apartment represent her isolation. It’s effectively and inventively done, but the slack pacing sucks much of the energy out of the storytelling.
“The Woman in the Window” has moments that truly work but it is dulled by its deliberate pace, repetitive nature and typical confessional ending.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies to watch this weekend including the inspired-by-true-events drama “One Night In Miami” (Amazon Prime Video), the Netflix action flick “Outside the Wire” (Netflix) and the young adult drama “Words On Bathroom Walls” (EST, VOD, DVD, Blu-ray).
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 inspired-by-true-events drama “One Night In Miami” (Amazon Prime Video), the Netflix action flick “Outside the Wire” (Netflix) and the young adult drama “Words On Bathroom Walls” (EST, VOD, DVD, Blu-ray).
“Outside the Wire,” a new futuristic Netflix movie starring Anthony Mackie, is a run-of-the-mill action flick with more bullets than ideas.
Set in 2036, as “Outside the Wire” begins there is a violent civil war in Eastern Europe. The United States are there as peacekeepers, using robotic soldiers called Gumps to battle a ruthless warlord called Viktor Koval (Pilou Asbæk), the Terror of the Balkans, who may possess a doomsday device. In the midst of this conflict is Lieutenant Thomas Harp (Damson Idris), an U.S.-based drone pilot who makes the difficult, long-distance decision to sacrifice two Marine lives to save thirty-eight others. Instead of being commended for saving lives, an ethics committee sends him to a demilitarized zone in Eastern Europe to experience real combat up-close-and-personal.
He’s assigned to work with Captain Leo (Mackie), a hardnosed veteran who’ll show him the ropes. “War is ugly,” Leo says. “Sometimes you gotta get dirty to see any real change.” The twist is that Leo is only five years old. And no, before you ask, this isn’t a militaristic riff on “The Boss Baby.” Leo is a biotech android, a one-man militia, designed to be smarter, faster and more efficient than everyone else. “My existence is classified,” he tells Harp as they head off on a mission to deliver a vaccine to a cholera break twenty clicks outside the wire. The operation is partly humanitarian, and partly to act as a cover to meet an informant with intel on Koval’s whereabouts.
“Outside the Wire” is a slick mish-mash of “iRobot,” “Chappie” by way of “The Terminator” and modern war movies like “The Kingdom.” The derivative story is a delivery system for a series of clichés, large scale battle scenes and nifty special effects.
The social commentary on the ethics of using drones during wartime and what constitutes acceptable collateral damage feels blunted by the movie’s propensity to blow away soldiers and civilians alike with what must be the highest body count in a movie so far this year. It’s an important and ongoing discussion in the real world but don’t look for answers here, just giant fireballs and the rat-a-tat-tat of automatic weapons.
When the bodies aren’t dropping, the clichés are. It’s as if Leo’s speech functions were programmed by a bot who had watched a 1000 hours of 1940s war movies. He does, however, occasionally deliver a fun line. “I’m not an idiot,” says the “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” star. “That would make me human.”
“Outside the Wire” is a noisy time-waster that could have used some outside the box thinking to make its shop-worn story more effective.
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at “Emma,” “Seberg,” and “Disappearance at Clifton Hill.”