Can Richard review three movies in just thirty seconds? Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the dynastic family drama “House of Gucci,” the new Disney animated movie “Encanto” and the videogame thrills of “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.”
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 dynastic family drama “House of Gucci,” the new animated Disney film “Encanto,” the coming of age story “C’mon C’mon,” Peter Jackson’s 468 minute epic “The Beatles: Get Back” a.k.a. “Lord of the Ringos,” the videogame horrors of “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” and Halle Berry’s “Bruised.”
Gamers will recognize Raccoon City as the name of the once prosperous home base of pharmaceutical giant Umbrella Corp. That we’re talking about it on this page can only mean one thing, a new “Resident Evil” movie. The seventh film in the series, “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City,” now playing in theatres, reboots the videogame-inspired franchise, taking the story back to the beginning.
Raccoon City once thrived. A company town, from the 1960s to the late 90s the Midwestern city grew and prospered as pharmaceutical giant Umbrella set up shop there, and invested heavily in infrastructure and the townsfolk, who made up the bulk of their employees.
Everything changed in 1998 when a genetically-altered organism named Queen Leech attacked the facility, kicking off a series of events that left the city a desolate wasteland with a zombie problem.
It’s into this world director Johannes Roberts drops college student Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) and rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy (Avan Jogia) on one terrifying night in Raccoon City. Claire has come to the dying city to locate her brother Chris (Robbie Amell). The T-virus, Umbrella’s top-secret biological weapon isn’t much of a secret anymore, and the infected residents of Raccoon City are now terrifying zombies. Over the course of one night Claire, Chris, and others from the video game series like Leon (Avan Jogia), Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen) and Albert Wesker (Umbrella Academy’s Tom Hopper), fight to survive.
Adapted from the first and second “Resident Evil” games by Capcom, “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” returns the series to its video game roots. The previous films emphasized action over horror. This time around Roberts reverts to scary vibe of the videogames, paying homage to both the games and vintage John Carpenter for the atmosphere of dread that builds throughout. Stylistically, as a videogame tribute, that approach works quite well.
As a movie, however, it comes up lacking. Despite some good gooey and gory zombie action and some fun action scenes, it takes too long to get where it is going. While we wait for the going to get good, we’re subjected to dialogue straight out of the Handbook of Horror Clichés and too much exposition.
The opening feels long winded and the ending rushed, but, especially for gamers looking for Easter Eggs, “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” has enough moments in between to satisfy fans of the series.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the family friendly “Jungle Cruise,” the surreal journey of self discovery “The Green Knight,” the heartwarming comedy of “The Exchange” and the comedy documentary “For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close.”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Angie Seth chat up the weekend’s big releases including the action-adventure of “Jungle Cruise,” the surreal journey of self discovery “The Green Knight,” the heartwarming comedy of “The Exchange” and the comedy documentary “For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Andrew Pinsent to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the action-adventure of “Jungle Cruise,” the surreal journey of self discovery “The Green Knight,” the heartwarming comedy of “The Exchange” and the comedy documentary “For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the action-adventure of “Jungle Cruise,” the surreal journey of self discovery “The Green Knight” and the heartwarming comedy of “The Exchange.”
Sometimes you don’t get what you want, but you get what you need. Especially in coming-of-age movies.
In “The Exchange,” now on VOD, teenager Tim Long (Ed Oxenbould) was born and has lived his entire life in a small Ontario town, but feels like an outsider. Obsessed with all things French, he’s a student of Camus, worships Jean-Luc Godard and Alain Resnais, and looks down on his school mates and even family. The feeling is mutual. “Bookworm” and “loser” are two of the nicer jabs thrown his way. “Everyone hates you,” says Gary (Justin Hartley) the school’s soccer coach. The only person Tim really likes is Brenda (Jayli Wolf), who is unaware of his crush.
Craving sophisticated company, he signs up for an exchange program to acquire a “mail order best friend.” He’s hoping the exchange student will be a Gallic breath of fresh air in his stale little town. But instead of an erudite tour guide to all thing French he gets Stéphane (Avan Jogia), a teenage chain-smoking horndog more interested in girls than Gruyère Gougères.
After making a splash in town Stéphane’s behavior soon starts to raise eyebrows until he finds an unlikely supporter.
“The Exchange” is based on a true story. Screenwriter Tim Long, a Canadian from Manitoba who has been the consulting producer of “The Simpsons” for twenty plus years, adapts his own awkward friendship with an exchange student as the basis for the story. I’m sure characters are amplified and situations blown out of proportion, but underneath it all “The Exchange” is a feel-good story with laughs and a great deal of heart.
It’s lighthearted but that doesn’t prevent “The Exchange” from adding denser textures to the story. Near the end Long and director Dan Mazer (longtime writing partner of Sacha Baron Cohen) tackle the xenophobia that informs the latter part of the movie. After a brief moment of celebrity in town, the tide turns against Stéphane due to veiled racism. He is, as the Gallophile Tim might have said, l’étranger, an outsider whose motives are questioned, simply because he wasn’t born in the local hospital. It gets sorted—“We drew certain conclusions about you being different,” a character says to him—and is handled delicately, but in our divided times it hits the nail on the head.
Ultimately “The Exchange” works because it is about empathy. It’s funny, with the kind of premise that could have been sitcom fodder, but beyond the laughs is a bigger message of acceptance.