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 and CP24 anchor George Lagogianes do a refresher on “Captain America: Civil War” and then talk about the weekend’s big releases,the George Clooney – Julia Roberts thriller “Money Monster” and the lusty and lurid “A Bigger Splash.”
Welcome to the House of Crouse. Occasionally an image seen on line or in a magazine will burn itself into your brain. HoC guest George Zimbel has taken his share of memorable photographs but his 1954 snap of Marilyn Monroe, standing on a subway grate, skirt flying up around her waist is not only one of those memorable pictures, it’s one of the most iconic images of the twentieth century. Listen in and find out the story behind the photo. Also stopping by for a chin wag is Emily VanCamp, co-star of Captain America: Civil War. Find out who she supports, Iron Man or her love interest Captain America. The answer may surprise you!
Like the recent Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which saw the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel go head-to-head in a showdown over how best to police the world, Captain America: Civil War sees the Avengers go mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano (there’s a lot of them) in an effort to settle their differences.
As anyone who has seen the Avengers movies knows, the superhero team have caused havoc all over the world, blowing things up dropping buildings on people, all in the name of law and order. It’s been a wild ride but after a rescue mission leaves 11 innocent people dead the United Nations decides it’s time to rein them in.
The proposed restrictions divide the group. Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) wants more oversight while Captain America (Chris Evans) refuses to compromise.
Watching from the sidelines is Sharon Carter, ex-S.H.I.E.L.D field agent and love interest of Captain America. Played by Port Perry, Ont., native Emily VanCamp, the character is firmly onside with her superhero suitor.
“It’s an interesting debate,” she says, “because there is no real right or wrong at any given moment. It is difficult to take sides. I know where my character stands. I understand that. Because I play her, I get it but at the same time, as Emily, I really do feel it would make much more sense to be on Iron Man’s side. That’s what makes it interesting. You think you’re going to go into it with a very clear vision of whose side you’re on but you don’t leave feeling that way.”
With two Captain America films under her belt VanCamp is part of the Marvel Universe. That means she has a whole new group of fans with ideas about her character.
“The fans are incredibly invested,” she says. “There are a lot of people with very specific ideas of who they want to see with Steve (aka. Captain America) and sometimes Sharon is not that person. I certainly hear about that. You have to admire how invested people are, whether they’re on your side or not. You have to respect it. I just have to do the best job I can do as Sharon and create the best version of the character and not take some of it personally. You hope, for the most part, the fans are happy.”
The 29-year-old actress began performing in dance class when she was just three years old.
“There were a lot of us in my family so it was a way to tire us out,” she laughs. “It was an outlet to run around which then turned into more serious dance training.”
Those lessons came in handy while shooting one of Civil War’s wild fight scenes. “Dancing teaches you to be connected with your body,” she says.
“We had to shoot the scene in Civil War where Sharon and Black Widow take on Bucky, quite fast. We didn’t practice it. They were running behind that day and they shot the reaction to getting slammed on the table the next morning but all of the fight stuff was in an hour-and-a-half. I don’t think I would have been able to do that unless I had some formal training in dance.”
Why can’t you superheroes just get along? Like the recent “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which saw the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel go head-to-head in a showdown over how best to police the world, “Captain America: Civil War” sees the Avengers go mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano (there’s a lot of them) in an effort to settle their differences.
Thankfully this isn’t a repeat of the Zack Snyder film. While the themes may be similar to “B v S” the Russo Brothers (Anthony and Joe) achieve a much different result. There’s humour, a story that more or less makes sense and lots of surprises.
As anyone who has seen the other Avengers movies knows the superhero team have caused havoc all over the world, blowing things up dropping buildings on people, all in the name of law and order. It’s been a wild ride but after a debacle in Lagos leaves eleven innocent people dead the United Nations decides it’s time to rein them in.
“While a great many people see you was heroes,” says Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt), “there are those who would use the word vigilante.”
Captain America (Chris Evans), Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark (Robert Downey Jr), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) are asked to sign a document that would limit their autonomy, requiring a U.N. okily-dokily before they can spring into action. The restrictions divide the group. Stark wants more oversight. “With no limits we’re no better than the bad guys,” he says. Captain America refuses to compromise. “If we sign this,” he says, “we lose our right to choose where and when we fight.”
Complicating matters is Cappy’s old pal Bucky Barnes a.k.a. Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). When he’s not under the influence of HYDRA’s mind-control he’s a good guy, but when he is exposed to a series of code words he turns into a Manchurian Candidate style super-duper high tech killing machine. When Winter Soldier is accused of a terrible crime Captain’s loyalty to his friend that drives a wedge between him and Iron Man. As The Avengers self-destruct a mysterious figure (Daniel Brühl) watches from the sidelines.
In some ways “Captain America: Civil War” feels like an echo of “Batman v. Superman.” The difference is a matter of tone. The films share many of the same ideas about responsibility and culpability but whereas “B v. S” was a dark soul-searching affair, “Captain America: Civil War” opts for a cleaner, simpler approach. Minus the ponderosity of Snyder’s film, the Marvel movie manages to make its point in a more concise and interesting way. It’s not exactly a case of less is more—“Civil War” is almost two-and-a-half-hours long and is a Superhero-A-Rama with Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Antman (Paul Rudd) Spider-Man (Tom Holland) joining all the usual suspects—but there is an easy elegance to a line like, “Victory at the expense of the innocent is no victory at all,” missing from “B v. S.”
Better yet, “Civil War” finally finds a recipe for juggling its characters. “Age Of Ultron” featured more stars than there are in the heavens and I left the theatre feeling as though I had just left a kindergarten Christmas pageant where they have to give a part to everyone in class so no one feels left out. The Russo Brothers de-clutter, but still manage the sprawling cast effectively, giving each of them a moment or two in the spotlight and more importantly, a reason to be in the spotlight. Extended cameos from Spider-Man and Ant-man are woven into the fabric of the story, bringing some fun with them while Black Panther is set up to be an interesting recurring character.
Of the regulars Robert Downey Jr holds sway, although his Tony Stark is more subdued than usual. The wisecracks are still there, but there’s fewer than usual. Perhaps it has something to do with spending much of the movie fighting with Captain America. Much humour comes from the other characters. There’s something sublimely ridiculous about superheroes complaining about everyday things. “Can you move your seat up?”
“Captain America: Civil War” delivers. It provides all the high-flying action you expect from a summer superhero blockbuster but also delivers a thought provoking look at the nature of power, loyalty and yes, even the practicality of wedging three superheroes into a Volkswagen.