Richard and CTV NewsChannel anchor Andrea Bain talk about the latest movies coming to VOD and streaming services, including the new Spike Lee Vietnam epic “Da 5 Bloods,” the Pete Davidson semi-autobiographical story “The King of Staten Island” and the latest from Disney+, “Artemis Fowl.”
Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch during the pandemic including Pete Davidson’s semi-autobiographical “The King of Staten Island,” the AMC game show scandal series “Quiz” and the latest from Disney+, “Artemis Fowl.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the new Spike Lee joint “Da 5 Bloods,” the Pete Davidson semi-autobiographical story “The King of Staten Island,” the absurdist dramedy “It Must Be Heaven” and the latest from Disney+ “Artemis Fowl.”
For six seasons on “Saturday Night Live” Pete Davidson has tempered humour with acute candor to forge a deeply personal kind of comedy based on his life experiences. His new film, “The King of Staten Island,” now on VOD, is his most self-confessional work yet.
Davidson plays Scott, a semi-fictional version of himself, as a directionless twenty-four-year old still living with his widowed mother Margie (Marisa Tomei). When he was seven his firefighter father was killed in the line of duty, leaving a wound on Scott’s psyche that has never healed. He’s so skinny and pale with such large dark circles under his eyes his on-and-off girlfriend Kelsey (Bel Powley) says he “looks like an anorexic panda,” and his patchwork of random tattoos leads a friend to call him a “human sketchbook.” He dreams of one day opening up a restaurant-slash-tattoo parlor but spends most of his time smoking weed and hanging out with his childhood pals.
When Margie becomes romantically involved with Ray (Bill Burr), a firefighter with a hair trigger temper, it forces Scott to confront the past tragedy in his life so he can move forward.
“The King of Staten Island” is an imagined version of Davidson’s life if he hadn’t found comedy and become famous. His father Scott was a member of Ladder Company 118 in Brooklyn Heights and died responding to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. That loss has become the bedrock of his work and provides the emotional backbone of this film.
Director Judd Apatow is no stranger to making films with big hearts and dirty mouths. Like his previous films, like “Trainwreck,” he frontloads the story with outrageous laughs that slowly give way to a funny but more restrained resolution.
Along the way Davidson delivers a performance that lifts his patented millennial slacker routine to a new level. He’s a natural performer, charismatic and likeable, with a deep well of emotion that lies just beneath his pothead exterior. He’s a perfect vessel to tell a story about someone experiencing profound loss.
The supporting cast is terrific. Burr embodies the ragehead with a heart of gold, drifting through life while Tomei has an interesting arc as a woman who lets go of the past to find a new future.
The premise of “The King of Staten Island” doesn’t sound like the stuff of comedy but this story of how tragedy effects a family balances humour with heartfelt and humanistic observations in a very winning way.
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 crime drama “White Boy Rick,” the Nicolas Cage rage-a-thon “Mandy” and the thriller “A Simple Favor.”
In real life Richard Wershe Jr. lived twenty lives all before the time he could legally have a drink. As a teenage FBI informant he lived the high life before it all came crashing down. A new film, “White Boy Rick,” details his rise and terrible tumble.
14-year-old Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt) a.k.a. White Boy Rick, lives with his father Rick Sr. (Matthew McConaughey),and older sister Dawn (Bel Powley) across the street from his grandparents (Bruce Dern and Piper Laurie) in 1980s Detroit. Despite the newly launched “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign crack is everywhere, seducing many in his neighbourhood.
Sr. is a small time dealer in illegal guns with aspirations of one day opening up a legit business. Before he can do that, however, Jr. is convinced to become an undercover agent for the FBI. If he snitches on local drug dealers, they say, the feds will leave his father’s operation alone. The teenager takes the deal and soon is dealing cocaine and rolling in cash. His run comes to a sudden end when he becomes a victim of the war on drugs. Arrested for drug possession of an enormous amount of cocaine the feds drop him like a hot potato and he is sentenced to thirty years behind bars.
There’s a lot going on in “White Boy Rick.” The main thrust of the story, Jr.’s rise and fall, is muddied by the addition of side characters. They’re often entertaining—particularly in the case of the grandparents—or unexpectedly touching—Powley nicely portrays Dawn’s fragility and descent into addiction—but feel like after thoughts in an already busy movie.
Newcomer Merrit and McConaughey have great chemistry. Merrit, found at a Detroit casting call, isn’t quite up to the emotional heights necessary for us to care about him but fares better when he’s required to swagger around the screen.
While overstuffed, “White Boy Rick” does give McConaughey a chance to act as anchor, deftly portraying his desperation for the American Dream while keeping his family together in the only way he knows how.
“White Boy Rick” nicely captures the grit of 1980s Detroit and makes a powerful statement of the failure of the war on drugs but despite the multi-pronged story and dramatic turns in Jr.’s life it never completely grabs our attention.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the crime drama “White Boy Rick,” the Nicolas Cage rage-a-thon “Mandy” and why Lady Gaga kissed him at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nick Dixon to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Skyscraper,” the animated Adam Sandler flick “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,” the documentary “Whitney,” the biopic “Mary Shelley,” “Sorry to Bother You” starring LaKeith Stanfield and the comedy “The Death (and Life) of Carl Naardlinger.”