Richard joins the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today we talk about “Ambulance,” the video game flick “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and Johnny Depp in “Minamata.” Then we take a sip of the Japanese favourite cocktail the Ginza Mary,.
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the frenetic Beyhem (look it up) of “Ambulance,” the video game flick “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and Johnny Depp in “Minamata.”
Bright-blue extraterrestrial hedgehog Sonic comes bounding back into theatres with the imaginatively titled “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” a Sega sequel to the highest-grossing video game movie of all-time.
At the beginning of the flick Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz), a hedgehog whose lightning-fast reflexes and ability to run faster than the speed of sound, have helped him save the world on numerous occasions, is living with his adopted “parents,” Montana police officer Tom (James Marsden) and his veterinarian wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter).
When Tom and Maddie go on a Hawaiian vacation, Sonic is left to his own devices. That opens the door for the hedgehog’s nemesis, baddie Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) to return with anteater sidekick Knuckles (voice of Idris Elba). Robotnik is still sore from his exile on a remote planet, but has returned with a thirst to exact revenge on the spiny blue mammal who put him there and a plan to take over the world.
“Since I’ve been gone,” he says, “I’ve discovered the source of ultimate power.”
That power stems from a mystical emerald with the power to destroy civilizations. To save the world Sonic teams with Tails (voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey), a yellow fox with two tails who appears through a magic portal.
Sonic’s plan to make sure Robotnik doesn’t destroy the world? “Step one, light taunting,” he says. “Step two? I have no idea.”
Plan or no plan, Sonic’s tenacity could save the day.
Story wise “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is about as imaginative as its title. A standard save-the-world video game story with an unusual amount of CGI, it doesn’t pave any new paths forward, but fun performances—both live and CGI—keep things buoyant for most of the slightly too long two-hour running time.
Sonic is the star, the heart and soul of the franchise, but it is Jim Carrey who steals the show with a performance that goes over-the-top in search of a new top. It’s big cartoony work that brings an organic touch to an overload of computer-generated animation.
More understated, but just by a hair, is Natasha Rothwell as Maddie’s sister Rachel. She brings the funny and brings some respite to the non-stop blur of action.
“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is a family film for video game fans, comprised of a series of big, loud set pieces banged together to entertain the eye while sprouting messages of the importance of family and teamwork.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Bain about TV shows to watch this weekend including two with Rosamund Pike, the Marie Curie biopic “Radioactive” on Crave and the dark comedy “I Care a Lot” on Amazon Prime Video, the Disney+ kid’s flick “Flora & Ulysses” and the tearjerker “Supernova” starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci on VID.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the mean-spirited crime dramedy “I Care a Lot” (Amazon Prime Video in Canada), the heartfelt drama “Supernova” (Apple TV app, and everywhere you rent or buy movies) and the kid’s flick Flora & Ulysses (Disney+).
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the mean-spirited crime dramedy “I Care a Lot” (Amazon Prime Video in Canada) and the kid’s flick Flora & Ulysses (Disney+).
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 mean-spirited crime dramedy “I Care a Lot” (Amazon Prime Video in Canada), the heartfelt drama “Supernova” (Apple TV app, and everywhere you rent or buy movies) and the kid’s flick Flora & Ulysses (Disney+).
“Flora & Ulysses,” the new Disney+ comedy-adventure based on the Newbery Award-winning book of the same name by Kate DiCamillo, is about what happens when a ten-year-old rescues Ulysses, a squirrel with a lot of personality who also just might have superpowers.
When self-described cynic and comic book fan Flora (Matilda Lawler), a lonely girl who lives with her romance writer mother (Alyson Hannigan), rescues a squirrel from a neighbor’s robotic vacuum, both their lives are transformed.
Flora, who pines for the days when her parents were together, finds a friend in her new pet. The rodent, who announces his powers by typing, “Squirrel. I am Ulysses. Born anew,” on mom’s old-school Smith Corona, chips away at Flora’s hardened exterior. “Maybe the best part of having a superhero around,” she says, “is how you start to feel like one too.” The unlikely duo, along with Flora’s father (Ben Schwartz), a failed-comic-book-writer who makes ends meet working retail, and temporarily blind neighbor William (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) go on adventures despite mom’s disdain for having a squirrel in the house, even one who can write poetry.
“Flora & Ulysses” may be the only kid’s flick to quote intense German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. The film’s central message—Flare up like a flame and find your purpose—is paraphrased from Rilke’s abstract “Go to the Limits of Your Longing.” But don’t worry, there’s nothing terribly abstract or heady about the super squirrel story. Director Lena Khan has made a family friendly film that balances comedy, action and even some melancholy.
The superhero in this movie isn’t here to save the world or battle villains from other planets, but the stakes are just as high. Ulysses doesn’t wear spandex or have x-ray eyes, instead he’s a symbol of hope and the power of love in friendship and family. Those are nice messages, well delivered by a game cast, particularly Lawler, who nails her character’s droll humour.
“Flora & Ulysses” is a story about the small, heroic things we can do in day-to-day life. Uplifting and charming, it avoids easy sentiment and there’s even a good “Titanic” joke.
Richard and CP24 anchor Cortney Heels have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “The Call of the Wild,” the alpha dog of dog movies, the homecoming dramedy “Standing Up, Falling Down,” the family drama “Ordinary Love” and the psychological drama “The Lodge.”