Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host 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 to talk about the much anticipated “Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark,” the latest adventures of the Gomez, Morticia and Company in the animated “The Addams Family 2” and the Jake Gyllenhaal thriller “The Guilty.”
The weird and wonderful Addams Family, Gomez (Oscar Isaac), Morticia (Charlize Theron), Wednesday (Chloë Grace Moretz), Pugsley (Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton) and their chrome domed Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll), are just like any other family. Sure, they live in a house of horrors and are “mysterious and spooky and all together ooky,” but underneath it all, they are a regular, loving family.
The latest instalment in their lengthy documentation of family life, the animated “The Addams Family 2,” now playing in theatres and premium VOD, sees Gomez and Morticia, like so many parents, concerned that their kids are growing up too fast.
The action begins at Wednesday’s high school science fair. When she only earns a participation award for her project—transferring octopus intelligence into her Uncle Fester—she becomes more withdrawn than usual. To bring the family back together, Gomez and Morticia plan a family road trip to—where else?—Death Valley.
Along the way complications arise, including Cyrus Strange (Wallace Shawn, son of editor William Shawn who ran the Addams Family cartoons for decades in the pages of the New Yorker), an evil scientist who convinces Wednesday she is not really part of the Addams Family.
“The Addams Family 2” has top flight voice work from Isaac, Theron and especially Moretz, who nails the detached but spirited tone of her death-obsessed character. Her empowerment—”I’m not a freak,” she says, “I’m a force of nature.”—will also likely strike a chord with anyone who has felt like an outsider.
What the film doesn’t nail, however, is that Addams Family X-factor, the sense of gleeful dread. This is mainstream family animation, padded with songs and dance numbers, that smooths out the offbeat, macabre heart and soul of the source material. It’s goofy, not ooky, with none of the eccentric charm of the 1960s TV show.
Directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon bring a light touch to the story, where none was needed.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including at the thrills and chills of “It: Chapter Two,” the Ram Dass doc “Becoming Nobody” and some highlights from TIFF including “Dolemite is My Name.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including “It: CHapter Two,” the documentary “Becoming Nobody” and all the best stuff at TIFF.
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 the thrills and chills of “It: Chapter Two,” the Ram Dass doc “Becoming Nobody” and the TIFF opening night film “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band.”
The first instalment of “It,” Stephen King’s scary clown epic, was about overcoming fears. Specifically, the shape-shifting Pennywise the Dancing Clown a.k.a. It (Bill Skarsgård), the manifestation of all the character’s fears. The new film, inventively titled “It: Chapter Two,” is about resilience, about sticking your neck out for your friends.
The new one is set in 2016, twenty-seven years after the preteen Loser’s Club battled Pennywise in his sewers lair and kept the town of Derry, Maine safe from the child gobbling monster. Now, the childhood friends have gone their separate ways. Loser’s leader Bill (James McAvoy) is now a successful mystery novelist. Sexual abuse survivor Beverly (Jessica Chastain) went on to become a fashion designer, while Ben (Jay Ryan), the overweight, bullied kid is now an architect living in Nebraska and loud-mouth Richie (Bill Hader) is a DJ in Los Angeles. Other members fled town as well. Hypochondriac Eddie (James Ransone) runs a NYC limousine company and Stanley (Andy Bean) is now an Atlanta-based accountant.
Only Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) stayed in Derry. Traumatized by the events of his youth he battles a substance abuse problem but stays on top of Pennyworth’s existence by sleeping next to a police scanner. “Something happens when you leave this town,” says Mike. “The farther away, the hazier it all gets. But me, I never left. I remember all of it.” When trouble in the form of a clown comes back to town Mike summons the others Losers to come back home to conquer their fears, bond together and do battle with their old foe. “Did you miss me?” taunts Pennywise. “No one wants to play with me anymore.”
At almost three hours “It: Chapter Two” is an overindulgent mish mash, part horror, a splash of comedy and heaping helping of pop psychology. Oh, and a clown. To say the movie takes it’s time is an understatement along the lines of suggesting Pennnywise floss more often. It almost feels like you’re binging several episodes of a serialized version of the story without the benefit of being able to switch channels when the going gets repetitive.
And it gets repetitive. We are endlessly reminded of the character’s childhood traumas, told of Pennywise’s evil and if someone said to me, “We’ve got to stick together,” as many times Bill says it here, I would make a run for it and never look back. The movie says it best when Ritchie exasperatedly says, “We’re caught up, OK!” over an hour in, and yet the exposition and repetition continues.
There are several striking nightmarish images and Hader provides some much-needed comic relief but it feels as though director Andy Muschietti and screenwriter Gary Dauberman regarded King’s novel as some sort of sacred text and where unable to stray from the written word. One of the enjoyable things about King’s novels are there world building, his attention to detail and skill for weaving mythology into real(ish) world situations. The best adaptations of his work carefully parse these elements to boil down the essence of the story. “It: Chapter Two” does not make the effort. Instead it laboriously recreates the novel, frills and all. It may have worked in print but here it feels the running gag about Bill’s inability to properly end his stories has come to life, manifesting itself in the CGI heavy climax and the extended coda.
In this sequel Pennywise’s red balloon has finally popped.
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 Michael B. Jordan boxing drama “Creed II,” the on-line romp of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and the odd couple buddy film “Green Book.”