Richard joins Ryan Doyle of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today he talks about the return of James Bond in “No Time to Die,” and the OTHER drinks, not shaken or stirred, that Bond enjoyed in the books and the movies.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “No Time to Die,” the return of James Bond to the big screen, the dystopian “Night Raiders” and the Netflix slasher film “There’s Someone Inside Your House.”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Lois Lee chat up the weekend’s big releases including “No Time to Die,” the return of James Bond to the big screen, the dystopian “Night Raiders” and the Netflix slasher film “There’s Someone Inside Your House.”
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 “No Time to Die,” the much anticipated return of James Bond to the big screen, the “Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark,” the dystopian “Night Raiders” and the Netflix slasher film “There’s Someone Inside Your House.”
Will James Bond (Daniel Craig) ever be happy? The dour superspy looks great in a tux, has saved the planet a dozen or more times and piloted invisible planes but despite his list of achievements, true happiness always seems to have eluded him.
In “No Time to Die,” however, it looks like Bond may have found a sweet spot in his life with his pretty love interest, Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). But Craig’s fifth and final time as 007 isn’t all sunshine and roses as much as it is a requiem for a character who was shaped by trauma.
“No Time to Die,” now only playing in theatres, kicks off with a cold open unlike any other Bond beginning. Two decades ago, against a remote, icy Norwegian backdrop, the young daughter of a Spectre agent is orphaned when a masked murderer invades her home. “Your father killed my entire family,” he says between bullets. She survives, and twenty or so years later grows up to be Dr. Swann, psychotherapist and the only woman who can make James Bond smile.
On holiday in Materna, Italy, she encourages him to visit the grave of heartbreaker Vesper Lynd, and put her memory to rest. He does, and soon the idyll with his new girlfriend ends, literally blowing up in his face.
Convinced Swann has betrayed him, the superspy cuts her loose, vowing to never lay eyes on her again.
Cut to five years later. Bond is retired from MI6, but lured back into the game of international espionage when his friend and CIA field officer Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) and associate Logan Ash (Billy Magnussen) ask him to help locate Valdo Obruche (David Dencik), a missing scientist working on a deadly DNA Nanobots weapon.
The job sees Bond square off with one of his greatest foes, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) and revenge-thirsty terrorist Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek), a master in the art of asymmetric warfare.
“No Time to Die” shakes up the Bond formula while still offering most of what fans pay to see. There are exotic locations, some high-flying action and the odd 007 one-liner. They are embedded into the DNA of the franchise; character traits that have not been genetically edited out of the movie.
The womanizing, which was so much a part of the Bond folklore, is still there, but trimmed, and played for comic effect. In one instance Ana de Armas, whose appearance as CIA agent Paloma amounts to an extended cameo, charmingly closes the door on that aspect of the Bond legend. In a short but eventful scene, she almost steals the show, and leaves the audience wanting more.
What director Cary Joji Fukunaga, who co-wrote the script alongside Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Scott Z. Burns, has done is add in a ponderous reevaluation of Craig’s years as Bond. Call backs abound to “Casino Royale,” “Quantum of Solace,” “Skyfall,” and “Spectre” and loose ends are tied into bows in in the film’s many Easter eggs. Much of that material is fan service as the fifteen-year Craig reign comes to a close. A shot of M’s (Judi Dench) portrait nods to Bond’s connection to her and Fukunaga reaches back to “Casino Royale” for a tribute to Felix “Brother from Langley” Leiter (Jeffrey Wright). It feels like a nice, respectful way to usher out one era and bring in the next, in whatever form that may take.
But “No Time to Die” is not simply a tip of the hat to the past. With an eye to the future, Fukunaga and Craig have fundamentally changed what a Bond movie is. As the only Bond actor to have an arc for his character, Craig didn’t simply put on Pierce Brosnan’s tux and carry on as so many of the previous actors have done. He took Bond to places he’s never been before, amping up the emotionality of the character as a person born out of trauma. He talks about having everything taken from him as a child, “before I was even in the fight.” For the first time in Bond history, 007 is feeling the ticking of the clock, and not the timer on a bomb he’s trying to diffuse, but the metaphorical hands of time tightening around him.
This approach effectively changes “No Time to Die’s” dynamic, from action film to soul-searching character drama. The 163-minute running time allows the characters to explore why and how they landed where they did in life, but it also sucks much of the urgency from the storytelling. Add to that Malek’s Safin, a clichéd villain who really should make a larger impact, and the drama necessary to shake that martini is lessened.
There is #NoTimeForSpoilers in this review but suffice to say, “No Time to Die” is a Bond film unlike any other. Craig leaves the franchise having made the biggest impact on the character since Sean Connery set the rules more than half a century ago. His finale is drawn out and may rely too heavily on pop psychologically but it’s an important film in the Bond canon. It may even be the most important and exciting since “Dr. No.” Why? Because, as an on-screen card promises, “James Bond will return,” but the movie gives us no hint as to what that re-invented future will entail and that, after almost sixty years of a steady diet of 007isms, is “No Time to Die’s” most exciting achievement.
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 Many Saints of Newark,” the sprawling big-screen prequel to the iconic television series “The Sopranos,” feels more like a pilot for a new show than the origin story of one of television’s most famous families.
Broken into three parts, “The Many Saints of Newark,” uses narration, courtesy of Tony Soprano’s late associate Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli), to break down the movie’s interconnected story shards.
Firstly, there is Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola), Soprano Family soldier, father of Christopher, cousin to Carmela Soprano, uncle to Tony. He’s hooked up, wily and impulsive but also treacherous. When his father, the slick sociopath ‘Hollywood Dick’ (Ray Liotta), returns from Italy with a new bride (Michela De Rossi), it triggers chaos in the Moltisanti family.
In Dickie’s orbit is Harold McBrayer (Leslie Odom Jr.), an African-American numbers runner for the Mob, galvanized by the 1967 Newark race riots to go out on his own and, finally, Tony Soprano, played by William Ludwig as a youngster, Michael Gandolfini, the late James Gandolfini’s son, as a teenager. As Dickie’s thirst for power spins out of control, he becomes a surrogate father to Tony, hoping to pass along something good to the impressionable younger man as a way to atone for his sins.
“The Many Saints of Newark” is vivid in its portrayal of the period. Covering roughly four years, from 1967 to 1971, it uses the turmoil of that time in American life as a backdrop for the explosive nature of Dickie’s world. That atmosphere of uncertainty makes up for a story that, despite some glorious moments, often feels rushed as it careens toward an ending that doesn’t mine the rich psychological landscape of these characters, which is what we expect from David Chase and “The Sopranos.”
The actors are game.
Nivola brings equal parts charisma, danger and depth to a flawed character who is the ringmaster to the action. Unlike many of the other characters, like the conniving Junior Soprano (Corey Stoll), henchman Paulie Walnuts (Blly Magnussen) or consigliere Silvio Dante (John Magaro), who come with eighty-six episodes of baggage, Dickie is new and can be viewed through fresh eyes.
Michael Gandolfini takes on the Herculean task of revisiting a character his father made one of the most famous in television history and brings it home by showcasing the character’s volatility and, more importantly, his vulnerability. He’s a troubled kid, on the edge of turning one way or the other, and even though we know how the story goes, Gandolfini’s performance suggests there is more to know about Tony Soprano.
If there is a complaint, it’s that both Tony and McBrayer, two of the main cogs that keep this engine running, get lost in “The Many Saints of Newark’s” elaborate plotting. Ditto for the female characters. Despite tremendous work from Vera Farmiga as Tony’s poisonous mother Livia and De Rossi as Dickie’s step-mom, the women often feel peripheral to the tale, in service only to the men’s stories.
“The Many Saints of Newark” brings with it high expectations but falls short of coming close to the greatness of its source material. “The Sopranos” broke new ground, changing the way gangster stories (and all sorts of other stories) were told on television. “The Many Saints of Newark” settles for less as an exercise in nostalgia.
Richard speaks with the star of “Aladdin,” Toronto’s Mena Massoud about his breakthrough role.
“I grew up with it,”: he says of the original, animated ‘Aladdin.’ “It was one of the only films I could relate to as a kid. Before I even understood things subconsciously he was a character that looked like me, that I could relate to, that has similar culture. So it meant a lot to me. I have two older sisters who had it on at the house before I was even aware of what was going on.”
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Aladdin,” “Booksmart” and a doc about the life and times of a Canadian legend, “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind.”