Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the on-line Toronto Jewish Film Festival (more details at TJFF.com), the Crave drama “The Night of Kings,” the VOD rock ‘n roll documentary “Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm,” and the Fourth Season of he South Side of Chicago ensemble drama “The Chi” on Showtime.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the inspirational horse movie “Spirit Untamed,” the latest from The Conjuring Universe, “The Devil Made Me Do It,” the rock doc “Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm” and the biopic “Hero: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross.”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Jennifer Burke chat up the weekend’s big releases, the inspirational horse movie “Spirit Untamed,” the latest from The Conjuring Universe, “The Devil Made Me Do It” and the rock doc “Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm.”
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 inspirational horse movie “Spirit Untamed,” the latest from The Conjuring Universe, “The Devil Made Me Do It,” the rock doc “Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm” and the biopic “Hero: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the family friendly Dreamworks animated film “Spirit Untamed,” the latest from The Conjuring Universe, “The Devil Made Me Do It” and the rock doc “Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm.”
You may not have heard of Rockfield, a recording studio located on a cattle and pig farm just outside the village of Rockfield, Monmouthshire, Wales, but you’ve heard the songs recorded there.
A new documentary, “Rockfield: The Studio on The Farm,” now on VOD, aims to illuminate the history of a place that helped create the sound of heavy metal, gave the world Queen’s signature tune when the band mastered the final section of “Bohemian Rhapsody” there in the summer of 1975, and inspired Chris Martin to write “Yellow” and Oasis to record “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?”
“It’s like the ‘Big Brother’ house with tunes,” says Liam Gallagher. “You go there and don’t leave until the album is done.”
The walls of the storied studio don’t have to talk, they have owners Kingsley and Charles Ward. The brothers began as farmers and wannabe musicians, but soon realized there was more money in offering a place for bands to get away from the hustle and bustle of London’s music scene than there was in raising pigs.
“Once we got rid of the pigs,” says Kingsley, the quirkier of the two, “we got into the music business. So, it was more and less the same, except the usage had changed.”
The Ward brothers provide a great deal of the film’s charm. From helping Lemmy find a place to store his drug stash in the band’s living quarters to Kingsley’s colorfully understated way of telling a story. They provide the doc’s backbone. The stories are fleshed out by the musicians who called the place home at one time or another.
“We started as a rock band dabbling in drugs,” Ozzy Osbourne says of Black Sabbath, who rehearsed their breakthrough album “Paranoid” at Rockfield, “and ended up a drug band dabbling in rock.”
Gallagher talks about trying to record after spending the day… and night… at one of the local pubs. “You’d have a go,” he says, “but you’d end up sounding like The Pogues.”
Robert Plant says he was “already a cliché” by the time he hit Rockfield to record his first solo album and seems to have genuine affection for the place and Kingsley. Like so many others before him, he used “this arboreal green and pleasant land” as a place of reinvention.
Rockfield is still a recording studio and a working farm, and that mix and match of pastoral and musical is key to the magic of the place. Chris Martin of Coldplay calls it a “musical Hogwarts,” where bands went to live, create and find their sound. “We were sent away to figure it out,” he says.
“Rockfield: The Studio on The Farm” is an exercise in nostalgia, but it’s an entertaining one. A look back at rock ‘n roll’s first residential studio, it’s a guided tour through several generations of British rock’s guitar.
Richard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot do a refresher on “Captain America: Civil War” and then talk about the weekend’s big releases, the seedy charm of “The Nice Guys” with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, the kid’s cartoon “The Angry Birds Movie,” and the Seth Rogen sequel “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.”
Richard and “Canada AM” host Marci Ien talk about the weekend’s three big releases, the shady charm of “The Nice Guys” with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, the kid’s cartoon “The Angry Birds Movie,” and the Seth Rogen sequel “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” and the debauched “High-Rise” with Tom Hiddleston.
Are you among the 200 million people that play Angry Birds on your smartphone? If so you’re in good company.
Angelina Jolie, Jack Black and Jon Hamm are fans and British Prime Minister David Cameron has admitted to being “mildly addicted” to the game. Since December 2009, folks have been flinging flocks of birds at pig’s fortresses, downloading more than 3 billion versions of the app.
This weekend the Angry Birds game takes the next logical step, catapulting onto the big screen with their very own movie.
Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad and Maya Rudolph star in The Angry Birds Movie, a story that tells us why the annoyed avians — like flock leader Red Bird, Bomb the Black Bird and Slingshot Stella the Cockatoo — are so angry. Turns out they feel betrayed by the tittering piggies that pretend to be their friends but are really only interested in stealing their eggs. Cue the catapults and mountains of TNT.
It’s a brand with a built-in audience, a combination Hollywood finds irresistible, and while it has colourful, easily marketed characters, the game itself doesn’t offer much in the way of story. But that has never stopped producers before.
Remember Super Mario Bros? Siskel & Ebert gave that one two thumbs down and star Bob Hoskins, who played Mario, called it “the worst thing I ever did.”
Despite brutal reviews and box office failure, Nintendo Power magazine praised the film, calling it a trailblazer in the genre of videogame movies.
Which leads us, 23 years after Mario and his brother Luigi stunk up movie theatres, to The Angry Birds Movie. Why is a game from a developer in Espoo, just outside Helsinki, Finland, popular enough to take flight as its own movie?
The success of Angry Birds has to do with something called schema formation, a five-dollar term for mentally grasping and embedding how the game’s interface works the first time you play it.
The addictive part comes in as the action of the game changes. In Play at Work, engineer Charles L. Mauro explains the appeal: “These little birds are packed with clever behaviours that expand the user’s mental model at just the point when game-level complexity is increased.”
The game’s genius is in adding playing details at just the right moment to increase user engagement. In other words, it’s fun. I guess that’s why gamers spend 200 million minutes a day flinging Angry Birds at various targets.
According to marketers AYTM, that’s “equal to 16 years of gameplay every hour of every day.” They also note that players have flung over 100 billion angry birds, a number equal to the amount of real birds on the planet. Those are the kind of statistics Hollywood can’t ignore.
One person unlikely to pass the time with Angry Birds is U.S. communications surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden. In 2014 he claimed the app was “leaky,” and was vulnerable to the harvesting of information by outside groups.
Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Entertainment, the makers of Angry Birds, denied Snowden’s claims.
“We do not collaborate, collude, or share data with spy agencies anywhere in the world,” he said, which must have come as a relief to another of the game’s biggest fans, former Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney, who, apparently, also enjoys hurling a bird or two in his spare time.