I join NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “NewsTalk Tonight” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the light-hearted Jane Fonda sports comedy “80 for Brady,” the new M. Night Shyamalan nail-biter “Knock at the Cabin” and the Anna Kendrick drama “Alice, Darling.”
I appear on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week I have a look at the documentary “Black Ice” on Crave, the post apocalyptic series “The Last of Us” on Crave and the light-hearted sports comedy “80 for Brady” now playing in theatres.
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the light-hearted Jane Fonda sports comedy “80 for Brady,” the new M. Night Shyamalan nail-biter “Knock at the Cabin” and the Anna Kendrick drama “Alice, Darling.”
Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to change a lightbulb! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the light-hearted Jane Fonda sports comedy “80 for Brady,” the new M. Night Shyamalan nail-biter “Knock at the Cabin” and the Anna Kendrick drama “Alice, Darling.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the light-hearted Jane Fonda sports comedy “80 for Brady,” the new M. Night Shyamalan nail-biter “Knock at the Cabin” and the Anna Kendrick drama “Alice, Darling.”
I guess it is fitting that a team of movie MVPs would band together to tell a story about the greatest football quarterback of all time. It’s just too bad the movie, “80 for Brady,” now playing on theatres, is a bit of a fumble.
Based on a true story, the movie is first and foremost, the tale of the deep bond between football fans, octogenarians Lou (Lily Tomlin), Trish (Jane Fonda), Maura (Rita Moreno), and septuagenarian Betty (Sally Field). The lifelong friends discover football, or more specifically, one footballer, in 2001 when Lou’s television remote broke, leaving the channel stuck on a New England Patriots game.
When the quartet laid eyes on quarterback Tom Brady, they were smitten. “What a beautiful man,” says Trish. “So hydrated,” adds Maura.
Sixteen years later, as the Patriots prepare to take on the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl LI, the four fans plan their ultimate get-a-way after winning two pairs of Super Bowl tickets from a local sports call-in show.
“We’re going to the Super Bowl to enjoy men the way the ancient Romans did,” says Lou. “Sweaty and on top of one another in tight pants.”
When it looks like the Patriots are down for the count, Lou, Trish, Maura and Betty, in their bedazzled Brady jerseys, spring into action, providing some much-needed moral support.
“80 for Brady” is a mawkish movie, a firehose spray of sentimentality and easy platitudes. it’s a testament to the collective buddy charisma of the leads that it works as well as it does. The characters may be clichés come to life but without the cast, much of the film’s humour would be as deflated as the footballs used at the 2014 AFC title game against the Indianapolis Colts. Tomlin, Fonda), Moreno and Field’s combined 250 years of on-screen experience breathe life into several showcase scenes.
Moreno earns a laugh or two playing hardball with a scalper and a hot wing eating contest gives Field a chance to heat things up amid the movie’s well-intentioned but overbearingly cheerful bromides.
“80 for Brady” aims to lift up the audience, to inspire, but only in the most superficial ways. There is more edge on any single episode of “Golden Girls” than in the entire running time of this ode to friendship and football.
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 Wes Anderson’s animated political allegory “Isle of Dog,” Claire Foy as a woman trapped in a mental facility in “Unsane” and “Flower,” starring Zoey Deutch.
Imagine the painstaking process that goes into making stop-motion animated films like Isle of Dogs. Instead of using computer-generated imagery, animators meticulously manipulate little puppets a centimetre or two at a time, shoot a frame or two and repeat the process until the film is done. On average, working at a good clip, a stop-motion animator can complete one or two minutes of film per week.
According to whom you speak, the process is either a labour of love or pure torture.
“People think it’s monotonous and tedious, but I think stop motion creates a dream quality,” said legendary animator Ray Harryhausen. “I never found it tedious or monotonous.”
Others, like The Boxtrolls producer Travis Knight, say “It’s the worst way to make a movie. It makes no sense.”
However you feel about the method, the results are beautiful. At its best, stop motion has a timeless quality and otherworldly charm born from the old-fashioned process that brings it to the screen. It’s handmade with a level of craftsmanship and soul that not even the most skilled programmer working on an advanced computer can imitate.
“There’s a strange quality in stop-motion photography, like in King Kong,” says Harryhausen, “that adds to the fantasy. If you make things too real, sometimes you bring it down to the mundane. In Kong, you knew he wasn’t real, but he looked like a nightmare, you know? He acted real, and the dinosaurs looked real. But there was something about them that had a magic that you don’t quite get yet in CGI.”
Director Wes Anderson says Harryhausen’s work and the stop-motion animated holiday specials of Rankin/Bass Productions inspired Isle of Dogs.
“I really liked these TV Christmas specials in America,” he said. “I always liked the creatures in the Harryhausen-type films, but really these American Christmas specials were probably the thing that really made me want to do it.”
A film still from Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in virtual reality) by Paul Raphael, Felix Lajeunesse and the Isle of Dogs Production Team.
Isle of Dogs, which became the first animated film to ever open the Berlin Film Festival in February, tells the story of the exile of the dogs of Megasaki City to a vast garbage dump, and a 12-year-old boy who sets off to find his lost pet.
The film’s handmade technique is already earning rave reviews. Slate said that Anderson’s stop-motion animations, including 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, “are the warmest, the most emotionally accessible, the most real” of all of Anderson’s films.
That’s the magic of stop motion. From its earliest usage in 1897’s The Humpty Dumpty Circus, to the pioneering work of Harryhausen and Willis O’Brien, to the advanced visions of Aardman’s Wallace and Gromit movies, the exquisite Coraline from Henry Selick, and Czech filmmaker Jan Švankmajer, who mixes stop motion with live actors, all stop-motion films have one thing in common — a humanity that shines through the technology. It isn’t perfect, it’s primal.
Animation, as Pixar’s Brad Bird says, is about creating the illusion of life. Stop motion, with its reliance on the animator’s hands-on skills, presents an imperfect but organic image that can ignite imaginations.
Harryhausen told me it was the stop motion of the original 1933 King Kong that changed his life. “I saw it when I was 13,” he said, “and I haven’t been the same since.”