Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the feel good musical “In the Heights” (theatres and PVOD). the music doc “Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl” (VOD/Digital) and the crime drama “Akilla’s Escape” (VOD).
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Marcia MacMillan chat up the weekend’s big releases, the big, splashy musical “In the Heights” (theatres and PVOD). the music doc “Kate Nash: Underestimate the Gir”l (VOD/Digital) and the crime drama “Akilla’s Escape” (VOD).
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 joyful musical “In the Heights” (theatres and PVOD). the music doc “Kate Nash: Underestimate the Gir”l (VOD/Digital) and the crime drama “Akilla’s Escape” (VOD).
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 big, splashy musical “In the Heights” (theatres and PVOD). the music doc “Kate Nash: Underestimate the Gir”l (VOD/Digital) and the crime drama “Akilla’s Escape” (VOD).
In director Charles Officer’s crime-noir “Akilla’s Escape,” now on digital & VOD, a drug robbery goes sideways, opening the door for the title character’s reckoning of his past, and the future of the young man who held a shotgun to his head.
Drug dealer Akilla (Saul Williams, who also composed the film’s score with Robert 3D Del Naja) wants out. Marijuana is about to become legal in Canada, but his days as a violent, mid-level drug runner are over.
His ‘retirement” is postponed when he walks in on the robbery of one of his boss’s operations. As shotgun and machete wielding gang members invade the place, Akilla locks eyes with Sheppard (Thamela Mpumlwana), the youngest of the thieves. As things turns violent, Akilla subdues the teenaged Sheppard, knocking him unconscious.
Instead of seeking revenge in the name of his employer, Akilla forms a bond with the young man, recognizing in Sheppard parallels to his own life and the trauma that put them both on the path to a life of violence.
“Akilla’s Escape” is a stylish crime story laced with social commentary. What it lacks in pulse racing action scenes, it makes up for with tense, tightly wound performances, illustrations of toxic masculinity and a nicely rendered story that jumps back and forth in time.
Taking on a double role, Mpumlwana plays both Sheppard and, in flashbacks, young Akilla. It’s a clever casting trick, but it works to skillfully reveal the similarities in their lives. The two characters may have been led down a similar path, but Mpumlwana’s work ensures the characters are distinct and interesting throughout.
The core of the movie is the rock-solid performance from Williams. World-weary and contemplative, he’s part criminal, part social worker and is the film’s heart and soul.
“Akilla’s Escape” is a study of how generational trauma and poverty shapes lives. It errs on the side of exposition in several scenes, but the power of the story lies in what isn’t said as much as what is. The film is at its best when Williams and Mpumlwana are showing, not telling. In those moments “Akilla’s Escape” is powerful, mature and impactful.
Richard and CTV NewsChannel anchor Angie Seth discuss the family drama of “Tammy’s Always Dying,” the Cronenberg remake “Rabid,” the social commentary of “Blood Quantum” and the culinary adventure “Nose to Tail.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Nick Dixon have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including drunken dramedy “Tammy’s Always Dying,” the Cronenberg remake “Rabid” and the zombie braaiiiins of “Blood Quantum.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the drunken dramedy “Tammy’s Always Dying,” the Cronenberg remake “Rabid,” the guts and glory of “Blood Quantum” and the restaurant drama “Nose to Tail.”
The very best zombie movies are never simply about the dead coming back to life. Sure, the good ones smear the screen with buckets of blood but just as important as the gore are the brains, and not just the kind the undead use as entrees. The memorable ones use the flesh-hungry creatures as metaphors for societal ills. George A. Romero knew this and infused his movies with allegories to social justice and consumerism, among other issues. Director Jeff Barnaby knows this as well. His exciting new zombie film, “Blood Quantum,” new to VOD this week, contains a powerful central premise: Indigenous people put in danger by allowing white folks on their land.
The film begins with an ancient settler’s proverb. “Take heed to thyself, make no treaty with the inhabitants of the land you are entering.” It’s a portentous warning that foreshadows “Blood Quantum” action. Set on an isolated Mi’gmaq reserve called Red Crow, it takes place before, during and after a plague that has turned most of the world into bloodthirsty zombies. The Red Crow, however, are immune, placing tribal sheriff Traylor (“Fear the Walking Dead’s” Michael Greyeyes) in the position of having to protect the reserve, including ex-wife Joss (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers), sons Lysol (Kiowa Gordon) and Joseph (Forrest Goodluck), Joseph’s pregnant girlfriend Charlie (Olivia Scriven) and father Gisigu (Stonehorse Lone Goeman), from hordes of undead outsiders.
“Blood Quantum” offers up the blood and guts you expects from a movie like this but director Barnaby also infuses every frame with a vivid sense of indigenous heritage. From the title—which refers to a much-despised colonial blood measurement system used to establish a person’s Indigenous status—to using a zombie apocalypse as metaphor for the fight against annihilation by colonial settlers, it drips with social awareness and gore.
A new take on the zombie apocalypse tale, it brings a fresh perspective to a much-examined genre. The characters are well defined and have emotional arcs amid the madness and skull crushing. The use of occasional animation sections adds visual interest to an already cool looking film—Barnaby has a deadly eye for composition—and will even make you laugh from time to time. A broken narrative timeline doesn’t work as well it should but Barnaby and Co. deliver on entertainment and intellectual levels.
Come for the entrail eating, stay for the cultural observations… and more entrail eating.