Richard joins CTV NewsChannel and anchor Lois Lee to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the virtual reality of “The Martrix Resurrection,” the coming of age dramedy “Licorice Pizza” and Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and the jukebox musical “Sing 2.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the virtual reality of “The Martrix Resurrection,” the coming of age dramedy “Licorice Pizza” and Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and the jukebox musical “Sing 2.”
Can Richard Crouse review three movies in just thirty seconds? Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the Neo’s return to virtual reality in “The Matrix: Resurrections,” the coming of age dramedy “Licorice Pizza” and Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth” in less time than it takes to buy a pack of Twizzlers.
Austere and theatrical, “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” in theatres on December 25, streaming on Apple TV+ on January 14, feels like an up-scale horror film in its examination of ambition and violence.
The plot is familiar from high school English class. Three witches (all played by Kathryn Hunter) prophesize that Macbeth (Denzel Washington), a heroic general in King Duncan’s (Brendan Gleeson) army, is bound for glory. He will be named Thane of Cawdor, they say, and one day, if he has the backbone, King. It’s welcome news for the ambitious warrior and his ruthlessly Machiavellian wife, Lady Macbeth (Frances McDormand), who helps kickstart her husband’s rise to power by devising a plot to kill the King.
Their bloody coup sees the well-liked Duncan murdered, triggering Macbeth’s ascent to the throne. The couple’s lust for power leads to a reign of terror, which includes the wholesale slaughter of King Duncan loyalist Macduff’s (Corey Hawkins) family and a civil war.
The crown sits heavily on their collective heads. The new power couple are soon overwhelmed by insomnia, festering paranoia and guilt. “By the pricking of my thumbs,” says one of the witches, “something wicked this way comes.”
Adapted for the screen by director Joel Coen, working for the first time without his brother Ethan, “The Tragedy of Macbeth” blends theatre and cinema in a seamless and powerful way. The expressionistic sets and minimalist soundtrack feel transported in from the theatre, while the beautiful stark black-and-white photography and charismatic performances are pure cinema.
Washington is quietly powerful as his immorality grows. His entrance, a bold walk straight up to the camera out of the fog, establishes his movie star cred. His letter-perfect line readings, imbuing meaning and emotion into even the most intimidating of Shakespeare’s passages proves he was born to say these words.
McDormand plays Lady Macbeth as her husband’s equal. She captures her ambition, but tempers the performance with notes of desperation.
Also striking is legendary stage actress Kathryn Hunter. She plays all three of the prophetic weird sisters in a physically transformative way that sees her bend into shapes that look almost supernatural.
All are ably supported by an exemplary cast, including Gleeson, Corey Hawkins as Macduff, the Thane of Fife, Bertie Carvel as Macbeth ally Banquo and Harry Melling as Malcolm, the King Duncan’s eldest.
“The Tragedy of Macbeth” is accessible without ever playing down to the audience. Masterful filmmaking mixes and matches the text with compelling images and wonderful performances to create a new take on the Scottish Play that is both respectful and fearlessly fresh.
Go see it, “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…”
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 “Paddington 2,” one of the most entertaining movies of the year, the train terror movie “The Commuter” and the family drama “Happy End.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at “Paddington 2, a movie Richard is already calling one of the best of the year, Liam Neeson’s long journey home in “The Commuter” and the ironically titled family drama “Happy Ending.”
The last time we saw Paddington, the cuddly, orphaned teddy bear voiced by Ben Whishaw, left Peru armed only with a “worrying marmalade problem” and his distinctive red hat. Arriving at Paddington Station in London he was adopted by the Brown family after an uncomfortably close scrap with a crazed taxidermist.
“Paddington 2” finds the bear settled in to a comfortable life with the Browns—Mary (Sally Hawkins), Henry (Hugh Bonneville) and kids Judy (Madeline Harris) and Jonathan (Samuel Joslin)—and trying to save money to buy his Aunt Lucy (voice of Imelda Staunton) an antique pop up book of London for her birthday. When the book is stolen from Samuel Gruber’s antique shop Paddington is accused of the crime, wrongfully convicted and jailed. While the bear languishes in prison the Browns attempt to prove Paddington’s innocence. “Paddington wouldn’t hesitate if any of us needed help,” says Henry. “He looks for the good in all of us.” One jailbreak later Paddington is also on the case, convinced he knows who took the book but can he solve the case before Aunt Lucy’s centenary celebration?
With his red hat and blue duffle coat Paddington is almost un-bear-ably cute. Gentle and good-natured, he’s at the very heart of the movie. Instead, it’s a good old-fashioned romp with larger-than-life characters supplied by Hugh Grant, in a fun pantomime performance and Brendan Gleeson as Knuckles McGinty, a hardened criminal whose bluster disguises his warm heart.
Mostly though, it about the bear. With soulful eyes, good manners and large doses of slapstick—he’s a furry little Charlie Chaplin, excelling in physical humour with lots of heart—he’s a joyful presence. Without an ounce of cynicism “Paddington 2” transmits messages of tolerance, friendship and loyalty but never at the expense of the story. Those characteristics are so central to Paddington’s character that the movie positively drips with not only the sticky sweet smell of delicious marmalade (the bear’s favourite snack) but emotional depth as well.
Add to that a delightful ode to Chaplin’s trip through a factory machine’s cogs in “Modern Times,” some expertly delivered belly laughs and you have one of the most entertaining films likely to be released this year.
“Paddington 2” isn’t just a kid’s flick, it’s a film for the whole family; it’s one of those rare movies for children it doesn’t just feel like an excuse to sell toys. #paddingtonpower
Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies, Matthew McConaughey in “Gold,” the Oscar nominated “The Red Turtle,” “Trespass Against Us” starring Michael Fassbender and Germany’s entry for Best Foreign Film, “Toni Erdmann.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Erin Paul to have a look at the big weekend movies, Matthew McConaughey in “Gold,” the Oscar nominated “The Red Turtle,” “Trespass Against Us” starring Michael Fassbender and Germany’s entry for Best Foreign Film, “Toni Erdmann.”